94th Engineer Battalion Nellingen Barracks 1966 to 1969

D-Company

 

94. Pionier Battalion Nellingen Barracks 1966 bis 1969

 

 

 

    SP– 4 Mark Lucas                   

 

 

Original Comment on End of this Page.

 

Der frühere Soldat Herr Mark Lucas schrieb mich im Juni 2011 an.

              

Mark war mit dem 94. Pionier Battalion von 1966 bis 1969 in den Nellingen Barracks stationiert.

Nach seiner Grundausbildung als Kranführer innerhalb der U.S. Army in Fort Leonard Wood hatten er und seine Kameraden schon den Marschbefehl für Vietnam in der Tasche.

Der französische Staatspräsident Charles De Gaulle hat die US-Army veranlasst, Frankreich im gleichen Jahr zu verlassen. Somit kann Mark mit dem US-Truppenschiff USNS Buckner nach Bremerhaven und von dort in die Nellingen Kaserne.

 

Die ersten sechs Monate war er im Bereitschaftsdienst in Wertheim und Würzburg eingesetzt.

 

Um sich dem Bereitschaftsdienst zu entziehen, meldete er sich als Security Police Man innerhalb seiner Einheit. Der Dienst beinhaltete Überwachung der Zaunanlagen, der LKW Parkplätze und die Nord und Südwache.

Mark erzählte mir das dieser Job in Nellingen der beste war während seiner Armee Zeit. Die D-Kompanie es 94. Pionier Battalion war ganz im Norden der Kaserne untergebracht.

 

Mark Lucas sah damals sehr traurige und heimwehkranke Soldaten in der Nellingen Kaserne aber er selber war sehr froh darüber, als junger Mann Europa kennenzulernen.

Er kämpfte sich überall durch. Gerade zur Zeit der Bader – Meinhof Bande Aktivitäten hatten die Wachsoldaten einiges zu tun.

 

Mark erinnert sich noch, dass Ende der 60er Jahre fast keine Bäume in der Kaserne standen aber als er 1987 auf einem Europa Besuch die Kaserne besuchte, war alles schön begrünt und die Bäume schossen in die Höhe. 1987 war er auch ganz überrascht dass mittlerweile weibliche Soldaten ihren Dienst für die US-Army taten.

Als er 18 jährig in Nellingen ankam sah er die faszinierende Industrie im Neckartal, hauptsächlich Daimler-Benz und Porsche bzw. andere große Firmen. Das wirtschaftliche Leben in und um Stuttgart herum war für ihn sehr aufregend.

Während seiner Dienstzeit in Nellingen bekamen die Soldaten ihren Lohn noch in bar ausbezahlt. Sie erhielten nicht viel aber es war noch genug Geld übrig um Benzin für sein Auto zu haben bzw. für eine Gulaschsuppe am Bahnhof Esslingen.

 

Alles in allem hat Mark Lucas seine Zeit in Nellingen sehr genossen vor allem die deutsche Gastfreundlichkeit.

 

Heutzutage ( 2011 ) lebt Mark Lucas in Coos Bay, im US-Bundesstaat Oregon, ist 63 Jahre alt und verheiratet.

 

Viele Grüße von Billy – Dezember 2011 -

 

Mark Lucas und Kameraden Nellingen Kaserne 1968 Schneeballschlacht

And yet another snowball fight outside the barracks

 

LKW des 93. Pionier Battalion Hauptstrasse Nellingen Kaserne / This is the impressive truck park of a Float Bridge Company 93d Engineer Battalion 1967

 

 

LKW des 93. Pionier Battalion Hauptstrasse Nellingen Kaserne / This is the impressive truck park of a Float Bridge Company

93d Engineer Battalion 1967

 

Mark Lucas als Sicherheits-Wachsoldat Haupttor Nellingen Kaserne Sommer 1967

Mark Lucas near front gate with Rovin Patrol Jeep Summer 1967

 

Mark Lucas Kranlastwagen des 94. Pionier Battalion

Mark Lucas POV and Crane in the D-Company Motorpool 94th Engineer Battalion 1968

 

Im Manöver / In the Field 1968

D 4/41st Field Artillery  Nellingen Kaserne 1968

Pershing missile battery deployed on the road out to the ammo dump. They came and went during the night and never stayed long. They were almost certainly nuclear tipped and bad news for anyone living in the Eastern Europe Boarder States, and made Nellingen a legitimate nuclear Target

 

Im Mannschaftsquartier nach der Inspektion 1967

Saturday night after inspection

Im Mannschaftsquartier vor der Inspektion 1967

Saturday morning before inspection

 

Ortsdurchfahrt Scharnhausen Winter 1967 / 1968

Scharnhausen. Probably on a run for Glühwein 1968

 

Schulkinder auf zugefrorenem See Schlossgarten Stuttgart

School kids shoe skating on the frozen Schlossgarten pond Winter '67-'68

 

Original Comment of Mark Lucas:

 

Von: Mark Lucas

Mittwoch, 6. Juli 2011

An: William Bils (usarmynellingen@hotmail.com)

 

Hello Again Billy

 

I arrived at Nellingen in June of '66 right out of AIT as a pvt. E 2, and left two years and seven months later in Feb '69 as an E-4. I made E-4 several times …..

