Merchant Marine. American
|Born||11 Apr 1924||Chicago, IL|
|Died||5 May 2011||(87)||San Diego, CA|
Roster information listed for James Hoffman
|Ship||Type||Rank / role||Attacked on||Boat|
|Wade Hampton||Steam merchant||Engine Cadet||28 Feb 1943||U-405 (1)|
Son of Theodore B. and Jane A. Hoffmann, of Cambridge, IL.
James Hoffman lost a courageous, six-year battle with cancer on May 5, 2011. Jim was preceded in death by his beloved wife of sixty-two years, Audryan (Sands) Hoffman, who passed away December 12, 2008. He is survived by his sons Clay and Harold; grandchildren Anne and Patrick; and great-grandchildren Matthew, Mattison and Tanner. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 11, 1924 and grew up in Cambridge, Illinois. He excelled as a student and athlete in high school, graduating in 1942 and earning a congressional appointment to the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. As a Midshipman he served aboard merchant ships in wartime conditions. He was aboard the Wade Hampton en route to Murmansk, Russia on February 28, 1943 when she was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in the North Atlantic. Some twenty crew members perished. He was rescued from a lifeboat. Later as a Midshipman, he sailed aboard the USAT Borinquen, transporting US Army troops to Sicily and North Africa. He graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy in June of 1944 with a degree in Marine Engineering and was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy. He served the remainder of World War II as an Engineering Officer aboard USS Regulus (AK 14) and USS Rescue (APH 118) in the South Pacific. He was aboard USS Rescue, a hospital ship, when she sailed into Tokyo Bay to retrieve American POWs just hours after the armistice signing. Completing active duty in 1946, he returned home and attended Northwestern University and was married on November 16, 1946. Recalled to active duty in 1951 and promoted to Lieutenant, he served aboard USS Leo (AKA 60) and USS Thomas Jefferson (APA 30) in the Korean War. He was in-country in Korea and was present at Eniwetok for the hydrogen bomb trials. Following the war, he served on inactive duty for many years and was Retired from the US Navy. Over the next forty years he had successful careers in investment banking, engineering and sales and marketing. He held executive positions with major corporations and founded James Hoffman & Company. During his retirement, he devoted considerable time to researching and writing about US Merchant Mariners during World War II. His research papers, upon request, will posthumously become part of the archives of the American Maritime History Project. In 2003, he was given the Peter Rackett Lifetime Achievement Award by the US Merchant Marine Academy. The Academy dedicated the 'James Hoffman Advanced Learning Center' on May 17, 2005. A Protestant by background, Jim was Confirmed into the Roman Catholic faith on Holy Thursday, just two weeks before his death. Friends and family gathered at his home for this joyous event. Jim was a Gentleman who was loved by many and returned that love in beautiful ways. He will be greatly missed by family and friends. He was buried with full military honors and twenty-one gun salute at EI Camino Memorial Park next to his beloved wife.