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Chemical Division
Headquarters, 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 contact me.


History

15th Chem Gp

1st Chem Bn


4th Chem Bn

451st Chem Bn


Hanau Chemical Depot






 
History
Chemical Corps Branch Insignia
1950
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, July 6, 1950)
The EUCOM Chemical Division descends directly from the Chemical Section, Hq, Service of Supply, ETO of the WWII period.

The Division 's mission of collection and disposition of enemy toxic materials remaining from WWII is now performed at the Hanau Chemical Depot. The depot is the last of the originally six Chemical Corps field installations set up in the post war period. It is staffed by personnel from HHC, 15th Chem Base Depot and the 63rd Chem Depot & Maint Co. The depot is responsible for supply and higher echelon maintenance of Chemical Corps equipment and munitions in the theater. Another task, the repair and rehabilitation of a large backlog of equipment has recently been completed.

Another activity of the Chemical Div is the Chemical Laboratory operated at the depot. The lab is responsible for performing surveillance tests on all Chemical Corps items stored in EUCOM. In addition, the lab also conducts acceptance tests for many agencies within EUCOM.

1960
(Source: Email from Joseph "Don" Marquis)
I was a member of the 15th Chemical Group at Taylor Barracks from Jan 1960 to March 1962. I can find no history of that unit listed anywhere. It is like it didn't exist. I know it did.   

I arrived in Kafertal, Germany and was assigned to the 9th Chemical Company, part of 15th Chemical Group, in early 1960.
After a brief stay in the 9th Chemical Company I was assigned to the HQ Detachment, 15th Chemical Group as staff car driver for the Taylor Barracks and 15th Chemical Group Commander, Lt. Col Charles Morgan. Lt Col Morgan was replaced by "Bird Col" Ralph A. Richardson sometime in late 1960. I drove for Col Richardson for a year or so.

In addition to the 9th Chemical Co., Taylor Barracks was populated by a Pontoon Bridge Engr Bn. (can't remember outfit number). There was a company of Polish Labor Bn people also stationed here. There was a motor pool with many German Nationals working there.

The 15th Chemical Group sponsored a football team, The Mannheim Barons, who were billeted on the 3rd floor of the Hq Det building.

Taylor Barracks had a large mess hall, a small PX and restaurant, an atheletic field in rear of motor pool buildings. Group was gived a real live bear as a gift from the local German government some time in 1961. Bear was caged on part of parade ground in front of HQ Det Building.

I left Germany in March of 1962 after being extended due to the construction of the Berlin Wall in late 1961. 15th Chemical Group was still there, part of 7th Army Support Command, when I left.

It will be interesting to see if any of the guys who were there when I was respond if and when you are able to get something set up on this outfit.

I appreciate what you are doing and good luck.

 
1st Chemical Battalion (Smoke Generator)

355th Chem Co during a field exercise in the early 1950s (US Army)
 

1st Chem Bn, Weiherhof
 
(For more photos of the Weiherhof Kaserne and 1st Chem Bn see the Worms Page, Kaserne section).
 
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 1st Chem Bn, please contact me.

 
451st Chemical Battalion (Smoke Generator) / 4th Chemical Bn (SG)

Sign at Gerszewski Barracks, Knielingen (Karlsruhe), 1953 (Mel Hall)

Members of the 411th next to the company sign, 1953 (Mel Hall)
1953
(Source: Email from Mel Hall, son of Leon Hall, former member of the 411th Chemical Co, Karlsruhe)
My father, Leon Hall, was Active Army at that time, not Reserves or National Guard.

He served in the Korean War and I found out he also was with ASA and which I have no pictures of. He had  top secret security because of his involvement with U2 Spy missions.

In the 1953-54 time frame, he served with the 411th Chemcial Company (SG) at Gerszewski Barracks, Knielingen. In 1953, he graduated from the Seventh Army NCO Academy in Munich.

My father who is now 84 and sent me lots of pics 12 years ago and revealed a bit of what he did. Though he said much of it is classified he would not discuss times. He did mention he was in the control tower when Colonel Powers was shot down. He mentioned he always traveled with another person when they went on missions.

