U.S. Army School Command, Europe
U.S. Army, Europe

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please email me (webmaster).


School History

Command Briefing


Student Handbook, Kimbro

USAREUR Intelligence & MPSchool

USAREUR Ordnance School

USAREUR Quartermaster School

USAREUR Signal School




 
School History
1960 - 19..
USAREUR School Command DUI
If you have more information on the history or organization of the U.S. Army School Command, Europe, please contact me.

(Source: The United States Army in Europe, 1953-1963, by D.J. Hickman)
Chapter 9: Training to Maintain Combat readiness

SCHOOLS
On 1 January 1953, USAREUR operated 10 specialists' schools offering 101 courses, and Seventh Army operated 2 others. Under a policy of providing formal schooling only when proper training at unit level was unavailable, however, two schools were closed in 1954 and three others in early 1955. Thereafter, the chiefs of appropriate USAREUR staff divisions controlled the operation of the USAREUR Engineer School, the Intelligence and Military Police School, the Ordnance School, the Quartermaster-Adjutant General School, and the Signal School.

Seventh Army maintained its NCO Academy at Munich and a tank training center at Vilseck and in early 1955 opened a new aviation training center at the Echterdingen Airfield near Stuttgart. The NCO Academy, originally called the U.S. Constabulary NCO Academy, had been established in 1948 and was the command's largest training school. Its purpose was to develop a sense of responsibility, confidence, leadership, and high personal and professional standards in noncommissioned officers. By 1963 some 64,000 USAREUR NCO's had enrolled at the Academy since it had been absorbed by Seventh Army in 1951; about 52,000 of these had graduated. Failure to demonstrate the necessary leadership ability, to meet the academic standards; and to achieve the required standards in personal appearance and in attention to detail were the principal reasons for the wide margin between student input and graduation.

In 1956, when the schools experienced serious budgetary difficulties, the number of courses was reduced -- in some instances by as much as 50 percent. To offset the anticipated adverse effect on operational readiness, USAREUR placed greater emphasis on unit schools and on-the-job training. To prevent overprogramming, control of the school quota system was passed, from the USAREUR staff division to the schools, and in September 1956 the course at the NCO Academv was revitalized by selecting as students candidates only those men who would actually perform NCO functions upon graduation. A month later the NCO course was consolidated and shortened from five to four weeks to increase the output of school-trained personnel.

In early 1958 USAREUR took control of the U.S. Army Medical Service School from COMZ and the newly established Weapons Assembly School from Seventh Army. Later in the year, the NCO Academy was moved from Munich to better facilities at Bad Toelz. The Ordnance, Engineer, Quartermaster, and Signal Schools were consolidated, and instruction in adjutant general subjects was discontinued. At the same time a special weapons department was added to the Intelligence and Military Police School.

The U.S. Army School Command, Europe, was established at Oberammergau, Germany, on 1 April 1960, to provide centralized control of the major elements of the school system. The five remaining USAREUR schools were assigned to the new command, thus eliminating the operation of schools by USAREUR staff divisions and preparing for subsequent consolidations of elements at fewer locations. One of these schools, the Medical Service School, was phased out entirely in July 1960. The first consolidation occurred on 1 October 1960, when the Weapons Assembly School moved from Pirmasens to Oberammergau and became a department of the Intelligence, Military Police, and Special Weapons School. The number of courses offered by the school system as a whole was reduced from 87 to 48, in order to economize and eliminate courses that were no longer essential. On 1 July 1961, the four remaining schools were organized into the U.S. Army School, Europe, at Oberammergau. Thereafter, the USAREUR school system consisted only of the school at Oberammergau; Seventh Army operated the NCO Academy, the Aviation Training Center, and the Combined Arms School -- the latter having evolved from the old Task Training Center.

In 1962 and 1963 the USAREUR schools, though austerely manned, continued to contribute to the command's operational readiness. They were responsive to command requirements with a minimum expenditure of resources and met the high priority needs for theater schooling. Thirteen new courses were added in 1962, making a total of 61, but in late 1963, because of the gold flow requirements, another reduction was being planned.

 
U.S. Army School Command, Europe - Briefing
 

(Source: Command Briefing, US Army School Command, Europe, Oberammergau, Germany, December 1960)

MISSION OF THE SCHOOL COMMAND

The mission of the US Army School Command, Europe, is to:

a. Provide centralized control for the operation and administrative support of the following schools:

Intelligence Military Police
Special Weapons Weapons Assembly
Ordnance Engineer
Signal Quartermaster
 
b. Present resident instruction courses as prescribed and approved by USAREUR in the following academic fields:
(1) Intelligence - specialist courses in intelligence subjects peculiar to USAREUR and in specialties in which shortages of trained personnel exist; refresher training in languages peculiar to USAREUR.

(2) Special Weapons - familiarization and specialist courses in nuclear weapons employment for NATO officers, as requested by SACEUR; required refresher training of prefix-5 qualified US Army officers.

(3) Military Police - specialist courses in traffic management.

(4) Weapons Assembly - orientation and specialist courses in forward assembly and pre-fire checkout of nuclear warheads deployed in USAREUR.

(5) Engineer - courses in technical and mechanical engineer specialties in which shortages of trained personnel exist.

(6) Ordnance - courses in automotive maintenance and ordnance supply specialties in which shortages of trained personnel exist.

(7) Quartermaster - courses in supply and food service specialties in which shortages of trained personnel exist; courses relating to quartermaster intra-service responsibilities in USAREUR.

(8) Signal - courses in communication and radiac equipment specialties in which shortages of trained personnel exist.
 
c. Provide, at the request of USAREUR Headquarters and USAREUR major commands, mobile training teams to conduct non-resident instruction in subject areas included in resident courses of instruction, subject to the restrictions specified by Headquarters USAREUR.
 
d. Prepare and execute plans for consolidation of the US Army Quartermaster-Signal School, Europe, with the US Army Engineer-Ordnance School, Europe, at Murnau, as directed by USAREUR headquarters.

 
History of Hawkins Barracks
 
  Hawkins Barracks, Oberammergau, Germany, which houses the Intelligence, Military Police, Special Weapons and Weapons Assembly School, was so dedicated on 20 September 1954 in honor of Lt Col Jesse M. Hawkins, who fought gallantly and was killed in this theater during World War II.

