PRIVATE FIRST CLASS GERHART “DUTCH” RISTAU; U.S. ARMY

January 15, 1910 (Plock, Poland) – January 18, 1999 (Norwalk, CT); 89 years old
Married Honnour Hackett (1912-2010) on January 31, 1931 in Torrington, CT
One son Theodore (1932-), and one daughter Dorothy (1931-)
Local address: 36 ½ Adams Avenue, and 44 Tierney Street, East Norwalk
Enlisted on January 3, 1944
Serial number 31409235
UNKNOWN INFANTRY UNIT

Immigrated from Poland at 1 ½ years old. Became naturalized citizen on January 11, 1944.

Held in German POW camp Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.


Photo from naturalization forms in 1944

From The Norwalk Hour December 29, 1944

Mrs. Honnour G. Ristau of 36 ½ Adams Avenue, received a telegram yesterday from the War Department that her husband, Private First Class Gerhart Ristau has been missing in action in Germany since December 4. He entered the Army on January 22, 1944, receiving his basic infantry training at Camp Wheeler, Georgia. After 17 weeks training, he was shipped overseas. Locally he was known as “Dutch” and was well-known in the community, having collected fat and bones for the New Haven Rendering Company until the time he went into the Army. He was a member of the Red Men. There are two children, Teddy 12, and Dorothy, 13. Teddy is a Norwalk Hour newsboy. Private First Class Ristau will be 36 years old in January.


From The Norwalk Hour March 20, 1945

A card from her husband, Private First Class Gerhart Ristau, reported by the War Department as missing in action in Germany since December 4, 1944, yesterday brought the news to Mrs. Honnour G. Ristau of 36 ½ Adams Avenue, that he was captured and is a prisoner of war in Germany. His message, sent December 12, says: “I have been taken prisoner of war in Germany. I am in good health. Slightly wounded. We will be transported from here to another camp within the next few days. Please don’t write until I get a new address.” Private First Class Ristau, known as “Dutch”, was with the New Haven Rendering Company of this city before he went into the service with the infantry on January 24, 1944. He has been overseas since July 1944. Rejoicing with Mrs. Ristau in the news that Private First Class Ristau is alive, are their two children: Dorothy, 13, and Teddy, 12, an Hour newsboy; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Ristau of Torrington, and a large circle of friends.


From The Norwalk Hour June 29, 1945

Private First Class Gerhart Ristau of 36 ½ Adams Avenue, who was a German prisoner for several months, arrived home on Saturday, June 23, for a 60-day furlough. He will report to a rest camp in the south, after the completion of the 60 days.


Buried in Saint John’s Cemetery, Richards Avenue, Norwalk CT; unknown plot number


Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: