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VII Corps
Seventh Army

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.


VII Corps History (1951-199.)

VII Corps Arty
Target Acq Units

Special Troops

82nd Army Band

NCO Academy

602nd ASOC (AF)

Newspapers


 
VII Corps History
 
(Source: The Stuttgart Citizen, March 22, 1992)
VII Corps Commanders (after corps arrived in Germany in Oct 1951)
 
June 1951 - December 1952
Maj. Gen. Withers A. Buress
 
December 1952 - March 1954
Maj. Gen. James A. Gavin
 
March 1954 - February 1955
Lt. Gen. Henry I. Hodes
 
February 1955 - May 1956
Lt. Gen. George H. Decker
 
June - July 1956
Maj. Gen. Halley G. Maddox
 
August 1956 - August 1958
Lt. Gen. John F. Uncles
 
September 1958 - October 1959
Lt. Gen. Gordon B. Rogers
 
October 1959 - January 1961
Lt. Gen. Guy S. Meloy Jr.
 
January 1961 - April 1962
Lt. Gen. John C. Oakes
 
April 1962 - August 1963
Lt. Gen. C.H. Bonesteel III
 
September 1963 - July 1965
Lt. Gen. Louis W. Truman
 
July 1965 - May 1968
Lt. Gen. Frank T. Mildren
 
June 1968 - September 1969
Lt. Gen. Donald V. Bennett
 
October 1969 - February 1971
Lt. Gen. George G. O'Connor
 
February 1971- March 1973
Lt. Gen. Filmore K. Mearns
 
March 1973 - June 1975
Lt. Gen. George S. Blanchard
 
July 1975 - October 1976
Lt. Gen. Frederick J. Kroesen
 
October 1976 - October 1978
Lt. Gen. David E. Ott
 
October 1978 - June 1981
Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton Jr.
 
June 1981 - July 1983
Lt. Gen. William J. Livsey
 
July 1983 - February 1985
Lt. Gen. John R. Galvin
 
February 1985 - July 1987
Lt. Gen. Andrew P. Chambers
 
July 1987 - August 1989
Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Watts
 
August 1989 - June 1991
Lt. Gen. Frederick M. Franks Jr.
 
August 1991 - present
Lt. Gen. Michael F. Spigelmire

 
1951
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, November 21, 1951)
A brief article in the Nov 21 issue stated that VII Corps was now operational in Europe.

The corps is under the command of Maj Gen Withers A. Burress. Top staff officers of the corps at Stuttgart include Brig Gen Robert G, Gard, Corps Arty CG, and Brig Gen Hammond M. Monroe, chief of staff.

(Webmaster note: In November 1951, headquarters of VII Corps was set up at Helenen Kaserne. In 1952 Helenen Kaserne was renamed Kelley Barracks in honor of Staff Sergeant Jonah E. Kelley, of the 78th Infantry Division, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions occurring during WWII
.

VII Corps was assigned to Seventh Army on November 2, 1951 - source: US Army Border Operations in Germany, 1945-1983, by William E. Stacy.)

 
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, November 21, 1951)
VII Corps assigned units:
Hq Company, VII Corps
Hq & Hq Battery, VII Corps Artillery
321st Signal Battalion
29th Transportation Truck Company
66th Engineer Topographic Company

1954
(Source: Seventh Army Annual History)

VII Corps Organization, June 1954 (Walter Elkins)

 
1956
(Source: Walter Elkins)

Gen George H. Decker
 
Recently, I was able to procure a series of 35mm slides that - apparently - had been taken during the change of command ceremonies held at Nellingen Airfield in 1956.

Gen. George H. Decker was commander of VII Corps in Stuttgart, Germany from February 1955 to June 1956.

Gen George H. Decker
CG, VII Corps

 

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2. Aerial view of parade (KB)
 
3. Aerial view of parade (KB)
 

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1963
(Source: Email from Vale Barnes, HHC, VII Corps, July 1963-April 1965)
VII Corps Honor Guard
I noticed at the end of the section I was looking at for VII Corps, you show an additional patch. Which is an honor guard attached to the VII Corps patch as if it was one. We had two honor guards in Hq and Hq Company VII Corps located at Kelley Barracks. Both were assigned to be the flag bearers for the commanding General, Lt. Gen Truman and visiting General. The honor guard themselves were the soldiers from the attached LLRP company, but they didn't wear honor guard patches.