Click here to see Leon Hall's 7th Army NCO Academy pics from 1953.

411th Chem Co
Ettlingen

 

1. Kaserne sign at gate

2. 18th Ord Co sign

3. Unit directory



Recollections of his assignment to the 44th Chemical Company
in Mannheim, Germany, by Jack Wachs
1955
(Source: Email from Jack C. Wachs)
I was stationed at Funari Barracks (Mannheim) 7th Army 4th Chemical Bn 44 Cml Co. (S G) in 1955.

I have numerous photos and several newspaper articles about our work making smoke. Likewise I have articles and pictures on our trip over and back by M S T S ships and our stops in several ports coming and going. (Read Jack's memoirs above by clicking on the image.)


1956
(Source: Email from Jerry Ballauer)
I was the Company Clerk of the 44th Chemical Company from June 1956 - Jan 1958. I think Capt McLean was the commander at the time and a First Sergeant McAdorie.

Somewhere in the Archives of 7th Army should be Unit History Files. I use to make a monthly History Report. Kept one in file and sent one to thr 4th Chem Bn HQs.

Two names I remember were John "Smitty" Smith and Thomas "Tom" Nolan. Also there was a Lt Tweester that we use to call "Tweety Bird." There was also a old Phillipino Sergeant that was in charge of the Transit Billits (Third floor) of the Bn/Company Barricks.

I remember we were suspended from training for a few months because we "smoked" (laid down a smoke screen) the autobahn and caused a 18-car pile up.

I am a retired US Army Master Sergeant living in Columbia, SC.

(Source: Email from Nick McWhorter)
In Jerry Ballauer's post, the Lieutenant he was referring to was Eugene Treaster, a graduate of Stanford University - a very sharp guy who went on to become an attorney in Palo Alto, California, after he completed his extended military duty in Germany. He can be found on Facebook.

I remember Jerry Ballauer as a very good company clerk who ran the place!

Yes, we're getting old - I was a platoon leader in the 44th Chemical Co. The small group also in the same building (on Funari Barracks) with the 44th, was the 4th Chemical Battalion Headquarters that also had units in Wiesbaden and Karlsruhe. (Webmaster note: probably the 4th Chem Co, Wiesbaden, and the 51st Chem Co, Knielingen.)

Here are some of the names that I remember:

Capt. McLain - CO when I got there in early 1957
Lt. Sid Martin from Western Kentucky - Executive Officer
Lt. Jodie Johnson - I think he had been EO getting ready to rotate to states
Lt. Larry Murray - GA Tech Grad, Platoon Ldr (Found him in Florida)
Lt. Lem Wallace - From one of the Carolinas
Lt. Herb Jablin - Plt Ldr from Tennessee
Lt. Eugene C. Treaster whom I mentioned in my earlier message

Some of the EM were Sgt Bruce, Sgt Miller, Sgt Shetsky, Sgt Wynn, Sgt Carr

Our primary mission was to make smoke, but we could hardly crank up the generators before we had to shut them down. We had to keep jeeps out on the autobahn to let us know when they could see the smoke and then we had to shut the generators down. I think the CO before McLain was relieved of his command when he caused a big pile up on the autobahn with the smoke.

I don't think the Chemical Corps, as we knew, it exists anymore. Most, if not all, of its functions have been taken over by other branches. The training center in Alabama no longer exists for that purpose. You can read about it on the Internet.

Several years ago I went back to Germany for a visit. When I went by Funari Barracks it was just like the military compounds in Switzerland - no photos allowed. I got out of the rental car and went over and talked to the gate guards - told them I had been stationed there - they asked me where I was from and I told them, Kentucky - they asked me what country that was in!!!!!!!!!!!!! And they were guarding a USA military post!

My tour ended in August 1958.

