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249th Engineer Construction Battalion
18th 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.

432nd Engr Const Bn

249th Engr Const Bn

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432nd Engineer Construction Battalion
1952 - 1955

Dedication ceremony at Panzer Kaserne, Kaiserslautern marking completion of a
3-mile spur from the city's Bahnhof to the Ordnance Service Center, 1954

432nd Engineer Const Bn DUI

(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Sept 15, 1954)
Three Army generals — all veteran engineers — participated in a ceremony at Panzer Kaserne in Kaiserslautern on Septemer 14, 1954. During the ceremony, the generals drove in "golden" spikes marking the completion of a rail spur built by U.S. labor to further German-American friendship.

The generals wielding the sledge hammers
were Gen William M. Hoge, USAREUR commander-in-chief; Maj Gen Miles Reber, Western Area Comd CG, and Brig Gen Frank M. Albrecht, USAREUR chief engineer. All three generals missed the spikes on their initial swipes and joined in the laughter which their actions set off among the men of the 432d Engr Const Bn who constructed the spur. Each then were successful on their second attempts.

A fourth spike was driven by Lt Col Earle C. Mellett, CO of the 311th Engr Const Gp, parent organization of the 432d which completed the three-mile-long spur a month ahead of schedule.
The 432d put in more than 34,000 man-days on the job as part of its training program.

As the ceremony drew to a close, Gen Hoge cut a ribbon spanning the tracks and his special train in which he traveled here from Heidelberg passed through.

Following the ceremony, the rail spur was turned over to Bundesbahn officials. The line extends from Kaiserslautern's main rail station to the Ordnance Service Center in Panzer Kaserne here and provides the German rail net with direct access to the installation.

Music for the ceremonies was provided by the 427th Army Band, directed by WOJG Carl H. Albert.)

(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Feb 25, 1955)
The 432nd Engineer Battalion, a construction unit attached to the 311th Engr Gp since 1952 and stationed in Kaiserlautern, has been inactivated at Kleber Kaserne and its colors returned to the States and given a reserve status.

In its place, the 249th Engineer Battalion has been activated. The new battalion has taken over the mission, personnel and equipment of the former 432nd.
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 432nd Engr Const Bn during their service in Germany, please contact me.

249th Engineer Construction Battalion
1955 - 1991

249th Engineer Bn (Cons) DUI

(Source: US Army Corps of Engineers website, accessed March 29, 2013)
The 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) mission (2013) is to provide advice and technical assistance in all aspects of electrical power and distribution systems and to generate and distribute prime electrical power in support of Army operations worldwide. But this was not always the case.

The 249th Engineer Combat Battalion was originally constituted in 25 February 1943 and activated 5 May 1943 at Camp Bowie, Texas. The Battalion was deployed to Europe where it engaged in four major World War II campaigns, and was cited in the Belgian Army Order of the Day for action in the Ardennes in Alsace, France. Following the war, the unit pulled a short tour of occupation duty and then returned to Camp Patrick Henry, Va., where it was inactivated on 27 November 1945.

On 23 March 1948, the Battalion was redesignated as the 442d Engineer Battalion and assigned to the Active Reserve Corps under Fifth Army. The Battalion was activated and affiliated with the Iowa State Highway Commission in 1948-49. It again was inactivated in May 1950 and returned to reserve status.

On 25 June 1952, the 442d Battalion was redesignated as the 249th Engineer Construction Battalion, and on 9 December 1954 was allocated to the Regular Army. The battalion was reactivated on 9 February 1955 and sent to Kaiserslautern, West Germany.

In March 1960, the Battalion deployed to France, fragmented and performed airfield missions. It returned to Karlsruhe, West Germany in 1965.

On 30 June 1975, the Battalion was redesignated as the 249th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy).

On 8 December 1990, the 249th deployed to Southwest Asia to participate in Desert Shield and later Desert Storm. For its actions there, the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

On 29 April 1991, the unit returned to Germany and was inactivated on 15 October 1991.

The 249th is a four time Itschner Award winner with D Company in 1982, C Company in 1983, B Company in 1984, and B Company once again in 1986. Additionally, the 249th Engineer Battalion has produced three Sturgis Award winners.

Click here to read the entire article.

The US Army Corps of Engineers article above is incorrect - the 432nd Engineer Construction Battalion at Kleber Kaserne was reflagged as the 249th Engineer Construction Battalion in 1955, NOT the 442nd.

(Source: Wikipedia)

End of World War II

IIn May 1945, when the war ended in Europe, the battalion was moved to Plattling, Germany where they built a camp for displaced refugees. In November 1945, the 249th Engineers were sent on their final orders to Camp Lucky Strike, near Marseilles, France and then redeployed back to the United States. The battalion was inactivated at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia on 27 November 1945.

Occupation & Cold War

In late 1954, the Black Lion Battalion was withdrawn from the Reserves and assigned to the Regular Army. In February 1955, it was activated and assigned to USAREUR and an Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy). From 1955 until 1960, the 249th Engineer Battalion (Construction) was stationed at Kleber Kaserne, Kaiserslautern, Germany. Then it was dispatched to France for a time.

(After returning from France in 1965,) the battalion was stationed at Gerszewski Barracks, Knielingen, Germany under the command of the 18th Engineer Brigade where it provided construction support to USAREUR elements stationed in Germany for the Cold War.

If you have more information on the history or organization of the 249th Engr Const Bn, please contact me.

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