The History of Nellingen Barracks

The area of the former barracks lies about 12 km away from Stuttgart (Baden Württemberg, Germany) on the Fildern. This is a rich farming ground to the southeast of Stuttgart. It was the center of the in 1975 newly formed town of Ostfildern. It encloses the four formerly sovereign villages Kemnat, Nellingen, Ruit and Scharnhausen.
If you like to know more about the town’s history, click on to

Until the year 1932 the area of the barracks was owned by the emperors of the House of Württemberg. It was used as a private horse breeding station by the king. King Wilhelm 1st had discovered this wonderful landscape as a crown prince. When the horse breeding station had been abandoned by the king in 1932, it was supposed to be used for the new airport of Stuttgart. So they began to expand the area. The taking off and landing of the airplanes should have taken place on a circular area. But as late as 1936 the experts found out that the land would not fit the modern needs of the time. They changed their minds quickly and built the airport within the village bounderies of Echterdingen and Bernhausen still quite near the city of Stuttgart. This is Stuttgart Airport today. Home

After the failure of the projected airport the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (ministry of aviation) built a Fliegerhorst (military aviation airport). Many trees got cut on that 140 hectar of land. The hilly territory which gently sloped to the south was cleared and made plain. Earth was deposited and grass was sown. In 1937 they started to build half timbered houses in a certain style called the “Heimatschutzstil” (style of the home country). The office of the commander was in one of those buildings. The Nellingen Fliegerhorst was officially opened on October 1st, 1938. Five big and functional hangars were built for technical tasks and the maintenance of the military aircraft. About 1000 men were stationed on the Fliegerhorst under the Wehrbereichskommando 5: a pilot school, a Fliegerhorst company, a “Werftzug” and a transport support company.

Text/Bild Quelle:

Nellingen Fliegerhorst 1941

Germany after the War

When the invading French troops handed over their responsibility to the US Army (for the regions of Stuttgart, Esslingen and the Filder), soon the civillians returned back to their everyday life. The people had been troubled by the long war and had suffered from hunger. They had been in need during the long and cold winters. These people felt so relieved, when the American troops entered. Instantly several aid programs were installed. School meals were provided. Firewood was supplied. Even destructed buildings in the civillian community were torn down and rebuilt. Democratic departments were turned over to the Germans in this early stage. Cultural life reestablished. Concerts were organized. Some of the stationed pioneers helped building sporting grounds, gymnasiums and other facilities. Around Christmas gifts of the soldiers were distributed to German children. The help of the American soldiers made it easier for the Germans to live their daily life in a bewildering time after the war. Everything went back to normal. Shops, markets and schools were reopened and a lot of new jobs were created. So many people will never forget how much the US Americans have done for us German people especially in the first years after the war. In August 1945 the Fliegerhorst had been occupied by the Americans. Until 1947 they added the aviation field with all its buildings. And when the Army decided to stay even longer in Nellingen, the MP School of the Army for Europe was established in the Fliegerhorst buildings.

Company Troop Billets 1951
Bild Quelle:

Fliegerhorst in June 1945
Bild Quelle: Richard Johnson

Helicopter Hangar 1955
Bild Quelle: Richard Johnson

At Christmas 1947 the captain of the US Army invited children from Nellingen and provided them with a delicious and unforgotten meal.

Christmas Eve with the Captain 1947

Nellingen Barracks Christmas 1956
As there was a severe food shortage for the Germans as well as the American Army the airfield served as a cornfield growing wheat. The farmers used their fields “under command”. December 1945 Nellingen was able to sell 1.600 kg white flower. Until November 1951 the farmers were allowed to use the fields. But then the land was expropriated because they planned to build the new Nellingen Barracks. As early as July 1951 the 7th U.S.Corps had been reactivated and Nellingen had also been under that command. The city council of Nellingen got very angry when they learned that the occupying country was to build an army post here mostly between Nellingen bounderies. But Nellingen didn’t have a chance to oppose against the project. By October 1951 all the local newspapers had the big news: 40 buildings will start to rise within the next few days on the airfield of the former Fliegerhorst Nellingen. German firms only had three months to do the job. It were to be simple two story buildings. Then it got around, that the number of buildings would be doubled in the near future. In no time those were built by German firms that were commissioned by the US Army to master this task in 180 days. Buildings for sports and cultural use, office buildings were put up as well as motorpools and helicopter hangars. When the US Army withdrew their troops from Austria, two US Battallions from Salzburg and Saalfelden were moved to Nellingen Barracks.
Text/Bild Quelle:

Bild Quelle: Installation Map 649th Engr. Bn. 1978
  1. Main Gate (Hauptor)

  2. Backgate (Nordtor)

  3. Housing Area
    (Geb. Nr. 3800-3821)

  4. Motorpools
    (Geb. Nr. 3707-3729)

  5. Mannschaftsgebäude
    (Geb. Nr. 3600-3699)

  6. Generalsgebäude u.
    Military Hospital

    (Geb. Nr. 3506-3507)

  7. Hubschrauber-
    Hangars (4)

    (Geb. Nr. 3522-3526)

  8. Airfield

There was another part of the Barracks where non commissioned officers and officers were to live with their families, the “Housing Area”. It was built in 1952 and 1954, when the US Army found out that they were to stay a little longer in good old Germany. The inauguration of the Elementary School completed the project Nellingen Barracks.
The surrounding communities saw big economical and moral problems arising while the barracks were built. But soon the helicopter noise and the emmissions of the heating plant chimneys were more disturbing to the people.
It didn’t keep the Germans and Americans from establishing relationships. The soldiers always have loved German beer, Schnitzel, Maultaschen and Sauerkraut. Frequently they visited German restaurants. Up to 5.000 Americans lived in Nellingen Barracks around 1977.

