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George James Hontos was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 27th, 1920. The son of James and Cornelia Hontos, brother of Dimitra, Arthur, and John, who also served in the United States Navy. Two weeks following the Pearl Harbor disaster, he was called to serve his country. He trained for six months at Camps Hulen and Wallace, Tex. On March 1, 1942, the 434th Coast Artillery Battalion (Anti-Aircraft) was activated. With this outfit, he was sent to England. After the completion of training, they took part in the liberation of Africa.

The Tunisia Campaign was a series of battles in which the Allies attempted to secure Northern Africa and open the Mediterranean for shipping. Success in North Africa would also give the Allies the entry point to invade Italy. Although American forces landed in Algeria in November 1942, they did not reach the capital city of Tunisia until May 7, 1943. George J. Hontos was involved in the Tunisia Campaign and was killed by a landmine left behind by Axis forces while trying to aid wounded women and children in Tunisia on May 24, 1943. He was posthumously awarded the Soldier's Medal and The Purple Heart.

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917, with the U.S. Military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award that is still given to members of the U.S. Military, the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.
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Letter, The George J. Hontos Collection, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/6791. Accessed 05/25/24.