The 79th Engineer Battalion

What Was Where At Gerszewski Barracks




About Adolph Gerszewski


The Legend of Sgt Gerszewski


MAP 1

MAP 2

MAP 3



LEGEND FOR THE THREE LABELED MAPS

1. Baseball field - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

2. Obstacle course - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

The obstacle course no longer existed during my stay. This area was a baseball/softball diamond. There was a fence that ran along side these 3 buildings (33-35) with a break between 34 & 35 where we could cut through heading to the main gate. The area parallel to bldg 34, had a covered pavilion with picnic tables. C Co. once used this for a pig roast. We had several people in our company of Samoan descent. To treat us, the command gave us a pig roast held on a regular duty day, and all the food was cooked by the Samoan's. Our uniform was civilian and we had formation. Then we all went over to the picnic area, where family was also invited, for great food. It was a nice break after having several months lock down between preparing 249th to go to Saudi, then pulling 24 hour guard duty to protect all the remaining US occupied military areas. We NEEDED a party. Personally, I was stationed in 2 companies during my time. First, HSC Co., 79th ECB(H), from Nov. 1989-Oct 1990. This was the time when Sadam Hussein lost his mind invading Kuwait. I changed to C Co. 79th for the remainder of my time until I PCS'd to Ft. Benning in Jan. 1992. 249th Engineers were sent to Saudi Arabia around December 1990 (yep, right before Christmas!), They took about 1/4 of 79th personnel with them to fill slots. So, I have a lot of friends in both battalions and a few in 517th Maintenance. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    Picture#1 1968
    Picture#2 1968

I don't remember spot number two being an obstacle course. What I remember it being is a second ball field and we used to have the battalion organizational day on that location with the covered pavilion to the left of the field. - Keith Agan, 79th Engr, 1984-88

    Picture 1968

Between area 2 and area 3 there was a covered picnic/bbq area and a volleyball court during 1982-1983 - John Wainscott, 79th Engr, 1982-83

    Picture 1974
    Picture 2002

3. Track - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

    Picture 1968

4. Spot 4 was the tennis courts. - Keith Agan, 79th Engr, 1984-88

5. Spot 5 was the basketball courts. - Keith Agan, 79th Engr, 1984-88

6. Bldg. 6 housed the Labor Service. - Floris Wood, 556th Med Co.(amb), 56th Med Bn. from 1961-63

79th ENGINEER BN. C-Company Operations was at the parade field end of the building on the first floor with rooms for the soldiers on the third floor. A-Company Operations (The quarry company) was on the first floor of the other end of the building with rooms on the second floor. - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

During my time, this building still housed A & C Co.s, though in a different layout:

  • Basement - housed both supply rooms, commo., NBC offices & Platoon offices for A & C.

  • 1st floor - A Co. orderly room and all A Co. command offices, day room, and some A Co. barracks rooms

  • 2nd floor - C Co. orderly room and all C Co. command offices, day room, and some C Co. barracks rooms. I lived on this floor while in C Co. I had 3 different rooms in just over a year (not my choice). Bathroom & Showers were co-ed (hated it).

  • 3rd floor - C Co. barracks - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

      Picture#1 2003
      Picture#2 2003
      Picture#3 2004

      The Mad Shitter Story

    6a. Short timer’s tree (where those who had left, left their boots hanging). - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

      Picture 2002 This was a back gate on the Parade Field end of the barracks that was normally locked in the 1970s.

  • Don Winship's Memories and Pictures (1950s)

    7. #7 was 73rd AAA AW SP Battalion HQ on the second floor (S-1; S-2; S-3; courtroom) and the bottom floor was the EM Club. - Don Winship, 73rd AAA AW SP Battalion, assistant S-4 supply sergeant, 1954-57

    Capt Fox was CO, I forget the 1st Sgt name. I was there in 1960 we had M43 tracks with 40mm. The unit disbanded in Oct 1960. On the same base was a nike-ajax missile base, to which I was transferred. In Nov 1960 this missile base was deactivated and the unit converted to Nike-herc which opened in Pforzheim, about 40 clicks away. Most of the Nike-Herc units were transformed into Patriot units and then moved to Israel during Desert Storm and haven't returned to Germany. .. Niki-Ajax was conventional. Our launch area was down by the post ammo dump bordering the Rhine. I was in charge on the swimming pool on base in 1960 -May-Sep. It was a terrible summer ,the pool was hardly open. There were a few nice days in May and then again in Sep. Maybe 2-3 weeks total- I worked, in NY,with a German name Herb Dinkel that was stationed at base in '45. He operated AAA that protected bridge over the Rhine on hwy 10. - Ed Sheppy, 73rd AAA AW SP Battalion, ?-1960

    Bldg.7 was the EM club, - Floris Wood, 556th Med Co.(amb), 56th Med Bn. from 1961-63

    79th ENGINEER BN. BATTALION OPERATIONS. The first floor was were S-1, the Battalion Commander Office, the Xos Office, S-2, S-3, Drafting, and the Photo Lab was there. The second floor had the JAG and the court room. - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    THE FINANCE DETACHMENT - After evaluating the evidence concerning the location of the Finance Detachment along with my recollection what was in this building, I have concluded that the Finance Detachment that contained the vault with millions of dollars was in the basement. More details and information about this is at the bottom of the page. - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

      Picture 2002 This was the main guarded gate that GIs used to go to Knielingen. The main places to go were: The A-Bar, Tony's Pizza (Pfalzer Tur), or to catch the Strassenbahn to downtown Karlsruhe

      Picture 1976

    During the time I was there the back gate was mostly open and gave quick access to the train station and Tony's Pizza. - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    8. #8 was Hq and A companys 73rd AAA AW SP Battalion and the bottom floor was miscellaneous such as barber and seamstress, which cost us a total of $2.50 a month. And on Barracks #8, there was a swastika (right outside my barracks window) that had been removed with just the eagle remaining. If anyone wants a copy of it just email me. **It was right outside my window. Kneliegen had three main bars, the 3-6-8, the 3-6-9, and the Thre Kings. I have a little more information if anyone would want to email me with any questions. I would suspect the antiaircraft artillery we had became completely outmoded in the jet age and they disbanded the units. - Don Winship, 73rd AAA AW SP Battalion, assistant S-4 supply sergeant, 1954-57

    Our barracks was in bldg. 8 - Floris Wood, 556th Med Co.(amb), 56th Med Bn. from 1961-63

    79th ENGINEER BN. B-Company Operations was on the first floor. Rooms for soldiers on the second or third floor. - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

      Picture 2002 The street behind B-Company and the back gate that was normally locked in the 1970s.

      The Swastika picture was taken on the back side of one of this building occupied at the time by the 56th Medical Battalion which the 761st was a part of. I don't remember which way was north or south at Gerszewski but the building was the one [if standing at the front gate] in the back left hand corner of the Kaserne. You had to go behind the building which was up against the fence in order to see it. This picture was taken in 1963 while I was at the 761st. - Dr. Don Morton, Commanding Officer of the 761st Medical Detachment at Gerszewski Barracks Karlsruhe from May 1963 to June 1966

    Captains Ducey and Gay ran Company B during my stay (72-74). - Ray Marvez, 79th Engr, 1972-74

    During my time, this building still housed A & B Co.s, though in a different layout:

  • Basement - housed B Co. supply room, commo., NBC offices & Platoon offices.

