354th Engineer Battalion Nellingen Kaserne 1955-1956

 

 

 

  E-4 Marvin Kelm         

 

Original Comment on End of this Page.

 

Im Dezember 2009 schrieb mich Herr Marvin Kelm an.

Eine weitere historische Begebenheit eines U.S. Soldaten in der Nellingen Kaserne aus den 50er Jahren.

Marvin war von Februar 1955 bis August 1956 mit dem 354. Pionier Battalion, später mit dem 94. Pionier Battalion in Nellingen stationiert.

Er war Büro-Angestellter seines Batalions. Marvin Kelm  hat auch, von seitens seines Vaters, nahe Verwandte in Ostfildern Kemnat.

Auch wurde er mit seiner Einheit ein halbes Jahr nach Toul in Frankreich geschickt. Die U.S. Army war übrigens bis 1965 in  Frankreich präsent.

Seine Kameraden und er war viel in ihrer Freizeit in Stuttgart und Esslingen Unterwegs, sie sahen auch den gerade frisch erbauten

Stuttgarter Fernsehturm. Herr Kelm war Mindestens noch 25 Mal nach seiner Dienstzeit auf Deutschland Besuch.

 

 

Marvin Kelm war viel mit seinen Battalions Kameraden unterwegs. Zum Beispiel mit der Straßenbahn von Nellingen nach Esslingen zu

fahren und weiter mit dem Zug nach Stuttgart. Dort war in einem Keller das damals bekannte „Stuttgarter Hofbräuhaus“.

Herr Kelm hatte in den 50er Jahren schon eine 8mm Super 8 Kamera.

Ich bin gerade dabei mit ihm den besten Weg zu finden, diese Filme zu digitalisieren. Denn, die Filme beinhalten historische Aufnahmen

aus der Nellingen Kaserne. In seinem früheren Arbeitsleben schaffte er als Hausmeister in einer Bowling Halle,

später in einem Holzfachgeschäft wo er die Kanthölzer verwaltete. Auch hat er die letzten 26 Jahre, vor seiner Rente,

in einer Schule als Hausmeister gearbeitet. Marvin Kelm wurde während seiner Dienstzeit in der US-Armee als Installateur ausgebildet,

war aber, wie schon erwähnt, als Büroangestellter seines Battalions tätig. Er kann sich noch sehr gut an LKW Konvois, durch das

damals noch kleine Scharnhausen, hoch zur Autobahn erinnern. Auch hat seine Pionier Einheit 1955 eine Straße zum

Sindelfinger Mercedes Benz Werk gebaut .

 

Marvin ist seit 46 Jahren mit seiner Frau Lois verheiratet, hat drei Kinder – Marla, Paul und Dale. Insgesamt ist Marvin Kelm achtfacher Großvater.

Sein Sohn lebt in Tschechien, den sie im Herbst 2009 besucht haben. Marvin ist 74 Jahre alt und lebt in Bloomer im U.S. Bundesstaat Wisconsin.

 

Marvin, danke für deine Mühe, die Fotos zu digitalisieren und zu schicken.
Viele Grüße aus Nellingen sendet dir – Billy – Dez. 2009

 

Expert Badge Sharpshooter Rifle

Army Good Conduct Medal

 

 

 

Marvin Kelm in his Office Nellingen Kaserne 1955 /

 Marvin Kelm in seinem Büro Nellingen Kaserne 1955

Accident between an Volkswagen and an Military Truck / Unfall zwischen einem VW Käfer und einem Armee LKW 1955

Accident between an Volkswagen and an Military Truck / Unfall zwischen einem VW Käfer und einem Armee LKW 1955

354th Members during Office Work Ed Holzem and Jim Woo  Kameraden des 354. Pionier Battalion 1955

                                Nellingen Kaserne

Marvin Kelm in his Office Nellingen Kaserne 1955 /

 Marvin Kelm in seinem Büro Nellingen Kaserne 1955

Marvin Kelm in his Office Nellingen Kaserne 1955 /

 Marvin Kelm in seinem Büro Nellingen Kaserne 1955

Marvin Kelm and Taylor ( right ) Nellingen Kaserne 1955

250mm Cannon Capable Shells

Security Police Station

Sicherheits – Polizei Station

Marvin Kelm in Rome / Marvin bei einem Rom Ausflug                       Marvin Kelm left, right Ed Holzem Nellingen Kaserne 1955               Marvin with full Field Display / Marvin mit seiner Feld Ausrüstung

 

 

 

 

Barracks Picture

 

