Bible Returned to Missing Soldier's Family

BEDFORD, V.A. -- The day that's known for winning World War II is also known for great loss.More than 4,000 Americans and Allied forces were killed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Two of Lucille Boggess' brothers were killed on D-Day but as WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower learned, not all was lost.

"Well here I have Raymond's bible."

70 years later, Lucille Boggess still can't believe the story.

"I think that was the most amazing thing."

Lucille's brother Raymond was killed on June 6, 1944. Thirty-three days later, from somewhere in France, a soldier from West Virginia wrote her parents a letter.

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Hoback... "

It started off just like any other would.

"I will try to explain in this letter, what this is all about," read Boggess.

The soldier explained he found Raymond's Bible on Omaha Beach, the day after D-Day.

The letter continued, "As most any person would do, I picked it up from the sand to keep it from being destroyed."

READ:VA Woman's Two Brothers Killed on D-Day

The soldier looked through the Bible and found Raymond's parents and hometown.

"I knew that you no doubt would want the Bible returned," wrote the solider.

"It was amazing that it doesn't seem to be wet. You would have thought, you know, dropping it on the beach, you would have thought it would have been wet but it doesn't seem to be," explained Boggess.

The Bible arrived just weeks after Lucille's family learned Raymond would not be coming home.

"That's his handwriting, Raymond S. Hoback. Yeah, that's his handwriting," said Boggess.

"My mother, she said next to having her son back, she would to have liked to have his Bible so. She always treasured his Bible and I still do."

Lucille keeps the Bible in a brief case. Also inside are her brothers' military caps, a Purple Heart, and the telegram from the War Department informing her family Raymond was Missing in Action.

"Even though you have that sadness in your heart that they're no longer with us, you know that they died serving their country and you feel proud of them," said Boggess.

Lucille's other brother, Bedford Hoback, was also killed on D-Day.He is buried in Normandy but Raymond's body was never found.

READ:VA Town Home to National D-Day Memorial, Great Loss

READ: WFMY Partners To Honor WWII Vets on D-Day Anniversary


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