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9th Engineer Battalion
7th 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.

Battalion History (1957-1962)

ADM Pltn

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Battalion History
1957 - 1962
9th Engineer Battalion DUI
(Source: A Short History of the 9th Engineer Battalion, Aschaffenburg, Germany, 1962)

In the mid-1950's, the US Army initiated a system of unit overseas rotation known as "Gyroscope." Under the "Gyroscope" concept, an overseas unit would trade places with a like unit from the United States. On these moves, only individual equipment and weapons would be transported, the majority of the organic equipment remaining in place to be assumed by the new unit.

In the fall of 1956, the 9th Engineer Battalion was alerted to make a "Gyroscope" movement to Germany to replace the 35th Engineer Battalion in Kitzingen. It did not take long for excitement to mount as preparations for the move got underway. For many it would be the first trip outside of the United States. For others, it would be going back to a familiar land. For most it meant a change of routine, a change of scenery, without the sudden change of faces and names that had always gone with a move to a new station.

Those who were shipping automobiles to Europe made the trip from coast to coast by car, bringing their families with them. At the Brooklyn Army Terminal they joined the main body of the battalion which had departed from Fort Lewis by troop-train on 5 March 1957. Families and troops alike boarded the USNS Callan which cast off from its pier on the 11th. Problems with the ship's screw forced the Callan back to New York with less than a day at sea, but the voyage resumed the next day. The families and men stood at the rail and watched the Statue of Liberty once more fade from sight.

The ship pulled into Bremerhaven on the 1st of March. Dependents were put aboard one train, the troops on another. The two trains pulled into Kitzingen on the 22d and the men of the Ninth got their first glimpse of Harvey Barracks, their new home. Their counterparts from the 35th Engineer Battalion climbed onto the same trains and within a few weeks would he occupying the Ninth's old barracks at Fort Lewis.

In Defense of Freedom

The Main is a picturesque river rising near the Czech border in the mountains of northeast Bavaria. Following a serpentine route in a general westerly direction it flows through the vineyards of Franconia, finally joining the Rhine River near the cities of Mainz and Wiesbaden. With the aid of an extensive series of dams and locks, the river is navigable to the city of Bamberg, where flat-bottomed barges and boats may enter the Regnitz Canal. Moving downstream from Bamberg, the Main flows through the industrial city of Schweinfurt, then veers southward to pass through Kitzingen and Ochsenfurt. It then swings toward the north through the Lower Franconian capital of Wuerzburg until it is forced southward again by the Spessart Mountains. Skirting the eastern, southern, and western edges of the wooded Spessarts, it follows a beautiful valley leading into Aschaffenburg and then enters a broad plain as it passes through Hanau, bisects the modern city of Frankfurt, and joins the Rhine for its journey to the North Sea.

The town of Kitzingen, with a population in the vicinity of 18,500, lies on the right bank of the Main River in the district known as Lower Franconia. Along the narrow streets in the center of town can be seen buildings, churches, and towers dating back to the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. It is one of the centers of the Franconian wine industry.

The 9th Engineer Battalion proceeded to settle down in its new home. Before long a five-day field exercise was scheduled to give the officers, NCO's, and men an opportunity to get acquainted with the terrain on which they might have to fight. The first of a series of annual inspections by the Inspector General was conducted and the unit rated superior. An army training test was given the battalion and an overall score in excess of 95% was achieved. This score earned a superior rating and a six-day training holiday for the battalion. It soon became apparent to the commander of the 37th Engineer Group, the superior headquarters of the Ninth, that this newly arrived unit was in the peak of condition. This was confirmed when the new arrival entered and won the 37th Group demolition competition, the first of a long line of successes which in the next five years would earn the battalion trophies for communications (1958), rifle marksmanship (1959, 1960), pistol marksmanship (1959, 1960), panel bridge construction (1959), float bridge construction (1960, 1961) and many athletic tournaments.

With less than a year in their new home at Kitzingen, the 9th Engineer Battalion was ordered to move to new quarters at Smith Barracks in Aschaffenburg. The move was made by motor convoy in November of 1957, arriving in time to get settled down for the big Thanksgiving dinner. The following January the battalion was designated a permanent V Corps attachment and given the authority to replace the Seventh Army shoulder patch with the blue and white pentagon of V Corps.