I was one of the two from late 1963 until Apil 1965. I'm going to have to dig out my old uniform and see if that is actually one patch or two. Both of us were also issued a special steel pot just for Honor Guard ceremonies, which had the VII Corps emblem on both sides. That was too much of a treasure to leave behind and I still have it today. It's a little worse for wear, but still in pretty good shape being 50 years old. I've inquired in the past about others having steel pots like this and no one knew for sure. If that patch is actually a single patch and not two separate as I thought, it might be pretty rare itself. I've seen a lot of pictures of soldiers of all ranks in many different ceremonies and I've never seen a steel pot that was OD Green with any insignias other than an officers rank.

I still have a copy of the Jayhawk newsletter somewhere from one of the two times I was general's orderly before becoming exempt because of the honor guard status. And at a Corps headquarters, it really is being a general's orderly for the day.

However my copy from back in 1963 is somewhat basic compared to the one displayed from 1968. Then again, maybe ours was just covering our posts activities and it was a daily paper or news sheet.

More on the Honor Guards HQ VII Corps
This was back when the Draft was a major source of manpower for the Army and most were in their late twenties when drafted. Since the post was primarily full of truck drivers and clerks, there really were not any companies that anyone might call a company full of soldiers with a lot of discipline. Yes they all had their specialties, but soldiering wasn't one of them. Since the LRRP company was full of mostly young airborne volunteers and attached to VII Corps headquarters, keeping in shape along with drilling was a normal part of their daily lives. Why settle for a company full of men that can't keep in step in a simple formation.

I'm assuming the honor of having the Generals flag bearers coming from Hq and Hq Company was expected and might have been considered an insult to not be able to provide at least two capable bodies. So the two of us were the only ones in the actual Honor Guard, so to speak. If I remember right, not only did we have those special steel pots, but we also had to wear white spats over our boots.

So the LRRP company was just the one company passing in review to go along with the VII Corps Band playing. If it was a higher ranking General, I believe they brought in more companies from somewhere else for a better show. In the twenty months I was stationed there, we only had one parade which included all the different companies on post and numerous ones from elsewhere. This happened right after I first arrived in Germany and I was stunned at the inability to get four companies to line up and march in step.

I don't know how many hours were wasted on basic drill instructions, but it took up a lot of our evenings and Saturday's. We only had to do two things, keep in step and make four right turns and we were back where we started from. It was the largest ceremony I ever took part in outside of Heidelberg and Frankfurt. I don't know how anyone could forget how to keep in step after 8 weeks of basic training. I had a slight edge, since I played in the high school marching band.

The ceremony in Heidelberg was without marching troops and consisted of nothing but one member from each company in Europe and their company flag. That was the toughest one, with everyone trying to salute and lower their company flags in unison and the building was jammed full of those flags. How it actually looked I have no idea as I was in the front ranks.

I've been back to Kelley barracks four times over the years. The first time was in 1987, 22 years after leaving the Army and the post looked almost the same. The next time was in 1997 and I was stunned to find out that VII Corps no longer existed, plus the post was going down hill from a lack of maintenance. I also stopped by two other times in the early 2000's.

The country side setting that Kelley Barracks was in back in the 60's was long gone by 1987, along with the tiny village near by that still had family houses with the animals in the first level, the owners on the second and US military renters on the third.

I found the uniform and took a modern picture versus a black and white photo from 50 years ago. Surprisingly I have an old 8MM that is in color and still looks pretty good from the day of my departure. My daughter had converted a bunch of old 8MM to DVD several years ago. Most of them were falling apart, so I was surprised that they were able to salvage anything.

I forgot about the tailoring of my uniform. They had passed rules that no one was allowed to have tailored uniforms on our post and everyone had to let theirs out or buy new ones. That is everyone but the two honor guards and that included all of our uniforms. I was looking at how narrow the pant legs are and the 28" waste line. That's four inches I'll never be able to suck in again.

I've also included a picture of the Helmet. It still has some dust on it, but I'm afraid to try and clean it with anything as everything is coming unglued, bit by bit.

As far as any stories, it was mostly veterans from WWII and Korea still running the show. We had all heard the stories about everyone being extended indefinitely during WWII, which was a scary thought. War was one thing, but not knowing if or when you'd ever get out is another.

The first thing I found out when I arrived was the number of guys still there from the Berlin Crisis that had an extra year extended on their tour. Two years became three and three years tours became four. I don't believe there were any draftees left by the time I arrived in 1963. I don't know if it was everyone or just some within specialty MOS's that were extended, but it was not a friendly welcoming to Germany.

