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1st Infantry Division
Big Red One

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 contact me.

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16th Inf Regt

18th Inf Regt

26th Inf Regt

Div Arty

16th Infantry Regiment

16th Infantry Regiment, Monteith Barracks, Führt, 1950.
(Source: )

(Source: Email from Rod van Ausdall, I&R Platoon, 16th Inf Regt, 1947-51)
I deployed my I & R Platoon along the Czech border - 1949 or so. We worked with the Constabulary units - I believe they were at Weiden where we also billeted - long hours and many "accidental'  forays into Czechoslovakia.

The I & R Pltn was part of the 16th Inf Regt (Grafenwoehr and Nuernberg). We (the 16th) had two battalions "in the zone" and our third battalion was in Berlin. The 18th and 26th Regtiments were the other two but they never pulled the border duty as far as I know.
My platoon was placed on DS to help out the Constab on the Czech border. I was in 16th from 1947 to 1951 (they were pulled out of Austria and redesignated the 7892 Infantry Regiment until we were up to combat readiness and then redesignated the 16th coincident with the 16th Regt being disbanded in Austria. I was in Regimental Hq (as were of course all I and R platoons). Most of us (old timers!)  deployed to Korea in 1951.
The duty on Czech border was very wearing due to the I guess 16 hours a day with no breaks. We used our jeeps as (1) radio, (2) machine gun jeep w/ .50 cal and (3) get away vehicles and (4) one M8 armored car we "borrowed from the Constab for each patrol - total of four vehicles for each patrol. My platoon only pulled that duty one year as we (then) had the V Corps mission - Fulda Gap and all that stuff.
Remember when the Germans called the Constab the "Kartoffel Käfers" (potato bugs) due to the way the jeeps were painted.


16th Infantry Regiment, 1950

18th Infantry Regiment

HQ Bldg, 18th Inf Regt, Smith Bks, Aschaffenburg, c. 1954 (Samuel E Gee collection)
(Source: Special 33rd Anniversary Issue of The Traveler, 3 June 1950)
Home station of the 18th Infantry Regiment, under the command of COL Rinaldo Van Brunt, is Aschaffenburg.

LaGarde Kaserne, Aschaffenburg (Smith) -- Regimental Headquarters; HHC, 18th Inf; Service Company; Heavy Tank Company; Provisional Battalion Hqs.

Jaeger Kaserne, Aschaffenburg -- Medical Company, 18th Inf

Pioneer Kaserne, Aschaffenburg (Fiori) -- Heavy Mortar Company and 2nd Battalion

Prinz Heinrich Kaserne, Lenggries -- 1st Battalion

Friedberg -- 3rd Battalion

Detachment 1, 531st Ordnance Co is attached to the 18th Inf Regt and stationed at LaGarde Kaserne. (The 531st Ord Co is located at Mannheim.)

LaGarde, Pioneer and Jaeger Kasernes were used to house displaced persons from 1945 until sometime in 1949.

(Source: Special 34th Anniversary Issue of The Traveler, 3-4 August 1951)
In November 1950, the 1st Battalion (Lenggries) and 3rd Battalion (Friedberg) were moved to Aschaffenburg.

Webmaster note: The 32nd Field Artillery Battalion, part of the 18th Regimental Combat Team, also took up station at Aschaffenburg (around June-July 1951).

(Source: 18th Infantry Regiment Yearbook 1954)
18th Inf Regt in 1954:
HQ 18th Inf Regt   Jaeger Kaserne
1st Battalion   Graves Barracks
2nd Battalion   Fiori Barracks
3rd Battalion   Smith Barracks

26th Infantry Regiment

HQ Bldg, 26th Inf Regt, Warner Bks, Bamberg, c. 1954 (Samuel E Gee collection)
(Source: Twenty-Sixth Infantry Organization Day 1948 Program, 21 February 1948. Compiled by the 26th Inf PIO.)
A large percentage of the men now in the regiment were not with us when the 1947 year was born. For those who are unacquainted with the years events we dedicate this brief testament of a page of history.

