History mystery: Is George Lee Hoke a relative of yours?


Stephanie and her husband just found those items in the attic of their White Center home, and are hoping to find a relative to give them to. The photos seem to include George Lee Hoke, born in 1921, mostly dealing with his military service. Here’s a closer look:


Stephanie says they turned up in the attic – unnoticed in previous looks around, but they’ve been doing duct work, and suddenly, there they were. If you’re a relative, or know someone who might be – let us know!

29 Replies to "History mystery: Is George Lee Hoke a relative of yours?"

  • Andy September 15, 2016 (5:56 am)

    An interesting find from America’s greatest generation. Hopefully, Mr. Hoke survived World War ll. My father was born the same year and was severely wounded in 1944. He received a disability check from Uncle Sam until the day he died in 2013. I can’t even imagine how this country, with the caliber of political leadership we now possess today, would fare in a similar national emergency.

  • 22blades September 15, 2016 (6:08 am)

    Camp Kearney, California was eventually Marine Corps Air Station Mirimar just outside San Diego (Where Charles Lindberg practiced takeoffs and landing in his brand new “Spirit of St. Louis” Ryan NYP built in San Diego). Can’t see it very well but looks to be a B-17 (too much distance between wing trailing edge and vertical stab for a B-29 I think), a USAAC plane, even though he is USN. I would love to see a better view of the pictures to help at least with the aviation side of things. A link to a photo album? Fascinating (for me)!



    Active Commercial Pilot and former volunteer, Museum of Flight Technical Library.

    • Spooled September 15, 2016 (7:41 am)

      Looks like a Navy Consolidated PB4Y.  That teardrop shaped waist turret is pretty unique.  I hope these items find a good home, either with family, or donated somewhere.

  • Alki Resident September 15, 2016 (6:23 am)

    If Stephanie can go to the Mormon church , they do geneology. She will be able to possibly have better luck there.

  • NotOnHolden September 15, 2016 (7:14 am)

    That is so cool!!!!!!! They could also scan the images/documents and upload to ancestry or other  geneology sites!

  • Mike September 15, 2016 (7:17 am)

    Wow, cool find. Maybe more leads from possibly  his wife’s obituary? http://m.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=c-betsey-hoke&pid=702965&referrer=0&preview=false

  • meg September 15, 2016 (7:45 am)

    OMG the coolest!!!  Yes, check the family members names from the Obituary and see if you can get a hold of them.  What amazing stuff!

  • GW Neighbor September 15, 2016 (7:55 am)

    I reached out to the possible daughter and son on Facebook to get them to see the article.  It also looks in recent photos that George may still be around.  Very cool if this stuff could get back to the family!!!!

  • Nichol September 15, 2016 (7:57 am)

    UPDATE: Through another West Seattle family with an ancestry.com acct, they’ve  found the granddaughter through Facebook and she’s responded that it is, in fact, her grandfather in the pictures!  Goosebumps!

  • sc September 15, 2016 (8:37 am)

    How wonderful to find photos and letters to give to the family!

    Makes you wonder if in the future one will just find USB flashdrives :))

  • Stephanie September 15, 2016 (8:39 am)

    I’m overwhelmed by the responses to these pictures! So many people have great suggestions. We think we found the family but have to confirm! I will keep everyone posted as best I can!!!

  • miws September 15, 2016 (8:42 am)

    How awesome, Nichol! 

    Great collaborative work going on here between WSB and readers! 


  • miws September 15, 2016 (8:43 am)

    Thanks, Stephanie! 

  • West Sea Neighbor September 15, 2016 (9:17 am)

    Amazing find, and even more amazing to go through the effort to return these items to the family members. We have such a great community.

  • Joan September 15, 2016 (9:30 am)

    So sweet! Great sleuthing everyone!

  • sbre September 15, 2016 (11:12 am)

    Like others have written…”So cool!!”

    My goose-bumps have goose-bumps!!!