  • 1st floor - B Co. orderly room and all B Co. command offices, day room, and some B Co. barracks rooms

  • 2nd floor - B Co. barracks

  • 3rd floor - A Co. barracks - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    9. #9 was B & C companys. - Don Winship, 73rd AAA AW SP Battalion, assistant S-4 supply sergeant, 1954-57

    HHC, 6th Med. Bn. was in bldg. 9. - Floris Wood, 556th Med Co.(amb), 56th Med Bn. from 1961-63

    Our maintenance bldg was the low bldg beside the mess hall. - Floris Wood, 556th Med Co.(amb), 56th Med Bn. from 1961-63

    The CEBE was in Building 9 on the second floor - Steve Shirley, 3rd Combat Equipment Co, 1980-1986

    I can identify building 9 as being where the 79th Eng Bn Headquarters was prior to moving to building 7. The Headquarters offices were located on the third floor. I don't recall what occupied the first two floors. Also located in building 9 was the mail room in the basement on the near side. - Keith Agan, 79th Engr, 1984-88

    during my stay, this building was used as the MOS library that housed all the military regs and micro fiche files for reference. University of Maryland also used some of the rooms for various college courses that soldier's and military families took. I remember taking some MS DOS computer classes there (talk about dating myself!) - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

      Picture 2004 This is one of the buildings in the "Buffalo Soldiers" movie.

    10. 79th ENGINEER BN. Headquarters Company Barracks. The Operations Office – 1st Sargeant (called TOP), the Company Comander’s Office, etc - were all on the first floor on the end of the building that you see in the picture. S-4 (Supply) was in the basement. My Soil Lab was in the basement on the end of the building you see in the picture. The guns were in the basement. The soldier rooms were on the third floor. There was a Signal Company in the building too. The Operations office sfor the Signal Company was on the first floor do at the snackbar end of the building. The Signal Company’s rooms for it’s soldiers were on the second floor. - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    I was in the 79th Engr.Bn.(Construction)with the 24th Engr.Group from May1975-Dec.1977 in Karlsruhe. I joined as a 51R20-Electrician- however we were re-designated as the 79th Engr.Bn.(Combat Heavy) with the 18th Engr.Brigade,in fall of 1975 and so no more construction work- just lots of field duty and bridge training! UGGH!! Lucky for me, I had a hobby of photography and talked my way into an MOS change to 84-B-20-Photographer(i.e.gravy-train duty!) I'm the one who built the darkroom inside the refrigerator (if you ever saw the place!) During REFORGER '77, the 79th built the largest Bailey Bridge ever built since WWII- a double/tripple (double sides,three panels high) bridge with 150' clear span! I will try to scan my print and send a photo to you. The info. about the 79th becoming the 94th is interesting- in the '70's the 24th group and 18th Brigade consisted of the 79th, 94th, 249th and 293rd Engr. Bn's- how did the 94th take over the 79th? I have often wondered if the 79th was even around any more and so now I know the answer! - Jim Thompsen, 79th Engr, 1975-77

  • The Honker Path - Other than rare visits to other buildings, what was in them and my exposure to their contents always depended on a "need to know" basis. This building's purpose was never questioned other than as a obstacle to navigate in my wanderings to the snack bar, the NCO club or mess hall. The latter was always accomplished to the left side of the building (as viewed from the front of Charlie Company), along a worn track that I always referred to as "honker path". So named by me at the time for the shotgun splattering of green lung expectorations that decorated the way; symptoms of a too rigorous regiment of hashish and cigarettes. This path was "unauthorized" and from time to time was put off-limits for some unknown reason but that rule was rarely followed. It was lined with a hundred cigarette butts from to/from mess hall walks and had to be policed (albeit gingerly because of the expectorations) each morning after formation. - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

    Here are seven photos (see photos link above for the 1980s) taken probably winter of '80 (snow) and spring/summer of '80 or '81. The photos covering the parade field were taken from the end of Building 10, third floor. The three others were taken from one of the rooms on the third floor of Building 10 towards Building 6 and the area designated 6a. I don't recall who was in Building 6, however, Area 6a was the HHC motor pool following relocation from either building 25, 26, or 27 in/about the summer of 1980 (probably the latter; I recall some of the older hands talking about checking folks out at the pool in the summer months). At the time of the move, the motor sergeant was SFC Franklin R. Mitchell and the first sergeant was 1SG Jesse R. Fisher. I arrived at Gerzewski the end of October 1979 and departed August 1981. The entire time I was with HHC 79th, first in the motor pool and later as a driver for HHC supply and the medics. It was a chance to get out on the road and see some of the garden spots of W. Germany. In retrospect, I blew it by not doing or seeing more while I was over there. - Wayne Patterson, HHC 79th Engr (1979-1981)

    Building 10 was HSC 79th in my time. There was no signal battalion anywhere on Gerszewski that I recall. I have no idea when they left as that was before my time.
    Layout:

  • Basement - Battalion mailroom/mailboxes, supply, commo, NBC, platoon offices.

  • 1st floor - Orderly room, command offices, day room, some barracks rooms. Originally, these barracks rooms were male NCOS, until command got the infinite wisdom of taking females from the entire battalion and moved them all in on 1st floor and crammed us in like sardines. Supposedly it was to keep us "safe." Stupid move. It only made easier entry for guys to sneak in through the windows at night and not get caught, unless you happened to see someone's rear end as they shimmied in the window. Not to mention that we no longer had any privacy. Barracks life sucked.

  • 2nd floor - barracks. HSC males and females existed in harmony here until the previous mentioned stupid move. Females were located on the parade field end and used that latrine and the 2nd floor shower facilities. Males used the parking lot end and that latrine. Males used the 3rd floor shower.

  • 3rd floor - barracks rooms, all male. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

      Picture 1974 This is a picture taken on the lawn by the Honker Path

  • Earle's Moments - Mark had a sword fight with Kaup. Marke had a machette Kaup had a broom stick. Kaup wound up with a hand wound and fainted and had to be taken to the hospital. - James Earle, 79th Engr, 1970-73

      Picture#1 2004 This was a "Buffalo Soldiers" movie building too, if the red roof is the snack bar.
      Picture#2 2000 The Mess Hall is on left with the Snack Bar behind it, HQ Barracks are in the middle, A&C Company Barracks on the right.

