Woodbury County


Harold Hafits



Five Hafits Boys—The five Hafits boys, sons of Mr. and Mrs. David Hafits, 1419 Virginia, ranging in age from 19 to 28 years, are serving with the armed forces in camps from Providence, R.I., to Wendover, Utah.

TOGETHER WITH MEMORIES—Mr. and Mrs. David Hafits, 1419 Virginia street, have given their family of five sons to the armed forces. To fill their leisure time and to forget her now empty house, Mrs. Hafits writes to the five boys frequently.

Mr. & Mrs. David Z. Hafits

ALL-OUT WAR is no empty phrase to the Hafits family. 
The family home at 1419 Virginia street, once occupied by five boys and their parents, now is filled with nostalgic memories for the father and mother.

All five sons have gone to war.  They range in age from Paul, 28, to Harold, 19.  They are serving in five Army camps, from Providence, R.I., to Wendover, Utah.

Corporal Paul is an Army radio operator in a camp at Providence.  Private Eugene, 26, entered the Army 10 days ago and is stationed at Rockford, Ill.

Twins In Service.
Sergeant Arthur and Private William are twins, 25 years old. Arthur is serving with an anti-tank battalion at Camp Barkley, Texas, and William is with a technical aviation squadron at a Wendover, Utah, base.  Private Harold is with the air force at Atlantic City, N. J.

All approximately 6 feet in height and are athletically inclined, so Mrs. Hafits says she feels they will be able to stand the test of serving with the armed forces and that they can “dish it out” to the enemy, too.

All five sons, like their father, were taught thrift as newsboys on Sioux City street corners.  They purchased war savings bonds with money left from their Army pay after their immediate needs are provided.

Eldest Is Leader.
Corporal Paul, the eldest son, always has been the leader.  After graduation from Central high school, he attended Morningside college and alter studied at the University of South Dakota law school at Vermillion.  The other four also were graduated from Central high school.

The fighting spirit and patriotism displayed by the Haftis family possibly is inspired by Mr. Hafits, who was born in Russia and came to Sioux City in 1903 at the age of 13.

“When I read of the Nazis killing 10,000 of my people in Witebsk, the city where I was born, it makes me want to join my boys,” he said.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, [news issue dated early 1943 with photos]


Sgt. Paul B. Hafits is the first of five sons of Mr. and Mrs. David Z. Hafits, 1419 Virginia street, to receive a discharge from the armed forces.

Sgt. Hafits, who was graduated from Central high school in 1933 and from Morningside college in 1938, interrupted his study of law at the University of South Dakota to enter the Army air forces in June, 1942.  He was a member of the 341st fighter squadron, Col. Neil Kearby’s famous outfit, and served as radio operator through the campaigns on New Guinea, The Netherlands East Indies, Philippines, Okinawa and Iwo Jima.  Sgt. Hafits wears the presidential unit citation, Philippine liberation ribbon, with nine bronze battle stars on the Asiatic-Pacific theater ribbon.

Sgt. Hafits expects to resume the study of law.  His brothers who still are in the service are Harold, with the A. A. F. in Tinian, Mariannas; Eugene in Belgium in the medical corps; and twin brothers, Arthur and William now at the air base at Kearney, Neb.

Source:  The Sioux City Journal, November 21, 1945