Memories

 Memories 

 

Memories of the 48th Infantry while with the 3d Armored Division.  
Contributed memories are arranged by decade, i.e. 1950-59, 1960-69, 1970-70, etc.

1950 – 1959

From James M. Trahan (Hq & Hq Co., 2nd ARB, 48th Inf):  I joined the 3rd Armored Div in Aug 1955, and was assigned as a signals specialist to Hqs. & Service Co., 29th Armored Infantry Battalion, Combat  Command C.  Sgt. Blair was the First Sgt. then and we were stationed at Fort  Knox, Ky.   I  served in Sgt Blair's company from 1955-1958.  A Capt. Paul Gillespie was the CO, 1st Lt. Harold Polson was the EX.O, and 1st Lt Grant  Harris was my platoon leader. Our battalion CO was Lt. Col. George Sedberry,  Ex.O was Maj. Floyd Vanderhoff, Sgt Maj. was M/Sgt. Frank McBee. As part of  3rd Armored, the battalion was sent to West Germany under  the Gyroscope  program. We sailed across the Atlantic on the troopship USS Butner. It sailed  from New York and arrived at the port of Bremerhaven in West Germany.  The crossing took about 6 days, and we were very crowded.  The food was not bad but a lot of us got seasick as the weather was bad at times. Most of our days onboard were spent on guard duty.  After arriving in port, we went by train to Gelnhausen.  My first impression of Coleman Kaserne and the  barracks was that it was a lot better than Ft. Knox.
    The change of our Bn name from 29th Armored Infantry Battalion to 2nd Armored Rifle Battalion, 48th Infantry came sometime in 1957. As I remember it, we had no formal ceremony. We kept the Spearhead patch that we had at Fort Knox since we were still in the 3rd Armored Div. I have old orders with Hq. & Service Co, 29th AIB up until sometime in 1957. Then the ones from 1957 until I was sent back to the states had Hq & Hq Co, 2nd ARB, 48th Inf. Our battalion commander in Germany was a Col. Frost. We had two Company commanders while I was in Germany. One was Capt Roy Morgan and Capt. Clark. Morgan, who was an EE graduate from Prairie View University (Branch of Texas A&M) at Prairie View, TX.  When I left Gelnhausen in Aug 1958, a Cpt. Clark was CO. & Sgt. Blair was still 1st. Sgt. (to see James's photos, click here

Thomas Haynes: I served in Germany 1958-1960 and 2nd Lt Colin Powell arrived in Germany in 1958 and his first assignment was my platoon leader. B Company 48th Inf. I also had my basic training at Fort Hood, Texas the same time as Elvis Presley. Elvis was down the street from where I was and I met him at the post cafeteria one morning. I also was with Elvis in training one day in Germany. My time spent with Colin Powell was in 1958-1959. We were assigned a mission to guard a 280mm atomic cannon set up at Fulda Gap, Germany. It was very cold when we left Gelnhausen on the way to Fulda Gap and Lt Powell was in the commander’s hatch of our M59. On the way his head got very cold sticking out the hatch and he looked down at me sitting under him and asked for a scarf. I took my scarf off and handed to him. Last year I wrote General Powell a letter and asked if he remembered this. In about 3 days I received a letter back from him with a belated thanks. I served 18 months in Germany and was discharged in 1960. 

Tom Carlson (August 1955-July 1958):  I enlisted in the 3rdAD to be part of Operation Gyroscope to go to Germany.   I was assigned to Co. A, 29th  Armored Infantry Battalion, 1st Squad, 4th Platoon (81mm mortars assistant gunner).  The barracks at Gelnhausen were a big step up from the old WW II wooden, coal heated barracks we froze in at Ft. Knox.  (I just remembered after all these years the name of the GI who kept those coal furnaces going–Russell Hackman, Biloxi, Mississippi. I don't remember if he was RA or US.) Co. A was in the last barracks going up the hill from the main gate and my Platoon was on the top floor.  Cleaning the marble floors was a lot easier than the wooden floor at Ft. Knox.  I guess the thing I hated the most about those barracks was when I had to carry our M59's .50 Cal. machine gun up the hill to be cleaned after getting back all tired and filthy from maneuvers at Grafenwoehr or Wildflecken. At some point in my enlistment our unit's designation was changed to Co. A, 2nd Armored Rifle Battalion, 48th Infantry.  We were still part of Combat Command B, but I believe we had to change our 29th Dragoons insignia to something else; I do not remember what it looked like.  I have a 3rd Armored yearbook.  It came out to commemorate the success of Operation Gyroscope.

From Dick Etherton (Co. B, 2nd ARB 48th Infantry):  I was assigned to the 48th Inf. Co."B" 3rd Armored Division from Dec.1958 to Mar. 1960. We were at Gelnhausen, Combat Command "B". Colin Powell's first assignment when he arrived from the states was with "B" Company, the Mortar Platoon. Shortly there after he was transferred to "C" Company. The way I know this is because he was my platoon leader for that short time. 

From LeRoy (Roy) Johannesen (Hq. Co. 2ARB 48th Infantry): I flew to Germany in the summer of 1959 (riding backwards) in a MATS plane from McGuire AFB to a "reception company" in Frankfurt where I was given a train ticket to Gelnhausen. I was picked up at the station by the GI  I was to replace who yelled all the way to the barracks; "MY REPLACEMENT IS HERE."
    The Army had just completed the transition from OD to the new Army Green.  Some guys at Gelnhausen still had an "Eisenhower" jacket as well as the new greens. At Ft. Dix I was given brown boots and a bottle of black dye-what a mess! At Gelnhausen we still had M-1 rifles, M-30 machine guns, and 3.5 rocket launchers. I spent most of my assignment in Germany in the commo platoon as a radio operator in the back of an M-59 APC. My job was to keep in touch with the Division Intelligence network via Morse code radio. There was considerable jamming of the military frequencies by the Soviets at that time – we both played those games. Lots of "play" at Graf., and I was sent TDY to support V Corps intelligence during operation "Wintershield." Every month we had an "alert"; the date and time were supposed to be secret, but, we often found out from German civilians in advance. I remember guard duty at the "ammo dump;" just me and one round in the chamber of an M-1 carbine. Had some good times in Gelnhausen! Besides the usual Gasthauses, there was a little Italian Restaurant that made great Pizza! Also good times at the swimming hole, renting kayaks, and, I had a chance to soar with a local German glider club (as a passenger) over the Kaserne.  When I returned to the states in '61, the Russians were making noise about access to Berlin-so-I was sent right back again for six more months; this time with the 3rd Cav.!

 

From his autobiography: © 1995, "My American Journey":  General Colin Powell's first assignment in the army as a 2LT was to Company D 2d Armored Rifle Battalion , 48th Infantry at Gelnhausen as a platoon leader; years 1958-1961. He received 1LT while at this assignment.

1960 – 1969

 

Mike Vickers, (Co. D, 2nd ARB, 48th Infantry, 1960-1963): My dad, First Lieutenant Edwin L Vickers, 
fought during World War II though out the European Campaign. He was a great inspiration to me. Knowing that 
I was in a hurry to join the service, my uncle signed me 
into the U.S. Army at the ripe old age of 17. Assigned to basic training at Fort Hood, 2nd Armored Division (Hell On Wheels), I learned to drive armored vehicles and attended AIT. I had a choice: Germany or 
Korea (The frozen chosen). Korea sounded too cold for me so I chose Germany. I was stationed at 
Coleman Kaserne, Gelnhausen, Germany, 3rd Armored Division.  Little did I know it was cold there 
too and especially at the Fulda Gap. During my tour I drove the M59 for my squad until it was 
replaced by the M113, became Company Armorer, and finished out in the Marksmanship Detachment.  
    In training at Wildflecken, a week before we arrived, 17 G.I.s were killed in their tent due to a short 
artillery round. We patrolled a road one day and I remember the trees were so badly damaged by 
artillery rounds, it looked like a war zone. This young soldier loved every minute of Grafenwoehr though. 
I enjoyed the challenge to drive my PC onto a train flat bed.  One exercise we were driving down a 
valley, and at one stop our platoon sergeant came running over to my track, he hopped on and told 
us jets were on their way to drop gas on or near us, to have your gas mask ready to put on. 
All of sudden a jet flew down dropping tear gas on us. At that same time the sergeant was 
trying to get off the front, but his shovel handle got caught in the ramp and there he was just 
hanging there. Poor guy didn't even have his gas mask with him. The squad had to 
lift him off and bring him inside our track. His eyes and nose was really messed up due to the gas. 
On another combat exercise we did some very rough driving and I threw a track. A new M60 tank 
stopped and gave me a ride back for some help to replace a roller wheel; I remember how smooth 
the ride was over that rough terrain. That M60 tank really impressed me. 
    A lot was happening during the early 60's. The East Berlin wall was constructed, keeping us in high 
alert. President Kennedy's blockade of Russian ships carrying missiles to Cuba kept us in super high 
alert, and of course Vietnam needed advisers and helicopter pilot volunteers. One alert I believe 
around the time of the Cuban missile crisis, most of us were in town drinking. Some of us were still 
in partial civilian clothes, but we all made it to our tracks. However the guy in front of me slammed into a 
building. The streets were very narrow in that town, but still manageable. He must have passed out. 
It was the first time I heard and saw a lady hanging out a window waving her fist shouting 
"Go home Yankees". That same alert I almost ran off a cliff. I was dangling over a cliff. 
The commander jumped off the track. He told me to drop the ramp,  let everyone off 
and then raise the ramp and put it in reverse and back off. I was fully loaded with live ammunition 
and I could see it was a long ways down, this event made a man out of this soldier. 
I did what I was told and we were all OK. It was very cold at the Fulda Gap. When in position we dug 
holes in the snow to keep warm. We couldn't build a fire and it was cat eye driving at night. 
We moved often and one time by the East German fence we could hear the East Germans 
on certain frequencies near by. But this was our main objective. We did a lot of damage there driving, 
but I believe we would have been a force to reckon with even though our life expectancy was only 45 minutes. 
    Some great memories included the Christmas of 1961 entertaining some German orphans;  I had a little girl name Monica assigned to  me.  While in the Marksmanship Detachment I was on the 
combat automatic rifle team firing a single round while on fully automatic. Sp4 Adams and PFC Gaiter 
were rotating and had won several awards for their division competition using the BAR. 
My Partner Sp4 James Gamma from Rhode Island and myself used the BAR for a while and it was very 
accurate, and with the buffer group helped keep a good shot group. But in competition we had to 
switch over to the M14 AR. I used to come away from practice with a swollen and busted lip. 
After one round it kicked like hell and was hard to keep a good shot group. Just before Division 
Competition we switched over again, this time to the M60 machine gun. Gamma and 
I won first place in Division and third place in USAREUR, however I ruptured both eardrums 
in the USAREUR competition.
Before the USAREUR competition both Gamma and I were asked to reenlist to become advisers 
in Vietnam and also to train as helicopter pilots or gunners. I believe Gamma did. If you are reading this let me know. 
    As for myself I rotated during Operation Big Lift, Oct 1963. The very next month President Kennedy 
was assassinated.  Once in inactive reserve I was called up to go to Vietnam. At the airport they called it 
off and a few months latter I received my honorably discharged in 1966.   I would like to say hello to SGT Grammer, SGT Beard, SGT Smith and Loyd all from Co. D 
stationed in Gelnhausen Germany during this time.

