Sunday, May 24, 2009

Red Headed Twins Fight For America in WWII

My Dad, Hibbert Hobbs, was a career Army officer, beginning during WWII and also serving in the Korean conflict.

In 1941, my Dad was inducted into the Army along with his twin brother. In 1943, they graduated at the top of their class from OCS (Officer's Candidate School)! Here are the news clippings that tell about it: (NOTE - his name is given as Hilbert in the article; he went by Hibbert.)

U.S. Safe! Red-headed Twins Volunteer For Army
"Two young men from Omar are hoping today that if the Huntington induction station rejects any of the selectees from local draft board No. 2, that at least two men are turned in the examinations being held today in the Bigg's Armory.
It so happens that these two young men are twins and for as long as they can remember, what one has done the other has done.
They have volunteered for induction into the army for a year's military training, and both have passed their preliminary examinations and are in Class 1-A. They are ready to go to Huntington as replacements for any men from baord No. 2 who are rejected by the induction board.
Their names are Hilbert and Herbert Hobbs, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Hobbs, of Omar. The twins were born on September 13, 1919 and since birth they have attired themselves in the same kind of clothes, adopted the same mannerisms, and add to the confusion of their closest friends who try to tell them apart, by having the same color hair - red!
Hilbert and Herbert attended school together, and since quitting school, they have done exactly the same type of work. At present they are employed on a tipple at an Omar mine of the West Virginia Coal and Coke Corporation.
The fact that they have never been separated for any lengthy period since birth, probably had a little to do with their applying for voluntary induction. Herbert drew a very low order number - 32 - at the local board, while Hilbert has order No. 832, which means that if they waited to be called by the draft board, their periods of induction would be widely separated.
Miss Jane Howard, clerk of board No. 2, in commenting on the twins' applications said:
"Hilbert and Herbert are two very fine looking young men and resemble each other very much. They came into the office to volunteer attired in the same color sweaters, had wrist watches exactly alike, and I don't believe there is a bit of difference in the shade of their red hair.
They stated that they had never been separated since they were born - that is, for very long at a time - and were anxious to continue their close replationship right on through their year's training under the selective service act."
She continued: "Bot have sent their questionnaires back to the office and have passed their physical examinations. They are in Class 1-A and will be taken as replacements if any of our quota of 42 men are rejected at the Huntington induction station."

"For the first time in the history of the Armored Force officer candidate school, a set of twins was selected to fill the fole of "honor man" in a graduating class at Fort Knox, Ky. The twins are Lieutenants Herbert and Hibbert Hobbs, Omar, W. Va., shown above at the graduation of the 30th class of the Armored Force OCS. they won the honor by displaying outstanding leadership and scholarship among the 224 men who were in the class. The red-haired, identical twins are sons of Monroe Hobbs, assistant mine foreman for the West Virginia Coal & Coke Corp. Before they were inducted here last year, they worked in a coal mine."

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