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16th Aviation Battalion
VII Corps

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.

Battalion History
16th Aviation Bn DUI
(Source: 49th Anniversary, 1918 - 1967. The JAYHAWK Anniversary Issue, August 18, 1967.)
Wings of the Jayhawk

The 16th Aviation Battalion, a unit which carries on its rolls a high percentage of Vietnam veterans and a large number of combat-decorated aviators, came under VII Corps in December 1966, although one company (67th Avn Co) had previously been assigned.

The battalion is made up of three companies: a "Choctaw" light transportation company (the 349th Avn Co), a "Mojave" medium transportation company (the 4th Avn Co) and a "Huey" and "Beaver" air taxi service (the 67th Avn Co).

The unit has the mission of aerial support of the Corps, and the Mojave company is one of two units of its kind flying today. The Choctaw company is the air-mobility support of Headquarters VII Corps and provides air support to the Jayhawk divisions.

Some 90 percent of the battalion's 50 aviators have been to Vietnam and among them are several who have won the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and the Commendation and Air Medals with V Devices.

The battalion operates three airfields - at Nellingen, Ansbach and Katterbach, and uses a fourth field at Echterdingen.

In late 1966, USAREUR aviation assets were reorganized and the 16th Avn Bn was placed under the command of VII Corps (Webmaster Note: correspondingly, the 18th Avn Bn was formed and placed under V Corps). The reorganization was based on several recommendations rising from a study of combat support aviation in Vietnam and consolidates Army planes at higher organizational levels to provide easier cross-attachment to divisions when the aircraft are needed for large-scale airlifts.

ORGANIZATION (March 1967):


HHC, 16th Avn Bn Nellingen Ksn, Nellingen TO/E 1-076F63
4th Avn Co (Med Hel) Nellingen Ksn, Nellingen TO/E 1-258F65 -- CH-37 MOJAVE
67th Avn Co (Corps) Nellingen Ksn, Nellingen TO/E 1-127D61 -- several types of aircraft
349th Avn Co (Air Mbl Lt) Hindenburg Ksn, Ansbach TO/E 1-077E63 -- uses Katterbach AAF; CH-34 CHOCTAW

(Source: Welcome to 16th Aviation Bn Organization Day, prob 1967)
Since the formation of the 16th Avn Bn on 26 August 1963, it has undergone many changes in both organization and personnel.

The latest change being that of assignment to VII Corps on 1 December 1966, with the concurrent reception of the 4th, 67th and 349th Aviation Companies.

(Source: 50th Anniversary, 1918 - 1968. The JAYHAWK Anniversary Issue, August 16, 1968.)
The 349th Aviation Company is a light helicopter cargo and troop transportation unit, providing support to the Corps and its subordinate groups and divisions.

The 4th Aviation Company supplies medium helicopter troop and cargo transport to the Corps. This company has often supported airborne operations, both for the Corps' Long Range Patrol and German airborne units.

The jack-of-all-trades company of the battalion is the 67th Aviation Company, which operates both fixed-wing and helicopters to provide observation, transportation and utility support for the Corps headquarters. Its main mission is to provide transportation for the Corps commanding officer and his staff.

(Source: Email from Robert S. Johnson)
(Source: 50th Anniversary, 1918 - 1968. The JAYHAWK Anniversary Issue, August 16, 1968.)
I was station with the HHC (Headquarters, Headquarters Company) 16th Avn Bn (Combat) APO 09061 from Nov 1968 to Jan 1970.

When I went to Nellingen, I was a Medical Supply Clerk. My MOS was changed to supply clerk and I was assigned to S4. I was never stationed in Ludwigsburg. USAREUR was HQD in Ludwigsburg.

However, the 16th Avn Bn (Combat) was part of the Army's VII Corps. which was house at Kelly Barracks in Stuttgart-Moehringen, Germany APO 09107. I spent approx 2 months TDY at Kelly Barracks working with the VII Corps in G3.

I spent the rest of my time as mechanic with the HHC 16th Avn Bn (Combat) in Nellingen. There where approx 20-30 enlisted men and officers in the HHC Company. Most of the officers where Warrant Officers CW2's. CW3's and one CW4. Lt. Colonel John S. McLeod, Infantry was the CO. He left for another duty assignment just prior to my permanent change of station.

I was sent TDY as stated above to Kelly Barracks to work in G-3 for Reforger 1, Jan 1969.

I was cited for outstand performance of duty for FRONT CENTRE 69. I worked with Headquarters VII Corps Control Group as a clerk typist, Feb 1969.

I got tired of going TDY every two or three months. So I went to the First Sergeant and he sent me to the CO. I explained what I would like and the reasons and he agreed. Then it was off to training and I became a mechanic, another MOS change. No more TDY's. This was great!