The Corps Commanding General only addressed the troops twice and that was in a nine month span. The first time was the assassination of Kennedy and the second time was the most frightening and we were all blindsided by the news. He stated that the US had been attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin and that the Congress had declared war on the country of North Vietnam.

My first thought, Oh crap, I only have eight months to go and their never going to let me out. My second thought was the same as almost everyone else, where the hell is North Vietnam. How in the world did a Lt. General get bad information like that. Afterwards I was so grateful that I had volunteered in the Army and for duty in Germany, while all my friends where back home sweating out the draft and trying to decide if they should get married or what.

Not a lot of excitement at VII Corps headquarters in peace time, at least until the Gulf war.

The funniest thing that actually happened to me was on my return visit in 1987. I stopped by the VII Corps historians office to ask a couple questions. I had first stopped in the battalion office and noticed several trophies for Hq and Hq Company dating back to the early to mid 1960's and nothing for many years later. Of course I remembered many of the names. I asked the historian why the huge gap and he wanted to know if I was in Germany back then and I said yes I was right here. He wanted to know what company my "father" was in? Not my father but myself. And I can still see the dumb founded look on his face. He said something like, I'm a lot older looking than you and I wasn't old enough to join the Army back in 1965, let alone have already served three years. Just how old are you??? Talk about making someone feel like an old fossil in a hurry with one quick breath.

It turned out that some Corps commanding general after I left didn't like the idea of trophies and ordered them all destroyed. Fortunately someone took it upon themselves to hide a bunch of our trophies in a crawl space in the company building to be accidentally found many years later. Since they were the only surviving trophies from early decades, they had been put on display in the battalion office. I don't remember who the general was.

The historian was all excited that I actually knew many of these guys and had a list of several names from that time frame and wanted to know If I knew any of them. Plus a lot of other questions that I never knew or couldn't remember much after 22 years.

The one thing that always surprised me, they never locked down the post no matter what was going on in the world or at least when I stopped by. Show our passports and tell them I'm only here for a drive by to see the old stomping grounds and they just wave us on in with a polite greeting like, have a good day sir.

Hell, the MP's were even courteous back in the 1960's. I missed the AWOL bus one night and had to climb the fence, which wasn't a problem. It was that damn coiled razor wire on the ground that did me in. You had to carefully lower yourself down onto it and then make a good leap off so as not to get caught when it sprang back up. I was wearing a trench coat and didn't leap fast enough and as you might imagine, it rolled my coat right up with it. There I am about ten feet from the road stuck in the wire and around the corner comes the MP patrol in their jeep and I'm caught in their headlights. They just drove right on by and must have gotten tons of laughs out of that sight for many months. Talk about a deer caught in your headlights, wait till you hear this one!!! I had to squirm out of my coat and then remove it from the barb wire. Needless to say, I'm lucky that my coat was the only thing shredded that night.

I don't know how many pictures you'll get, they keep disappearing and I keep adding them back in. It should only be two. Notice the honor guard patch is not the same color as the VII Corps patch. It is red, white and blue to match the corps colors in the center and a separate patch. It could be that the patch on your forum is from a more modern era or it could be a fake look-a-like. There are an awful lot of the VII Corps patches for sale on Ebay, with many of them claiming to be from as far back as WWII and still looking to be like new!!! It doesn't make sense to produce them for just two people unless the Corps commander decided to make an official honor guard out of Kelley Barracks personnel.

Please let me know if anyone has seen a steel helmet like this before.

 
1966
(Source: FM 100-15 Change 1, Field Service Regulations, Larger Units, March 1966)

Type Corps, FM 100-15 C1
 
The Type Corps organization shown on the left represents an example of how a corps could be tailored (in the mid 1960s) for combat on a large landmass such as Europe when serving as part of a US Army Field Army (Seventh Army).

The corps is a task force of combined arms and services with a composition that is not fixed. Some units (such as the HHC and the Sig Bn) are habitually assigned to provide the means needed to facilitate command and control. The Field Army assigns or attaches other units to the corps. The type and number of troop units assigned or attached to the corps are based principally upon the corps mission, the characteristics of the area of operations, the availability of units, the enemy situation, and the type of opertations contemplated.