The beginning of the year found the Service and Headquarters Companies, Regimental Headquarters and the First Battalion settling down in new duties in the Ludwigsburg area. In December they had left War Crimes Guard in Nurnberg's Palace of Justice and as the new year dawned all hands were busily at work putting the new "house" into shape. The 3rd Battalion was set up at Zirndorf near Nurnberg, and still maintained their commitments in that area. Famous Dachau and Munich were the new responsibilities of the 2nd Battalion. This was the disposition of the 26th Infantry Regiment.

Each Battalion was seperated from the others by hundreds of kilometers and some companies were separated from their Battalions. For a soldier this was indeed an unhappy situation. No one had an inkling of the future and rumors flew that the 26th was through, that they would never be brought together again and even that we would become Constabulary.
In February, in Ludwigsburg, the personnel of Service and Headquarters Company and Regimental Headquarters learned that they would staff a new Headquarters to be set up. It was to be known as 1st Military District and would be commanded by General William R. Schmidt, with Colonel S. T. Williams, 26th CO, as assistant District C. O. Suddenly, in the short space of three weeks, word came that there would be only two districts, instead of four and Ludwigsburg would close down. The stream of rank, reversed itself and building was soon echoing only to the footsteps of the Spacers again.
But this did not last for long. We were on the move again. Word had arrived that the 26th Headquarters was opening up a training center at Grafenwohr to be used in training all 1st Division troops and other selected units. A small band of men from Ludwigsburg arrived at the place which was to become their home for the next 6 months. It was a dreary sight that greeted these pioneers. Most of the huge reservation (similar to Fort Bragg) was just a heap of rubble. There were some buildings on the far end of camp that were still intact and it was into these that we moved.

Much work lay ahead. The 26th Headquarters had to be set up first. Then special engineer units were called in and work commenced on the Training Area site. A level area was selected and "dozers" went to work. Roads were cut and tent frames sprang up. Soon canvas covered these frames and company streets became orderly rows.
Meanwhile back at 26th Headquarters schedules and assignments were being drawn up for the first cycle of trainees which were due May 5th. A 4 week training period with 2 weeks between cycles was the allotted time. The first group of prospective trainees included Infantry units other than the 26th and some Field Artillery batteries. They fell to with a will and soon the kinks were being ironed out in the program. The training area received the monicker of "Tent City" and became the place we would like most to be away from. Actually all men agreed that the training was most beneficial and a change from the regular occupational duties. New cycles rolled in every six weeks throughout the summer.

A new training area the Vilseck Training Area, came into being under the 26th Headquarters. Many were the visitors from Frankfurt's EUCOM Headquarters. Grafehwohr was prospering. We settled down into the routine, and did not mind it too much. Units in the 1st Division were shaping up. We were gaining polish. Before summer's end most companies had gone through this famous camp, had learned to hate and respect it.
In midsummer Col. S. T. Williams left for Washington to assume new duties. Col. Maurice C. Bigelow took the reins to carry on the regiment. A new job was added to the 26th. They were given the job running a Drill Sergeants School, to train for a two week period selected sergeants from the Zone. This school prospered.

A specially selected group of men from the Regiment were called in to form an Honor Guard. This highly trained group was to give performances in specialty drill and silent maneuvers with a machinelike precision. The original large group was whittled down to a 4 squad machine as members were unable to continue to meet the standards. Their first official performance was to lead the Labor Day parade; a feat for which they were given much acclaim.
In September, a startling piece of news arrived. The battalions were coming back to Grafenwohr to form a Regimental Combat Team. Medics, Engineers and Field Artillery units were brought in to add to the Infantry. Training started again, and the outfit began to knit. Came Labor Day and a host of Generals to see one of the greatest of post-war shows of power. Generals Bradley, Clay, Huebner, Milburn and others watched the RCT and 6th Constabulary Regiment parade in mass formation 9,000 strong. Training was resumed. Rumors flew again. We were to move again, this time, to Bamberg and Erlangen. The advance detail left in late September to prepare the barracks for occupation. The move started about the first of October and was complete on the 8th. We were settled once more in our new home. Bamberg, a practically untouched-by-war thriving city was an ideal home for the 26th Infantry. The Panzer-Kaserne and nearby La Garde Kaserne in Bamberg, were large and in excellent condition. After settling down, training resumed at an accelerated pace. Steps were taken to build an "espirit" of which the men would be proud.
A soldier of the week was selected. Battalion retreat parades were held three nights a week and a Regimental review on Fridays. The best appearing and performing companies were announced as parade winners. Competition between units soared. As replacements joined the Regiment they were first interviewed by Col. Bigelow, greeted and then placed on duty with the Drill Sergeants school. This was to give the men training in the 26th principles. A plaque was awarded-each week to the unit having the best dayroom. Stress was placed on the Athletic and T I and E program. Winter training in winter clothing commenced. Night problems became regular features. Life settled down to a regular routine. Lt. General Helset, CG of the Norwegian Ground Forces, reviewed the 26th Infantry. Recruiting boomed.
The opening days of the year 1948 saw the return of former regimental commander, Col. Samuel T. Williams. General Clay inspected and reviewed the 26th Infantry regiment and remarked: "You are the only men prepared to fight at a minutes notice." In rapid succession, Generals Van Fleet, Milburn and a bevy of Dutch dignitaries inspected the regiment.

