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Emil Potzer


Date and Place of Birth: January 1, 1919 Plymouth, PA
Date and Place of Death:    June 15, 1944 Normandy, France
Baseball Experience: College
Position: Pitcher
Rank: First Lieutenant
Military Unit: Company C, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, US Army
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Emil "Bish" Potzer was born on January 1, 1919, in Plymouth, Pennsylvania. Plymouth was a coal mining area and money was scarce for the Potzer family. Yet, the Plymouth High School standout athlete earned a degree from Rutgers University, working at a bar in a hotel to earn his way. "[He] knocked himself out to get a college education," remembers classmate Leonard Weissburg. "[Emil was] just a generally nice person."

At Rutgers, Potzer played varsity baseball and football and was an ROTC cadet. He entered the Army immediately upon graduating in May 1943 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in September 1943
at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In June 1944, First Lieutenant Potzer was sent to Europe as part of an officer replacement pool. Attached to Company C, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, he was killed in action in France on June 15, 1944.

First Lieutenant Potzer
, who had wanted to be a football or baseball coach after the war, is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery in France.

Emil Potzer

Emil Potzer (back row, third from left) with the 1937 Plymouth High School football team

Some of this information was obtained from the Oral History Archives of Rutgers University. Thanks to Astrid van Erp for help with this biography.

Date Added February 5, 2013. Update August 6, 2017

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