It was originally known as Hötzendorf Kaserne, the home station of the 54th Mountain Signal Battalion of the Wehrmacht's 1st Mountain Division.

After the departure of the 1st Mountain Division, Hawkins Barracks was used by the Messerschmitt organization for drafting plans and conducting experimental work on jet aircraft engines. The bulk of the actual work was done in the 22 miles of lighted, air-conditioned caves dug into Laber Mountain directly behind the pistol range.
 
The equipment for the plant was removed after the war and several partially successful attempts were made, by blasting, to seal tunnel entrances. US personnel were not permitted to enter the cavern.

On 29 April 1945, the 409th Infantry Regiment, 103rd Infantry Division, with elements of the 10th Armored Division attached, occupied the town of Oberammergau. In June 1945, the 6819th Information and Education School occupied the Post.
 
 
History of Intelligence School
A European Theater Intelligence School was originally established near Dreux, France, in November of 1944. The purpose of that school was to present instruction on German Armed Forces, Political Organization of Nazi Germany and intelligence activities. The school also had a number of demonstration teams which traveled throughout the European Theater and oriented troops on Nazi Germany.

At the same time, from February 1945 until December 1945, there was a US Army Liaison Officers' School in Le Vesinet near Paris, Headquarters, MISETOUSA. This school trained officers and enlisted men in the political and military aspects of the Soviet Union, and prepared Liaison Officers and Intelligence Specialists for the European Theater.

From September to December 1945, there was also a branch of this school in Bad Schwalbach, located ten miles north of Wiesbaden.

On 14 December 1945, three instructors from Bad Schwalbach came to Oberammergau, where, on the 12th of November 1945, a European Theater Intelligence School was established. Late in December 1945 and early January 1946, military and civilian instructors from the school at Dreux arrived in Oberammergau, and the courses of instruction commenced in January 1946.
History of Military Police School
The Military Police School for the European Theater was first established in August 1945 in Romilly sur Seine, France. In May 1946, it moved to Brake, Germany; in September 1946 to Nellingen, Germany. After a short stay of two months in 1948 at Sonthofen, Germany, as a part of the Constabulary School, the Military Police School was finally consolidated with the Intelligence School at Oberammergau in May 1948.

During this period the Military Police School conducted a basic Military Police Course and courses in Criminal Investigation, and an Officers' Refresher Course.

From May 1948 to the present, the school has conducted a variety of Military Police Courses based upon requirements of the European Theater. The present courses are planned to meet the increasing traffic problems of the European Theater.
  An instructor at the MP School demonstrates with the aid of a miniature city how to handle situations likely to arise in a German city during the occupation. Photo is from September 1946.
History of Special Weapons School
USAREUR Intelligence, Military Police and Special Weapons School DUI

In September of 1952, the Intelligence Division, USAREUR, recommended to the Chief of Staff, USAREUR, that a two week course of instruction be established to cover staff planning and procedures for atomic war. This course was to be established at the US Army Intelligence and Military Police School. The Intelligence Department was given the mission of conducting these classes. The first class was conducted in January 1953, and the last class was conducted in April 1960.

On 30 January 1953, a conference was held at Heidelberg to make preliminary arrangements for the establishment of special weapons courses for NATO commanders and staff officers. These courses were to be of two types: First, a broad orientation course of three or four days duration for Senior Allied commanders and, second, a more detailed course of two weeks to qualify key staff officers for the necessary planning for the tactical use of and defense against atomic weapons. In March of 1953, the courses were established, and both courses are still in existence.

With the establishment of the NATO courses, the Special Weapons Branch, now called School, was activated. In December 1955, the Special Weapons Branch moved into a new building. To further facilitate the NATO program, in June of 1956 simultaneous translation equipment was installed by SHAPE.

The curriculum of the Special Weapons Branch was further increased by addition of a Surface-to-Air-Missile orientation course; this course was first taught in August of 1960, and is for both NATO and US officers.
History of Weapons Assembly School
 
7th Army Weapons Assembly School DUI

The Seventh United States Army Weapons Assembly School, located in Pirmasens, Germany, was organized in July 1957 by direction of the Commanding General, Seventh Army. Mission of the school is to teach uniform forward assembly procedures to personnel of delivery and support units of USAREUR and to familiarize commanders and selected staff personnel with required procedures and standards. A total of eight different courses are conducted, the first course having started in August 1957.

The US Army Weapons Assembly School, Europe, was assigned to the US Army School Command, Europe, on 30 March 1960. The move to Oberammergau, Germany, was in September 1960.
LIST OF COURSES
FOR
WEAPONS ASSEMBLY SCHOOL
     
 
 
Prog
Classes
Input
per
Class
Artillery Commanders' Familiarization (WO-1)
4
19
Engineer Commanders' Familiarization (WO-2)
4
9
Forward Assembly, 8-inch Howitzer (WOE-10)
16
18
Forward Assembly, 280mm Gun (WOE-20)
8
18
Forward Assembly, Honest John Rocket XM57 or XM57E1 (WOE-36)
16
15
Forward Assembly, Corporal Missile (WOE-40)
9
9
Forward Assembly, ADM (WOE-50)
15
12
Forward Assembly, Nike Hercules (WOE-70)
14
12

History of Kimbro Kaserne
  The Kimbro Kaserne was constructed during the period of 1936-38 by the German Army Construction Office. At the time of its completion it was named the Kemmel Kaserne. The first German unit to occupy the Kaserne was the Heavy Artillery Battalion IV of an Artillery Regiment stationed in Garmisch.

In April of 1945, the 10th Armored Division occupied Murnau and took over the administration of Kemmel Kaserne. In October of 1945, the 7th Infantry Division (NOTE: actually, the 71st Inf Div) took over administration of the kaserne from the 10th Armored Division.

In January of 1947, the Engineer School was moved to Kemmel Kaserne from Butzbach, Germany.

Since 1947, many changes and additions have been made at the Kaserne.

In May of 1957, Kemmel Kaserne was officially redesignated Kimbro Kaserne in honor of Technician Fourth Grade Truman Kimbro, who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during WW II.

