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555th Engineer Group (Combat)
Seventh Army

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.


Group History 

78th Engr Bn

1402nd Engr Bn

499th Engr Bn

55th Engr Co

502nd Engr Co

809th Engr Co



 
Group History

Main Gate, Phillips Barracks
1947 - 1969
(Source: Welcome to the 555th Combat Engineer Group)
555th Engineer Cbt Gp DUI

The 1103d Engineer Combat Group inactivated on May 8, 1946 in Germany but was reactivated on January 20, 1947 at Russelsheim, Germany. The unit was reactivated and redesignated Headquarters Company, 555th Composite Service Group.

Yearbook 1956
  Between 1946 and 1947 the unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 555th Engineer Combat Group operating in Kaufbeuren, Ettlingen, and Karlsruhe, Germany.

The 555th was inactivated on 25 June 1969 in Germany. Personnel and equipment from the Group combined with those of the 540th Engineer Group to form the 7th Engineer Brigade, VII Corps. Personnel and equipment from the 7th Engineer Brigade have redeployed from Germany to provide the foundation for the reactivation of the 555th Combat Engineer Group at Fort Lewis, Washington.
ORGANIZATION - 1956

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
499th Engr Bn (Cbt) Karlsruhe [1]
502nd Engr Co (Pon Bridge) Karlsruhe [1]
809th Engr Co (Pnl Bridge) Karlsruhe [1]
499th Engineer Combat Battalion

On 17 Jan 1955, the battalion was activated at Karlsruhe in place of the 1402nd Engr Cbt Bn and assigned to the 555th Engr Gp. The battalion was responsible for providing maintenance and upkeep to several (swing) bridges that linked the east and west banks of the Rhine River.

The battalion and subordinate units were constantly performing training, also, with many field problems involving float and fixed bridging, training as infantry, and long hours at the rifle range.

"A" Company bore the brunt of the air disaster of August 1955 (see the emails from Rodney Gant and Earl W. Watson on the 499th Engr Bn Page) and had to be reconstructed.

502nd Engineer Pontoon Bridge Company


809th Engineer Panel Bridge Company




555th Engineer Group motor pool, Phillips Barracks

(Source: STARS & STRIPES, June 10, 1956)
The 555th Engineer (Cbt) Group at Phillips Barracks, Karlsruhe, is responsible for maintaining and operating floating bridges on the Rhine River. CO of the group is Col Stanley W. Dziuban.


A "floating" or "swing" bridge
  The group has several prefabricated bridges, known as "swing bridges" or "floating bridges" that are located along the Rhine River. One is at Leopoldshafen, north of Karlsruhe.

The swing bridge consists of two sections of Bailey-type spans, one on each side of the river. Navy "mules" control the moving of the spans and guide them into place. A swing bridge can be swung across the Rhine in 11 minutes.

On the second Sunday of each month, the bridge at Leopoldshafen is swung shut and traffic on the River is closed. The two halves of the bridge, lying parallel to the river banks, are swung into place. The gasoline-run "mules" that look like overgrown outboard motors control the movement of the spans and help "swing" them.

(Source: Annual Historical Report, 1 Jul 1957-30 Jun 1958, Seventh Army, 1958)
ORGANIZATION - 30 June 1958

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
78th Engr Cbt Bn (Army) Karlsruhe [1]
55th Engr Co (Panel Bridge) Kaiserslautern [1]
502nd Engr Co (Pon Bridge) Karlsruhe [1]
809th Engr Co (Panel Bridge) Karlsruhe [1]
11th Labor Svc Dist HQ Karlsruhe [1]
8594th Civ Labor Gp  
8595th Civ Labor Gp  
[1] Source: US Army Station List, 17 April 1957

(Source: Letter AETDO S-3 268/14, dated 18 Dec 1959, HQ 555th Engr Gp, APO 164 via Günter Oswald)
ORGANIZATION - Dec 1959

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
78th Engr Cbt Bn (Army) Karlsruhe [1]
55th Engr Co (PB) Kaiserslautern [1]
502nd Engr Co (FB) Karlsruhe [1]
809th Engr Co (PB) Karlsruhe [1]
6961st CLG  
8540th CLG  
8541st CLG  
8594th Civ Labor Gp  
44th Fin Disp Sec Karlsruhe [1]
[1] Source: US Army Station List, June 1959
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 555th Engr Gp, please contact me.

 
(Source: Email from Jim Roberts)
I was assigned to the 809th Engr Co (PB) Smiley Barracks, Karlsruhe, from Aug 1965 to Sept 1966. The 809th was attached to the 555th Engr Gp.

The 809th Engr Co was a panel bridge unit. Smiley Barracks, just outside of Karlsruhe, was a very small base consisting of 4 units. The 55th Engr Co. was located across the street from the 809th. There was a small unit of M.P.'s and a small Finance unit. The post had one Mess Hall. The cooks from each unit would work 1 day and be off for 2.

The 809th CO was Capt. Derocher (spelling ?). I didn't know it at the time, but he was the best CO. I had while in the service. I was assigned to the 160th HEM CO. at Ft Hood TX in Sept 66 The 160th left Ft Hood on a toop train to San Diego, Calif. Arrived in Vietnam Jan 28th 1967. I was transferred to the 98th LEM Co in Apr or May 1967.

Would appreciate you posting this info to your web site would love to hear from anyone in any of these units.

 
55th Engineer Company (Panel Bridge)
 
55th Engineer Company DI
 

 
502nd Engineer Company (Float Bridge)
 
502nd Engineer Company DI
 
(Source: Email from James Summers)
I was in the 502nd Engineer Company (FB) ("The Deuce"), also called the Rhine River Rats, from December 1965 thru May of 1968. The 502nd was stationed at Rheinland Kaserne in Ettlingen and was attached to the 555th Engineer Grp ("Triple Nickel").

 
809th Engineer Company (Panel Bridge)
 
809th Engineer Company DI
 

 
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