Marvin with Class B Uniform

Company Street / Kompanie Straße 1956 Nellingen Kaserne

Culver from Louisiana

Holman and Marvin with Pepsi Truck

Marvin with Class A Uniform

 

Head Quarters Barracks / Nahe Haupt Quartier des

354. Pionier Battalions

Marvin ( right ) and Ed Holzem in the Nellingen Kaserne

Ed Holzem and Marvin Kelm Nellingen Kaserne

Nellingen Kaserne 1955

Spec-3 Marvin Kelm on a two Week Pipeline Training Manouver 1956 Egginstein near Karlsruhe

Kameraden des 354. Pionier Battalions auf einem Manöver Einsatz in Egginstein bei Karlsruhe 1956

 

 

 

 

On a two Week Pipeline Training Manouver 1956 Egginstein near Karlsruhe

 

On a two Week Pipeline Training Manouver 1956 Egginstein near Karlsruhe

 

On a two Week Pipeline Training Manouver 1956 Egginstein near Karlsruhe

TV Tower Stuttgart

Marvin Kelm TV Tower Stuttgart 1956

Marvin Kelm TV Tower Stuttgart 1956

Visiting the TV Tower Stuttgart

Marvin and Fredbert Kuefner outside Nellingen Kaserne

Marvin and Fredbert Kuefner outside Nellingen Kaserne

 

Our Company Insignia Sign. The Company Commander 1st Lt Waldo P.Adams had it on his Jeep / Das Battalions Schild am Jeep des Battalions Kommandeurs 1955 Nellingen Kaserne

 

Original Comment of Marvin Kelm

My Nellingen Kaserne Memories 1955 to 1956

 

Email 1: 

 For instance  when I see a picture of La Paloma .  Was that by the gate on the entrance toward nellingen ??? 

 We walked past that to catch the Straßenbahn  (I think it went from Esslingen to Scharnhausen ).

Then went by Straßenbahn to Nellingen  the down a winding hill  (maybe crossed a bridge)  Neckar River?   

And stopped  at the Bahnhof.   There was a bar a short distance across from the bahnhof. Then we would catch the train to Stuttgart.

Of course through Obertürkheim,   Untertürkheim, Bad Cannstatt, Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof   bitte.... I can still hear the conductor.

I think it cost less than a mark in 1955. My favorite place in Stuttgart was the Stuttgarter Hofbrauhaus. In the cellar, it had three halls, 

where food was served, the biggest was mostly beer trinken. Weekends it had a band. Years later we went there, but it was then a Rock band place. 

Hey here I am getting information, just sitting here typing. 
 
Billy, yes some of the pictures are not good. I did not have a camera so I occasionally would borrow one.

We had a place at the service club in Nellingen Kaserne that we did our own developing, of course  there was no way to enhance etc... them days.

I did have an 8mm movie camera that I used with quite a few  pictures.  
  

 

Something that may interest you are my working days here in Wisconsin.


One of my jobs years ago, for about 9 years. I worked at a bowling alley as to do all kind of thing which including  the cleaning and maintenance of the alleys, equipment, and all of the building.

 

For a time  I also worked at a lumber yard as a yard man, general repair of stuff like window, screens etc.  and deliver man. I also worked at light construction, barns houses etc. My last 26 years of work was a Maintenance and Janitor (Hausmeister)  at a school.  Doing all cleaning and Maintenance.
Now we have a resort and do all of my own work. 

At one point I built my own house. I thought you might be interest as you said you are a Maintenance guy.  I just looked at one of your pages on Nellingen  Website. I did not pay attention before but I was trained in the military  to be a plumber, all the while I was in the Army I had a plumber MOS, although I did not work as a plumber I was the Company Clerk   (another whole story) 

 

Marvin Kelm. December 2009

 

Email 2:       
 
Near the Guesthouse La Paloma was also a DP camp also by the other gate on the Ruit side, past/near the dependent housing Area.

We were not allowed to mingle associate with the DP's (displaced persons). I could never figure out why, most likely to do with some

of the cold war stuff going on at the time.

  
My status:
I am married I think 46 years, my wife Lois is 6 years younger than I.
We have three kids. Paul  born in 1964, Marla born in 66, Dale born in 68.
Paul  is married, is a teacher at a Lutheran school in Milwaukee. (He was in Japan 2 years and Czech 12 years),

he has 3 kids, about 8, 6, and 3 Years old.  Marla is a day care teacher, married,  she has 3 kids about  19, 16, and 12 Years old. 

Dale is married,  is a Human recource director at a home for development disabled adults. 

