U.S. AIR FORCE 6th Airdrome Squadron -  9th Air Force Nellingen Air Base 1946 – 1947

 

 

 

 

 

   Edward Graetz   

 

English Version on End of this Page.

 

Im Februar 2009 hat sich Edward Graetz in mein Gästebuch eingetragen. Als ich das posting näher durchlas war ich fasziniert. Edward war auf dem ehemaligen deutschen Fliegerhorst Nellingen (auf den Fildern) von Januar 1946 bis Dezember gleichen Jahres hier stationiert. Damals nannte die US-Luftwaffe das Gelände Nellingen Army Technical Airfield. Ed war hier mit dem 9. Airforce Kommando, 6. Airdrome Schwadron. Er war, 19 jährig,  als Hauptgefreiter in der Schreibstube tätig. Auch war er Kurier-Fahrer und der Postbote seiner Einheit. Mehrmals die Woche fuhr er in das zerbombte Stuttgart und holte die Briefpost für seine Einheit und die Kameraden ab. Auch gelegentlich Spielfilme die dann abends in einem kleinen Kinoraum gezeigt wurden. Später arbeitete er für Leutnant  Armstrong . Dort war er für die Zivil Beschäftigten und die vielen Heimatvertriebenen und Flüchtlinge zuständig. Diese Menschen arbeiteten zahlreich fleißig für die Air Force in der Nellinger Kaserne.

 

Die 6. Airdrome Schwadron führte Wartungsarbeiten an den US-Luftwaffen Flugzeugen durch, auch von anderen US-Verbänden. Dort unterrichteten sie die Soldaten in Auffrischungs-Kursen die Mechanik der Flugzeugwartung. Die 6. ADS hatte meist ca. 100 Soldaten Kompanie Stärke. In ihrer Freizeit konnten sie nach Esslingen und Stuttgart auf Army Trucks fahren um im Alten Esslinger Rathaus einzukehren. Dort in Esslingen und auch unter der Oper in Stuttgart war das Amerikanische Rote Kreuz untergebracht.

Dort war ein Freizeit Programm für die deutsche Bevölkerung und die Soldaten aus Nellingen auf die Beine gestellt worden. Kaffee, Kuchen, plaudern, bisschen Musik hören. Innerhalb der Nellinger Kaserne gab es auch einen kleinen Soldatenclub wo Edward und die anderen Karten spielen konnten, ein Bier trinken oder einfach mal abhängen. Fast jeden Samstag spielte eine deutsche Kapelle im Soldatenclub. Dafür wurden young Frauleins aus den Nachbarorten auf LKWs abgeholt um im Club mit den Gi,s zu tanzen.

Später, als Edward die Post am Esslinger Bahnhof abzuholen hatte, mussten sie ab der Pliensaubrücke den Rest zum Bahnhof zu Fuß gehen. Die Brücke war in den Folgen der Kriegswirren für die Strassenbahn noch nicht passierbar. Im Dezember 1946 ist Edward Graetz mit dem Schiff zurück nach Amerika.

Ed ist heute (2009)  82 Jahre alt. Wohnt mit seiner Frau Peg in Lancaster Pennsylvania. Beide feiern im Mai dieses Jahr ( 2009 ) ihren 60. Hochzeitstag. Sie haben zwei Töchter, 57 und 51 Jahre alt und sechs Enkelkinder. Edward, danke für die historischen Fotos und deine Lebenserinnerungen aus der Nellingen Kaserne 1946. Bleibt alle gesund.

 

Grüße aus Nellingen von Billy. 2009

 

nellingen army technical airfield 1946 / Fliegerhorst Gebäude Nellingen  auf den Fildern

B-17 Aircraft Nellingen 1946

                                                         C-47 transport aircraft

Ed Graetz (on left)  Nellingen Army Airfield 1946

gliders  lastensegler

orderly room of the 6th Air Drome Squadron / Schreibstube der 6. ADS Nellingen Flugplatz 1946

view of the radar maintenance lab at the school

aerial view of the base 1946 / Luftbild Nellingen Fliegerhorst 1946

Original Comment of Coporal Edward Graetz:

 

 

Mail 1

 

Hello Billy,

It’s my pleasure to meet you by means of your web site of Nellingen. I was quite surprised to see how the base

had grown in the years after I left and sad to learn that it no longer exists. It’s too bad that it couldn’t have been

taken over by the German army or some other government agency but I guess it had outlived its usefulness.

A little about myself: I am 82 years old and retired after a career working in the aerospace electronics industry,

have two daughters, ages 57 and 51 and six grandchildren. My wife, Peg, and I will celebrate our 60th wedding

anniversary in May of this year.