Hope this adds a little. There were a couple more Sgts , one a platoon Sgt and the other the Sgt over the Motor Pool - both were mighty fine men, but my memory bank just isn't coming up with the names.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Thought of a platoon sergeant's name and wondered how I could have forgotten it - Sgt. Sheely - really top drawer, one of the best! My assistant platoon sergeant was Sgt. Birch.

Still haven't come up with the sergeant in the Motor Pool - another good one.

One interesting note - we went out on maneuvers once when the ground was frozen hard - it warmed up and started to thaw - the heavy vehicles began tearing up the cobble stone streets of the little towns we were going through, so we were stopped and had to spend the night on the side of the road. We had 4 men in our group that had earned their way to spend some time touring with a USO - they sounded just like the Four Freshmen (I mean really good) - boredom set in, so they slipped off to a local Gasthaus - you can guess the rest of the story - they got happy and they were found having a snowball fight - thus ending their chance of the good life of the USO tour.

During that same time in the field, the CO of the 44th, Cunningham, decided to troupe the smoke line, tanks were moving though the fringe of the smoke, the wind changed momentarily, the tanks didn't see him and one tank flattened a good 12-18 inches, from front to rear, of his jeep. Flame shot high in the air - fortunately the driver and the CO survived without injury.


1957
(Source: Email from Richard Nowadzky, 44th Chem Co, 1957-59)
I was in the 44th Chemical Co stationed at Kafertal, Germany, at the Funari Barracks just outside of Mannheim. Funari Barracks was, at one time, a prison camp for US troops. Also, the 4th Chemical Co was located in the same barracks as the 44th but it was a small co. Capt. Carl Chuningham was the company comander at that time. I was there for 19 months from 1957 to 1959.

The company operated smoke generators. We wore the 7th Army patch. The APO was 28.
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 4th Chem Bn, please contact me.

 
Hanau Chemical Depot
1946
(Source: Email from Carl H. Hulsman, 140th Chem Co, 1946-47; 63rd Chem Co, 1947-49)
I arrived at the 140th Chemical GS Company at Schierling, Germany (just south of Regensburg) on 15 August 1946. Most of my time there was spent taking the TNT burster charges out of German 250 kg Tabun bombs.

On 15 April 1947 the 140th was deactivated and most of us were transferred to the 63rd Chemical BD&M Co at Hanau. Most of my time there I was in the Class V Section.

The barracks for both the 15th and the 63rd was the second three story building on the left as one enters the Pioneer Kaserne north off highway B8. There were five such buildings to the left and five to the right. Most troops in the kaserne were Engineers, next in number were Polish Guards, and we shared this one building with the 540th Military Police Co.

Across the street was the Dunlop Tire Company. If one were to continue along B8 away from Hanau, one would pass through the tiny community of Wolfgang. Going on a mile or more, the Depot was on the left. The town of Kahl is a few more miles ahead on this road.

The depot had four large two story warehouse buildings. Each had a heavy ramp so that vehicles could gain access to the second floor. The lab was in the first building as one enters the depot. There was also a large one story building for the motor pool and a small building for depot headquarters.


In January 1949 I was rotated back to the States where I re-enlisted for the 2d Chemical Mortar Battalion. I went with that battalion to Korea in 1950.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The full name of the 15th was Hqs & Hqs Company, 15th Chemical Depot and the full name of the 63rd was 63rd Chemical Base Depot & Maintenance Company.

During the last five months I was there, I was acting first sergeant of the 63rd. The 15th was attached to the 63rd for administration, rations and quarters so, in effect, I was also first sergeant of the 15th. The 15th was very small, having only about 15 officers and men. Lt Col Donald E. Yanka was CO of the 15th and of the Hanau Chemical Depot. All 15th personnel worked at the depot.

The 63rd had only about 50 officers and men. All 63rd people worked at the depot except our Company Commander, the 1st Sgt and company clerk, the suppy sergeant and his clerk, and the mess sergeant and his cooks.
If you have more information on the history or organization of the Hanau Chemical Depot, please contact me.

1956
The Hanau Chemical Depot is located on Wolfgang Kaserne (), Hanau.

 
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