In October 1957, the Ordnance School was moved to Kimbro Kaserne from Füssen.
History of Engineer School
 
On 10 December 1943, the American Engineer School was established at Wallingford, England, to meet US Army training requirements. Following the invasion of Western Europe the School moved to France, and in September of 1944 was established at Angers; it later moved to Epernay, France.

In April of 1946, the Engineer School moved to Butzbach, Germany. Finally, on 25 January 1947, the School was established in Murnau, a small town on the edge of the Alps in Southern Bavaria.
 
History of Ordnance School
 
The School was initially established by the Commanding General, Seventh Army, in July of 1945 in Heidenheim, Germany. The original mission of the School was to rehabilitate ETO combat veterans by training them in technical skills essential to occupation duty. In December 1946, the School was moved to Eschwege, Germany, and redesignated the Eschwege Ordnance Technical Training Center. This, in turn, was changed to the EUCOM Ordnance School.

In May of 1953, the School was moved to Füssen, Germany, and there it occupied an old German kaserne called Burnette Barracks. On 1 January 1957, the School was redesignated the US Army, Europe Ordnance School and during the same period it was moved to Kimbro Kaserne in Murnau.

 
History of Prinz Heinrich Kaserne
 
  The Prinz Heinrich Kaserne was named in honor of Crown Prince Heinrich of Bavaria, who was killed in Rumania during World War I, while commanding the Royal Bavarian Mountain Troops.

The Kaserne was built in October 1936. Bavarian Mountain Infantry (mounted) units from this Kaserne served during WW II in Poland, France, and on the Russian front. The Berlin War Academy was the last element of the German Army to man this installation.

In May of 1945, units of the US Army's 10th Armored Division established a Prisoner of War Camp and Displaced Persons Collection Point at the Kaserne. The 10th Armored Division continued these operations until they were replaced by units of the 80th Infantry Division in August 1945.
 
Later the same year, Prinz Heinrich Kaserne became the home of the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st US Infantry Division. The 18th Infantry changed Kasernes with the Quartermaster School in January 1951.

Since the arrival of the American Forces, there have been several noteworthy changes in the profile of the Kaserne. In 1950, the present Academic building was converted from a stable and the indoor riding hall was converted to Mess No. 3. The Service Club and three BOQ's were added in 1954. Also in 1954, the last major changes converted the Vet isolation stable to the Post Chapel.
 
History of Quartermaster School
 
The Quartermaster School was activated at Camp Bramborough, England, in 1944. In January 1945, the School moved to the Isle of Saint Germain, in the vicinity of Paris, France.

In September 1945, the School moved to Cambrai Kaserne, Darmstadt, Germany. There the European Command Quartermaster School Center was established in October 1945. In April 1950, the Adjutant General Academic Division of the School was established.

The School was moved to Prinz Heinrich Kaserne at Lenggries, Germany, in January 1951.
 
History of Signal School
 
The Signal School was activated on 1 November 1945 at Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, to train United States military personnel in the operation and maintenance of communication equipment and systems in the European Theater. In February 1946, the School was moved to Ansbach, Bavaria, where it occupied the Gneisenau Kaserne.

On 15 February 1958, the Signal School moved to Lenggries, Germany, and was consolidated with the Quartermaster School.

(CORRECTION: The date of the move of the Signal School to Lenggries was 15 February 1958, not 1950, as previously reported. A typo on my part. Ken Abernathy, who helped move the Signal School, pointed it out. Thanks, Ken!)

 
Student Handbook, Kimbro Kaserne, Murnau
(Source: Student Handbook, US Army School Europe, Kimbro Kaserne, Revised 19 April 1963)
HISTORY OF KIMBRO KASERNE

Kimbro Kaserne, previously known as Artillery or Kemmel-Kaserne, was constructed by the German Army Construction Office from 1936 to August 1938. It was built to accomodate heavy artillery units. After its completion in August 1938, the Heavy Artillery Battalion IV of the Artillery Regiment stationed at Garmisch moved in and stayed until 25 August 1939. On this day this unit left Murnau and was moved to the border of Poland. An artillery replacement battalion took over the Kaserne and was stationed here until the war was over.
  On 29 April 1945 the U. S. 10th Armored Division entered Murnau and assumed the administrative duties. One of the first actions was the move of the Polish prisoners from the Panzerkaserne to the Kemmel-Kaserne.

In October 1945 the administrative responsibilities of the occupation forces were transferred to the U. S. 7th (sic) Infantry Division.

In June 1946 the former prisoners were assigned quarters in town and the 1124th Engineers occupied the Kaserne until January 1947.

On 24 January 1947 the Engineer School was moved from Butzbach, Germany, to Murnau. Since this time many changes and additions to the existing buildings were made and new buildings constructed.

In May 1957 the Kemmel-Kaserne was officially redesignated Kimbro Kaserne in honor of Technician Fourth Grade Truman Kimbro, who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry in action during World War II.

In September 1957 the decision was made to combine the US Army Engineer and Ordnance School. Again, many alterations were required to meet the increased requirements. From 1 October throughout the rest of the year the movement of the Ordnance School from Fuessen to Murnau was completed.

Effective 1 July 1962 the Quartermaster Department, located in Lenggries, Germany, was redesignated "Logistics" Department and transferred from Lenggries to Murnau.

On 1 July 1962 the Executive and Career Development Department transferred from Lenggries to Murnau.

The Engineer, Ordnance, Logistics, and Executive and Career Development Departments all fall within the framework of the U. S. Army School, Europe, with Headquarters in Oberammergau.
  .

(Source: Email from Gary Kuhn, DAC ret.)
  I arrived at Vilseck in 1984, home of the Seventh Army Combined Arms Training Center, Rose Barracks. Since then many changes have taken place within the organization that at one time was a brigade size element headed by Colonels, now has a Major and we're almost totally civilianized, down to the size of a big company.

I retired in 1995 and have not left here yet. Most of the historical memorabilia has remained in the post headquarters, now occupied by what they call a Base Support Battalion totally outside of our food chain. They work for a new organization called IMA (Installation Management Agency).

