Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Friday, June 02, 2006

CRAIG HONORS IDAHO SOLDIER KILLED IN NORTH AFRICA

(Tunis, Tunisa) A soldier from Idaho was honored in North Africa Friday by U.S. Senator Larry Craig.

“George Campbell, Jr., was from my home state, and he proudly served his country and died while fighting against the Germans in World War II. I was pleased today to honor him on behalf of all Americans, but especially on behalf of his sister who called my office to let me know that no one in the family has ever been able to visit his grave,” Craig said.

“I intend to return to her a small flag that I flew briefly at his final resting place, as well as a picture of his headstone. I hope it will provide some degree of comfort to know that while her brother is gone, he is not forgotten. He is resting in a beautiful location.”

Campbell was a private, first class, in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Division and was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. He was wounded in Sicily and was transferred to Tunisia where he died September 7, 1943.

Three of his brothers also served in the military during World War II.

Of the four, two survived. John Henry Campbell was killed in action in 1945. He is buried in Luxemburg. There is a memorial plaque with the names of each of the “band of brothers” in Culdesac, Idaho.

Their sister, Ethel Hohnstein, lives in Lewiston, Idaho, and called Craig’s office when she learned that Senator Craig would be visiting the North African cemetery where her brother is buried. She said that none of her family has ever been able to visit that site and asked that he take time to remember her brother.

Craig is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and has been leading a delegation of Senators on a weeklong tour of American battlefield cemeteries in Europe. The group visited cemeteries and attended Memorial Day events in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, before headed south to the ancient city of Tunis.

Tunis was once known as the Roman city of Carthage and is the location of the North Africa American Cemetery.

Over 2,800 American servicemen and women are buried at the historic Tunisian location, including 240 soldiers whose remains were never identified. Most of them were inexperienced and had never seen battle until landing in North Africa. There many were led by U.S. General George Patton and faced off against battle-hardened German troops led by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.

After some early losses, American and British forces finally beat Rommel’s troops in North Africa.

“We learned the other day that the experiences the Americans gained fighting the Germans here in Tunisia led to U.S. victories at places like Normandy,” Craig said. “George Campbell’s death, like so many others, while certainly tragic, was not in vain.”

For more information, see the American Battlefields Monuments Commission website at: http://www.abmc.gov

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