Warner Kaserne in Munich 
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Initially from material submitted by Paul T. Cole

NEW:
 
See a super-size closeup of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry
CMBT SPT Company in 1960  - click above
,
then click again on the very large picture and pan and scan - you can identify faces!
Thanks to Jon S. Yuhas

A great page of Munich kasernes and installations maps and photos
(including photos + history of my old assignment at Oberschleissheim Airfield)

During WW2, my father was trained at the Freimann Kaserne [renamed Warner Kaserne by the Americans -ed.].

A field problem called "frosty lion" and it was frosty.

Robert,

I am planning a trip to Munich and wondered if Warner Kaserne might still be there, so when I searched on its name and found your site I was pleasantly surprised. I see in some of the writings by others however that it has been razed, so I will not go looking for it when I am there.

As a 19 year old Private E2 I was sent to Warner Kaserne in April 1955 and left in February 1956 when the 5th Infantry Division was replaced by the 101st Airborne Division. I was with Medical Company, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division. Medical Company was located on the ground level floor of the rectangular part of the building at the west end of the building complex. I was a Medic assigned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, so got to see much of Germany by foot whenever training exercises were held - and they were constantly being held.

That building was remarkable. The entire 2nd Regiment lived in it. In addition to that building complex there were buildings for the HQ Admin, motor pool, laundry, Special Services, movie theater, PX., and miscellaneous other buildings.

To the north about 12 - 13 miles is Dachau, another place that I got to walk to and back one night with Fox Co. Directly across from the main gate was another small Kaserne where our EM Club was located - I can't recall its name. Towards Munich about 1/4 mile was another Kaserne that housed the Division's tank battalion - its name too I cannot remember. The rest of the Division was located in Augsburg.

The 5th Division went to Fort Ord, California, where I was discharged in February '56.

Best Regards


R. A. Thompson
rathompson@mail.earthlink.net

 

 

 

{The Webmaster had asked one of the vets who emailed:]

Do you know anything about the story that, in WW II, refugees or prisoners of the Nazis were held on the top floors of Warner Kaserne and the Allies made aware of it so they wouldn't bomb it?

Thanks for visiting the 24th Infantry Division in Europe website!


Paul T. Cole replied: 

No, haven't heard that one. The Kaserne was used as a DP camp after the war and US Army took it over in 1950. I recall reading this in a "History" the Sgt Major had compiled. I also have another "History" that was sent to me which I have attached.

I am sorta sure :) That I had seen this before, in 1967, in the Battalion orderly room of the 1/21 Infantry which was next door to us. You will note it makes reference to the building being built for Hitler's Body guard. I guess it is possible. I am inclined to think that may have been the sales pitch for Himmler to get funding for it.

The mention of how the Kaserne avoided being bombed is the way I heard it from Germans in Munich. The field next to Warner was known as the "DZ". I was told (by local Germans) that was where the "fake" Kaserne was and where the Allies bombed it. So, I am not sure if the "DZ" meant where the bombs where dropped or was it refering to where some Military People said US Airborne troops practiced jumping.

The Germans I have asked all said that all post war US airborne practice jumps where made close to the Air Field at Furstenveldbrook (This is a serious misspelling but hope you recognize it)

(Close: Furstenfeldbruck -ed.)

I found this site :

http://www.ordonnans.demon.nl/wiking.htm


That says Warner (then SS Freimann) was used for training of SS-Standarte Nordland, which is interesting.

A German told me in 1967? That the SS had a "detention" facility there as well. He also indicated it was not a nice place to be. I recently confirmed this at this site:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-20/tgmwc-20-194-04.shtml

Look at the bottom of the transcript. Mention is made of the detention facility.


After we left in May 1968 the Germans took it back over and I think some medical unit moved into at least part of it.

I rode by the Kaserne in October 1995 and it is now converted to apartments.

One other interesting thing. Might want to look at this site. It is 99% BS ....but, I did hear that the Beatles HAD played (before they where famous) at the Warner EM club.

I always assumed that was BS, but after reading this site evidently something may have happened regarding Beatles and Warner Kaserne :)


Picture attached


Paul
Pcoleal@bellsouth.net


 Louis Foster remembers

Here is the Warner History I referred to.

I have been thinking about what you said regarding the Top Floor of Warner holding Hostages to avoid being Bombed.