 

After the war the railroads were in poor condition and the closest we could get was Kornwestheim, north of

Stuttgart, and we came the rest of the way on the back of an army truck. My first job was as a clerk in the orderly

room, and then became postman for the outfit. Would drive into Stuttgart in the morning to APO 154, get the mail,

sort it after returning to base and have mail call immediately after lunch. A couple times a week I would again go

into Stuttgart in the afternoon to pick up a film to be shown in the evenings in a small theater which we had. On

occasion I would also fill in as the projectionist. Later our APO was changed to APO 172 and was relocated to

Esslingen, where I picked up the mail at the railroad station. My next assignment was working in the Intelligence

office for Lt. John G. Armstrong, mainly processing paper work, passes, etc. for the many German nationals and

displaced persons from Eastern Europe who worked on base. I worked at this job until leaving to return to the US.

On the return trip took a train to Frankfurt, then another up to Bremerhaven where I got on the ship for the USA.

Yes, I remember Lt. Orville Coil, but not very well. After all, he was a lieutenant and I was a corporal so our paths

didn’t cross very much, but I do remember the name. Unfortunately I lost contact with all of my friends from those

days and don’t correspond with any of them.

 

As best as I can remember the 6th ADS had about 100 or so personnel but being a Technical Training Center there

were always a number of people temporarily assigned for the purpose of taking refresher courses in various

phases of aircraft maintenance. We didn’t have a special patch and wore the regular Army Air Force and the 9th

Air Force patches.

 

While I was at Nellingen (1946) there wasn’t much to do in Esslingen or Stuttgart and nothing at all in Nellingen.

Only one year after the end of the war most people were barely surviving and weren’t thinking about social

activities but there were Red Cross Canteens in Esslingen (in the Alte Rathaus) and Stuttgart (in the basement of

the opera house) where we could go for a doughnut and cup of coffee and they had various activities scheduled.

On base we did have an enlisted mans club where we could have a beer, play cards, shoot the breeze, etc.

Almost every Saturday night we had a dance with an orchestra from town. They would send trucks into town to

bring young ladies out for the dance. These were very popular. We also had trucks going into town (Stuttgart)

every night for those wanting to leave the base but most of us stayed on base.

I will go through my albums and pick out some photos that I think will be of interest to you and send them along at alater date.

It has been my pleasure meeting up with you via the computer and will keep watching your web site for more Nellingen photos and information.

Sincerely, Ed

 

Mail 2

 

Hello Billy,

It’s my pleasure to meet you by means of your web site of Nellingen. I was quite surprised to see how the base

had grown in the years after I left and sad to learn that it no longer exists. It’s too bad that it couldn’t have been

taken over by the German army or some other government agency but I guess it had outlived its usefulness.

A little about myself: I am 82 years old and retired after a career working in the aerospace electronics industry,

have two daughters, ages 57 and 51 and six grandchildren. My wife, Peg, and I will celebrate our 60th wedding

anniversary in May of this year.

After the war the railroads were in poor condition and the closest we could get was Kornwestheim, north of

Stuttgart, and we came the rest of the way on the back of an army truck. My first job was as a clerk in the orderly

room, and then became postman for the outfit. Would drive into Stuttgart in the morning to APO 154, get the mail,

sort it after returning to base and have mail call immediately after lunch. A couple times a week I would again go

into Stuttgart in the afternoon to pick up a film to be shown in the evenings in a small theater which we had. On

occasion I would also fill in as the projectionist. Later our APO was changed to APO 172 and was relocated to

Esslingen, where I picked up the mail at the railroad station. My next assignment was working in the Intelligence

office for Lt. John G. Armstrong, mainly processing paper work, passes, etc. for the many German nationals and

displaced persons from Eastern Europe who worked on base. I worked at this job until leaving to return to the

US. On the return trip took a train to Frankfurt, then another up to Bremerhaven where I got on the ship for the

USA.

Yes, I remember Lt. Orville Coil, but not very well. After all, he was a lieutenant and I was a corporal so our paths

didn’t cross very much, but I do remember the name. Unfortunately I lost contact with all of my friends from those

days and don’t correspond with any of them.

As best as I can remember the 6th ADS had about 100 or so personnel but being a Technical Training Center

there were always a number of people temporarily assigned for the purpose of taking refresher courses in various

phases of aircraft maintenance. We didn’t have a special patch and wore the regular Army Air Force and the 9th

Air Force patches.

While I was at Nellingen (1946) there wasn’t much to do in Esslingen or Stuttgart and nothing at all in Nellingen.

Only one year after the end of the war most people were barely surviving and weren’t thinking about social

activities but there were Red Cross Canteens in Esslingen (in the Alte Rathaus) and Stuttgart (in the basement of

the opera house) where we could go for a doughnut and cup of coffee and they had various activities scheduled.

On base we did have an enlisted mans club where we could have a beer, play cards, shoot the breeze, etc.

Almost every Saturday night we had a dance with an orchestra from town. They would send trucks into town to

bring young ladies out for the dance. These were very popular. We also had trucks going into town (Stuttgart)

every night for those wanting to leave the base but most of us stayed on base.

I will go through my albums and pick out some photos that I think will be of interest to you and send them along at

a later date. It has been my pleasure meeting up with you via the computer and will keep watching your web site for

more Nellingen photos and information.

Sincerely, Ed

....Start Fotogalerie