From Carl Erickson (A Co., and later Hq. Co, 2d Bn, Dec 1962 – Dec 1964): One of my best memories is of the great NCO's.  Here is a photo of some of the 2nd Bn's best;  Sgt Martinez (Plt Sgt), Sgt Sanchez (Mess Sgt), and Sgt Clark (Supply Sgt).  I think the photo was taken at Hohenfels in the summer of 1964. 

Click to view a larger version of this imageMy memories of Germany and the Germans in G-town are absolutely great, memories of the army good, but my memories of my troopers and my buddies are top-notch. A great bunch of guys in a crack outfit. 
        I had guard duty the day of the 3AD review for President Kennedy, so did not make it to Fliegerhorst Kaserne.  We used up a year's ration of paint painting all the vehicles for his review. OD paint was impossible to get after that.  It was on that trip that Kennedy visited Berlin and gave his famous  "Ich Bein Ein Berliner" speech.   I remember clearly it was in Gelnhausen I learned President Kennedy had been shot and killed. 
        As I think back 35years, many of my memories are of Gelnhausen itself. It was a very nice historic and picturesque small town. Remember Herr Fischer?  He ran a store in a house by Coleman Kaserne that sold uniforms, clothes and similar items of interest to us. I still have the blazer with 48th crest I bought from him, but no longer fit in the blazer!  I also remember the Gasthaus on the edge of town on the main drag (Bundesstraße 8 und 40) where we used to get würst with home fried spuds and of course good German Beer – Henniger Turm with a flip-top. How about the bakery shop with those wonderful German pastries (it was near the Krankenhaus).  Ever get to the nearby town of Bad Orb?  The Schnitzel a la Weißes Ross was great at the Hotel Weißes Ross. It had a sliced baked ham and banana on top of the schnitzel served with that good German dark bread. In Bad Orb were big 2 story wooden frameworks on which plants grew vine-like.  Spa water was piped to the top and let trickle down. You walked through them and the spa water saturated air was reputed to be good for the lungs. 

From Jim Chorazy, Sept. 1962 to Sept. 1964.  RTT Operator on S3 staffs, 1st & 2nd Bns.

Those were two eventful years, starting with FALLEX 62, then the October 1962 Cuban Crisis.  In November 1962 a recruiter visited us & told us about the benefits of re-upping to attend helicopter Flight School, and likely service as a Warrant Officer in S.E. Asia.  Sp4 Terry Hamby of Bn HQs signed up & left shortly afterwards (I had just gotten to know Terry – he was from Pilot Rock, Oregon, 15 miles south of my home town – I played high school basketball against Pilot Rock.)  Later another Pilot Rock High School grad arrived in the 48th:  LT Larry Hicks, 6’ 9” – I subbed his senior season & never had to try to guard Larry.  We were reminiscing in the uphill street in front of the barracks & a CPT told us to take our talking private, since we were setting a bad example regarding Officer – EM fraternization).   According to the news magazines the winter of 1962-63 had the most severe weather in a century.  1963 brought President Kennedy’s visit to Fliegerhorst at Hanau in June (and on to Berlin for his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech) followed by our training at Hohenfels later that summer.  The ROAD Reorganization occurred in the summer & fall of 1963, with the 1st of the 48th moving to our post from Worms.  Also in the Fall of 1963 was Operation BIG LIFT, followed by news of President Kennedy’s assassination.  Towards the end of December the first M577 Command tracks arrived on Post, just in time to be put on the train for Graf (we used M113s as command tracks prior to that).  Summer of 1964 it was back to Hohenfels.  The first part of August brought news of the Gulf of Tonkin incident and U.S. attacks against North Vietnam.  There were several racial incidents on Post in 1964, but they were down played. A battalion HQ PFC, Peter Schneider, lost sight in one eye after being jumped – he was medically discharged & promoted to E5 .  Also, a HHC 1/48th Scout jeep’s bumper hit a young German boy in a small town to the east of Gelnhausen (the boy later died) – the German boy ran into the (narrow) street from behind a parked car – I was several yards back (we had joined the scout jeeps to return to Post – I was TC’ing a jeep – we went to get a German doctor, but on arriving were told that another doctor had already responded).  Finally, there appear to have been two incidents where one NCO shot & killed another NCO near the company street – one in 1st/33rd Armor Company Street & the other in HHC 1st/48th.Company Street   LT Marhofer, if you’re out there, maybe you can shed light on the incidents.   We heard the shots from the 5th floor – it was on a Sunday as I recall.    

From Tony Japuntich (C-2-48th, 1963-65):  Scarf.jpg (120833 bytes)I arrived in Co. C, 2/48th just before the Kennedy parade, so I did get to see him.  I left in Feb. 1965.  This picture was taken on one of our field problems, probably in late 1963.  I am standing up in the back of the M-113 while it was parked and camouflaged. I was out of uniform as I didn't have on my helmet, but note the blue scarf.  We were the best dressed – even in the field. 

Our Company Commander was CPT Lenhart. I heard that at West Point he played football and had the nickname of "Bear".  I think everybody in C Company was afraid of him and as far as I know I'm the only enlisted person to ever play a  practical joke on him.  There was a civilian newspaper, the Overseas Weekly, that was the opposite of the Stars & Stripes newspaper and was often called "The Oversexed Weekly" by all the GIs.  On April 1st 1964 the Overseas Weekly had a phony front page with every article on it a phony.  One of them was an article that stated that the new policy of the Army was that once a month every commissioned officer in the Army would have to pull K.P.  This purportedly was being done by the Department of Defense so that the enlisted men would feel better about their officers.  I folded the newspaper so that you couldn't see the name of the newspaper and then circled the title of the article about officers having to perform one day of K.P. a month.  Then, when Lenhart was out of the office I placed the newspaper on his desk.   As he came back in the front door of the orderly room after a P.T. run, walking towards his office, I had misgivings about playing any kind of practical joke on the "Bear", but it was too late as he walked on into his office.  It was quiet and then I heard the Bear roar, "What the …….. is this??"  Then that was it.  Later he handed me the newspaper back and said something like, "Good joke, Japuntich," with a grin, so I survived to tell this story. 

From Peter  Pedone (B-2-48th, March '63 – April 1966):   Like so many 48th Infantry Veterans, I have wonderful memories of Gelnhausen (better known as G Town). Two memories of alerts stand out that I enjoy talking about. During my tour, one of our Battalion Doctors was named Garafalo, and he was a comedian—made all of his patients laugh while curing their respective ailments. During Doctor Garafalo’s tour of duty, the Battalion Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Colonel Ben F. Marshall. Colonel Marshall was not the sweetest of guys, and at times could be very gruff and to the point. During one of our alerts, one officer kept talking and talking on the net, and Colonel Marshall came on the air, and said some thing very rude to that officer to shut him up. The Net was silent for a long time after that, then later Colonel Marshall called Doctor Garafalo on the air, and asked for a communications check. Doctor Garafalo responded: “I hear you loud, and too often. Out.” Once again, the Net was silent for a very long time. Later, we heard that Colonel Marshall had a few words with Dr. Garafalo.  I’m sure that he did!
          
The other not so funny incident occurred during our return to the Kaserne from an alert. Our Company Convoy was stopped at the famous Railroad crossing just outside of G-Town, for a very, very long train. It must have taken the train about 10 minutes to cross the road. Anyway, during that 10 minutes, everyone fell asleep, and the convoy just sat there until one of the drivers in the lead platoon awoke and called his Platoon Leader on the Company net. Needless to say, everyone was pretty embarrassed, and nothing much was said about it after our return to the barracks. I, as the Company Commander, was the most embarrassed.
          
My last and not so favorable memory was of President Kennedy’s assassination. My Wife and I and baby Son were in the Officer’s club having dinner, when our S-2, then 1/Lt. Richard Potter, came into the club and announced President Kennedy’s death. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, and most everyone simply left their dinners on the tables, and went home. It was one of the bleakest days in my life, and certainly one of the worse for our country. It took a long time for all of us to get over that tragedy.  

From Dennis Sautelet (B-2-48th, 1961 to Oct 1964):    I was reading Pete Pedrone's account (above) of someone talking on the air too much and being told to shut up.  I believe he is talking about me and my track commander, a Buck Sergeant.  We had just gotten new commo gear and this Sgt. didn't know that he was pushing the toggle switch on his helmet to transmit over the air, he thought he was talking to me as I was driving the Colonels new M-114 that Col. Marshall didn't like (He preferred to travel in his jeep).  Anyway, the Old Man finally got on the air and said, "Six-Alpha, will you shut the f= up?"  I was glad to hear this as the Sgt. was driving me nuts with all sorts of commands.  Thanks for the memories. 

Andy Balaschak ( HHC-1-48 in late 1964 until October 1966)  I was in the anti-tank platoon until the Army gave up on the 
Entac missile.  Then I moved to the scout platoon, also doing a stint as the S-3’s track driver (of course, he never rode in his 
M-114).  During the spring of 1966 I did something that soldiers aren’t supposed to do – I volunteered for something!  
First sergeant Wood asked for volunteers with experience in water safety and swimming; what the heck, I stepped forward.  
It turns out that Col. Norvell (spelling may be wrong) wanted to have a US presence at the then-new Gelnhausen swimming 
pool.  A group of us from the 1/48, led by Sgt. R.L. Smith became lifeguards and swimming instructors for the summer of 1966.  
Not a bad job at all!  No alerts (I just slept in), civvies every day, etc.  One event does really stick in my mind.  
We were lounging around one morning before the pool opened.  There was a class from the AYA going on with their own instructors.  
Suddenly a young German boy stated screaming in German that there was a body in the pool.  A young girl, maybe 10 or so, 
had fallen in and was unconscious on the bottom of the deep diving area.  A couple of us pulled her out, her African-American skin 
now blue.  R.L. Smith started mouth-to-mouth and when that didn’t work there was a near panic.  Mr. Ammenhauser – 
Herr Oberst of the pool – took over with chest pressure / arm lift and within three strokes, she was spouting water and gasping for air 
(the story went that he had been a submariner and had survived a sinking in the Atlantic, who knows).  She survived.  
The story behind the story was that the girl’s father was a Sgt. Nipper (again, the spelling may be off) from a 1/48 line company.  
Sgt. Nipper was black, Sgt. Smith a white southerner of the time.  They did not like each other or get along.  I’m told that that 
really didn’t change, but that there was a handshake and thank you.  We really were a family after all.  I got my Water Safety 
Instructor certificate that summer and still swim regularly (about a mile three times a week, at 63).  In the pool today I can still 
see that day in Gelnhausen.

