None Sacrificed More
Written by: Kelly Durham
They arrived at Clemson College when the world was mostly at peace. By the time they graduated, China and most of Europe were in the throes of what would shortly become a worldwide conflagration—consuming all too many of their number.
The Clemson College Class of 1941 arrived in the sleepy college village in the late summer of 1937. Sure, there was trouble in China where the Japanese had been rattling sabers for years. In Germany, the National Socialist leader Hitler was talking about unifying ethnic Germans. But those places and their politics must have seemed far distant to Joe Hough and his fellow cadets.
Joseph Shelton Hough, from Edgefield, came to Clemson to study agriculture, then as now, vital to South Carolina’s economy. Upon his graduation in the spring of 1941, Hough would share what he learned during his years on campus with students at Inman High School where he worked as a vocational agriculture teacher.
Once the war came to the United States, Hough, like so many other young men, was called into military service. He shipped overseas in July 1944. On October 2, Staff Sergeant Hough was killed in action in France.
Sadly, we know little about Joe Hough, his time on campus, his Army service, and the details of his death. We do know that no Clemson class—before or since—made a greater sacrifice than the Class of 1941. Hough was one of fifty-five members of the class to lose his life during World War II. That’s approximately twelve percent of the graduating members of the class, or one in eight. The men of the Class of 1941 comprise eleven percent of the names on Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor.
Joe Hough was survived by his widow, the former Willie Mae Wilson, who continued to teach at Inman High; his mother; four sisters; and two brothers, one in the Army, one in the Navy, both serving overseas. In 1948, Hough’s body was brought to Clinton where it was reburied in the Rosemont Cemetery.
For more information on Joseph Shelton Hough, see: http://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/joseph-joe-shelton-hough/
For additional information about Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor visit: