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109th Military Police Platoon
V Corps

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).


Gibbs Kaserne

I.G. Farben Bldg

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Different views of Gibbs Barracks in the early 1960s (Bob Starks)
(Source: Email from Robert Starks, 109th MP Platoon, V Corps, 1962-1965)
We were stationed at Gibbs Kaserne. When I arrived at Gibbs, our barracks was the second building on the right as you entered the main gate. Later we moved to the first building closest to the main gate. As I recall, we occupied all floors in this building.

The 109th Military Police Platoon performed many tasks. For instance, I was a security guard on a murder court martial. My task was to stay with the accused all during the trial, picking him up from the Stockade and returning him. When we were not otherwise jobbed out, we pulled street duty by being paired with a guy from the 709th MP Bn. They were stationed at Gutleut Kaserne which was down next to the Hauptbahnhof which you may recall is the central train station in Frankfurt. We functioned as regular police officers would in any city in the States, plus we had more specific tasks that you will see below

The mission of the 109th was to provide security for V Corps, HQ & HQ Company to include the I.G. FARBEN BUILDING and the surrounding Farben complex; perform ceremonial duties at many V Corps level events and functions; provide security for the V Corps Tactical Command Posts (personnel-CP) during exercises and actual deployment alerts; provide personal security protection to the V Corps General Staff and other personnel for which security was warranted, such as the 1963 visit of President Kennedy and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

In addition, the 109th provided personnel to assist the 709th MP Bn in patrolling a portion of the city of Frankfurt am Main and performed other assigned duties as required such as surrounding the Soviet Military Liaison Mission in Frankfurt under direct orders of USAREUR CG, General Bruce Clarks.

The platoon consisted of 4 squads, each squad had a squad leader, we had a First Sargent who coordinated with our Company Commander, in addition we had an armory NCO, and two others who's duty descriptions escape me at the moment. I'll try and find out what the specific duties of these NCO were and let you know. Our man power total was 40 maybe a little over.

German General Dr. Hans Speidel visits the V Corps CP in the field (Bob Starks)
When the unit received an alert we followed a very specific set of sealed instructions. During an alert we were tasked to guided the entire V Corps HQ command to preassigned locations. We blocked streets allowing our HQ group rapid movement up into the Taunus Mountains or where ever our sealed orders instructed. Once we arrived at the designated location we set up perimeter security to include blocking posts which were some distance from command central. We placed large signs written in English, German, Russian along side the road leading to our HQ. The signs stated that the area was restricted, no unauthorized vehicles or personnel were to enter. Our guard posts were about a quarter mile from the signs. Our standing orders were to stop anything from entering the area unless we had specific orders otherwise.

We also established the security for Command Central area. Inside this secured area were bivouacked various components of V Corps Command. In addition, we were responsible for the security of the CG's mobile office and quarters that was separate from everything else but always within walking distance of Command Center.

First and foremost the men of the 109th MP Platoon were combat MP's. We were very aware of our mission. Our alerts were monthly and came at all hours of the day or night.

Field Exercises of note that the 109th participated in during my tour of duty, NATO Exercise "FALL-EX," Command Post Exercises "Grand Slam 1," "Grand Slam 2," NATO Exercise "BIG LIFT" and the 'Cuban Missile Crises'.

Following is a list of the Commanding Generals whose security I played a part in. Lt. Gen. Frederic J. Brown 1960/61. Lt. General John K. Waters 1961/62, Lt Gen. J. H. (Iron Mike) Michaelis 1962/63, Lt. Gen. Creighton W. Abrams 1963/64, Lt. Gen. James H. Polk 1964/66.

MP's Karki and Lane of the 109th sit in their patrol jeep at Gibbs

MP M. Orav inspects a severly damaged POV after an accident in Frankfurt
When we were not in the field or pulling street patrol with the 709th or on some other special assignment, we pulled Main and Rear gate security for Gibbs to include the dependent housing area located just outside the back gate of the Kaserne. The security of Gibbs was two fold as there was a Unit Police Detachment that was made up of men from all of the companies stationed at Gibbs. The Unit Police Detachment had as it's ranking officer a 109th MP NCO who was responsible for the thirty or so men assigned to it. I, was the Unit Police Detachment NCOIC 1964/65. The commanding office of the 109th was ultimately responsible for both the 109th MP Platoon and the Unit Police Detachment. We kept a very tight reign on Gibbs Kaserne comings and goings.

109th MP's at Gibbs (Bob Starks)
The 109th was responsible for security of the V Corps Commanding General's office complex that was located on the third floor of the IG Farben building.

As I recall, the 709th MP BN provided the sign in/sign out check station which was located on the right side of the building as you entered the main foyer. In the pictures I sent to you, you will see a picture of me standing next to this station. I had just gotten off duty and was talking with the 709th guys before I drove back to Gibbs. Our only responsibility within the building was that of the Commanding General & Staff Officers and offices. Believe it or not, but one of our duties was to follow the cleaning lady around as she did her housekeeping chores.

When the CG left for the day along with his staff, we remained to insure that nothing left the offices and that nothing was left out in the open that was CLASSIFIED. Our guard post was outside the main door to the CG's office, at this post was a set of key's that would unlock the various doors which we opened allowing for the cleaning lady to do her job. I can't begin to tell you the number of hours I spent following the housekeeper, where ever she went, there went I or whoever had the duty that day. Not very exciting to be sure Walter, but nonetheless, it was extremely important work given the nature of who and what occupied this area.

Inside the Rotunda of the IG Farben Building (Bob Starks)

/Sign-Out Station, IG Farben Building (Bob Starks)

Guarding the entrance to the Terrace Club, V Corps Headquarters Compound (Bob Starks)

109th MP Platoon
Gibbs Barracks

1. PFC Starks

2. Main gate

3. Main gate

4. Sp4 Kovacs



7. Karki & Orav in 1961



10. Starks' locker

11. 109th MP squad bay at Gibbs


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