Contributions from other 24th Vets:


On General Edwin Walker -
NEW on General Walker: "I will never forget the nonchalance in his voice."
As Gen Walker addressed us, he pulled down a huge wall map
The Overseas Weekly: "What's going on in the 24th Div?"
On Piloting Division generals
The general atmosphere back in 54/56 was grim
An Army Nurse in 1964 
When I arrived in Augsburg
The first Bn to augment the Berlin Brigade
I saw the action - plenty of it
Patton used Warner as a Hqs

Return to our Main "Warm Memories of the Cold War" Page

 

 
 
I just found the 24th Division (Europe) web site. I was stationed at Gablingen with the 2nd BG, 2nd Inf. and shared many of the experiences that others commented on. I too attended the "Pro Blue" session at Flak and clearly remember Gen. Walker and General Maroon making that presentation. I also remember the articles in the Overseas Weekly ( "What's going on in the 24th Div?") and Time Magazine that brought Gen. Walker down. I also recall that he received a telephone call from JFK. I also remember Wintershield exercises and being called out for the Belgian Congo Alert. We spent about two weeks at Furstenfeldbruck where the US Air Force came to pick us up. I also remember being extended in August of 1961 for the construction of the Berlin Wall.

I have been back to Germany many times on business and each time I have taken time out to visit Augsburg and Gabligen.  Thanks again for the trip down memory lane.
 

Our son was born in the hospital at Flak and then lived with us in Gablingen. About seven years ago I was going to Munich on business so my wife and son came along. We wanted to show John where he was born and lived. We had no difficulty visiting Flak Kaserne as the gates were open. At that time there were very few troops remaining at Flak and the hospital had been converted to an office building. We went out to Gablingen and found that it was a tightly guarded US Army Intel unit. The OD was kind enough to allow the three of us to drive around the base. Many of the original buildings were gone and there was a huge antenna field where the runways had been. As we drove through a wooded grove my son spotted a concrete wall with a very faded Taro Leaf that reminded me of my time with the 24th. On the same visit we spent time in the village of Gablingen with the Rumez family who were our landlords when we lived on the economy. They had last seen my son back in 1961 and it was a very unique reunion for all of us.

Fate does take some very unusual turns as we go through life and business has taken me back to Augsburg on many occasions. The first came in about 1990 when I was in Munich on business. I was asked to attend a side meeting at the NCR building in Augsburg.  I decided to drive myself from the Munich Marriott to the meeting and asked for directions. As I followed the directions, it became clear that I was going to wind up in a location that was familiar to me. Turns out that the NCR office building was no more than 100 feet from the Flak Kaserne hospital where our son was born back in 1961 


Robert,

I thought that perhaps you might be able to use the attached scanned image of the Taro Leaf mast head from 1961.
 

John J. Slattery 
JJSSTF@aol.com


 

 
don't know if you have this little gem: the division march and
victory song....recorded in Germany about 1967.

Alberto Jaccoma
ruetabac@nyc.rr.com

  Click here to hear the mp3
Thanks Alberto [ed.]

 

 

Hello, I served with the 1st of the 19th, 24th Infantry Division Mechanized from 1963 - 1966 stationed at Reese Kaserne.
 
I have a few pictures that might be of interest. I have the names of all the troops in this photo but I don't know if that is important.
 
Let me know if you need pictures like this or of the 24th during my tour.
 
 
I am second from the left standing.
 

John J. Bates,
SSG US Army Retired
jbates1997@BellSouth.Net

 
 
Robert, I very much enjoyed reading all the entries at your website and thought I'd add my own.

I arrived in Augsburg in the spring of "61 after an unpleasant crossing on the troop ship "Darby" and a bewildering train ride from Bremerhaven. Being a 111.00 (light weapons infantryman) I was to be assigned to a line company but at the Replacement Depot I was selected out and sent instead to Division Headquarters Company at Flak Kaserne to join the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol.

General Walker was still in command of the 24th when I arrived and the LRRP had been organized on his authority as it wasn't at that time a TO and E unit (Training Organization and Equipment?) Our mission, in case the infamous balloon went up, was to operate behind enemy lines and seek out targets important enough for a tactical nuclear strike (division cp's, supply depots, ect.) How we got behind enemy lines was a bit of a problem as we were denied parachute training as a group. We were supposed to dig in and let the enemy front pass us by.