When I was there the Top Floor was not used for barracks. Some of the rooms in one part were used for class rooms. You were not supposed to go up there unless you were told to. That being a sort of "standing" order and lack of curiosity prevented many from going on the top floor. It occurs to me that the origin of the "hostages" story may have been rooted in this "forbidden" order?

The top floor was laid out differently than the bottom floors. Rooms where larger and on one side of the Kaserne were larger, what I thought, single person rooms. I took it to be German Officer rooms since they where semi isolated from every where else. The rooms where much larger than the old NCO rooms on the other floors. I recall one was particularly large with private access to a small Latrine and showers ( 3 johns and 4 shower heads) and the best part was it had a balcony that over looked what was likely only country side when the Kaserne was built. This is where I would do my Letter writing and book reading, using an old table and chair I moved from a class room for that purpose, when weather permitted and when I wanted to get away and could not afford to go on pass :)


You will notice in the history below it was built in 1934 /1936.

I am sure that is correct as the Elevator (which of course did not work when I was there) had a Mfg Plate showing 1936 built by some business in Munich.




Warner Kaserne

Originally constructed by German labor during the period from 1934-1936, the installation was intended to be used as the headquarters of Hitler’s personal guard regiment.

As a result of the changing political climate of 1936-1937, the kaserne was converted into a replacement station for the artillery units on the eastern front. SS Freimann, as it was then called, was to serve this purpose throughout the remainder of World War II. Throughout World War II, the kaserne was spared aerial bombing due to an ingenious camouflage system. The large building was covered by a netting entwined with small bushes. A short distance from the kaserne a replica of the roof was built to ward off bombing. Only one bomb struck the kaserne courtyard.

In 1945, the now deserted kaserne was taken over by the UNESCO organization and maintained as a temporary home for displaced persons.

Five years later in 1950 the installation was occupied by the United States Army. Today, 1963, the immense billets, known only as “Building 1701", is the largest single roofed structure in use solely for the billeting of troops. It is the second largest building in use by the United States Army; the largest being the Pentagon in Washington DC. In the winter the boilers have been known to consume as much as a ton of coal per hour.

 


Paul-Army2.jpg (98509 bytes)


The only other thing I have is the two pictures I mentioned from the First reforger exercise (carbide Ice) (Jan 69) We were in Augsburg then . As you know 3rd brigade remained while 1st and 2nd returned to the States. We played the aggressor force for their return.

They where taken by "magazine people"

Evidently not used and one morning the First Sgt gave to me...maybe 2 months?..later. They had been sent to him.

It is me and another guy (name forgotten) on a Mortar Track close to Regensburg ...in the woods..snow :)

Paul-Army3.jpg (77604 bytes)




Paul T. Cole
Pcoleal@bellsouth.net

 

There has been a pedestrian walkway connecting Warner with Will Kaserne in place since at least 1984.

I am trying to pick up steins made for G.I.'s over there, just got one off of eBay last week.

If any of you remember the 606 at 23 Balan Str by Rosenheimer Platz, the owner Smokey was alive last year but has lost both legs. His son David has a 'clip-joint' by the Bahnhof. Goethe Str is all cleaned up and that area is pretty much taken over by eastern Europeans.

I was with E Co, 724 Mt. Bn at Henry and transferred to B 2/21st Inf and then HHC 1/21 Infantry at Warner. I arrived in Dec. 65 and came back in Mar. 68.



Memories? Yes.

Lt. Col Harry W. French was our battalion commander.(2nd/21st) Capt. Michael M. Mckieve (sp?) was the B company commander. He left for Viet Nam about Oct./Dec. 1966.

1Lt Damian T. Wren III transferred in from 3/19th Infantry and was promoted to Captain as company commander B 2/21 Inf.. 2rd.Lt. Johnnie Kirk came in and the 3rd platoon was reactivated. "Kirk's Herd - Duds and Outlaws". Lt. Downey from Ohio State's ROTC program was a green 2nd looey.

Supply Sgt. Tacy took over 2nd platoon.

William B. Dillow used to dress as Zorro and I saw him ride a bicycle down the stairs. His best friend was James Dale Grindstaff. Roger A. Diotte was always just outside the law. My best friend was William C. Hailey of Wichita Falls, Texas. Bill was here in Ohio May 17th see visit me and on June 4th, 2002 he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Col. Bammer was the 3rd Brigade Commander. Once before we headed to Hohenfels, I was asked to find a set of doors for a lieutenant's jeep. I found them and Col. Bammer went crazy. I returned them that night under an amnesty program 1st. Sgt. Robert M. Hanson ("Hostile Man") worked out. At this time I was with HHC 1st/21st Inf. One of my jobs was driving a non-existent 3/4 ton truck for a mess sergeant who had no place to go. (SFC Cobbler). My job in the field was to keep a supply of cold beer for 1st Sgt. Hanson, SFC Cobbler and CWO Simpson, battalion motor office. (They had all been privates together in the Korean War.)

