Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series celebrating the 75th anniversary of the 4th Fighter Wing
Throughout history, for the most part, fighting wars has been the job of young men. The record of Lt. Ralph "Kidd" Hofer is the story of how one young man fought in World War II for the 4th Fighter Group.
Ralph Hofer grew up in Missouri and was an outstanding athlete, being especially adept at football and boxing. In the spring of 1941 Hofer visited Canada on a lark. The Canadian immigration officer at the border sent Hofer (as he had sent scores of other Americans before him) to the Royal Canadian Air Force recruiting office. Hofer had no interest in airplanes or flying, but the enthusiasm of the other Americans there convinced him to enlist. The Canadians required Ralph Hofer to have a middle name so "Kidd" Hofer was born.