(Source: 52nd Anniversary, 1918 - 1970. The JAYHAWK Anniversary Issue, August 19, 1970.)
NOTE: Image of 16th Avn Bn pocket patch submitted by Dave Guilliams.

16th Avn Bn Pocket Patch
"Parati Respondere"
Rough translation = "quick response"
  The phrase "modern-action Army" came to pass for 16th Aviation this past year as they changed from the old CH-34 helicopters to the modern UH-1D Huey. This greatly increased mobility and effectiveness while Vietnam-type tactics were being demonstrated in airmobile assaults to prove the feasibility of such operations to European commanders.

The battalion was first organized at Echterdingen, Germany, on August 26, 1963, with a Headquarters and Headquarters Co, the 14th Air Traffic Control Co, the 122d Aviation Co, the 60th Aviation Co, and the 11th Transportation Det. At that time the battalion was commanded by Major William R. Swift.

This organization stood until December, 1966, when the 14th, 122d and the 60th were assigned to the 15th Combat Aviation Gp. Simultaneously the 67th Aviation Co (Corps), 349th Aviation Co (Light Helicopter) and the 4th Aviation Co (Medium Helicopter) were assigned to the battalion.

This organization saw Exercises Large Play and Gage Gechengen. The latter was unique in that it was a German heliborne assault lifted mostly by the 16th Aviation Bn.
This remained the organization of the battalion until June of 1968 when the 152d Transportation Det and the 719th Signal Det were assigned to the 349th Aviation Co. During this period the battalion participated in Reforger I, Operations Pegasus and Carbide Ice, and Exercise Front Centre '70. Operation Pegasus was an air assault demonstration during Reforger and was the largest heliborne assault ever conduted in USAREUR.

The battalion again changed when the 4th and the 152d were assigned to the 15th Gp in April of 1969. In May of that year the designation of the battalion was changed to read the 16th Aviation Bn (Combat).

The command was assumed by Lt. Col. James E. Kennedy on October 24, 1969. In that same month, the battalion conducted Operation Hochbaum (Tall Tree) and six months later supported the VII Corps Exercise Front Centre '70.
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 16th Aviation Battalion, please contact me.


In 1965, the 16th Avn Bn was part of the Seventh Army Transportation Aviation Group (headquartered in Ludwigsburg) and comprised the following subordiante units:


HHC, 16th Avn Bn Ludwigsburg  
14th ATC Co Nellingen AAF, Stuttgart
60th Avn Co (Army) Echterdingen AAF, Stuttgart
122nd Avn Co   the 122nd Avn Co (SA) at Hanau AAF was deactivated And re-designated 73rd Avn Co (SA) in 1972 (the 73rd later became the 73rd MI Co)
11th Trans Co (Lt Hel) Nellingen AAF, Stuttgart
The 16th Aviation Battalion (Combat) was inactivated on 18 August 1972 at Echterdingen AAF, Germany, and reorganized and reactivated as the 223rd Aviation Battalion, with no change in location (or mission).

67th Aviation Company
67th Aviation Company Patch
(Source: The Jayhawk, Aug 19, 1966)
The 67th Aviation Company was part of Special Troops Bn (Prov), HQ VII Corps.

(Source: Email from Rudi Scherrle, Germany)
While cleaning out my parent's home (near the Echterdingen Airfield) recently I found this metal plate with the 67th Avn Co insignia. All I know is that members of the US Army lived at the house in the 1950s and 60s. The plate is still in pretty good shape.

Can anyone explain the purpose of the plate?

COMMENTS from Dave Guilliams:
I refer to the "Wings of the JayHawks sign" posted by Rudi Scherrle, on the 16th Avn. Bn. / 67th Avn. Co. pages. My opinion is that is a sign that was mounted on the orderly room/supply room building on Echterdingen Airfield (SAAF) to designate the parking spot for 1st. Sgt. Orlando Davidson who was 1st Sgt to late 1966 or early 1967. Before Julius Stagner became 1st.Sgt.

(Source: Don Wirth, 67th Avn Co, 1963-65)
I was assigned to the 67th Avn Co at Stuttgart Army Airfield, arriving there in the summer of 1963 as a PFC and leaving in the summer of 1965.

My MOS was as an OH-13 mechanic, but I spent a good deal of my time there in charge of the airfield alert crew. I originally bunked at Nellingen Barracks in a building with LRRP troops until my wife and daughter arrived, at which time I moved into an apartment in Bernhausen on Richtofenstr, about 10 houses from where our hanger was located.

