Reagan, Ronald Wilson “Dutchboy”, born 06-02-1911 in Tampico, Illinois, in an apartment on the second floor of a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois on February 6, 1911, to Jack Reagan and Nelle Wilson Reagan. Reagan’s father was a salesman and a storyteller, the grandson of Irish Catholic immigrants from County Tipperary while his mother had Scots and English ancestors. Reagan had one sibling, his older brother, John Neil (1908–1996),
who became an advertising executive. Neil Reagan died on 11-12-1996, age 88 of heart failure in San Diego, California. As a boy, Roland Reagan’s father nicknamed his son “Dutch”, due to his “fat little Dutchman”-like appearance, and his “Dutchboy” haircut, the nickname stuck with him throughout his youth. Reagan’s family briefly lived in several towns and cities in Illinois, including Monmouth, Galesburg and Chicago, until 1919, when they returned to Tampico and lived above the H.C. Pitney Variety Store . After his election as president, residing in the upstairs White House private quarters, Reagan would quip that he was “living above the store again”. After completing fourteen home-study Army Extension Courses, Reagan enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve on 29-04-1937, as a private assigned to Troop B, 322nd Cavalry
at Des Moines, Iowa. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry on 25-05-1937. Reagan was ordered to active duty for the first time on 18-4-1942. Due to his nearsightedness, he was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas. His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, as a liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office. Upon the approval of the Army Air Force, he applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to the AAF on 15-05-1942, and was assigned to AAF Public Relations and subsequently to the First Motion Picture Unit, officially, the “18th AAF Base Unit” in Culver City, California. On 14-01-1943 he was promoted to First Lieutenant and was sent to the Provisional Task Force Show Unit of This Is The Army at Burbank, California. He returned to the First Motion Picture Unit after completing this duty and was promoted to Captain on 22-07-1943. In January 1944, Captain Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the opening of the sixth War Loan Drive. He was re-assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit on 14-11-1944, where he remained until the end of World War II. He was recommended for promotion to Major on 22-02-1945, but this recommendation was disapproved on July 17 of that year. He returned to Fort MacArthur, California, where he was separated from active duty on 09-12-1945. By the end of the war, his units had produced some 400 training films for the AAF. Reagan never left the United States during the war, though he kept a film reel, obtained while in the service, depicting the liberation of Auschwitz (see Simon Wiesenthal)
, as he believed that someday doubts would arise as to whether the Holocaust had occurred. It has been alleged that he was overheard telling Israeli foreign minister Yitzhak Shamir in 1983 that he had filmed that footage himself and helped liberate Auschwitz, though this purported conversation was disputed by Secretary of State George Shultz. SS Hauptsturmführer, Josef Mengele infamous for performing human experiments on camp inmates in Auschwitz, including children, for which Mengele was called the “Angel of Death”.
The German chancellor Helmut Kohl invited U.S. President Ronald Reagan to make a joint visit to the Bitburg Military Cemetery in West Germany.
Forty years after the end of the war, this visit was supposed to be a gesture of reconciliation. Approximately 50 members of the Waffen-SS, however, were among the 2,000 soldiers buried in Bitburg, and this fact sparked vehement protests, both in Germany and abroad. This picture shows (from left to right) President Ronald Reagan, General Matthew Bunker “Old Iron Tits” Ridgway Commander of the 82nd Paratrooper Division during WW II) , General Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff (Luftwaffe pilot during WW II and heavenly wounded then and Chancellor Helmut Kohl during a wreath-laying ceremony on 05-05-1985.
Death and burial ground of Reagan, Ronald Wilson “Dutchboy”
Early in his presidency, Reagan started wearing a custom, technologically advanced hearing aid, first in his right ear and later in his left as well. His decision to go public in 1983 regarding his wearing the small, audio-amplifying device boosted their sales. On 13-07-1985, Reagan underwent surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital to remove cancerous polyps from his colon. He relinquished presidential power to the Vice President for eight hours in a similar procedure as outlined in the 25th Amendment, which he specifically avoided invoking. The surgery lasted just under three hours and was successful. Reagan resumed the powers of the presidency later that day. In August of that year, he underwent an operation to remove skin cancer cells from his nose. In October, additional skin cancer cells were detected on his nose and removed. In January 1987, Reagan underwent surgery for an enlarged prostate which caused further worries about his health. No cancerous growths were found, however, and he was not sedated during the operation. In July of that year, aged 76, he underwent a third skin cancer operation on his nose. Actor and President Ronald Reagan died of pneumonia, brought on by Alzheimer’s disease at his home in Bel Air, California on the afternoon of June 05-06-2004. A short time after his death, Nancy Reagan released a statement saying: “My family and I would like the world to know that President Ronald Reagan has died after 10 years of Alzheimer’s disease at 93 years of age.
He is buried Ronald Wilson Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, Ventura County, California, USA.