Hyman Josefson

United States


Hyman A. Josefson was a first generation American, born in 1909 in Middletown, New York. He was the youngest son of Romanian Jewish immigrants. He was recorded as the first US soldier to be killed in Luxembourg.

As a youngster, Josefson was a newspaper boy, athlete and Eagle Scout. Like his older brother, Abraham, Josefson entered Cornell University state scholarships and majored in engineering in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

After earning his law degree at Cornell in 1931, he became an accomplished attorney and engineer. At the age of 32, just six weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Josefson joined the US Army. He was one of 550,000 Jewish American soldiers whose service in World War II was weighted with both patriotism and the knowledge that they were fighting against Hitler for the survival of their European brethren. Assigned to the 5th Armored Division’s 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Josefson was sent overseas.    

His unit landed at Utah Beach on 24 July 1944 and fought through Normandy and Northern France. They reached Paris on 30 August and moved to Belgium three days later. The unit crossed into Luxembourg on 9 September 1944. 

Josefson was killed in Pétange when his M8 “Greyhound” armoured car, leading a reconnaissance unit of Troop ‘A’, 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, was ambushed and knocked out by a German anti-tank gun. He was recorded as the first US soldier to die on Luxembourg territory. 

Credit to Debbie Josefson for the information provided.