The Jayhawk patch was designed by SSGT Elmo Barrett of our unit during the time I was stationed there. I rotated back as an SP4 to Ft. Rucker AAF, worked as a VIP F/W L-23 mechanic/crew chief, was promoted to SP5 and was discharged in December of 1965.

The 67th was a good unit, and we had some fine officers and men assigned to it. One of our Sergeants (Sperry) had flown in the RAF Eagle Squadron prior to the US entering WWII, another (Gorley) was stationed on Tinian Island when Japan was bombed with the Atomic bomb.

Wish I could sit down and listen to the stories all over again.
Don Wirth

(Source: Email from R.C. Neeb, Jr., 67th Avn Co, mid-1960s)
Served in the 67th Avn Co in the mid-1960s. Dave Guilliams has pretty well covered all the info and more that I could furnish about the 67th.

I arrived in Nov 1964 & departed in Jan 1966 for duty with the 2nd Avn Co in Verdun, France. I had a U-1A MOS but the one that the 67th had was damaged in an accident before I arrived and had not been replaced, so I was X-ferred to Verdun after 14 months.

You needed a POV because facilities were limited. The movie was a 16mm affair that was shown in the 60th Avn Co training room & bring you own snacks. PX, Snack Bar, Library -- small, real small.

Best place for beer & eats was the "Flughafenstuble" right over the fence which was run by Frau Maria Schultz. Big lady with baby blue eyes. She fried up a great "Schnitzle"

Major Weldon Hunnicutt was the CO -- ran a tight ship -- retired a 2-star General.

67th Avn Co
Stuttgart AAF


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(Source: Email from Dave Guilliams, 67th Aviation Company, Jun 1966 - Nov 1968)

67th Avn Co (Corps)
Pocket Patch
I was assigned to the 67th Aviation Company from June 1966 to November 1968. I was in Aircraft Maintenance and because of the shortage of men, I was also involved in motor vehicle maintenance. Our Barracks where across from the post headquarters near the chapel and the EM Club.

The 67th Aviation was known as the "Wings of the Jayhawk" that was on the signs out side our orderly room and the patches that you wore on your flight jackets. When we moved our billets to Nellingen in June 67 we took over buildings that 11th Trans. markers in them. We had 1 U-8F Seminole (VIP Set up), 1 U-A1 Otter, 6 L-19 (O-1A) Bird-dogs, 6 L-20 (U-6A) Beavers, 2 OH-13 Siouxs, 2 CH-34A Choctaws, 1 UH-1A Iroquois (VIP Setup). I won't swear to the exact amount of ships but the types are correct. I understand that it had changed by 1972 . The O-1As, U-A1 and the U-6As were turned in and sold off and more UH-1's where also replacing the CH-34A's.

In the middle of 1967, the 7005 Air Base Squadron USAF came to Echterdingen from France to run the place. They left, I think in the mid 80’s (Army took it back) and we moved our billeting to Nellingen Kaserne about 10 KMS away, the aircraft stayed at Echterdingen Airfield. The Motor vehicle, Commo, and any Ordnance repair work from the 67th Aviation was supported by the 8902nd Civilian Labor Group at Funker Kaserne in Esslingen. (I have a picture of that area - there was some sort of Civilian Labor Group there as far back as 1947.).

On Nellingen was an outfit called the 903rd Heavy Equipment Repair that ran a salvage yard, we would go there but I am not sure if they where 7th Corps or not. Aviation and aircraft parts was supported by the 29th Transportation Battalion (Direct Support) on Echterdingen Air field, they wore 7th Army patches.

Echterdingen Airfield or Echterdingen Army Airfield and Stuttgart Army Airfield are all the same place which is the military side of Stuttgart International Airport by the towns of Echterdingen and Bernhausen. Nellingen Barracks or Nellingen Kaserne was also the remains of an old Luftwaffe training airfield used as a heliport, the remainder was covered by a vehicle salvage yard and a missile base. (Hawks I believe as I don't remember what their unit was, everything was behind barbed wire.)

540th Engineers Group 93rd Engineers (Float Bridge) at Nellingen Kaserne shared a motor pool complex with the 67th Aviation Company at Nellingen. In the 1967 ”Jayhawk“ is a picture of a road grader with 7A 237 E HQ 23 unit markings on the front axle.

16th Aviation Battalion was formed 26 Aug 1963 accord to a booklet I have, but where I don't know for sure where they came from, but an old good friend from the 4th Aviation told me many times that they (the 4th) where stationed at Schliesheim Army Airfield, north of the Munich area. Me and my friends from the 4th Aviation went back to the Munich area on sight seeing trip and they snuck me in the NCO Club that was run by the 24th Infantry Division before they moved out. It was real classy place for a service club in the Munich area.

