Archive for July, 2019

Linda Jackson, a daughter of 111th soldier Tec 5 Louis B. Soutier, has found our blog and has been sending us information about her father. We are thrilled to be able to add another soldier’s family to the fold! Linda and her two sisters, Cindy and Carol, are the 55th family we have found, or who have found us, since we started this project nearly six years ago.

Linda told us, “My dad lived in Salem, Illinois, most of his life. He lived in small towns close to Salem in his younger years. After he married my mother, they moved to Patoka, Illinois, and he later bought a hardware store there.”

soutier portrait

Linda told me that all the family photos were lost in a fire of their home in the 1950s, but that fortunately Louis’s sister had some photos of his time in the war and gave them to one of Linda’s sisters. Here are a few, probably taken at Fort Robinson, Arkansas, just before Louis was transferred to the 111th at Camp Bowie, Texas, in the spring of 1942 (he is standing on the far left in the second photo):

Another photo shows what I am fairly sure is the artillery work area at Camp Bowie in 1942; we have another similar photo from another family member. The funny thing is that it shows my own father’s car parked off to the right, his beloved Ford “Woodie.” (I knew he had the car while the unit was still in Texas, as the smaller photo shows.)

soutier trucks and artillery USAscan0024

Linda said, “After the fire he sold the hardware store and moved to Salem, Illinois, where he bought a farm and named it Soutier Stock Farm. He farmed 250 acres and raised show cattle until he retired. He was an active VFW lifetime member.” Louis was with the 111th until September 1945, when he was finally sent back to the States from Brake, Germany. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 87.

Louis was an artillery mechanic, along with 111th men Joe Sedlacek, John Andrews, Harold Goerges, Leo De La Garza, and John Raisler, who was from a town near Chicago. We are sad that John (one of our original survivors from 2013) is no longer with us because I’m sure he would have remembered Louis. Perhaps they reconnected long after the war—Linda said, “My sister told me he did visit someone in Chicago, on his way to meet a tour group.” Louis took two farm bureau tours in the late ’70s and early ’80s and visited Pearl Harbor, Wales, Germany, China, Japan and several other places. Below is a photo of Louis in front of General Patton’s grave in Luxembourg:

souiter patton grave luxembourg

Thank you, Linda, for finding us. We are so happy to be able to add your father to our blog.


Last week we were excited to hear from yet another Frenchman. Nicolas used to live in Cherbourg and is quite familiar with the city. He wrote to say that he knows the location of one of our photos, taken on July 17, 1944, during the Normandy Campaign.

One of the 111th men took several pictures of Cherbourg that day, and one in particular caught Nicolas’s eye.


“The location of this picture was easy to find, as there is only one mountain around Cherbourg: La Montagne du Roule,” he wrote. “Plus, my former high school was located a bit further from the house (which I circled in red). I used to walk this very street every morning, and every evening … the sight looked familiar.” Merci beaucoup, Nicolas!



The day that photo was taken in 1944, some of the unit had left their camp in the Cerisy Forest, Normandy, for a trip that took them through Isigny-sur-Mer, Carentan, St. Mere Eglise, Monteburg and Cherbourg. The Allies had taken Cherbourg, an important port, in late June. Twelve days after their trip, Operation Cobra was launched—the Allied operation to break out of Normandy.