511th MP Co, Ft Dix NJ, 1974 -1977
Please join me on a trip back in time to
the Fort Dix I knew and the 511th MP Co I
served. For those I served with allow me to rekindle some of your long forgotten
memories. To those who would like to know a little about Fort Dix history read on and enter my past with me. I'm sure
you'll find yesteryear to be as entertaining, informative and pleasing as
I have found to be writing about it.
In those days 3 different companys made up the 759th MP Batt
at Fort Dix. (The 555th MP Co was already relocated to another post.)
The 532nd MP Co:
They were really Corrections Officers assigned to guard the Post
Stocade (Military Prison on Post) where all the hard core military
offenders were kept. It was out by itself on range road near the
outer perimeter of the Air Force Base. It's apperance was like that of
a square 2 acre concrete bunker .
I went into it once to investagate a larceny matter. When those steel gates close behind you and you realize that should for any reason
the officers in charge decide to keep you in there you can't do a thing about it. Those steel gates are final. It can be an intimidating and
very humbling experience. You really can't wait to get out again.
I think this was the quickest investagation I ever conducted.
412th MP Co -&- 511th MP Co
Both the 412th and 511th MP Companys were straff units (Infantry
backup units on the front lines in war time to handle POWs) which
meant we alternated between war training and Police duties with
each other each 6 months of the year.
While on duty we operated out of the PMO ( Police Station for us)
(Stands for Provist Marshall's Office) The Provist Marshall was usally
a full bird Colonel. Humor was very big with us and Micky Mouse was
our company mascot. ( You had to be there.)
Along Doughboy Loop you had:
A) The Reception Station;
The area all new trainees report to in order to be introduced to
military life and assigned to a training company.
B) The Basic Training Batts.
As I recall there were about 4-5 of those consisting of 4 companys
each which had about 120 trainees each not counting the Trainers
and support troops. (Cooks, Officers, Clerks, ect) About 100 persons
over the trainees per company. 580 bodies a Batt. x5 = 2,900 total.
Thats just in Training. For Dix was City. Fireman, Stores, Familys, ect.
C) Two Movie Theaters.
They showed the lastest movies out and were open to everyone.
Fort Dix was an open Post. (Main roads run through it from one side
to the other.
D) The Post Indoor Pool:
Open only to Post personal and their families.
E) The Post PX
This was the military discount store like a mini K-mart for servicemen
and women and their familes.
F) The Post Bank
We had our own branch of a then major bank right on post to serve
our banking needs.
G) The Post / Post Office
We had our own Post Office as well.
H) The Sports Arena
This was a very muliti use building. It housed sporting events,
concerts, speechs were given here. We even had WWF Pro
Wrestling matchs here. It was something to see in it's time.
I) The Arts and Crafts & Photography Center
This was a building that housed Instructors that teached The Art
of Black and White Photography and Development as well as
Color Photography and Development., also Arts and Crafts. I learned
a lot there concerning Photography. This building was located across from the Sports Arena.
J) The Post Uniform Store.
Located just 1000 feet behind the Photography and Arts building
is the Post Uniform Store. The only place on post where you could
obtain Army Airborne Boots. You have to have served to understand why those boots are special. Uniforms were also sold there.
K) Doughboy Field
Doughboy Field itself was the area used every single day by the trainees and the Drill Sargents for all kinds of training. PT ect;;.
There were so many trainees there at times that you couldn't even
see the grass.
L) The NCO and The Officers Clubs.
Two different clubs one for officers,one for non commissioned officers. Both were places of relaxation for service men. They were
a combination Bar and Resturant for them and their guests.
M) The Post Finance
This is where the Post Paymaster was located who every payday
paid off all military and non-military personnel working on post.
They also had other day to day duties like ETS pay, Vochers ,
transportation paperwork and post reassignment paperwork.
N) The Post Courthouse.
We had our own Courthouse to handle on Post Violations.
O) Motor Pools:
Being a fully operational military base all units and support groups
had their own motor pools with their own assigned vehicles.
P) The Commersary:
We had our own Supermarket called the Commersary.
Q) Doughboy Inn:
We had our own on Post Motel called the Doughboy Inn. At it's heyday I would have stacked it up against any big chain Motel
and it would have a hell of a fight as far as comfort and eye appeal.
R) Education Dept:
We had our own education system allowing service people to
obtain college credit, degrees, or GED's.
We had our own fully staffed Hospital on Base.
T) Bus Station:
We had our own bus station on post with bus's going in the Main
Bus Terminal in NYC. Every Friday nite you had a line that would
wrap itself around the Bus station twice of service men and women
going home for the weekend.
U) There were gas and service stations as well as mini-marts(post
7-11's) serving our needs.
V) There were shooting and training ranges out on Range Road.
W) All Officers and married enlisted personnel had their own
personal living quarters away from their Units but usally still on the
X) Post Gyms:
We had our own Post Gyms by unit assignments. There were
weight rooms, saunas, steam rooms, handball, basket ball,
racket ball ect; I used to have a wonderful time working out there.
What can I say about Writestown? Well you remember those old
westerns on TV? The Town drunk, Saloon baroom fights, House's
of ill repute? Well it all happened there as well. I remember the
Satilite Club. At times they had what appeared to be a bouncer
who stood about 7'6" and weighted in at about 450lbs. What made
this guy stand out in my mind was that he would dress up in womens
clothing. High Heels, makeup and all. It was something to see.
During this period of time we also had problems with the Two Person
Police Department of Writestown. A husband -wife team who felt
they were (In my opinion) The Boss Hog and Mrs Hog of Hazard
Writestown. They tried to prevent our patrol units from patroling
the areas our serivcemen visited in the town. We had a real conflict
going for a while untill their state charter to run a police dept was
pulled by the state and they were out of a job. So much for High Noon
in Writestown. The Good Guys win again.
All of the above changed during the 1990's when Fort Dix was deactivated. It will be missed badly now and in the future.
Dec 27 2000 02:45:45:000PM