From Wayne Hoener  (C-1-48th, May 1964 – May 1967):  
    ARRIVAL – 
In Frankfurt, we were shuttled off to our permanent duty assignments.  Mine was to a mechanized infantry battalion that was a part of an armored brigade of the 3rd Armored Division.  My company was C Company of the 1/48 Infantry.  I was lucky enough to be in the First platoon, 3rdsquad.  The first platoon was on the second floor of a four-floor building.  A different platoon would have meant more steps to climb.  Me and two other guys had our payroll records messed up and did not get paid.  We were getting a whole $65 a month as I recall.  So, to get by we borrowed money for the company moneylenders.  They Lent $5 for a $8 paid back at the end of the month.  That is a pretty good rate of return!  In a few months, the three of us had taken over the money lending.  And once we did that it occurred to us that 5 for 8 was not really what we wanted.  So we raised the rate to 5 for 10.  And that was how I got interested in business!  I should admit that money lending at these kind of rates are illegal in the army.  But it was what it was.  At first I was assigned as a rifleman.  I was soon advanced to AR(Automatic Rifle, meaning a full automatic rifle, multiple shots at a single trigger pull.)
    APC DRIVER – The company was soon sent off to our summer training camp, Wildflecken.  While there the NCO’s decided to see if this skinny kid could drive an Armored Personnel Carrier, APC.  We had the M-113, an aluminum vehicle that would protect the men inside from rifle fire, but not stop a 50 cal sized round.  On the first day, we were practicing platoon formations.  All the APC’s in a line, or a column, or at an angle, or in a “y” shaped arraignment.  I was having fun.  I mean what could happen to an armored vehicle?  Well, when we stopped, the Platoon Sergeant came over to me and said, ”Hoener, those little red flags out there are dud artillery rounds.  You should not use them to plot your course!”  I had not even noticed the flags. But after that they did not think I would be afraid to drive the APC. In not very long, I was pretty well thought of as a driver.  I was good at maintenance.  I had driven the track (that’s what we called an APC.) across a lake.  Yep!  They floated and would move in still water at about 5 to 10 mph. It was a really a job I enjoyed.  All I had to do was take care of the track and drive it like a crazy person.  “Crazy Person” comes easy to me! In my spare time, I actually read up on infantry stuff.  Can you spell nerd?
    GUARD DUTY – One of the jobs we had to do was guard duty.  We’d be assigned a post and have to walk around with our rifles guarding whatever it was we were assigned to guard.  We would walk guard for two hours and then have four hours off to sleep.  One of the idiocies of the Army was that although we had our weapons, we did not have any ammo.  As I recall when we were guarding the ammo dump where they stored nuclear weapons and poison gas, there was ammo in the guardhouse, but still we were not allowed to carry any.  A bad guy could have taken whatever we were guarding.  The Army was concerned that some G.I. would shot some German and start an international incident.  That was a possibility, but so was someone breaking into the ammo dump and getting at the weapons stored there.
    RACIAL RELATIONS – It was the mid sixties.  The civil rights movement had made great strides, but tension between the different racial and ethnic groups was high.  The Army tried to minimize the tensions by assigning most of the blacks to the infantry units and most of the Puerto Ricans to the armored units.  That worked pretty well, but not perfectly.  One night when I was off base guarding the ammo dump, there was a major riot.  The NCO’s had their own club…you’d call it a bar… and they ended up barricading themselves inside and using tables to push back the enlisted men who were trying to climb in  the broken windows.  There were a couple of riots while I was there.  Luckily, I missed them both.
    WINTER TRAINING EXERCISES – The Army tried to hold their off base training the winter.  We had to pay for any damage we did to farmland and the like.  On one exercise, I had parked the track along a tree line and camouflaged it with tree branches and so forth.  An officer came walking along and asked me where the first platoon’s third squad’s track was.  I said, “Sir, I’m leaning against it.”  Seems I’d done a pretty god job hiding it!  The same exercise, I decided to kick the snow away and get to where I was standing on the bare ground.  By the time my feet were on the ground, the snow was waist deep on me.  But at least the tracks did not damage the land!  
    HEADQUARTERS S-3 COMMUNICATIONS – On one of our last field exercises, we were set against the German Army, the Bundeswehr.  We took off, drove to the assigned area I believe which was somewhere in the area of Bad Hersfeld a little north of Fulda.  During that exercise we were so effective that we actually advanced further than we had maps for, further than the radios of our battalion would reach.  So they sent me and a driver out in a 3/4 ton truck to relay radio traffic between the companies and RADIO_TRUCK1.JPG (54951 bytes)headquarters.   We did that until the announcement came that the exercise was over.  Then as the driver tried to pull away from our position in some God Forsaken hill, the engine stalled.  The heavy draw that the radios had put on the battery had fried the battery and we were sitting there with no power and no one knew where we were.  The driver and I looked at each other with “aww shit” expressions.   Then I a flash of inspiration, I went to the back of the truck and got out a PRC-25, a battery operated radio.  We were just barely able to contact one of the companies.  They dispatched a vehicle to give us a jump and we headed home.  —  One last fun incident!  Division called an alert in the middle of winter for just the air control teams from every battalion.  We signed on to the network of radios, and in less than a day had our radio burn up.  We were just below the top of a huge hill or small mountain in a large well-heated tent, still in contact with base using other radios, but out of contact with the air control network.  The people on base were so sorry for us that they transported hot meals to for every meal.   We had an AM radio so we could listen to Radio Luxemburg, a rock station.  We had to endure this torture for a whole week!  I suppose I should mention that just over the crest of the hill, was a ski resort with good food, beer, and people.  It was tough duty.  It was so tough that when we got back to base, we were all given 3 days passes so we could recover from the stress.  The radios that the air control network used were WWII vintage.  They fixed our radio and brought it back up to us around the end of the week.  When we turned it on, there was only one other station that was still functioning.  They replaced those radios shortly after I was discharged.  those radios really were horrible.


From 
Dick Allen (HHC-1-48th, 1963 & 1-33rd Armored to 1966):     When 1/48 Inf was formed in 1963 I became the first Recon Platoon leader. I was a Plt Ldr in A-1-33d Armor and volunteered to take over the Recon Platoon [what there was of it] in 1/48th. We patched together people and equipment and were able to function in a couple of months. The Plt Sgt was SFC Lanning who had come from 3/12th Cav. He also functioned as the maintenance department changing tank engines and other jobs that should have been done at Bn level. 1/48 didn't even have a cradle to lift engines. We borrowed everything from 1/33d and Lanning and his crews did the work themselves.  At that time we had four scout jeeps and a command jeep. Radios were whatever we could trade for. We had an Infantry squad with Sgt E-5 Hettenhouser commanding. He never had a full squad I don't think. We never did get the 4.2" mortar track.  The C.O. of 1/48 was LTC McCarthy. The XO was Maj. Morland. I have a beer mug with all of the first officers of 1/48 that I keep in my office.
    We participated in Big Lift when the 2d Armored was airlifted to Germany. I thought we did a credible job and were ready to perform our mission [which was to get nuked in the first 36 hours] when Big Lift was over.
   
 When Kennedy was shot the Recon Platoon of 1/48 was on a mountain overlooking Fulda. We had been sent there to guard C 18th Arty., an 8" towed nuclear battery. During the night I noticed that the weather van was lit up. Capt Savage, the C Battery CO said they were getting coded messages and were going on alert. Gradually we learned that something had happened to the President, but we didn't know what. Finally we got word that he had been killed, but we didn't know anything else. We were on full alert by then with the guns pointed into East Germany. I remember standing on that bald hill and wondering if I would see the flash when the air burst went off. We were surveyed in on that hill and I'm sure the East German order of battle called for taking out our nukes just like ours did. I was actually surprised when morning came. A helicopter arrived with some brass and that's the first details we learned about the assassination.
   
 I made `1st Lt and went back to the 1/33d as XO of C company.   

From Clinton "Clint" McCormick (1st and 2nd Battalions, 1967 to 1970):  When I reported to B Co 1/48 in 1968 a 1LT Jimmy A. Blair was the CO. He was a great officer! The 1SG at the time was a 1SG Love (I believe his first name was Augustus). As I recall, CSM David L. Bost was promoted to CSM from SGM and one of the first in USAREUR. The rank was just established. At the Battalion formation LTC Brogan pinned him, dismissed the offices and turned the formation over to the new CSM and he declared a "Training Holiday", dismissed the battalion and all of the NCO's went to the club. I also remember going to "Camp O Pond" when we would float the APC and then float them in the river. The Bn Co's passed at the pond but someone forgot to put the belly inspection plate back on and it sank in the river crossing. The maintenance guys, using a M578 managed to tow it out. At that time all APCs carried live ammo, and a few cases of C Rations and of course radios, what a mess.
    I had two children born while I was stationed at Gelnhausen and LTC Brogan awarded each of them a certificate making them members of the "Blood & Guts" Battalion. These are fond keepsakes as are my memories of the wonderful bunch of guys that were my brothers in my very first assignment in the Army. I shall not forget these memories. I continued on in the Indiana National Guard and the Army Reserves until 2000 for a career of 33 years (not bad for a draftee). I left as a First Sergeant. Prior to becoming a First Sergeant I was a G3/S3 Operations Sergeant at Division, DISCOM, Brigade and Battalion level. God I loved the Army! The friendships were second to none anywhere in
the world.

From Jim Langan HHC/1/48th in 1966-67:  
   
 In April of 1965 Uncle Sam sent me a note stating “I Want You” – a draft notice.  I completed basic, Advanced Infantry, radio operations and Morse code training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, then radio teletype training at Ft. Gordon, Georgia.  I was flown from McGuire Air Force base to Frankfurt Germany with a refueling stop in Prestwick, Scotland.  After 3 days they put me on a truck along with some other guys and we drove out to Coleman Kaserne in Gelnhausen, about 30 Kilometers east of Frankfurt in the Kinzig Valley. Fulda is to the northeast within the infamous Fulda Gap. We had a life expectancy of a very few minutes if the Russian forces were to attack.
   
 On March 16, 1966, I reported to the S3 operations area of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn 48thInfantry. Met the CO and guys and was brought over to the first cinderblock building on the left as you proceeded uphill alongside and behind Brigade HQ. Up 5 flights of stairs with full gear, with a little help from Dufrene the S3 clerk. He was from Boutte, Louisiana and to this day a good friend.  The barracks 5th floor was home to me for the next 16 months except for alerts and field trips. It provided a great view of the city and valley from that top floor.  Over time I learned a lot about that Kinzig River Valley and city.
   
 First night, I was introduced to the enlisted men’s club by Dufrene and Kennedy (Walter G from Virginia) another good friend to this day. Several nights later about 2:30 AM I was awakened by a loud siren going off. Sounded like the first aid call in West Keansburg (my hometown). I wasn’t told about alerts.  Several of the guys were laughing their asses off while getting dressed in what seemed to be a rush. They clued me in just in time. Full gear again, 5 flights of stairs, down the hill to the track park just beyond the pond and ball field (sometimes called the parade grounds). Finding the right “track” (vehicle) in the dark at 3 AM, was something I got used to.  The track was an M577 #23A S3 operations command track with full communications gear and all the comforts of home except a coffee pot. The radio/teletype did not work the whole time I was there. As luck would have it the voice radio’s worked and I was able to keep some good logs of communications traffic coming across the radio net.
   
 I forget the order of march, was it the Armor (tanks) first out of the gate or the mechanized infantry? If you turned right onto main road #6 you were probably headed west then north to Budingen, if you turned left onto main road #6 you were headed up toward the city Bad Orb and then onto Fulda and the Gap to form the defense there. After a day or two of fumbling around the German countryside we headed back to base for clean up, food, hot shower and some sleep, check the mail and write some letters home, to the girlfriend or the wife.
   
 What next? You’re going to the field for 30 days. June ’66 my first experience with a field trip. I think it was to Hohenfels (The Combat Maneuver Training Center), sleeping in pup tents, etc, etc. Did we get there by driving down or by train? Anybody remember where the train trip took us? I don’t. Was it Graf? I do remember that at some point during the train trip we were all hanging out the windows as we went by this German Swimming Pool Club. What a reception or they were glad to see us go; either way it was a nice break from staring at each other or playing cards, craps or whatever. Other visual relief’s included traveling along the Rhine with the views of the tour boats gliding along the water, the castles on the hillsides and the vineyards.
   