In Europe during the mid-1960s, VII Corps performed a peacetime mission and was organized with the following units:
 
VII CORPS ORGANIZATION - 1966
  VII CORPS
  HQ Company Corps HQ/HQ Company, VII Corps Kelley Bks, Möhringen
  ASA Bn Attached 318th ASA Bn ? (507th ASA Gp) Herzo Base, Herzogenaurach
  FASCOM Units in support    
  Corps Support Bde 3rd Support Bde Grenadier Ksn, Stuttgart
  MP Bde elements 793rd MP Bn (15th MP Bde) W.O. Darby Ksn, Fürth
  Trans Bde elements 4th Trans Bn ? (107th Trans Bde) Flak Ksn, Ludwigsburg
  Ammo Bde elements 101st Ord Bn (Ammo) (57th Ammo Bde) Badenerhof Ksn, Heilbronn
  Medical Bde elements 30th Med Gp (7th Med Bde) Krabbenloch Ksn, Ludwigsburg
  Corps Artillery    
  HQ/HQ Company HHB, VII Corps Artillery Kelley Bks, Möhringen
  FA Tgt Acq elements Btry A, 2nd Bn (TA), 25th Arty Warner Bks, Bamberg
  Btry C, 2nd Bn (TA), 25th Arty Bleidorn Ksn, Ansbach
  Avn Btry Corps Arty Btry D, 25th Arty Kelley Bks, Möhringen
  FA Groups 35th FA Group Warner Bks, Bamberg
  72nd FA Group Peden Bks, Wertheim
  210th FA Group Barton Bks, Ansbach
  Signal Bn 34th Sig Bn Kelley Bks, Möhringen
  Aviation units 67th Avn Co (Corps) Echterdingen AAF, Stuttgart
  Engineer units 540th Engr Gp (Cbt) Ludendorff Ksn, Kornwestheim
    320th Engr Co (Topo) Ludendorff Ksn, Kornwestheim
  Air Defense Artillery 69th AD Group (32nd AADCOM) Emery Bks, Würzburg
  Divisions 3th Inf Div Leighton Bks, Würzburg
    24th Inf Div Flak Ksn, Augsburg
    4th Armd Div Cooke Bks, Göppingen
  Armored Cav Regt 2nd Armd Cav Regt Merrell Bks, Nürnberg
  MI units 207th MI Detachment (Corps) Kelley Bks, Möhringen
The above list is not complete. I will update periodically as I gather more details.

 
(Source: 48th Anniversary. The JAYHAWK Anniversary Issue, August 19, 1966 - Information submitted by Dave Guilliams, 67th Aviation Company, Jun 1966 - Nov 1968)

In 1966, VII Corps is comprised of the following units:

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
Corps Headquarters Kelley Bks, Stuttgart  
3rd Infantry Division Leighton Bks, Würzburg  
24th Infantry Division Flak Ksn, Augsburg  
4th Armored Division Cooke Bks, Göppingen  
VII Corps Artillery Kelley Bks, Stuttgart Avn Det aircraft based at Echterdingen AAF
35th Field Artillery Group Warner Bks, Bamberg 175mm and 8inch self propelled howitzers
72nd Field Artillery Group Peden Bks, Wertheim 175mm and 8inch self propelled howitzers
210th Field Artillery Group Herzo Base, Herzogenaurach 175mm and 8inch self propelled howitzers
VII Corps Special Troops Kelley Bks, Stuttgart  
HHC, VII Corps Kelley Bks, Stuttgart  
67th Aviation Company Echterdingen AAF  
110th MP Platoon Kelley Bks, Stuttgart  
C Co (LRP), 58th Inf Nellingen Ksn, Stuttgart  
C Co, 35th Supply & Svc Bn Kelley Bks, Stuttgart 2½-ton and 5-ton trucks, International tractor trailer
527th Trans Co (Car) Kelley Bks, Stuttgart sedans and vehicles up to ¾-ton
16th Trans Det Kelley Bks, Stuttgart  
207th MI Det (66th MI Gp) Kelley Bks, Stuttgart  
Det 6, 7th Weather Sqdn (USAF) Echterdingen AAF  
2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment Merrell Bks, Nürnberg  
34th Signal Battalion Krabbenloch Ksn, Ludwigsburg  
540th Engineer Group Ludendorff Ksn, Kornwestheim  

 
(Source: Email from Bob Lipscomb, SIC, S-2, HQ VII Corps Artillery, 1965-66)
I was stationed at Kelley Barracks for part of 1965 and all of 1966. I was with SIC (Survey Information Center). This section was under S-2 and I distinctly remember a Sgt. Major Wright being in S-2.

