No account about Rokal would be complete without reporting about Nathan R. Preston. Preston was the American importer of Rokal; prior to establishing his business at least two other distributors tried their hand. Preston would continue to import Rokal until 1968, when the manufacturer ended production of their model train products.
Family accounts indicate that Preston was a hero of World War II. Family legend has it that Preston captured the town of Bamberg, Germany, single-handedly with a machine gun and a jeep. There is more than a little evidence to support this story. It was the end of the war, and given the fluid state of affairs at that time, the Germans were probably much happier to see a single American with one gun instead of hundreds of Russian troops with Kalanashnikovs.
In any case, Preston stayed on after the war, working as a military administrator of the Bamberg area. At some point, probably around 1962, his relationship with Rokal would lead him to Des Plaines, Illinois, where he established his distributorship. He did this with the assistance of Mr. Leo Winkler, a German youth that he befriended in Bamberg.