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Second Engineer
Frederick Henry Schmidt, Jr.

Merchant Marines

June 16, 1908 - March 17, 1943


Gold Star Mother
Augusta Knote Schmidt

Frederick Henry Schmidt, Jr. was a Merchant Marine aboard the Harry Luckenbach when, on March 17, 1943, Uboat-91 fired five torpedoes at the HX-229 convoy in which the Luckenbach was traveling. The convoy was about 400 miles east-southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland.The Harry Luckenbach was the only ship hit and sunk in the convoy. The ship had been sailing an evasive zigzag course out in front of the convoy, but had moved back to its station. The sinking only took three minutes after two torpedoes hit on the starboard side. 45 crew members and 26 armed guards abandoned the ship in three lifeboats, but they were not picked up. Frederick Schmidt and all of his shipmates perished and the bodies were never recovered.


A service will be held Monday, September 4, at 10 A. M. in the USO building for the posthumous awarding of the Mariner's Medal to Coast Guardsman Frederick Schmidt Jr., who was reported missing in March, 1943, Guy Claybourn, Post Adjutant of the Greenwood Post of the American Legion, announces.

Mr. Claybourn received a letter from Lt. (jg) W. B. Wright, U. S. M. S. Regiment Enrolling Officer, of Houston, Thursday morning that he would be here to present the medal to the father, Frederick Schmidt, Sr., on that date.

Greenwood Post American Legion will have charge of the service and the public is cordially invited Mr. Claybourn stated.                        

 Palacios Beacon, Thursday, August 31, 1944


      In a fitting ceremony Monday morning at 10 o'clock at the USO Building in Palacios, Frederick Schmidt, Sr. was presented the Mariners Medal honoring his son, Coastguardsman Frederick Schmidt, Jr. who has been reported missing in action since March, 1943. The American Legion Post in Palacios, Guy Claybourn, Post Commander, was in charge of the impressive service. The medal was presented by Lieut. (j.g.) W. B. Wright, U.S.M.S., enrolling officer from Houston.                                                

The Daily Tribune
, September 5, 1944


      In a fitting ceremony Monday morning at the USO, sponsored by the American Legion, Frederick Schmidt Sr., was presented the Mariner's Medal honoring his son, Coastguardsman Frederick Schmidt Jr., who has been reported missing in action since March, 1943.

      Arnold Burton, Post Chaplain, was in charge and after invocation Mrs. Ada Belle Haughawout sang an appropriate solo.

      An obituary for the deceased was given by the Lutheran Chaplain from Camp Hulen, and the medal was presented by Warrant Officer Streator, USMS of Houston, who gave an interesting account of the work being done by the Merchant Marines from its organization up to the present time.

      Taps and Echo were given by Sergeants Turk and Myer of Camp Hulen with Rev. Greenhaw giving the benediction.                              

Palacios Beacon
, Thursday, September 7, 1944

Mrs. Fred Schmidt

Mrs. Frederick Schmidt, aged 64 years, died at the family home at Deutschburg, last Sunday morning, Nov, 11, 1934, following an illness of several months' duration.

In 1893 she was married to the bereaved husband, who survives, and they reared a family of 11 children, two having preceded their mother, one an infant, the other a daughter, Emma, wife of Erwin Gerhardt, who died in 1920.

Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt came to Texas from Nebraska in 1912, and were among the first settlers of the Deutschburg community.

Mrs. Schmidt was a member of the Lutheran Church, a loyal wife, devoted mother, and was ever alert and ready to assist in anything for the betterment of her family and community, willing to aid in every way as long as her health permitted.

Besides the husband she is survived by seven sons and two daughters, namely, Carl, of Hood Rivers, Oregon; Otto H., a member of the fire department of Lincoln; Frederick, of Omaha, Nebr.; Herman, who is attending school in Lincoln; Remmer, Paul and Harry, of the home, Miss Selma, of Lincoln, Nebr.; and Mrs. Rosa Scheisser of near San Antonio, all of whom were here before her death and for the funeral except Carl and Fred.

Funeral services were held Wednesday at the home, then at the Deutschburg school house, conducted by Rev. Flathman, of Ganado, after which her remains were laid to rest in the cemetery nearby, under the direction of the Duffy Undertaking Co.

Five sons and the grandson, Herman Gerhardt, of Ottaway, Ill., acted as pall bearers, and the services were attended by a large crowd of friends. The floral offerings were many and beautiful attesting the high esteem held for the departed and bereaved family.

Palacios Beacon, November 15, 1934

Friedrich Schmidt

Last rites were said Tuesday afternoon at 3 o'clock in the church at Deutschburg for Friedrich Schmidt, who passed away September 1, 1949 in the Bayview General Hospital. Rev. M. S. Frueh, pastor of St. James American Lutheran Church in Ganado, officiated and burial was made in the Deutschburg Cemetery, Taylor Brothers in charge.

Mr. Schmidt was born October 7, 1868 at Steinberghaff, Germany, where he spent his childhood on a farm and at the age of 8 years, his mother died. He attended the folk school for eleven years, learning the fundamental principles of education, the courses consisting of geometry, navigation and arithmetic, and he studied with the purpose in view of becoming a sea officer. Due to the illness of his father, he was compelled to remain at home to help care for their farm. At the age of twenty he went to the army and served three years in Berlin as a member of the "Kaiser Frane Richmond Guard."

In 1892, due to the influence of his brother, Henning, he came to the United States by way of New York. He then traveled five days and nights on the train to Auburn, Nebr., where he immediately began farming.

During Christmas time in 1892, his fiancée, Augusta Knote, came to Auburn, Nebr., from Germany, and on January 12, 1893, the marriage ceremony was performed.

The young couple rented a farm and soon became influential and successful citizens. Mr. Schmidt was a member of the German Kriertahun and made annual trips to Omaha, Nebr., to take part in the ceremonies in which the members enjoyed drilling, dancing, singing and making a merry time. He received his last citizenship papers in 1910.

The first child to bless this new home was Mary, born September 28, 1893, but died when only 14 months of age. A second daughter, Emma, was born June 3, 1895, and a son, Karl, October 8, 1896. Other children born to this worthy couple were Otto, Remmer, Paul, Rosa, Harry, Friedreich, Jr., Selma and Herman, of whom six sons and one daughter survive.

In December, 1912, Mr. Schmidt and family with other Nebraska people formed a new settlement in Jackson County, founded by Dr. Herman Gerhard, and named Deutschburg. The youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt was the first child born in this new community and was named Herman in honor of Dr. Gerhard. The first wedding of the community was when their daughter, Emma, was married to Erwin Gerhard in November, 1915.

Bereft of his devoted companion November 11, 1934, Mr. Schmidt continued to make his home on the farm until about a year ago when he and his son moved to Palacios.

Survivors are six sons, Karl, Otto, Remmer, Paul, Harry, and Herman and one daughter, Selma, one brother, and several grandchildren.

Palacios Beacon, September 7, 1949


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Jan. 30, 2006
Feb. 19, 2014