3rd Platoon, C Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade

Page 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, Memorial

The material provided here is through the courtesy of David John Polson, Lt. John Hoskins’ nephew.  March 27, 2002

Lt. John T. Hoskins – Class of 1966 West Point graduation photo. The phrase, “Hos” has a bright future ahead with his “butt” references his loving girlfriend, Ruth Ann Woodward, who he affectionally nicknamed “Butt”.

These Memorabilia Pages were created to honor the memory of an outstanding American soldier. John Thomas Hoskins was simply an extraordinary individual – from the time John was a young boy, he dreamed of attending West Point and becoming a soldier.  As youngsters, he and his brother, David constantly played Army games.  Cowboys and Indians just didn’t cut it. As John grew older his dream continued – in high school he joined ROTC. However, John’s interests were beyond soldiering; he excelled in athletics playing high school football and he became an excellent boxer at West Point. He was musically inclined and he loved to read and write poetry.  John Thomas Hoskins was indeed extraordinary � from all accounts, his most dominant characteristic was his personality � it was a magnetism, an uncanny ability that drew people to him. Within his family and his circle of friends, he was larger than life � he had an unparalleled zest for life and he had a huge commitment to pursue his dreams and to do the right thing.

I think it’s true that his strong belief in freedom, the American way of life, and with being a John F. Kennedy disciple, led him to West Point – led him to becoming an Infantry Officer – led him to going beyond the call of duty as he elected to stay in Viet Nam longer than required � led him to continue to fight the oppressive communist.  Yes, John Thomas Hoskins was an outstanding American soldier and an exceptional officer.  As I have stated more than once, “Thank God, America produces men such as John Hoskins”. If it were not for such brave men, I’m certain Americans would not have the freedom that we all so enjoy today.  Lt. General Harold G. Moore (U.S. Army � Retired) recently stated, ” Hate war, but love the warrior”.  Though Hos gave his life for the pursuit of his dreams 34 years ago, he is still well remembered and he will always be loved.

The Howitzer – Class of 1966 – United States Military Academy, West Point, New York – This book is part of a collection of mementos, portions of which are depicted within these pages, was created and preserved to honor John’s life by his mother, Alice Elizabeth Morgan Anderskow Hoskins.  John affectionally referred to her as “Lille Mor”.  Alice gave this book to John’s sister, Ruth Polson. On behalf of the family, John’s nephew, David John Polson continues to maintain this most excellent compilation of memorabilia.

John Hoskins is mentioned several times in this Pulitzer Prize winning saga. An excerpt from Page 282: Every few weeks now, he got word of yet another classmate who had died.  John Hoskins, the rangy boxer from Louisiana who used to read Stephen Crane’s poetry aloud in the barracks at West Point, was killed on an airboat.  Shortly before his death, Hoskins had written his own elegy:
I am washed in the blood of my men;              Their lifeless bodies I have lifted from the ground And carried in my arms. . . .                                    I am dead with them.                                               I am washed with their lives.
2 year old David John Polson cuddling with his big Uncle John.
West Point – 1962 – John, with his brother, David and his girlfriend, Ruthie.
These letters, among others, followed an exhaustive effort by John to enter West Point.  He submitted a number of written requests  to Senators and House Of Representatives as he vigorously sought to overcome his initial notice of rejection. It’s no wonder that he ultimately became an “Old Reliable” with the 9th Infantry Division.
John and Ruthie at the Christmas Dance – 1962.