903rd Maint. Co. (Heavy Equipment) 87th Maint. Battalion

903. Wartungskompanie / 87. Wartungsbattalion

 

Nellingen Barracks 1971 - 1973

 

 

 

 Army Specialist E4   Kenneth Benner               Army Specialist E4       Dan Boyer        

 

 

 

Herr Kenneth Benner schrieb mich im Oktober 2012 an das auch er ein früherer Soldat in den Nellingen Barracks war.

Ken war mit der 903rd HEM Kompanie von 1971 bis 1973 in den Nellingen Barracks stationiert.

Sein Dienstgrad war Hauptgefreiter. Er erzählte mir von seinem großen Interesse an Deutschland, seinen schönen Dörfern um die Kaserne herum und von langen Spaziergängen z. B. in Nellingen. Dort gab es auch ein für die U.S. Soldaten beliebtes kleines Gasthaus. Auch an unsere gute alte Straßenbahn kann sich Kenneth gut erinnern. Kameraden besuchten zusammen mit ihm auch die in der Nähe von Nellingen liegenden Badeseen.

Seine Vorfahren sind Deutsche und kamen im 17. Jahrhundert aus Württemberg nach Amerika. Seine Ur-Großmutter stammt aus der Schweriner Gegend.

 

Herr Benner erzählte mir vom nächtlichen Wachdienst seiner Kompanie und entlang der Kasernenumzäunung. Ken kann bezeugen dass während er in Nellingen Barracks stationiert war, einige seiner Vorgesetzten einen alten Schachtdeckel im Hangar öffneten und in Untergrund Hangar der deutschen Wehrmacht gestiegen sind.

Ich persönlich weiß auch von einigen anderen früheren Soldaten, dass sie schwören, es gäbe unter dem Platz der vier Hangar aus dem 2. Weltkrieg, unterirdische Flugzeughallen und andere Dinge. Kenneth Benner und seine Kameraden wurden von der deutschen Bevölkerung sehr gut behandelt und waren durchweg freundlich zu ihnen. Leider fehlt ihm im Moment das Geld um wieder einmal nach Deutschland zu fliegen.

Die olympischen Spiele 1972 in München wurden natürlich auch verfolgt.

 

Im späteren Leben errichtete Ken unter anderem Häuser und arbeitete als Hausmeister für eine katholische Schule und Kirche. Kenneth Benner ist zweimal geschieden und hat fünf Kinder aus erster Ehe. Kenneth Benner feierte im Herbst 2012 seinen 60. Geburtstag und lebt in Quincy im U.S. Bundesstaat Illinois.

 

Vielen Dank für die Erzählungen und die Fotos. Viele Grüße nach Quincy sendet –Billy-- Dezember 2012

          

Original Comment on End of this Page.

 

Fotosammlung von Kenny Benner / Photo Collection of Kenny Benner

 

Mannschaftsgebäude der 903. 1971

Troop Billets of the 903rd HEM Winter 1971

 

Mannschaftsgebäude der 903. 1971

Troop Billets of the 903rd HEM Winter 1971

 

Mannschaftsgebäude der 903. 1971

Troop Billets of the 903rd HEM Winter 1971

 

Kamerad / Comrade Tom McKee Nellingen Barracks 1971

 

 

Kenneth Benner bei einem Spaziergang durch Nellingen 1971

Ken Benner walking through the Town Nellingen 1971

 

Soldat / Soldier Kenneth Benner

 

 

Mannschaftsgebäude der 903. 1971

Troop Billets of the 903rd HEM Winter 1971

 

 

 

Spaziergang deutscher Mädchen Richtung Nellingen 1971

 

 

 

Bild zeigt die Straße von den Nellingen Barracks Richtung Nellingen im Jahr 1971 mit Straßenbahn

Picture shows the Street from Nellingen Barracks toward Nellingen with the Straßenbahn Summer 1971

 

Kenneth Benner 2012

 

Haupttor / Main Gate Nellingen Barracks

 

 

Kompanie Foto der 903. Wartungskompanie 1972

Company Picture of the 903rd HEM 1972 Nellingen Barracks

 

Postmichelbrunnen Esslingen 1972 / Fountain near Esslingen Town Hall 1972

 

 

 

Original Comment of Kenny Benner:

 

Email 1:

 

Ken Benner  Gesendet: Freitag, 19. Oktober 2012  An: William Bils (usarmynellingen@hotmail.com)

 

The lady walking on the roadside going to Nellingen was a German lady she probably came from the post or La Paloma's which was across from the Post.