    11. 79th ENGINEER BN. Equipment storage (was this fenced/) - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

    This was a parking lot in my time. The side toward the Battalion offices is where personnel who did not live in the barracks parked. The other half is where HSC held formation. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

      Picture#1 1974 This is when I hit the hippie's car with a deuce-and-a-half
      Picture#2 1974

    12. #12 was the messhall for Hq, A, B, & C companies. Between #12 and #13 was a quanset hut(I see now gone) which was the S-4. - Don Winship, 73rd AAA AW SP Battalion, assistant S-4 supply sergeant, 1954-57

    Bldg. 12 was our mess hall. - Floris Wood, 556th Med Co.(amb), 56th Med Bn. from 1961-63

    #12 was the Battalion S-4 for 79th ENG. I used to work there in 1990. They moved in 1991 over closer to the motor pool when 249th deactivated. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    13. Building 13 is where the soils guys hung out. I recall only two of the 79th soils guys as Sgt Meyer and PFC or SP4 Meyers. The similarity of their names caused some confusion. - Wayne Patterson, HHC 79th Engr (1979-1981)

    In the #13 and #18 areas was the motor pool for the light tank chassis with twin mounted 40MM guns and on down we had M16 halftracks with quad 50's mounted on them. A lot of fire power. - Don Winship, 73rd AAA AW SP Battalion, assistant S-4 supply sergeant, 1954-57

    79th ENGINEER BN. Motor pool

      Picture#1 1976
      Picture#2 1976
      Picture#3 1976

    14. Spot 14 was the gym. I spent a lot of time there before I got married. Me and my best friend at the time spent 2-3 hours a day seven days a week working out. It was our second home outside of the barracks. - Keith Agan, 79th Engr, 1984-88

    This was still the gym in my time. I used to work out every day. Counting PT in the morning, I worked out 10 times a week. On sunny days, I spent time off-post riding my bike. On rainy days, I used the weight room. I was in my best shape ever in 1990. That summer I maxed my push-ups and 2 mile run. I never could get those sit-ups maxed though. The gym was closed for a long time after that for renovations. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    15. String of buildings used for various 3rd shop office run by the 517th Maintenance Company there on Gerszewski. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    16. Messhall (Called the "Scarf & Barf" by some soldiers)

      Picture 1973
      Picture 2004

  • Scarf and barf indeed! I remember it mostly for the endless time wasted standing in line waiting for it to be opened; one wanted to get there early as the "good food" would often run short halfway (mostly because the mess sgt. Was black marketing the meat); but early arrival meant little as the blacks would always cut line so no matter. One always ended up at least 50 guys back. "Best" memories was the bacon in a pan 4" deep in grease, lime jello that had chopped onions in it, and the slop they would serve us on "ethnic nights" where they would expose us white folks to the finer southern cuisine of our black brethren. Ham hocks and chitins; gnawing for meat on the former, gagging on the latter. Pig intestines… hmmm… hmmm good. Thank good the snack bar was close at hand. I don't think the gym was in that building. I remember it being further over towards the motor pool area. - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

    I remember reading about the "Fall of Saigon" in the Stars & Stripes at breakfast in the messhall in 1975. - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    17. Snack bar

    The beer was good, especially in large quantities. I remember a little corner area that held a bookstore. Does anyone remember the "Davy Crocket"? Take a burger and add another piece of bread and a slice of fried baloney. Hey after enough beer you'd eat anything. - SP4 William "David" Wade, B Co 249th Engr, 1973-77

      Picture 1974 With a montage of audio clips from back yonder. You children of the 80s and 90s don't know what you missed.

  • This was the scene of many afternoons spent drinking cups of beer instead of working. The chili was always good because it was Hormel right out of a no. 10 can, the rest was passable fare but expensive on our limited funds. There was an old German woman who worked the counter that everyone called Oma, German for grandma. She liked that I guess. I remember once sitting with some guys around a table while a back SSG. W***** (Co. C - motor pool) attempted to pimp two scaggy looking German girls to us. He thought that a good sales pitch was that he could get his fist into one of their vaginas. That wouldn't do me any good, so I passed. He later was thrown out of the army. - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

    18. PX

    In the #13 and #18 areas was the motor pool for the light tank chassis with twin mounted 40MM guns and on down we had M16 halftracks with quad 50's mounted on them. A lot of fire power. - Don Winship, 73rd AAA AW SP Battalion, assistant S-4 supply sergeant, 1954-57

    19. Tailor’s shop

    As best as this old memory serves me... the barber shop was in with the other service related businesses like the tailor in the complex of buildings that formed an "L" past the snack bar and PX. My guess would be around #19 on map 2 of "What Was Where" on the Gerszewski Barracks tracker maps. The barbershop hours never seemed to coincide with reasonable hours to use it. The German barbers, like the tailors, always seemed to be on vacation or on another national holiday. They had a lot of those. Haircuts were customized to allow a somewhat military appearance with a fatigue cap on but would allow the longer hair tucked underneath it to be combed down for nights and weekends. Sometimes a sergeant would pull off your cap and send you packing to the barbershop, ending the ruse. - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

    20. Was this not where you could get film developed by AAFE? If you look hard, you can see a building just to the left of Bldg. 20.. That was the little Laundromat just on the corner of the street. - Dave Nelson, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    I remember a story of a soldier who robbed the Laundromat once and got caught the 2nd time. Guess he figured out the dollar changer didn't recognize colors, so he made some photocopies of old george and stole all teh quarters from it. He tried it a second time, but the MP's had put in a camera and he was caught. - Fredrick S. Giarette SFC (ret), 79th Engr 1987-91

    21. Shops to work on private vehicles - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77.

      Picture 1973

    The Auto Craft Shop #21 was the original building. Building #22 was added to the Auto Craft Shop in 1977 when a unit moved out of that motorpool, I don't remember the unit name. The toolroom and sign in area were on the original building #21 were on the side facing the PX and the rest of the building were open bays for customer usage. The facility did not have lifts so we used the two pits in this building for oil changes. The far bay from the tool room was sometimes used by Central Texas College for Automotive Instruction. In the early 80s After Auto Crafts picked up Building #22 the original toolroom was converted to a one bay car wash. (SEE more on Auto Craft Shop #22) - Dave Nelson, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    22. Shops to work on private vehicles? - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

      Picture 1973

    Bldg. #22 was the addition to the Auto Craft Shop (See Building # 21). In 1977 Auto Crafts obtained this facility, a fence with swing out gate was installed between the two buildings to create an Auto Crafts compound. A small-vehicle holding lot was installed on the far end of the building on the 249th side. The Auto Crafts tool room and sign in area was moved to the new wing and a Paint booth was installed. During the early 80s both buildings were renovated, new equipment was purchased such as lifts, tire balancers, engine analyzers, brake lathes etc. In the early 80s the Auto Craft Shop introduced Resale items for the customers i.e. oil, filters, plugs, etc., and to offset labor cost for the staff, bay fees were established (50 cents an hour -- wow ). The far bay (towards the 249th) was the warehouse for all Resale that was supplied to all Arts and Crafts facilities in the Karlsruhe Community to include Rhineland Kaserne, Germershiem, Neureit and several remote sites. This warehouse included Ceramic slip, photo supplies, wood for the multicraft facilities et. All said, the Auto Craft Shop was a busy little place. The staff of this facility consisted of a manager UA-7 (the nonappropriated funds equal to a GS-7 and several recreational assistants (auto). This facility was opened Wednesday thru Sunday, Closed on Monday and Tuesdays. On weekend the facility was always full with a waiting list to get in (GI always working on s $300 cars that were passed from one ETSing guy to the FNG. As it was, the command of Karlsruhe Mil Com. always made sure that we had a place to fix our cars and I can tell you that they spent lots of bucks to support us. Anyhow, when they dig up that facility they may find some 1970s vintage excess equipment, the tunnel between the two buildings was a great hiding place during IG inspections. - Dave Nelson, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    23. Bowling Alley?

