111th Veteran John Raisler Sends Us Photos

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Men of the 111th Ordnance Company
Tags: , , ,

We received a packet of about 60 photos in the mail the other day from 111th surviving member John Raisler. John is 93 and lives in Florida; he is originally from Clarendon Hills, Illinois. We have enjoyed talking to him many times since the blog began–he was our first “find,” although it must be said that he found us back in November when he asked his granddaughter to Google “111th Ordnance Company.”

John Raisler in Hawaii a few years ago

John Raisler in Hawaii a few years ago

Last week, John enjoyed a great conversation with his former commanding officer, Art Brooks.  Art told John that he didn’t have to call him “Captain” any more. They talked about their Normandy landing experiences, and although they were in different LCTs, they had very similar experiences. Raisler recalls how Brooks described how “he checked the water depth, it was too deep, so they moved and then came in, where he was the first jeep off [with another of the 111th survivors as his driver, Roger Rickon] with no trouble. My experience was very similar. First we were too deep so we moved, and my assistant and I went off into the water that was too deep for a jeep, but we floated long enough for the churning wheels to get caught [in the sand] and we pulled right out. The MPs guided us to a large field, where we all assembled. Then we moved to Cerisy Forest. I think we were all there until St. Lo opened up.”

Several of the photos were taken in October 1945, as a group of about 15 of the 111th headed to LeHavre, France, for the ship journey home to the States. John says he will always remember the date he got home: October 17, 1945. He married the girl who waited four years for him exactly one month to the day later.

Aboard the LCT headed toward Omaha. John R was on lead boat

Aboard the LCT headed toward Omaha Beach, Normandy. John Raisler was on the lead boat.

Here are some of the photos; thankfully, John wrote names and places on the backs so we know who and where they are. We will  also place them on the “photos” pages at the top of the blog.

Pyaday at Canp Shiloh, Canada: L to R: First Sgt. Mayo,  Sgt. Nelson, Lt. Brooks, Cpt. Malsberry

Payday at Canp Shiloh, Canada: L to R: First Sgt. Mayo, Sgt. Nelson, Lt. Brooks, Cpt. Malsbury

Going home. sign at port in Le Havre, France

Going home sign at port in Le Havre, France

Going home, convoy break on way to port

Going home, October 1945, convoy break on way to port

John Raisler at German pub

John Raisler at German pub

John Raisler  Apt in Fridenhorst, Germany, last stop on way home

John Raisler at their apartment in Fridenhorst, Germany, last stop on way home

Just before crossing Rhine, Driver Matt Ottea, Ass't Frank Sossi, backseat L- Sedlacek, R -  Raisler, standing 1Sgt Mayo and company clerk

Just before crossing Rhine, driver Matt Ottea, Ass’t Frank Sossi, backseat L- Sedlacek, R – Raisler, standing First Sgt Mayo and company clerk

Gun is German 88, L to R Raisler, Goerges (section chief), Lt from 83rd Div, We fired against Germans with this gun, Along the Rhine

Gun is German 88, L to R Raisler, Goerges (section chief), a Lt from 83rd Div. We fired against Germans with this gun, along the Rhine

While in quarantine, we got beer. L-R unknown, 2 . Stanhouse, 3. Railser, 4 Ray Ludwigson

While in quarantine, we got beer. L-R 1. unknown, 2 . Stanhouse, 3. Raisler, 4 Ray Ludwigson

Matt Ottea in his foxhole in Normandy

Matt Ottea in his foxhole in Normandy

John Raisler, Munchen-Gladbach GE

John Raisler, Munchen-Gladbach, Germany

Focker Wolf 190 at Salzwedel Airport, their location on V-E Day. Cliffie Graham, John Andrews, E De La Garza

Focker Wolf 190 at Salzwedel Airport, Germany, their location on V-E Day. Cliffie Graham, John Andrews, Leo De La Garza

Swimming at pool in Brake, GE. Occupation time after V-E Day

Swimming at pool in Brake, Germany, near Bremen. Occupation time after V-E Day

Chow break in Belgium

Chow break in Belgium

Leroy Faehling, (John Raisler and Leroy went to Brussels together)

Leroy Faehling enjoying the pool at Brake, Germany, summer 1945 (John Raisler and Leroy went to Brussels together)

