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20th Transportation Battalion
8th Infantry Division

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.


Bn History (1957-19..)

16th Trans Co

23rd Trans Co

104th Trans Co

151st Trans Co

544th Trans Co


 
20th Trans Bn (Inf Div) History
1957 - 19..
20th Transportation Bn DUI
(Source: 20th Transportation Battaion (Inf Div, 1957-1959)


  On August 1, 1959, the 20th Transportation Battalion marks its second anniversary as an organic part of the 8th Infantry Division. When in August of 1957, the "Golden Arrow" Division became Pentomic, the 20th Transportation Battalion was activated to support this new type of infantry division. This made the battalion among the first of any type organization to be "tailor made" to this new concept of warfare.

When the 20th Transportation Battalion was originally conceived it consisted of four companies. These organic units were the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, and the three support companies, A, B, and C. In November, 1957, the 16th, 23rd, 104th, and 151st Transportation Companies were attached to the battalion. Lieutenant Colonel Charles P. Venable has been the Commanding Officer of the battalion since its inception.

At first located at Ulm, Germany, the battalion headquarters moved to Bad Kreuznach when the 8th Infantry Division was relocated during the fall of 1957. Battalion vehicles moved the division from the Nuernberg-Heilbronn-Ulm area to the Rhineland over wintry roads without serious mishap.

The early months of the battalion's existence were spent in training and support missions which served to weld the 20th Transportation Battalion into a cohesive and efficient organization. The battalion continued its fine safety record when from February 10 through 20, 1958 it participated in the gigantic FTX Sabre Hawk without a single military vehicle accident.

Spring of 1958 brought with it a vigorous renewal of river crossing training and other field training exercises. Soon the battalion's personnel carriers were operating proficiently on land and water. During the closing months of 1958, ATT's, IG and CMI inspections and qualification firing of TOE weapons evidenced the proficiency attained during the year.

River crossing training for 1958 was climaxed by the 20th Transportation Battalion becoming the first such organization to cross the Rhine River. This training took place September 8 through 10. The crossing was historically significant in that it was this very same ages old military barrier which allied commanders feared might impede the advance into Germany during World War II. The 20th Transportation Battalion eliminated any grounds for similar apprehension when its C Company crossed elements of the 18th, 504th and 505th Infantries on different dales during river crossing training in the summer of 1959.

On October 2, 1958, Brigadier General Frederick D. Atkinson, USAREUR Transportation Officer, said he was "most impressed" after observing personnel carriers of C Company in a demonstration of their role of transporting infantry troops. The USAREUR Transportation Chief was accompanied by Colonel Robert B. Neely, Seventh Army Transportation Officer, Colonel Harvey J. Yost, V Corps Transportation Officer, and Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Robbins, Plans Branch Chief, USAREUR Transportation Division.

On December 20, 1958, the 151st Transportation Company rotated to the United States and the 544th Transportation Company arrived in Germany (Webmaster Note: a Gyroscope movement). The 544th took its place in the battalion and immediately began carrying its load without causing any lapse in the battalion's operations.

When the 8th Infantry Division became the only airborne-infantry composite division in the United States Army, the increased transportation requirements were met by the reorganization of the 544th and the 16th Transportation Companies into four-platoon companies. The 23d Transportation Company moved from Baumholder to Wiesbaden on January 8, 1959, as part of the plan for supporting the airborne battle groups in the Mainz-Wiesbaden area.

Once again in 1959 the units went through annual ATT's and fired their TOE weapons, testifying to the skill and state of combat readiness in the battalion. Units organized smallbore rifle teams and competed in firing matches. Intramural sports took on new emphasis with all personnel taking part in a program to make them proficient in at least one sport during their overseas tour.

In addition to the Rhine River crossings participated in by C Company, there was river crossing training on the Mosel River. There, B Company crossed elements of the 16th and 26th Infantries during July 1959.