A lot of our LRRP training involved running around Bavaria in five man patrols, trying to establish radio communications with our antique WWII era spy radios (later replaced with something called an "angry nine.") A lot of our training was improvised (to say the least) and unique: rock climbing, demolition training at Lechfeld (?) rifle range using real TNT, jumping the 34 foot training tower at the German jump school at Schongau, climbing partway up the Benediktenwand in December only to be caught in a big snow storm, ect.

On a more routine level, the LRRP provided a lot of the bodies that made up the 24th Division Honor Guard and I eventually ended up on the division color guard. To take my place on the color guard I had to learn the the manual of arms reversed so I could appear to be symmetrical on the left end.

General Walker was recalled by President Kennedy not long after I arrived in Augsburg and I want to correct a statement someone made------General Walker was replaced as division commander by Major General Bonesteel, not General Cunningham. While General Walker was generally popular with the troops on a personal level, General Bonesteel seemed remote and aloof. Despite living in the division headquarters building, the only times I remember seeing him was while on color guard duty at the officers' club as he  entertained other visiting generals.

While I didn't care much for the Army at the time (although now I wouldn't trade the experience for anything) I loved being in Europe. Although I was just a PFC I was allowed to buy a Sunbeam Alpine (thanks Lt. Groth!) and I spent all my leave time driving around Europe. I put almost 5000 miles on the clock by the time I drove it up to Bremerhaven to ship back to the States.

My two trips to Paris are at the top of my travel memories. And the two nights I spent at the Blue Note, "the home of jazz", 27 Rue D'Artois, just a couple blocks off the Champs Elysees. I heard Chet Baker play there (he was just out of an Italian jail after a drug bust)-one of the great thrills of my young life. And I met a very, very good French jazz vocalist, Simone Chevalier. I wonder what became of her?

A lot happened during the 1 1/2 years I spent with the 24th. At one point the rumor was that we were going to be sent to Laos (we got shots for tropical diseases) and another time it looked like the 24th was going back to Lebanon (it had been there in '58.) But the biggest thing by far was the start of construction of the Berlin Wall. And the rumor and speculation didn't end when I left Augsburg. All the way across the Atlantic we wondered if we were really going to be released from active duty when we reached New York or be sent to fight in a Cuba that seemed ready to explode. It didn't and we were all glad to be going home.

Chuck Draney
PFC (Retired)
chuck98103@earthlink.net 
 

 

 

After a wild ride across the North Atlantic on the USS Geiger in February 1961 I was with the 3rd Engineer Battalion of the 24th Division at Henry Kaserne in Munich from February 1961 to June 1963 working out of headquarters company as a payroll clerk.  I got that job out of the formation in front of the headquarters building on the day of my arrival when I responded affirmatively to the inquiry “Can anybody here type?”  From June 1963 to September 1963 when I was discharged abroad I was at the Sheridan Kaserne in Augsburg in the reorganized personnel structure of the division.  I worked for SSgt. Kohl and Warrant officer Borden and Sgt (Piggy) Lyman.  

What I remember about General Walker’s Pro Blue program is that I don’t remember anything.   Every Saturday morning when the company commanders read to us from the Pro Blue (read John Birch Society) literature, most of us were so tired from our Friday nights out that we paid little attention.  Of course, we had the midnight curfew, but there were holes in the fences to get around that.   I remember when General Cunningham visited the 3rd Engineers after he replaced Walker.  I learned then why military folks get so uptight when the general is coming.  Cunningham went to the enlisted men’s mess hall in the course of his visit apparently didn’t like what he saw.  He started to literally throw the metal mess trays around in the mess hall and soon curtly ordered the battalion commander to a meeting in the battalion headquarters office.  That same day the commander packed and left the battalion.   I never knew what other shortcomings Cunningham believed the commander of the battalion had, but this incident was definitely the final straw.   

 I recall that Cunningham wanted the 24th division to come out on top in every possible athletic competition in the European theater.   A live lion was the mascot for the division and it was present at every possible event.   There were rumors that the lion had the rank and pay of a Sgt and that the money it was paid was used to feed it.  I have always wondered if that were true.  I learned that although we were the trigger that would bring public opinion around to support massive retaliation against the Soviet Union, should it ever come through the Fulda Gap and wipe us out, that didn’t stop us from having fun.  Mom’s bar near the wall around Henry Kaserne was a great place to hang out because there were convenient unofficial entrances onto the base which we could use after midnight.  I went to the Crakerbox bar only once in my more than two years in Henry Kaserne.  It was a Christmas Eve and the troops were homesick.  A fight broke out which grew into a near riot and I barely made it out of the bar before the MPs arrived to drag all apparent participants out. 