I took a few pictures of German people and never knew their names. I wished I had been able to speak the language to be able to carry on a conversation with them.

 

Do you know what the Name of the lakes were that was near Nellingen Post? We went there a few times and I almost drowned there.

I and a couple of Army friends used to go to some of the nearby towns and go to Antique shops, I wished I had bought more stuff from them as I only bought a few things like old Reichsbanknoten 1000 face value, I bought four of them and gave two away after I got home.

I was given a 10 Mark coin from a Taxi driver over there in Nellingen for a favour; it was from the Olympiade 1972 in München.

 

I never went to the Olympic Games, but they were going on when I was there in Nellingen Barracks. When I had to pull Guard Duty at night I sometimes

guarded the Shop Areas, in the winter I used to go up into the old Airplane Tower that was in a shop a few shops away from the one I worked in.

I really miss Germany; my BENNER family was from there way back in the year 1740’s as in 1749 or earlier are when they came to America.

There is supposed to be a Castle on the Rhein River near Strasbourg, that the Benner Family owned, and I can't find it any where online,

maybe it has been demolished I don't know. I am not exactly for sure where my BENNER came from but it was in the Württemberg and Palatine areas.

I also have a great grandmother that came over here from Mecklenburg, Schwerin, Germany.

 

Keep in touch

Kenneth Benner

 

Email 2:

 

Von: Ken Benner Gesendet: Dienstag, 16. Oktober 2012 An: William Bils (usarmynellingen@hotmail.com)

 

Billy, I did look at your website. I noticed there isn't to many pictures of the old Barracks on your site. I have a few pics I will send you here and you can post them to your site with my permission as long as you put that I sent them to you for the site.

 

I was first assigned to the 572nd Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company of the

87th Maintenance Battalion at Heilbronn, Germany, which is just north of Nellingen Barracks in June 1971.

I was transferred to Nellingen Barracks on a temporary basis to help out with the 124th and 903rd HEM quota to get them caught up with their work in the shops. I was then permanently assigned to the 903rd HEM Co. in Sept. 1971 at my request, as I had the option to stay or go back to Heilbronn. I only wished I had taken more pictures of Nellingen Barracks especially the 903rd Company headquarters building. And the 124th Company headquarters building. I also wished I had taken pictures of the Main Headquarters building of the Post. I received the Rank of Specialist 4th class and was up for Specialist 5th class but my time ran out before I was

able to be awarded that Rank. I was sent home in Oct. 1973 as my time was up and I had a month early out to go back home for further schooling. I met a lot of nice Army friends while stationed at both Post. I am in correspondence with a couple of them at this time of writing, they being Robert E. Pruitt and Daniel Boyer who I was stationed with during my time there.

 

For your question concerning the underground area under our Shop where I worked. As far as the location of the underground hangar, it was the first shop as you walk away from the Motor Pool, we walked in between the Motor pool to get to work and back. I remember a group of the unit found this manhole cover behind and at the end of the Shop. They went down there and came back telling of what they had seen. They said that there were German Military airplanes and other things that I can't remember at this time.

They were really excited about this find, and word got around and one of our Chief Warrant Officers had the Manhole cover welded shut. So that was the end of that little adventure. I am surprised that while they were building the new City Scharnhauser Park that they did not come upon this. It would be History for that area if they was able to find it.

I really miss being over there, I loved the area and the people for the most part were very friendly to us military guys. Do they still have the old trolley cars

(Strassenbahn) that used electric wires to get from place to place over there in the towns? In one of my pictures I am sending you shows the Trolley cars that went from Nellingen to Scharnhausen and elsewhere’s I believe.

In June 1971 on the Nellingen Barracks Post there was a big race riot between the Black military person that was stationed at the post. I missed it as I was in Heilbronn at that time.

I will close here for now and please post my pictures I sent to the Nellingen Barracks site.

Respectfully

Kenny Benner

 

Email 3:

 

Von: Ken Benner

Gesendet: Freitag, 26. Oktober 2012 An: William Bils (usarmynellingen@hotmail.com)

 

Hi Billy

 

I will send you the 903rd HEM Company photograph taken in 1972, I have lost my memory of where the Gasthaus is, I thought it was off the main road from the Barracks once you get into Nellingen and I thought that you had to turn either left or right as there were no street going anymore forward once you got to that point.

I wish I had taken pictures of the street signs for every place I went into. I know after 40 plus years things have changed and roads have

been put in place of the older ones. I was looking at the map of Nellingen on Maplandia.com things sure have changed.

