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Personal Recollections

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).


8th Inf Div (Mech) moved to 8th ID Page
43rd Inf Div
37th Trans Comd

658th FA Bn (occupation)
28th Base Post Office

Bleidorn Kaserne, Ansbach, Germany
Donald C. Wilson, Jr., Ansbach, 1956
Moved to Overview Page, Field Artillery Section
Bob Tanguay, Ansbach, 1955/56
I arrived in Ansbach in July 1955 and was assigned to the 70th FA Bn at Bleidorn Kaserne. CO was James Click (from Seattle, I believe). The 70th was part of the 18th FA Group which was then commanded by Col. Vernon R. Rawie (from Indiana, I believe). Exec was Lt. Col Mulcahy. On staff was Lt. Thomas E. Dewey, Jr.

I remember that Col. Rawie's favorite expression in addressing the troops was "remember men, there is nothing greater than the sound of a gun to a true artilleryman". One of the band members (Roland Washington) did a water color of a 105 on the door to the band quarters with those words beneath it. The Colonel loved it.

Shortly after arrival at the 70th, I transferred, on indefinite TDY, to the 18th FA Group Band, also at Bleidorn. Band Director was Bill Steineger who was shortly thereafter sent home on emergency leave. I took on the Director's job and stayed in that position until my departure for the ZI in August 1956. The band's major duties included playing at reveille and retreat each day. In addition, we played at each of the sporting events in which the 18th had a team - baseball, basketball, boxing, etc. It was also our responsibility to play at monthly "graduation" day at Crailsheim when the guys in the stockade were released. (Webmaster note: Bob is probably referring to the USAREUR Rehabilitation Center at Crailsheim mentioned in the article "MP Corps Celebrates 15th Anniversary.")

Doug Schlumbohm, Ansbach, 1960/66
Moved to Overview Page, Field Artillery Section

Dachau Kaserne, Dachau, Germany
Lou Pfafman, Dachau, 1958
Dachau had no other name other than Dachau Kaserne. It was not named after a military person like so many other bases.

I arrived in Dachau on December 20th, 1958 with the 2d Howitzer Battalion, 37th Field Artillery. We replaced the 287th Field Artillery Bn. Our unit was designated a STRAC unit and we Gyro'd (Operation GYROSCOPE) to Dachau from Ft. Sill, OK.

Our Bn. was the largest unit on the Kaserne. There was one Btry from the 39th Field Artillery, the 53d Engineer's, a Chemical Company, and the Southern Area Command Stockade (SACOM). We were part of VII Corps. Almost immediately upon arriving overseas we went to the field and participated in Operation WINTERSHIELD, which was a major Field Training Exercise (FTX). During my time over there we participated in many of these exercises. Alerts were unannounced.

The area in which we lived were the old German barracks. The Kaserne was pretty much the way it was after the war. I spent 29 months overseas. The area that housed the prisoners during the war was being used to house displaced persons from other countries. This was like a little city in itself. This was off limits to the GI's but we used to jump the fence and go inside.

The town of Dachau was a beautiful little town, but don't let anyone ever tell you that the people of Dachau did not know what was going on in the concentration camp. The camp was right in the town itself. There was a rail line that ran through the town into the camp. Once you walked through the main gate you crossed the street and went into a Gasthaus. Those people knew.

NOTE: For detailed information on the history of Operation GYROSCOPE, see the USAREUR historical manuscript, Operation Gyroscope, 1954-57

Burg, Sonthofen, Germany
Allen Hall, Sonthofen, 1951
Moved to Personnel Comd Page

Bill Hodges, Sonthofen, 1950 - 1952
My tour at the Burg Kaserne began in December 1950 and lasted into September 1952.

I was a Personnel Classification Specialist, first with the 7720th EUCOM Replacement Depot, subsequently becoming the 307th Replacement Battalion. We had moved to Sonthofen from Marburg. As I was leaving on rotation and eventual discharge the Battalion was splitting into 2 segments: 1/2 going to Bremen, the other 1/2 to Zweibruecken.

Sonthofen is still my favorite place in all the world, next to southern California, where we live. My German wife and I have been back to Sonthofen and environs man, many times since my duty there, most recently last September. We like to stay in a village called Kirwang, just west of Fischen and between Sonthofen and Oberstdorf.

For your info, the Luftwaffe took over the Kaserne after we had moved out and made a Physical Training Center out of it. They are in the process of closing it down and I heard, while we were there, that the German Government is putting it up for sale. It would make a helluva nice resort.

As I recall, during the first few months of our duty there a Constabulary Unit was still functioning there. I thought it was the 7th, but I may be wrong. I also recall that the Army dissolvrd the Constabulary Forces shortly thereafter.
Stay in touch.

