Side Trips from Baumholder, FRG

In the Field at Baumholder

Living adjacent to the NATO Major Training Area in the Kaserne at Baumholder had its advantages and disadvantages. First, you didn't have to pack everything you own and railhead to a major training area (MTA) like most units in Germany. Second, it was too easy to go to the field. There were several months from 1980 to 1982 where neither I nor my soldiers had the opportunity to bathe: June 1980 comes to mind. Also, I remember being snowed on at Range 10 at the top of the mountain in July of 1981. What fun.

This is what my view of Baumholder usually
looked like. (Note, this is not my howitzer.)

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This is a picture of me plotting on an M16 Plotting
Board. (Chief FDC)

Pictured with me is one of my Squad Leaders as seen
from inside an M125 Mortar Carrier. (Section Sergeant)

 

BNCOC, Vilsec FRG, 1980

After arriving in Germany, I was informed that I had a slot at the 7th Army NCO Academy at Vilsec along with three other sergeants from 1-39 Infantry. The hardest part of the entire experience was traveling to Vilsec and back to Baumholder, as none of us spoke German nor understood the Deutsche Bahn. On the way to Vilsec, we nearly missed our connection in Nuremberg. And on the way back, we were told to stay on the train to make our connection. The conductor's misunderstanding of Heimbach for Rheimbach took us west of Koln, towards the Belgium border. The result was a side trip that lead through the German Wine Country and back down the Rhine River during daylight. Despite returning a day late from school, we had a memorable experience.

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Old part of Nuremberg, the largest city in the region.

Lorelei Rock near St. Goar and Oberwesel.

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Die Frauenkirche, Nuremberg.

The Lorelei, famed siren on the Rhine.

 

Dordrecht, Netherlands, 1981

My parents flew to visit family in Holland during the Summer of 1981, and I was able to drive to Holland and meet them. While there we visited some of the towns where my Step-father lived.

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Pictured is a "henchen mullen" at Kinderdiche near
Rotterdam, Netherlands,

Pictured is my Mom and her husband at the Westen Schelde in Zeeland, Netherlands.

 

Paddy's Walk, Normandy, France, 1982

In June of 1982, I set out with an under-strength platoon of soldiers from 1-39 Infantry for Normandy, France on a public relations tour for the US Army. While there we were wined and dined (feted) by the local people. We slept in fields or in hay lofts, ate at the largess of the local inhabitants, or subsisted on C-Rations from our ruck sacks. But usually we just drank. Imagine starting your morning with 180 proof Calvados. I have never stayed so drunk in my life. The march started out in a field outside of Bayeaux, the home of William the Conqueror; and we alternately marched and rode along a route that generally traced the original route taken by 1-39 Infantry and the 9th Infantry Division during their campaign to liberate Normandy during the invasion of 1944. I learned a lot about myself and human nature during this tour. Enough said.

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This is the view that American soldiers had as they
attempted to storm the battlements at St. Lo.

Pictured is an M4 Sherman tank breaking through one of the infamous hedgerows (bocage) during the
Normandy Campaign (1944).

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Pictured are American POW's from the 101st Airborne Division being marched through the streets of German occupied St. Lo en route to Germany.

Medieval city and abbey at Mount St. Michele off
of Avranche. Note that the causeway is under water when the tide comes in.

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Me standing in front of Notre Dame Cathedral (C. 950 CE), St. Lo France. The majority of the front of the cathedral was rubbled by the German Army in a effort to obstruct the advancing American Army in July 1944.

Pictured is the fortress walls that surround St. Lo. Most of these battlements have been restored after
severe damage during the battle of St. Lo.

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Me and a friendly inhabitant of St. Lo.

Group photo of the participants of Paddy's Walk in front of Claude's 1944 Dodge 2 1/2 ton truck.

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