From the period August 1, 1957, to the present, the 20th Transportation Battalion has driven more than 3,000,000 miles or 120 times around the world, in all kinds of weather and over all kinds of terrain with a minimum of mishaps. This outstanding record is permanent proof of the skill and proficiency of the men of the 20th Transportation Battalion. It is also evidence of the battalion's preparedness to help keep the 8th Infantry Division battle-ready at all times

 
 

SHIELD
  This is the shield of the 20th Transportation Battalion. The chariot with warrior-driver symbolizes the dual role of the driver-infantryman which every soldier of the Transportation Corps plays. The conventional atom symbol appearing at the upper left and the five stars depict the battalion's role in the Pentomic Concept. The blue and white signify dependability and devotion to country, and the colors being super-imposed show the battalion's ability to function both in daylight and nighttime. On the scroll at the bottom of the shield appear the words "Combat Mobility", the motto of the 20th Transportation Battalion.

"Combat Mobility" is a short phrase, but the connotations of this phrase are many. Our mission is to provide tactical mobility and logistical movement

The very newness of the Battalion typifies the ability of the United States Army to adapt itself to any new change in the concepts of warfare. The 20th Transportation Battalion is, by virtue of its birthright, truly a Pentomic organization. It was created specifically for the purpose of providing "Combat Mobility" for an Atomic Age Infantry Division. The training received and the missions performed by this organization are geared to prepare us to succesfully complete our mission in either a nuclear or a conventional war.

 
Headquarters and Headquarters Company

HHD Roster
  Headquarters and Headquarters Company was first located at Ulm, Germany, and moved to Bad Kreuznach in Operation Switch in the fall of 1957. The mission of the personnel in Headquarters and Headquarters Company is to assist the battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles P. Venable, with the multiple affairs for which he is responsible as battalion commander. From this focal point, the battalion staff officers, with the personnel who assist them, coordinate the administration, training, operations, supply, communications, and maintenance procedures of the 20th Transportation Battalion.

Two track maintenance sections which are assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company are located at Baumholder, one each with B and C Companies. The mechanics in these two sections and the ones in the truck maintenance section at Bad Kreuznach are responsible for maintaining all of the 20th Transportation Battalion's vehicles.

First Lieutenant John O. Scott assumed command of Headquarters and Headquarters Company on June 20, 1959 when Captain Howard S. Reffner, the former commander, became the Battalion S-4.

  Static display of 20th Trans Bn equipment at Open House during 184th Anniversary of the Army

 
A Company

A Co Roster
  The only organic truck company in the 20th Transportation Battalion, A Company was activated on August 1, 1957. Originally located at Goeppingen, Germany, A Company moved to Bad Kreuznach on December 27, 1957. The company's vehicles drove over 89,000 miles during Operation Switch in support of the 8th Infantry Division without a single accident.

The present mission of the company is to furnish truck transportation for general support of the division.

From February 10 through 20, 1958, the company went to the field in FTX Sabre Hawk. In April of 1959, A Company supported all phases of Operation Arrow.

Captain Lawrence Valla was commanding officer of the company until June 15, 1959, when First Lieutenant Charles W. McAlister assumed command.

As of June 15, 1959, A Company drivers have operated their vehicles over 1,970, 300 miles of German roads and have had less than one accident per quarter million miles.

  A Company's vehicles in the unit motor pool at Bad Kreuznach.

 
B Company

B Co Roster
  Activated on August 1, 1957, at Schwabach, Germany, B Company moved to its present location at Baumholder in November 1957.

The company was originally composed of personnel tansferred from the 16th Transportation Company, the 5th Infantry Regiment and the 13th Infantry Regiment.

The company has taken an active part on several field problems. In FTX Sabre Hawk, the value of the personnel carrier was definitely proved by successfully accomplishing the company's mission of supporting the 8th Infantry Division with the high mobility so necessary to cope with present day requirements.

The company has reached a high state of training by participating in river crossing exercises with 8th Infantry Division battle groups. Training exercises have been held on the Nahe, the Mosel, and the Rhine rivers. In 1958, B Company supported the 12th and the 28th Infantries during ATT's and FTX's. In July of 1959, B Company supported the 16th and 26th Infantries in crossing the Mosel River. The company is also supporting division battle groups in the annual ATT's for 1959.

