EDWARD DeHART was born in Camden, New Jersey on March 6, 1924. He was raised by his mother, Gertrude, and stepfather, Oscar Raab Sr. He completed one year of high school, then, like most boys his age in those times, entered the workforce.

Edward DeHart was inducted into the United States Army on July 3, 1943 at Camden, New Jersey. After finishing his basic training, he was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. He landed in France via Omaha Beach on D-Day plus 1, July 7, 1944, and took part in the bloody fighting that took place as the 29th drove through the hedgerows of Normandy towards St. Lo.

On July 1, the 29th Infantry Division, having suffered many casualties since D-Day, had taken up defensive positions east of St. Lo, with the 175th being located near the village of Les Bateaux. Over the net three days the Division engaged in an active defense and aggressive patrolling in its sector, which was near what became known as Hill 108. Unfortunately, Private DeHart was taken prisoner on July 3, 1944, exactly one year to the day from his induction into the Army. Taken with other prisoners to Germany, he was held at Stalag 13B in Weiden, Bavaria. He was liberated at war's end. He was honorably discharged on December 14, 1945.

Returning to New Jersey, Edward Dehart worked at a number of jobs. Married to the former Florence Jeanne Smith, he was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on February 27, 1959, and reported for duty on March 2. The DeHarts were then living at 1021 North 32nd Street in Camden's Cramer Hill neighborhood. 

Edward Dehart served the City of Camden for 26 years, retiring on March 1, 1985. During his time of service Camden had many major fires. He was involved in the "Miracle of Easter" in March of 1970 when he and three other Camden firefighters were caught in a building collapse. Miraculously indeed, all were extricated with only minor injuries, and all returned to service and had long careers.

A longtime resident of Blackwood, New Jersey, Edward DeHart lived his last years in Washington Township. Predeceased by his wife, a longtime companion, and brother Oscar Rabb Jr., Edward DeHart passed away on July 8, 2014 at the age of 90. Survived by his four children and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Edward DeHart was interred at the Cape May County Veterans Cemetery at Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey. 

Camden Courier-Post * June 15, 1959

John Troutman - Thomas Sepicato - Philip B. Stinger - Edward DeHart - William F. Bosset
Engine Company 9 - Ladder Company 3

The Miracle of Easter - March 30, 1970


Manpower of two Engine Companies get big line into service and give fire "a dash" from the street before attempting interior attack at Fourth Alarm, North 6th & Penn Streets, March 30, 1970.

Fourth Alarm for fire and collapse at electronics supply house, North 6th & Penn Streets, center city in March 1970. Scene depicts exterior operations at height of fire as heavy smoke vents from building. Roof and top floor of building collapsed trapping members of Engine Company 1

Members access basement and prepare to advance handline through sidewalk cellar doors during overhaul at Fourth Alarm, North 6th & Penn Streets- 3-30-1970

All hands anxiously await their turn on the inside during rescue operations following collapse of fire building on Easter Monday, March 1970. At time of collapse Engine 1 was operating handline on second floor while overhauling. Without warning roof and second floor pancaked into first floor and basement. Captain Phillip Maycott and Fire Fighters Alston, DeHart, Maroldo and Winters were buried amid tons of rubble. All members managed to extricate themselves except for "the Officer and the Probie".

Removed from ruins of collapse is Probationary Fire Fighter John Maroldo. Maroldo narrowly escaping certain death after being entombed for over an hour is seen shouting at members to "find my captain". 

Captain Vincent Orme, Engine Company 7 reassures Maroldo that continuing rescue operations are underway.

Captain Maycott as last member removed from collapse is carried to waiting ambulance. Units at scene breached walls and performed tunneling and shoring operations to reach trapped members. Both Maycott and Maroldo miraculously escaped with just bruises and sprains. Remaining members of Engine 1 were treated for cuts and scrapes following near catastrophe on March 30, 1970.

