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Howard Luther Hartzell

CPL in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co C


Born 1918 in PA, Died 2006


Other residence(s): Arnold, PA; New Kensington, PA; Lower Burrell, PA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
College education before the war: Art Institute of Pittsburgh 1 year
Notes: SGT, S/SGT; Certificate of Merit; CG SP TRS, 12th A Gp, 2 Jun 45. Meritorious Service: Platoon Sgt, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, 25 Jun 44-29 Mar 45; typo in Awards and Decorations roster (listed there  with ASN ending in "31" instead of "51"—correct number obtained from Pennsylvania Veterans Compensation File)
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; Awards and Decorations; 603rd reunion mailing list; Company D With Addresses Roster; Company C roster

Howard Hartzell was born on January 10, 1918 in Arnold, PA, the oldest of three children. His father worked as a foreman in a glass factory (likely American Window Glass Company in Arnold—later the American-St. Gobain Corporation).

He graduated from Arnold High School in 1935 and went on to study in the school of art and illustration at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, completing one year of work before the war. He married Ann Sophie Rott on October 12, 1939 in Emmaus, PA and they settled in New Kensington, PA.

Howard registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, at which time he was working at the Hecht Company, a department store in Washington, DC. He enlisted on May 25, 1942 and, like many other art students in the northeast, was assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion.

He saw service with the unit in Europe, and was discharged from the Army on October 11, 1945. He returned to Pennsylvania, and he and Ann would go on to have two children after the war: Melanie and Howard Jr. ("Skip").

The Hartzells' address is sometimes reported as being in New Kensington, PA and sometimes in Lower Burrell, PA, but it was clearly the same street address. Like his father before him, Howard went to work at American St. Gobain Glass, and worked as a foreman in the packing department until he retired.

But his love was art. He completed his degree at the Art Institute, and held a number of one-man shows in the Allegheny-Kiski Valley area. His son, Skip, recalls his father taking him to art shows and museums when he was a child, inspiring Skip to become an artist himself.

Howard died on March 26, 2006, and is buried at Greenwood Memorial Park in Lower Burrell, PA.


1920 census

1930 census

1940 census

1940 draft card

1950 Pennsylvania Veteran Application Compensation File

1950 census

2006 Social Security death index

2006 Find a Grave record (includes obituary)*2ywudx*_gcl_au*MTk4Nzk3NjQ0MC4xNzA1MTc4Njg1*_ga*MTY4Njg5MTM2Ny4xNzA1MTc4Njg1*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*ZDUyNzllNGQtZWExNi00MzljLWFjZjctNTQyN2VkOWViMDAxLjEuMS4xNzA1MTgwMzczLjUzLjAuMA..*_ga_LMK6K2LSJH*ZDUyNzllNGQtZWExNi00MzljLWFjZjctNTQyN2VkOWViMDAxLjEuMS4xNzA1MTgwMzczLjAuMC4w

2006 VA death record

2018 article in West Palm Beach Magazine (FL) about his son who is also an artist

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