Earl Frederick Hofmann

Army of the United States
02 April 1950 - 18 February 1970
Chicago, Illinois
Panel 13W Line 028



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Earl Frederick Hofmann

9 Jun 2002

I am John Nelson and was Company Commander for Sgt. Earl F. Hofmann. Sgt. Hofmann was assigned to SSG Spike Phillis' cable platoon. He had just returned from a 30 day leave to his home for personal family reasons and had extended in Vietnam for 6 months. Sgt Hofmann was a fine young man, impetuous and hard working, he was expected to be a leader in his platoon.

On Feb 17 and 18, 1970, the 2nd Battery of the 181st ARVN Artillery misfired with their 105 MM howitzers, shelling the Company Headquarters and barracks area about 11 PM and again at 1 AM. Sgt Hofmann was killed by a direct hit on his hooch in the second shelling. I understand he left behind a wife and a baby daughter.

Private First Class Artie Johnson died in the same incident.

John Nelson

12 Jul 2004

Sgt Hofmann was my friend. We worked together and spent time off together. For any family or friend I have a picture of he and I together that I will copy and send to you. He was one of the nicest guys I ever knew. His blood is mine for I got his stripes after the incident. We were in the Wire Platoon of the 36th Sig, and after the incident we were redesignated the 269th Sig. He also served at one point as the NCOIC of Flame Switchboard.

I miss you, my friend, and I still think of you. Heaven is in good hands with you there.

From a brother in arms and friend,
Dennis (Sonny) Callanta

04 Jun 2007

Sergeant Earl F. Hofmann was my brother, a father figure and my best friend. He died when I was only 14 years old, and a piece of me died with him that day. Earl is and always will be my hero and guardian angel.

He was a good man, with a heart full of love. It has taken me many years to find someone who knew him back then and I am thankful and feel very blessed that they are willing to share stories with me.

Bless Dennis (Sonny) Callanta, and Mac McAllister for responding to my emails. If there are others out there willing to share some pictures or stories, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Earl's Little Sister,

Reneč R. Hofmann

A Note from The Virtual Wall

36TH Sig Bn

A Company, 44th Signal Battalion, was under the operational control of the 36th Signal Battalion at the time of Sergeant Hofmann's death and was termed as "A/44, 36th Sig Bn" for unit identification purposes.

Mr. Nelson has confirmed of his personal knowledge that the Purple Heart was awarded to Sergeant Hofmann, as was usual and appropriate in "friendly fire" woundings and deaths. While The Virtual Wall has made the necessary corrections, other sites using the DoD casualty file will continue to display incorrect data. The casualty file coding is

"C1/U/7" or "Non-hostile; died of other causes/Other accident/Ground casualty".
Based on Mr. Nelson's information - and as the Company Commander on-scene he is considered a most reliable source - the proper coding should be
"A1/I/7" or "Hostile; died/Misadventure/Artillery, Rocket, or Mortar/Ground casualty"

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his little sister,
Reneč R. Hofmann

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 11 Jun 2002
Last updated 10/23/2007