Archive for March, 2015

Not much has been happening lately, but we do have a couple of things to share. Before we do, though, please join us in sending happy birthday wishes to one of the four living members of the 111th, John Raisler! He will be 95 tomorrow. We spoke with him last night, and he is doing very well. His family will be coming to help him celebrate this weekend. (See our last posting for more about John.)

Earlier this month, we received an email from Wolfgang Heyn, who lives in Moenchengladbach, Germany. He said that the building where some of the 111th men, including my father, lived while in that city in the early spring of 1945–in fact, exactly 70 years ago this month–still stands, at the end of Webschulstrasse, next to the police barracks that the unit took over and worked in. It is still an apartment building.img210 Our home at Munchen Gladbach, Germany, Spring 1945

Monchengladbach apartment building where some of the 111th men lived in spring 1945, still an apartment building today

Moenchengladbach apartment building where some of the 111th men lived in spring 1945, still an apartment building today

We sure wish we had known about it when we visited the city in 2013; we spent a few hours asking around as we looked for that building, unsuccessfully. We since learned that the men were based in the former police barracks in town, not on the outskirts of town as we first suspected.

UPDATE September 2018: Our new blog friend Craig, who lives in Holland, took these photos of Moenchengladbach recently and sent them along. He says there is a sport and wellness club in the building now, and the the building is in beautiful shape. The Europeans certainly know how to maintain their properties. Wouldn’t the men of the 111th been amazed? Here are the photos:

munchengladbach 2018 2munchegladbach 2018 1

We have been in touch with Sergio Gomez, son of the 111th’s Master Sergeant Frank Gomez, of San Antonio. We were sad to learn last fall of the death of Sergio’s mother (Frank’s widow), Carmen Gomez, at the age of 96. My parents were friends with Frank and Carmen after the war. While going through his mother’s things, Sergio found a tightly rolled up photo of the 111th taken at Fort Dix, NJ, in the summer of 1943—the same panoramic photo that Tom Sedlacek, son of Joe Sedlacek, sent us a copy of last year. If you double click on the photo below, it will open in a new window, and you can zoom in on it.

111th 10MB  partially autographed

Sergio had the 3-foot-long photo professionally mounted and scanned and sent us a copy. His copy is interesting because there are several autographs on it—including that of our birthday boy, John Raisler! Thanks so much, Sergio—this will help us identify a few more of the men in the old photos. If any of you see your father in this photo, please let us know.