German-American Friendship-Week,
since 1964. Photo from the 70´s
Photo Source:Thomas Weller, Ostfildern

Main Gate 1955
Bild Quelle: Richard Johnson

Main Gate 1988
Bild Quelle: Marsha Crabtree

Due to changes in World politics the Americans left Nellingen Barracks November 3rd 1992.
The 2nd Support Command under the leadership of the 7th Corps had been stationed since about 1969.
The commander of the 2nd Support Command was Brigade General Robert P. Mc Farlin.

November 8th, 1990 this Unit was sent to Saudi Arabia. It’s task was to supply the units of the 7th Corps and to provide maintenance, transport and logistic assistance.
On April 26th, 1991 the 2nd Support Command returned victoriously from Saudi Arabia. The Change of the Command took place on July 9th, 1991.
BG Mc Farlin handed over command to Colonel John J. Tarpley, the last Commander of Nellingen Barracks.

Finally November 2rd, 1992 the U.S.Army handed over the entire barracks to the town of Ostfildern and their mayor, the House of Württemberg and the government of Baden Württemberg. In the year 1996 most of the buildings were torn down except for the half timbered houses of the first command of 1937 where the office of the general had been and the Housing Area. The Housing Area was restored and rent to the German civillian population. A new part of the town is coming into being until today and it is still growing. Shops, firms and guesthouses are situated where the Army used to live.

The Buildings of the Housing Area got renovated in 1994 and rent to the Germans. From 1995 till today a complet new Town grew up were the U.S. Barracks was . The new Part of Ostfildern called " Scharnhauser Park ", with new Houses, Schools, Guesthouses, Shopping Centers, Sportfields.

Bild Quelle:Amerikanische Nutzung 1990 Text Copyriht FB III pLanung

Bild Quelle:Stadt Ostfildern
I've got two sensational pictures for you, which were very hard to get. On the left picture you can see an areal view of Nellingen Barracks when they were used by the U.S. Army in the year 1990. In the north there is the Housing Area, in the south the Commanding office, in the west there are the barracks, in the east the Motor Pools and Hangars with the U.S. Army Airfield. The right picture shows a photo which was taken towards the end of the 90ies, now a part of the town Ostfildern, the "Scharnhauser Park". The American Barracks were situated right there. 140 Hektar is the size of the area. After the withdrawal of the U.S. Army in 1992 and the tearing down of most of the barracks in the mid 90ies a complete new part of town developed. In the photo the new structure of the developing town was virtually included. It shows how the town was partly built and what is planned in the future. In the center there is the "Landschaftstreppe", huge stairs with green between them which spread slightly uphill for over one Kilometer and offer you a wonderful view of the Schwäbische Alb. When you turn around to your back you catch a glimpse of the Neckar valley. In the north the Housing Area is still there. It was thoroughly renovated. The Commanding Offices also still exist, but are modernized. On the rest of the area schools, industrial buildings, shopping centers, a City Hall, sport fields and kindergartens were built or are being built. In the future the Scharnhauser Park is thought to provide 2500 jobs and to house 9000 people.

Overview Nellingen Barracks ca.1985

The following Typ of Helicopters were at Nellingen Barracks:
  • 4 UH - 1H
  • 15 UH - 60A
  • OH - 58C
  • H - 34 A´s
  • H - 19 Ds
  • CH - 37
  • H - 13




  • Hangar 1955
    Bild Quelle: Richard Johnson

    All US - Army Installations surrounding the Stuttgart Area
    most of them are closed.....Base closed

    1. Aldinger Strasse Housing *
    2. Property Disposal Office *
    3. Böblingen Rifle Range
    4. Robinson Barracks
    5. Böblingen Ammunition Facility
    6. Robinson Housing (Stgt. Zuffenhausen)
    7. Coffey Barracks*
    8. Ludwigsburg Army Airfield*
    9. Stuttgart Golf Club*
    10. Echterdingen Army Airfield
    11. Nellingen Kaserne*
    12. Pattonville Housing * (Ludwigsburg)
    13. Wilkin Barracks *
    14. Karls Kaserne *
    15. POL Storage Area *
    16. Stuttgarter Strasse Housing *
    1. Flak Kaserne * (Ludwigsburg)
    2. Ludwigsburg Commissary*
    3. US Army Maintenance Plant *
    4. Funker Kaserne * (Esslingen)
    5. Osterholz Storage *
    6. Grenadier Housing* (Stgt. Zuffenhausen)
    7. Panzer Kaserne (Böblingen)
    8. Valdez Kaserne *
    9. Grenadier Kaserne * (Stgt. Zuffenhausen)
    10. Patch Barracks (Stgt. Vaihingen)
    11. Wallace Barracks * (Stgt. Hallschlag)
    12. Jägerhaus Rifle Range * (Esslingen)
    13. Krabbenloch Kaserne*
    14. Ludendorff Kaserne* (Ludwigsburg)
    15. Kelley Barracks (Stgt. Möhringen)
    16. Bad Cannstatt Army Hospital

    Overview Nellingen Kaserne 1955