Aschaffenburg, a city of 55,000 inhabitants, is located downstream from Kitzingen along the Main River in the extreme northeast corner of Bavaria. Since serving as an ancient Roman outpost, it has grown in size and importance until today it claims to be the center of the West German men's clothing industry. It is proud to be called "The Gateway to the Spessart Mountains." To the visitor and resident alike, it offers several beautiful parks for relaxation after visits to the Johannisburg Castle, the 10th century Basilica Church, or a stroll through the narrow streets of the old Fisherman's Quarter.

In February of 1958, the battalion participated in the major field training exercise "Sabre Hawk." This maneuver involved the majority of the Seventh Army units and required extensive coordination with the West German Army, the Bundeswehr. For the Ninth, the exercise culminated with the construction, under very difficult conditions, of a floating bridge on the Main River near Wertheim.

Another major maneuver was conducted during January and February of 1960. This was the highly publicized exercise "Wintershield" which involved virtually the entire Seventh Army and troops from the Bundeswehr and French Army. The battalion took the field and did its fighting in the area between Bayreuth and the Seventh Army major training area at Grafenwoehr. The following winter the Ninth was again called out on a similar exercise, "Wintershield II." Few who participated in these long arduous problems will forget the snow, the cold, the mud, and the many difficulties encountered by an army in the field.

Between these large-scale maneuvers the battalion engaged in several division-level field exercises and conducted annual training in the mountainous terrain of the Wildflecken training area. Annual float bridge training was conducted on the Main River at the Campo Pond training site near Hanau, in preparation for the yearly crossing of the Rhine River at Leeheim. An experiment was successfully carried out during the 1958 bridging at Leeheim, when an Army helicopter was used to transport the pre-constructed anchorage towers from the near to the far shore.

In addition to a heavy schedule of routine training, the battalion was committed on tasks which proved their skill in all phases of combat engineering. An access road to the training areas at Wildflecken Post was started in 1958. The formal opening ceremonies took place on 30 September 1959 with the V Corps commander, Lieutenant General Paul D. Adams, officiating. Assisting the Ninth on this job were the 299th and 317th Engineer Combat Battalions, the 568th Light Equipment Company (all from the 37th Group) and elements of the 7th Engineer Construction Brigade.

In the summer of 1958, a flare-up in the Cold War resulted in the dispatch of an expeditionary force to Lebanon. One of the battalions of the 37th Group, the 299th Combat Battalion, was moved with short notice into the troubled area. The Ninth responded to a sudden call for personnel and transferred 100 of its men to the Lebanon-bound outfit. Upon the return of the 299th to Germany, the men were given the opportunity of returning to their former unit and the majority returned happily to the 9th Engineer Battalion and their Aschaffenburg home.

On 13 December 1958, the 9th Engineer Battalion was expanded by the addition of Company D. The company, which was formed by a redesignation of Company A, 63rd Engineer Battalion, was originally located at Giessen, Germany, and remained there until the following March when the move to Aschaffenburg was completed.

On 1 December 1961, the battalion was relieved of attachment to the 37th Engineer Group at Hanau and attached to the 540th Engineer Group with headquarters in Kornwestheim, Germany. With the change, the men of the battalion removed their V Corps shoulder patches and sewed on the big red star of VII Corps.

With the transfer to VII Corps attachment, the unit began to do their twice-yearly training at the Seventh Army Training Areas of Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr instead of on the reservation at Wildflecken. The battalion began moving to the field more frequently, as they provided engineer support to the divisions of VII Corps on their annual week-long field training exercises. On these exercises, the majority of which were held during winter months, the Ninth rendered a variety of support. On some it augmented the divisional engineer battalions in the accomplishment of engineer tasks. On others the battalion was charged with the responsibility of controlling, reporting, and repairing maneuver damage. They had already gained considerable experience in the latter field while serving under V Corps. In the summer of 1961, Company D spent several months at Grafenwoehr straightening out the damage done during "Wintershield II." During November 1961, the Ninth was charged by the V Corps commander with the responsibility for establishing a tight control and reporting system for maneuver damage created by the 3rd Armored Division and the 8th Infantry Division on exercises "Brandywine" and "Main Barge." Company D spent several months in 1962 and 1963 repairing maneuver damage near the town of Osterburken.

