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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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St. Louis Jewish Light

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Etched in Stone: Temple Israel’s memorials honor just some of St. Louis war heroes

As a young boy in the late 1970s going to Sunday school at Congregation Temple Israel, I got dropped off and picked up on the Spoede Road side. But I always wished I could get dropped off on the other side because as a young World War II buff, I was always struck by the stone markers on the outside wall, near the entrance to the May Chapel.

Whenever the teachers would haul us down to that chapel, I would drift to the back and then ditch whatever we were doing to go look at the memorials. I’m not exaggerating for dramatic purposes here, I would literally stand there in my Keds, with my socks pulled up to my knees, and just look at the names.

The markers I was looking at honor the names of  TI congregants who fought and died in all of America’s wars since World War I in 1917. Back then, I only had two markers of names to read. Today, there are three.

In honor of Memorial Day and with the help of several websites including, HonorStates.org, New Mt. Sinai Cemetery, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, The World War II Memorial Registry and the Jewish Light archives, I’ve been able to go beyond the stone markers to find out what I could about the men and women who lost their lives for our freedom.

1917 – 1918


Jerome L. Goldman
Jerome L. Goldman. Courtesy of HonorStates.org

Jerome L. Goldman
Born: May 5, 1888
Died: June 12, 1918
Service Branch: Marines
Rank:  Second Lieutenant
Unit/Group:  5th Marine Regiment
Casualty Type:  Killed in Action
Location: Belleau Woods, France
Burial: New Mount Sinai Cemetery and Mausoleum, Affton
Awards: Purple Heart

Goldman enlisted as a private shortly after the U.S. entered WW I. After receiving his commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was sent to France in January of 1918. Six months later, he was killed while leading an attack on the German lines during the battle of Belleau Woods. Lt. Goldman was buried in a military cemetery in France until 1921, when his remains were returned to his family in St. Louis.

Alfred Kreisman

St. Louisan Alfred Kreisman died of pneumonia while at stationed at Fort Omaha Balloon School. Balloons at the time, were valuable military weapons and the school trained soldiers to become balloon pilots and observers. Kreisman, who worked at Barnes Hospital before entering the military was assigned to the fort’s medical division. He had only been there six months before his death in Oct. of 1918.

David Susman
David Susman, on the right, with two friends before WWI

David Susman

By the time young St. Louisan Dave Susman died of influenza on Sept. 28, 1918, in the Great Lakes Naval Hospital, the flu pandemic was already into its second deadly wave. Of medium height and build, Susman had graduated from Soldan High School and then worked at Weil Clothing Co. at 8th Street and Washington Avenue before being drafted.

He arrived at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in late July 1918 and two months later was in the hospital there. Two days after entering the hospital, Susman died. It was only nine weeks after he joined the military. Susman was one of an estimated 43,000 U.S. servicemen who died from influenza.

Dr. Joseph L. Swarts
Birthplace: St. Louis
Residence: 5539 Clemens Ave., St. Louis
Induction Date: July 30, 1918
Branch: Army
Rank: First Lieutenant
Division: 89th Division / Medical Department / 157th Base Hospital
Casualty Type: Died Dec. 24, 1918 of Empyema (form of pneumonia) at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

Lawrence S. Wise

No information available.


Joseph M. Berger, lll

No infomation available

Wallace N. Emmer

Born: Nov. 18, 1917
Died: Feb. 15, 1945
Service Branch: Army Air Force
Rank:  Captain
Unit/Group:  354 Fighter Group, 353 Fighter Squadron
Casualty Type:  Died of heart attack while being held a POW.
Location: Dulag Luft Wetzlar
Burial: New Mount Sinai Cemetery and Mausoleum, Affton, St. Louis County, Missouri
Awards: Purple Heart

Wallace Emmer enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1941. He was sent to Luke Field in Arizona where became a pilot officer on Sept. 29, 1942. Initially assigned to the 20th Fighter Group, he was later transferred to the 354th Fighter Group, 353rd Fighter Squadron in January 1943. His promotion to lieutenant followed on April 21, 1943.

Emmer arrived in England in September 1943. His combat prowess quickly became evident as he achieved his first aerial victories and was promoted to captain on Jan. 15, 1944. He reached Ace status on May 14, 1944, by shooting down two Me-109 fighters.

On Aug. 9, 1944, Capt. Emmer was promoted to 353rd Squadron Commander. Tragically, on the same day during an afternoon mission over Reims, France, he was shot down and captured. Emmer was initially held at Stalag 12A in Bad Orb before being transferred to Stalag 9B in Limburg-An-Der-Lahn, Germany.