 

…..But let's start at the beginning:

                                                                                                                      

After AIT at Fort Lenard Wood (crane operator) our entire class had orders for Viet Nam. One morning just a day or two before we were to leave for Travis they

came through kicking bunks and told us to fall out in the street and 24 hours later we were at the Brooklyn Army Terminal boarding the USNS Buckner to sail for Bremerhaven. De Gaulle had suddenly withdrawn France from NATO and the Army had to get all of the material and equipment out of there and we were to be part of that process.

So we did not go to Viet Nam and I found myself instead at Nellingen. For the first six months I was mostly TDY setting up secure areas inside existing ammo dumps at Wertheim and near Würzburg.

By that time I had a car ( '56 VW) .

 

So, to get out of going TDY I got on the Nellingen Security Police. Every unit on post had to contribute a certain number of bodies towards the running of

the post; R&U, post security, Battalion mess hall. etc. Our firemen were Germans and the Turks ran the boiler plant. We received no training for our job just a, helmet, whistle, armband and a couple of other decorations for our uniforms. We didn't need much training because we didn't do much. Most of the SP guys were pretty easy going and happy to be hiding out in our own barracks and out from under the thumb of our respective orderly rooms. It was the best job I ever had in

the Army. We worked three day rotating shifts: 8am to 4pm, 4 to midnight, and midnight to 8am. Then we had 3 days off. I had lots of free time to get to town and

further on the three day breaks. There were no inspections or anything, just show up for work. A really good Army job. I did have to return to the company about

a year later as the company got a big job at Echterdingen Army airfield directly across the runway from The Stuttgart International airport and they were pulling all of their stray bodies back in to man up for that.

 

Our company street ( D Co. ) was the first one north ( toward the back gate ) of the EM Club and one group of buildings backed up to the street that ran down motor pool row. I remember there was a little window at the back of the EM club where you could get a big omelet late at night. Just the thing for soaking up the beer before going to bed. I never spent any time in the EM club itself. Too many unhappy people.

                                  I saw a couple of those embroidered jackets that said,"I know I'm Going To Heaven, I've Spent My Time In Hell" Nellingen, Germany.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. A very young man in Europe at an exciting time moping around like that.

 

The army and I never got along and I chaffed badly but I knew I was in a great place. For starters it wasn't Viet Nam.

The kaserne itself wasn't a pretty place. In those days there were no trees at all except down by the snack bar and the old German buildings. Also in those days every one on post was male. Boring. My family and I returned to the area in "87 on our " European Tour" and I was pleased to to see what a big difference all of the trees made. We were allowed on post after much checking of passports and looking under our rented car with mirrors. Much different than in my day as a gate

guard, but then we weren't trained. The Bader Meinhof Gang was afoot in those days but no one worried about it except the guard way back there at the ammo

dump with his three rounds at 2 in the morning. Also different, there were female troops everywhere. My wife learned a lot from the graffiti on the wall of the women's bathroom at the snack bar.

 

Having a high school diploma from southern California and being 18 years old did not prepare me to appreciate the history I was seeing every day, or make

any thoughtful comparisons between Stuttgart and Los Angels, say. But even at the time I could see the Industry and the economic vitality of the area. On the

"Schnell Strasse" down the river into Stuttgart there was the Mercedes Benz Test track on the right and I knew Porsche was there. I later learned Stuttgart was a powerful smokestack city with good unions and a strong middle class. It wasn't just economically strong but had a well supported cultural life. 

 

We were paid in cash in those days. On payday I would pay any debts I might have had in the barracks, buy four cartons of cigarettes and a book of those Esso gas coupons, what was left was the money for the month. I would give around half to my friend who would turn it into Marks

at the train station and stash it in a bookcase in her room. So, at the end of the month even if I was borrowing 35 cents for the movie on post I always seemed to

have gas to get to town and a few Marks for a bowl of Goulash soup downtown.

 

So Billy, I can't say That Nellingen Kasserne has a warm fuzzy place in my memories. To me it represented the army and confinement. Of course I had good

friends and fun there,but to me it was, foremost, the gateway through which a very young and naive fellow ventured out to meet his first foreign land and to take

his measure there.

Billy, Thanks for the chance reminisce, my time in your grand Swabia and the people I met there have remained a major milestone in my life.

 

Regards, Mark Lucas Juli 2011

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