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PFC Gilbert J Hinrichs

PFC Gilbert J Hinrichs

Birth
Kenosha, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 23 Jan 1945 (aged 28–29)
Saint-Die-des-Vosges, Departement des Vosges, Lorraine, France
Burial Epinal, Departement des Vosges, Lorraine, France
Plot plot A, row 31, grave 18
Memorial ID 56373017 · View Source
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Private First Class (PFC) Gilbert J. Hinrichs was born in 1916 in Kenosha, Wisconsin to Frank Hinrichs and Lillian Pepke. Before joining the army PFC Hinrichs completed two years of high school and was employed as a general farm hand. He enlisted in the United States Army July 29, 1940 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. PFC Hinrichs was a combat medic assigned to 2-3 Medical Detachment, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, 7th U.S. Army. By the time of his death on January 23, 1945, PFC Hinrichs had been overseas for 28 months and likely had campaigned through Italy, and France with the 3rd Infantry Division. While fighting in France around the Colmar Pocket in late January, 1945, PFC Hinrichs was hit by an enemy shell and received severe injuries to his left arm and head. Although he was transported to the 51st Evacuation Hospital located in Saint-Die-Des-Vosges, France, PFC Hinrichs' wounds were mortal and he subsequently died January 23, 1945. He was 28 years old.

PFC Hinrichs' mother, Lillian, had a difficult time accepting the fact that her son had truly died. Lillian did not understand the military's organizational structure and thus when she received letters expressing sympathy from the 3rd Infantry Division she was convinced there had been a mistake. Lillian only understood that PFC Hinrichs had been in the 7th Infantry Regiment, a part of the 7th Army. She did not understand that the 7th Infantry Regiment was also a part of the 3rd Infantry Division which fell under the command of the 7th Army. Therefore, Lillian was convinced the casualty list was incorrect because it claimed that PFC Hinrichs was in the 3rd Infantry Division at the time of his death. In August, 1947, almost two years after PFC Hinrichs' death, Lillian still did not believe her son was really 36 dead. An official government form from August, 1947 titled "Request for Disposition of Remains" explains: "Mother states that she is in doubt about identity—wishes body be thoroughly check for positive identification". To make matters worse PFC Hinrichs' family never received most of his personal possessions. His mother was sent a check for $47.71, some type of "small stone", and a rosary. PFC Hinrichs' mother wrote a letter to the War Department on March 22, 1946 expressing her anger and sadness about the loss of her son and his property: "How [come] I keep thinking that there is a mistake[?] He had many things with him that I [sent] him and that he was going to have when he [came] home". Sadly PFC Hinrichs would never come. On June 18, 1948, Gilbert J. Hinrichs, was laid to rest for the final time at Épinal American cemetery next to his cousin, Donald Lee Nickel, who was killed in action September 12th, 1944.

From: "Our Wisconsin Boys in Épinal Military Cemetery, France" by the students of History 357: The Second World War, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Family Members


Inscription

GILBERT J. HINRICHS
PFC 7 INF 3 DIV
WISCONSIN JAN 23 1945

Gravesite Details Entered the Service from Wisconsin.

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  • Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 7 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56373017
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Gilbert J Hinrichs (1916–23 Jan 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56373017, citing Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial, Epinal, Departement des Vosges, Lorraine, France ; Maintained by CWGC/ABMC (contributor 6) .