Capt. Emmer’s life ended on Feb. 15, 1945, at Dulag Luft-Wetzlar. Scheduled for release to the Red Cross due to his injuries, he succumbed to a fatal heart attack triggered by an air raid siren. Emmer is credited with 16 aerial victories, including two shared and one probable.

Emmer’s sacrifice was mirrored by his brother, Private First Class Raymond P. Emmer, who served in the 99th Infantry Division, 394th Infantry Regiment. PFC Raymond Emmer was killed in action in Germany on Nov. 18, 1944, at the age of 19.

Both of their graves can be seen as part of the New Mt. Sinai Cemetery tour.

Fred Golding
According to the National Archives, Fred Golding is listed among the World War II Army casualties from Missouri.

Philip Gram

Died: March 19, 1944
Service Branch: Army Air Force
Rank:  First Lieutenant
Unit/Group: 98th Bomber Group, Heavy, 415th Bomber Squadron
Casualty Type: Missing in action or lost at sea
Location: Unknown
Burial: He is memorialized at Tablets of the Missing at North Africa American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia. This is an American Battle Monuments Commission location.
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart

Lionel M. Herman

No infomation available

Louis E. Hirschberg

Died: Nov. 26, 1943
Service Branch: Navy
Rank: Fire Controlman, first class
Unit/Group: USS Houston, Asiatic Fleet
Casualty Type: Hirschberg was captured by the Japanese after the sinking of his ship the U.S.S. Houston (CA-30), on 28 Feb. 1942, and was interned as a prisoner of war until his death while in captivity.
Location: Burma
Burial: Unknown
Awards: Prisoner of War Medal

Robert Leventhal

Died: Sept. 16, 1943
Branch: Army Air Forces
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Unit/Group: 388th Bomber Group, Heavy, 562nd Bomber Squadron
Casualty Type: Leventhal was killed in action” when his B-17, after receiving battle damage on a bombing raid over La Pallice, France, crash landed at Upper Cilgee Farm, Llanure, two miles from Llandrindod Wells, Wales, England during the war.

Location: Burma
Burial: Plot C Row 4 Grave 64, Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England
Awards: Air Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart

Alvin B. Waton

Born: Sept. 25, 1915
Died: April 9, 1943
Service Branch: Royal Canadian Air Force
Rank:  Pilot Officer
Casualty Type:  Reported missing in action
Location: Belleau Woods, France
Burial: B’nai Amoona Cemetery

David Wohl, Jr.

Born: Jan. 23, 1923
Died: March 3, 1944
Service Branch: Army Air Forces
Rank:  Second Lieutenant, Bombardier
Unit/Group: 447th Bomber Group, Heavy, 710th Bomber Squadron
Casualty Type: Missing in Action
Location: North Sea, Wesermunde-Bremerhaven, Germany
Burial: He is memorialized at Tablets of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. This is an American Battle Monuments Commission location.
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

Wohl was a graduate of Country Day School and was attending William and Mary College when he volunteered for the U.S. Air Corps in Richmond, Virg. on June 27, 1942.

On March 3, 1944, he was on the crew of the B-17G “Paper Doll” during a mission to bomb industrial areas in Berlin. Due to deteriorating weather and dense contrails, the formations had to abort. They turned back for home and crossed another formation. They collided head on with another B-17 and crashed into the North Sea with the loss of the entire crews of both planes.

Joseph Wolfort

Born: Jan. 1, 1920
Casualty Date: May 27, 1944
Service Branch: Army Air Forces
Rank:  First Lieutenant, Pilot
Unit/Group: 339th Fighter Group, 503rd Fighter Squadron
Casualty Type: Died of wounds while prisoner of war
Location: Munster, Germany
Burial: Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial Neuville-en-Condroz, Liege, Belgium, Plot D, Row 7, Grave 17
Awards: Prisoner of War Medal, Air Medal, Purple Heart

On May 27, 1944, Wolfort was piloting his P-51B Mustang during a bomber escort mission to Berlin. They were attacked by flak in the vicinity Ulzin, Germany. His plane was hit and he was wounded. He bailed out, survived the landing and was captured at Amelsburen-Munster. He died in the Army Hospital and was buried at the hospital cemetery.

1946 – Present

The following article by Editor-in-Chief Ellen Futterman was originally published on May 28, 2009 in honor of Roslyn Littmann Schulte.

