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78 years later, 'Taps' finally sounds

Family honors Florence native who died in World War II plane crash

Staff writer

Nadine Hoch, widow of Wharton Hoch, who lives in Denton, Texas, was joined by family and friends in honoring her first husband, Roland Myers, at a dedication ceremony Saturday of a memorial marker in Hillcrest Cemetery at Florence. Myers was a native of Florence.

Nadine married Myers, her high school sweetheart, Sept 7, 1943, in California.

The union was short-lived. A first lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, Myers was on a mission in the Philippines on Aug. 1, 1944, when his B-25D Mitchell aircraft experienced engine trouble. The plane never returned to base, and extensive searches were unsuccessful in locating the plane or its crew.

Myers was declared dead Feb. 6, 1946. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

His name appears with more than 36,000 other Americans on the Tablets of the Missing in Manila American Cemetery, Philippines, but no memorial stone had ever been placed for him at home.

That changed Saturday, when, just before Nadine’s 100th birthday Oct. 13, a memorial marker was dedicated to Myers at Hillcrest Cemetery in Florence.

Nadine’s daughter, Beverly Hoch Steinel, welcomed a crowd that gathered to honor Myers. Les Allison of Florence United Methodist Church gave a prayer of dedication.

The John McKay American Legion Post, led by Reilly Reid, performed military honors. A flag was unfurled by Robert Hoch, Robert Hoch II, Matthew Hoch, Robert Anderson, Robert Anderson II, and William Hoch. A three-volley salute followed.

Trumpeter Mike Steinel sounded “Taps,” followed by a folding of the flag and presentation to Nadine.

“It was a wonderful day,” Beverly said.

Last modified Sept. 29, 2022

 

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