Construction experience was gained by the battalion in many ways. Projects were assigned which assisted the German communities in the vicinity of Aschaffenburg. These German-American projects generally consisted of sport-field construction, the earthwork connected with civic or church enterprises, or the emergency use of heavy equipment to alleviate unexpected problems. During May of 1962, Company B went to the Grafenwoehr Training Area to do light construction work on the ranges of the reservation. Each of the companies engaged, at one time or another, in small construction projects for the military units at Aschaffenburg. Several HAWK missile sites were also built by the men of the 9th Engineer Battalion.

Float bridge training continued with the unit spending a dozen or so days each year on the Rhine River. In general the training site near Leeheim was used, but in 1962 the bridge was put in near the city of Speyer. Additional periods of float bridge training were scheduled in the summer of 1962 on the Danube near Gross Mehring; and panel bridge training was carried out in the beautiful Altmuhl Valley near Riedenburg.

So, with many days each year being spent away from their home station of Aschaffenburg, the 9th Engineer Battalion continued intensive training to keep prepared for that ever-present possibility, the outbreak of war. While the diplomats conferred, negotiated, and sued for peace, the 9th Engineer Battalion, with its many comrades in the Seventh Army, maintained itself in a combat-ready posture. With the Iron Curtain only a few miles away, the battalion was truly serving on "Freedom's Frontier."

If you have more information on the history or organization of the 9th Engr Bn, please contact me.

(Source: Welcome Pamphlet, 9th Engr Bn, 1959)

Welcome Pam 1959
Summary of Activities (1958)

Since its arrival in Aschaffenburg in November 1957 the battalion has run a tight schedule, dividing its time between customary training and field exercises and projects designed to benefit surrounding communities as well as improve existing military facilities. Some examples: assistance in building several sports fields, maintenance of the local orphanage, aid to the youth center and International Club; partial construction of an airstrip at Buedingen, restoration of rifle ranges at Wertheim, Schweinheim and Darmstadt, and construction of a hardstand and washrack for armored vehicles at Kitzingen.

For an idea of the range of battalion activies - which you will be taking part in - here ist a brief review of the 1958 highlights:
February - engineer support on FTX "Sabre Hawk", the largest ever held in USAREUR; bridge and minewarfare training at Campo Pond, Hanau.

March - support for V Corps CPX "Lion Bleu".

April - moved to Wildflecken Training Area for tactical training, engineer support of the 373rd Armd Inf Bn and maintenance of range roads.

June - earned 3rd place in the 37th Engr Gp Bridge Competition at Hanau.

July - Rhine River crossing at Oberstein.

August - back to Wildflecken for more tactical training and road maintenance.

October - "high excellent" on the Army Training Test

November - engineer support for the 3d Inf Div CPX "Autumn Vanguard".

December - "high excellent" on the Annual General Inspection
"Home of the 9th"

Smith Barracks is home. Here you eat, sleep, work, pull guard duty, and best of all - get paid.

The local citizens know it as La Garde Kaserne, named for a large forest near Paris which served as a famous World War I battlefield. It was completed in 1937 and was the headquarters of the 106th Infantry Regiment of the German Army until 1945. For three years the kaserne lay unoccupied; when restored it housed Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion of the 18th US Infantry Regiment.

The kaserne was re-designated Smith Barracks in honor of Colonel George A. Smith, the Commanding Officer of the 18th who was killed in action 1 March 1945. He had been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action in the vicinity of St. Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, on D-Day 1944.

These units remained until 1955 when they were replaced by the 87th Infantry Regiment, whose tenure ended in July of 1957. The 9th (Engr Bn) took over in November of that year and has kept house up to the present, just recently expanding to take over part of Jaeger Kaserne. This was the result of the addition of Co D to the battalion, new facilities being needed to house the increased number of personnel. Co A moved into a section of the Education Building in Jaeger Kaserne, thus leaving adequate room for the new company.

Besides well-equipped day rooms, this kaserne contains a large gymnasium, the home of "Colts", and an eight-lane-bowling alley. The EES also maintains a pick-up point for laundry, shoe and watch repair etc . . . .

(Source: Email from Ronald Carnaghi, C Company, 9th Cbt Engr Bn)
I was in the 9th from November 1959 to September 1961. Was in both Wintershields, was in cleanup of Wintersheild 2 at Grafenwohr when the wall was put up in Berlin.

When I first got there I was the Comany clerk because I previously had typing experience. I worked for Sgt. Major Harold H. Hood. I can't remember our CO's name.