 

David Hobbs
Ambassador Retired
Director of Latin American Operations
Olgoonik Logistics de Colombia
Tel. Office 57-1-616-8424
Mobile 57-310-345-1524
davidhobbs@cable.net.co

 

 

Bob:
I served as the chaplain with the 1/34th Inf. Bn; "Second to None Brigade" at Sheridan Kaserne 1961-63, and was one of the first in-country units to augment the Berlin Brigade shortly after the Berlin Wall went up in August 1961.

Checkpoint Charlie on Fredrickstrasse in the center of Berlin was where I had my first graphic viewing of man's inhumanity to man as people from East Berlin risked their lives (and lost them) attempting to reach freedom. I remember the pain (personally) and that of our fine young soldiers often helpless to do anything about the carnage. And prayed.

Gordon Kyle
 5 The Buckeye 
Felton, CA 95018 
Cgrkyle@aol.com

 

I was assigned to Hq & Hq Co, 1st Battle Group, 34th Infantry, 24th Inf Div from Mar 1962 until the end of July 1964. 

I was in the unit when when we converted from one Battle Group to two Battalions (1st & 2nd Bn, 34th Infantry).  During the split I was assigned to the Always Forward Bn (2nd of 34th).  I worked in the Bn motor pool and was assigned as the wrecker operator for few months. The Maintenance officer at this time was CW4 Vincent. 

During my time in the 24th the Berlin wall was being built, we had the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK was assassinated and we sat on the runways at Neu Ulm waiting to go Cyprus.  We never went to Cyprus thanks to the 6th fleet.

My unit was the first Battalion  to augment the Berlin Brigade on a 90 day rotation. They were held up at the Berlin check point for three days by the communist. While they were in Berlin I was in the Hospital on Flak Kaserne for surgery. 

I also got to participate in Frosty Lion. I left Sheridan Kaserne at the end of July, 1964 via Bremerhaven sailing home on the William O. Darby.  We had 300 Seabees aboard returning to the states from Spain. They had to be dropped off at Davisville RI first. The voyage took 11 days. After being out of the Army a couple of years I decided to enlist again. 

This time I stayed, finally retiring in 1990.  My time at Sheridan Kaserne in the 24th was one of the most historical and eventful times in my life.  I would really enjoy hearing from anyone who was in my unit back then. 


Albert J. Vasko
avasko@state.pa.us

 

Bob:
I served as the chaplain with the 1/34th Inf. Bn; "Second to None Brigade" at Sheridan Kaserne 1961-63, and was one of the first in-country units to augment the Berlin Brigade shortly after the Berlin Wall went up in August 1961.

Checkpoint Charlie on Fredrickstrasse in the center of Berlin was where I had my first graphic viewing of man's inhumanity to man as people from East Berlin risked their lives (and lost them) attempting to reach freedom. I remember the pain (personally) and that of our fine young soldiers often helpless to do anything about the carnage. And prayed.

Gordon Kyle
 5 The Buckeye 
Felton, CA 95018 
Cgrkyle@aol.com

 

Robert, I was in the 24th Signal Battalion from October 1959 to May 1962. I was on Flak Kaserne (the one with the lantern over the hole in the fence way down behind the hospital).  I had looked up General Walker and found this page.........reading them reminded me of a night I had duty in the Radio Control Center (in the basement of the HQ building and 30 seconds to the back door of the EM club). I received a call one morning around 0600-0630 and I immediately recognized the voice as that of the General.  He asked me if I would have the Officer of the Day send someone to pick him up, his driver had parked in the garage and committed suicide. I will never forget the nonchalance in his voice.


L. Mooneyham
mooneyham@earthlink.net

 

I was in Augsburg with the 24th, 34th Batt. from July 1962 and departed Dec.1964.  Went over as a grunt (infantry) via the USS Rose.  Took a train from Bremerhaven .  Rode the train to Augsburg  to  Sheridan , Flak, Gablingen or Reese, can't recall.  Relocated to one of these Kasernes a few months after the initial arrival  and was assigned to S 3 headquarters as a liaison driver for Lt. Callahand.  At that time Lt. Col. was Buchanan, the "Always Forward" commander. When you would salute an officer were required to say "Always Forward, Sir".   We had the opportunity to go to Berlin and were stationed there in Nov. of  ‘63 when Kennedy was shot.

