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Explosive Ordnance Units
US 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.


168th Ord Det (EODCC)

512th Ord Det (EODCC)

2nd Ord Det (EOD)

3rd Ord Det (EOD)

20th Ord Det (EOD)

21st Ord Det (EOD)

856th Ord Det (EOD)

Related Links


 
168th Ord Det (EODCC)
 
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 168th Ord Det or EOD in general, please contact me.

 
20th Ord Det (EOD)
(Source: Email from Arnold Niederhofer)
I was assigned to the 20th Ord Det (EOD) in June or July 1956. At that time the 20th was located at Rhine Ammunition Depot (RAD), Miesau,Germany and was assigned to the 84th Ordnance Battalion. Lt George Wallace (deceased) was the Bn S1 officer. George was that rare combination of a good person and a good officer. He returned to EOD in the 1960's and was my boss at White Sands Missile Range, NM.

Names I remember from the 20th EOD: SFC Kenton Kohr, Lt Paul Garber, Lt William Mercer, SP Veryln Keintz, SP Admiral Dewey Kinnan,Jr, SP6 George Hamilton, Sp Roger Gould, SSG Richard (Dick) Branham, CPT Walter H. Jewell and CPT Walter Koorsgard (sp?) and Sp Frank Griffith. There were more but can't recall now.

The 20th did a lot of range work at Baumholder and two EOD tech's were at Baumholder for support.


I also remember that the 50th Ordnance Company (Ammo) was also at RAD. Several months after I arrived at the 20th I was sent to Baumholder to provide EOD support to the training area. I was billeted with the 606th Ord Company (Ammo) and, if I remember correctly, the 606th was part of the 84th.

I was back in Baumholder in 2000, the barracks still looked the same. Plan on another trip this Oct-Nov.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
In 1956 I was assigned to the 20th Ord Det (EOD), 84th Ord Bn, at Miesau Germany. I arrived, after an eleven day trip on the USS Buckner and a long train ride to K-Town then by car to Miesau.

At that time the 20th EOD supported the Baumholder firing range and in August 56 I was sent TDY to Baumholder and assigned to the 606th Ord Co (for quarters, adminstration, etc). I was susposed to stay 30 days but remained for over two years. No one wanted to come to Baumholder and I liked being there.

The 606th didn't really know what to do with me, I was on call 24/7 and waking everyone up to respond to an EOD an incident at two o'clock on a Sunday morning didn't win many friends. I finally ended up in the attic, which suited me.

EOD at that time was located in the French camp and there were just two of us, Lt Mercer was my OIC and I was a Private just out of EOD school. I learned a lot supporting the range at Baumholder. We worked in conjunction with the German EOD and the French EOD. The German team were civilians and the French soldiers. Willi Lunar one of the Germans on the German Team took a liking to me and taught me a lot about unexploded ordnance. Really a fine man and through the years I have often wondered what became of Willi and his family.The names I remember from the 606th are Sam Nellis(Mail Clerk if I remember correctly) Robert Houge(storage spec), Atwell Poteat  (welder in the motor pool), there were many more but my memory  is not all that good any more.

(Source: US Army photos, submitted by Ricky S. Stauber)

ASP #4
Baumholder

 

1. 20th EOD barracks (KB)

2. Transporting the bomb to Baumholder Tank Range (KB)


3. Preparing the bomb for detonation (KB)



4. Moving to a safe distance prior to detonation (KB)



 


Hallway of the 20th Ord Det, showing the steel jail-type door that was kept locked from the
inside by the CQ after duty hours each day

Here is a photo taken inside the building that housed the 20th Ord Det (EOD) in the early
70's. It's a bit blurry or else I could identify some of the ordnance items. I took this picture
because it shows what I seem to recall was a 50 caliber machinegun that was turned into the
20th so that it could be destroyed, presumably with explosives. That would have been an odd
way to demil such an item, but there were stranger things that happened in those days.
(Source: Email from a former unit member, 20th EOD, 1970)

For the USAREUR units website - regarding 20th Ordnance Detachment (EOD) in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany.

I was a 21 year old PFC in October of 1970 when I was assigned to the 20th Ord Det (EOD).

 

20th Ord Det, Kaiserslautern, January 1971
 

In the "winter" photo above you can see the building used by the 20th for several years. I'm afraid that I don't know the real details here. The building was located outside the Kleber Kaserne fence. It has previously been a jail, presumably built for US Forces in the Fifties, or so the story went. But it was a solid place and strong and defensible enough to secure our weapons and materials. We also had a great deal of top-secret nuclear weapons related documentation there, for the render-safe procedures if the need ever arose. Likewise for conventional and chemical weapons for US, allies, and Soviet bloc. Nothing surprising there. We occasionally had visitors from several nations, including the Israelis, who were always snooping for restricted EOD data. In fact we had to have the building debugged from time to time.

This building was located outside Kleber Kaserne, on the east side. The closest building inside Kleber Kaserne was the snack bar which we were told had been converted from its original mission as a stables prior to WWII.

 

Looking from the 20th EOD building, southwest, to the Kleber Kaserne fence
and the stables that had been converted to a snack bar (and bowling alley,
if I remember correctly)
 
  When I arrived the commander was 1LT David D. Dickerson. I remember that because I typed that name so many times. He was one of the best commanders I ever had, in what would become over 30 years in the Army. Dickerson was generous, understanding, and forgiving. He was promoted to captain just before I left the 20th Ord Det in October 1971.

On the left: Not a very good picture of then-1LT David Dickerson, our unit commander. This would have been in Vogelweh about June of 1971. Dickerson and I, and our respective girl-friends, rode our bikes to Monaco to watch the Grand Prix that year.
 

Dennis Hall, 20th Ord Det, 1970
 

The above photo shows the north end of the building and an EOD tech who I believe was Dennis Hall. Am not sure about the names. He arrived in the late spring or early summer of 1971. In this foto you can see one of the typical EOD response vehicles, the blue light on the mast, and the characteristic red fenders.

I went back to Germany on a Reserve assignment in 1980 and 1983, when I was in a CONUS ordnance unit. The 20th Ord Det was no longer at the old pink jail building, but instead at Rhine Ordnance Barracks.

I am also enclosing the unit Christmas card photo (below) from 1970 showing all the unit members as of that time.

 

Members of 20th Ord Det, 1970
 
Inside the "classroom" (below) for the 20th we had a nice collection of demilled /inert ordnance along with some items that only "looked like ordnance." All of these items were used in the EOR (Explosive Ordnance Reconnaissance) training that we gave to units such as the Military Police. Most searches in those days were conducted by the MPs and we at EOD were only called if a suspected ordnance item was found.
 

20th Ord Det training room

 
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