Once in awhile certain old things surface around here. As example, a huge wooden 150 pound MOH citation hand carved 5" thick plaque for "Kimbro Kaserne" Honoring Technician 4th Class Kimbro for his WWII bravery. I had the old plaque taken to Wuerzburg to the Army's Base Maintenance Center where German wood craftsmen refurbished the old historical huge plaque (which is like a piece of furniture). It's beautiful.

One of the older German craftsman in Wuerzburg where it was recently refurbished said based on the style of how the lettering was cut out on the face, he estimated the board was crafted in the late '40s, or very early '50's.

 
USAREUR Intelligence and Military Police School
 
(Source: George Richmond, US Air Force in Austria)
Photos (July 1951) were provided by George Richmond, who served with the Air Force at Tulln AB in the early 1950s. George graduated from an MP course at the USAREUR Intelligence and MP School in 1951.
USAREUR Intelligence & MP School
Oberammergau, Germany
 

Map of USAREUR Intelligence & MP School

1. View overlooking school complex (78 KB)


2. MP students parade on Graduation Day (78 KB)

3. Cpl George Richmond and buddy enjoy a beer in O'gau (120 KB)
 

4. Air Police student in front of billets (100) KB

5. Resting during the 12-mile march (110 KB) 

6. Early morning view of column of MP School students marching in the mountains (97 KB)
 

7. O'gau street scene (105 KB)

8. Another street scene (101 KB)

9. View of O'gau around 1950 (62 KB) 
 

10. O'gau town square (68 KB)

11. Aerial view of O'gau (176 KB)

12. Hawkins Bks (144 KB)
 

USAREUR Intelligence, Military Police and Special Weapons School
 
(Source: Email from Bennett Young, 1957-59)
(See also Bennett's email on his tour with the Seventh Army Aerial Recon Support Co)
The dates of my attendance at the PI school:  October thru December 1957 and June and July of 1958I also found a few pictures from the IMPSWS, Oberammergau.

Some time ago, I sent you some information and pictures about my service during the late 1950s with the Seventh Army Aerial Reconnaissance Support Company, 7877AU. At that time I said I would send you some additional data about my experiences while attending the Intelligence, Military Police and Special Weapons School (IMPSWS) in Oberammergau. I will now fulfill that promise, just a little late!

I’ll also look for any additional picture, but I’m not optimistic about finding any. I do have a friend who was a Captain with the 53rd Transportation Battalion, however, and while I don’t think he is even hooked up to the internet, I’ll see if I can get him to submit some information as he is a great story teller and we were both stationed at Kapaun Barracks at about the same time.

TDY FOR THE FIRST TIME
In the spring of 1957 I applied to attend the Intelligence, Military Police and Special Weapons School (IMPSWS) in Oberammergau, Germany and took a test to qualify which, as I recall, consisted mostly of map reading. Apparently I did well enough and went off to beautiful Southern Bavaria to see if I couldn’t change my MOS to that of a Photo Interpreter. There seemed to be more opportunity for advancement within the company in the PI section and the duty was better.

LIFE AT IMPSWS
The school was located on Hawkins Barracks. The kaserne was formerly the headquarters of a German army mountain unit and the billets were typical Bavarian architecture with cream-colored stucco, outside bracing and wide eaves. The buildings were set into the side of a mountain and overlooked the town of Oberammergau and the iconic sight of Mount Kofel.

All during the time I spent in Germany a nominal amount of money was deducted from our pay in order to have German nationals pull KP for us. These men worked in the mess hall under the supervision of U.S. Army cooks, but at the school we even had women to clean the halls and the latrines for us. All you had to do was make your bunk in the morning. I don’t recall anyone complaining about the small additional cost!

We stood no inspections or formations.

We had our weekends free and Garmish was just a short bus ride away, so very often some of us would stay at the U.S. Army run hotels there where, if I’m not mistaken, a room was $1.25 a night. Even a Pfc like me could afford that. Excellent German beer could be had for about one deutschmark (.25¢) if you bought it in town, cheaper in the hotel bar.

Incidentally, we were always paid in Military Payment Certificates (MPCs). The Army did not convert to greenbacks until early 1959, I believe, which left a lot of bar owners in town scrambling to convert their ill-gotten MPCs into deutschmarks when the unannounced switch was made.

THE SCHOOL
Class work was intense and we put in full days, but there was no homework and the instructors were well qualified officers who we all respected. The classrooms were Spartan, but certainly adequate. The curriculum consisted of plotting and identifying targets on the ground and writing reports about the terrain as well as the targets themselves. All off this came fairly easily to me and shortly after returning to SAARSCO I was promoted to E-4, which at the time was a Specialist Third Class.

I really don’t know much about what went on elsewhere on the post as much of the instruction was classified, as was some of ours. I do know there was a language school where I’m sure one of the tongues that was taught was Russian.

ADVANCED PI SCHOOL
In the fall of 1957 I returned for the Advanced Photo Interpretation course. These classes were even more concentrated and included some material that was classified Top Secret. I don’t think it is any secret now, but at the time we did not want to openly admit that as some of our transport aircraft flew the Berlin corridor they drifted a bit off course and photographed Soviet tanks and other military hardware. We had some spectacularly clear images of tanks and other weaponry.

I’m certain of the dates on this occasion because it was during the time when Sputnik was launched and the U.S. was somewhat surprised and more than a little embarrassed.

I made E-5 shortly after my return, prior to rotating back to the Zone of the Interior in May of 1959.

Well, there are some of my recollections of life in the Bavarian Alps. If you have any questions or requests, please let me know and I’ll do what I can to answer them.

I think you are doing a great service by collecting these data and I like your website a lot. Keep up the good work!

 
IMPSWS
Oberammergau, Germany
 



1. Orders


2. Class

3. Feldjäger
 

4. 11th Abn Div HJ unit

5. H-34 takes off from Ogau
   

 
USAREUR Ordnance School
 
(Source: USAREUR Ordnance School Student Information Guide, 1955; submitted by Lothar Bardeck)

Lothar served with the 6941st Guard Battalion in Berlin from Nov. 1953 to Sep. 1994. He was a Maint.Sgt. in the Maintenance Section of the battalion's Motor Pool at Roosevelt Bks. He worked closely with the Maint. Division at Andrews Bks. In 1955 he completed the Course in Automotive Electrician for Wheeled Vehicles and Tanks at the Ordnance School in Füssen (with Distinction). In 1961 he completed the Course in Organizational Maintenance Wheel Vehicles at the US Army Engineer-Ordnance School, Europe in Murnau (Honor Graduate). Now, retired from the 6941st, he operates with some former employees of the US Army and Army Veterans the McNair Museum at McNair Barracks in Berlin.
 
