August 3, 1917 - July 24, 1943
Titus (Ted) Vollhoffer was the son of Michael Vollhoffer (1872-1942), shoe maker, and Anna (nee Ollinger) Vollhoffer (1880-1963), of Southey, Saskatchewan. Both his parents were born in Austria, naturalized Canadians. Ted had four brothers: Adolf (1898-1970), Rudolf, Emil (1919-1972), and John, overseas as an air gunner in the RCAF in 1944. He also had six sisters: Hilda, Theresia, Minnie, Rose, Ella, and Olga, who was a WD in the RCAF at No. 4 SFTS, Saskatoon. The family was Roman Catholic.
Ted worked on a farm for three years, then as a contractor, then as a raw furs buyer, returning to contracting in floor surfacing prior to enlistment with the RCAF as a carpenter in March 1943. He was living in Regina. After the war, he wanted to operate a farm of his own or remain in the Air Force, if he liked it.
He spoke German and English. He liked to play baseball and hockey. On his attestation papers: “average, keen, sincere. Good, neat, clean, mannerly. Suitable for standard general duties. Can operate farm tractors and good knowledge of rough carpentry.” Other assessments: “Fair average type of lad. Keen and sincere. Neat appearance, nice personality. Father came to Canada in 1903 from Austria and continued his trade as shoemaker at Balgonnie, Saskatchewan. Naturalized in 1907 or 1908. Homesteaded Earl Gray, Saskatchewan 1910-1921 and then went back to trade of shoemaker in Southey, Saskatchewan. Applicant frank in answers to all questions.”
He stood 5’7” tall, weighing 150 pounds. He had blue eyes and brown hair, with a medium complexion. At age 12, he fractured his left ankle. Ted noted that he was always healthy but the medical examiner noted Ted had a tendency of flat feet, which Ted denied any symptoms.
Ted took out five War Savings Certificates ad had a $1,042 life insurance policy, his mother sole beneficiary. Ted’s father passed away in 1942. Ted also had $3.52 in the Royal Bank of Canada.
Ted was sent to No. 2 Manning Depot, Brandon, Manitoba March 30, 1943. Here he earned a St. John Ambulance certificate in First Aide to the Injured. He was sent to No. 3 Repair Depot, then to No. 9 CMU in Vancouver by May 1943. He was then sent to Cape St. James. He had some dental work done, and then was attached to Bella Bella by July 12, 1943.
On July 24, 1943, Titus was aboard the BC Star and it was sunk. Life rafts were the only wreckage found. Theories as to the cause of the sinking of the BC Star included the ship was overloaded, it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, or it hit a mine. Please see links below for more information.
Letters about a recovered unidentified body were found in Ted’s file. (Please see Stead’s story for more details.)
In March 1944, Mrs. Vollhoffer received a letter from S/L W. R. Gunn informing him that Titus was now for official purposes, presumed to have died on active service on July 24, 1943.
In October 1955, Mrs. Vollhoffer, residing in Regina, received a letter from W/C Gunn telling her that since Titus had no known grave, his name would appear on the Ottawa Memorial.
Three of his sisters traveled to Ottawa to attend the Queen’s unveiling of the memorial, including Olga.