Mr. and Mrs. William Roeber, of Winnebago township, have received a copy of a Long Island, New York, newspaper in which was published the following account of the death of Private Walter Roeber:
Born in Germany, Private Roeber was killed in action in Normandy.
Roeber was brought to this country when he was 11 months old with a brother and two sisters. Mrs. Roeber explained they sought "the American way of life."
"I wanted my children to enjoy personal freedom. They have found it in this country, even though one of my sons had to die for it. Many times my children have thanked their father and me for leaving the land of their birth," Mrs. Roeber said.
Roeber's father, George, spent six years as a German soldier. He fought in the last war and spent more than three years in a French prison camp. He fought under the German flag on soil less that 200 miles where his son fell.
"Walter was proud of his citizenship," Mrs. Roeber said. "He became a citizen while he was in the Army." In one of his letters home Roeber wrote, "Mama, it is up to us to liberate the slaves. And this time we are going to do it right."
Mrs. Roeber revealed that she heard by telephone from her oldest son, Hans, an infantry corporal, that he is back in this country on a furlough. He has been away for more than two years in the Aleutians, and has participated in action at Kiska and Attu.
"When Hans signed up with the National Guard before Pear Harbor, I warned him that some day he might have to fight against his cousins in Germany," said Mrs. Roeber, "He felt the same as Walter, that the 'American way' must be preserved."
The other two Roeber children, natives of Germany, but now citizens of this country, are both married to service men.
Margaret is now Mrs. Francis McCauley. Her husband is with the Merchant Marines and has been torpedoed once.
Elizabeth's husband, Henry Bardhagen, a private in the Army, is an interpreter of German. He is also studying Japanese.
Roeber attended Public School 10 in Astoria. He was a printer at the time of his induction in October, 1943. He was shipped overseas in march, 1944, spending his 19th birthday on board ship.
Roeber's father is an employee of the New York Central railroad. Three other children, born in this country, Mary Lou, 8; Frank, 14; Alfred, 12, are pupils of Public School 126 in Astoria.
The George Roeber family were once residents of Houston county.
Source: Newspaper clipping from the scrapbook of my grandmother, Virginia (Roeber) Sires. The clipping is hand dated September 1944.