 

Then in Dec of 64,  I was on a merchant marine ship heading for New York ( was sick the whole 9 days on board) and then to Cincinnati which is where the journey started.  A few years ago I decided to see if I could hook up with a few of my Army buddies.  I’m glad to say I have found three of them:  Gary Kerns, John Polito and Jim McMahon, still searching for two more John Poole and Matt Ewanishl.

 

We have pictures and will post them if we can.   We have been to each others homes and plan on a visit to Washington DC next Sept.  I have read a few of the responses on your web site and agree with the comments about the memories and good times. I was 18 and full of woop ass (and do I dare  think, "did my sons do the things I did when they were 18?”   Hope not... )

The "Western Saloon" was our big hang out as far as guest houses go and the beer (after getting use to it) was the best.... Just thought I would drop a line and go down memory lane... If anyone knows of the two fellows I mentioned above that I have not been able to find please email royel44@yahoo.com. ....Always Forward. 

 

Lee Phelps
royel44@yahoo.com


You brought back memories when you wrote about Gen. Walker.  Remembering attending mandatory lectures, named if I remember right "Pro Blue Program". Never thought of him as a "right wing fanatic" nor do I today. thought of him as very patriotic, got the division in great shape (mandatory PT and runs daily) and to tell you the truth never did see any racist attitudes come from him (most of my NCO's black or Hispanic) and we received great field training. He may have been a little extreme, in some peoples eyes, but most of the men did not think so.

Robert Adomilli (served with E Co 19th
Inf 1st BG 24th inf Div., 1960 to 1961, rotated back to states
a few months prior to 19th being sent up to Berlin)
RDA133@msn.com

 

Robert,
I served with MG Cunningham's son CPT Bill Cunningham with the 1st Bn 509th Airborne at Mainz from 1974-1967.  I met Bill's sister Nancy when she visited Bill before his leaving Germany in the Summer of 1967.  I recently met Ric Hansen who was a JAG CPT with the 24th and used to date Nancy.  He asked if MG Cunningham was still around, and if so, where he might be.  He also asked if I knew where Bill or Nancy may be located these days.  Any information would be helpful.  Thanks.

Bill Broyles
703-692-4511
Room 1F202
Pentagon
William.Broyles2@hqda.army.mil

 

Robert,

I would like to let you know how much I enjoyed finding your page.  Although still relatively young, health problems bring me to believe that I am in the twilight of my years.

I served with the 11th Field Hospital in the Flak Kaserne, Augsburg from October 1958 until August 1960.  I look back on this time as one of the most meaningful periods in my life.  My laboratory workstation allowed me to look out the window directly at 24th Division Headquarters, probably no more than a five minute walk away.

I vividly recall MG Edwin A. Walker’s arrival to assume command.  He very quickly instituted the daily PT program for the 24th and support units.  I can honestly say that there was some time before I heard complaints of “Pro Blue”.  Because of the coverage needed to support a medical unit, we were not required attendance for TI&E.  However, the orders that everyone, including field grade officers, must participate in daily PT caused quite a furor among the out-of-shape Majors through Brigadier Generals.

I attended TI&E to see what was upsetting some of our medical staff.  Considering that we lived every day with no one knows how many Soviet divisions just across the East German border, I didn’t feel that anything inappropriate was being said.  I was young, but I always assumed that “the politicians” were afraid of the communists and attempted to appease them.  Frankly, I took claims of pro-communist individuals at face value.  There were people who knew a lot more about that possibility than me.

I just wanted to “put in my two cents”.  Keep up the good work.

Robert Lynn Long
Grapevine, Texas
RLynnLong@aol.com

 

 

I came across this web site and was very excited to find it.  It brought back a lot of memories. 

I arrived at the 24th in May of 1960 and returned to the U.S. in March of 2002 after receiving a 3 month extension because of the building of the Berlin Wall. Although I was originally assigned to the 24th Signal Battalion the day I arrived I was reassigned to the Div Headquarters Company on Flak Kaserne to become  what was then known as the "Commo Man."  This involved maintaining the radios in the vehicles of Div. Headquarters , including General Walker's 1960 Chevrolet ,as well as the MP vehicles.  My only function was to turn them on in the morning and if they didnt work take them across town to get them fixed with "high priority".  That was fortunate because although I had attended Signal School at Fort Gordon and learned how to repair radios,  I frankly wasn't very good at it.  My primary talent was what was then known as the Fort Gordon radio repair  shuffle.  Turn it on for 10 minutes, then turn it off and try to feel what tube was cold.   

