Dolt 6 Sept. 1960, YNP, photo courtesy of Tom Frost
Ann ca. 1950ish
Hard labor for straying from the mission...
A PINK (woohoo!) t-shirt with Mama's daddy's name on it!!! (Note Crusher's book, open to the pages with the picture from the Totem Pole that's been on the sofa since Saturday when she got her first pair of rock climbing shoes...) :D
I had to read it several times before it finally sunk in that I may be able to obtain information on Dolt's father that I've been trying to find for over a year. Receiving the copy of his service record (see below) was pretty incredible, but still left me scratching my head trying to figure out when/where he returned to Germany.
A few months back, after receiving copies of various records with the addresses redacted (and no way to request follow-up details), I submitted an inquiry via email to the Dept. of State on a whim, figuring it was the best way to find out whether or not I might be able to track down his father's address in Germany. As his father was a naturalized U.S. citizen and was receiving Social Security benefits at the time of his death, I had been able to find a record via ancestry.com from the SSA providing that his father had passed away in Germany in 1981.
I had forgotten about the email to the DOS when the letter from the SSA arrived on Monday. (In the email, I had asked for direction as to which agency I should contact.) It seems that the DOS sent it to the SSA, and now, I may have gotten around what previously had been deemed inaccessible information under the FOIA (i.e., disclosure was not in the public interest). I won't do cartwheels until after I visit the local SSA office tomorrow. ;)
Neat stuff, eh?!
Cross-post from the D-Day thread:
Jun 6, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
A few weeks ago, I received in the mail the two pages that remain of William Feuerer Sr.'s military service record. I'm thankful the National Archives were able to preserve the records - many service records were completely destroyed in a large fire a number of years ago. In the picture below, you can see that the Report of Separation appears singed at the bottom.
Enlisted Record and Report of Separation (9 Oct. 1945) William Feuerer, Sr., born 24 Sep. 1901 in Altschweier (Buehl), Baden, Germany
Dolt's father was a rifle sharpshooter during WWII, arriving in England in April 1944, France in August 1944 and Germany in February 1945. He was accidentally wounded by a bullet through his right chest and lung in July 1945 in Augsburg, Germany, whereafter he returned to France for medical treatment. He was sent back to the U.S. in September 1945 for further treatment, and was discharged due to age in October.
I can't make heads or tails of much of the record, as it is nearly illegible, but it should make for some interesting research. Altschweier is located on the border with France, so it makes sense that the military would take advantage of his local knowledge. It is difficult to imagine what it must have felt like to go to war as a sharpshooter against his country of origin, which he had left some 20 years prior (by that time he had already become a naturalized U.S. citizen).
As per more recent records I received about Dolt's service in the USAF, he apparently knew his father was still alive, at least as of the mid-1950s, when he enlisted -- Dolt listed his father as one of his beneficiaries.
Very interesting that Dolt's father was "accidentally" wounded in July, 1945 when the surrender of the German forces took place in early May of that same year. Having been born in May, 1945, I remember my mother suggesting that I might have been named "Victor" had I been born on V.E. Day.
I bet there is an interesting story about how Dolt's father was wounded, one that might never be uncovered... But perhaps a novel could be written about it...
Today, the muppet turns 4 years old. This morning she opened her presents from Mom and Dad, which included her first 3 stoppers and a locking biner. We earned ourselves a broad grin (thank God they were available in her 3 favorite colors or it could have been ugly!).
Happy Birthday, big girl!
Now given the coincidental timing I experienced earlier this year when I received Dolt's military service records, and given that I thought I had hit a dead end because I haven't been able to connect William Feuerer, Sr. to his address in Germany, let's just say that I had NO expectations today...
But in my inbox first thing this morning, from the very kind Registration Office in Ludwigshafen, was this record:
William Feuerer, Sr.'s registration with the city of Ludwigshafen, Germany, from October 1967
It appears he returned to Germany in 1967 as a retired electrical engineer, listing himself as "married" and living at the same address he had used up until he passed away in 1981. He had continued to live and work in Chicago, Illinois, after serving the U.S. during WWII.
Query whether I may be able to track down anyone who knew him either in Chicago or Ludwigshafen? (It's not looking good in so far as aunts or uncles are concerned.) In reading carefully through Dolt's military service record, I happened to notice that one of the documents bore an official seal, certifying its contents, dated sometime in 1984. I wonder if this might not have been one of his German or other relatives trying to locate him after his father passed away...
A wonderful gift, full of mystery, on a beautiful celebratory day. Life is good.
This is Martin Feuerer, my second cousin. His father (who will be 81 in July) and Dolt were first cousins, though neither knew of the other. I "found" Martin on FB last Sept., but a little over a week ago we communicated for the first time. He's a wonderful man.
My second cousin!
His family is still in the town where Dolt's father was born and still making Affentaler wine. ")