Col. Williams expanded the sports program. Plans were laid for the summer athletic program. Men of the regiment generously donated over 20,000 dollars to a March of Dimes Drive. An I and E off-duty school was inagurated and met with a high degree of success.

The regiment is sitting on top of the world. A unit with pride and poise, ready to face the future. Ready to take their own niche in the Hall of Fame.

Division Artillery

HQ Bldg, 1st Inf DivArty, Bldg 13, Leighton Bks, Würzburg, 1954 (Webmaster's collection)

(Sometime between Aug 1953 & Aug 1954, DivArty HQ moved from Erlangen to Würzburg)

1st Div Artillery

5th FA Bn

7th FA Bn

32nd FA Bn

33 FA Bn

Organization of the 1st Division Artillery, 1952 (Walter Elkins)
If you have information, personal recollections and/or photos of the 1st Division Artillery in Germany 1945-1955, I would be very interested in hearing from you (webmaster).


HHB, 1st Division Artillery, Leighton Barracks, Würzburg
5th FA Bn, Harvey Barracks, Kitzingen
7th FA Bn, O'Brien Barracks, Schwabach
32nd FA Bn, Ready Barracks, Aschaffenburg
33rd FA Bn, Warner Barracks, Bamberg
48th AAA AW Bn, Ferris Barracks, Erlangen

7th Field Artillery Battalion
7th Field Artillery Bn crest
(Source: Email from Tommy Knox, 7th FA Bn, 1948-52)
I was stationed in the 7th F.A. Battalion in Schwabach, Germany from 1948 to 1952.

We had a country band and played all over Germany. In fact, we were the cause of AFN opening a radio station at Nuernberg. They had a country program called the Hillbilly Gasthaus. We auditioned to play that program live every day from 3 to 3:30 pm in Frankfurt, Germany. We would have had to transfer into Special Services. Our COL wouldn't release us to do that, so they opened a station in Nuernebrg and we played the program there.

Enclosed is a letter for song request from the U.S.S. Midway (6th US Fleet aircraft carrier) . As you can see they were in Turkey when they picked us up.

As you probably know, AFN covered all of Europe and more. We got a lot of requests from the German people. They loved country music in Germany. They had a French lady opera singer one time at the Nuernberg Opera House. Of all people, they asked our country band to play intermission for her. That was probably the biggest we ever played for. The Nuernberg Opera House had three balconies. It could hold a lot of people.

Another time we got an official looking letter in German. None of us could read German so we got one of the German Service Club hostesses to read it for us. She said it was from the biggest recording studio in Germany asking us to record a record. We went to our colonel, the same one who had turned us down for Special Services. We were giving the 7th FA a lot of publicity that he did not want to lose. So he turned us down again. He said we would be making too much money.

I would love to hear from some of the old band members or anyone else wants to email me.

7th FA Bn

1. Main gate

2. 7th FA Bn Parade

3. Autobahn


4. 105mm Howitzer

5. (KB)



Related Links:
16th Infantry Regiment Association - The website has a great deal of historical information on the regiment, including a fair amount on the 1945-55 period when the regiment had elements in Germany, Austria, and Berlin.
26th Infantry Regiment Association - A great site dedicated to the "Blue Spaders" vets