I have plenty of photographs of the area. I only visited the old Constabulary Barracks downtown once during my stay. At the time, it was occupied by a colored Trucking Battalion which used to provide all the Repl. Depot's transport.

I must make a correction: the 7th Armored Cav. was there when we arrived. It was not the Constabulary which, as I recall, was disbanded in '48 or '49.

Wayne E. Dixon, Sonthofen, 1950
Moved to 36th FA Group Page, Field Artillery Section

Gibbs Barracks, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Norm Newhouse, Frankfurt, 1962-65
Moved to Special Troops, V Corps, Corps Section

Ludendorff Kaserne, Kornwestheim, Germany
Jim Huffman, Kornwestheim, 1956-59
Moved to 521st Engr Gp, Engineer Section

Tompkins Barracks, Schwetzingen, Germany
Robert Bowman, Schwetzingen, 1961-64
  Moved to 521st Engr Gp, Engineer Section

8th Infantry Division (Mech), Bad Kreuznach, Germany
Jerry Smith, Sandhofen, 1962-64
Moved to 8th Inf Div Page, Divisions Section

37th Transportation Command, Kaiserslautern, Germany
Treve Warnke, Kaiserslautern, 1990-94
I was a soldier stationed with the 501st Transporation Company, 53rd Trans Batallion at Kleber Kasserne in Kaiserslautern, from 1990-1994. There were 3 Trans Companies there ..
66th "Road Kings" Trans Company
89th "Road Masters" Trans Company
501st "Road Warriors" Trans Company

We were attached to the 3rd Armored Division during Desert Shield/ Desert Storm and stayed there for 6 months in the desert. Afterwards it was business as usual till the base foreclosures. Our job was to dismantle Bremerhaven, Germany and Wertheim, Germany, as well as Soesterburg Air Base in the Netherlands. We also transported supplies to the air bases in Ramstein and Frankfurt for the effort in Somalia.

I was a driver with the 501st....I left Germany with 110,000 miles accident free. I drove the M915 at the beginning. It was a 16 speed slapstick daycab tractor trailer.

While I was there at Kleber the Kleber tower was not used by anyone till they remodeled the inside and then the Signal Corps used it. Apparently they used it before. But when I got there it looked very abandoned. But the crest for the Signal Corp was still on the side of the Kaserne.

After I returned from the tour of duty in the desert - maybe I should talk a little of that. To get there we had to load the trucks onto the railhead outside of the Kaiserslautern Army Depot. That took several days. Almost 24 hours a day. In the Desert, our job was to accompany the 3rd Armored supplying them with ammo, tank rounds, food, water, mechanical supplies that could be fixed without the use of a full mechanical unit. We also carried POW's as well.

When I got back, I became a driver trainer. We moved a lot of supplies all over Central Europe, picking up all of my loads at the Army Depot just down the road from the Kaserne. During the base closures the job of the 501st was taken from hauling supplies and other such items, to hauling stuff that only a tractor trailer can get out of the bases closing down. The Road Masters and the 66th took over delivering mail and the regular supply hauls. During this time I got out of being a trainer and concentrated on my job especially at Bremerhaven when we hauled the trailers out of there and had them shipped out at the port near Rotterdam for some sort of a Military Operation that none of us were told. We just hauled them to the port.

At Wertheim, just outside of Wurzburg, our job was to haul all of the ordnance out of the ammo bunkers there. To a special place north of Frankfurt where we had the ordnance guys off load the trailers and then we would haul the empties back to Wertheim to get loaded again. This one closure took no more than 3 months and then the Polizei took over the Kaserne there for a training and HQ base of operations.

We had a few hairy situations hauling the MLRS out of there. One of our trucks hit a slick back road and fell into a drainage ditch...I'll tell you we all just about wet ourselves right there. We didn't know any better. Soesterburg Air Base was a lot easier of a closure. A lot of Aircraft Ordnance and Aircraft parts. We were out there with the Air Forces Trans guys getting all that stuff moved out of there and dispersed to the air bases that needed the ordnance and the parts as well.

The 501st was a great Trans company that I was sad was deactivated. I thought of it as one of the best Trans Companies out there. One of things that was nice about it was that the male - female ratio there was 50-50....And those women could drive trucks. I had several female students that would later become trainers themselves. Most of our loads took us to the surrounding areas of K-Town.....Pirmasens, Ramstein, Landstuhl. And it also took us to places like Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxemburg as well as Berlin. Not much else I can tell ya..

