World War II Photos Make Their Way Back to Their Rightful Owner

Stephanie DeVoid never expected to meet the man who grew up in her West Seattle home in Seattle.

Last week, DeVoid told of her discovery on Q13 News, in an attempt to find the legal owner of two cigar boxes brimming with pictures belonging to George Lee Hoke, a World War II veteran.

As it turned out, the pictures belonged to Roland Hoke’s father, who he had been trying to find out more about, his entire life.

They did have pictures before but all of them were all destroyed, and he knows very little about him, said Hoke, who didn’t know the pictures of his dad survived.

He said that Hoke’s mother Detta, had remarried and began a new life with her young son, destroying any evidence of her previous life except for the photos.

Hoke said someone saw the Q13 News story and made contact with his son, Chris, which led to the reunion last week.

He thinks she was saving them; he believes she was saving them for him, said Hoke, becoming emotional.

Going through the pictures, Rollie said he has more questions about his dad than before, but he has new information too.

I’m almost in tears, said Hoke. I’m so delighted to have these photos because it’s a part I don’t know anything about. He’s my dad.

While DeVoid said she’ll miss the pictures, she’s happy knowing they finally made it to Hoke.

I really enjoyed the photos, but they’re not hers. They’re in the right place, said DeVoid.

Hoke said he will be sharing the pictures with his daughter and son who also didn’t get to know their grandfather, Q13 Fox News reported.

He plans to make a scrapbook with the pictures and documents given him.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE