Bulletin Staff Report

David R. Hoffman, who has compiled a series of letters written by his father while serving overseas during World War II with the 36th Infantry Division, will autograph copies of his book here this afternoon.

“I’ll Be Home for the Christmas Rush” features letters by Brownwood native Albert W. Hoffman. The signing will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. today at the Brownwood Genealogy Library across from the courthouse.

Albert Hoffman was a member of the National Guard’s 36th Infantry Division that was mobilized at Camp Bowie as World War II was erupting. The volume was edited for publication decades later by his son, David R. Hoffman, a Brownwood High School graduate who for 39 years worked as a librarian in six states. In 1994, he retired from the State Library of Pennsylvania, where he had worked since 1975 and had served as director for the last 13 years of his career.

Hoffman described the letters as one man’s messages to his wife and children while he was in Europe during 1944 and 1945. The letters sent to him did not  survive, so his letters constitute half of an ongoing conversation with his family, as he responds to news from home and comments on what he has heard from relatives and colleagues.

“He loved his wife, his family, his home,” Hoffman said of his father. “He had a sense that he would be home for the 1945 Christmas rush at the post office – always the busiest time of the year, and must have had that sense from the date of his National Guard Division’s call to active duty in 1940, as he indicated in a letter of May 9, 1945. He was right. He returned from Europe in September 1945, and was back ‘in harness’ at the post office in time for the Christmas rush.”