 Field Exercises included for me Air to Ground operations.  Those F4 fighter jets were awesome.  Being in S3 radio operations I was trained in communications with the pilots on target selection and location.  This training took place in the field and subsequently at Ramstein Air Force Base in Kaiserslaughten.
   
 Remember when the tank park across the street from the main gate was cleared and the traveling carnival came to town?  I remember the kids from a local orphanage being brought over to the post and if you wanted you could have a child or two for the day to treat them to the rides, games, food and all around fun. That was great!!!  I enjoyed that very much; it reminded me of taking my younger brother and sister to the Keansburg amusement area back in the early 60’s while in high school or down to the Asbury Park, New Jersey Boardwalk. 
    Remember too the other field activities, visiting the town on Sunday mornings for a home cooked meal, soccer games, passes and visits to Frankfurt by train, visits to France, the Netherlands, England, and meeting the locals.
   
 Thursday, June 22, 1967 rolled around and I was on my way back to the land of round doorknobs. A couple of the guys drove me over to the Rhein Main airport at 7am in the morning. We were sitting at an outdoor cafe after getting me through the check-in routine, having a farewell cup of coffee.  I noticed a young girl sitting across from me who I recognized; she was with a new 1st lt. I approached them and introduced myself to her and sure enough it was a girl I knew from senior year in high school days. Her husband had just graduated from West Point and they were heading for their first assignment in Germany. She proceeded to tell me that my girlfriend from high school days was getting married on Saturday. I of course stayed away from that wedding and called my pen pal girlfriend and drove up to Jersey City to see her.  Interesting, that once she saw the tattoo on my right bicep she showed me the door and that was that. I drove over to the city to meet with Charlie Milano and Lou Gallo friends from early army days.  We met on the flight from Frankfurt and agreed to meet on Saturday at Charlie's dad's bar and grill on Second Ave. in lower Manhattan.  We had to go over to Ft. Hamilton on Monday to muster out, we then did the town for a few days operating out of the bar and grill down on Second Avenue in NYC. My friend Lou Gallo passed in ’89 from a heart attack.  Have no idea what’s become of Charlie Milano.  On August 10, 2009m Andy Balachak just found me through this web site.

  
From 
Martin Milco (B-1-48th, 1967 to 1968):  I was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion as a platoon leader, 1st platoon from June 1967 to July 1968 (reassigned to VN).  It is a great regiment and I am proud to have been a member. 
     The regimental crest with the blood and guts tab was instituted during my tenure.  A new battalion commander,  LTC Thomas Brogan was assigned in January 1968.  He was one of the finest officers in the Army (airborne, ranger, special forces and recently returned from VN).  He assembled the officers and told us if "the balloon goes up" and the Warsaw Pact forces flood the Fulda Gap, we must hold until relieved and there would be plenty of blood and guts in the gap.  He further stated if he could get 20% of us west of the Rhine that he'd go down in military history along with Napoleon.  To instill esprit de corps and unit cohesion he directed that all salutes be exchanged with a verbal "Blood and Guts".  He had Wolfgang Fischer's tailor shop store the tab which were sewn beneath the regimental crest on our infantry blue scarves. 
     Members of the 6th Artillery Bn and the 33 Armored thought we were silly, but the battalion excelled at sports and military operations.  We set a 7th Army record at Hohenfels in the Mechanized Infantry Squad Proficiency Course. 
     After an alert where we did not move the tracks out of the vehicle park, the other units went to breakfast.  Brogan foot-marched us five miles around the Kinzig River Valley, explaining that if a flight of 4 Soviet MiG Fighter-Bombers take out our vehicles, we'd have to march to the EDP (emergency deployment position).  I'll never forget him, the battalion and the Dragoons.  I lived across the valley in Hailer/Meerholz.
    Coleman Kaserne was one of many American enclaves scattered throughout West Germany. German/American relations could occasionally become strained, but not so on Christmas eve 1967.  The Kinzig River overflowed its banks and was flooding the lower part of town.  If you remember the lower part of Gelnhausen had many shops and businesses.  Colonel Dewitt C. Smith (later LTG DC Smith) was the 2nd Brigade commander.  He directed the entire brigade to assist our German neighbors protect the town.  It was tremendous seeing American soldiers working side by side with Gelnhausen citizens to save the lower town.  We had "deuce and half" trucks loaded with troops and equipment—a lot of sandbags.  Our guys were stuffing bags around shops and buildings to protect them from the encroaching flood.  We did ourselves proud that day  Our main reason for being there was to plug the most likely Soviet Army avenue of approach into western Europe—the Fulda Gap, but the men of the 2 battalions of the 48th as well as other units demonstrated to our German hosts that there were other gaps we were willing to step into during times of danger.  There were no unwanted Americans in G-Town that holiday.
     Does anyone remember the colorful assistant division commander of the "Third Herd" in the mid-sixties, BG Charlie Girard, whose call sign was 66 Mike.  While on field exercises either in Grafenwoehr or roaming through the Hessian countryside, you did not want to hear his voice on your radio.  Typically, if he saw something from his helicopter he did not like, he'd radio down, "This is 66 Mike on your push (on your frequency)."  To which your internal response would be something like, "Oh Sh*t".  He was about 5' 5" tall, barrel-chested, redheaded crew cut, "colorful language"  spewer that would swoop down and chew you out.  In early December of 1967, the 1st of the 48th was on a battalion field exercise in the rolling terrain outside of G-Town heading east, in the vicinity of our Emergency Deployment Position.  I was in the lead APC (M-113) driving through some little village, faithfully following my map to our initial position.  All of Bravo Company was behind me.  When all of a sudden a trooper from our Bn Scout Platoon directed me to make a right turn when my map indicated I proceed straight ahead.  He did not know why he was detouring us.  I radioed my CO, 1Lt Jan Okowski (West Point '66).  After a brief consultation he directed me to proceed on the original route.  Within a quarter mile it became apparent.  German road workers had torn down a small bridge.  This necessitated U-turning 16 APCs and support vehicles and then crossing left over the companies line of march to follow the detour.  One APC didn't negotiate the turn well enough and took out part of a wall on a bakery.  We now had a huge traffic jam in this little village and several irate Germans trying to get to work.  Soon 2 German Polizei in their green VW Bugs with a blue light on top showed up.  They calmed the German citizens down.  We showed them where we were trying to go.  They knew a backroad shortcut and with blue light flashing proceeded to lead us.  Well a couple of days later the exercise was called off due to dangerous snow and ice conditions.  A tank from the 33rd Armored Bn had slid down an icy road and crashed into an old churchyard.  At the battalion debriefing a day after we returned to Coleman,  General Girard was fuming on the stage of the Post theater where the whole Bn was assembled.  He was pointing out some things he had seen which he did not like at all.  Then he suddenly says, "Hell, at one point I even saw the German polizei leading a unit through the woods.  What was that all about?"  Naturally, I assumed a low profile. I failed to mention that during WWII, Charlie Girard had the reputation as one of General Patton's most aggressive tank company commanders.  Unfortunately, he died of natural causes in VN.

From John Gross (B-2-48, M-114 driver for Company Commander, 1967 to 1969);  I loved being in the field on maneuvers playing what I called cowboys and Indians.  It was always a challenge when the second lieutenant and I always went out on foot to capture everybody we could.  One night we came into the tankers division and walked in like we were part of it and walked up to the Commanding Officer who happen to be the General.  We just kinda walked up like we were going to salute him and give him a message and pulled a 45 to his head (not loaded of course), and we had everything we needed at that point and once it was over we got rewarded by the Gen.  Especially after capturing his butt. When we got back to base he gave us a 3 day pass and 3 bottles of Old Grand Dad which we were sorry to say we got after the three days where up. Anyway we had a great time and if I had to serve our Country again I'd do it now in a heart beat. I love the service it was scary at times not knowing what the out come could lead to . But what ever it was, I was all for it.  See John's photos here.
(If you would like to contact John you may at camraone on the optonline.net sevice, or contact Carl to have your request forwarded)

 

From Gary Cisewski (HHC-1-48th as a medic from 1969-1972);  We answered the phone by saying "Blood & Guts". Around 1970, I ran the day room for the company. Captain Clark asked me if I wanted to do it and so I did. I believe I had two pool tables, soda and beer machines and sold condiments from behind the counter. I used to sleep under the counter after I originally opened and got robbed and decided that I couldn't afford to lose anymore money. I eventually became the CO's driver and lead the battalion on field maneuvers to places like Fulda. I eventually Hhc1_48.jpg (35226 bytes)swayed away from MOS. I was notified on the radio while leading the battalion to the field in December, 1971 that my papers had arrived for the States. This was my last time driving Captain Clark because a new commander was taking over. They were both in the jeep when I received the call. That was the best day of my life and I had hopes to be home by Christmas. It wasn't to be however. When I got back, I signed out of Headquarters Company and went to Frankfurt for my final release but they had closed the doors until after Christmas, so I roamed around between Gelnhausen and Frankfurt waiting until after the holidays. In the meantime, my company got back from field maneuvers and it wasn't too much longer after that when my sergeant called me at the apartment I was staying at and told me I had been AWOL, so he made sure I got out of Europe as fast as I could get out and was finally an Honorably discharged on 1/5/72. A happy day! I was stationed there for almost 2 1/2 years and had gone home twice for leaves. I did have an opportunity to visit the Matterhorn in Switzerland and many other places. I spent 3 months TDY duty at Frankfurt Hospital in 1969 and because of the good representation I had for our company, I was awarded 3 three day passes for anytime I wanted them including during the middle of the week.  (picture of HHC-1-48th barracks courtesy of Allen Johansen 1-33rd)
    I'd like to share a special memory I had of Christmas Eve, 1970:  I was shipped to Gelnhausen in the summer of 1969. I have an uncle who is a year older then me and he came to Germany about 9 months later and ended up stationed around Stuttgart.     We decided to get together for Christmas Eve in 1970 and we picked a small city in between where he and I were stationed. (I wish I remembered the city). We went to get a room to stay the night and then tried to find a
place to eat dinner of which afterwards, we would go to midnight mass. We managed to find a small restaurant which was the only one open on Christmas Eve. There were no other patrons in there except him and me. The only thing they were serving was a duck dinner and we proceeded to order.  As we waited for our dinner to arrive and reminiscing about home, a German entered the restaurant with a little blonde girl about 4 years old.  Apparently he came in to order something for home which we found out later because while he was waiting, he came over to us. We had been dressed in civvies and in broken English he asked if we were GI's. Being somewhat reluctant to answer because he was a total stranger to us, he pointed to the little girl and said that was his daughter, (as if he knew what we were thinking)……….We did tell him we were GI's and he asked if we would like to spend Christmas Eve with him and his family. We agreed.     As we entered his home, he proceeded to introduce to his wife, 2 sons and his little daughter. The children could speak some English but not the wife. We sat on a couch in their living room and were more like spectators watching a traditional European Christmas Eve unfold in front of us. The children warmed up to us very quickly and calling us uncles. The rest of the evening we watched as they exchanged gifts and listened to Silent Night in German on the TV. They treated us very special. When the evening was over, my uncle and I managed to get the last half of the midnight mass in a beautiful looking cathedral. Before we left, we were asked to come back on Christmas Day for dinner and what a dinner it was. I still savor that meal 31 years later.     You see, the German who invited us that evening, fought for Hitler and he told us that what Hitler did was wrong and he thought that he needed to make amends for all the wrong and one way would be inviting lonely GI's to his house. I am not sure if he has ever invited anyone else, but my uncle kept up a correspondence with the family for many years, until his death.   This was special in my life and one I would have never experienced if it wasn't for Uncle Sam.

