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Army Chemical Depots (Com Z)
Communications Zone

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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Sampigny Chem
Depot

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Sampigny Chemical Depot
 

Aerial photo of Sampigny Chemical Depot, 1955 (IGN website)
(Click on image for higher resolution view)
1953
(Source: Email from Frederic Harrell, father was stationed at Sampigny Chemical Depot)
Thanks for sharing your memories of Sampigny Chemical Depot. They jogged mine and I hope you enjoy them (see below).

Fred's short memories. 
(Click on the image to read the story (PDF))

 
(Source: Letter from Bob Cannon, 337th Chem Depot Co, Sampigny, 1953-55)
Please find enclosed photos and information about the 337th Chemical Depot Company at Sampigny, France (), during my time there 1953-1955.

At first I was hoping to meet other GI's from that time and still am, but also hoping now to provide information to your web site about the 337th because none exists it seems anywhere.

The 337th Chemical Depot, as I remember my time there in Sampigny, France, was a time well spent with approximately 100 enlisted men and 10 officers on a area of land on the east side of Sampigny, approximately 1/2 mile x 1 mile in size. At the time Sampigny Chem Depot seemed small having come from Ft Sill after basic.

It was a cold day as I rode a 2½-ton truck down from Verdun to Sampigny, and took my duffel bag and walked across a muddy field to our tent, and moved in with 5 other privates. I wish I could think of their names - part of the reason I am writing this memoranda is to perhaps make contact with someone who served in Sampigny at that time.

Thanks for this Website I know more about Com Z now then I did then.

I was assigned to the 13th Chemical Battalion (SVC) motor pool, driving a 2½-ton truck to Verdun for supplies and on occasion over to Trois Fontaines Ord. Depot to pick up a movie film and army training films. A popular song of the day was "I Know I Will go from Rags to Riches" by Julis la Rosa. That was a good idea, that way its only one way to go.

The 337th Chem Depot primary operation was to received, store and ship out chemicals including liquids as ordered. The Depot was headed up by Colonel Campbell; Capt. Sherman B. Richardson - adjuntant, and 1st LT Morris E. Williams of the motor pool. From the motor pool and the 13th I was transferred to the 337" warehouse across the road where Capt. Charles F. Barrie and 2nd LT Frederic D. Shannon were in charge. My direct supervisor was S/Sgt Anderson.

Thinking back to those day of black and white pictures and half forgotten faces, I have read their names on old orders and remember that the personnel at Sampigny represented a diversity of backgrounds but experience was yet to be earned, because most were young. But I can only speak for myself. All served their country well. Drug use and theft was unheard of in Sampgny as far as I know.

Another order by Lt. Colonell Cambell worth remembering, we could not leave camp in civilian clothes without dress coat and tie. I took leave to Paris a couple of times, traveling by train from Commercy to Paris.

In recent years I have traveled back to Paris and walked down Rue Pigal to the very comer where in the 1950's GI's would be standing around eating hotdogs and hard buns with hot mustard, late on cold nights.

By 1955 my two years were up and I retraced my path back to Verdun, Metz and by train to Bremerhaven to catch the USNS Taylor to New York and a train to camp Chaffee Ark, and discharge. Like so many at that time I was thinking about making a living.

Now that part of my life is over I have been thinking about 1953 in Sampigny -- about muddy roads, pot belled stoves, KP, shoe polish, cold cuts on Sunday afternoon, line up for chow, and the coffee is free. Everything changes they say, so be it.

For what it is worth, I am proud to have served our country.

 

Legend:

1
  Main Gate
2
  Administration; Medical; PX Bldg; 337th Chem Co
3
  Motor Pool; Mechanical Bldg; 13th Chem Bn
4
  Parade Field; Flag poles; Bulletin Board; Movie Theater; Post Chapel
5
  Paint and Carpenter Shop
6
  Mess Hall; Bowling Alley
7
  Outside storage
8
  Warehouse
9
  Warehouse
10
  Latrines
11
  Tents -- Enlisted Men living quarters
12
  Test field
13
  Enlisted Mens Club
14
  Supply tents
15
  Vehicle Park
16
  Showers and Latrines

Sampigny Chem Depot

 

1. Main gate (KB)

2. Main gate (KB)

3. Bulletin board and parade ground (KB)


4. (KB)

5. (KB)

6. (KB)
 

7. Outside storage (KB)

8. Movie theater and chapel (KB)

9. (KB)


 

10. Motor pool (KB)

11. Supply tents (KB)

12. Enlisted mens tents (KB)
 

13. Bowling alley (KB)

14. Inside an enlisted mens tent (KB)

15. (KB)
 

16. (KB)

17. (KB)

 

(Source: Email from Joseph L. Foster)
I, too, was stationed at Sampigny Chemical Depot from 1953 to 1955. Arriving in the middle of the night in a ¾- ton truck from Toul, France.

Although I remember few names of those I served with at Sampigny, I will never forget the experience.

I remember the guard shack at the front gate where I spent so many hours on duty dreaming about home. Who can forget the 3-lane bowling alley we were so proud of; the long walk to the mess hall from the tents we called home. I also recall the changing of script when many guys lost money.

The walks into Sampigny were fun and once in a while we would go to St. Mehale or Commercy.

Being Afro American transferring into a unit that just started to integrate, I did not experience the horror stories that I was lead to believe would occur.

The names of those I served with escape me now, but I will always remember Sgt LaRue in Supply. His kindness and patience made a sometime difficult task easy for me. I believe Sgt LaRue was related to the owner of the “Café De La Union” bar that we often frequented. There was also “Sweeney,” a name that comes to mind.

I was transferred out in 1955. When I returned to the States, I joined the U. S. Air Force and retired after a total of 20 Years service with both branches of service.

I am in the process of going through storage to find some of the many pictures taken while at Sampigny.


 
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