I'm so saddened that he had to surrender all of his awards and really anything at all having to do with his service to germany when he emigrated to canada. That would tell us so much more! I'm surprised he was able to keep these photos. My guess is that they were smuggled in by my grandmother- she and my father arrived after he had been there for about a year.Volyn wrote: ↑16 Oct 2018 00:05This probably gives a partial explanation as to how he became a trained pyrotechnic in the Heer. He probably acquired some measure of "engineering" aptitude and maturity from that experience, especially compared to his peers.
We know his work ethic would have been shaped during his teenage years spent serving in RAD. It makes sense that someone with his background could wind up as a trained military pyrotechnic - he probably had the mental and physical aptitude to be trained to do almost anything in the Wehrmacht. The military ordinance profession requires a level of skill sets that would not be common for that era and combined with his Mountaineering abilities he really was quite a soldier. It is no wonder he survived the ordeals that he went through from 1939-1948.
It is also interesting that he was not inducted directly into the Kreigsmarine since he was already a Merchant Marine! How ironic that he ended up in the Heer and fought as a member of the 1st Mountain Division; that is about as physically different and diverse as it can get - your book will be very interesting.
I can look into this further.
Is it common to not be able to find records on an entire family during this time period? I can't even find birth or marriage records for him, my dad or my grandmother. He appears on American crew lists before the war and immigration records from Canada to the U.S. but nothing from Germany.