Photos of the 6th/11th ACR

Area, taken in August 2001

40 page mailable booklet issued during Col Snee's command tour

                                       

        View from northwest and from south                        

                             

        Kaserne from east and Rotz Camp from north                        

                                       

    Locked gate and overgrown driveway at Rotz Border Camp                        

Old Maintenance Shed at Rotz Border Camp

In August 2001, I visited Mansfield Kaserne, Rotz Border Camp, and OP21/Waldmunchen. 

 Mansfield Kaserne.  The kaserne has changed little since I was last there in 1959.  It is currently in use by several service units, under the 12th Composite Medical Regiment, containing,  as I understand: a tank driving school, a medical service unit, and a transportation unit.  The airstrip is maintained for official use, but no aircraft are based there.  The ammo dump in the southeast corner no longer exists.  Because it was a Saturday, there was absolutely no activity, and I went on a walking tour with the Sergeant of the Guard, who spoke not a lick of English.  Apparently the units here are strictly 8-5, Mon-Fri.  It is not apparent that any soldiers live in barracks, although they might have all been gone for the weekend.  He told me that the married soldiers live in town.  Unfortunately, no cameras are permitted, so I was unable to take photos on the ground.  However, I was able to take half a dozen air photos.  The family housing no longer belongs to the kaserne and a fence separates the quarters from the rest of the kaserne.  I don’t know who the landlord is, by they appear to be rental apartments.  There is heavy tree growth in the entire quarters area, and the field-grade quarters are virtually obscured by vegetation.  The former theater is used only for storage, and the former officers club is now office space.  An officers quarters or club was pointed out along the north fence behind the still-existing dispensary.  We did not walk the motor pool or 8th Ordnance company area, but the air photos indicate that the paved tank parks, as I remember them, are now in grass.  The commander of the kaserne is the medical equivalent of a Lieutenant Colonel.  One of the interesting touches is a series of plaques in the wall of the guardhouse on the way from the front gate, depicting the German units that have occupied the kaserne since 1920.  There is a void for the time it was occupied by the US Army, and the Sergeant of the Guard asked me the dates.  I also drove out to Metting training area, and it appears that the trails have been graveled if not paved.  Straubing was having a big annual volksfest, complete with amusement park, so I didn’t get much of a town tour. 

 Rotz.  The town of Rotz is little changed, but the road from Straubing to Rotz has been completely upgraded to the quality of the “Phantom Autobahn” from Rotz to Weiden.  I was unable to find or identify the old road, much as I would have liked to travel it.  Cham seems to have grown, and I stopped at McDonalds for lunch. (There is no ice, so a Medium Coke is all coke.)  Rotz Border Camp is deserted, although it does have some type of large communications antenna.  I have air and ground photos.  The road up from town is still the same narrow winding steep climb, and I marvel at the fact that we ran tracked vehicles up and down it. ‘Panzer’s’ gastehaus is now a Waldcasino, and appears to have only night hours.

 OP21/Waldmunchen.

 My recollection is that we drove through the town of Waldmunchen to get to OP21.  Where we saw a plowed strip, barbed wire, and a guard tower, there is now a border crossing.  The road is much improved and bypasses downtown, and I could not identify access to the OP bunker.  I thought that I saw the culvert that marked the night LP, but even that was unfamiliar when I drove back from the border crossing.  I asked a Grenze Polizei if there was still a bunker up on the hill, but he said that everything was gone.  If I could have positively identified both the OP and LP locations and access, I would have walked up there, but so much has changed that I was uncertain.

 Overall, I was impressed (and confused) by the way the roads had been improved.  I am sure that there has been major tree growth everywhere, but it was noticeable only in the old family quarters area.  

For visitors to Germany, if you are near Lindau/Bodensee, be sure to visit the Heerestechnische Museum in the village of Schlachters about 5 Km north of Lindau.  This 3 floor display of 19th and 20th Century militaria has been lovingly collected and displayed by a Wehrmacht veteran.  Among the exhibits are a pedal-powered dental set, a 3-meter baselength height finder, a functional 30-inch anti-aircraft searchlight, a Kettenrad, and a roadworthy Amphicar.  For his prized possession, he will throw open a camouflage net and proclaim "Acht und Achtzig" and show you his 88mm gun.  If you are not fluent in German, it may be difficult to find someone to direct you to the museum, but there is a large sign on the adjacent wall that is easily noticed from the main street that passes the museum.

For more photos of Mansfield Kaserne click here

For the Aviation Company,  Terry TenBoer had a page at  http://www.myoldunit.com, but it appears to have been converted to a page in Chinese

For the 8th Ordnance Company, see Jim Miller's page at http://8thordnance.com

Does anyone have the LP record "Musical Memories of Heidelberg" which was sold in the PX in the late 1950s?  My record has disappeared. , and I would like to have a cassette or a CD of the record if anyone can copy it for me.  (This is not the stereo  "Musical Memories from Munich to Heidelberg" SLE 14 230-P sold in the early 1960s.)

Does anyone remember the trip from Rotz to Weiden to exchange APC C35 for C15?  We set out after lunch on a sunny November day, and would be back for supper.  When we got out of Rotz and started up the Phantom Autobahn, the vehicle would not shift out of low range.  A call up the mountain brought a mechanic who could not fix the problem, but he would continue trying as he drove it to Weiden.  We arrived on the hill overlooking Weiden from the south as both dusk and rush hour were  approaching.  We turned on the service headlights, and they looked like a couple of candles.  The blackout markers were brighter, so that's how we traversed the city.  I had never been there before, so I hoped that the lead jeep driver was right in his route.  We went through the narrow streets with the straight-pipe exhaust banging off the buildings and Germans on bicycles on both sides of the M75.  Needless to say, we spent the night and had an uneventful return with C15 the next day.

Or the time we were towing a scout jeep up the same Phantom Autobahn on an 8-foot rope and the towed jeep started fishtailing and tumbled over the left front bumper?  Only the pedestal saved the driver.  It had a BAR fork mount on it that was bent outward 60 degrees from road impact.

I would like to hear from the following former members of the 1st Tank Battalion, or those who served with them:

Angone, Tony             Banks, Robert Lee           Carlson                Dayhoff            Herbert            Larwood

Lewis                           Lincks, Roy B            Patton                    Phillips            Sargent, Charles F

Shelley                        Sims                            Sumter, Jerry        Toledo, Frank            Tomsic (Cleveland, OH)       Vrabel

Wilkes                        Williams, Howard (Bud)                             Yeager, Clair P

Sgts Sargent and Toledo completed Ranger School in 1956, and I have heard that Toledo became a helicopter pilot.  Jerry Sumter was an NCO participating in the Seventh Army Tank Shoot in 1958.  After Roy's tour was up, he became a tobacco farmer in Kentucky.

 

 

Contact me at milt@longgreylinefarm.com

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