Two kids about  4 and 2 Years old.  Yah, I was a bit older when our kids were born, so were my two boys.
Dale has been in military reserve for 22 years, he served his first actual duty last year in Iraq. Dale is also a nurse as is my wife Lois. 

Dale lives about 30 miles away.  Marla and her family  are across our front yard.

   
I will need some time to try and recall some projects. One I recall immediately is at Sindelfingen. I visited that site.  ( being a clerk  I did not often get out on jobs)

At Sindelfingen  in  1955 or 1956  we built a road  to access an auto plant. I think it was for the Mercedes Benz. 
It was a fairly large project ( I think the 94th Engineer Battalion worked on it )  I do know our company did. I was in C Company, a line company.
I had a contact after that time with the mayor of ( Bürgermeister )  Stuttgart. I do not recall why I corresponded with his office??? 

but at that time   "I am quite sure"  nearly positive it was Manfred Rommel, this fact can be researched. He recalled our work out there and other places.

We also worked at Robinson Barracks in Stuttgart. But that most likely was a military  base project.
 
The 94th Engineer Battalion (Const). TDS -  temporary duty station in France two times while I was in Europe.

In 1955 our Company went to Toul France, where we reconstructed roads, cleaned up bases and general cleaning up and construction. 

We were there 3 month, I believe from July Aug Sept 1955  because I remember 
I was not in Germany for an Octoberfest. In 1956 we were at Chinon where we did about the same stuff, including the finishing of building  a

Hospital and athletic fields.

 (none of which the French were very grateful)  this statement perhaps can be left out of publications.

 
While in France the 94th Engineer Battalion also had personell at Nancy,Tours, Orleans, and our company , perhaps more  at St. Nazaire on the coast.

We were at  Toul  at the time of the  French Morrocans and Algerians were revolting against the  French nationals. So as Americans we were considered

as allies of the French, which  we were?

At Toul was the only time I walked guard duty while over seas and the only time I walked guard duty with a loaded rifle.

 
I returned to Nellingen ahead of the main body, to be there as grounds keeper and answer the phone, 3 of us had to mow the

grass (there was no grass)  and be by the phone , so for about two weeks the three of us were on our own  but had to have one of us on duty  24 hours a  day.

but easy  and fun.  I rotated back to the states in August 1956, so I missed the October festivities again. 

Some of the guys went to Stuttgart  for Fasching  in the spring,  but the first year  1955 I was in the country only a short time  so did not know what it was.

The second year 1956 I did not attend either (but I still got to drink plenty of beer.)

 
I remember also when we went out of the Main Gate on the side by Nellingen, we drove in convoy or just trucks etc. We went to turn right then

travelled through a very small town called Scharnhausen. Winding streets, road, down a long hill and near the bottom of Scharnhausen was a hog

farm and then to a highway Autobahn. But   there was still a bridge on the autobahn  ( viaduct)  that was in ruins, it seems that it and other bridges

were rebuilt during the time I was there. We did not participate in any of that.

Also the U.S.Military had some hangars along the highway near Echterdingen most likely on the same property as the airport.

 
There was at times a Dirigible ( Zeppelin) at one of those hangers. It seems for a weather aircraft? Not the Goodyear blimp

 The Hotel across from the Bahnhof in Stuttgart was called Graf Zeppelin. Oh yes, and the Straßenbahn in Stuttgart was on street level

so when we crossed we had to cross streetcar tracks. My wife and I visited Stuttgart while the underground was being put in on König Straße.
 
That’s it for now. Written by Marvin Kelm to Billy in Nellingen. December 2009
One more thing. We all spoke some GI GERMAN  some real senseless saying,
such as--- Vas ist los? The burgermeister's hund ist los. los- English loose. Hund is loose. Dumb joke but we thought, still do      funny
Bild (Metafile)

 

 

Marvin Kelm. December 2009

 

The Kelm´s Family December 2009. Marvin Kelm is the one sitting on a Chair / Die Familie Kelm zuhause im Dezember 2009. Marvin sitzend auf einem Hocker.

 

Billy- As for the Family Photo: I will explain who they are just so you know....

 

start on right: Paul our son  his wife with red sweater holding their daughter , boy in front blue with yellow  their son,,,, boy with all blue   their son

behind boy with blue  is our Daughter Marla  next to her her husband next to him,

the tall boy  is alex their son, girl with glasses marla;s daughter ,

in front of marlas husband is their son Cole, smaller lady holding red shirted kid  is  dales wife and their son... guy with orange shirt holding girl  is our Son Dale and their daughter

 

We are very thankful  for a fine family.   Oh, but I am older, heavier,,

( I did gain 10 pounds since November )  and slower. but pretty good yet.