Beyond that I had the opportunity to play basketball with the 24th Division Trains Mustangs playing out of the gymnasiun at Sheridan Kaserne.  It was coached by Capt. Richard Kaufmann of the 24th Aviation Company and was a pretty good team with a number of fellows who had played in college.  It is probably more fun to relive memories of the 4 mile runs every afternoon, the Pro Blue initiative, the weekend the Berlin Wall was built, the Congo crisis in the summer of 1960, Marstellas (sp)  bar a block down the street from Flak  along with the Nord Bahnhof bar where nightly brawls served as the floor show, etc etc etc than it was to live them. 

Anyway it is a lot of fun to read the other E mails recollections on the Web Site and thanks for creating it and allowing us to to express some of these memories. 



Larry Romo
lsromo@hutchtel.net

 

Thanks for your note. It was almost a lifetime ago but there will always be some of Munich, other G.I.'s and the German people in me as long as I live. I've been back a few times and it does not seem real in someways. I served 2 ˝ years in Munich, first at Henry and then at Warner.
 
I think this is a wonderful site and I actually connected with one guy I knew vaguely. We were not there to beat back the Warsaw Pact forces if they crossed the border. We were just there in hopes that enough of us would be in the way and our crushed bodies would mess up the tracks on their tanks while the politicians in Washington decided what to do. I do not think we could have defeated the 1943 German army. Stupid generals do prepare to re-fight the last day of the last war. Same thinking, same tactics, newer guns and tanks, inferior to the Russians. Poor morale, poor training, poor NCO's and piss-poor officers. Everyone was focused on staying below the Pentagon radar and missing Viet Nam. I love my country and am glad we have an army which can win battles and wars today but this was not the case in the mid-19'60's. We were less than cannon fodder back then. Perhaps the 11th was a functioning, combat capable division and maybe the 43rd Infantry before them was but the 24th was second rate in every way. We'd have been like the troops in the Philippines in 1941 if we had been tested. About as good as Boy Scouts with guns.
 
I collect beer steins and a small part of my collection is the steins G.I.'s ordered with their units on them. I have 4 from the 11th Airborne. One with a 24th Division patch from a Sport Parachute Club and one from the 8th Infantry which evidently added an airborne brigade after the 11th went to Lebanon and may have been active while the 10th Special Forces were stationed at Bad Tolz.
 

Louis Foster
RA 13870706
21st Infantry Regt., 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized)
1965-1968

 

Via a photo connection with AOL to Warner Kaserne, I have recently been excited to run across this website. I am something like 87 per cent German to begin with and volunteered to go to Germany after jump school at FT. Bragg in 1957.  I was stationed at Warner Kaserne from October 1957 until late February of 1959, most of that period on Special Duty at the Warner Post Dispensary, even after all other S.D. was discontinued after the Lebanon Crisis.  Captain Barnett, later Major ( a Romanian national ) was the Commanding Officer and to begin with, Msgt Lamb the NCOIC.

My sleeping area WAS on the top floor during the first half of 1958, later moving down to a room in the dispensary until I rotated back to the states in 1959. The Kaserne WAS used to some extent for a confinement facility during WWll. The Commanding Officer of B Company, 502 Inf ( my original assignment ) was imprisoned in a tower at the front entrance and escaped on three separate  occasions . I don't recall his name, but I think he was Hispanic. 

I came into the 11th Airborne and remained until about 12/59 when I was transferred to the 24th Infantry when the 11th was finished in Munich. . I will always remember the wonderful food, drink and all of my experiences while I was there; many new  friends, many good times. Thanks very much to all of you for sharing your thoughts on this website.