  Unit reenlistment and troop information programs in action.

 
C Company

C Co Roster
  On August 1, 1957, when C Company was activated the 131 enlisted men and three officers undertook the task of "shaping up" their newly moved into billets.

On December 17, 1957, all personnel bade farewell to Artillery Kaserne at Neckarsulm, Germany, and moved to their new location at Baumholder.

In February of 1958, the company departed Baumholder for the vicinity of Hessenthal, Germany, to participate in FTX Sabre Hawk.

On March 20 of the same year, First Lieutenant Robert L. Bergquist assumed command of the company, replacing Captain Patrick N. Delavan who was reassigned to the United States.

In June, the company started river crossing training on the Nahe river at Gensingen, Germany.

Then, on July 7, 1958, the company began a three-day ATT at Baumholder. The unit received a score of 98.6, highest in the battalion and was awarded the battalion commander's trophy.

Highlight of company activities came when from September 8 through 10, the company participated in river crossing training across the Rhine River near Oppenheim. This training included night as well as day crossings.

Lieutenant Bergquist departed for the United States March 22, 1959, and First Lieutenant Henry A. Shockley, formerly of B Company, assumed command.

In May of 1959, the company crossed elements of the 18th, 504th, and 505th Infantries over the Rhine River. Then on June 22 through 23, newly assigned men crossed the Nahe to complete their basic carrier operation training.

  Keeping weapons in good shape.

 
ORGANIZATION (Dec 1960):

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
HHC, 20th Trans Bn Bad Kreuznach [1]  
A Company Bad Kreuznach [1]  
B Company Baumholder [1]  
C Company Baumholder [1]  
16th Trans Co (Trk) Gonsenheim [1]  
23rd Trans Co (Lt Trk) Biebrich [1]  
104th Trans Co (Lt Trk) Sandhofen [1]  
544th Trans Co (Trk) Baumholder [1]  
[1] STATION List, 31 Dec 1960
 
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 20th Trans Bn (Inf Div), please contact me.

 
(Source: Email from Leoard Yniguez)
In May 1960, I left Fort Dix, New Jersey by bus to Brooklyn Naval Shipyard, New York. I sailed on the U.S.N.S. Upsur to Bremehaven, Germany.  I was aboard her for 11 days at sea, crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

For more pics, see Leonard's personal website.

A Co, 20th Trans Bn
Bad Kreuznach

 

1. A Co deuce-and-a-half

2. A Co motor pool 1960

3. A Company barracks


4. Mess hall




 
16th Transportation Company
1957 - 19..
(Source: 20th Transportation Battaion (Inf Div, 1957-1959)

16th Trans Co Roster
  Safety and maintenance are no small matter for the 16th Transportation Company (Truck) in Mainz. Despite the increased workload imposed upon it in support of the recently arrived 1st Airborne Battle Groups, 504th and 505th Infantries, the 16th Transportation Company has continued to maintain its vehicles in a high state of operational readiness and to perform its primary troop and cargo transport requirements for over 16 months, travelling 593,051 consecutive miles without a single accident. This achievement merited a special award from Major General Philip F. Lindeman, former 8th Infantry Division Commander.

The 16th Transportation Company commanded by Captain Declan B. Lehane, received the 8th Infantry Division Traffic Safety Award for the first quarter of calendar year 1959. This award is given to the unit that achieves the lowest number of privately-owned vehicle accidents and military moving vehicle accidents in the entire 8th Infantry Division. In addition to this award, the 16th Transportation Company received two certificates of achievement and two commendation streamers for safety.

The 16th Transportation Company has demonstrated the effectiveness of its maintenance system by achieving the lowest percentage of first and second echelon maintenance deficiencies in the 20th Transportation Battalion for Seventh Army roadside spot-check inspections.

In sports, the 16th Transportation Company has captured the Mainz-Gonsenheim Regional Bowling Tour nament trophy.

  Receiving the special safety award.