EUCOM Ordnance School DI
USAREUR Ordnance School DUI

USAREUR Engineer-Ordnance School DUI
 


Kaserne at Eschwege in the early 1960s
  The Ordnance School was established by the Commanding General, Seventh Army, at Heidenheim, in July 1945. The mission of the school was to utilize the time of battle-weary men who recently had concluded the fierce fighting in Europe and to effect their transition from combat to occupational duty. The school began to outgrow its facilities; the prominence of the school increased continually and due to the critical shortage of trained specialists in Europe the inevitable expansion of the school followed.

The school was moved to Eschwege, Germany, in December 1946, where it was set up in a modern kaserne formerly occupied by a German panzer unit. Here the school had additional classroom and shop space and was better equipped to meet the increasing demands of the theater. Also, its name was changed to the Eschwege Ordnance Technical Training Center, later the EUCOM Ordnance School, and finally the USAREUR Ordnance School. Due to international world tension and the geographic location of Eschwege it caused grave concern to have a techical school of this nature surrounded on three side by the East Zone Border. It was decided to move the school to a more suitable location.

A vacant kaserne in Fuessen, Germany, provided a ready solution to the problem at Eschwege. So the USAREUR Ordnance School moved in May 1953 to its present location, a kaserne once occupied by elite German mountain troops. It was completely rehabilitated and through a combined effort of the Corps of Engineers and Ordnance School personnel, it has modern billets, offices, classrooms and shops comparable to any found in the United States Army.

Model of kaserne


Aerial of Ord School
  Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Earl T. Wiley Jr., the staff and faculty of the USAREUR Ordnance School is made up of specially selected officers, enlisted men and Department of the Army civilians. Courses of instruction cover all phases of Ordnance training. The most up-to-date methods of instruction are practiced; all current technical instructions applicable are taught, and the most modern training aids and equipment are used.
 
  School Organization Chart, 1955

(Source: Photos provided by Raymond "Ray" Smith)

Ray from Largo, FL who served with the 52nd Ordnance Group and other units in Austria (USFA) from 1945-49.

Ray graduated from the Ordnance Schools's "Org Mech" course in August 1947
  EUCOM Ordnance School, Eschwege - I drew this map using an old (and not very clear) aerial photo of the kaserne from May 1950.

Arrows indicate direction of photo, numbers represent the sequence within the photo gallery.


(As always, please direct any questions or corrections to Walter Elkins)

EUCOM Ord School
Eschwege, Germany
     

1. Main Gate (89 KB)

2. Looking towards the main gate from within the kaserne (80 KB)

3. Building on eastern corner of parade ground (75 KB)
 
4. 4. Building on eastern side of parade ground (64 KB) 

5. Parade ground, EUCOM Ord School (75 KB)

6. Building on south-eastern corner of parade ground (80 KB)
 

7. View towards southern end of the kaserne where the maintenance and supply facilities are located (94 KB)

8. Ord school students taking a break? (115 KB)
   

 
(Source: Email from Doran Ditlow, 109th Ordnance Co at Nancy Ordnance Depot, 1954-56)
  The Ordnance School (USAREUR) in Fuessen, Germany where I went to Wheel Vehicle Repair school in summer of 1955. (See the remainder of Doran's recollections in the COMZEUR section.)

 
USAREUR Quartermaster School
 
US Army Quartermaster-Signal School Europe DI

Distinctive Unit Insignia warn by School personnel after the merger of the USAREUR Quartermaster and Signal Schools in 1958.
 
(Source: Armed Forces Day Open House, 17 May 1952; pamphlet distributed during an open house held at the EUCOM Quartermaster School in 1952)
EUCOM Quartermaster School, Prinz Heinrich Kaserne, Lenggries

Col. A.M. Willing, Commanding
  The EUCOM Quartermaster School is the hub of the wheel that provides the training of specialists of the Quartermaster Corps stationed in Europe. The EUCOM QM School offers instruction and guidance for selected Officers, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Personnel in matters of Supply, Administration, Food Service and Food Conservation. The QM School is the home and study hall from which technically trained selected Non-Commissioned Officers, Enlisted Men, and authorized German personnel receive their various recommended specialty classifications.

Prinz Heinrich Kaserne is the workshop and laboratory where dog trainers, administrative specialists, supply techicians, food experts and instructors for labor service units are brought into being. The school is always alert and conscientiously developing new methods of teaching and training doctrines to be absorbed by these qualified techicians.

 

Lenggries

 

1. Prinz Heinrich Kaserne seen from the Kogelberg, early 1950s (KB)

2. Zoomed image of photo #1 (KB)

3. Quartermaster School headquarters building, Bldg 201 (KB)

4. Student Company A, Bldg 205, center and on right (KB)

5. Bldg 213 (KB)

6. Student Company C, Building 203 (KB)
 

6. QM soldiers in front of the PX building (KB)
     

 
USAREUR Signal School
 
(Source: Europe's Signal Schoolhouse, by Capt David E. Hunter-Chester, ARMY COMMUNICATOR, Winter 1986 issue)

Capt. Hunter Chester is currently the commander of Company A, 7th Army Combined Arms Training Center. Before that he was operations/security officer of the C -E Department. He is a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Nebraska, with a BA in English and psychology.

EUCOM Signal School DI

USAREUR Signal School DI

Distinctive Unit Insignia warn by Signal School personnel before the merger of the Quartermaster and Signal Schools in 1958.

1985 was quite a year for 40th anniversaries, marking as it did the anniversary of the end of World War II, the pivotal event of modern history. One such anniversary which may have gone largely unnoticed, not being as dramatic as the meeting of the Americans and Russians at the Elbe, or V-E Day, was the anniversary of the founding of the oldest US Army School in Germany.

On 21 October 1985, Col. Michael H. Crumley, Commander, Seventh Army Combined Arms Training Center, officiated at ceremonies marking the fortieth anniversary of what is now known as the Communications Electronics Department, Seventh Army Combined Arms Training Center (C-E Dept., 7A CATC ).