Like almost everyone else, I froze at Hohenfels, ate dust at Gräfenwohr, did night patrol at Freising, protected the DZ from Warsaw Pact invasion, avoided Bahnhof Annie, drank at the Rock Bar and Shangri-La across from the kaserne, went to the Tam and Birdland but only with black G.I.'s who would vouch for me that I was okay. I also worked at the Club 606 (schmuckcastle) at 23 BalanStr. for Smokie (Mozek Wewermann) and hung out with Susie Franz, Gudrun Dachner, Renate (deuce and a half), Ricci and the others who came and went.

One of my favorite escapades was obtaining 55 gallon drums for the company area at Hohenfels to use as trash barrels. 1st Sgt. Hanson told me to get some and he did not care where. I took my non-existent 3/4 ton truck, mudded over the white star but more importantly, over the unit designation on the bumpers to look tactical and headed to main post. I took 2 barrels from the MP barracks and as I was taking them from the Service club, a civilian employee asked me what I thought I was doing. I responded that I had been given the stupid job of taking the barrels to the dump to empty them and to return them. If she did not want hers emptied, no problem with me. (They were only 1/4 full) She did not want to be responsible if they over-flowed so she gave me her blessings and off I went. Once they were empty, I took them to the motor pool, burned off the MP and Service Club markings, painted them and stenciled them 1/21st Inf. and put them out in the company area. Post MP's came and inspected them twice but could not identify them as stolen.

Needless to say, I was a combination midnight supply company and yardbird. It was a war against the lifers and me and I think I won. Some of the spillover from Viet Nam and the racial problems in US cities affected the military in Europe during this period and everyone (officers, career and non-career soldiers) was doing what he thought he had to do to survive. I would never go back and do it again but neither would I give it up.

I learned a lot and I saw a lot, including London, Paris, Vienna, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples and Ischia. It gave me a perspective on life, people, nations and cultures which has served me well since then. Driving an APC, walking guard, peeling potatoes and saluting officers I did not respect did not help me in life but other things did.

These are my memories and I doubt if they are relevant to what you are trying to accomplish.

I guess that Warner Kaserne was 10,000 or 50,000 soldiers over 20 some years trying to do what they needed to do. I saw soldiers killed in training accidents, car and truck accidents, by carbon monoxide as well as many injuries and Lord knows how many were destroyed by alcohol and/or drugs. I used to read in the Stars and Stripes the published names of soldiers killed in Viet Nam and now and then, one from Warner Kaserne was included.

If my memories are to be worthwhile, they should be that I went, I served, I survived and I am thankful that I am alive to even have memories.

I collect beer steins and I have one purchased by a soldier from the 43rd Infantry which shows Warner in the early 1950's.

I would be happy to be a part of a Warner "alumni" group but I question whether or not I would fit in well. I have been back to see the post twice since leaving in 1968. It still gives me a warn feeling, a lump in my throat and a little tear. I was only a boy in green fatigues pretending to be a man. Most of us were boys. Some never had the chance to grow up, marry, have children and grandchildren. I did.

Of those men of Warner, I say, "They shall be boys forever, unfulfilled dreams, lost souls."

Louis Foster SP/4, Sgt., SP/4. PFC, SP/4* B 2/21st Inf. and HHC 1/21st Inf.

*Actually promoted more than I was busted and awarded a Good Conduct Medal - a miracle or an error? 

 

Louis Foster 
BeerSteinMan@email.msn.com

 

Hi
I am Ivan Gignac, former P.F.C. who spent time on the top floor of Warner Kaserne while with the 705 Ord Bn,  Our shops were directly below where we were billeted.  I have some photos if anyone is interested.  They are probably old slides.  Some taken inside on the 6th (top) floor.
 
We serviced many vehicles and I can tell you that the paratroopers at least once jumped so close to the Kaserne that one man was killed when landing on a tank. 
 
Maneuvers were cold on "Operation Cordon Blue" which took us to the field I think at Hohenfelds.  Lots of fun and games.  At 70 my  mind is a bit scrambled but I'll never forget the place downtown Munich, Oktoberfest and the great times and people. 
 