    I used to bowl on base with a group of Hawaiians on a team called the 'Rinky Dinks'. The bowling alley was right there on Gerszewski, not far from the barracks. The high school classroom was also at Gerszewski. It was an off shoot from K-town. Six GI's and a LT's wife was the teacher. Our E-6 used to walk over to the alley to get us to go back to work. Looking at one of the aerial photos, my foggy memory thinks that it was in the area away from the barracks beyond the mess hall to the left of the parade field. - Ray Marvez, 79th Engr, 1972-74

    I and a few others from 1st Platoon Bravo Co. (79th) had the priviledge of carrying sledgehammers into the bowling alley and having at it for awhile. You might think it would be great fun to destroy, but after a few swings it's real work! Time frame must have been early 87. - Dennis Miller, 79th Engr, Oct 1986 - Jun 1989

    If there was a bowling alley at one time, it was long gone before my time. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    24.

    25. Building 25 was our supply section. - Robert Gable, 517th Maintenance Co (Road Dogs), 1987-89

    Both 25 and 26 were used for POMCUS Storage until about late 85 or early 86. Then they stood empty for a period of time. - Steve Shirley, 3rd Combat Equipment Co, 1980-1986

    26. My work place was building 26, and 29 while I was there. Building 26 was the motor poll for 517th maint. co the small attaching building to the right of the building was the armament section. - Robert Gable, 517th Maintenance Co (Road Dogs), 1987-89

    27. To the right of building 27 was a bunker it was painted red and a tunnel from building 29 led to it. It was filled with water. - Robert Gable, 517th Maintenance Co (Road Dogs), 1987-89

    28. Swimming Pool.

      Picture#1 2003
      Picture#2 2003

  • I only went swimming in the swimming pool once so I don't know that much about it. The night I went I was with two WACs from the 249th and another GI. I can't remember his name (David Georgiana?). One WAC was an American Indian from North Dakota as I recall, and the other a farm girl from the mid-west somewhere. After leaving the NCO Club on a hot summer night in 1974 somehow the four of us decided to go skinny-dipping, which we did, but we didn't do the wild thing. If we had done the wild thing we would have gotten caught doing the wild thing by the MPs because I found out the next day that we left just before they got there. - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    29. This is the building attached to the swimming pool that housed the locker rooms & showers. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    Building 29 had a connecting hallway from one end of the other, under the building. I do not remember if the swimming pool was not there when I left. - Robert Gable, 517th Maintenance Co (Road Dogs), 1987-89

    30. The barracks of the 3rd Combat Equipment Company. The area to the right of the barracks was the company's shops. The 3rd CEC maintained vehicles for the annual reforger exercise. - Bruce Coleman, 3rd CEC

    Building 30 was our track shop run by the Germans who worked for the 3rd CEC. About half way down was the Bowling Alley. Across from 30 (Left End) the small building was used for different things. At one time it was our shop stock and one bay was used by our QC Section (German). The tall building behind this one was our barracks and office area on the first floor. At one time we also shared the building with the 331st ASA. They transfered out, but I'm not sure where they moved to. - Steve Shirley, 3rd Combat Equipment Co, 1980-1986

    Building 30 was used by Germans, the left side was used to work on artillery equipment, mainly M109 Howitzers. The big white buildings were all part of the "Back-40". - Robert Gable, 517th Maintenance Co (Road Dogs), 1987-89

    31. I think part of Building 31 was also used by the 3rd CEC - Steve Shirley, 3rd Combat Equipment Co, 1980-1986

    32. The field #32 was where we kept our vehicles. - Robert Gable, 517th Maintenance Co (Road Dogs), 1987-89

    33. I was station in Gerzewski from May 1991- Dec 1992 (deactivation). I was part of the commo team and if I remember correctly the tail end of this building 33 (on the right end) we stored some of our antennas and commo equipment. - Amy Grant (now Greene), 79th Engr, 1991-92

    34.

    35. The pictures from Paul Strauser indicate that this building was the 761ST MEDICAL DETACHMENT Infimary in the 1960s - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

      Pictures

    Paul is correct--building #35 was the 761st Medical Det[at least from 1962 to 1966] the medical clinic occupied the entire first floor in the older part of the building and the one floor which was an additon to the older two story building. Dental Clinic occupied the entire 2nd floor which was upstairs in the older building, [I believe the 89th Dental Detachment-- all the dental detachments were part of the same unit out of the 130th Station Hosp in Heidelberg] The addition to the older building only had one floor. - Dr. Don Morton, Commanding Officer of the 761st Medical Detachment at Gerszewski Barracks Karlsruhe from May 1963 to June 1966

    36. 35 or 36 was the dentist office. I was there once and had a tooth pulled (I don't think the Leut. was a real dentist?) - Jim Downs, 77th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company, 1967-70

    37. Provost Marshal Barracks and someone else- can't remember who; - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    I believe building # 37 was 18th Ordinance Co HQ and billets - Dr. Don Morton, Commanding Officer of the 761st Medical Detachment at Gerszewski Barracks Karlsruhe from May 1963 to June 1966

    Picture 37 was my company - Robert Gable, 517th Maintenance Co (Road Dogs), 1987-89

    38. Coffee House - they always had games and Christian related stuff going on (I spent a lot of time there); - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    If I remember correctly, in 1977-78 the infirmary was in this building. I could be wrong. - Rick Stevens, 79th Engr

    Not sure 100% but I think this was a Mess hall. I think 34 was the infirmary. - Dave Nelson, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    Building 38 was our mess hall. - Jim Downs, 77th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company, 1967-70

    The billets for the 761st Medical was upstairs in building # 38. I believe the first floor was part of the 18th Ordinance Co. # 38 was the 18th Ordinance Co Mess Hall for sure! I inspected the mess halls as post surgeon! There were four mess halls, 18th ordinance co., 56th Medical BN, 3rd Maintenance BN and one other I think was the Signal BN Mess Hall. I believe it was the 25th Signal BN. This of course would be from 1962-1966. - Dr. Don Morton, Commanding Officer of the 761st Medical Detachment at Gerszewski Barracks Karlsruhe from May 1963 to June 1966

    When I was stationed in 79th from 1989-1992, this building housed the infirmary. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    39. NCO Club

      Picture of "Marigold" in 1974

  • I can picture walking in the door in 1974. Pinball machines on the right; air hocky, fussball and a pool table was in the middle; and the bar was straight across the room to the left. Tables and chairs were in front of the stage to the right as you walked in. Juke box was somewhere; down by the stage on the left wall maybe. I can still see the white girls and the black GIs riding each other's legs as they danced "the bump". I remember Marigold (maybe it was another one) was a lousy band from Scotland and the girl was a nasty whore who stayed near the kaserne for a while living behind B-Co 79th after the band went back home. I can still hear that stinking song "Leaving on a Jet Plane"; and I remember everybody booing the band. The lead guitar player said that if anybody thought they could play better they could come on up and give it a try. A guy from Charlie-79th walked up on stage, grabbed the guitar, and played Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot to a standing ovation. It was very cool. I remember somebody streaking the place one time too. I remember another time when George Jiminez (aka Paco) from B79th punched a guy from the 249th so hard in the side of the head that it darn near decaptitated him. The guy made some sort of racial slur to Paco over at the bar. Paco was an American Indian from California. That started a bar room brawl between the 79th and 249th for the next 3-5 minutes featuring everything you can possibly imagine happening; jumping over pool tables, swinging pool cues, throwing chairs, smashing bottles, wrestling on the floor, and so on. We all booked-up just before the MPs got there. I think they roamed the kaserne the next day asking questions. - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    Hey!!! I think I remember the fight that Bruce was talking about! But it could have been one of many fights. Eventually the MP's would not come over any more so they started rotating between 79 and 249 a kind of post guard. That didn't work to well because the guards would join in against whoever. There were a few times that the Engineers pulled together against "Reforgers" God we hated them!!!! I remember one time when Reforgers declaired that the bar was closed to everyone else and they started throwing people out. The Bartender (Spikler) started calling all of the units 79th and 249th. The Engineers that were in the bar when this started had been pushed against the stage (the band had two Korean? singers). When the reinforcements arrived, the Reforger's were sandwiched in between. They were eventually lifted up and passed over the heads and deposited roughly outside. We (Doucette, McBride, "Big Time", Chicarillo, and I) had a great time that night. I also remember a drink called the Feddy Futpucker - If you couldn't say it right they wouldn't serve it. (Double Rum and Coke w/ a shot of Teguilla - I think it cost $2.00) Three of those would really Fut your Pucker - SP4 David Wade, B Co 249th Engr, 1973-77