The Communications-Electronics Department is located at Flint Kaserne in the beautiful, alpine health resort town of Bad Toelz, south of Munich. The school was originally activated, in Germany, on 20 October 1945, but the organization's actual origin can be traced beyond its founding in Germany to the early days of US involvement in World War II.

The entry of the United States into World War II prompted sweeping changes in the Signal Corps, as it did throughout the Army. The Signal Corps expanded at an incredible rate, from a standing strength of approximately 3,935 in June 1939, to 36,396 by June 1941,(1) and 321,862 by May 1945.(2)

In order to meet the geometrically expanding requirement for Signal soldiers, CONUS training centers were rapidly expanded, and training time was severely curtailed. Prior to the limited emergency of September 1939, prompted by Hitler's invasion of Poland, Signal officers received nine months of training in their basic courses, while most enlisted soldiers received ten months of training. By 1941, training for officers had been shortened to one month, and many officers received no specialized training at all. Similarly, training for enlisted soldiers had been shortened to three months, while at least half of them went directly to field units with no technical training.(3) As a result, many units received soldiers who were "unseasoned, half-trained, or worse,"(4) while the individual soldier-communicator who had received the reduced Signal training was characterized as a "one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind."(5)

Besides having to man the tremendously expanding force structure, Army communications people also had to deal with the revolutionary developments occurring in military communications, including the recent development of radar, a suddenly global military commitment, and the heavier dependence of highly mobile armored forces on reliable radio communications. Yet another communications difficulty was that this was the United States' first extensive experience in coalition warfare.

General Eisenhower, recognizing the urgent need for communications specialists, ordered the establishment of a Signal school in the North African Theater of Operations, in a letter dated 15 February 1943. The school was originally operated by the Signal School Company of the 2624th Signal Service Regiment, with facilities at Oran, North Africa.(6) The mission of this school was much the same as the current school in Bad Toelz; it provided refresher training for Signal soldiers arriving from the United States, new equipment training, and training in Allied methods of communications. The school proved a success and moved with the victorious Allied drive through Italy, until a more or less permanent location for the school was established in Naples, where it remained until the cessation of hostilities.(7)

The school in Naples, having already undergone the first organizational and name changes that would become a characteristic of its history, had come to be known as the 6614th Mediterranean Theater of Operation Signal School Detachment.(8) It was deactivated on 10 October 1945, but just 10 days later it was reactivated, moved to Neuendettelsau, in northern Bavaria, and designated the Theater Signal Corps School. Throughout the next 40 years the school's name and organization continued to change, as commitments and force structure in Europe fluctuated.

The first commandant of the TSCS was Lt. Col. Reuben L. Abramowitz, a career Signal officer who had participated in both the Mexican Punitive Expedition and the American Expeditionary Forces of World War I. Lt. Col. Abramowitz was well-suited to his role as commandant because of his experience as an instructor at West Point, and with the Signal Corps School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, during the tremendous World War II build-up.(9) Abramowitz had been working as the head of the Paris Signal Center in late October 1945 when he was directed to "set up a Signal school for the entire European Theater at Neuen Dettelsau (sic) Bavaria."(10) He was given a month to complete this formidable task, made more formidable by the fact that Neuendettelsau, an abandoned Luftwaffe Ammunition Depot largely untouched since the end of the war, still contained over 150,000 tons of live munitions. Abramowitz immediately set to work with a handful of men, including some officers and NCOs from the old school in Naples. Among other things, the cadre hastily constructed student tables out of bomb crates, and when those ran out, chopped down trees from the prodigious forest surrounding the kaserne for lumber. Despite the many difficulties, the school started at the end of the one month dead-line, in December 1945.(11) Out of 150 students enrolled in those first courses, only 4 graduated, due to the redeployment policies in effect at the time.(12) Though the beginning was hectic, a grand and still on-going tradition had been born. It called for providing quality Signal instruction to the soldiers in Europe, despite whatever obstacles.

7718 EUCOM Signal School, 1946


7718 USAREUR Signal School, 1953


Main Gate, Barton Bks, 1958
  The facilities at Neuendettelsau were cramped, but the school continued to expand during the following months. A bomb scare in February 1946, however, prompted Abramowitz to search for a new home for the Signal School. He found it just eight miles away, in an abandoned fortress called Gneisanau Kaserne, on a hill overlooking the town of Ansbach.(13)

Gneisanau Kaserne was later renamed Barton Barracks, after David P. Barton, a Signal Corps lieutenant colonel killed in World War 11.(14). The school flourished on Barton Barracks for 12 years, averaging more than 3,000 graduates a year. However, the name and organization of the school continued to change, reflecting changing doctrine and commitments for US forces in Europe as a whole. When the US Forces European Theater became the European Command, the school became the EUCOM Signal School. In 1951, with the build-up of forces in Europe and the formation of US Army Europe, the name became the USAREUR Signal School, and in 1957 the designation was changed to US Army Signal School, Europe.(15)
In 1958 the school again relocated, this time to Prinz Heinrich Kaserne, in the village of Lenggries, south of Munich, where it was combined with the Quartermaster School to become the US Army Quartermaster-Signal School, Europe. As an economy measure, this type of consolidation had taken place among several Army schools in Europe, a trend which continued until July 1961, when all USAREUR schools were combined under the direction of the newly formed US Army School, Europe (USASCHEUR), headquartered at Oberammergau. The Quartermaster and Signal Schools were separated, with the Signal School remaining at Lenggries, as the Signal Department, USASCHEUR. In 1966 the school name was changed again, this time in deference to changing Army terminology, to the Communications-Electronics Department, USASCHEUR. In 1971 the school moved once more, to its present home at Flint Kaserne, Bad Toelz, only six miles from Lenggries.(16)

Though moving days for the school were finally over, it still underwent two name and organizational changes. On 1 July 1971, USASCHEUR was redesignated the USAREUR Combat Support Training Center (USAREURCSTC). In 1974 USAREURCSTC was dissolved and the Communications-Electronics Department became part of the newly established Seventh Army Training Command's Combined Arms Training Center (7A CATC).(17)

Today the C-E Department consists of 10 academic courses, training up to 3,500 students annually. Just as when the school was founded, the courses are not MOS producing, but rather are meant to provide refresher training on items such as medium and low-capacity multichannel systems, VRC-12 series radios, RATT rigs, and other pieces of equipment. The courses also provide transition training on new pieces of equipment introduced into the theater, such as the VINSON secure devices (through a government contracted course), and the new Army teletype, UGC-74. Carrying on the tradition of training Allied as well as American soldiers, the school hosts interoperability training with members of the German Bundeswehr, both in formal classroom settings and during less formal Partnership Program events.