Barracks 17, Room 2 Rear Row - Webber, Gomez, Clawson, Kent, Goerges. Front row Vaughn, Raisler, Tyler, Boufford, Savage

Barracks 17, Room 2. Rear Row – Webber, Gomez, Clauson, Kent, Goerges. Front row: Vaughn, Raisler, Tyler, Boufford, Savage

With pipe Matt Ottea from Instrumentation section, drilling is John Andrews, 3rd guy is Bob Hammer  Gun is 105 Howitzer, Munchen-Gladbach GE

With pipe, Matt Ottea from instrumentation section, drilling is John Andrews, man on right is Bob Hammer. Gun is 105 Howitzer, Munchen-Gladbach, Germany

Showering in Cerisy Forest - John Raisler at pump, Louie Soutier showering

Showering in Cerisy Forest, Normandy: John Raisler at pump, Louie Soutier showering

105 Howitzer torn down - guys from the section

105 Howitzer torn down – guys from the section

L-R Sgt Nelson, Cpl Raisler, Sgt Ottea, Kneeling. Sgt Sedlacek

L-R: Sgt Robert Nelson, Cpl John Raisler, Sgt Matthew Ottea, Kneeling. Sgt Joe Sedlacek

John Raisler crawling into ME109. Salzwedel Airport GE around V-E Day

John Raisler crawling into ME109. Salzwedel Airport, Germany, around V-E Day

Half track combat vehicle with 75 mm howitzer. That is a 155mm howitzer in front of it.

Half track combat vehicle with 75 mm howitzer. That is a 155mm howitzer in front of it.

Farmer getting in the way in France

Farmer getting in the way in France

German wrecked tanks in Falaise Gap FR

German wrecked tanks in Falaise Gap, France, August 1945

Pete Patrick in foxhole, Normandy

Pete Patrick in foxhole, Normandy

John Raisler in unfinished German Submarine

John Raisler in unfinished German submarine

Street Scene, Munchen-Gladbach Germany, 1945

Street scene, Munchen-Gladbach Germany, early 1945

Wrecked vehicles, Heerlen, Holland, winter 1944-45

Wrecked vehicles, Heerlen, Holland, winter 1944-45

8 inch railway gun, they really roar when they go off

8 inch railway gun; they really roar when they go off

Bus used to carry German soldiers, now kaput, France

Bus used to carry German soldiers, now kaput, France

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Comments
  1. jraisler@tampabay.rr.com says:

    MAGNIFICENT, READING THROUGH IT, WAS LIKE LIVING IT OVER AGAIN, ABSOLUTELY GREAT. (INCIDENTALLY, TOMORROW FEB. 14, 1941, I WAS INDUCTED INTO THE ARMY AND STARTED MY CAREER AS A U.S. SOLDIER.THAT WAS 73 YEARS AGO.) I KNOW I MAKE MORE THAN MY SHARE OF ERRORS, BUT A LITTLE CORRECTION MIGHT BE DUE HERE, JOE SEDLACEK WAS FROM GLEN CARBON, ILL., I WAS FROM THE GREAT METROPOLIS OF CLARENDON HILLS, ILL.,POPULATION ( GIVE OR TAKE) 1,500 IN 1941). MANY A FOND MEMORY LINGERS THERE. ONCE AGAIN, I COMMEND YOU ON THE SUPERB JOB YOU ARE DOING WITH THIS PROJECT. –JOHN R.

    • Andrea says:

      John, sorry for the error–I will correct it right away! We are so fortunate to have you help us out by sharing all your great photos and memories. Please send us anything else you think of!

  2. Robert B Raisler says:

    Andrea,

    Are there other webpages like these I can use to see if I can find photos of McArthur’s landing in the Phiilipines? We have a family story of my father, Robert John Raisler, of Clarendon Hills, Ilinois being right behind MacArthur when they landed on the beach in the Philipines. A photographer evidently asked my father at the time, “What was it like to be near the great Gen. MacArthur?” This was when they were in a landing craft and landed on the beach. No it might not have been the highly publicized MacArthur landing because from what I heard, the Army filed and photographed the landing multiple times in order to get good film and still photos.

    Our family mission is to try to find a photo of our Dad, Robert John Raisler, near Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Not sure that is possible but if someone was present and caught them both on camera or on film, then maybe we could get a copy. My fingers are crossed.

    Robert Bruce Raisler
    Sanford, FL
    rraisler@cfl.rr.com

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