J. Haug,
Sanford, NC
 
pcoleal@bellsouth.net

 

Robert, I cannot express the pleasure of old memories your site has brought to mind surrounding my tour with The 24th from 11/60 to 11/63. As a young Army Aviator I had the honor of piloting many of the divisions generals around the country to include Generals Walker, Bonesteel, Fergeson and others I don't recall.  Even though their aides, Billy Mcelvey, Dick Jarrett, and Duane Brophy were qualified aviators regulations and practicality required two pilots in most cases. We originally flew out of Messerschmitt (sic) Field in South Augsburg with our HQ at Infantry Kaserne. After becoming a Battalion , Gablingen become our main base of flight operations and HQs. I also flew border operations in RU-8D's with radar operators Romesburg and Russo. One particular amusing occasion was when The Divison put on the dog and pony pass and review for Sec. McNamara in Munich. The parade area was so dry the tanks and apc's raised a dust cloud so big we couldn't see each other in the fly-by and with aircraft of various speeds the peel off must have looked like a total cluster f**k from the ground. I've often wondered if that was filmed. Thanks for a great site. G2


Gary Grabe
mailto:gsq@n-jcenter.com

 


I registered [at the Field Station Augsburg site] but found only a few guys from the 5th [Infantry Division which preceded the 24th in Augsburg].   I was in the same Hq. at Flak Kaserne as you. Your experiences in the service per se seem very upbeat.   The general atmosphere back in 54/56 was grim.   There was no morale, much corruption and disorganization.   Traveling Europe was a plus and the feeling of WWII sacrifice and the great victory of our country over this madness was ever-present.  I came away very patriotic, sort of rusty as a lawyer just starting out, and disillusioned about the organization of the military. 
Kind regards, 

Since I was at Flak Kaserne for quite a while, there are many incidents, stories and memories. I really have no idea if there is anything interesting in all this. Here is one. Although not religious, my dogtag read Jewish so I would try to get time off from Augsburg. Prior to SJA, I was in Personnel Hq. 5th and I asked my Sgt. for passover time - 2 full beautiful days. At this time, there was no such thing as an ordinary weekend pass. Passes were only for 16 hours. A weekend pass came maybe once every six months. So getting two days, why not. Well, I took those two days to go to Garmisch. I stayed at one of the great German hotels there run by the U.S. Army for $1.00 per night. Breakfast in the grand dining room had coffee at 5 cents and jelly donuts at a dime. Since I don't ski, I just hung around. In April, the sunshine was quite bright and I would sit out on the porch overlooking all these fantastic mountains. With the sun bouncing off snow, it was quite warm -enough to strip to a t-shirt. When I got back to the office, Sgt. Riolo asked me how come I could get a tan inside a synagogue.

Bob Delson
rmdelson77@aol.com



I was stationed as an Army Nurse in 1964 at the 121 Evac. Thank you for making this information available regarding conditions during the [postwar period].

~Winnie~
dogs123@webtv.net

 

Nice going, Robert!

I was also stationed in Augsburg, late '59 through mid '62. I was at Sheridan Kaserne, drawing pro pay in the combat engineers but serving tdy as 34th Infantry PIO.

When I got off the boat in Bremerhaven, some corporal in personnel asked me if I'd like to be in PIO. I answered absolutely, positively yes, although I had not the foggiest notion of what it was. It was NOT the combat engineers. During the train ride south, I learned that PIO stood for Public Information Office.

When I arrived in Augsburg, the departing photographer/writer had only two days to teach me all that he knew about photography. As it developed, that was more than ample.

Not long after I arrived in Augsburg and had settled into my new job at 34th Inf PIO, there was a mandatory meeting called for all troop information personnel in the 24th Division. It was (groan!) on a Saturday, infringing on our so-called free time.

At the meeting there were two generals at the front of the room - Edwin A Walker and, I think, a General Marroon or something like that - clearly, the remote second in command.

As Gen Walker addressed us, he pulled down a huge wall map of the world. It was rendered in various shades of red and pink. This was, he said, to show the degree of communist influence in each country. The United States got off easy with only a medium red color. We all looked at each other, the other general, too, rather mystified and uneasy with this commanding officer who seemed, to all intents and purposes, to be flat out crazy.

Gen Walker stated that it wasn't enough to be anti-red - you must be PRO-BLUE! He gave us a list of books to be placed in all the dayrooms - required reading for everyone. It was up to us, the TI personnel, to spread the word.

Well, we didn't really get much done along those lines. Before long Gen Walker was relieved of his burden and we all got on with our various lives.

Several years later, I watched his exploits in New Orleans on TV with fascination.

