Brookline War Memorial
Vincent J. Reitmeyer

United States Army (1775-present)

Sgt. Vincent J. Reitmeyer - United States Army
Cook (1942-1945)

Vincent J. Reitmeyer was born on May 26, 1911, the fifth of ten children of Rose and August Reitmeyer. He had six brothers, Harry, Frederick, John, Leo, Gilbert and Ralph, and three sisters, Frances, Rita and Jean. The Reitmeyer family lived at 1829 Woodward Avenue, then moved to 516 Bellaire Avenue in 1930.

Vince was a graduate of Resurrection Elementary and left South Hills High School at age sixteen to work as a meat cutter for a local grocer. After a few years working alongside a professional butcher, Vince had mastered the trade and had achieved quite a reputation at carving a side of beef.

At age thirty, on March 13, 1942, Vince was drafted into the United States Army. The master butcher was, without much debate, rated as a cook. From the beginning, Vince's prowess with the clever earned him a reputation as a man skilled in the art of preparing meat. He achieved the rank of Sergeant before sailing for Italy on January 12, 1944.

A typical front-line mess kitchen, Italy 1944
A Tank destroyer crew show their enthusiasm at the arrival of the rations
truck with their Christmas turkey. 5th Army, Bisomo Area, Italy.

For almost two years stationed here in the United States, Vince fed the trainees passing through the early stages of the American War Machine. Then, during his twenty month tour of duty on the Italian boot, Vince traveled along with his unit, keeping the chow lines moving and his troops well fed.

Vince Reitmeyer was serving in Northern Italy when the War in Europe came to an end on May 7, 1945. He was discharged from the service five months later, on October 24.

After the war, Vince and his wife Helen purchased a home in Brookline, where they lived with their son Hugh David. Vince worked as a butcher for several of the local grocery chains. He passed away on July 7, 1983 and is buried at Saint John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery.

Saint John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery

NOTE: The Reitmeyer family has quite a storied legacy of military tradition. It began with John Reitmeyer in 1929 and has continued through three generations until today. Click here to read about the amazing service record and sacrifice of this remarkable Brookline family.

* Written by Clint Burton: May 26, 2012 - Updated April 14, 2018 *

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