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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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This article was contributed by Holly Cook

Mess Kit Found On Field Of Battle Is Sheboygan Boy’s


Parents of Paul Sass Who Was Killed In World War Receive Letter From A resident In Germany

Tender memories of their 24-year-old boy - and quiet tears yet unabated after 20 years - were brought to Mr. and Mrs. Edward A Sass, 1505 Georgia avenue, with the news from Germany that a mess kit used by their soldier had been lately found in the Argonne Forest near where shrapnel fatally wounded him.

The mess kit, as inscribed by Paul Sass while serving as a mechanic with Company G, 59th infantry, will be sent to the parents to be kept as a memento.

"He was a good boy," Mrs. Sass said as she took the photo of a clean-cut looking young fellow from the piano and gazed at it.

Steindl With Him

John Steindl, just appointed acting city treasurer, left with Mr. Sass Nov. 19, 1917, for training camp from Sheboygan. They sailed for France during May of 1918 and were together in action until Mr. Steindl, then a sergeant, was wounded and sent to a hospital Oct. 1 of the same year. Two days after Mr. Steindl was wounded, young Sass was fatally injured by shrapnel.

The letter, received by mayor Willard M. Sonnenburg to be turned over to the parents of the young soldier along with a photograph of the cooking utensil, was written in German.

Translated it is as follows:

"Dear Mayor:"

"I am in possession of a cooking utensil belonging to an American soldier from the World war, as per photograph. I would return it to the owner, if still alive, his family or the regiment which he served, when the cooking utensil is wanted as a souvenir from the Great war."

From Germany

"You may communicate with me directly or through the consulate."

"Thanking you for your work and efforts in advance."

"Yours very truly,"

Johann Stumpf

Deputy collector

Reutingen Wuertt, Germany."

The grief of the boy’s parents was much greater at the time they received news of his death than it would have ordinarily been had they been notified immediately. They received no word, however, until Nov. 27, 1918, after the Armistice had been signed and after the nations of the world were again at peace.

Because of communication between nations during the war and immediately after the Armistice notification of his death was delayed almost two months.

Name Is Inscribed On Kit

Shown above is a picture of the mess kit carried by Paul Sass during the World war in which he was killed. The inscription, which can be plainly read, was put on by him while overseas. The utensil will be returned to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward A Sass, to be kept as a memento.


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