1970 – 1979


Noel McKellar  ( 
tracked vehicle & truck mechanic in B Co. 2nd. Bn.1972 – 1973):    I remember when I first arrived at Coleman Kaserne thinking of what an interesting place it was. As soon as I got checked in, assigned TA-50 winter gear and a room, we had an alert and went to the field for about a week. We returned on a Friday afternoon and changed into our civvies. After a couple of hours the place was practically deserted. Everybody had gone to their favorite hang out. It was about 5 PM and I was sitting in front of the PX reading a newspaper trying to figure out what to do that evening. A couple of guys drove by in a VW Bug and asked me if I wanted to go to Frankfurt to see a rock concert at the municipal auditorium. They had an extra ticket to see the Who. We drove to Frankfurt and fought the crowds getting inside that enormous building. There were no seats left and it was standing room only. We soon became separated. After leaving the auditorium and returning to where the car was parked, the two guys had left me behind. 
   
 I did not speak any German and did not know how to get back to Coleman Kaserne in Gelnhausen. I was able to find the subway and take it to the train station. I got on a train to Gelnhausen with a great feeling of relief. I did not know that the train stopped in Hanau at midnight . The conductor told everybody to get off the train and then the stationmaster told everybody to leave the building because he was closing up until 6 AM . I stood around out in front of the station for a while and it was getting colder by the hour. I walked around the town to stay warm. I decided to go sit in the lobby of a near by apartment building and read magazines to pass the time. A group of Turks came home from a night on the town and ran me out. There was about six of them. The smallest was about six-foot and 220 lbs. I left avoiding a confrontation. I returned to the train station and waited for the gate to open so I could get back on the train and get warm again. 
   
 After I got to Gelnhausen, I still did not have any idea where I was. I left Coleman Kaserne out the front gate with the guys. I was returning by zigzagging through the alleys and side streets looking for the back gate. When I finally reached the back gate it was closed and locked. There was no guard in the kiosk. I looked through the gate trying to figure out what to do. I could see my barracks. I climbed over the gate. Walked around the parade field to the Bravo barracks near the top of the hill. As I was entering the building and going upstairs to my room, guys were coming down stairs for the morning formation. I changed into my uniform as fast as I could and headed down stairs and got into formation. Just in time.  I am sure that I know which pizza parlor you are talking about. It was great.

Mike Fouts ( B & CSC 2/48 1973-6):  I spent my first 2 years in Gelnhausen in B-2-48 as your 'basic grunt'- with some time in commo shop, motor pool, etc… I of course made it to many field maneuvers during this time. I also had a walking stick that I typically marked for each of these treks- at the end of my tour, I had about 12-14 hash marks on this stick from Graffenwohr, Hohenfels, Wildflecken, Meesau (sp?), Reforger exercises, etc.
        I was then transferred from B-2-48 over to the Redeye group in CSC-2-48 with about 1 1/2 yrs left to go in my tour. There I met Jessie Calloway, who was the top Redeye gunner in the group at the time… he would be the guy that was selected for the Redeye live-fire exercise in '75. After a lot of hard work, and with some encouragement from Jessie, I wound up being selected for the live-fire exercise the following year ('76)- right before I was due to ETS. I eventually left Gelnhausen in September of '76 with a rank of SGT. It felt strange leaving the post for the final time in the back of that deuce and a half… so many times I had been the one waving someone else off when I had months if not years left to go.
        During my time in 2-48th I kept busy with photography, stereo gear (OK, it was actually quad for me- the earliest form of 'surround sound' that is used today!)- and anything else I could get into trouble with at the local, and not so local, audio-photo clubs… (no use counting the days when you have years). I also had a motorcycle there as well (a Honda 350) that was just great on those German roads– I've always loved countries that post minimum speeds on their highways… my kind of place.   😉     Also made a trip to Paris one weekend, another trip to October Fest in '75 I think, and had some duty in Berlin (combat in the cities) as well as Munchen (ski training).
        I  will always remember the friends I met during this time, and the fond memories… Looking back, I'm glad I took the time during my life to give something back to the country in which I live. Small price to pay.
 

From Vic Fowler ( HHC 1/48 from : 70-73, 76-79);  the 1st tour I was in Support Platoon as a 5 ton ammo truck driver. I got to Gelnhausen in October just in time to load up and go to Wildflicken in the snow for 3 weeks (cold as H..!). I knew at that time that I was in the wrong outfit.  But as time went on I met a lot of good guys in the 1/48.  During that time, a bunch of us "Rednecks"; formed a club (gang) called the "Jokers";.  Don't remember all the guys' names but one was John  Davis (Commo Plt), others were Earl Hopkins, "Biggy"; Little Brother & Big Brother, SFC Kirsh, all Support PLT.  We were a tight group and mostly stayed in trouble from partying too much and not showing up for CQ when it was our turn.  In fact, several of us got into a lot of trouble for taking a truck from the Wildflecken motorpool and going back to Gelnhausen to party. We got wasted and wrecked the truck on the way back to Wildflecken, we lost some stripes over that, not a good time in my life.  
     The next tour I was back in Support PLT as NCOIC of the POL Section, always out at Hailer in the POL Yard or in the field taking care of the tracks.  Some of the guys were Jim Stinson, John Guthrie, Pat ?, and Lee Berry (Medics).  I spent a lot of time in Wachtersbach at the "Haferkastern"; Gasthaus with the rest of the Support PLT raising hell and chasing women, one of which I married (Heike) and have been married to for 28 years. Also spent a lot of time in Rothenburgen at the "Zum Fass"; gasthaus with a lot of my German friends.  Was there when 4/18th went to the desert, came home, and folded the guidon for inactivation.  Coleman Kaserne is now the home of the Gelnhausen newspaper "Gelnhausen Zeitung";.  The only thing left in town is the Housing area and a little commissary where the Gas Station used to be.  Well guy that's about it, glad I found the site and was able to pass this on. I am attaching the Gelnhausen newspaper site so if you want, and can read German you can stay up with things in "GTown";  http://www.gnz.de/

From Gary Dubois (A-1-48) 1973:  Here are a few other names to add to the roster of those who served in the 48th with me.  As I recall, SSGT Robert Skipper was with the 2nd platoon A 1/48th, he was a Viet Nam vet who twice saw action.  Sgt Bruno Urbaniak, who's dad was a Soviet Colonel in the Russian Army, Bruno escaped the country and went to the United States, he joined the Army and was a Ranger as well. Sgt Roy Harris, who was the sole survivor of an ambush in Viet Nam. Spc Tyrone Amileck, whose father was once the ambassador in Turkey, he came to us from Viet Nam as well and spoke fluent yiddish. Spc Gary Huff who was from the southern stated also was there. 

From Robert M. Briggs Sergeant 2nd Plt B Co. 2/48th 1973-1976:  Company B 2/48th Infantry Regiment was cordially invited to send one Platoon to attend Platoon Confidence Training at Bad Tolz Winter Warfare Training in Bad Tolz. This class, (1976-14), was being given by the 10th Special Forces Group and we were to arrive before night fall on the February 20th. We were to have with us complete Winter T&E, Weapons, Rucksacks, LBE, a good pair of Combat Boots and galoshes. Second Platoon was chosen to go as we had two squads that were awarded Infantry Squad patches in Reforger at Hohenfeld in October of 75 – my Squad being one of the two.  
    First call was at 0500 on the 20th followed by every one going to the mess hall for a hot breakfast. We would remember that last mess hall supper for the next week. Formation was at 0700 in full Equipment ready to go with Weapons drawn from the Armory M-16’s, M-203’s, and M-60’s. We were then loaded in to 5 tons and our duce and a half for our trip to the mountains of Bad Tolz.  Off we went in a normal military fashion CONVOY. Again the Army was fulfilling our dream of seeing the World (from the back of a 5 ton). There is not much to see on the autobahn in winter through a 4 by 5 foot flap, just white snow and crazy German drivers. It was cold what I would not give for the comforts of my M-113 and its heater at least I could put my poncho over the TC hatch and stay warm.  
    We arrived at the Special Forces Camp it had a name but I can’t remember what it was. We unloaded and set up home in their Tent City, three large tents with wooden platforms and two diesel heaters in each.  – Close your eyes you can remember the smell but they kept you warm. The SF cadre then checked our equipment and told us dinner was C-rations.  I had Turkey loaf that night with crackers, Tabasco, peaches, peanut butter, and pound cake. Lights out by 2100, all 2 of them. I slept with my good friend that night my M-16 through the years we learned not to stray far from your friend, do any of you remember some one that did and could not find it? There was always someone.  
    First call was at 0500.  The Army is famous for that exact time. We washed and shaved in our steel pots got dressed and proceed to breakfast is the class tent in rotation. Yummy Green Eggs scrambled, toast and Black Mud hot all served out of a marmite can. Now training can begin the first day was classes on survival in a hostile environment, map reading and issuing of more equipment, Snow Shoes. Lunch was great C-Rations. After lunch we were instructed on how to properly pack our equipment, Rucksack pack on the bottom sleeping bag on top every thing in water proof bags, snow shoes strapped to the back with your E-Tool underneath. Those without proper equipment were taken to the Kaserne in Bad Tolz about 20 miles away to purchase the items that they needed (good boots) socks etc. Dinner time Hot Stew, Biscuits and Black Mud Hot. Lights out 2000 again both of them. Fire watch was set up 2 hour shifts. 
    The next day we had classes on escape and evasion and hands on with Russian Weapons  captured in Vietnam. Some of the AK-47’s were Chicom but for the metal they are the same. We learned how to disassemble and assemble as fast as our own weapons something we would later teach back at our Company in G-Town. Food that day was about the same instead of stew for dinner we had stroganoff. Lights out Fire watch posted.  
    Day Three First Call, cold bath, hot shave, breakfast, and more classroom training: russian vehicle identification and aircraft identification. For around three hours. Then the fun began with repelling training: how to tie off, belay, and the two different ways to repel, backward and forward (Aussie) style. 
    Day Four Class room or tent training E&E again! Little did we know that we would need it that night. Lunch and dinner both C-Rations. We were told to be ready to go at 1900 hrs. Winter field uniform, Field jacket, and Jeep cap. We were loaded in trucks and driven around the country side for about an hour under guard SF and MP’s all flaps down on the trucks. When they let us out they gave us a compass bearing told not to be captured and be back in camp before day light. There would be SF and MP’s out looking for us they could be any where and everywhere. It was very cold, very white and very quiet that night. Believe me the spooks were every where they weren’t at camp waiting for us, they were out there. My team escaped from there patrols three times on our return to camp. Some of the others weren’t so lucky; my Bravo team with Sgt Sanchez was captured and "tortured".  We made it back in time for a few hours’ sleep.
    Day Five the hike 1000 hrs full gear and weapons 20 miles up the mountain, no hot meals and 2 rest stops. Up hill all the way the pictures Ion my photo page were one of the rest stops. Dusk at the top of the mountain in the Alps its time to set up a proper camp for winter survival in sub zero temperature dug our tents down below snow level about 3 feet, placing pine boroughs on the ground then your poncho liner and then your sleeping bag. Then it was dinner time as in the photos: C-Rations cold, no fires,  no lights.  It was black out time.
    Day six cold breakfast C-Rations, pack up and the return trip 25 miles – 5 more than coming up. We found out that going down with full rucks is harder than going up. They did find one small hill that we could go up though. We arrived back at the Camp about 1600 hrs. Time to clean up for dinner, what this time? Un believable steaks, mashed potatoes, gravy, and rolls with a green salad. The best meal we had in a week. De-briefing after action report then lights out.
    Day seven Breakfast turn in equipment and then Awards Ceremony I still have the Certificates of training on my wall and look at it every day. We were through a great deal in one week the Special Forces are good at that and we took back and trained the rest of the Company with the tools that we were given. I lost seven pounds that week and felt great both in mind and body.

