Joe Anton Hora was the son of Mr. James Hora, Sr. He grew up in Clutier, Iowa.
Joe studied electical engineering at Iowa State before leaving the Class of 1919 or 1920 to join the military. He enlisted with 350th Infantry, Company F, at Camp Dodge, Iowa.
Veteran of World War I
Entered service at Toledo,IA.
Entered Camp Dodge; first entered Co. B, 350th Inf.
In France in August 1918. Was wounded in the side Oct 12; died Oct 15, 1918. Was first Corporal, promoted to Sergeant.
Sgt. Hora returned to Clutier, 1921
When Joseph A. Hora, son of James, Sr. and Antonia (Parizek) Hora, left Clutier in 1918 to train at Camp Dodge and join the forces engaged in the Great War (WWI) little did he suspect that it would be almost three years before his family would receive the body he sacrificed for his country. Joseph enlisted at Toledo and was assigned to Co. F, 350th Infantry, 88th Division. First ranked as a Corporal, he advanced to Sergeant.
The 88th Division was made up of men from the Midwest, many of whom had been in the National Army (now National Guard). On August 8, 1918, they embarked for Europe, Hora’s company among them. At first they were under the command of the French Army and were issued French ID discs.
During the conflict, it was the policy for a newly arrived unit to be in a “quiet zone” before entering a severe battle area. Co F was in just such a place training when Sgt. Hora, “acting as a member of a working party,” was struck in his right side by shrapnel. At 8:30 p.m. a bombardment on Oct. 12, 1918, at Balschville in Alsace, caused his would. DWRIA. (Died of Wounds Received in Action). There were no eyewitnesses.
According to the company report, Hora was taken to the 358th Field Hospital where his death occurred Oct. 15, 1918. His company had no further word of him until Cpl. Youngman, one of his friends, received a letter from Hora’s parents inquiring about his death. On April 4, 1919, a report stated that hospital records showed no evidence of his ever receiving treatment there.
His body must have been taken to a morgue with other casualties. Bodies were wrapped in sheets and placed in pine boxes. Sgt. Joseph A. Hora was buried in a French military cemetery at Morvillars, Haut Rhim.
The 88th Division moved from the Alsace area toward the Meuse-Argonne just before the Armistice was signed. On Nov. 20, 1918, they were placed under American command. Since these soldiers were among the late arrivals, the division suffered fewer casualties. There were 27 battle deaths and 63 wounded while two officers and seven men were taken prisoner.
Sgt Hora’s father signed the request for the return of his son’s body to Clutier. Although the card was not dated, it was signed in 1919. Much time was to pass and several contributing factors would delay the return. Joseph’s mother desired that her son be buried near familiar places, not in a military cemetery. However, on Sept. 11, 1919, James Hora Sr. died and less than three months later, on Dec. 3, 1919, Antonia (Parizek) Hora passed away. It created a problem in the return of Joseph’s body. Already over a year had passed since his death.
John, Sgt. Hora’s brother who lived in Clutier, then requested that the remains be sent to him since he wished to fulfill his mother’s wish. He also was concerned as to whether the proper body would be sent. He wanted to be sure of identification.
In October 1920, John was informed he must have the consent of his oldest brother in order to have the body sent to him. He was asked to furnish a list of Joseph’s brothers and sisters with addresses listing the oldest brother first. That being done, the government contacted Frank J. Hora, Olivet, SD, for his consent. Frank reciprocated with a notarized answer. Further communication continued with him although the body was sent to John Hora in Clutier, Iowa.
The family was assured that the French ID disc which had been found with the body (non on the grave marker) and a catholic rosary definitely identified Sgt. Joseph A. Hora.
When an organizational meeting was held in Clutier Feb. 4, 1920, to form an American Legion Post, the veterans decided to name it Hora-Machacek Post #453.
That would honor two young men of the community who had given their lives in the Great War, Joseph A. Hora and Ludwig Machacek. Hora’s family was negotiating with the U. S. government for the return of their brother. His parents had died since the application for the return had been made. Sgt. Hora died in France Oct. 15, 1918.
Frank J. Hora, of Olivet, SD, Joseph’s oldest brother, received the messages concerning the return and relayed them to his brother John who would claim the body at Clutier, IA.
On December 29, 1920, the order was given to disinter Hora’s body in preparation for return to the Unites States. The pine box was placed in a casket, marked and sent to a “Point of Concentration.” He was not the only fallen soldier who was sent home. Literally hundreds were processed. The French ID disc and a rosary insured proper identification of the Clutier man.
Many bodies were assembled at the Point and prepared for shipment. On Jan. 28, 1921, they were sent to Charbourg, France, and arrived there Jan. 30. The ship, U. S. A. T. Wheaton, was to carry its somber cargo to Hoboken, NJ. The ship left France May 18, 1921, carrying 100 bodies destined to be returned to their families in the Midwest. It was to arrive about May 21, 1921, according to data from Pier #3, Hoboken, where it would dock.
On May 26, 1921, special orders indicated that the remains of 100 soldiers would be accompanied to Chicago via Erie by three military personnel: Capt. Hoey, Pvt. Hannan and Pvt. Shenandoah. Twenty-one were to be returned to Iowa and others to Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri.
Word was received at Clutier that Capt. Bernard F. Hoey, 13th Infantry, would accompany the body of Sgt. Joseph A. Hora 2154750. A message stated that the train on the C & NW Railroad would leave Chicago May 26 and arrive in Clutier at noon on May 28. However, it would be prudent not to make any definite burial arrangements until the actual arrival since some unforeseen event might occur.
The train bearing the hometown soldier arrived at his final destination on May 28, 1921. The newly formed Hora-Machacek Post #453 of the American Legion was likely on hand at the depot. In a closely knit community as Clutier was during WWI, it is certain that there were many with the Hora family to greet Capt. Hoey and the casket he accompanied.
On May 30, 1921, Sgt. Joseph A. Hora who had been in France about two months before his tragic death, was laid to rest beside his parents in Holy Trinity cemetery southwest of Clutier. the Horas had been one of the families who had settled in Oneida township before Clutier was founded. The desire of Joseph’s mother had been fulfilled but it was too late for either parent to be among the mourners at the final services.