  • SJ2 September 15, 2016 (12:49 pm)

    I am SO happy they found the grand daughter. My grand parents and great grand parents were all West Seattleites. My grand mother is still alive. I was about to check with her and find out if this name was at all familiar. 

  • Jason September 15, 2016 (2:13 pm)

    I have been in contact with my sister in Missouri and It does indeed look like this is our grandfather.  I have several documents that I will have her send to you to verify this is our George Lee Hoke.  The pictures, date of birth, and location all fit his life story.  My grandmother does have several citations and other pictures of his service.  He was in the 106th Bombing squadron over the pacific.  He served from 1942 to 1945 as a radio man.  He passed away when my father was only twelve in a work related accident.  My father too served in the Army at the end of Vietnam, but was given an Alaskan post.  Thanks for the post and the comments about this incredible generation. 

    • Dan September 16, 2016 (7:28 am)

      Any relation to the Hoke’s in Portland, OR? Lee is a common family name, but I admit to not knowing much about that side of my family. I live in Seattle, but most of the family lives in and around Portland.

  • Sharon September 15, 2016 (5:57 pm)

    According to the ID card, he was in the Navy.

  • Mk September 15, 2016 (7:12 pm)
    • The U.S. Navy flew land-based B-24 Liberators, which they called the PB4Y, in the Pacific war. The 106th Bombing Squadron was a Navy unit, designated VB-106.
  • KD September 15, 2016 (8:24 pm)

    Everyone should peek around their attics, basement walls, etc. sometime. After I moved into my home, I saw a box in the ceiling attic, pulled it down and opened it up. Old receipts and documents to The 5th. Ave. Cafe (under what is now the monorail) up in Belltown! Former home owner owned the Cafe. Oh my gosh… the prices on the receipts for cigarettes, the butcher meat, the waitress union dues, the dairy delivery, etc. early 1950 prices. It would blow you away what little they all cost back then! I carefully put it all back in the box and put back in the attic for someone in the future to also find! A bit of Seattle history of a business that once was  : )

  • Alki Resident September 15, 2016 (9:32 pm)

    This is so exciting to watch unfold. It’s like buried treasure. Jason I hope this pans out for you and your family. I just love this story.

  • sc September 16, 2016 (8:47 am)


    In Ancestry there is a record for an application for a head stone for George Lee Hoke with the same birth date.  The applicant for the head stone is Lindora Hoke in Lebanon, Missouri.  Her first name is unusual so if that is your grandmother then I think this is your grandfather.

    • Jason September 21, 2016 (8:27 am)

      This is my document posted on ancestry.  He is buried in the same cemetery as my dad George Jr.  He does have an older brother I have not met.  They have different mothers hence the reason no one from either side knows each other. 

  • metrognome September 16, 2016 (8:47 pm)

    sometimes, something as simple as googling the person’s name gets results; G. L. Hoke’s name appears in the personnel list:


    Congrats  to everyone who is helping out.  I’ve just done similar research on my recently deceased father’s service in the Marines as well as his wife’s father’s service in the Navy.  It’s amazing what is on the I-net and dusty museums and how profoundly it still affects people.

  • sc September 17, 2016 (10:41 am)


    Please let us know if the found items are reunited with the Hoke family.  

    I enjoy genealogy as a hobby but I really like when artifacts are reunited with a family.

    Thanks to Stephanie for her effort!  

  • Sandi September 20, 2016 (8:10 pm)

    My father in law  his son. Please contact Roland Hoke of Maple Valley. Verla, his wife sent you a friend request. To my knowledge there were no daughters born to George Hoke. The woman looks as if it could be Detta, his late wife. 

    • Jason September 21, 2016 (8:11 am)

      I missed meeting Roland when he came to Missouri to meet my sister and mom after my dad, George Hoke Jr.  died.  I do wish we can have another get together.  I was able to find on ancestry George and Detta’s marriage certificate.  Hopefully we can get you more pics and information if you want.  I do know that many of my family has kept this part of their lives a secret, and have no interest in opening it up, but obviously I want to open it.  I can also help you get back 3 more generations with pictures.

Sorry, comment time is over.