Remembering Roslyn: Air Force officer killed in Afghanistan

People were everywhere you looked at Congregation Temple Israel on Memorial Day, seated shoulder-to-shoulder in the sanctuary, standing along the walls to the right and left of the pews, packed into the back breeze way, and spilling into the lobby. Outside, stretched across the front of the Creve Coeur synagogue, members of the Patriot Guard Riders, many dressed in motorcycle gear, stood quietly holding American flags. Nearby, an empty ultramarine blue U.S. Air Force bus sat parked.

On Memorial Day Monday, about 1,300 relatives, friends, U.S. military personnel and community members gathered to pay their respects and honor the memory of Air Force 1st Lt. Roslyn Schulte, 25, who was killed May 20 by a roadside bomb near Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the daughter of Robert and Susie Schulte of Ladue; the family has long belonged to Congregation Temple Israel and Roslyn Schulte was confirmed there.

“Memorial Day will never be the same,” said Rabbi Mark Shook, who presided over the 11 a.m. funeral service. “No one in this place now will ever take Memorial Day for granted again.

“Now we know that real people die in war. Now we know that people with loving parents die in war. Now we know that people we honor and respect die in war.”

By all accounts, Lt. Schulte was an amazing young woman who positively affected the lives of so many. Speaking from the pulpit at the funeral, her boyfriend, Capt. Bruce Cohn, an Air Force pilot stationed in Honolulu, spoke of all the joy she brought him and others and how she taught him what unconditional love is all about. He revealed that he planned to ask her to marry him after her return from deployment in August. In an example of her thoughtfulness and desire to take care of others, Cohn said she sent him care packages from Afghanistan instead of the other way around.

“I told her I loved her every single day and she told me that, too. . . I hope to live the rest of my life to meet her expectations,” he said.

U.S. Army Col. Pamela L. Martis, who wrote a letter to the family expressing her condolences, said she got to know Lt. Schulte when she arrived in Afghanistan and “was immediately impressed with her spirit and positive attitude.”

“1st Lt. Schulte was a humble and caring person who made those around her feel they could do anything they set their minds to,” said Martis. “She was beautiful, inside and out, and you have every right to be proud of her commitment, dedication and service to our nation for the cause of freedom. Roz epitomized selfless service in all she did. Her caring and quiet professionalism was such an inspiration to those around her.”

From Ladue to Kabul

Born on March 18, 1984, Lt. Schulte was named for her maternal grandmother, Roslyn Littmann, who, along with her husband, Ellis, was killed in a fire in 1980 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Roslyn and Ellis Littmann lived in Clayton and were active members of the St. Louis Jewish community. Lt. Schulte’s great-great-great grandfather, Max Littmann, was one of the founding members of Temple Israel, said Rabbi Shook.

Lt. Schulte attended Conway Elementary School, spent a year at Ladue Middle School, and attended John Burroughs School, graduating in 2002. She continued on to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she majored in political science, interned for former U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo. and captained the lacrosse team. She became a group commander, one of the Academy’s highest positions on campus, and was responsible for overseeing 1,000 cadets.

After graduating from the Air Force Academy with academic and military honors in 2006, she was commissioned as a military intelligence officer and spent 10 months at intelligence school at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. In April 2007, she was assigned as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance officer to the 613th Air and Space Operations Center, Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces Command, at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii. She reported to Afghanistan in February 2009 as part of the Combined Security Transition Command, and worked with Afghan military officials, teaching them how to gather and interpret intelligence.

Lt. Schulte was killed while traveling in a convoy from Camp Eggers, Kabul to Bagram Airfield to participate in an intelligence sharing conference. Also killed was Shawn Pines, a 51-year-old contractor and father of three from Texas, who, coincidentally was also Jewish, said Lt. Schulte’s mother, Susie.

Lt. Schulte’s death was the first combat-related death of a female graduate since the Academy opened to women in 1976, the school reported.

A Natural Born Leader

Lt. Schulte seemed to know what she wanted at a very young age and would not be deterred.

“Roz, the beautiful force to be reckoned with has come home,” said Rabbi Shook. “A beautiful force to be reckoned with — that’s how she was described in nursery school,” he added.

Indeed, her pre-school teacher at Ladue Early Childcare Center recalled how at the age of three, little Roslyn, who was known to come to the school in some “unusual” outfits (“she clearly dressed herself,” the teacher noted), refused to wear socks.

