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Photo courtesy of Liz Farthing

Private First Class John Jasper Hardy
U. S. Army
Ser. # 38093436

June 6, 1917 - August 1, 1945
Tablets of the Missing
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Nettuno, Italy

Memorial Marker
Ashby Cemetery
Ashby Community, Matagorda County, Texas

Gold Star Mother Alice Clara Quinney Hardy


Private First Class John Jasper Hardy, U.S. Army Infantry [June 6, 1917 – August 1, 1945] was born to William Thomas “Bill” Hardy [March 18, 1884 – March 28, 1956] and Alice Clara (Quinney) Hardy [September 16, 1886 – January 9, 1993] at Markham, Matagorda County, Texas.  He attended school in Markham.  On March 8, 1942 he joined the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas and then served with the 473rd Infantry Regiment which was attached to the Fifth Army.  It is known he received the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.  Gleaning information from the aircraft accident report the following has been established:  The aircraft John was on was assigned to the 772nd Bomb Squadron 463 Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force*.  The 463rd Bombardment Group was stationed at Celone, Italy, and as of Victory in Europe Day on May 7/8, 1945 was tasked with transporting troops from Italy to Casablanca and French Morocco for return to the United States. PFC Hardy is listed on the manifest as being assigned to the 7th Replacement Depot at Naples, Italy.  On August 1, 1945 a B-17 from the 772nd Bomb Group (tail #44-6873) loaded with troops at Naples, Italy (including John).  The plane departed enroute to Port Lyautey, North Africa (today Kenitra, Morocco); while over the Tyrrhenian Sea the plane developed engine trouble and caught fire. It broke in two and sank within 30 seconds. All were not lost; there were a total of 25 men on board, 20 passengers plus 5 crew. 12 of those survived and were rescued some 12-1/2 hours later. 13 were killed (either from injuries sustained in crash or drowning); none of those 13 casualties was ever recovered, with the exception of a Private Boyles, whose body washed up on shore of the Italian coast some 300 miles from the crash site approximately four months after the ditching. John’s name is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy.  He was survived by his parents:  Bill and Alice; three sisters: Pearley, Goldie and Slevie.  The family was living at Markham, Texas.


*The 463rd BG together with the 483rd BG would make up the Homebound Task Force whose job it was to fly the infantry troops of the Fifth Army** from Naples to Casablanca which was the first leg of their journey back to the States.  In a little over a month of operations, over 10,000 passengers were handled.  The Homebound Task Force was so successful that Air Transport Command asked that operations be slowed down temporarily until the backlog in Casablanca could be depleted.  During July and August the Homebound force continued to operate and what would amount to several Army divisions were ferried to Casablanca for the next leg of their journey home.


**In the final operations against the German Army Group C, the Eighth Army initiated the main offensive on the Adriatic Coast, and then the Fifth Army also broke through the German defenses around Bologna.  The German units, in the main, were pinned against the Po River and destroyed, or at the very least deprived of their transport and heavy weapons, which effectively made many of them useless.  II Corps units raced through Milan towards the French frontier and the great port of Genoa.  The IV Corps pushed due north through Verona, Vicenza and as far as Bolzano and to the Brenner Pass, where they linked up with elements of the US Seventh Army.


Its role in Italy cost the Fifth Army dearly.  It suffered 109,642 casualties in 602 days of combat.  19,475 were Killed in Action.  October 1945 saw Fifth Army deactivated in Italy.


Kenneth L. Thames and Mark Hartzheim contributed to this information.



Flying Fortress

The white dot on the map below the y in Tyrrhenian is the approximate location in which PFC Hardy's plane crashed.


Funeral services for Alice Hardy, 106, of Palacios will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday at Palacios Funeral Home chapel with the Rev. Chester Sassman officiating. Burial will be at Ashby Cemetery, Ashby, Texas.

Mrs. Hardy was born Sept. 16, 1886 in Leesville and died Jan. 9, 1993 at Leisure Lodge Nursing Home in Palacios.

She was a member of First Baptist Church in Markham. Mrs. Hardy was a former longtime resident of Bay City who lived in Palacios for 15 years. She was a Gold Star Mother in World War II.

Survivors include a son-in-law, Alfred G. Carter of Palacios; six grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home in Palacios.

The Daily Tribune, January 11, 1993                                                                                                                             
Photo of Mrs. Hardy courtesy of Liz Farthing

Mr. Hardy Services Are Set For Friday Morning in Bay City

Services for William Thomas Hardy, Sr., retired section foreman for Missouri Pacific Railroad, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Calvary Baptist Church. Mr. Hardy died Wednesday at 5:05 p.m.

Rev. Victory Connelly will officiate at the services. Interment will be at Ashby Cemetery under the direction of Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.

Mr. Hardy, a native of Comanche, has been a resident of this area for 50 years. He lived at 2809 Sixth Street. He retired from the railroad in 1949.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Alice C. Hardy of Bay City, three daughters, Mrs. A. G. Carter of Bay City, Mrs. Sylvia L. Lane of Bay City, Mrs. Pearl Tobeck of Bay City, one son, W. T. Hardy, Jr., of Bay City, and five sisters, Mrs. Lind Botcler of Oklahoma City, Mrs. Mary Laugh of Elk City, Mrs. Dora Lackey of Oklahoma City, Mrs. Cleo Lamlin of Wanett and Mrs. Carrie Penny of Palacios.

The Daily Tribune, March 20, 1956


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Jan. 28, 2006
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