 

From Jim Edwards "Reverent Ed"  Sgt, C/2/48th June 1973 – Jan 1977:    The times we had at G -town and surrounding areas!  The best beer ever, – Flip top bottles, brown in color, glass with a flip top cork made of porcelain. Man, I wish I had some now.  
     The Cold War was in full swing then.  The Soviet Union out numbered us 7 to one and they were very well trained and equipped.  Life expectancy was only a few minutes at best for any soldier close or near the broader if the balloon went up, and our alert area was the Fulda Gap. Vietnam was still fresh on the minds of most of our personnel. A jungle war is totally different from what we now had to train for.  I was in Weapons Platoon which consisted of a forward data control A.P.C., three 81m.m. mortar tracks and two  T.O.W. missile tracks. T.O.W. was brand new to the scene and was to give us favorable leverage against the Russian tanks.  During these years it was a very serious matter of being ready for an invasion. 
     We were known as "Chopping Charlie".  We set the pace.  Mortars were second to none as we always had the highest score in battalion.  Our tracks were numbered C 40 through C 45.  We carried basic combat loads on almost all our alerts. I was a squad leader on track C-43.  Alerts could last as long as a week.  A few were only a few hours just to check response time and head count, but most of them would last 3 to 5 days and we actually would be in our assigned alert points.  These were the times when you didn't get that warm fuzzy feeling that it was just an alert. That it could be the real thing and the Third World War could take place.
     One of the best memories I have of my time with the Dragoons is when our Company was sent to East Berlin as the Army's ambassadors for a day. We crossed over through the gate at check point Charlie. Top said he didn't feel very good about going into enemy territory without any weapons or any back-up. But we had a fine time and the exchange for dollars was great.  We were watched closely at all times while there.  However, I found the Russians for the most part wanted peace and to have freedom just as we do.  My First Sergeant then was Bill Pickleslimmer, a great combat leader, 3  tours of Vietnam with First Special Forces. Bill is now buried at the Main Gate Cemetery at Fort Bragg, he died with complications of cancer caused by agent orange.  He was the best leader and comrade I could ask for.  He truly was an American Icon. We had some of the best NCOs and Officers a grunt could ask for. 
         Some of the names in our company:  Nash, Barlow, Skully, Berquest, Sullivan, Southerland, Blackwell, Boekins, Albrough, MacLaughin, Tines, Sumter, G boy, Kid boy, Hanks, Rupp, Fare, Carnisie,  Duncan, Red  and Revenant Ed, just a few, I can remember.  One weapons section with 3 line rifle platoons and maintenance section, supply and transport.  As I work at a civilian job now, in the energy world, I use the experience I gained from the Dragoons. 
     It was great to hear that the Dragoons are back in action (at Ft. Wood) keeping our country safe and free, just the way it should be.  I would like to thank all those who make it possible for me to live in peace today, it could be totally different if not for the courage and the sprit of the Dragoons.  All those who serve now I  wish each and every member of the Dragoons God's Speed and keep the peace by keeping ready, ever keep the traditions of the Dragoons.  For all those who have served, may God bless you when you read this, thanks for the memories good and bad.

From Chuck "Worm" Fletcher,  CSC 1/48th Redeye Section Jan 1974 to Aug 1976:  The year was 1973 and the Vietnam War was over. I was a very naive 17 year old,  an Army recruiter told me I could enter into the military and complete my H.S. GED after joining.  I was told about F.T.A. meaning Fun, Travel, and Adventure. I was excited to hear all about it. I was told I could choose my MOS and my duty station so off I went. I do remember, wanting to be a diesel mechanic in Germany. My father made sure I was given a nice send-off and a going away party. At the Army Recruiting Station I completed all the necessary paperwork and passed the Physical Exam. There was only one hitch. Wouldn’t you know it; the diesel mechanics school was full, but there were openings in the U.S. Army Infantry exactly where I wanted to be stationed in Germany. What the hell, why not ?!! I had my going away party already, didn’t I? Well, I couldn’t exactly turn around now, could I? So, off to the Army I went.
   
 I was a terrible athlete and a worse soldier. But, with D.I.’s thoroughly kicking my butt I made it through boot camp and A.I.T. Luckily, because my G.T. scores were high enough, they sent me to Redeye Gunners Training in Fort Bliss, TX. By this time it was January 1974 and I was on my way to Germany. I was scared but excited to be on my way. I didn’t know it at the time, but I soon found out, that I was not prepared for what was about to transpire.
   
 It was my first day in Gelnhausen and I was prepared to be a soldier, but the Draftees were still there. This room I was moved into must have been the dirtiest room in the Army. After attempting to put my uniforms and other gear away into my wall locker in a military fashion, I was noticed by some other troops who obviously had been trying to get kicked out of the Army ever since they arrived. I have never been so humiliated in all my life. They called me Cruit, I was told I must be the stupidest person alive for voluntarily joining.  They asked me if I smoked dope and was invited to a party down the hall. There were Turkish Black, Lebanese Blonde and Choke Red to name a few.
   
 Finally, about a year and a half later the last Draftee was gone and the Army could get back normal business.  Between P.T. every morning, G.I. Parties and inspections routinely, the Army was on its way to becoming what it was supposed to be all along.   I received an Honorable Discharge  in August of 1976.

Dewey BalI  (Combat Support Company 2/48th 1975-76)
    My Commander was CPT Willie B. Nance Jr. He retired about 2 years ago as a 2 star General. The Cold War was taken seriously by the Army and was very tough on many of us younger troops. One time I was driving the Cdr's APC almost continuously for 4 days and nights. I was leading a convoy of APCs, M151s, Gama Goats, Redeye Tracked Vehicles, Deuce and 1/2s with Cpt Nance in the Commander's Hatch. We rounded a mountain road with the sun coming up hitting me in my eyes and the sound of the diesel engine through my PCV  helmet.  I fell asleep and drove off the mountain. I awoke instantly and traveled about 1/2 mile trying to avoid hitting the largest trees. I found a clearing and was able to stop. The Commander was yelling at me and asking what kind of fool would drive off a mountain and I pointed behind us. The entire unit convoy followed us off the mountain. Cpt Nance radioed LTC Lovingood and we were given permission to set down for 24 hours. Some of the best sleep I ever got.

   
 The winter of '75 was extremely cold in Germany with Hohenfels, Grafenvoehr and Wildflecken Training areas were awaiting CSC 2/48th Inf at every available moment. We arrived in Hohenfels via the German Rail System with our vehicles on flatbed cars and I remember the train pulling over for priority vehicles, such as every train and I swore back then buses, cars, bicycles and pedestrians.  We had to sleep on benches in the coach cars. There were toilets with rolls of tissue paper that were light brown in color and very harsh. I had taken paper from the rolls and wrote letters back home on. This particular time at Hohenfels the snow fell continuously for almost 2 weeks or so. 2-3 feet per day, melt down a little and more snow on top. We had to park the vehicles and set up GP Medium Tents. We were starting the APCs and other vehicles daily to ensure they would start. Combat Support Company finally ran out of diesel/gas mixture fuel to heat the GP Medium Tent's stove. Those stoves did get hot and someone burned down at least one tent in every Battalion out there. After the heating fuel was gone we took the fuel from our vehicles. Mixing fuel from the jeeps with diesel from the track vehicles. So much fuel was taken that when the snow allowed us to leave we had to cut the field problem short by 1 week. The Commander's were really mad, but they also didn't mind staying warm as I remember. About a week or two into the snow bound maneuver we had had our fill of C-Rats. 2d Brigade had come within a mile of our location and we were told anyone that wanted to tread the hip deep snow could get a hot meal that evening. A few of us gave it a try. We got to the deuce and one-half where the cooks were cooking potatoes and green eggs, sausage and hot coffee. The snow was coming down harder and the sun was almost gone. The Sergeant told us to go away, his cooks weren't going to be stuck here in "all this mess", packed up everything & locking up the Brigade's Mess Sergeant's Squad Tent where supplies were stored and they drove away. After they were gone a couple of us went back to the Brigade's Squad Tent and found a lock on the zipper. I used my handy Buck Knife110 most of us carried and made a new door next to the zipper. We took a 20 pound canned ham, cheese, case of eggs, can of coffee, tray of bread and loaded them on a sled we made from two large aluminum pans. We got back to our GP Mediums and started cooking for Combat Support Company on our tent heating stoves. Even fed LTC Lovingood and his Driver/RTO when they came by. Nobody had anything hot to eat or drink in a long time. The LTC called on the 246 radio and told me to tell CPT Nance someone had broke into the Brigade's tent last week and what had been stolen. He was going to walk through all Tents in the Battalion and if he found so much of a crumb he would pass out Article 15's. He knew it was us and he helped eat the food and drink the coffee. We dug the best foxhole ever under one of the sleeping bags and buried everything, DEEP. I remember the LTC saying "I knew it wasn't anyone from my Battalion”. 
   
 I made rank to SP4 then changed MOS and stayed in almost 13 years till I was injured and received a Medical Discharge.

From Vernon Campbell, HHC 2/48:  I was stationed at Coleman Kaserne from Sept 77 till Sept 79.  I really enjoyed my time in Germany.  I had enlisted with the sole purpose of going to Germany.  I was taken aback, on my first night in Gelnhausen, when I happened upon a "Kentucky Fried Chicken" in the middle of town, on Rothergasse if I remember correctly.  I spent most of my time at Gastatte "Zum Alten Schmied" where the only patrons were older Germans.  I enjoyed sitting at the " Stammtisch" and hearing old stories about Gelnhausen and Germany.  I had my time at Wildflecken, Hohenfels ( ARTEP ) and Grafenwoehr. When I PCS'd to the states I realized how much I missed the "REAL" Army in Europe. since the cold War was still going on, everything we did in Europe was with a purpose, back in the states we were concerned with cutting grass that had just been planted and hadn't grown yet and painting garbage cans.  I worked in S-4 with SFC Ahlers and CPT Kornfeld, and I sure wish I could find  them.

From George Gerbi, C/1/48  1977-79:  I remember my time in Gelnhausen with great fondness. During the summers of 78 and 79, I was a member of the battalion team competing against teams from numerous Bundeswehr, French, Belgian, and US Army units. It was the annual "Westerburg Patrol" – involving forced marches, marksmanship,
obstacles course, assault boat crossings, and other military skills. Our team won the overall class and guest class in 78, and was second overall and first in guest class in 79. I took every opportunity to travel while I was in Europe. I served with some great guys, including Karl Sturm and Steven "Andy" Anderson.

