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    From The O-K Corral To U-Boat Pens Of Festung Europa

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    Guest Rick Research


    You KNOW this one is going to haunt me, don't you?

    Oh sure, LOTS of German WW1 infantry officers (who were discharged from the NAVY at the end of WW2) were born in 1885 in

    Tombstone Arizona,

    sons of San Francisco wine merchant suicide?/robbery victims? killed by gunshot wounds to the brain.


    I HATE "unfinished" stories!!!!! :cheeky:

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    Guest Rick Research

    That's just more bizarre. He must have been a 60 year old Kapit?nleutnant dR zV in the Matrosenartillerie or some such ground service... can't imagine how or WHY he would have been in the Kriegsmarine rather than back in the Heer.

    Boggle boggle.

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    • 2 years later...
    Guest Rick Research

    Here's a re-cap of the documents, and --thanks to Paul C's authorized new edition of the legendary Lohman-Hildebrand "Die Deutsche Kriegsmarine 1939-1945"-- explanation of the WHERE that menu was prepared. :cheers:

    1) Award document for silver (?mattweiss?) Wound Badge to Leutnant dL II Hans Leptin (SIC?Leptien) I. / Landwehr Inf Rgt 84 (1st Landwehr Division)??born 5.7.1885 in Tomstone (SIC) Admin Dist Arizona United States of North America.? Signed on 30 October 1918 by Scribble, Hptm dL II. on the regimental staff.

    Probably the ONLY 1918 Wound Badge document ever made out to somebody from the place where the Earps and Doc Holliday faced down them Clantons. :speechless1::rolleyes:

    1st Landwehr Division was rated as ?3rd class? and ?mediocre? by British intelligence. It had served on the Eastern Front since creation as 10th Landwehr Division in East Prussia 1914?renamed 1st in July 1915. Riga front to July 1916, then in Volhynia on the River Stochod to November 1917. Brought to Belgium and retrained fro Western Front warfare, serving in Belgium March 1918. ?Exceedingly heavy losses? from an unsuccessful attack in the St. Julien-Hooge sector 26 April 1918. Out of the line 28 July to 3 October (!) 1918, then committed to defense against the American (!) Meuse offensive to war?s end, losing heavily.

    Somehow in all this, Leptien was wounded 3 or 4 times--belying the "3rd rate sector holding" stereotype we have of landwehr units.

    2) Certificate of Demobilization for German prisoners of war to Hans Hermann Leptien, born Tombstone ?U.S.A.? 5.7.85, ?Kaufmann? of Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, from the German NAVY. Double date stamped 28.Sept. 1946 and 19. Nov. 1946 from FRENCH ?Cage d?Armee No. 1,? release signed by Lt de Feydeau, commanding Transit Depot 1 (in Tuttlingen?). Stamps from Hilfskomitee f?r deutsche Kriegsgefangenen Bad Kreuznach, and Stadtsversorgungs- u- Wirtschaftsamt Stadt Kiel and ?Schalter B? Bad Kreuznach 9 November 1946.

    Leptien?s as yet unexplained naval service is ? bizarre. According to the farewell-and-birthday party menu of 5 July 1944 above, he was a 59 year old ?KaptLt!? The other officers named as ?departing? were all U-boat officers who continued on active submarine service to war?s end, who were serving out of the U-boat base at St. Nazaire in France. Presumably Leptien was left behind with the support staff until capitulation in May 1945?but whether he had freakishly become a KaptLt zS dR or a KaptLt (V) zV or? ???? is unknown. He was not listed in Lohmann-Hildebrand. The other 4 ?menu? officers were?

    Karl BORM, born 10.08.11, KaptLt zS (01.04.41), on staff of the 7th U-boat Flotilla from October 1943 to July 1944;

    Otto TINSCHERT, born 02.03.15, KaptLt zS (01.09.42), commander of ?U-267? from July 1942 to July 1944;

    Heinrich SCHROETELER, born 10.12.15, KaptLt zS (01.04.43), commander of ?U-667? October 1942 to May 1944, then at disposition of Naval High Command/2nd Department Seekriegsleitung, Commander of Submarines-Operations May to July 1944;

    Ernst von WITZENDORF(F), born 26.06.16, Oberleutnant zS, promoted KaptLt zS 01.01.45, commander of ?U-650? November 1942 to July 1944. Name spelled wrong on menu.

    3) Certificate of Death from City and County of Los Angeles, California, June 5, 1894 #5579. Reporting Julius Leptien, age 37, ?wine man? born in Germany, died in the Receiving Hospital April 13, 1894 of a ?gunshot wound of brain.? Buried Cypress Lawn Cemetery. Countersigned and stamped by the Imperial German Consulate in San Francisco 5 June 1894. ($1.80 fee for this was Real Money back then!)

    Obviously Hans Herman?s father, though there is no mention of any next of kin. Suicide? Robbery? Unstated. ?Julius? Leptien was apparently the ?August? Leptien, ?laborer age 23, born Prussia, parents born Prussia? enumerated in the U.S. 1880 Census as one of 46 residents of Claus Kock?s hotel in the 4th Ward of San Francisco.

    So Hans Herman spent at least the first 9 years of his life in Arizona/California before being taken to Germany by his currently unknown mother (?). Julius/August had been in the western United States for at least 14 years and could have become an American citizen-- which would have made oall of this weird tale disappear, if only he had. :rolleyes:

    4) Postcard from the Mecklenburg Genealogy Chancery 11.08.37 to Hans Leptien of Leptien & Wessel Company in Kiel advising that since one Otto Christof Bock died in Rostock after 1875, he would have to obtain a death certificate directly from that city.

    Presumably some ?Aryan? paperwork concerning ? his maternal grandfather perhaps.

    5) Walter Arp Drivers School, Kiel contract for son Hans Leptien, born 16.09.20, on 20.10.37. Contracting for 5 lessons at RM 6 each and signed by the 17 year old Leptien. (Of all the things to have survived 72 years-- a World and Cold Wars!!!!)

    6-7) With these were two separate 4 page folios on applying to a navy petty officer preparatory school for the Class of October 1941 with one sheet on regulations of the requirements and the second blank forms for signing parental permission and the boy?s sworn intent to serve 12 years after the 3 year course. I'll post those separately in the Kriegsmarine section since they were never filled out and will be of interest there. So apparently there was another young Leptien son born 1926-27.

    This has GOT to be one of the most freakishly bizarre life stories I have ever encountered!

    Naturally, when anyone thinks of freakish and weird, :unsure: they think of me. This genealogical "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" display has come to live at my house, with the exception of the menu. THANKS Barry-- I have FINALLY found somebody with a more peculiar family tree than my own!!!! :cheeky: :cheers:

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