Born in Germany, Wolf Goeltzer first arrived in the United States in 1937 on the USS Manhattan. Coincidentally, on the same ship, traveling alone, was 16 year old Alfred Seligman, nephew of Adolph Kemper, of Larchmont, NY. After losing his son, Richard, in World War II, Kemper donated land for the Richard M. Kemper Park to the Mamaroneck School District. Although his residency in Larchmont was short, Wolf Goeltzer is one of those honored in the WWII Memorial Park.

     Goeltzer’s enlistment records show he had two years of college and his family said he had studied in Switzerland for several years. After arriving in the United States, he worked as a crew member on various ships traveling internationally. For a short time he lived with his cousin, Werner Ilsen, at 42 Maple Hill Drive in the Town of Mamaroneck. On March 18, 1941, he enlisted in the US Army and was assigned to the 265th Coast Artillery Regiment in Florida. He was nationalized two years later, on January 22, 1943. Subsequently, he was transferred to the Military Intelligence Service and was sent to Camp Ritchie, Washington County, Maryland for training and then to France. He was one of the “Ritchie Boys”, German and Austrian immigrants (many who were Jewish) who were trained in methods of intelligence, counterintelligence, interrogation, investigation and psychological warfare. They were qualified for these tasks because they knew the German language and understood the German mentality and behavior better than most American-born soldiers.[6] The role of these soldiers was therefore to work on the front lines—interrogating German POWs and analyzing German forces and plans. They also worked to demoralize the enemy. To their credit, it has been reported that the Ritchie Boys were responsible for about 60% of the combat intelligence gathered on the western front. Sadly, Goeltzer died from wounds from an aerial bomb on December 30, 1944 in France and is buried in the Epinal American Cemetery in Epinal, France.


Links to the Ritchie Boys

Link 1 Link 2


Family Members


Document 1 Document 2 Document 3 Document 4


Document 1 Document 2

Former Employment

Document 1 Document 2


Link on Google Maps

Military Records
Document 1 Document 2 Document 3
Document 4 Document 5 Document 6
Document 7 Document 8 Document 9

Naturalization and Immigration

Document 1 Document 2 Document 3

Newspaper Articles