South Jersey Times * June 6, 2014

D-Day survivor among 49 veterans 
honored by Gloucester County Freeholders

By Michelle Caffrey

EEdward DeHart was one of the lucky ones. When his Army company landed on Omaha Beach 70 years ago today, the horrors of battle surrounded him. He was one of only a handful of men from his company to survive the D-Day invasion, but was soon taken captive as a prisoner of war, and remained in captivity for the next year.

"I wouldn't wish anybody to go through it," DeHart said Thursday 
night, after he and 48 other veterans from Cardinal Village senior living community in Washington Township received Gloucester County Military Service Medals in a special ceremony.

As DeHart sat with his three sons, Jeff, Rich and Ed, after the ceremony in which officials presented each veteran with a medal and proclamation they talked about the brutality of war, and the need to make sure the Greatest Generation's sacrifices, especially on the beaches of Normandy, aren't forgotten. 

"Imagine what it'd be like, what these guys went through," said Ed 
DeHart, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War. "Kids nowadays just 
don't know."

That's what drew Freeholder Heather Simmons' attention as she 
read out each veteran's name as they received their medal. Afterward, she said she noticed children playing in the grassy area surrounding the ceremony, held in a quiet courtyard at Cardinal Village. 

"A hero is a guy in a cape," to those children, Simmons said. Or the man who scores a winning goal, runs for a touchdown, when really 
heroes were surrounding them at that moment. 

"Every single person who served their country made that sacrifice," said Simmons. "You are the real heroes."

Deputy Freeholder Director Joe Chila pointed out it might be the 
first time some of the veterans have been publicly thanked for their service, something he apologized for, but was honored to correct. And he made it clear they weren't simply giving the veterans the medals. 

"These were earned by you," said Chila. 

As Chila, Washington Township Mayor Barbara Wallace, Director of 
Gloucester County's Veterans Affairs Duane Sarmiento, Freeholder Dan Christy and John Robertson Jr. CW04, USMC, approached each veteran a mix of men and women involved in both the Korean War and World War II the officials talked briefly with each of them, thanking them for their service. 

"I know a lot of the veterans were very excited [about the ceremony]," said Karen Dixon, director of marketing for Cardinal Village. She said the staff there started working on getting residents' paperwork together to 
process the medal requests back in November, after their Veterans Day 

Watching it come together, and the joy on the veterans' faces as they 
received their medals, was an honor, said Cardinal Village Director Susan Wiest, herself having served in the Army Medical Corps at the tail end of the Vietnam War. 

She also accepted a medal on behalf of resident James Brown, a 
Korean War veteran who died suddenly the night before the ceremony, and whose sons were too grief-stricken to attend. 

"It was touching," said Wiest, adding the constant humility she hears from veterans about their service made Thursday night's ceremony that much more important to pull together. 

"They're very humble," Wiest said. "It makes it even nicer to thank 
them and let them know how much it means to us.". 

Camden Courier-Post * July 14, 2014

Edward DeHart
AGE: 90 Washington Township

Edward DeHart, age 90 of Washington Twp., formerly of Blackwood, passed away on Sunday July 6, 2014. Loving husband of the late Florence Jeanne DeHart (nee Smith) and longtime companion of the late Shirley Dilks. Beloved father of Edward Allen DeHart, Richard Walter DeHart, Karen Jeanne DeHart-Delfing, and Jeffrey Mark (Susan M. Overs-DeHart) DeHart. Proud grandfather of 8 and great-grandfather of 4. Edward is the brother of the late Oscar J. Raab, Jr.

Mr. DeHart was born in Camden and was a longtime area resident, most recently residing in Washington Twp. He proudly served in the United States Army during World War II (POW). Ed worked as a firefighter for the Camden City Fire Department, retiring in 1986.

Viewing will be held on Thursday July 10, 2014 from 8:30 to 10:00 am at the Earle Funeral Home, 122 W. Church St., Blackwood, NJ, where a prayer service will begin at 10:00 am. Interment will follow at Cape May County Veterans Cemetery, Cape May Court House, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society in memory of Florence Jeanne DeHart, 1851 Old Cuthbert Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ 08034. Condolences may be shared at www.earlefuneralhome.com.