Dick Thornton 

Dick Thornton
661-322-0903 
dickthornton@netzero.net
 
bike_tourist@yahoo.com

 

Hello Robert Rowen: Some time ago, and how I do not recall, I received a fine treatise from you on our days with the 24th Div in Augsburg (61-65). Thanks, and I'd be interested in more. We have friends in Augsburg dating from way back then, and among many other interesting events, have built a business on ol' Flak Kaserne and a chapel. I was at Sheridan Kaserne (34th Inf Bn), but before that at Infantry Kaserne on the other side of town, which was half-bombed out then, and may be long gone by now. As for pictures, well I am looking. Sure I have some in the several footlockers of slides I took during the assignment. And yes, the 34th Bn was the first Bn to augment the Berlin Brigade (there to save their hide) when airlifts from the states became too costly, and probably unnecessary since we had some well trained and prepared units in country. 

Gordon Kyle
 5 The Buckeye 
Felton, CA 95018 
Cgrkyle@aol.com

 


"I saw the action-plenty of it. And so did my whole platoon. The third platoon of Charlie Company." or words to that effect. Then something about code names of Beatle John, Beatle Ringo, and Beatle George...

Robert, if you recall, that was the opening (or something like that) to your last Victory Division Showcase. I was the guy who voiced it and then took your place with the 24th Division Information Office doing AFN stuff with PFC Joe Aro and Lt. Donald Laird. I was there from the time you left until July 1965, when I rotated back to the world and returned to college.

As I recall, we first met when I some how graduated first in my class (class 64-6) at the 24th Infantry Division NCO Academy. By graduating as distinguished honor graduate they had to promote me to SergeantG_Ham_Army.jpg (14031 bytes) E-5. I was a Spec 4 at the time with very little time in grade and they had to get a waiver in order to put the promotion through. Whoops, I'm reminiscing and rambling on. Anyway, you came over to the graduation to interview me for the Information Office and we got talking about broadcasting and how we both enjoyed it. You mentioned that they were going to need someone to replace you when you got out and you helped me get the job.

I ran across your 24th Infantry Division in Europe web page tonight. It doesn't say how long it's been up, but I thought I'd try the mail to address to see if you'd get this.

I hadn't been able to find much on the 24th Infantry Division in Europe until I stumbled across your site.

I guess the current terrorism crisis started me thinking about my time in the military and I started looking around for web sites from my Army days. [Sept. 19,2001]

As much as I thought I hated the army back then, I have since realized that some of the best times of life occurred while I was in Augsburg and Munich broadcasting for the 24th Infantry Division Information Office and AFN Munich.

Hope life has been good to you.

Gordon (Gordie) Ham
**or, better**
This is Army Sergeant Gordon Ham of the 24th Infantry Division Information Office reporting.


It sure is a small world. Especially with the Internet available to us.

You are certainly welcome to use the e-mail I sent you. I did notice that I incorrectly cited that I was in the class of 64-4 at the 24th Infantry Division NCO Academy. It was actually class 64-6. I found my graduation plaque today. Also, there was a word omitted: ...we got talking about broadcasting... should read: ...we got to talking about broadcasting... --just anal I guess :-)

Unfortunately, I lost most all of my pictures of my military and college adventures due to a leaky roof in my van during a major thunderstorm in 1972. I did find one of me in uniform (basic training probably) and one of me at a luncheon of some kind in Augsburg. I'm the guy in the bottom right. You'll notice Major Hervey (was that his name?), the Information Office at the head of the table. Lt. Laird is just left of him in the shot. The guy second from the right (all you can see is his forehead) was a Lt. in the Civil Affairs Office. I don't recall his name, but a remember when he bought a used Mercedes that he was real proud of.

The names you mentioned sound familiar. I'll have to think back and try to relive some more of my experiences back then.

I remember Max Floyd, Steele Colony (great name for radio), Monty (gone blank on his last name, but he was from Biloxi, Mississippi) of AFN Munich. Monty taught me about bock beer.

I do remember hanging out with the 24th Infantry Division Entertainment Group. After you left, Aro and I started doing a second weekly show called "Salute in Sound" featuring the entertainers in the 24th Division Entertainment Group. They did a lot of community public relations appearances through the 24th Div Civil Affairs Office.

I'm sure you folks are in shock after the disaster in your area. When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred, I was a block and a half from the blast. I was on my way down town that day to videotape a public health workshop. I was stopped at a traffic light facing the explosion. Boy, did I ever have a front row seat. However, that definitely pales in comparison to the terrorists at the WTC.