 
1961
(Source: Email from James D. Queen)

Group photo, 1961
  This is a photo of all officers and NCO's of the 16th Transportation Company. The picture was taken about 1961. The 16th was stationed at Lee Barracks in Gonsenheim.

 
23rd Transportation Company
1957 - 19..
(Source: 20th Transportation Battaion (Inf Div, 1957-1959)

23rd Trans Co Roster
  The 23rd Transportation Company was activated on August 1, 1957. Captain Marvin M. Kirchner, now battalion assistant operations officer, was the unit's first commanding officer. The present commander is Captain Vincent Pasquariello.

Now located at Rhine Kaserne at Biebrich, Germany, the 23rd Transportation Company was formerly located at Baumholder where it supported the 12th Infantry. The company's vehicles accumulated over 100,000 accident-free miles while supporting that unit.

In January 1959, the 23rd Transportation Company moved to its present location to support the 505th Airborne Infantry.

Since March 1959, the company has driven over 100,000 accident-free miles.

Since its activation, the 23rd Transportation Company has received safe driving streamers for December, 1957 and for February, March, October, November, and December, 1958.

For its safe driving record, the unit received a 100,000 accident-free mile trophy in July 1958. A trophy for the best maintenance shop in the fourth quarter of 1958 is also a possession of the company. While at Baumholder, the unit won the first place horseshoe trophy in August 1958 and the second place softball trophy in September 1958.

  Briefing company personnel prior to a commitment.

 
104th Transportation Company
1957 - 19..
(Source: 20th Transportation Battaion (Inf Div, 1957-1959)

104th Trans Co Roster
  The 104th Transportation Company, located at Coleman Barracks, Sandhofen, Germany, is commanded by Captain Reginald Deagle.

The company first went into action in North Africa in 1943. It later look part in the campaigns of Sicily, Anzio, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, and Central Europe. After the war, there were other assignments which in November, 1957, culminated in attachment to the 20th Transportation Battalion.

The 104th first supported the 13th Infantry at Sandhofen. In the course of supporting the 13th Infantry and later the 18th Infantry, the 104th has accrued over 513,00 accident-free miles over a period of 517 consecutive days. In the spring of 1959, the 104th lent its support to the 8th Cavalry in Operation Boot Out.

In April of 1959, the company received a superior in its annual ATT. When the 18th Infantry underwent its river crossing training in May, the 104th supported the infantrymen with transportation.

Two of the proud possessions of the 104th Transportation Company are the battalion commander's trophy for the unit with the highest rifle scores and the battalion commander's trophy for the unit with the highest carbine scores for 1958.

  Former Division Trains commander presents Gold Cup safe driving award to Capt Deagle.

 
151st Transportation Company
1957 - 1958
(Source: 20th Transportation Battaion (Inf Div, 1957-1959)
The 151st Transportation Company gyroscoped to the United States on December 20, 1958, and was replaced by the 544th at Baumholder.

 
544th Transportation Company
1958 - 19..
(Source: 20th Transportation Battaion (Inf Div, 1957-1959)

544th Trans Co Roster
  The 544th Transportation Company is the newest addition to the 20th Transportation Battalion family of units. When the 151st gyroscoped to the United States December 20, 1958, the 544th took over its mission at Baumholder.

The 544th has a fine record which begins with its activation during World War II, during which it particapated in four campaigns. After that conflict came to a close, the company remained on active status and held various assignments both in Europe and in the United States.

In the first six months that it has been a part of the 20th Transportation Batnation, the 544th Transportation Company's drivers have added over 200,000 accident-free miles to their truck speedometers.

Another capacity in which the 544th Transportation Company has done well is in the field of German-American relations. The members of the company have voluntarily assumed the sponsorship of Saint Irminen's Orphanage at Trier, Germany.


The 544th Transportation Company is commanded by Captain Donald W. Plants.

For the period ending May 31 1959, the company has received five concecutive 8th Infantry Division Certificates of Achievement for one hundred percent participation in the division savings program.

  Learning from instruction and self-study.

 
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