4th Aviation Company had CH-37 Mojave’s assigned until about late 1969/70 then they turned them in and from what I understand is that they transitioned to Chinooks and (the unit) was reassigned to the Schwabish Hall area and became the 180th Aviation.

349th Aviation was a H-34 Choctaw Company until they turned them in for UH-1s.

67th Aviation was a combined fixed-wing and Rotor-wing Company. The 67th, according to a DA form I have, was activated 16 Sept 1962. Assigned to Germany 15 Oct, 1962; dissolved 18 Aug 1972. TOE1-127D UIC-WAYS

When the 67th Aviation would go to the field we would drag the USAF Weather Section with us (crying all the way).

Kurmaerker Kaserne was renamed Patch Barracks.
Hellenen Kaserne was renamed Kelly Barracks

1967 Jayhawk has pictures of Kelly Barracks, Eastman Barracks, Merrell Barracks, Graves Kaserne, Bleidorn Kaserne. And it mentions that there are 48 homes for the Jayhawkers.

I would also like to mention that in Aug 1968 - when the Soviets moved back in to Czechoslovakia - the 16th Aviation was placed on alert to move out in a very short notice not the normal 2 HR alert (called once a month). We had most of the equipment and personnel field gear packed on the trucks all lined up to go somewhere.

Suggested Related Web Sites -
-- The "Stuttgart Army Airfield Web Site" has more history there. Includes 29th Transportation, VII Coscom Aviation.

-- Go to Http://www.military.com to Emil L. Mesko about the 349th.

-- Go in to the photos on the OV-1 Mohawk site and you can work up aerial photo of Echterdingen www.ov-1mohawk.org

-- Have you seen the air fields site? http://www.kondruss.com/mad/index.html

-- This is also interesting - http://www.bayerische-flugzeug-historiker-ev.de/Projekte/Amerikaner/US-Modelle.html

-- Go to website from the dependents for some photos.. http://groups.msn.com/NellingenKelleyClassmates/pictures

-- Big deuce has a picture of Echterdingen with a CH-37 that could belong to the 4th Avn as it was stationed 10 kms away at Nellingen. http://www.big-deuce.de/d_pic06.htm

Additional Information on the 67th Aviation Company
In the summer and fall of 1966, I was pulling guard duty on the Stuttgart International side of the airfield (at Echterdingen), south of the main terminal in an old Motor Maintenance building which was being used by the 67th Avn Co as a motor pool and vehicle storage yard. Since then the area has been extensively remodeled a couple of times.

In 1967, the entire motor pool was moved to Nellingen Kaserne where we shared a building with the 93rd Engineer Company (FB).

The missile batteries (possibly 3rd Bn, 71st ADA) were located in about the area where the ammo dumps are marked (Nellingen Kaserne installation map). They were behind barbed wire and off-limits, of course.

In 1967, we used a marksmanship range in an area that was also used by the Bundeswehr basic trainees somewhere east of Esslingen.

349th Aviation Company
"A" Company, 504th Aviation Bn, 4th Armd Div, was billeted at Hindenburg Kaserne, in Ansbach, but worked at Katterbach AAF.

On 15 January 1967, "A" Company was inactivated and reorganized and redesignated as the 349th Aviation Company and became part of the 16th Avn Bn.

(Webmaster Note: According to Aviation, Army Lineage Series, 1986, "A" Company of the 503rd Avn Bn, 3rd Armd Div, was also inactivated on 15 Jan 1967. This unit was probably reorganized as the 350th Avn Co which would become part of the 18th Avn Bn. The Lineage Series also indicates that "A" Company of the 3rd Avn Bn, 3rd Inf Div was inactivated on 15 Jan 1967 and I have found mention of the 351st Avn Co being located at Wertheim in 1967. There is no indication that additional aviation companies, beyond the three mentioned previously, were activated using personnel from either the 8th Avn Bn, 8th Inf Div, or the 24th Avn Bn, 24th Inf Div, during this same period.)

In Jan 1967, Company A (Air Mobile Lt), 3rd Aviation Battalion was reorganized and redesignated as the 351st Aviation Company (Air Mobile Lt). The Company was equipped with CH-34 helicopters.

(Source: Email from Everett Miller)
I was a member of both the 349th Avn Co and consequently the 48th. Avn. Co. based at Katterbach Army Airfield from March 1971 to April 1974 and was the Crewchief of UH-1H 66-16404. 

The 349th was changed to the 48th Avn Co. and all members and aircraft along with all other assets were incorperated as a whole. 

I hope this helps with the history of these units as I was very proud to have been a member of both units and I also remember Spc. Woods.

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