Archive for October, 2020

We are thrilled to tell you that another 111th soldier’s family has been found. With lots of help from our Spanish sleuth and blog friend Fano Suarez, we located and sent a letter to the daughter of Ray Goodhart, one of my dad’s best buddies during the war.

Most unfortunately, though, we learned that Sandra, Ray’s daughter, had passed away just a few weeks earlier. But her husband, Leo, her granddaughter Kim, and great-grandson Stephen have sent us photos. We’ve had several nice phone conversations with Leo about Ray and what a great guy he was. Some of the photos are duplicates of ones my dad and some other men had—confirming that the men shared prints. Ray also had some Dutch tiles, one of which Leo says featured a Dutch girl like some others some families have found. They no doubt came from the tile factory in Maastricht where the men stayed for a while during their advance into Germany in spring 1945.

Ray was an armorer during the war. From St. Louis, he joined the unit at Camp Bowie, Texas, in 1942 and was with one of the last groups to be sent home from Brake, Germany, in September 1945. Ray passed away in 1999.

Ray visiting USS Carl Vinson in the 1980s or 1990s
At Camp Shanks, NY, waiting to go home, fall 1945; Ray is in the back row, third from left. Next to him on the left is Don McGowan, and on the right is Ray Buggert.
Ray had his portrait taken in Brownwood, TX, 1942 while at Camp Bowie.
Ray at left in Brake, Germany, summer 1945. That’s Ed Ziemba next to him.
At Camp Bowie, TX. Ray is second from left. I think that may be my dad, Bill Johnson, on the right next to him. Ray Buggert is on the far right.
Ray with his cousin in Paris, August 1944; he happened to run into to him on the street on the day he was there!