Treve Warnke

43rd Infantry Division, Augsburg, Germany
Carl Frye, Munich and Nürnberg, 1951-53
I served in Germany Nov. 1951 - Dec. 1953 . I was with Mortar Pltn, Company D, 1st Bat. 169th Reg. We were stationed in Munich and Fürth, outside of Nürnberg. Except for the time we were training in Hohenfels or Grafenwöhr.

I have some Pictures taken out in the field. My experience serving in the 43rd Division was a rewarding one. Trained at Camp Pickett Va. Was in the Southern Pines exercise (boy was it hot) After this we packed up everything - all equipment, weapons - and went to Germany .

The 169th was stationed at Munich until late Spring of 1952. Then we moved to Nürnberg which was our home base until I left in Dec. 1953. I remember that in February 1952 it snowed every day for 22 days. Coming from North Carolina this was the most snow I had ever seen. And we were out there in Field 3 out of every 4 months. In fact we were in exercise after exercise ready for combat at Hohenfels and Grafenwöhr.

The training was tough but not like the war our brothers and fathers were in at least no one was shooting at us. We were ready in case they did. We still were able to take time off and go to places like Amsterdam, Holland. Some of the fellows went to Paris.

I am glad I got to serve My Country.

Carl Frye (Carl's Photo Page)

658th Field Artillery Bn, various locations, Germany
Walter Mullen, 658th FA Battalion (8" How), 1945 (as related by his son, Bill Mullen)
My father, Walter Mullen, was in the 658th Field Artillery Battalion during WWII. Towards the end of the war in Europe, the Bn was assigned security guard duty in Aachen, Germany during the spring of 1945 and then went on to towns in Bavaria as part of the Third Army Occupation.

The 658th FA Bn arrived in Aachen on April 5, 1945 having traveled there from Dieppe, France. The Bn strength at the time was 25 officers, 2 warrant officers and 540 enlisted men. The Bn was attached to XXII Corps, 15th Army. In addition to being security guards, they assumed complete administrational control of Camp Brand with over 14,000 displaced persons.

In mid April, the Bn also assumed control of DP Camps Alsdorf, Herzogenrath, Mine, Telebinden, and Zopp. There were a number of unit attachments during the duty at Aachen. I can provide details if they are of interest to you. I also have several photos taken at Aachen in 1945.

The Bn departed Aachen on June 22 and arrived at Bogen, Germany on June 23, 1945. Just prior to departure, the Bn was reassigned from the 15th to the 3rd Army. I don't have much detail about the duties at Bogen. Most of the Unit Journal entries just say "usual occupational duties". However, included with dad's memorabilia is what appears to be a page from a company brochure with an illustration of their premises. The company is located at the Bayerische Dachziegelwerke which manufactures roof tiles. The company is still in business and has a website (in German) with a very similar illustration of their old plant. Dad made notations on the page indicating the Bn used one of the buildings as a HQ and that the Bn lived nearby presumably in tents.

On July 10, 1945 the Bn departed Bogen and traveled to Burglengenfeld where they continued to perform "usual occupational duties". On July 22 they departed Burglengenfeld and traveled to Regenstauf for more of the same.

On October 27 the Bn was attached to the 4th Armored Division. After that it appears that members of the Bn were scattered to various units as needed which seems to have been typical of the Occupation. A remnant of the Bn processed for redeployment and returned to the States where the Bn was inactivated at Camp Kilmer NJ on January 2, 1946.

My father and several others were assigned to the Headquarters, Reserve Command, 4th Armored Division stationed at Regensburg, Germany. I have a copy of a Christmas 1945 dinner menu in which dad marked the names of former 658 men on the roster of EM. As far as dad's individual duties are concerned, his Separation Record military occupation description reads: "STENOGRAPHER -- Served with the Headquarters Detachment Reserve Command, 4th Armored Division at Regensburg, Germany. Took dictation from the commanding officer transcribed it using a typewriter and submitted correspondence for signature. Typed Displaced Persons Camps Inspection reports bi-monthly. Was responsible for replying to all phone calls during the commanding officers absence."

Included in the memorabilia I have are patches from the 102nd Infantry Division and pins from the 405th Infantry Regiment, and I have photos of him wearing them. I am still trying to determine his affiliation with them. He was in Hof in March 1946. From the nature of some of the photos taken in Hof, it appears it was something of a R&R visit. He departed Germany in May 1946 from Bremerhaven aboard the SS Maritime Victory.

28th Base Post Office, Gutleut Kaserne, Frankfurt, Germany
Jeffrey Koren, 28th Base Post Office, 1964-66
Moved to 1st PERSCOM Page, Adjutant General Section