    In the summer of 75 my parents flew to europe to visit me. I took two weeks leave, we rented a car and drove all over western Europe. (mostly sites where my father had been stationed with Patton's army during WWII). One of our stops was a USO run resort near the Black Forest for servicemen. After sending my parents off to bed I went into the lounge for some refreshment. It was a weekday evening and the crowd was thin. The band playing was a American rock and roll band with a female singer and between songs their banter was about how small and unenthusiastic the crowd was and the comment was made, "Well, at least this isn't Gerszewski Barracks." - Bruce Coleman, 3rd Combat Equipment Company, 1974-76

    Bldg. 39 was the NCO club. I went in there often even though I was a Spec 4. All enlisted were allowed in there. - Richard Berschauer, 249th Engr 1978-81

    The NCO club was no longer open during my time. I think the space was used for rental space, or offices. I don't recall which. The only NCO club that I remember still being used was located at Smiley. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    The post was still around for a about a year after I left. The club was an all ranks club and it had a pretty good DJ on the weekend. The Rec center, Gym, and shoppette were still open daily and the Chapel held services on Sunday. Other than that, the post was pretty much empty, only 2-3 units remained on post. - David Crow, 7th Signal Brigade Oct 1991 - Dec 1993

    40.

    41.
    Library - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

    The library was actullay on the second floor of this building. It was pretty well stocked, considering it's small size. I used to go there often, as it was a good place to hide out when things were slow and they would look around for "volunteers" for duty. They usually kept a good selection of periodicals. - Rick Stevens, 79th Engr

    42.
    Recreation facilities.

    42 - Recreation Center - Had Pinochle Tournaments all day Saturday and most of the time on Sunday afternoon. Penny a point and a dollar per game to the winner. - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

      Picture#1 2004
      Picture#2 2004

    The bottom floor and the middle of the building was The Gerszewski Recreation Center. The top floor was the Arts and Crafts Photo Lab and the Arts and Crafts Directors Office until 1982 when the office was moved Smiley Bks. The Guy who ran the photo lab was a Local German named Fred Kessler. Fred was in the German Army (WWII) and told me a story about his unit. He was with a Panzer unit until the end of the war and somehow he ended up in Heidelberg. When his commander disbanded the unit poor Fred had to walk home -- all the way to Koln. Anyhow Fred worked for the US Army from just after the war ended up to when he retired in 1987 . He was a great employee and a great Photo Lab Instructor. - Dave Nelson, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    43. Chapel

    43 - Post Chapel; - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    Map 3 of building number 43 was the Chapel. I worked there in 1970, 1971, 1972 as a 71M20. The half silo (round portion) of the building was my Office. Directly in front, to the right of the half silo within the building was the Chaplains office. To the left were stairs going down to the piano and pulpit. I was in the 501st. Ord. at the time and also maintained count of the Red Eye Missiles in the black forest. - G. Patrick Riley, 501st Ordinance Battalion, 1970-72

    I remember tearing down the old Chapel. It was located between building 38 and 45. My Platoon Sgt was Victor Blouch. We were in HSC. I remeber Vic finding a 1947 "Stars and Stripes" in the attic before we demolished it. - Fredrick S. Giarette SFC (Ret), 79th Engr 1987-1991

      Picture 2004

  • I married Kirk Kirkpatrick in '76 (and have pictures from the chapel there at Gerszewski with many of those same guys and George Lloyd was my 'bridesmaid' at the German ceremony downtown) and we had a daughter who looks a lot like him (she's now 25). Kirk has been dead many years now (it seems he had Huntington's), and Beth never really knew her dad. - Chelle Clements, 79th Engr, 1975-76

    44. Front gate

      Picture 1975
      Picture 2002
      Gerszewski Sign#1
      Gerszewski Sign#2
      Newspaper Story A relative stationed at the kaserne

    In the period of 8/1982 to 8/1983 part of this area was part of the Motor Pool for the Army Security Agency. this was located in the area closest to the perimeter fence and the barracks. - John Wainscott, 79th Engr, 1982-83

    I was stationed at zooks from 92 until final closure. I was in the 516th engineer unit, the first building behind the building where the guards were, to the left of the main gate. - tdogtdog2003 from Yahoo! Group

    AAHH, but who went to "MOMS", right across the street from the main gate, maybe one door over down the steps in the basement. Her house above, she made the best pastries, and I wasn't a coffee drinker, but, but, but it was something most special. Its a search for me to recreate her oven skills; it ain't gonna happen and the lines at her place always long, those guys were getting there really early. In line one morning, a jaw dropper; two very small childern who apperently because they were German, walked right through the line and bought two bottles of wine. They had to reach the money full extention over there heads to get it on the counter, and I thought they were going to be run right out of the place. They left with change and the wine. - Gerald Kearns, 249th Engr, 1969-70

    I used to stop at moms early in the morning to avoid the traffic. She had the best jelly filled rolls. They were covered with castor sugar. I would get rolls a german news paper and an orange fanta and a small bottle of steinhager for my afternoon break. - Jim Downs, 77th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company, 1967-70

    45. I was a grader operator for the 557th Engineer Company (Light Equipment). We were located in the first building on the left as you entered the main gate. Our motor pool was at the end of the first street to the right. Our work consisted of mostly German-American relation jobs; and, building roads and a tank transistion course at Grafenwoehr. I left there in April of 1963 - Eugene Vuillemot, 557th Engr Co, ?-1963

    45 - HHC 249th Engineer Bn HQ and Female Barracks; - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    This building was the Headquarters Building for the 7th Signal Brigade when they moved to Karlsruhe in 1991. - David Crow, HQ, 7th Signal Brigade S3, October 1991 to December 2003.

