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Ordnance Stock Control Center
Ordnance Division, US Army, Europe

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.

Ordnance Stock Control

7849th OSCC

86th Ord Det (S/A)

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Ordnance Stock Control
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Aug 26, 1953)

The 7849th Ord Stock Control Center (7849th OSCC) at Feudenheim near Mannheim is responsible for supplying all Army ordnance items in USAREUR and essential ordnance materiel in USAFE.

Formed originally in Paris in 1945 to dispose of ordnance materiel declared as surplus after the end of the war in Europe, the unit has expanded since then its mission and grown in size as the central stock control point for USAREUR's largest technical service, the Ordnance Division. The center encompasses all phases of the ordnance supply system in Europe except for ammunition.

The center controls 600 major items and more than 150,000 spare parts. Items such as tanks, guns, trucks, and thousands of spare parts are directed by the 7849th from the manufacturer in the US to the using units in Europe.

CO of the center is Col James D. Peterson. His organization is responsible for insuring a continuous supply of all ordnance items. Its tasks include supervising procurement of ordnance materiel, forecasting future needs and maintaining a parts-replacement program for every ordnance item used by US troops in Europe.

The center comprises two primary divisions:
Major Items Division
Spare Parts Division

Major Items Div
Head of the division is D.C. Knox. The division receives approximately 7,200 major line items (tanks, trucks, jeeps, guns, small arms, and hundreds of other items) each year. The division handles more than 600 requisitions on controlled items each month.

The division is also responsible for forecasting the requirements for major ordnance items throughout USAREUR for a six-month to four-year period.

Another function of the division is to license all military vehicles (with exception of those in the "combat" category). It serves as the central clearing agency through which all such vehicles are procured and distributed - it can determine within minutes to which unit a vehicle is assigned based on the license or registration number.

Spare Parts Div
Head of the division is Lester J. Wilkinson. Requisitions for more than 1,000,000 line items pass through this division each year. The division processes and records around 2,500 shipping orders each month.

There are approximately 220,000 spare parts cataloged by the division - ranging from nuts and bolts to large motors.

Rebuild Program
The 7849th also plays a major role in the rebuild program. Under the program some 50,000 WWII-vintage US Army vehicles are being rehabilitated and turned over to allied countries participating in the Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP).

The center is able to determine the exact location of all surplus vehicles through its records and direct the shipment of these vehicles to ordnance rebuild shops. The center also supplies these rebuild shops with spare parts. After the vehicles have been completely rebuilt, the center ships them to the MDAP countries.

Electric Accounting Machines
All the information pertaining to ordnance items throughout USAREUR is poured into electronic accounting machines at the 7849th Ord Stock Control Center. These machines are operated primarily by WACs from Detachment A of the 7849th. The WAC personnel and a small number of enlisted men process approximately 40,000,000 card transactions each month.

(Source: Email from Marion Charles)
I was with the 86th Ord Detachment from 1956-1959. We were in Spinelli Barracks (Mannheim). We kept records on ordnance supply using I.B.M. data processing equipment but there seems to be no record of our unit anywhere.

(Source: Email from Gary Schuett)

86th Ord Det (S/A) sign
I received a message from an Army friend and he said you were interested in knowing more about the 86th Ord Detachment S/A from Mannheim/Feudenheim, Germany. 

We were a small detachment and our mission was to install a new supply system in Europe (Project #170) . The system had already been installed in Korea, Far East, and US and now had to be installed in Europe.

I joined the group in 1956 and I returned in 1958.  I believe we had the first IBM 407 Tab (tabulator) that was sent to Europe, plus we had other IBM data processing equipment machines.  Let me know if you would like info about the machines.

The first 'Main frame Computer' was sent to Munich Germany in 1958 and it was called Project MASS

Since we were a one-of-a-kind outfit, there never knew where to put us. I believe we first wore the USAREUR patch (Headquarters in Heidelberg).  Then they changed us to COMZ and we had to change all of our uniform patches.  Then later they changed us back to USAREUR. For personnel records, this was taken care of by a local Group that was at Spinelli Barracks (53rd Ord. Group).
The stock control function covered all items that are normally kept in a Company stock room. I don't remember anything about ammo. The system was designed to rid supply rooms of overstocks.  A supply room could not keep an item on hand unless it had 3 demands for that item in 180 days.  Each month the Companies would send us a list of Adds & Deletions to add to their Authorized List.  We would process these list to the master file.
The only thing I know is that it started in Korea.  Our Company Commander Captain Wallace Beery was one of the original people that went to Washington to sell them on the idea of this new system.  He only answered to a General in Heidelberg (name unknown).
Also at this time, all the "parts" code number were being changed. Each month we would receive the code number changes from 6 different places in the USA.  There were several different kind of code numbers and these were being changed to an 11 digit code.  The code would be the same in the Ordnance Corps as it would be in the Engineer Corps, etc.  We also had to process these changes to our Master Cross-reference file. I believe this was the only 'code number' cross-reference file in Europe.

86th Ord Det (S/A)
All these machines were controlled by a board. We used to call it "wiring a board" - now they call it "writing a program."

1. Main gate, Spinelli Bks (KB)

2. Members of the 86th work on the collators (KB)

3. IBM 407 Tabulator (KB)

4. IBM Sorter (KB)

5. IBM Reproducer (KB)

6. IBM Collator (KB)

7. IBM Interpreter (KB)

Related Links
Computer Collector
- check out the section IBM Punch Card Accounting Machines
Columbia University - IBM Tabulators and Accounting Machines - 407

IBM Archives - IBM 407 Accounting Machines

Related Links: