Son of William M. (deceased) and Mary A. Hyre (Easterline); born June 4, 1900, Whitley County, Ind. Enlisted in U.S. Navy October 22, 1915, Ft. Wayne, Ind. Sent to Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Ill.; assigned to the Nevada, 14th Naval Division. Appointed to duty as storekeeper. Died of pneumonia October 21, 1918, on board the Nevada in Bantry Bay, Ireland. Buried near the family home, Thorncreek Township, Whitley County, Ind.
Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921) Page 719. Contributed by Meredith Thompson.
Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, October 30, 1918
Mrs. Chester M. Esterline, of the Esterline hotel at Tri Lake, received a message Saturday containing the sad intelligence that their son, seaman Harrold Gustave Hyre, had died at sea from bronchial pneumonia. The telegram read as follows: “Deeply regret to inform you that Seaman Harrold Gustave Hyre, U. S. S. Nevada, died October 24, in foreign waters, from bronchial pneumonia. The body will be returned to this country. Harris. Acting Adjutant.”
The last letter Mrs. Esterline received from her son was about a month ago, and at that time the ship on which he was serving was cruising in Siberian waters some distance out from Vladivostok, and it is thought that it was in this region the young man came to his death.
He is the first Whitley county sailor to die in the service of his country. There are a great many soldiers from Whitley County, but comparatively few sailors.
Harrold Gustave Hyre was the son of William and Mary Hyre, and was born in this county June 4, 1900, being just past eighteen years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Hyre were divorced and later Mrs. Hyre married Chester M. Esterline of the Esterline hotel. The young man’s father still survives, as does the mother, and a brother, Ervin, and sister, Hallie, both at home.
The deceased enlisted in the navy three years ago when he was only a little past fifteen years of age. He was a fine big boy and was easily able to pass the stringent navy examination even at that time. For the past two years he had been in the commissary department and acted as a storekeeper on board the battleship Nevada, where he served from the time of his enlistment. He had made several trips to this county to visit his mother after joining the navy, and was in the best of health the last time he came. News of his death was a great shock to his parents.
The unusual thing about the case is that the remains will be brought to this county for burial. The probability is that the ship was on its way home and the body will be brought to this country for that reason. Mrs. Esterline will be notified when the remains arrive and they will then be forwarded to this county for burial.
The last time he was home he called at this office and his general bearing and modesty were commendable. He had been on many long sea journeys and had seen much of the world and was well informed but his manner and speech were wholly becoming to one of his years and vast experience.