    249th Engineer Battalion HQ? MP station/barracks - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

    The 77th HEM Co. were located at building 45 to the left of the front gate when looking in from the gate. I was the training NCO and my office was on the first floor. The window looked out at the main gate. - Jim Downs, 77th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company, 1967-70

    When you drove in the front gate, 249th ENGINEER (HQ Operations) was on the left. - Randy Hambrick, 249th Engr, 1977-80

    When the WACs started arriving at Gerszewski in 1974 they were housed on the 3rd floor. The first girls were with the 249th, and then they started arriving for the 79th. - Bruce Christman, 79th Engr, 1973-75

      Pictures 1975 This is a web page of pictures and recollections from the WAC Shack - Chelle Clements, 79th Engr, 1975-76

  • One thing I remember very clearly about the ratio - 2000 guys and 65 women when I got there ... it was enough to scare anyone! And some of the old sargeants did not want us, we did not belong in the army and especially in the Engineers. Right about the time I was leaving in late '76 the unit was changed from Construction to Combat Heavy ... the rumor was that is was to get rid of the women. - Chelle Clements, 79th Engr, 1975-76

    Bldg 45 was the 249th HQ and the WACs were on the third floor. Bottom floor was the MP station. I pulled 3 months battalion guard. I waved people through the main gate. I also remember the very tall flag pole that was across from HQ. We used to do 2-mile runs around the perimeter of the kaserne. On special occasions and holidays we would fly the HUGE U.S Flag. It took about 14-16 people to fold it and three to carry it in to the MP station. Whenever the flag was being raised or lowered we stopped all traffic coming in and out while the salute was given. It was very formal. - Richard Berschauer 249th Engr 1978-81

    46. 249th Engineer Bn A Co Barracks and the Bn Supply Building; - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    Charlie 79th was in this building when I first got there in 1973. They were renovating our buildings. - Dave Nelson, 79th Engr, 1973-75

    This building housed one of the 249th companies when I was stationed at Gerszewski. 79th was at the back of the kaserne. 249th was activated to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, for almost 6 months, then was deactivated upon their return in 1991. These 4 buildings were used to temporarily house National Guard and reservists during their annual trainings, etc. until Gerzsewski was closed for good. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    The first bld on the right was HHC and A-Company 249th ENGINEERS. - Randy Hambrick, 249th Engr, 1977-80

    Ah, Home sweet home from 1976-78. This large building housed HHC and A co 249th. I remember launching tennis balls from a lighter fluid and pop can cannon down the long hallways. Also, when fireworks were legal once a year (New Years?) we would launch roman candles and rockets down the hall as well. Doors to rooms were fully 2" thick oak. There were less than 4 per room when I was there, I shared the room with two other guys at first and later only one other. I recall a small latrine at one end of the building as well as the middle latrine/showers. - Andy Knapp, 249th Engr, 1976-78

    47. 249th Engineer Bn B Co and the basement was where the Battalion's Soils lab was located. - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    The 2nd floor was the barracks for HHC, 7th Sig Bde when they first moved to Karlsruhe in 1991. Our unit would do PT in front of the building. The soldiers moved to building 6 in map #2. - David Crow, 7th Signal Brigade Oct 1991 - Dec 1993

    Building layout to the best of my memory (standing facing front of building - fence on right) left side of basement C Co 249. Right side of basement B Co 249 Following info is about B Co. Mail Room under stairs, Supply down hall to the right on the right, Armory (Guteriz) down hall to right on left, Platoon rooms and storage filled out the remaining right half of the building. 1st Floor C Co - dont remember much I was B Co. 2nd Floor at top of stairs (was a mural painted by SP4 Wade in 76 with equipment, crest, and construction) right hand stair way turn right, offices (4) on the right were first CO (Cpt Myers, Gingrich, Heinz), XO? (Dunn?), Top's Office , the HQ office (SFC Deleary, SSG Jones, SP4 Sweeney) Bathroom at each end with shower room in the middle. Room held 1 to 4 depending on time and rank. HQ & Maint people on 2nd floor (Trotman, Cade, "Moose" OConnor, SSG "Willie D" Daniels, Sgt Farmer, "RG" Greene - 3rd Floor, Bathrooms on ends, showers in the middle Construction Platoon rooms. 4th Attic - Right hand side B Co Dayroom, pool table, pingpong "low ceilings" TV and scenic mural by SP4 Wade. You could crawl out the end window and sit on the top of the "bay" windows that faced the fence (done it). Hope this revives some memories, - William "David" Wade, 249th Engr, 1973-77

    B-co 249th ENGINEERS was on the top 2 floors, and C-co 249th ENGINEERS was on the bottom floor. - Randy Hambrick, 249th Engr, 1977-80

    48. 249th Engineer Bn C & D Company Barracks; - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    Our barracks (One of the 249th Engineer Battalion company barracks) were on the right as you would enter the main gate. I believe they were the last ones on the right, with the mess hall just down from us. I worked in the basement and lived on the third floor. This was back in 1968 - 1969. I was there when they tried those two boys for murdering the black guy, it happen about the same time I just got there, as I can remember they hired the law firm of Beli, Belham and Bailey (F Lee Bailey of the OJ Simpson trial) to represent them, it worked and got them off. We were on alert for sometime, as they thought race riots would occur. - Bill Lapeer, 249th Engr, 1968-69

    Read about the murder:

      Eckhardt's Recollection
      Strauser's Recollection

    Back in 1968-69 (I was at Gerszewski from 66-69), the 249th was, facing the main gates, to the right of the kaserne. The 249th had a bar in the attic where all were welcome, and I got to like that better than the NCO club. - Paul Wolsko (SP/5) 3rd Maintenance Battalion, 1966-69

    D co. 249th ENGINEERS was on the top 2 floors and the rest of C co. 249th ENGINEERS was on the bottom floor. - Randy Hambrick, 249th Engr, 1977-80

      The Nazi Bunker & Tunnels - Gerald Kearns, 249th Engr, 1969-70



    Bldg. 48 was D Co. 249th Engr. I was housed on the third floor. - Richard Berschauer, 249th Engr, 1978-81

    49. 249th Engineer Bn Bn Dining Facility; - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    I was in the C-249th Construction Engr. Bn.(Black Lions), in the building next to the mess hall. I remember the mess sgt. was a 'cajun and he finally got some jalapenos and Tobasco in on the condiments table. Then I didn't have to worry about getting sick from whatever was going around. The NCO Club was over by the Infirmary, and it was a happening place to be. But, the really happening place was the NCO Club next to the Commisary/Class 6 over by the 18th Brigade HHQ. So much fun, so little time. I tried to extend to stay longer, but it didn't work out that way. Our group served with Capt. Dowdy, "Dowdy's Rowdys" as we were referred as. I was a "off duty" volunteer for the youth groups, and helped transport them to the different sports events throughout Europe. Got to drive some brass to the different US-German functions as well. Served all of Gerzewski Barracks in the "Repair and Utilities Section" with "Water Walking" Sgt. Robinson (crossed the English Channel) , and Pvt. Ridley (really cool guy). It was a unique experience to correct your the problems and work with the German Status Of Forces personell to procure the materials necessary to facilitate the repairs. Anyone remember Colonel Hatch? Anyhow, I was in Karlsruhe from 1978 to 1980. A transplant from Darmstadt, Co. B 547th Combat Engr Bn. Learned not to miss the WOODS of Germany. - E.A. "Tim" Besse, 249th Engr, 1978-80 In 1982-1983 spot #49 was the mess hall for the 249th - John Wainscott, 79th Engr, 1982-83

    During my time, there was only one mess hall used on Gerszewski, the one in front of HSC 79th. There was only one mess hall per kaserne. Neureut was often considered the best mess hall, with Smiley being a close second. Gerszewski was considered the worst. The other kaserne, the name escapes me at the moment, was never really mentioned to me. I never ate there. The units there were all bridge builders and never had any projects with any of our units. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    Behind that was the 249th mess hall, was voted the best mess hall in europe twice during my tour. 77-80. - Randy Hambrick, 249th Engr, 1977-80