I may still have a reel to reel of that show you sent me the sound byte from somewhere too, but I wouldn't want to bet on it. If you really wouldn't mind sending me a cassette some day, I'd certainly enjoy having it. No rush. My mailing address is:

665 Waterview Rd 
Oklahoma City, OK 73170

Hope you are not having too much difficulty handling the events at your door. [Sept., 2001.  The webmaster lives one mile from Ground Zero. -Ed.]

BTW--If it didn't turn up in your search, here's my home page URL: 
http://members.cox.net/gordieh/

Gordie Ham
gordieh@cox.net

 

hi robert 
my name is John Williams; I served with the 24th from 67 to 70 in Augsburg Sheridan Kaserne and in Munich at Scleisshiem airfield and at Henry Kaserne in 68 two brigades reordered back to ft riley one brigade moved from Munich to Augsburg i stayed in Augsburg with renamed 24th division forward i worked in hhc g-4 div class II and IV major items in June of 1970 the 24th was deactivated we became the ist infantry div fwd a month later i got out .

recently i received a newsletter from 24th inf div assoc. it was mostly about the division in Korea but it didn't really mention anything about the 24th in Germany;  what confused me was it said that the 24th was deactivated in 1970 when it retuned from Vietnam; I know that's impossible the 24th never served in Vietnam the div was deactivated in Germany and ft riley Kansas in 70;  maybe you could give me some more info on this thanks 


nice hearing from you robert i forgot to tell you im from a small town south of akron ohio im 50 yrs old. as far as the history of schleisheim airfield try http://www.deutsches-museum-de/zweig/werft/hist.htmif this address isnt totally correct just punch up flugwerft schleisheim on search engine; i hope you know some German its all written in german i guess they have turned the old tower on the far side of the field into a air museum; As far as Henry and Warner i spent some time at both Henry was the newer Kaserne Warner was during the war a nco academy for the Germans;  Patton also used it as headquarters; toward the end of the war there was a huge bunker under Warner but it was flooded so nobody could go in it supposedly they were worried about mines also both Henry and Warner were razed in 1971 its where a lot of the olympic buildings were erected. well hope to hear from you soon yours JVW 

[Editor's note: for more on Munich's Warner Kaserne with Paul Cole's much more detailed perspective, click here.]

John Williams
JVEMW@email.msn.com

 

After my basic training at Fort Ord, I went to APG to Ordnance School.  Just before graduation, the CO asked if I wanted to be an instructor at Ordnance Supply School, but I had entered on my 'Dream Sheet' that I wanted to go to Europe.

In February of 1960, they put us aboard the General Maurice Rose, and for the next 10 days, I was totally sea sick.  It was a wonder that no one committed suicide by going overboard on that ship.  Those winter waves were as high as the ship.

Well, we arrived in Augsburg; met the infamous General Walker; given a talk by the Sgt Major...."Don't go home with anything that Mama wouldn't like"....  Then we were taken by truck to Henry Kaserne which was south of both Will and Warner Kaserne.

Since Ordnance Supply wanted me to become an instructor, you would have to believe that I knew how to manipulate the computer system.  We were the best supplied Ordnance Supply Company in USAEUR.  Our officers were looking good, since all their friends were coming to Munich to get their equipment off of Red Line.  I played that game to the hilt.... No KP,  no guard duty, my pass was in my wallet.  No Saturday duty....Life was great....

Took one month off to attend the 7th Army NCO Academy, and was one of the few to survive the 30 days and graduate.  But that experience screwed me up totally.  Now, I can sleep for 2-4 hours a night.  And it's been that way for the past 41 years.

I have excellent friends in Germany now.  My son, after graduating Georgetown MBA program, is currently working for a German Company, and lives with my friends, and their children.

It was fun, and I was good at the business of playing Army.  I left the Service after 6 years with the title of First Sgt. of an Ordnance Company.  I became a Certified Public Accountant, and now I am retired.

Good memories....

Ed Nakamura
ednak_60@yahoo.com

 

Robert,

            My name is Howard Abston, (E-4) I was at Gablingen from 1960 to 1963, I was with D Company 2nd BG 2nd Inf. 24th Infantry Div.  Love the site;  it brings back a lot of good memories.

Thanks

Howard L. Abston
abstonh@spawar.navy.mil

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