In the packet of pictures my dad sent home to his father from Germany (1946) were two of unusual size compared to the smaller pictures that were taken with whatever small cameras they had back then. Both pictures are of his military police unit and are interesting in their own right.
The first one is captioned Co. B. 504th MP BN, Cologne Detachment. Dad was in the 3rd platoon. Dad is the 7th guy, back row, counting from the left.
The back of both photos has a stamp that reads:
Walter H. Schmitt
Theater, Presse, Sport
It appears that Walter Schmitt was the photographer recruited to take the unit pictures. Walter seems to be advertising he is a photographer for the theater, the press and sporting events. Koln is Cologne in English and I’m think Merheim may be a suburb of Koln. Lobositzstr 2 is the street name.
My guess it was only Company B that served in the British Zone of Occupation which is why the picture is captioned as it is. The billet in the background does not look too bad. I’m sure the occupation forces lived better than most of the Germans since most of the city was destroyed by bombing.
The second picture further below is a little more interesting. It appears to be a cropped image from another company picture taken on a second occasion. In the first picture most of the MPs are wearing clearly marked MP helmet liners and “Ike” jackets.
In the second picture they are wearing the famous “Ike” jacket but the over seas cap instead of a helmet liner. It’s interesting to see how the men wore them. They all seem to have a different angle while only a few seem to have the cap centered properly. My dad’s in particular (2nd man from the right, back row) is cocked to one side.
I remember him telling me that when he was in the Army he was “cocky” and a “smart ass” and he kind of looks the part in this picture!
The back of the picture has the names of the soldiers on it. Unfortunately, only last names, and my dad’s scrawl is hard to read at times. But here they are going from left to right.
Schoffer, Ross, Schuldt, Mayor, Pritibord, Roeder, Schloesser
Shomaker, May, Hordy, Woddell, Coffey-Corporal stripes, Roat or Roah?
Mercier, McNulty, Rumberger, Rossa, Mendez
If memory serves me Rossa was one of dad’s jeep partners and may have been from Milwaukee as was my father.
You can see the 5th Army patch on my dad’s Ike jacket and on Woddell’s in the middle row. Corporal Coffey appears to have a larger, different version of the patch on his jacket.
When researching Cologne on WIKI I came across this tidbit:
During World War II, Cologne was a Military Area Command Headquarters (Militärbereichshauptkommandoquartier) for the Military District (Wehrkreis) VI of Münster. Cologne was under the command of Lieutenant-General Freiherr Roeder von Diersburg, who was responsible for military operations in Bonn, Siegburg, Aachen, Jülich, Düren, and Monschau. Cologne was home to the 211th Infantry Regiment and the 26th Artillery Regiment.
The German General who commanded the district during the war was a Roeder! Perhaps he is related?
- What did you do in the war dad? part 1 (broeder10.wordpress.com)