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Maynard Edward Emhof

World War II

Company F, 19th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
316th Provisional Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Army

Service in France, Rhineland, Central Europe

Army Good Conduct MedalAmerican Campaign MedalEuropean, Afican, Middle Eastern Campaign MedalWorld War II Victory Medal



3rd Army

Uncle Maynard graduated from Oriskany Central School, just like I did. He joined up a month after his 19th birthday with vision of dashing around on a horse. Instead of a saddle on a horse he got the turret of an M5 light tank, and instead of a saber, he used a 37mm gun.

After D-Day his unit was pulled from protecting the New England coast, and shipped to France to catch up with General Patton’s 3rd Army as it turned North in reaction to the Battle of the Bulge.

Rather than fighting with an armored unit, the light tanks operated as reconnaissance for other units through Belgium, Germany, and was in Czechoslovakia when Germany surrendered having worked with both the XX and the XII Corps.

He was on a transport in the Panama Canal on his way to the Pacific when Japan surrendered.

He was born on Halloween, 1923 and died on Decoration Day [May 30], 2008. He was the last member of my immediate family to have seen combat in World War II.


1 Kryten42 { 06.14.08 at 12:23 am }

My heartfelt condolences Bryan to you and your family. Considering he was a warrior in some very deadly campaigns (I know something about them from my Grandfather), he lived to a good age. 🙂

I hope you have good memories to cherish. You are obviously proud of what he did.


2 Bryan { 06.14.08 at 12:35 am }

He didn’t talk about it, so even his kids didn’t know what he had done. I had to research much of this from his discharge papers.

It was expected, as my aunt died several months ago, and he was left alone for the first time in his life. He actually died accidentally doing something he was told not to do specifically because of the danger of him slipping and falling. He was stubborn and wanted to be independent. It was a kindness in many ways, because he really was beginning to slide without my aunt to argue with.

3 hipparchia { 06.14.08 at 2:11 am }

my condolences too.

i suspect my parents will be like that, but i’m not in any hurry to find out.

thanks for the history lesson. this is the kind i’ve always enjoyed, individual people, and what they did as part of the larger things we learn about in school.

4 Kryten42 { 06.14.08 at 3:14 am }

I understand Bryan. 🙂 My maternal Grandfather was the same. He was gassed in WW1 and lost the use of 1 lung, and had a leg crushed in WW2. He smoked a pipe and had one scotch every night to help him sleep. He finally passed on 1 year almost exactly after his wife died. He said she deserved 1 year of morning, then he would join her, and he did. He was a man who always kept his word, and never said he would do anything he couldn’t do. I think we can learn a lot from these old warriors. People today have lost so much, and most don’t even understand what it is they have lost! Makes me sad. In a way, I am glad my grandfather didn’t live to see the world today. He would have been so angry and disappointed after all he and so many others did so it could all be squandered away. If I am half the man he was, I would think I’m doing very well. He, on the other hand, would kick my ass daily for not trying to be better than he was! LOL

He passed away about 20 years ago, yet I still miss him. 🙂

Agree hipparchia. 🙂

5 Steve Bates { 06.14.08 at 1:41 pm }

My condolences to you and your family, Bryan. You are justly proud of your uncle, and I know you miss him.

Independence was so important to men of his generation, and if my own uncle was typical, stubbornness wasn’t all that unusual, either. But they did what had to be done, and your uncle, like my father, didn’t talk a lot about it. Thank you for finding out what he did, and thus what we all owe him.

R.I.P., Corporal Emhof.

6 Bryan { 06.14.08 at 1:57 pm }

You are preserved in the memories of those still alive, and he is now in the World War II Memorial data base, as well as my personal site.

It was time, and he was ready. He got to do what he wanted to do for the most part, which is as much as anyone can realistically hope for in life.

I would have liked to find out if he had spent any time with the 87th Division, which was also in the 3rd Army, and the unit his father was part of in WWI, but he didn’t want to talk about the war. About the only discussion I ever had with my Dad and uncles about the war was comparative stories about rations, making coffee, making alcohol, and chilling beer.

There aren’t aren’t many combat veterans from WWII happy about what’s going on, because up to this point each generation has been able to offer its children more, and that is no longer true.