James Hoyt delivered mail in rural Iowa for more than 30 years. Yet Hoyt had long kept a secret from most of those who knew him best: He was one of the four U.S. soldiers to first see Germany's Buchenwald concentration camp.
Hoyt died August 11 at his home in Oxford, Iowa, a town of about 700 people where he had lived his entire life. He was 83.
His funeral was at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Oxford, with about 100 people in attendance. The Rev. Edmond Dunn officiated and recalled time he spent with Hoyt and his wife.
"I used to go over to have lunch with Doris and Jim, and I would sit across from Jim at the kitchen table and think, 'Before me is a true American hero,' " he said.
Hoyt had rarely spoken about that day in 1945, but he recently opened up to a journalist. Read full article »