“She was a wonderful child, but she never wore socks, which was OK with us except when it was winter and we were going outside to play in the snow,” recalled the teacher, Melissa Krause, of Olivette. “We told her she had a choice — either put on socks or sit in the director’s office while the rest of us went outside to play in the snow. And so Roz made the choice to sit in the director’s office.”

Susie Schulte smiled at the recollection about her daughter’s refusal to wear socks, adding that at the age of 6, she even threatened not to wear them on a family ski trip. “Roz was charming, wonderful, caring, loving, determined, very skilled, articulate — you name the adjective — and well, yes, maybe a little obstinate,” she said. “In saying these things, through this whole awful ordeal, the pride that we have is almost indescribable.”

Her parents said Lt. Schulte exhibited natural leadership skills at an early age, and developed an interest in flying as young as 12. “She loved to go to the airport and watch the 2 p.m. Air National Guard,” Susie Schulte said. “We joked that as a kid, she had seen Top Gun one too many times.”

As a teenager, Roslyn went to some summer camps to see what cadet life was like, her mother said, adding, “She wanted to be a fighter pilot.”

Lt. Schulte excelled both academically and athletically; the latter quality, her mother says, she inherited from her father. At Burroughs, she played field hockey, swam, was captain of the state championship lacrosse team and became an All-American lacrosse player.

“Roz really embraced challenges with her arms wide open,” said Allison Laycob, 25, who attended Burroughs with Lt. Schulte and just graduated from law school at Cornell University. “I never heard her say she was scared. She was always focused on the other person–asking me about me, about law school, about my life. She cared about people with all her heart. That’s a characteristic I want to model.”

A Fitting Tribute

At the funeral service, Lt. Schulte’s only sibling, Todd, told how his sister had called him at the end of her third year at the Academy to say she had decided to pursue military intelligence rather than aviation, which had been her longtime passion.

“She had come to the conclusion that she would be happier not flying, that she could better serve her country and do more good on another path,” said Todd Schulte, 28, who graduated from Harvard University and is now chief of staff to Rep. Scott Murphy, D-N.Y. “And I was set aback. At an institution that pushed so many of its best and brightest into the cockpit, here was my sister — only 20 — saying she saw happiness and service away from the glamorous path that for eight years she had sought with wholehearted focus. . . It was at that moment I realized she wasn’t a little sister anymore, but a woman of incredible wisdom. I admired her more than any other and I felt like a little brother in awe.

“Roz’s was a brilliant life worth celebrating, much too short,” he continued. “It is impossible to appropriately summarize the unparalleled spark she brought to an all-loving mother and father, a ferociously proud brother, a beloved boyfriend, a wonderful family and, for lack of a better word, an army of friends and fellow soldiers.”

Those who knew her spoke of her determination, her moral conviction and her generosity of spirit. “In addition to her professional competence, Lt. Schulte demonstrated exemplary humanitarian concern for the people of Afghanistan” as an active volunteer, organizing and distributing food, clothing and supplies to needy Afghan families, Rep. Murphy told the U.S. House of Representatives in paying tribute to Lt. Schulte’s death. Susie Schulte said she would often go to Target at her daughter’s request to buy shoes and other supplies to ship to Afghanistan.

Lt. Schulte was buried at New Mount Sinai Cemetery in Affton, next to her maternal grandmother for whom she was named. Rain came pouring down as hundreds of cars in the procession made their way to the cemetery, but it stopped in time for the burial, which was marked by a 21-gun salute and flyover by an Air Force C-17 transport. The same plane had transported about 40 of her co-workers from Hickam to the funeral; before it began, they presented family members with special leis, one of which was placed inside the grave. Lt. Schulte was buried with all of her medals, including the Bronze Star and a couple of childhood dolls.

Navy Lt. Shivan Sivalingam, Lt. Schulte’s closest friend at Camp Eggers, said she “was truly an exceptional person.”

“Usually, when you hear that about someone who just died, it’s almost always an exaggeration. With Roz, it’s not,” Sivalingam said after learning of Lt. Schulte’s death.

“She passed up on the Ivy leagues to go to the Air Force Academy. She qualified for state in five different sports in high school, was an all-American in college, a qualified pilot. She was always kind to others. She went out of her way to call her mom and dad two or three times a week every week she was here.

“I think it’s ironic that this is happening just shy of Memorial Day, but I hope you will think of her this day,” he added.

The 1st Lt. Roslyn L. Schulte Cadet Award was established in 2009.
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About the Contributor
Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.