Corporal Donald B. Hoobler (June 28, 1922 – January 3, 1945) was a non-commissioned officer who served with the Ohio National Guard from 1940–1941, and later serving with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II. Hoobler was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Peter McCabe.
Hoobler was born on June 28, 1922 to Ralph B. Hoobler and Kathryn (Carrigan) Hoobler in Manchester, Ohio. He had one sister; Mary Kathryn Lane, and a brother; John R. Hoobler. Hoobler graduated from Manchester High School in 1940.
Hoobler served in the Ohio National Guard on October 15, 1940. He discharged in November 1941 and was sent home from training at Camp Shelby, located in Mississippi, due to his father's death. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 22, 1942 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Hoobler, with his hometown friends Robert Rader and William Hovell, became a member of the Easy Company.
During World War II, he served with Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of 2nd Battalion in the 101st Airborne Division. He fought in the D-Day and Operation Market Garden.
Hoobler also fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne in December, 1944. On Christmas Eve, Hoobler and Rader volunteered for guard duty as a Christmas present to their men.
Hoobler died of a non-combat related injury. On January 3, 1945 at Bastogne, Cpl. Hoobler was killed when a pistol he had taken from a dead German snagged on a piece of barbed wire, causing it to fire. The bullet entered his thigh, severing a major artery, and he died of blood loss.
According to Private First Class David Kenyon Webster, a fellow soldier in the same platoon, Hoobler enthusiastically enjoyed the war.
Hoobler was buried at Manchester Cemetery. He is buried next to his mother, Kathryn (Carrigan) Hoobler, who died at her daughter's home in Port Richey, Florida in 1976 (age 83). Donald's brother John served in the US Navy during the last months of the war. Afterwards he, too, moved to Port Richey, and died in July, 1997.
Band of Brothers
The scene where Hoobler accidentally shot himself was reproduced in the miniseries. In the TV miniseries, however, Hoobler is depicted obtaining a Luger pistol from a German soldier he shot down, and later accidentally shooting himself with that gun. In reality, Hoobler did not obtain a Luger; the gun he shot himself with may have been either a Colt M1911 service sidearm, or a Belgian-made .32 automatic. According to Clancy Lyall it was the latter. He and Hoobler both obtained one from German prisoners during Operation Market Garden.