From Mike Haskett (SFC retired), HHC 1/48:   I served in the Redeye Section of  CSC 1/48 from March 
1977 to October 1979 with a bunch of great guys. When I arrived I was an E4 on the E5 list. Our First Shirt 
was a German named Raab…and my section Leader was SFC Huebner (who I talk to every now and 
then…lives in Green Bay). Kept every piece of paper the Army ever gave me…found my Blood and Guts 
lifetime certificate tucked away. I was married with a small child (she's 29 now) so I didn't party with
 the guys,  
hung out with another NCO named Dan Plummer…who later became an officer. Guys in our section
were…Jenkins, Hubbard, Parker, Doran, to name a few….later after Raab retired and Attaway became
our First Shirt. 
  We spent a lot of time in the field…training….for the most part, I learned a lot about people
and mostly myself being so far away from home. I retired on disability in 1987……I do remember Gerdi.


From Burnette Mitchell (SFC retired), HHC 1/48:
  
I was stationed in g-town (known to some as Gelnhausen) 
from 77-80 in the medical platoon. My 1st week in Germany I was sent to Wildflecken for three very cold days
in the field. I really miss the people and the food over there. I see where they have renovated the barracks since
I left g-town. I remember one night we had just left the NCO club about midnight and went back to the barracks
and laid down for about a minute and the ALERT horn went off, can you imagine what we were thinking!!!!!! 
OH boy, this is the real thing, we were blasted (intoxicated) but we had to sober up real fast because we had
to move out to the alert site with ammo and all. I really miss the place not the field though. This is a great web 
site when I found it man the memories just rushed me. Well write when you can.  SFC Burnette Mitchell, Retired.

From Floyd Kernene (CSC-1-48 1977-79)
I served in Gelenhausen from Sept.77 to Sept.79 in combat Support Company.   I was the driver of an M113A I nicknamed Easyrider and Recon Scout my entire military service.   SFC Atwell was my Platoon Sgt.and APC Commander & PFC Grayhawk was on there with us.  He is an Ogala Sioux Native American,our Company Commander was Maj. Schmaidder,  First Sgt."TOP" Raabe Old 82nd AirBorne himself.  I used Bruce Lee style weapons during my career called Nunchakus most guys knew me for this still do. I would like to hear from any of the old guys like Lleuwellan Grayhawk my Bloodbrother and closest friend Richard Gagnier,,Michael G. Halvorsen, Mark Steider, Ssg. Moore,  Sgt "AirBorne" Schoike,Kelly,Grey,Orr,Bucky Bates, Chris"Christian Castelliso" Tellis, we went through a lot and were ready to storm the Embassy in Iran when the Hostages were taken do you remember; we should of maybe this IED stuff coming out of there now would of been avoided. I painted the hallways and murals on the floors in 1978 I wonder if they are still there.

1980 – 1990

From Boyd Caudill, Jr.  HHC 1/48 1981-2:   I remember getting to Coleman Kaserne in Jan 81, and going to the CPC (Central Processing Center) and marching by the real barracks and having "CRUIT,and NEWBY" yelled from the windows. We were still in the CPC when Reagan took office and the hostages were released. I was assigned to HHC 1/48 S-4 and worked for SSG Templeton and CPT Snyder. I remember the MADHOUSE (off limits) the RAINBOW and the ROMAN WALL that used to surround the town.  I met some of the best people I have ever met in my life.  PCS'd in July 82 and re-up'd and came back to the 3AD, this time 23rd ENGR BN until March 1986. BLOOD & GUTS! 

From Joe Sawtelle:   I was a member of B Company, 2nd Battalion, 48th  Infantry  from November 1982 to July or August 1983. The exact date escapes me, there was so little left of the battalion by then.  The rumor of the reorganization was already out when I first got into the unit. I was straight out of basic so I figured it was all a lie, after all why would the Army send replacements to a unit it intended on disbanding? The official notice came in December or January. 
   
     Under the new Tables of Organization Infantry Battalions were assigned a fourth line company (D Company) and the CS Co. was redesignated E Co.  2/48 was absorbed into the Division's other Infantry Battalions (1/48, 1/36, 2,36, 3,36) for this purpose.  I ended up in Kirchgoens in 2/36 and although that was where I spent most of my tour there, when I think back to my time in Germany, I think of Gelnhausen. 

From David Hill: is a vet of Echo Company 1/48 Infantry (1984-1986) and has written an excellent recollection of his time in the unit on his personal web page.  I recommend you link to it 

From Toby Schrader:   I was in HHC-1-48  in Gelnhausen in ‘85-’86 and have very good memories of being there. I was a Parts Specialist for Battalion motorpool. I do miss all the people I knew. I enjoyed seeing the Dragoons crest again, mine is on my desk and fading. No celebs there that I know of when I was there, however we did have some excitement because of terrorist’s. The powers that be put up cement barriers by the gate. We were just getting the new M1 Abrams in across the street and it was hush, hush.
        Coleman was fine except for running up the hill every day. However, this did keep us in good shape. We did have many alerts and we were in the field a lot. My memories include war games when my friend and I changed colors one time and got through lines; drinking the great German beer; excellent food in town; very nice local people; the Rhine Tour; the trip to Heidelberg and the leave I took to tour Italy by bus. I have never had any regrets about joining the Service. I saw and did more things than most people in there lifetimes and like our country even more than before.
 

From Patrick Armstong:     I was stationed in D Co 1/48th Infantry and transferred to HHC 1/48th between July 1985 to December 29th 1986. Some of the best memories of my life were while I was stationed at Coleman Kaserne. I loved the food, the beer and especially the women that we would meet at Tanz Park and Bambi's. I did not like the cold and running up the hill for PT, but like people have said it kept us in shape. While I was there there was a lot of terrorist activity in the redion and it was hard to understand.  We all did not like the alerts during this period of time as it was really a hassle.  I lost a friend while stationed there, his name was Ronald LaPlaunte. He took his own life for reasons only he knew about.  I continue to live my life by the old saying "Blood and Guts!"  It motivates me to hear those words, remembering the echoes coming off of the hill when we would yell this.  I left Germany as a PFC.

From Travis Sinnard:     I was assigned to HHC 1/48 in Gelnhausen, Germany from May of 1987 to March of 1989. My MOS was 11B. Somehow I wound up being assigned to S-1 in HHC as their M577A2 driver and M-60 gunner. When I first arrived the BN CO was LTC John Everson. In December 1987, the battalion changed command from LTC Everson to LTC Robert StOnge, who at present just put on his second star and is stationed at the Pentagon. In January 1988 we started NET (New Equipment Training) at Vilseck so our battalion could transition from the M113 APC to the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Needless to say, for almost the next year and a half it seemed like I lived in Grafenwoeher and Hohenfels instead of Gelnhausen. The battalion participated in REFORGER '88 and had a blast doing it. Our German and Belgium counterparts were impressed with us Dragoons. In March of 1989 I was transferred to a line company, B Co of 1/48 to be exact. My Infantry skills had gotten a little rusty while I had been assigned to HHC, but the guys at B Co were great and I got settled in real well. Then in June 1989 1/48 was redesignated 4/18 Infantry Regiment………….The new battalion motto was "In Omnia Paratus," it just didn't have the same ring as "Dragoons!" The commander of B Co when I got there was Capt Mark D. Hayhurst, who was to leave within about 8 months of my arrival at B Co, then Capt Anthony Phillips became CO. We had two different First Sergeants, 1SG John Henson, who was replaced by SFC Lewis, who was replaced after his heart attack by SFC John Santiago. Its good to see that 48th Infantry is still alive as a training unit at Fort Leonard Wood. Anyway, just wanted to fill in another piece of the 48th Infantry puzzle.

From Terry Siegler:  I served in the 1-48 INF, and when it changed to 4-18 INF.  I always thought it was never the same after they changed the name.  We used to salute with "Blood and Guts" when we were 1-48 INF, but after we changed to 4-18 INF, it was "Dragoons".   It was never the same.  It appeared to me that LTC St. Onge was not to thrilled about the unit redesignation either.  I was in HHC 1-48 INF, arriving in July 1988 and left in Nov 1991, as one of the last ones out.  I was the "BMT" Battalion Maintenance Technician for the Battalion, a CW2.  The CO was LTC St. Onge, the XO was Major Labreque, and the S-3 was Major Brian Haig, (son of General Haig).  Major Haig was awarded the job of XO when Major Labreque left, and he was one of the best XO's you could have, he was not afraid to make a decision!  I had a great time in Gelnhausen.

 

(Contribute your memory to our site.  Send your paragraph or two to Jim Langan, our "memories" page editor.  Jim was with HHC/1/48th in 1966-67)
                    

              

 

1st Bn 48th Inf  was reflagged as 4th Bn18th Inf on 16 June 1989,
 served in Operation Desert Storm, and then inactivated in 1992.

 

             

 

 

Dewey BalI  (Combat Support Company 2/48th 1975-76)
    My Commander was CPT Willie B. Nance Jr. He retired about 2 years ago as a 2 star General. The Cold War was taken seriously by the Army and was very tough on many of us younger troops. One time I was driving the Cdr's APC almost continuously for 4 days and nights. I was leading a convoy of APCs, M151s, Gama Goats, Redeye Tracked Vehicles, Deuce and 1/2s with Cpt Nance in the Commander's Hatch. We rounded a mountain road with the sun coming up hitting me in my eyes and the sound of the diesel engine through my PCV  helmet.  I fell asleep and drove off the mountain. I awoke instantly and traveled about 1/2 mile trying to avoid hitting the largest trees. I found a clearing and was able to stop. The Commander was yelling at me and asking what kind of fool would drive off a mountain and I pointed behind us. The entire unit convoy followed us off the mountain. Cpt Nance radioed LTC Lovingood and we were given permission to set down for 24 hours. Some of the best sleep I ever got.

   
 The winter of '75 was extremely cold in Germany with Hohenfels, Grafenvoehr and Wildflecken Training areas were awaiting CSC 2/48th Inf at every available moment. We arrived in Hohenfels via the German Rail System with our vehicles on flatbed cars and I remember the train pulling over for priority vehicles, such as every train and I swore back then buses, cars, bicycles and pedestrians.  We had to sleep on benches in the coach cars. There were toilets with rolls of tissue paper that were light brown in color and very harsh. I had taken paper from the rolls and wrote letters back home on. This particular time at Hohenfels the snow fell continuously for almost 2 weeks or so. 2-3 feet per day, melt down a little and more snow on top. We had to park the vehicles and set up GP Medium Tents. We were starting the APCs and other vehicles daily to ensure they would start. Combat Support Company finally ran out of diesel/gas mixture fuel to heat the GP Medium Tent's stove. Those stoves did get hot and someone burned down at least one tent in every Battalion out there. After the heating fuel was gone we took the fuel from our vehicles. Mixing fuel from the jeeps with diesel from the track vehicles. So much fuel was taken that when the snow allowed us to leave we had to cut the field problem short by 1 week. The Commander's were really mad, but they also didn't mind staying warm as I remember. About a week or two into the snow bound maneuver we had had our fill of C-Rats. 2d Brigade had come within a mile of our location and we were told anyone that wanted to tread the hip deep snow could get a hot meal that evening. A few of us gave it a try. We got to the deuce and one-half where the cooks were cooking potatoes and green eggs, sausage and hot coffee. The snow was coming down harder and the sun was almost gone. The Sergeant told us to go away, his cooks weren't going to be stuck here in "all this mess", packed up everything & locking up the Brigade's Mess Sergeant's Squad Tent where supplies were stored and they drove away. After they were gone a couple of us went back to the Brigade's Squad Tent and found a lock on the zipper. I used my handy Buck Knife110 most of us carried and made a new door next to the zipper. We took a 20 pound canned ham, cheese, case of eggs, can of coffee, tray of bread and loaded them on a sled we made from two large aluminum pans. We got back to our GP Mediums and started cooking for Combat Support Company on our tent heating stoves. Even fed LTC Lovingood and his Driver/RTO when they came by. Nobody had anything hot to eat or drink in a long time. The LTC called on the 246 radio and told me to tell CPT Nance someone had broke into the Brigade's tent last week and what had been stolen. He was going to walk through all Tents in the Battalion and if he found so much of a crumb he would pass out Article 15's. He knew it was us and he helped eat the food and drink the coffee. We dug the best foxhole ever under one of the sleeping bags and buried everything, DEEP. I remember the LTC saying "I knew it wasn't anyone from my Battalion”. 
   
