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54th Engineer Battalion
130th Engineer Brigade

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.


Battalion History (1948-present)

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Battalion History
1948 - present
(Source: Current History, 54th Engr Bn PAO, 1990; 54th Engr Bn Unit History on www.bamberg,army.mil)

54th Engineer Bn DUI

The current history of the 54th Engineer Battalion (Combat) begins in the fall (15 September) of 1948 when it (at the time the unit was designated as the 8th Engineer Combat Battalion) was activated at Panzer Kaserne, Böblingen, Germany as a unit of the United States Constabulary. During the next two years the Constabulary transformed itself from an organization primarily concerned with the police of Germany to a highly mobile, hard-hitting defensive force.

On 1 December 1948, the 8th was redesignated as the 54th Engineer Combat Battalion. During these years the 54th supported the three armored cavalry regiments of the Constabulary. As part of the battalion and regimental combat teams, the 54th participated in many field exercises.

In the fall of 1950, the Seventh Army took over from the Constabulary, and with the addition of four divisions formed the U.S. Forces into two Corps. In this reorganization the battalion was attached to the 115 Engineer Group (Combat), which in turn was attached to VII Corps.

With the influx of troops it became necessary for the battalion to change station and in October 1951 the unit moved to Fliegerhorst Kaserne, Leipheim, Germany. Here the battalion trained to better perform its mission in the defense of Western Europe.

On 5 June 1953, the 54th was redesignated as the 54th Engineer Battalion (Combat).

On 3 May 1954 the Bttalion with the attached 94rd Engineer Company (Float Bridge) demonstrated the use and capabilities of the Class 60 floating bridge at the Günzburg Bridge Training Site on the Danube River. Numerous high ranking officers were present for the demonstration including British General Sir Richard Gale, CINCNORTHAG, General William H. Hoge, CINCUSAREUR, and Lt Gen A.C. McAuliffe, CG, Seventh Army.

In 1956, the 54th Engineer Battalion assisted in the construction of the Hohenfels ring road at the Hohenfels Training Area.

On 15 April 1957, the battalion participated in Operation Gyroscope. The 498th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Webmaster Note: unit history originally mentioned the "493rd Engr Bn") relieved the 54th Engineer Battalion (Combat). The unit left Germany on 15 April 1957 on the USS Buckner from Bremerhaven Port of Debarkation arriving at New York Port of Embarkation on 25 April 1957.

The unit was assigned to the Second US Army and attached to the United States Army Armor Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was further attached to the 160th Engineer Group (Construction). The unit was reorganized per General Order 135, Headquarters Second US Army dated 14 June 1957 as a STRAC Class 3 under reduced Table of Organization.

From 1957 until 1961, the Battalion, stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky did mostly general engineer work; such as the tank monument built in 1957, and rehabilitation work at Camp Pickett, Virginia in 1960.

In the summer of 1961, the Battalion was designated a Superior STRAC unit and was presented the Superior STRAC Streamer.

In September 1961, during the Berlin Crisis, the battalion was alerted for shipment to Europe
as part of Operation Round-Out, and on 9 October 1961, departed Fort Knox for Wildflecken, Germany on the USNS Gordon and arrived there on 21 October 1961.

The unit's mission at Wildflecken has been support of the 14th ACR and later 11th ACR in the V US Corps covering force. While at Wildflecken, only 10 miles from the East German border, the 54th assumed its nickname - the "1 inch line" battalion. The Battalion also relieved the Regiment on the border on several tours.

The 54th began its transition to a mechanized unit in April 1985 - the first corps combat engineer battalion to make the transition. By October, all of the new tracked vehicles were on hand. The battalion finished transition in early 1986, being redesignated the 54th EN BN (Combat) (Mech) on 16 January 1986.


Special Weapons Pltn
Pocket Patch

 
Need information on mission, organization, history of the Special Weapons Platoon.
 
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 54th Engr Bn, please contact me.

 
(Source: Email from Lincoln Drake, son of MAJ Lincoln C. Drake, 54th Engr Bn, Bn XO)
Just came across some old family photos.  My Dad, MAJ Lincoln C. Drake, was XO for Lt Col Craig Cannon of the 54th Engineer Battalion (Combat) in Leipheim.  I was 7 at the time.

In October 1953 the Battalion moved to Fliegerhorst Kaserne, Leipheim, Germany, and on 5 June 1953 was designated the 54th Engineer Battalion (Combat).

On 3 May 1954 the Battalion with the attached 93rd Engineer Company (Float Bridge) demonstrated the use and capabilities of the class 60 floating bridge at the Guenzburg Bridge Training Site on the Donau River. Numerous high ranking officers were present for the demonstration including British General Sir Richard Gale, CINC, NORTHAG; General William H. Hoge, CINC, USAREUR; and Lt Gen A.C. McAuliffe, Commander, Seventh Army.

In 1956 the 54th Engineer Battalion assisted in the construction of the Hohenfels ring road at the Hohenfels training area.
 

54th Engr Bn (C)
Leipheim

 

1. (KB)

2. US and NATO officers at lunch (KB)

3. Leipheim mess hall (KB)


4. (KB)

5. (KB)
 

 
COMPANY "A" - Neu Ulm, APO 35, Christmas 1956
(Source: Author's collection)
  ROSTER OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN:

Page 2 - Officers, Mess, Motor, Supply, Communications
Page 3 - Menu
Page 4 - 1st, 2nd and 3rd Platoons

 
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