Musician 1st Class Joseph Warren “Hope” Hoffman, age 24, passed away December 7, 1941, while serving aboard the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Joseph was among 429 sailors on that ship who perished, of which only 35 were identified. His remains were recovered during World War II, but could not be identified until 2020 when scientists used anthropologic and DNA analysis to confirm his identity. It is ironic that Joseph may be known not only as the first casualty of World War II from Ross County, but also the last to be accounted for and returned home for burial.
He was born on September 3, 1917, in Ross County, Ohio, the son of Lloyd Harry and Donna E. (Wornstaff) Hoffman.
In 1948 the American Legion Post 757, 289 Cooks Hill Rd, Chillicothe, Ohio was chartered and named in honor of Joseph W. Hoffman.
He was a 1936 graduate of Chillicothe High School and member of the Tyler Memorial United Brethren Church (now United Methodist Church). Joseph was a multi-instrumentalist and talented musician who performed regularly in church and as part of the school band, orchestra, and News Carrier Boy’s Band.
Prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy in January of 1938, he delivered newspapers and worked as a soda jerk at the Sulzbacher and Erdmann Drug Store.
He was preceded in death by one sister, Ada in 1919.
At the time of Joseph’s death, he was survived by his brother, Victor (passed away 1983); his mother (passed away 1948); and his father (passed away 1968).
Joseph’s cousin, Jerry Moomaw of Texas, has acted as the liaison for all funeral arrangements for him.
Funeral service will be 11:00 A.M. Saturday, August 20, 2022 at the Ross County Veterans Memorial Park, 225 Park Street, Chillicothe, Ohio.
Burial will follow in the Greenfield Cemetery with Military rites provided by the U.S. Navy.
The Murray-Fettro Funeral Home in Greenfield is serving the family.
Condolences may be sent to www.murrayfettro.com