    My room, shared with 3 others was in bldg. 48 top floor(3rd floor) center of bldg. directly facing the motorpool. Bldg. 49 was the 249th mess hall. At that time it had several awards for best mess hall in Europe. I remember I always ate well there. We used to throw rocks out the windows to try and kill the rats that would hang around the slop cans. - Richard Berschauer, 249th Engr. 1978, 81

    50. In 1982-1983 spot #50 was Clothing sales on one end and the Travel Agency on the other. - John Wainscott, 79th Engr, 1982-83

    I think that 50 was clothing sales. - Randy Hambrick, 249th Engr, 1977-80

    Bldg. 50 was the Quartermaster/clothing sales. - Richard Berschauer 249th Engr 1978-81

    Building 50 was the Clothing Sales Store. I don't know what else was in there. - Steve Shirley, 3rd Combat Equipment Co, 1980-1986

    Not listed in the photo is the area just past clothing and sales - this is the fuel point. It's barely distinguishable in the photo. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    I, too, remember the fueling depot down that road. When I was there it was dug up and the tanks removed. I think that they went to surface storage tanks, possibly because the underground ones leaked ... - Andy Knapp, 249th Engr, 1976-78

    51. 52 and 51 wasn't there during my stay. Thats where the 249th shop area was - Randy Hambrick, 249th Engr, 1977-80

    52. Movie theater - Thomas Radke, 79th Engr, 1974-77

    This was the movie theatre. I remember I watched the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve there. - Richard Berschauer, 249th Engr, 1978-81

    #52 was the Theater - I was the projectionist from around June of 78 to June 80. We used to go to the Theater late on Friday and Saturday nights and show an extra movie just for friends. I once had to rewire part of projection #2 during a movie because a wire burnt after the movie started. Rewiring the wire to the projector while the current was on almost made a wreck out of me that night. - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    This was the movie theatre, but was no longer in use. The only thing I ever saw it used for was battalion briefings. The only theatre still in use during my stay was the one located over by the main px near Smiley. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    On the 79th web site is a field in front of bld. 52. Didnīt that use to be part of the 79th motor park? - Randy Hambrick, 249th Engr, 1977-80

    53. That area in front of Bldg 52 (area 53?) was the parkline for A, B, C 79th. Bldg 56 was the motor pool / shops. - Fredrick S. Giarette SFC (ret), 79th Engr 1987-91

    Parking lot. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    54. I think that buildings 55 and 54 were our shop areas, but there was a street off the main drag leading down to it. Were the trees are now. - Jim Downs, 77th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company, 1967-70

    55. I think that buildings 55 and 54 were our shop areas, but there was a street off the main drag leading down to it. Were the trees are now. - Jim Downs, 77th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company, 1967-70

    I was at the 77th HEM from when we moved from Manheim Coleman Barracks in the spring of 1965 to Gerzewski, rotated back to the states in Dec 1966. I used to get sandwiches at Moms' and a fliptop. I lived offpost on Siemens strasse about a 1/4 mile behind Mom's. Got a kick about the Eagle& the swastica I was on the R&U team and worked with the German engineers, they used to plaster over it but come a good rain the swastica was back! I was the one that painted the Snuffy Smith signs at the 77th.,a while back Bob Busenbark sent me via e-mail pictures he had taken at Gerzewski, he is on classmates, hope he catches this site. Thanks for the memories, - Jeff Bergeron, 77th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company, 1965-66

    56. Building 56 was a new maintenance building. I'm not sure who used this building. Talk was it would be either the 3rd or 249th. - Steve Shirley, 3rd Combat Equipment Co, 1980-1986

    Motor Pool, 79th Engineers, if I recall correctly. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92

    57. This was 249th 3rd shop where I worked when I was there 85 to 88 - Lowell Skidmore, 249th Engr, 1985-1988

    There were a number of M109 Howitzers at Gerszewski, I worked on them and they where housed in part of building 57. - Robert Gable, 517th Maintenance Co (Road Dogs), 1987-89

    When I was there from 1976-78, this was the "direct support" shop for the 249th. The building housed a mobile machine shop, mobile stock room, welding shop, and battery shop - which was run by a twisted spec 5 who liked to blow things up. We had a CWO 3 who ran the shop and, legend has it, he once buried a surplus D-series catepillar bulldozer before an IG inspection because it was surplus on his TO&E. We used to "road test" tactical 10 tons (among other vehicles) in the ground outside of and behind this building, which we referred to as "the back 40." - Andy Knapp, 249th Engr, 1976-78

    58. The area marked 58 was where some of the 3rd CEC's Maintenance Building once stood. - Steve Shirley, 3rd Combat Equipment Co, 1980-1986

    59. This area was B Co 249th's Motor Pool (1973-1977) - What is missing is a little shack that was between 55 and 52 (Movie Theatre). This little shack had a German National who sold food at breaks. The Specialty was a hotdog sandwich - cut two hotdogs length wise lay them flat on a slice of bread with mayo. Charged extra for cheese. I still eat them that way. My family even eats them that way. Speaking of food do you remember when Coke and Pepsi cost more than beer? - SP4 William "David" Wade, B Co 249th Engr, 1973-77

    #59 was the 249th motorpool - Lowell Skidmore, 249th Engr, 1985-1988

    249th shop area - Randy Hambrick, 249th Engr, 1977-80

    I was with B Co, 249th from '73 to '77 and I remember the area behind our mess hall as an open gravel vehicle parking area with a bunker? top used to load equipment onto the trailers. I do remember during IG inspections (Jan/Feb) we would load up all of our "extra" TO&E into dump trucks and send them out on the road or into the back 40 (area #60) so we wouldn't get "gigged". The truck would be listed on a job or detail. I do remember one IG inspection where the inspector was very thorough (read anal) and checked my jeep's vehicle # with my engine # and they didn't match!!! The engine should have been in a jeep that was DX'd in an MP unit from Bamberg (something about a blown engine). I wonder how that happened. To make that kind of switch you would have had to take a 290 Tractor and use it as a crane with a chain to lift the engine out of the jeep from the otherside of the concrete post fence area. And since the MP's were always on the ball (cough) the work would have been done late at night. But to really do this right only an Engineer Mechanic and his helper would have had the - - - - s to go in during the day and disconnect everything so yanking would be quick and quite. But . . .I am just guessing this is what might have happened after all I was an 81B (read Draftsman) so I wasn't the mechanic. Plus why from Bamberg? Oh yeah, B Co was there building tank pads for the 2nd of the 2nd Cav. Hmmm Oh well the inspector could figure it out either. - SP4 Wm David Wade, 249th Engr, 1973-1977

    The 249th tried to demolish that bunker back in "75" in order to make room for equipment park lines. They dropped a headache ball on the top of it for weeks on end. I heard and felt the impacts from my rear facing room in the Co. C bldg. # 48. Finally they decided to excavate around and found the entrance. After some additional effort the heavy iron door was opened. Amazingly enough the steel plated ceiling had formed mini stalagtites hanging down from it. You could knock them off with your finger, yet all the pounding from above ground had not. That bunker was built as an air raid bunker for the nazi post brass. We used it to unload dozers and such, since it was the right height for low boys. Rumor had it, that there had been an attempt to destroy it with explosives back in the 60's, but the force only destroyed windows for a couple of klicks surrounding the ZOO. I have some old pics, that I will share with group soon. - Jim Church, 249th Engr, 1973-1976