I had four MOS's so in March of 1960 I transferred back to being a Heavy Equipment Operator. I operated a Bulldozer and drove a tractor trailer lowboy.

In the summer of 1960 we were on bridge training for crossing the Rhine River when the Hellicopter carying the cable across the river had to drop it because of the wind. The bridge work was completed successful on that day.

Some of the men in the equipment crew were SP-5 Hobbs , SP-4 Ebert, SP-4 Larry Darlington, PFC Al Nixon, PFC Pennington, and myself, SP-5 Ron Carnaghi. Some of the Platoon Sgts. were Hicks, Musselwhite, Randolph, Mathews.

In the fall of 1960 the Company received a Michigan rubber tire end loader and I became the operator of it.

In the spring the Company returned to Grafenwoehr for the restoration of the farmland and roads. We were out doing the work when the Berlin Crisis happened. We were immediately put on alert and ready to move out.

The barracks we lived in had outside walls that were 3 ft thick and housed C & D company's. They had two floors and also a game room and a basement with tailor and barber shop.

I have lost track of names of the Battalion Commander. Also, in our Company our Lieutenants were 1st Lt Pouscheck, 2nd Lt Loschabo.

It was a great experience of my life, do not regret it.


"A" Company, 9th Engr Bn, Jaeger Kaserne, 1960-63

"A" Company, 9th Engr Bn, Jaeger Kaserne, 1960-63
(Source: Email from Walter King)
Service in 9th Combat Engineer Battallion, A Company, Headquarters Squad 1960 to 1963

1. Main gate, Jaeger Kaserne

2. Barracks, Jaeger Ksn

3. Motor pool

(Source: Aschaffenburg Reunion Page)
Click here to read a write up by Colonel Paul S. Denison, CO of the 9th ECB from 1964-1966. Well written, interesting reading! Discusses the challenges of battalion command. (File is in PDF format.)


9th Engr Bn photo, 1963
(Source: Email from William R. Petrie)
Looking at your website today and noticed that the Organizational Chart is missing my unit:
9th Engr BN (CBT)
Smith KSN - HQ, B, C, D Companies
Jaeger KSN - A Company
Aschaffenburg, Germany
Our primary responsibility was about 100 miles of the River Main, Frankfurt to Wurzburg, as I recall.
I served with A Company 9th Engr BN (CBT) from March 1965 - May 1967 and wore the VII Corps patch the entire time.

I have setup a unit page on Military.com http://unitpages.military.com/unitpages/unit.do?id=801950 whick includes info from the BN Commander, a story posted by my Plt Leader, LT Farmer and a Unit history. (A Company 9th Engr BN)

Click on image to enlarge

(Source: Email from Robert Farmer, 9th Engr Bn, 1965-66)
I was just on your website and saw your article about the 9th Engineer Bn history.

I was in the 9th Engr Bn from April 1965 until about May-June, 1966. Harold D. Morgan was my second company commander and was my best man at my wedding in 1966. The picture he sent was the bridge I remember helping to build. I was a 2nd Lt and platoon commander of the 1st & 3rd platoons of A Company, 9th Eng Bn.

Later, after my wedding in 1966, I was assigned to our sister battalion, the 82nd Engr Bn, in Bamberg, Germany, and was there from 1966 till 1967. I was the S-4 Supply Officer and special assistant to the CO.

Co A (9th Engr Bn) built two bridges over the Rhine: the first in 1965 and second in 1966. One was at Speyer, and the other near Heidelberg, Germany. We also built bailey bridges and timber trestle bridges as part of our training, like all Engr Bn's.

My wife was from Brand bei Marktredwitz, north of Grafenwoehr. Brand was a base for a 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which patrolled the Border between West Germany, East Germany, and Checloslavakia. My first platoon command was to renovate the roads leading up to the camp and making a helicopter landing pad. We also did some other work inside of the old camp. The camp is now used by the town of Brand/Marktredwitz.

Co A was assigned to the Main River bridges from Aschaffenburg to Wurzburg, and the canal locks, and all of the roads around. Co A used to build a lot of soccer fields in the Aschaffenburg area. Every year we would go to Grafenwoehr for a month of construction projects, like tank firing pads. Also, once a year we went to Hohenfelds for combat training, and live firing. There we had our live explosives training and orientation and familiarization with the Army's latest weapons. We also had special maneuvers with the Bundeswehr and the other Combat outfits of 7th Corps, Seventh Army Europe.

