Biography of Hubert Rothove

T/5, Battery B, 467th AAA Battery (SP), USA

   My dad, Hubert Rothove, was born on a farm in Osage County, Missouri in 1922. This made him prime draft age in WWII and he was drafted into the U.S. Army in December 1942. He reported for training in early January 1943. His occupation is listed as "farmer" on his military records.

   My father was in Battery B of the 467th Anti Aircraft Battalion. Dad's rank was T/5. His primary job was halftrack driver but he was also a backup gunner. I would imagine that all of the men in the unit were cross-trained for various tasks. Mr. William J. Roettgen's and Mr. Hyman Haas' websites provide a good chronology of the training and history of the battalion. I especially like the image Mr. Haas paints of the congregating of the troops for the invasion being like a massive Decoration Day parade.

   I do recall my dad mentioning the train ride across the country from Georgia to California. The entire unit was loaded on a train and shipped all the way across the country. In those days the railroads, especially in the vast distances of the Southwest, had a single set of rails and used sidings to allow trains coming from different directions to pass one another. One train would sit on a siding to allow the train from the opposite direction to pass. Dad said it seemed like they spent eternity in Texas.

   What I had thought about, instead of a bio, was to put down in writing some vignettes, stories that my dad had told me at different times when I was a boy. One story I find interesting, and I would love to find out if anyone from the 467th Anti-Aircraft Battalion remembers this, involves the pilot of an artillery spotter plane. I believe that these Piper Cubs were called Oscars but I am not sure about the spelling of the acronym.

   This particular pilot liked to camp for the night with my dad's outfit. Apparently, the little plane could take off and land in the confined fields of the Normandy hedgerow country probably due in no small part to the skill of the pilot.

   On one occasion, the Oscar pilot flew over my dad's outfit frantically rocking the plane from side to side. My dad said he remembered thinking "Don't worry little Oscar, we won't shoot you down". Then they realized that he was in trouble and jumped to their guns in time to shoot down two German planes. I was quite young when dad told me this story so I am hazy on the details. I believe that he said that one of the planes was a ME-109. I am not so sure about the other plane. When the Oscar pilot landed you can well believe that he was one happy camper.

   Perhaps Mr. Haas will remember this story. As you know, Mr. Haas was in Battery A of the 467nd, my dad was in Battery B, and Mr. Roettgen was in Battery C. I also recall dad saying that they were pinned down on D-Day by a sniper. Thanks to Mr. Haas, I now know the details of that story.

   Unfortunately my dad passed away in 1982.

----- Paul Rothove




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