    I was a 63H tank automotive repairman at Gerzewski from 76-78. This area was the 249th motor pool and second echelon shop where they did oil changes and other minor mechanical work. - Andy Knapp, 249th Engr, 1976-78

    60. None of the white roofed building #60 were there when I was there. - Jim Downs, 77th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company, 1967-70

    These white bldgs. did not exist when I was at Gerszewski. Just grass. - Richard Berschauer, 249th Engr, 1978-81

    The big white buildings in the pictures were not there while I was stationed there. That area was a drivers training course. I had the luxury of training many new drivers in this location. The two mile run for the PT Test was around the perimeter of the Kaserne and finishing at the front gate. - LTC Billy Robison, HHC 249th Engr, Dec 1977 to Jun 1980 as enlisted, MOS 51G

    The buildings marked 60 were the POMCUS Storage Buildings for the 3rd CEC. This is where we stored equipment for REFORGER Troops. I can remember storing Mech Inf, Signal, Eng, and I believe a Fa Bn in these buildings. The buildings to the left of the storage building are new. When I was there we had old wooden storage building standing in this area. It was called "STAG KASERNE". I'm not sure what this area was used for. There was talk for this area to be used for a clean-up area when the equipment was returned from Reforger use, but I'm not sure. - Steve Shirley, 3rd Combat Equipment Co, 1980-1986

    I don't recall these buildings even being here in 1989-1992, all I recall is grass. - Katie Ames, 79th Engr 1989-92



  • The Finance Detachment

    There was also a Finance Detachment at Gerszewski Barracks that I haven't seen mentioned in any emails and it was interesting because in the basement was a giant safe which contained millions of US dollars. I was in the safe one time - there was an outer room [in the safe and in which an armed MP was on duty 24/7. Terrible duty especially if one happened to have claustrophobia as they were locked in and as I remember because of the steel there was no radio reception or other noise-just silence! There was a larger room separated from the first room which contained the money-boxes of coins and bills. Money was shipped in and out on the back of a large flatbed truck with MP escort both in front and back (no armored car). I think the amount of money was confidential but it was considerable I also think the Finance Unit in charge was the 44th finance Detachment. I do know that when the US Troops left Libya I think in 1962 that a friend of mine 1st Lt. Howard Witford from the 56th Medical BN was one officer (out of several stationed at Gerszewski from different units) that had to certify the burning of 8 million dollars in US Script that had been shipped in from Libya. - Dr. Don Morton, Commanding Officer of the 761st Medical Detachment at Gerszewski Barracks Karlsruhe from May 1963 to June 1966

    I was in charge of the Finance Attachment from June, 1967 to June. 1968. It was the Funding Division of Central Finance and Accounting, HQ USAEUR. I had a SFC and 2 Specialist. We had a vault in the basement that held over $100 million. We shipped money through out Europe and the Middle East. Coins arrived from the states in Conex Containers on the RR and then were transported to the Vault. Bills were flown into Frankfurt and then to Karlsrue by helicopter. In September, 1967, I picked up $35 million and landed 5 chopers on the Parade Field. One evening the alarm sounded and the Barracks was locked down until I returned from Smiley. When I entered the gate the Post Commander was waiting to enter. The next morning I got called to his office. He was relative new and did not know I was on the installation and had a currency vault. - George Hunsaker, MAJ(Ret), US Army Reserves

    We were near the PX area and the Parade Field. I think we were near the back gate that was locked. We controlled 1/2 of the first floor and the basement with no access to the second floor through our stair well. I had two MP guards around the clock. One was upstairs and the other in the basement outside the vault. You could not enter the basement without being buzzed in by the guard. - George Hunsaker, MAJ(Ret), US Army Reserves



    ABOUT THE UNITS STATIONED AT GERSZEWSKI BARRACKS

    The NAZI unit originally stationed at Rhein Kaserne was a ENGINEER (Pionier) BATTALION:

      "Aufgestellt am 12. Oktober 1937 und der 35. Infanterie-Division unterstellt. Der Friedensstandort des Bataillons war Karlsruhe. Das Pionier-Bataillon 35 wurde 1937 als erstes Pionier-Bataillon in Karlsruhe stationiert. Von 1938 bis 1945 war es in der Rheinkaserne in Karlsruhe-Knielingen stationiert." - Pionier Bataillon 35

    557th Engineer Company was there in 1963.

    The 79th and 249th Engineer Battalions were both part of 24th Engineer Group in the early 1970s. CLICK HERE
    The 79th moved to Gerszewski Barracks in June, 1971, from Neu Ulm.

      History of the 79th Engineer Battalion
      History of the 249th Engineer Battalion

    3rd Maintenance Battalion, USAREUR Readiness Group, APO 09164 was right down the cobblestone road from the little bratwurst stand that was to the side of the road, in 1968 - (I doubt anyone recalls THAT, but my friend married the fraulein who worked it - still married to her and happily living in Texas). - Paul Wolsko (SP/5) New Jersey

    The 12th Anti Aircraft Artillery (AW) Group was stationed at Gerszewski Bks, Karlsruhe, from Nov 26, 1950 to at least Mar 3 1953. CLICK HERE

    73rd Anti Aircraft Supply Battalion from at least 1954 until 1960.

    Combat Equipment Battalion East (CEBE) CLICK HERE

    3RD Combat Equipment Company (CEC)

    51st Combat Support Battalion (Mnt)(DS)
    77th Combat Support Company (Hvy Equip Mnt) CLICK HERE

    517th Maintenance Company CLICK HERE

    I was stationed on Gersweski Barracks in 1993-1994. The unit was the United States National Support Element (USNSE). We moved from SETAF (Livorno, Italy). Once I left Germany, USNSE moved to Mannhiem. I wish I could find all the others that made my career a success. Of course your website brought back tearful memories. Thanks alot for the walk down memory lane, God Bless all our troops stationed everywhere and also those that served before me. - SSG Norma (previously Martinez-Rodriguez) Zamarripa

    7th Signal Brigade of the 5th Signal Command CLICK HERE

    MAP: Gerszewski Barracks, Knielingen, late 1970s (US Military Installation Atlas, 37th Trans Gp, 1980) CLICK HERE

    MAPS: U.S. ARMY INSTALLATIONS - KARLSRUHE CLICK HERE



    Epilogue


    79th Engineer Battalion, Gerszewski Barracks, Knielingen
    Rhein River at Speyer, May 1975


    !!! UPDATED !!! Click here for a six minute presidential audio montage of famous moments that shaped American history during the lifespan of Gerszewski Barracks. It starts with Eisenhower and ends with George W Bush. Between are short sound bites from Walter Cronkite about JFK, then you will hear Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr, and Bill Clinton. The music is from "Old Man" by Neil Young. I didn't do it to make a political statement. I put it together because I was thinking about this web page, the generational aspect of it, I was bored on a Sunday afternoon, and it sounded like a fitting conclusion when it was done.

    Epilogue

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    Bruce Christman
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