PFC Raymond Phillip “Ray” Emmer

PFC Raymond Phillip “Ray” Emmer

Saint Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Death 18 Nov 1944 (aged 19)
Burial Affton, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Plot Lot 25, Section Q
Memorial ID 36779969 View Source
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Raymond P. Emmer enlisted in the U.S. Army in July, 1943 and was placed in the ASTP college program for advanced training. Later, due to the excessive infantry losses of the Army, the ASTP program was closed and he was transferred to 99th Division of the Infantry. At Camp Maxey, Texas, he was initially in F/394 but was transferred to H Company, 394th Infantry Regiment where he befriended William B. Williams, another former ASTP member. They were deployed to the ETO aboard a troopship in 1944 and arrived in Great Britain where they were readied for their troop movement to the European mainland. They landed at Le Havre, France in early Oct '44 and made a rapid transit across northern France and Belgium to end up in Aubel, Belgium where they "went on the line" to relieve other American army units.

Sadly, a letter from his mother caught up with Ray and he learned that his older brother, Bud (Capt. Wallace N. Emmer, USAAF), had been shot down in August. Though a parachute was seen by fellow flyers, Ray was convinced that his brother was dead and was distraught. He was an ammo bearer for a heavy weapons platoon (30cal machine gun) and they had moved just across the Belgian border into Germany and were dug in just west of the small town of Udenbreth. Ray was suffering from trench foot due to the lack of proper footgear and was in a bad physical & mental state. Late on the night of Nov. 18th Ray stepped out of his dugout and lit a cigarette. Within seconds accurate German mortar fire rained down around his registered position and Ray was mortally wounded. His buddy, Wm. Williams pulled him back into the dugout. Ray groaned once and was was his brother's birthday.

Many members of Ray's unit were to be killed, wounded and taken prisoner less than a month later when the Battle of The Bulge commenced early in the morning of Dec. 16, 1944 in
their area of the frontlines in SE Belgium near Elsenborn, Rochenrath and St. Vith.

Ray was buried in a military cemetery in Europe but his remains and those of his brother were returned to St. Louis in 1948 for interment with military honors in the family plot.

Family Members