357th  Ordnance Company





   John Celesnik 


English Version on End of this Page.


Im Februar 2009 erhielt ich weitere sehr historische Fotos von John Celesnik.

Er diente mit der 357. Ordenanz Wartungs-Kompanie von September 1951 bis Juni 1952 in der Kaserne Nellingen.


Ursprünglich war diese Einheit vorher bis 1950 die National Guard Kompanie in Cleveland, Ohio.
Die 54 Kompanie Soldaten wurden am 3. September 1950 rekrutiert und in Fort Sill, Oklahoma trainiert. Danach ging es per Schiff nach Deutschland bzw. in die gerade frisch erbaute Nellingen Kaserne. Die drei anderen Gruppen der 357. kamen nach Korea.

Als John nach Nellingen kam waren noch nicht alle Bauarbeiten in der Kaserne abgeschlossen so dass die Verpflegung der Soldaten provisorisch in einem Hangar stattfand.

John hatte die meiste Zeit in der Kaserne eine Schreibtisch Tätigkeit. Die Kameraden der 357. hatten einen Army Bus der sie ab und an nach Esslingen brachte. Dort saßen die Soldaten oft im „Maxims“ oder aßen im Post Hotel Esslingen. Da John Celesnik ein großer Opern Liebhaber ist fuhr er einmal wöchentlich mit dem Zug nach Stuttgart

und besuchte die Oper. Als er 1952 nach USA zurückkehrte wurde John Celesnik zum Hauptfeldwebel befördert und später zum Oberleutnant. Die 357. fand schlussendlich

ihren Platz in Elyria, Ohio. Auch ihm gefiel es sehr gut in Deutschland und hat nur gute Erinnerungen nach Nellingen. Heute (2009) ist John 79 Jahre alt und wird

im August 2009 80 Jahre. Seine Familie und er leben in Westlake, Ohio. USA


Vielen Dank John für die hochinteressanten Emails und die Fotos.
Viele Grüße von Billy (2009)


This is a view from inside the room I occupied with 5 other guys. It is of the

Utility Shed that was located between the 357th Headquarters and the Mess Hall.

Our room was located to the immediate left of the entrance to the 357th Headquarters.

The men in Class A Uniforms are the first of the Ohio National Guardsmen being

sent back to the USA for discharge. This was May of 1952. In the foreground I am shaking hands with Sergeant Joe Thomas (Cleveland, Ohio). He is one the left and I am on the right.

For the one labeled "inspection". This is the 357th lined up in the street awaiting inspection.

These are men of the 357th, in New York Harbor, aboard a ferry boat which is

taking us to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where we boarded the General Sturgis,

which was a tanker that was modified to carry troops and displaced persons.

In the distance you can see the Statue of Liberty.

This is a picture of some of the men of the 357th aboard the General Sturgis enroute to Germany. From left to right they are: Sgt. Jack Sonnevelt (a citizen of Holland); Cpl. Jimmie McFarland (Claude, Texas); and Sgt. Leo McDonald (Borger, Texas).

This is a picture taken during an alert. The orderly room records were loaded into

the trailer in the picture. The men from left to right are: Sgt. Bill Finley (San Antonio, Texas);

Sgt Leo McDonald and Sgt. John Celesnik (Cleveland, Ohio).

This is a picture of the 357th's two Tank Retrievers parked on the airfield

For the one labeled "menu". This is the 1951 Christmas Dinner Menu

with a list of  the personnel of the 357th as it existed at that time.

Original Comment of John Celesnik:



John and his wife Marian 2008



I was a member of the 357th Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company stationed at Nellingen.


The 357th was an Ohio National Guard Company stationed in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Its 54 members were activated on September 3rd, 1950 and sent to Fort Sill,

Oklahoma as a training cadre.  Of course the activation resulted from the Korean War.


Over 500 troops were trained, the bulk of them shipping our to Maintenance units  in Korea.


The balance of the company was sent to Nellingen.  When we first arrived,

the Mess Hall was not yet completed and a field kitchen was set up in the hangar.

 We ate out of our mess gear for a couple of weeks until construction of the Mess Hall was



Since the Korean War was winding down, the original National Guardsman were released in 4

groups in May, June, July and August of 1952.  We returned to Cleveland where the 357th was

once again a part of the Ohio National Guard.  Later, the 357th was re commissioned as a

Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company in the Psychological Warfare component of the Army and moved

to Elyria, Ohio.


When at Fort Sill and at Nellingen, I was the Company Clerk.  When we returned to Cleveland,

I was made First Sergeant.  I then was given a direct commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and made

Commanding Officer of the 357th.  Later, my career limited the amount of time I could spend

tending the 357th and I was moved to Battalion as Operation and Training Officer.


I have many more pictures but I will have to go through them all to see if there are any more

that you would be interested in. You asked about our shoulder patches. We wore the 7th Army Shoulder patch. There wasn't any for the 357th.

I was never in the center of Nellingen. We had a bus that took us to Esslingen and back

to the airfield. We used to eat at the Post Hotel and drink at Maxim's.

Some of the guys would go to the Blumenstrasse Cafe.

We also used to take the train into Stuttgart. I am an opera lover and so went to the opera

in Stuttgart at least once a week and sometimes even more than that.

There was also a cafe that opened just outside the Kaserne gate.

It was "Albert's" and some of the guys would go in there for some food and drink.



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