357th Heavy Maintnance Ordnance Company Nellingen Barracks 1951 to 1953

 357. schwere Maintnance Ordonanz Kompanie Nellingen Barracks 1951 bis 1953

 

 

Auf dieser Seite stelle ich Ihnen sehr historische Fotos aus den Anfangsjahren der im Jahr 1951 neu entstandenen Nellinger Kaserne vor. Die Bilder stammen von Alfred Ken Young. Er diente in der oben genannten Einheit. Diese Kompanie stand unter dem Befehl des 38. Ordonanz Battalion.
Alfred Young zog im Oktober 1951 als aller erste US Army Einheit in die frisch gebaute Kaserne ein.
Young absolvierte kurz vorher eine Soldaten Ausbildung in den Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland USA.

Herr Young lebt heute in Brownsville Texas und ist 77 Jahre alt.

 

Vielen Dank für die tollen Bilder und alles gute für die Zukunft wünscht Billy.

 

Alfred Ken Young

Nellingen Barracks 1951- 1953

Entrance to 357th Head Quarters. Eingang zum Hauptquartier der 357th Ordenanz Kompanie

Blick vom Eingang auf den Paradeplatz wo später das Einkaufszentrum der US Army war.

View shows Place in the southwest Area of Nellingen Barracks close to Headquarters Entrance

38th Ord. Bn.

Esslinger Bahnhof. Trainstation Esslingen

Das spätere Haus 3503 war damals 1951 die Soldatenkantine. Going to eat at the Messhall

Soldiers of the 357th near old Guardhouse

Das spätere Generalsgebäude 3506, damals Quartier 1951 der 357th Ordenanz Kompanie

Gegenüber Hauptquartier, das spätere Haus 3505

357th Head Quarters

Messhall, später die Deutsche Kantine,

German Kanteen

 

Soldiers of the 357th

Inside above Messhall, Recreation Room

 

Im alten deutschen Luftwaffen Hangar.

Inside the old Luftwaffe Hangar.

 

1951 playing baseball

 

THE STORY OF THE ESSLINGEN BARRACKS 1951-1952  (Transcribed memories of Corp. A.K. Young, in 2007)

 

The United States Army’s establishment of a tank support operation at the Old Luftwaffe hanger in Nellingen in 1951 was a natural development which had to follow the presence of the 7th Army Tank deployments in America’s sector in southern Germany following the war. The Nellingen barracks was freshly built mostly for the men of this tank support outfit that lived and played there. I understand the barracks have long since been torn down, but for however long they stood, it can be said that a heavy maintenance company of the 357th were the guys to move in first.

The 357th Ordinance Company was headquartered in Nellingen. This “Heavy Maintenance Company” that moved into these Barracks were part of the 38th Ord Battalion out of Manheim. These were kids drafted largely from New Mexico, West Texas, and Oklahoma. These groups of draftees were flown from Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City to basic training in Atlanta, Georgia. Those not suitable for the infantry for various reasons were often destined for a support role. Some of these guys were destined to make up as ordinance outfit of the 7th Army and would be sent to Germany after specialized training. They were transported up to Maryland for “Tank School” at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds to gain expertise with engine and track maintenance on the M-46 which was the latest thing in those days. Upon completion of tank school, they departed Aberdeen for a two week voyage bound for Bremerhaven, in occupied Germany aboard the US Naval vessel “Gen S.D. Sturgis”. At Bremerhaven, they were transported by rail down to the train station at Stuttgart. After the war, the Stuttgart area was a main center of mechanized activity for the US Army. To support 7th Army headquarters, smaller maintenance and ordinance units needed to be clustered in smaller towns away from Stuttgart.  A new tank training center was established around this time at Vilscheck. For the men on the train from Hamburg, some of their units went out to Eshwege, Nellingen, and other surrounding posts, but the men of the new 357th Heavy Maintenance Company were trucked out to Nellingen and arrived at their new barracks in the Fall of 1951. Although the big 3 story barracks at Eschwege was bigger than the barracks at Nellingen and Esslingen, for them, it was home.

 

All units were on alert periodically as it was believed that a Soviet advance could occur quickly and so drills were about rapid mobility and field survival in the bitter cold. During that first Christmas season, it was made clear by officers that positive public relations were to be fostered. As a result, the Commanding Officers used their barracks for Christmas Eve dinner gatherings, with complete with Christmas carols, Santa Claus and gifts for the children of the local orphanage. As the war had just ended five years prior, such orphanages were busting at the seams during these times when women were desperate and fathers were dead. This practice at Christmas was common wherever warm barracks existed; Nellingen was no exception. The Luftwaffe hanger proved perfect for large A-frame engine hoists. There were tool rooms and work benches and a motor pool with vehicles to be maintained for officer use. Lighter tanks like the M-26 and M-32 were common left overs with V-8s by the 1950’s. The focus and the future was the M-46. That’s why they were there. Tanks for towing and “Dragon Wagons” (tank transporters) were everywhere. The grease monkeys would pool their money at times and buy an old beat up local cars in order to have local transportation. Since the 357th HM company were experts on the new engine for the M-46, some of the guys went on road trips to train at bases as far away as Leipheim, Manheim and Heidelburg. They were newly trained experts on the 1790 cu inch V-12 and the new “cross-drive” transmission.

 

In their time off, the guys of the Nellingen Barracks would frequent a local club off base where a beer and a girl’s voice was the perfect diversion. A local bar owner had a connection to a well known gentlemen’s club in Amsterdam called “Bar Delores”.  Most guys in the Barracks could get permission to go on their leave up to Amsterdam if they chose. Others would drive down to the mountain country to see the “Eagle’s Nest” at Berchtesgaden.  After three years in Esslingen, most of these guys time was up and  in 1953, it was time to go home. The guys who did not re-enlist, retraced their journey back to the station at Stuttgart and on up to Bremerhaven again where they boarded the USS “Marine Carp” for their journey back to Philadelphia and on to Aberdeen, Maryland. For those getting off of the train going home to the southwest from Aberdeen, the sweetness of their homecoming was delayed by an engine breakdown at Barber, Arkansas prior to the terminus at Ft Sill, OK where they disbanned. You can imagine guys going on home to Oklahoma City, Amarillo and Albuquerque.

 

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