 I made rank to SP4 then changed MOS and stayed in almost 13 years till I was injured and received a Medical Discharge.

From Vernon Campbell, HHC 2/48:  I was stationed at Coleman Kaserne from Sept 77 till Sept 79.  I really enjoyed my time in Germany.  I had enlisted with the sole purpose of going to Germany.  I was taken aback, on my first night in Gelnhausen, when I happened upon a "Kentucky Fried Chicken" in the middle of town, on Rothergasse if I remember correctly.  I spent most of my time at Gastatte "Zum Alten Schmied" where the only patrons were older Germans.  I enjoyed sitting at the " Stammtisch" and hearing old stories about Gelnhausen and Germany.  I had my time at Wildflecken, Hohenfels ( ARTEP ) and Grafenwoehr. When I PCS'd to the states I realized how much I missed the "REAL" Army in Europe. since the cold War was still going on, everything we did in Europe was with a purpose, back in the states we were concerned with cutting grass that had just been planted and hadn't grown yet and painting garbage cans.  I worked in S-4 with SFC Ahlers and CPT Kornfeld, and I sure wish I could find  them.

From George Gerbi, C/1/48  1977-79:  I remember my time in Gelnhausen with great fondness. During the summers of 78 and 79, I was a member of the battalion team competing against teams from numerous Bundeswehr, French, Belgian, and US Army units. It was the annual "Westerburg Patrol" – involving forced marches, marksmanship,
obstacles course, assault boat crossings, and other military skills. Our team won the overall class and guest class in 78, and was second overall and first in guest class in 79. I took every opportunity to travel while I was in Europe. I served with some great guys, including Karl Sturm and Steven "Andy" Anderson.

From Mike Haskett (SFC retired), HHC 1/48:   I served in the Redeye Section of  CSC 1/48 from March 
1977 to October 1979 with a bunch of great guys. When I arrived I was an E4 on the E5 list. Our First Shirt 
was a German named Raab…and my section Leader was SFC Huebner (who I talk to every now and 
then…lives in Green Bay). Kept every piece of paper the Army ever gave me…found my Blood and Guts 
lifetime certificate tucked away. I was married with a small child (she's 29 now) so I didn't party with
 the guys,  
hung out with another NCO named Dan Plummer…who later became an officer. Guys in our section
were…Jenkins, Hubbard, Parker, Doran, to name a few….later after Raab retired and Attaway became
our First Shirt. 
  We spent a lot of time in the field…training….for the most part, I learned a lot about people
and mostly myself being so far away from home. I retired on disability in 1987……I do remember Gerdi.


From Burnette Mitchell (SFC retired), HHC 1/48:
  
I was stationed in g-town (known to some as Gelnhausen) 
from 77-80 in the medical platoon. My 1st week in Germany I was sent to Wildflecken for three very cold days
in the field. I really miss the people and the food over there. I see where they have renovated the barracks since
I left g-town. I remember one night we had just left the NCO club about midnight and went back to the barracks
and laid down for about a minute and the ALERT horn went off, can you imagine what we were thinking!!!!!! 
OH boy, this is the real thing, we were blasted (intoxicated) but we had to sober up real fast because we had
to move out to the alert site with ammo and all. I really miss the place not the field though. This is a great web 
site when I found it man the memories just rushed me. Well write when you can.  SFC Burnette Mitchell, Retired.

From Floyd Kernene (CSC-1-48 1977-79)
I served in Gelenhausen from Sept.77 to Sept.79 in combat Support Company.   I was the driver of an M113A I nicknamed Easyrider and Recon Scout my entire military service.   SFC Atwell was my Platoon Sgt.and APC Commander & PFC Grayhawk was on there with us.  He is an Ogala Sioux Native American,our Company Commander was Maj. Schmaidder,  First Sgt."TOP" Raabe Old 82nd AirBorne himself.  I used Bruce Lee style weapons during my career called Nunchakus most guys knew me for this still do. I would like to hear from any of the old guys like Lleuwellan Grayhawk my Bloodbrother and closest friend Richard Gagnier,,Michael G. Halvorsen, Mark Steider, Ssg. Moore,  Sgt "AirBorne" Schoike,Kelly,Grey,Orr,Bucky Bates, Chris"Christian Castelliso" Tellis, we went through a lot and were ready to storm the Embassy in Iran when the Hostages were taken do you remember; we should of maybe this IED stuff coming out of there now would of been avoided. I painted the hallways and murals on the floors in 1978 I wonder if they are still there.

1980 – 1990

From Boyd Caudill, Jr.  HHC 1/48 1981-2:   I remember getting to Coleman Kaserne in Jan 81, and going to the CPC (Central Processing Center) and marching by the real barracks and having "CRUIT,and NEWBY" yelled from the windows. We were still in the CPC when Reagan took office and the hostages were released. I was assigned to HHC 1/48 S-4 and worked for SSG Templeton and CPT Snyder. I remember the MADHOUSE (off limits) the RAINBOW and the ROMAN WALL that used to surround the town.  I met some of the best people I have ever met in my life.  PCS'd in July 82 and re-up'd and came back to the 3AD, this time 23rd ENGR BN until March 1986. BLOOD & GUTS! 

From Joe Sawtelle:   I was a member of B Company, 2nd Battalion, 48th  Infantry  from November 1982 to July or August 1983. The exact date escapes me, there was so little left of the battalion by then.  The rumor of the reorganization was already out when I first got into the unit. I was straight out of basic so I figured it was all a lie, after all why would the Army send replacements to a unit it intended on disbanding? The official notice came in December or January. 
   
     Under the new Tables of Organization Infantry Battalions were assigned a fourth line company (D Company) and the CS Co. was redesignated E Co.  2/48 was absorbed into the Division's other Infantry Battalions (1/48, 1/36, 2,36, 3,36) for this purpose.  I ended up in Kirchgoens in 2/36 and although that was where I spent most of my tour there, when I think back to my time in Germany, I think of Gelnhausen. 

From David Hill: is a vet of Echo Company 1/48 Infantry (1984-1986) and has written an excellent recollection of his time in the unit on his personal web page.  I recommend you link to it 

From Toby Schrader:   I was in HHC-1-48  in Gelnhausen in ‘85-’86 and have very good memories of being there. I was a Parts Specialist for Battalion motorpool. I do miss all the people I knew. I enjoyed seeing the Dragoons crest again, mine is on my desk and fading. No celebs there that I know of when I was there, however we did have some excitement because of terrorist’s. The powers that be put up cement barriers by the gate. We were just getting the new M1 Abrams in across the street and it was hush, hush.
        Coleman was fine except for running up the hill every day. However, this did keep us in good shape. We did have many alerts and we were in the field a lot. My memories include war games when my friend and I changed colors one time and got through lines; drinking the great German beer; excellent food in town; very nice local people; the Rhine Tour; the trip to Heidelberg and the leave I took to tour Italy by bus. I have never had any regrets about joining the Service. I saw and did more things than most people in there lifetimes and like our country even more than before.
 

From Patrick Armstong:     I was stationed in D Co 1/48th Infantry and transferred to HHC 1/48th between July 1985 to December 29th 1986. Some of the best memories of my life were while I was stationed at Coleman Kaserne. I loved the food, the beer and especially the women that we would meet at Tanz Park and Bambi's. I did not like the cold and running up the hill for PT, but like people have said it kept us in shape. While I was there there was a lot of terrorist activity in the redion and it was hard to understand.  We all did not like the alerts during this period of time as it was really a hassle.  I lost a friend while stationed there, his name was Ronald LaPlaunte. He took his own life for reasons only he knew about.  I continue to live my life by the old saying "Blood and Guts!"  It motivates me to hear those words, remembering the echoes coming off of the hill when we would yell this.  I left Germany as a PFC.

From Travis Sinnard:     I was assigned to HHC 1/48 in Gelnhausen, Germany from May of 1987 to March of 1989. My MOS was 11B. Somehow I wound up being assigned to S-1 in HHC as their M577A2 driver and M-60 gunner. When I first arrived the BN CO was LTC John Everson. In December 1987, the battalion changed command from LTC Everson to LTC Robert StOnge, who at present just put on his second star and is stationed at the Pentagon. In January 1988 we started NET (New Equipment Training) at Vilseck so our battalion could transition from the M113 APC to the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Needless to say, for almost the next year and a half it seemed like I lived in Grafenwoeher and Hohenfels instead of Gelnhausen. The battalion participated in REFORGER '88 and had a blast doing it. Our German and Belgium counterparts were impressed with us Dragoons. In March of 1989 I was transferred to a line company, B Co of 1/48 to be exact. My Infantry skills had gotten a little rusty while I had been assigned to HHC, but the guys at B Co were great and I got settled in real well. Then in June 1989 1/48 was redesignated 4/18 Infantry Regiment………….The new battalion motto was "In Omnia Paratus," it just didn't have the same ring as "Dragoons!" The commander of B Co when I got there was Capt Mark D. Hayhurst, who was to leave within about 8 months of my arrival at B Co, then Capt Anthony Phillips became CO. We had two different First Sergeants, 1SG John Henson, who was replaced by SFC Lewis, who was replaced after his heart attack by SFC John Santiago. Its good to see that 48th Infantry is still alive as a training unit at Fort Leonard Wood. Anyway, just wanted to fill in another piece of the 48th Infantry puzzle.

From Terry Siegler:  I served in the 1-48 INF, and when it changed to 4-18 INF.  I always thought it was never the same after they changed the name.  We used to salute with "Blood and Guts" when we were 1-48 INF, but after we changed to 4-18 INF, it was "Dragoons".   It was never the same.  It appeared to me that LTC St. Onge was not to thrilled about the unit redesignation either.  I was in HHC 1-48 INF, arriving in July 1988 and left in Nov 1991, as one of the last ones out.  I was the "BMT" Battalion Maintenance Technician for the Battalion, a CW2.  The CO was LTC St. Onge, the XO was Major Labreque, and the S-3 was Major Brian Haig, (son of General Haig).  Major Haig was awarded the job of XO when Major Labreque left, and he was one of the best XO's you could have, he was not afraid to make a decision!  I had a great time in Gelnhausen.

 

(Contribute your memory to our site.  Send your paragraph or two to Jim Langan, our "memories" page editor.  Jim was with HHC/1/48th in 1966-67)
                    

              

 

1st Bn 48th Inf  was reflagged as 4th Bn18th Inf on 16 June 1989,
 served in Operation Desert Storm, and then inactivated in 1992.

 

             

 


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