Anyway I will keep in touch I wish I could have the money to just fly my friends and I over there. I have a picture of a house in Nellingen that had a replica of the Lichtenstein Castle in his yard. Do you know where that is or ever seen it?

 

I have been married and divorced twice in my life, I have five children. I have a daughter born in 1974. A daughter born in 1977 and a Son born in 1978 all by my first wife. I worked at lots of places and various things. I built houses for 5 years and then worked as a Janitor for a Catholic School and Church for 6 years then.

Take care

 

Kenny Benner

 

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Kenneth Benner und Dan Boyer waren gemeinsam in den Nellingen Barracks stationiert. Sie unternahmen viele Ausflüge und Spaziergänge durch die umliegenden Dörfer wie Nellingen und Scharnhausen. Unten sehen Sie Fotos von Dan Boyer. Vielen Dank dafür Dan. Dan Boyer war von 1971 bis 1972 mit der 903. Wartungskompanie in den Nellingen Barracks stationiert. Dan arbeitete an den Getrieben und Differenzialen der Army Jeeps. Kenneth Benner und Robert Pruitt waren und sind bis heute Freunde von ihm. Dan Boyer kann auch bestätigen das es einen Einstieg in unterirdische Tunnel und Gänge unter den Hangar aus dem 2. WK gab. Die Army aber legte viel Wert darauf das niemand sich diesem Einstieg näherte. Dan wurde in Nellingen bis zum Hauptgefreiten befördert. Heutzutage lebt Dan alleinstehend, hat zwei Kinder und sieben Enkel.

Er lebt in Salem im U.S. Bundesstaat Oregon. Dan Boyer ist 61 Jahre alt.

 

Viele Grüße von Billy – Dezember 2012 --

 

 

Fotosammlung von Dan Boyer / Photo Collection of Dan Boyer

 

Nellingen Barracks 1971 Mannschaftsunterkunft

Troop Biletts Nellingen Barracks 1971

 

Nellingen Barracks 1971 Mannschaftsunterkunft

Troop Biletts Nellingen Barracks 1971

 

Nellingen Barracks 1971 Mannschaftsunterkunft

Troop Biletts Nellingen Barracks 1971

 

Nellingen Barracks 1971 Mannschaftsunterkunft

Troop Biletts Nellingen Barracks 1971

 

Nellingen Barracks 1971 Mannschaftsunterkunft

Troop Biletts Nellingen Barracks 1971

 

Nellingen Barracks Winter 1971

 

 

Kenneth Benner / Ken Benner outside Barracks

 

 

 

Kenneth Benner Sommer 1972 in Nellingen an der Straßenbahn

Comrade Kenny Benner on the Street Car in Nellingen

 

 

Innenaufnahme der Mannschaftsunterkunft der 903rd HEM 1971

Inside of barracks of the 903rd HEM 1971

 

 

Kenneth Benner Winter 1971

 

Winter 1971 Nellingen Barracks

 

Dan Boyer in der Mannschaftsunterkunft 1971

Dan Boyer inside Barracks 1971

 

Dan Boyer in der Mannschaftsunterkunft 1971

Dan Boyer inside Barracks 1971

 

Dan beim Spaziergang nach Scharnhausen 1971

Sign for Scharnhausen

 

 

 

Original Comment of Dan Boyer:

 

From: Dan Boyer  Montag, 10. Dez. 2012 An: William Bils usarmynellingen@hotmail.com

 

My name is Dan Boyer

 

I was stationed at Nellingen Barracks in 1971 and 1972 and do have some pictures and will try to send some.

I was in the 903rd Maint. Co. wirh Kenneth Benner and Robert Pruitt. We have been talking about things that went on while we were there.

Ken and Rob are the ones who told me about your web site.

 

I didn't work in the main shop which I am sure was an old hanger. I worked in a smaller building behind the one they built the engines in,

I worked on transmissions and differentals for the 1/4 ton jeeps.

There was a door with steps going down below the building. we could not get down very far because they had it flooded to keep us out,

then the made sure it was locked and off limits to us.

I left before I could figure out a way to get down there. Before I got to Nellingen there was supposed to be one guy who got up on the roof and found a Luger up there,

he didn't tell too many people about because they would have taken it from him. Never saw it don't know how true it was.

 

Was a Sp/4 while I was there. I live in Salem Oregon and am 61 years old.

Am single have 2 Children a boy and a girl have 7 grand children 5 boys 2 Girls.

 

Thank you Billy

 

Dan Boyer – December 2012 –

 

....Start Fotogalerie 2