Henry Herman Rothschild
T/5 in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : HQ & Service Co
Born 1920 in Germany, Died 2004
County of residence at enlistment: Cook County, IL
Other residence(s): Chicago, IL; Washington, DC; Boca Raton, FL; Kauai, HI
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: decorators and window dressers
Henry Rothschild was born on January 31, 1920 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. His birth name was Heinz, which was later anglicized to Henry.
He emigrated to the United States on April 2, 1936, at the age of 16, to live with his uncle Bernhard in Chicago. The shipboard manifest says that his profession was "apprentice." His parents and sister Helga/Julie came a year later, in May 1937.
When Henry registered for the draft, on July 1, 1941, he was working at Goldblatt's, a discount retailer, as a window trimmer. When he enlisted in the Army, on September 5, 1942, he stated that he had three years of high school, was working as a window dresser, and was not yet a US citizen.
With some artistic credentials, Henry ended up in the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion of the Ghost Army. It was while he was stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland, five months after enlisting, that he petitioned for US citizenship. Ghost Army soldiers LT Edward J. Cryer and CPL Ralph Kinnamon witnessed his petition.
A few months after that, on June 26, 1943, he married Ilse Flora Stengel--also German-born. They would become the parents of two children: Frank and Sharon.
Henry served overseas with the unit and returned to the US after he was discharged from the Army. Henry and Ilse eventually opened a restaurant in Washington, DC, running it for 25 years. In retirement they moved to Boca Raton, FL, and then in 2002 they moved to Kauai, HI, where their son Frank practiced law.
Henry died on August 4, 2004. His obituary says that he "is best remembered for his sense of humor and love for his wife of 61 years."
1936 immigration record
1937 immigration record of his parents and sister
1941 draft card
1942 enlistment record
1943 petition for citizenship
1943 DC marriage record
1982 mother's death notice in the Chicago Tribune
2004 Social Security death index
2004 obituary in The Garden Island (Kauai, HI)