Stanley M. Hopkins (1944/08/25)
"We have the Krauts pretty much on the run," Stanley told his parents in his last letter.
Stanley M. Hopkins was born in San Francisco, California, on October 13, 1913, to Mr. and Mrs. George Hopkins. His father acquired the Big Tree Park in the San Lorenzo Valley and moved the family to Santa Cruz, where he and his sister Doris spent many formative years. Stanley entered Santa Cruz High School in September 1928 and was a member of the class of 1934. While in high school, he took a general and varied course of study; however, he left school in 1933 before graduating. After leaving school, he worked at the family business in Felton.
Stanley Hopkins enlisted in the US Army in San Francisco on October 22, 1941, and was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, to complete basic training. Prior to his being assigned overseas, he became engaged to Lynda Stagnaro in Santa Cruz.
Private Hopkins reported to the 3rd Battalion of the 6th Armored Regiment and was shipped to North Africa, arriving on Christmas Day 1942. In combat during the Bizerte Campaign on April 27, 1943, Private Hopkins was wounded in the back and leg by shrapnel and required hospitalization for several months.
Stanley returned to his unit in time to take part in the landing at Anzio beachhead and later participated in the heavy fighting at Cassino and the capture of Rome. By 1944, he had been promoted to corporal and was preparing for what would become the final episode of his life.
As the 3rd (redesignated 14th Armored Infantry) Battalion, began moving north out of Rome in August 1944, they were confronted with heavy German resistance. The Santa Cruz Sentinel of September 26, 1944, later reported,
“Hopkins, with a combat infantry battalion of the first armored division saw the necessity of mining a crossroads, but found that no mines were available for this particular spot. Entering a deserted and blasted house, Hopkins pulled a drawer from the dresser, packed it with captured German explosives and placed it on the crossroads.”
On August 25, 1944, Corporal Stanley M Hopkins was killed in action somewhere north of Rome. His remains were returned home and interred in the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California, in 1949.
(NARA2; USDVA; SCHSC Pg. 11, SCSn-New May 8, 1943 4:6, September 7, 1944 1:8, SCR September 15, 1944 -1)