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Histories for Rothwesten Operations




Animal Farm - Meissner late 60's
I arrived at Rothwesten in late winter/early spring 1968, a Pvt, and received several salutes from SP4s and above who couldn't believe anyone without something on their sleeve couldn't be an officer. Personnel Specialist by MOS I was assigned to A Co. 17th ASAFS Rothwesten and once there was made the Mail Clerk. Several years in the basement of the Co A barracks, next door to the 'dubes' maintenance crew, handing out mail over the 'Dutch door' of the mail room or out the barred window to the 'driveway' behind the barracks in the original 'Drive thru post office' [pleasant weather only - make that July 29th], , apologies to Ingram, and/or Ingraham, whose mail I permanently confused for some reason, sending both the Co A Hq and the Det W (Wobeck) to Det W. This stay brought me to the exhaulted rank of SP5, and a transfer to Mt. Meissner as 'Detachment Clerk'. I originally lived on the site, but was soon invited to fill a vacancy at the 'Animal Farm'. Living in Hess. Lichtenau at the 'Animal Farm', starting off in the room which had been the hallway to the front door, add a sink, close off the door, 90 D mark / month, I inherited the room of 'Chiney' Jerry I. Nakamura, who had been a cook in the Det. M messhall, with Rudy and the KPs. The first to leave the Animal Farm after my arrival, was John from Connecticut. Those I remember were John P. Barrett from the Bronx, SPs, Donny Swink, Az?, SPs, Bill Kriegbaum, Az?, Hof helicopters, Ivan K., 'The Giant', Jonathon Secrest, from N?. Carolina, Frank Anderson, Hollywood Fla, not to be confused with the other Anderson who had formula IV race cars on the side. I was part of the crew who were eventually evicted from the house in Hess. Lichtenau and who moved into the hills of Hirschhagen. (1 meter thick soil roofs planted with grass and small trees and shrubs to confuse our predecessor (bomber) pilots. During the Hess Lichtenau stay the kneipe of choice was 'Zur Krone', Willi at the bar, dispensing 1DM beer and/or shots of klare (DoppelKorn) or Jaegermeister, or when they were closed, Zum Schiffer, Cafe Bachmann, the little place next to the Animal Farm, whose name I never knew, (it was just 'the place next door'), or with a trip to the Big City, Kassel, to the Duesseldorferhof, Tanz um Ex, or that great little kneipe in the woods, if you turned right after starting up the hill from downtown Kassel towards Rothwesten, seemingly between two stores, opening onto a country lane, with Gaerten Zwerge and other wooden lawn ornaments, big beamed half timbered and 'sehr gemuetlich' a few hundred meters from modern suburban Kassel, but a time trip away from our 'present day' Cold War, Spying, modern existance. During the day you might wind up at the Rod And Gun Club, or the EM or NCO clubs if you happened to be at Rothwesten. During my service Co A had FSGs Berthold, Roy E. Winters and Schwann. There was one more, I don't recall his name, but he had a bug . . . about me painting the whole detachment with blue paint he had, and I couldn't grasp that he meant that I should personally paint the whole mountain blue, today, so I was then reassigned to HQ Co, USASAFS Rothwesten, working in the OPS building, 8-4 shift, complete darkness during the winter months, [Not July 29th], and then semi-permanent swing shift, where I kept a 'token bunk' while still living at and commuting from the Animal Farm to Rothwesten, and back each day/swing. Although I didn't know Sgt. Joos, I remember hearing his name mentioned, in the intercept field, by those who followed him. I remember SSG "Robby" Robinson, Sgt 'Ivey' Iverson, from the 319th based in Rothwesten, and who I knew previously from working at the King Kullen in Rockville Centre, NY, and who, I understand, wound up as a bartender in St. Thomas, VI. While at Co A Rothwesten I had several roommates, Bill Krebsbach, Company Clerk, my first roommate, who eventually became a Warrant Officer and was the Drivers License issuer at Rothwesten, but who's name I cannot dredge up. and, my favorite, Gerald Dean Cope, who put in for Nam and from whom I never heard again, what a character. He once visited an after hours club, and by the time he was ready to leave all jackets had been taken, including his, except for a 3 sizes too small, green 'shag' female type fuzzy jacket, which, being the only one there when he wanted to leave, he took and wore home to the barracks proudly, even after crawling through the mud to get under the fence, since the SPs had shut the back gate. You had to see him coming through the room's door that night! I joined the Army, and ASA, at Fort Hamilton, NY, one RA# before Steve Schlaich, from Oceanside, NY, and with whom I went through Basic, and who was the only guy I ever heard of who gained weight in basic, having been a cross country track runner, now cut down to 1 or 2 miles a day by the Army, and who was assigned to Augsburg, and having his fill of their BS, put in for Nam, went, and was reassigned back to Augsburg when his tour in Nam was over. While at Rothwesten, I worked at the NCO club as a waiter and then bartender, and was there when Country Western Music Star Charlie Pride played the club and was taken to task for betraying his race, and who explained to the SGT who had confronted him, that he had made more that night for singing than the SGT made in a month of marching or driving through the mud, and asked who was being taken advantage of? From Rothwesten I also remember, but can't put names to: John who crashed his Black Mercedes on the way out of Rothwesten, on icy roads, with me in the back seat, into the ditch along side the road, and for which they busted him from SP6 to SP4 or so, sorry John, if my being there added to the bust. The guys from HQ Co, Robert Flatko, Rudy Szwezcak, (sorry Rudy, I couldn't spell it then, much less now) from 'the Brickyard' Philadelphia, PA, Leonard Nezuck from Woester?, MA (you too Lenny), (and a cast of thousands). "Hernando, those were the days, my friend!"

Posted by Denis Gormley
Apr 19 2003 07:22:07:000PM




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