Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

This monument is in Kirkwood, an unincorporated area of Voorhees, New Jersey. It sits nestled in the shade of a line of pine trees across from the Voorhees fire department and 50 feet in front of 75 mm Howitzer Gun (US) static artillery display. The monument is in honor of it citizens who bravely fought in World War II. It is also a memorial for the four of those men who gave their lives in that endeavor. One of those men was my grandfather, Staff Sergeant Joseph Benjamin Hewitt Jr. U.S. Army.

STAFF SERGEANT JOSEPH B. HEWITT JR, was born in Pennsylvania in 1919 to Joseph B. And Anna Patterson Hewitt. The family as early as June of 1917 and into the 1920s at 1270 Bucknell Street in Philadelphia PA, at the home of mother-in-law Mary Patterson. Joseph Hewitt Sr. worked as a "sponger" for the United States Government when he registered for the draft in June 1917, and later worked as a roofer. There were at least five children, sisters Gladys and Ella being older, while Mary and Kathryn were born after him, all in Pennsylvania. The Hewitts moved to New Jersey some time after 1925.

When the census was taken in April of 1930, the Hewitt family lived at 58 Poplar Avenue in the Kirkwood section Voorhees Township. The elder Hewitt worked as a driver for a transportation company at this time.

After three years of high school Joseph Hewitt Jr. had entered the work force. He was inducted into the United States Army on January 2, 1943 at Camden NJ. By the time Joseph Hewitt he had married. There were at least two sons born of this marriage.

After entering the service Joseph B. Hewitt Jr, was promoted to Staff Sergeant. He died due to circumstances not related to combat while in service to his country overseas on February 4, 1945. The Curtiss C-46A-45-CU Commando transport plane, serial # 42-107386, operated by the Air Transport Command was lost on that day*, according to Missing Air Crew Report 12033.

Staff Sergeant Hewitt Jr. was brought home to the United States after the war. He was buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis Missouri on February 6, 1950.

His son, Joseph B. Hewitt III, followed his father into the military, and retired after 20 years service in the United States Air Force as a Master Sergeant.

Since the original site was photographed, a newer multi-war memorial has been erected next to it.

I have never been to the memorial, but hope to visit it soon. My father stopped by during one of his cross-country motorcycle trips.

Joseph Benjamin Hewitt IV

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