Marvin Kelm December 2009

 

Email 3:

 

 

From Marvin Kelm written in December 2009 for Billy:

 

Hello. I will answer your question first.. I hope it is not too bad of weather for the kids to come up here,, it is about 300 miles. If you enjoy, and can gleen some

information from my writting I will continue. Some times some odd information just comes to mind wihle recalling real stuff, I will just insert the thoughts but will

indicate in some way

I have also given some thought , that perhaps some day i could get over there again.

I arrived at Nellingen in Feb of 1955,. I knew at that time my fathers cousins and uncle lived somewhere in Germany.... I soon found out from home Hildagard lived

at Kemnat... of course I had no idea where Kemnat was. One day while at the barbershop (civilian/german barbers) I asked a barber if he had ever heard of

Kemnat... when I showed him in writting he could indicate to me it was not far away. The soldiers had not seen/heard of it because it was not on the road to

Stuttgart.

After a little more investigation I found out where it was. By now it was May... a fellow soldier (Holman?) and I walked to it through Ruit (later we were shown the

shortcut through the fields.) When we got to Kemnat we found Halden Strasse. it is on the side toward Ruit. A young boy was walking there and we had him find

22 Halden Strasse so there we were. I gave the boy a US coin..., perhaps a dime... (I do not know why I had a coin because we only used MPC's Military Pay

Certificates) Years later Hilda Rudi and I bumped into the fellow he was grown but remembered the incident and said he still had the coin)

From that time on I visited Hilda and Rudi often. I spent Christmas 1955 with them... Hildas father and her sister Helma were also there. I know that

because Helma gave me a wallet <<I still have it.. She lived at Oberhausen. Unkle Paul lived near Bremen.) Are you familiar with the arrangement the

German Government had with the citizens for relocation toward the end of the war?? If you do not I would like to elaborate on it a bit and see if I am correct in my

Information.

 

Rudi did not have a car, so sometimes he would rent one (He worked for Auto Steiger in Stuttgart ( is auto steiger still around?) they were the GM importers for

that part of Germany. We would go for day trips around the area... we went into the Swartzwald on the Hohe Road. and visited some inn that Hitler was suppose to

have stayed at I suppose he had. I have some pictures and cards from one trip,, it is in a different album (a family album) I can get them to you sometime.

During these first months is also when I learned you cannot believe all you hear, even from the oldtimers. One of these first months Feb or March we got called

out on an alert. (alerts were called to keep us ready for the Russians) ( never did figure out who , when, wheres of the alerts.. we did not know even where we

were )Anyway the alert order came to the Company ,,, "GET PACKED UP AND READY TO MOVE OUT' The old timers said "You do not have to pack everything

just take a few items check out your rifle and go. because we never stay out over night.'',, so we newtimers listened to the old timers.... BUT that was one of the

coldest nights in my experience ,, sleeping in the back of the duece and a half with no sleeping bag or long underwear. of course the ground was colder. After

that I made up my own mind if I took stuff or not....

 

We did, during my stay, do one extended manuveur. I cannot remember where it was. (maybe did not even know) It was one time during my stay that I had

to do the same duty as a line platoon. We were assigned as lookouts on a road junction. Two fellows (RA Smith and another guy and myself) were assigned to be

camoflaged and hid as lookout sniper kind of guys.. We camoed ourselves made a hiding place in a brush pile,,, a perfect view over the intersection. We were there

a long time ,,, hours,,, We heard several other men coming toward us,,,, but remained silent as instructed.... they called and called ,,,,,, we kept hid... they left......

It became nearly dark,,, we were hungary..... finally against our own judgement we pulled out,,,, rejoined the rest of the company only to find out,,, they thought

we were lost The Sgt,. said "We even came looking for you " We did remind them of our instructions to hide , be quite and stay hid. They finally admitted we

had done a good job.......but extended the orders a couple hours too long. I do not know if we even got something to eat then.

Also on the exersise we were in a remote woods along the road...3 fellows again.... dug in waiting for "the enemy" tanks,,,, about two days,, with just C rations

rain,, only panchos.....and a small camp stove..someone did bring warm food to us one time a day. It was not fun, but we were not getting shot at like we would have

been 10 years earlier. side note one of the guys up the road from us,, in digging his"foxhole" came upon a german helmet with a hole through it I believe he

got to keep it.

While at Nellingen we were instrumental in building a road (for Mercedes?) at Sindelfingen. It was a fairly large project,,, I am not sure if it was Battalion or

just the company,, I would guess it was Bn.

 

Well ,, enough for this session.... Marv Kelm.

 

....Start Fotogalerie