If I can be of any assistance, I will try.  I have all my old orders if that is in any way interesting to anyone.  I am also not sure any record of me exists as I believe the records were burned in  a fire at some facility or another. [Editor: A fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis on July 12, 1973, destroyed about 80 percent of the records for Army personnel discharged between November 1, 1912, and January 1, 1960. However, only a query can determine for sure.  See http://www.coalitionoffamilies.org/in_news/st_louis_fire.html.]
 
All the best from a fellow Warner Kaserne soldier.

Ivan Gignac
ivangignac@msn.com

 

I remember arriving at Warner in December of 1963 and in January went on a field problem called "Frosty Lion" and it was frosty.  Served 3 years in Warner and two 90 day tours along the Berlin wall. A young 17 year old kid in a strange land and riding border patrol along the Berlin wall. Seemed so important then but today it is only memories I look back upon. Good friends and many good times as well as bad.  Will never forget the friends I made and the time spent at Warner and Andrews barracks in Berlin .

Dave Shuker
commanderdave@msn.com

 

During WW2, my father was trained at the Freimann Kaserne [renamed Warner Kaserne by the Americans -ed.]. He was a Flemish volunteer in the 27th Langemarck-division of the Waffen-SS. He was driver of a truck which carried the "Kommandogerät", an early "computer" to calculate the heights of airplanes for the 88mm FLAK.

Because Freimann was a kaserne, it must of had a section for military police and thus also a detaining area. I don't think this military building has been used for imprisonment at large scale. I read in a book of another volunteer that the buildings were cleaned by forced laborers from a nearby camp. The writer says that these prisoners ate the same food as the German and foreign soldiers and gave no impression of being badly nourished. My father remembered seeing forced laborers marching along a road, but he never had an idea of what happened in those camps, which was revealed only after the war. 

My father died a few months ago. That's why I'm sorting out these things and looking for pictures. If anyone can help me with photo's of the Freimann Kaserne, I would be grateful. Hereby I include a picture of him (standing at the far right) at the Freimannkaserne.

MUNCHE~2b.JPG (62648 bytes)

DC
Email address removed on request

 

 

Hi,

I was stationed at Warner Kaserne from mid 1964 to November 1965, in the 2nd Squadron, 9th Cav., 24th Infantry Division.

 

I remember it well.   We pulled up in a covered truck in front of the barracks that were going to be home for next 9 months or so. When we jumped out and threw our duffel bags off, the truck took off and we heard the cat calls from the building.  They weren't obscene but rather just fun cat calls like "Candy Asses are here", "New Recruits", "KP is waiting".

 

I can remember some of the people I was stationed there with...let's see: there was Sgt. Little, a confirmed alcoholic, Sgt. Bill Gladney, a large black man at least 6'4" but basically a gentle man.  Except when he was angry.  The other men were guys I was in Medic School with.  There was Carl and Franks and others - just can't remember their names.

 

Yes, Warner was good.  It had it's own trolley stop and you could easily go into Munich via the trolley. The duty wasn't bad: I only had guard duty once while there and maybe KP duty twice.

 

The Colonel in charge was Colonel Thrush - a great guy.  He had compassion and was getting out in 6 months. I can remember that the 1st Sgt. gave me an article 15 for speaking out of turn. (I answered back to the Sgt. in charge of police call, picking up butts and papers from parade field. He told me I missed one and I told him "well - pick it up." As you know in the Army you don't tell a Sgt. what to do especially if you are a Pvt.!)  My punishment was to be the aide to the Colonel for a day. Clean his office, serve coffee, and generally be at his service. It was not punishment. After all the duties were done, the colonel and I sat down and talked about our personal lives, were we came from etc.  It just so happens he was in a military school in Pa. and played against the military school that was in my hometown. From then on we were great friends and whenever he saw me in the line of march at a parade he would embarrass me by coming right over to me a shake my hand. God, was I razzed about that!   When he left I had about 10 minutes with him and we said our goodbyes. I never saw him again even though he gave me his address in Pa. I guess I just didn't get motivated enough to call him.

And I think I lost his address anyway.

 

Well, I could go on. But it was indeed fun. We use to go into Munich to a place on Hohenzollern Strasse 21 to be exact. A house of ill repute! But hey we were 21 and needed to attend to our needs.

 

Well, that’s it….there’s more but just can't remember.

 

Sal Carano
SOC40@aol.com

 

 

 

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