Merlin Edward Hoppe

BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Army

HOMETOWN
Bangs, TX

HONORED BY
Danny Jones

ACTIVITY DURING WWII

IN 1943 HE JOINED THE ARMY AND WAS SENT TO EUROPE IN NOVEMBER 1944. HE WAS A PART OF GENERAL PATTON'S 3RD ARMY, 87TH GOLDEN ACORN INFANTRY DIVISION, COMPANY K, 347TH INFANTRY REGIMENT. HE FOUGHT FOR HIS COUNTRY IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE AND NUMEROUS OTHER BATTLES. AT 19, HE TOOK THREE ROUNDS FROM HOSTILE MACHINE GUN FIRE. WRAPPED IN BLANKETS, HE WAS PLACED IN AN ABANDONED GERMAN FARMHOUSE. TWO DAYS LATER, FELLOW SOLDIERS RETURNED TO FIND HIM ALIVE. DURING RECOVERY, HE WAS TREATED IN A FIELD HOSPITAL AND VISITED TWICE BY GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON. AT ONE POINT, HE SPENT SEVERAL MONTHS IN A GREAT BRITAIN HOSPITAL BEFORE BEING FLOWN BACK HOME IN A FULL-BODY CAST. HIS SERVICE AND BRAVERY TO THE UNITED STATES WERE RECOGNIZED AND HE WAS AWARDED WITH A SILVER STAR, BRONZE STAR, AND PURPLE HEART.