I have seen where the 7th Corps was assigned to the Gulf War in 1980-81, and my outfit, the 9th and 82nd were probably involved.
Robert Farmer

(Source: Email from Harold D. Morgan, A Co, 9th Engr Bn, 1966-68)

Bailey Bridge Exercise,
Spring 1966
I was stationed with the 9th Engineer Bn in 1966-1968. I was CO, Co. A, Bn S-3, Bn XO.

The year 1966 was memorable for me as in that year several of us got married in Aschaffenburg, mostly to American school teachers.

The 9th was commanded in 1965-67 by LTC Milford Nealis, who was replaced in the summer of 1967 by LTC Robert S. Kubby.

Attached is a photograph of a Bailey Bridge training exercise that took place in the Spring of 1966. This is Company A, 9th Engineer Battalion, somewhere near the Main River in Aschaffenburg.

Several of old 9th Engineers are meeting in a reunion of Aschaffenburg people in September, and I will attempt to collect some information from some of the others and pass it on to you.

In searching the web last night, for example, I found out my old Company A building at Jaeger Kaserne is now the main building for the Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences.
Harold Morgan

ADM Platoon
ADM Pltn, 9th Engr Bn CBT Pocket Patch
ADM Platoon 
(Source: Email from Eugene D. Arial, ADM Pltn, 1971-1973)
I was stationed in A-burg with the 9th Engr. Bn. ADM Platoon from 1971-1973, I was a Team Chief for most of my there I did act as the PSG for some of the time. We had a real good bunch of soldiers and we not only worked hard, but we played hard also.

There was another saying for the TQ part of the patch, I'm sure you can figure it out. The bad part about wearing that patch on our uniforms was it made us easy to spot when we were some place we shouldn't be.

If any of you old 12E's would like to hook up with some other 12E's go to www.567thadm.org -- we have had 2 reunions so far and are planning on having one every 2 years. Next one should be in 2008 in the Pacific Northwest.

I can remember some names from the past and would like to hear from you, please excuse the spelling: George M. Kivii Jr., Tom Kapski, John Rybecky 1lt, Barry Kent PSG, Earl Kasco, Brad P. Mantha, Dan Blocher (run through the woods naked), Walter Erb Christsen, Blotzie (document clerk), Smalley, Howard,  Robert Brown, Palmer, Fransworth, & my driver Cinnonmy (comic book collector).  Just to name a few I can remember right now.

Eugene D, Arial (Bucket Ass)

(Source: Email from John H. Maher, ADM Pltn, 1974-1975)
You have a question mark (Webmaster: now removed. Thanks, John!) after your picture of the 9th Engineer ADM Platoon patch. If you are questioning, that is exactly what it is. It was a two part pocket patch, the TQ on top be awarded only after someone was Technically Qualified . . . . . we also called it Tequila Qualified after a long standing tradition.

I was with the 9th ADM Platoon in 1974 and was part of the group that moved the platoon to the consolidated 275th Engineer Company in Ludwigsburg in early 1975.

The 9th ADM Platoon became the 1st Platoon of the 275th. We were the first group to move from A-burg to Ludwigsburg. I can't seem to remember which platoons came next. I do remember, although I lived "off post", that the third floor at Coffey wasn't completely done when the 9th platoon got there. We took one end of the 2nd floor and the next group in the other. There was about a month when we were there alone. We also had to take turns going back to A-Burg to cover NRAS for at least a month, maybe more.

I was the NCOIC of the Coffey Barracks theatre for awhile, which was fun. We had a medical unit, don't remember their number, on Coffey with us. I spent my last 8 months as a ADM site inspector, which means I had to drive all over Germany counting our weapons and sending reports back to Washington.

I was not a long time ADM person, I came from the 101st Airborne (Ranger) Co, Vietnam and Ft. Campbell. Somehow they thought a 12D40P was right for a ADM assignment. I got 2 weeks of ADM training before going to Germany. I felt like a fish out of water, the ADM Platoons were much more laid back than what I was use to.

The ADM guys had a reputation of Ain't Doing Much. But had the ballon gone up we pretty much knew if the Russians didn't get us our own weapon probably would. In just about every scenario we would be heading East while everyone else was heading West.

Related Links:
9th Engineer Battalion
- official web site of the unit that still serves in Germany; check out Page 2 in the Glance at Our History section - some Cold War photos of the unit