The purpose or mission statement for SIC was never discussed but one job we had was to keep surveys all over Germany current. i.e., units below us would send in surveys and would keep us posted as to what survey points were still usable and which were not. In other words, there may have been a survey that took a telephone pole as one of its headings. That pole may have been knocked down or removed completely. We would receive a survey record that noted the changes. We would then mark a large map with a variety of colored map pins to note the various survey changes.

I had a secret clearance but couldn't go into a safe room where a Top Secret clearance was needed. Unless of course there was an alert at which time all bets were off and the Sgt. Mgr. would tell me and some other poor soul to go in there and get the trunk of vital documents and load it onto the truck.

As for a story or remembrance... At one point in time, close to my departure date, a few vehicles (Jeep, two 3/4 Ton Trucks, 2 Deuce and a half trucks) went missing. This was the total issue of vehicles to our small section of 7 or 9 men (during Vietnam we weren't getting replacements in certain slots). I was senior NCO (E-5 with 5 or 6 days in grade, ha!) and I had signed for those vehicles. After much wrangling over this the accuser and the accused (me!) went to the motor pool and there sat all five vehicles. I deligently pointed out the Jeep, two 3/4 ton trucks, two deuce and a halfs to the accuser who proceeded to tell me that those weren't VII Corps Arty. trucks those were trucks from a battalion level outfit and they weren't to be counted with the others. I quickly pointed out to the numbscull accuser that our SIC section had been reassigned on paper but maintained residence at Kelley. The truck bumpers in question had been repainted to reflect our new assignment designation. The confusion was too much for the accuser and he left, shaking his head and muttering something about taking it up with his superior.
Bob Lipscomb

The JAYHAWK - Some of the issues published while in Germany

August 9, 1968 (244 KB)

Page 3 (295 KB)

Special Supplement

 
 

 
In addition, Dave has the following comments in regards to the 50th Anniversary issue (published on Aug 16, 1968):

3rd Brigade, 24th Inf Div remains in Germany; 1st and 2nd Brigades have been returned to the US "for training" (REFORGER); they will be redeployed to Germany if they are needed

2nd Sq, 14th Armd Cav Regt is designated to reinforce 2nd Armd Div

The 540th Engr Gp has a Topographical company (no numerical designation given, but probably the 524th Engr Co (Topo)(Corps))

 
MISCELLANEOUS

(Source: The Jayhawk, Special Supplement, Aug 19, 1969)
Lt Gen Donald V. Bennett, Commanding General, VII Corps

In 1969, VII Corps was comprised of the following units:
3rd Inf Div
4th Armd Div
3rd Bde, 24th Inf Div (Fwd)
35th FA Gp
72nd FA Gp
210th FA Gp
2nd Armd Cav Regt (reinf by 2nd Sq, 14th ACR)
34th Sig Bn
16th Avn Bn
7th Engr Bde (new)
VII Corps Support Command (COSCOM) (new)
VII Corps Special Troops

7th Engr Bde - formed through the consolidation of the 540th and 555th Engineer Groups. The brigade is comprised of six battalions and several separate companies.

16th Avn Bn - the 16th has been supporting VII Corps since 1966. Headquarters is located at Nellingen with component units located at Ansbach and Echterdingen.

The 67th Avn Co at Echterdingen furnishes both fixed wing as well as helicopter support for VII Corps headquarters. Its primary mission is to provide transportation support to the VII Corps CG and his staff. Other missions include observation and utility support.

The 349th Avn Co at Ansbach (Katterbach) provides light helicopter troop and cargo transportation.

COSCOM - this new command succeeds the former 3rd Brigade, 7th Army Support Command. Scattered throughout southern Germany, the command's nine battalions provide ordnance, maintenance, suppy and service support.

The battalions include:
Personnel & Administrative Bn
1st Maintenance Bn
71st Maintenance Bn
303rd Maintenance Bn
101st Ordnance Bn
4th Transportation Bn
35th Supply & Service Bn
95th Supply & Service Bn
242nd Supply & Service Bn

 
1970
(Source: 52nd Anniversary, 1918 - 1970. The JAYHAWK Anniversary Issue, August 19, 1970.)
On January 22 1951, VII Corps was reactivated at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

After a summer and early autumn of training in the United States, VII Corps moved to Germany to join Seventh Army and NATO. Since that time, the mission of VII Corps has been to maintain combat readiness and establish cordial relationships with our NATO Allies.