One training objective the school has had since its founding is the grounding of selected young officers in the basics of tactical communications. According to SFC James P. Howell, a former course chief at the school, "Our course teaches the basics of communications in a combat unit -- infantry, armor, ADA, etc. The officer comes out of the basic course a generalist. Our course prepares them to advise that combat arms battalion commander on tactical communications."

SFC Howell also mentioned another important class taught by the department, the Communications Security course. "The COMSEC course explains how to use the various regulations and gives hands-on training with the paperwork. Students also benfit from the experiences of others in the class." The Program of Instruction (POI) for the course was developed by the Signal Center at Fort Gordon and is taught Army-wide at seven different locations.

Though soldiers assigned to the department have rotated frequently over the years, some of the civilian employees have been associated with the school since the 1950s. Mr. Richard Townsend, the department's civilian academic advisor first came through the school in the late 1950s as an enlisted man. "We were a big school back then" he recalls. "We graduated about 6,000 a year."

Mr. Alois Patrzek, a civilian who instructs in the UGC-74 radio teletypewriter course and the radio alignment course, first joined the department in 1959, at Lenggries. He recalls the department teaching subjects on such diverse items as radar and radiac equipment, as well as on many pieces of equipment no longer in the inventory. Asked why the school has lasted so long, he replied, "There's always been a demand."

As the C-E Department approaches its 150,000th graduate, in the 40th year since its establishment on German soil, it remains a bridge to the past, with bright promise for the future. Throughout its many changes of place, name, and organization, the school's focus has remained the same: to train soldier-communicators in the means of effectively providing the voice of command. Today the communications field is exploding with development, due to the introduction of digital, laser, and other new technologies. The US Army, as always, will ride the crest of this communications explosion, and the CE Department, 7A CATC, "Europe's Signal schoolhouse," stands ready to play its role. Lt. Col. Jimmie D. Rawls, the department's current director, put it best: "Our job is to augment the training soldiers have already received. Signal soldiers come here to hone certain skills that may have become rusty over the years. We return those soldiers to the field better able to communicate in support of their mission, and we've been doing it for 40 years."
 
ENDNOTES

(1). Dulany Torrett, The Signal Corps: The Emergency, United States Army in World War II series, The Technical Services (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1956). p.204.
(2). Dixie R. Harris, George R. Thompson, The Signal Corps: The Outcome, United States Army in World War ll series, the Technical Services (1966; rpt. Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1968), p.512.
(3). Dixie R. Harris, Pauline M. Oakes, Dulaney Torrett, George R. Thompson, The Signal Corps: The Test, United States Army in World War 11 series, The Technical Services (1957; clot. Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1968), p.51.
(4). Harris, Test, p.55.
(5). Torrett, Emergency, p.210.
(6). Letter from Headquarters, North African Theater of Operations, US Army to Commanding Officer, Mediterranean Base Section, 25 Feb 43, subject: Signal School. AG 352/022 C -C-M.
(7). Monthly Historical Journal, HQ 6614th MTOUSA Signal School Detachment (OVHD), 5 Oct 45, p.2.
(8). Ibid.
(9). "Colonel Abramowitz Dies; Had Long Military Career," Monmouth Messenger, 13 Mar 67.
(10). Reuben C. Abramowitz, "Theater Signal School at Ansbach," Signals, Vol. 1, No. 1, Sep-Oct 46, p.57.
(11). Abramowitz, pp.57-59.
(12). Letter from Lt. Col. Reuben L. Abramowitz to Col. S. P- Fink, 7 Aug 54, concerning early activities at the TSCS.
(13). Abramowitz, p.57.
(14). Unit History, US Army Signal School, Europe, 1957, p.2.
(15). Ibid, p. 1.
(16). Unit History, History of the COMMEL Department, USAREUR Combat Support Training Center, Jan 74.
(17). Information Brochure, Communications Electronics Department, 7A CA TC, p.2.

 
(Source: Training Times, September 1982)
CATC's Communication and Electronics School supports USAREUR in "training the trainers"

by Bob Shipp

Millions of messages pierce the airwaves every day. Most are the routine, everyday kind of calls we all make. Many however, contain the crucial information tying our whole NATO defense plan together.

To keep the information flowing USAREUR depends on its signal soldier experts.

Once a soldier in the communications field leaves AIT he needs near continuous training to keep up with the technological advances in signal equipment and procedure. Maintenance of the mind is as important as equipment maintenance.

Training communicators to better perform their assigned tasks is one of the missions of CATC's Communications-Electronics School in Bad Toelz. The school is a part of 7ATC about which very little is heard. But is one that supports a very large part of the C-E mission in Europe.

"Our courses run from one to five weeks and we train a total of 3,500 students annually from all over USAREUR," said Capt. Garvis W. Toler, director, C-E Department. "These are mainly U.S. troops at the present, but we do have an interoperability course due to start in January. That course will teach both German and American soldiers."

Toler believes the "training the trainer" concept is the best way to increase effectiveness.

"Sometime ago we discovered we were training the operators," he explained. "When those operators returned to their units and tried to implement what they had learned, they came up against NCOs who would say 'this is the way we've always done it, this is the way we're going to continue doing it.'

"The NCO, not having the latest training, would not allow the operator the chance to make effective changes. In some cases it was a case of the operator knowing more about the equipment than the guy who was his supervisor.

"In the training the trainer concept, we train that E5 who is in charge of a team. This multiplies our efforts because he can then return to his unit and train three or four other soldiers in the things he learned here at the school."

None of the C-E School's courses are entirely classroom instruction, and about half of the courses are supervised self-paced.

"The self-paced courses," said Toler, "are supplemented with some form of platform type instruction. We've found that this system works very well."

"In most of the courses we give situational problems and are very heavy on hands-on. The student is actually doing what he would be doing in the field."

Toler says the school has all the equipment needed to have one or, at the most, two people per setup. He added that when a new piece of signal equipment comes out the school can usually acquire it in time to set up courses before it actually hits the field.

"My plans officer gets in touch with the deputy chief of staff for C-E or the Force Modernization people at Heidelberg," said Toler. "He generates the request for the equipment and we can normally get the course started before the equipment is fielded in USAREUR.

"We have one course we've been teaching for about five months and that particular piece of equipment is just now hitting the field," he added.

The C-E School also has Mobile Training Teams. These are teams of instructors that are sent out in response to a request from a unit to train the unit on its own equipment. When teams aren't available, the unit can come to the school.

"We haven't been able to send out many teams due to scheduling problems," explained Toler. "What we have been able to do is offer special courses here.

"When there is a break in the schedule, and there is an identified need in the field, we let a unit send their people to us. We will have a specially tailored course for that unit here which should meet its needs.

"We billet them, feed them, train them, and all the unit has to do is provide transportation."

Input from the field can directly influence the type of courses taught at the school.

"We get requests from the field directly and indirectly," related Toler. "Most of our courses have proponency from the deputy chief of staff for communications-electronics. He will query the field to find out how our courses are affecting the field; what they need to know that we are not teaching them, what we may be spending too much time on, etc,

"Input is then made through 7ATC telling us how our courses can be improved and we try to implement these improvements as soon as possible."

Several courses are offered under refresher training which are geared toward the first line supervisor using the training the trainer concept.

There are two specific areas in which new equipments is involved. One of these is the Vinson Secure Voice System in which net controllers and maintenance personnel are trained.

"This system is a new secure voice system for use with FM radios," explained Toler. "It is a big improvement over the old system.

"It allows you to encrypt your voice traffic. When you're speaking over the radio, nobody can pick you up unless they have the same key in their radio that you have in yours.

"We also have operator and maintenance courses for the new UGC/74 computerized terminal," continued Toler. "The UGC/74 is basically a typewriter. You first type in the message and then send it forward at 1,2011 bits per minute,
which is a lot faster than the older equipment.

"It can also store messages in the computer memory and has an edit function that allows you to make corrections in the message if you make a mistake.

"In addition, it gives you a prompting scheme. When an operator is not familiar with format, it allows him to be queried. It asks for one specific item of information and then, when that item is entered, it asks for another specific item.

"If you make a mistake, like putting a number where a letter should be, it will continue to ask for the same information until you get it right. Everyone can send a perfect message with this terminal."

A Field Radio Alignment Course which will teach new alignment procedures for FM radios is scheduled to begin. "The Vinson System works with the TACFIRE System but they must be aligned.

"This is one of the courses that is in direct response to requests from the field," noted Toler.

These are only a few of the courses offered at the Communications-Electronics School. For more information on these or other courses contact the school at Flint Kaserne in Bad Toelz, 2531-849/754.

"We feel our courses are very good and well worth the investment of a commander to send good soldiers down here," emphasized Toler. "If that soldier then goes back and trains his operators, then that will multiply our effectiveness as a school even more."

 
(Source: Training Times, November 1983)
CATC C-E Department has big mission;
36 staffers train thousands annually


by Frank Cox


Everyone in the U.S. Army is in the communications business; we all have information which we must transmit in writing, through telephones or other electronic means.


The "big three" in the Infantry are: shoot, move and communicate.

Artillerymen could not effectively put steel on target without communicated coordination from forward observers, through fire direction control, to their batteries.

And imagine trying to control an armored unit during tactical maneuvers in combat without a clear communications channel.

Within the U.S. Army, Europe -- the "Hands On Army" -- there is a vital need to keep communicators trained on the latest equipment to insure the highest level of combat readiness is maintained.

That mission is assigned to a 7th Army Training Command element at Bad Toelz: the Combined Arms Training Center Communications - Electronics Department. And to make sure it is meeting communicators' needs within USAREUR the C-E Department recently held a Training Review and Education Board.
The TREE, as it is affectionately called by the Director of the C-E Department, Lt. Col. Jimmie D. Rawls, was conducted Nov. 14 and 15 to gain feedback from the field and identify training needs.


Rawls, a graduate of the Signal Officers Advanced Course and the Command and General Staff College said, "A lot of new equipment is coming into USAREUR. I want this school to be prepared to teach on it. That's one of the reasons we held the TREE; it lets us know what we need to teach."
 
During the TREE, attendees received an overview of the C-E Department along with a discussion about each of the 10 courses of instruction.

They also discussed issues relating to new equipment scheduled to come on-line within the next year.

Some of the information gained at the TREE will find its way to the U.S. Army Signal School at Fort Gordon, Ga. because two of the attendees -- Maj. Irv LaFleur and MSgt. Wayne Beaty -- were from the Signal Center
Liaison Office, located at Headquarters, 7ATC.

LaFleur, Beaty and the other attendees found out the C-E Department trained 3,696 personnel with its staff of 36 (two officers, eight civilians and 28 NCOs) during Fiscal Year 83.

Rawls said his department -- the oldest of all CATC schools -- has three missions: (1) train USAREUR personnel in C-E skills; (2) train its own cadre and staff to be physically fit, competent, and qualified in common soldier skills; (3) support the community commander.

The courses taught by the department include: SIG 1, a Multichannel Communication Systems Supervisor and Team Chief course:

• SIG 7, Radio/teletypewriter Team Chief course;
• SIG 9, Field Radio Mechanic Supervisor course;
• SIG 29, Tactical Communication Officer and Communication Chief course;
• SIG 33, Combat Telecommunications Center Supervisor course;
• SIG 34, Communications Security Accounting course;
• SIG 35, FM Radio Alignment course;
• UGC 1, Teletypewriter General Support Maintenance course;
• UGC 2, Teletypewriter Direct Support Maintenance course;
• UGC 3, Teletypewriter Operator course.

Rawls also said his department provides Mobile Training Teams who travel within USAREUR to provide technical assistance and update personnel on the latest raping developments, a said more courses were added to the department as new communications systems are fielded.