In 1970, the Jayhawk team is comprised of the following units:

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
Corps Headquarters Stuttgart  
3rd Infantry Division (Mech) Würzburg  
4th Armored Division Göppingen  
35th Field Artillery Group Bamberg  
72nd Field Artillery Group Wertheim  
210th Field Artillery Group Herzogenaurach  
2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment Nürnberg  
34th Signal Battalion Ludwigsburg  
16th Aviation Battalion Nellingen  
7th Engineer Brigade Kornwestheim  
VII Corps Support Command Nellingen  
     
The past year saw the 24th Infantry Division (Forward) redesignated as the forward element of the 1st Infantry Division.

 
(Source: Email from Craig M. Clarkson)
Visited the web site for Kelley Barracks for the first time this a.m. and enjoyed reading its history.  It brought back memories for this old man.
 
When I arrived at Kelley I had just turned 20.  I was assigned to the clerical staff where I worked under the direction of (if memory serves me) Col Humprey and a LTC Dubois. When LTC Dubois learned that I spoke German he asked me if I would like to be re assigned to the office of BG Alan Ross Toffler and LTG Georgle S. Blanchard.  I said yes and the rest is history.

I worked directly for BG Toffler and I truly enjoyed it.  I remember his kindness very well. In the year that I worked in the office - LTG Blanchard never once spoke to me. I do remember that when people came into the area it was considered the "hush" "hush" section.  I also remember that it was in Administration Support.
 
Thank you again for having the site available.  I learned recently that it is still an active duty base and maybe within the next few years I will return to Germany and re visit it.
 
By the way, I still have contact with several members who were there during that time period - to include my supervisor.  I was in MN in Nov 04 making a visit to Michael L. Stevens who (at the time) was the base photographer.
 
I lost contact with Gary L. Fitch who was my roomate...Should you or have you heard from him I would like you to pass my address onto him.

 
VII Corps Artillery
 

An 8" towed howitzer of 3rd Bn, 37th Arty at Schwaebisch Hall, early 1960s (Richard Martin)
1952

Headquarters VII Corps Artillery Christmas Menu w/ Roster

 
1956 
(Source: USAREUR STATION LIST, 31 March 1956)
VII CORPS ARTY ORGANIZATION - 31 MARCH 1956

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
HHB, VII Corps Arty Kelley Bks, Moehringen  
18th FA Gp    
HHB, 18th FA Gp Ansbach  
3rd FA Btry (762mm Rkt) Ansbach  
74th FA Bn (155mm How)(Tow) McKee Bks, Crailsheim  
291st FA Bn (8in How)(Tow) Dolan Bks, Schwaeb. Hall replaced by 36th FA Bn GYROSCOPE
557th FAM Bn (CPL) Ansbach  
599th AFA Bn (155mm How)(SP) Ferris Bks, Erlangen  
750th FA Bn (8in How)(SP) Ansbach  
35th FA Gp    
HHB, 35th FA Gp Schwaeb. Gmuend  
6th FA Btry (762mm Rkt) Schwaeb. Gmuend  
273rd FA Bn (155mm How)(Tow) Neu Ulm replaced by 538th FA Bn GYROSCOPE
287th FA Bn (155mm How)(Tow) Eastman Bks, Dachau  
775th FA Bn (8in How)(Tow) Dolan Bks, Schwaeb. Hall replaced by 269th FA Bn GYROSCOPE
802nd FA Bn (8in How)(SP) Neu Ulm  
867th FA Bn (280mm Gun) Neckarsulm  

 

SERGEANT missile launcher of 5th MSL Bn, 73rd Arty at Erlangen, 1965 (Ed Burns)
 
1967
(Source: USAREUR STATION LIST, June 30, 1967)
VII CORPS ARTY ORGANIZATION - 30 JUNE 1967

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
HHB, VII Corps Arty Kelly Bks, Moehringen  
D Btry (Avn), 25th FA Kelly Bks, Moehringen  
3rd Bn, 37th FA (8in SP) Eastman Bks, Munich  
35th FA Gp    
HHB, 35th FA Gp Warner Bks, Bamberg  
6th Bn, 10th FA (175mm SP) Warner Bks, Bamberg  
Btry, 2nd Bn, 25th FA Bn (Tgt Acq) Warner Bks, Bamberg  
1st Bn, 36th FA Bn (8in SP) Wiley Bks, Neu Ulm  
5th Bn, 73rd FA Bn (SGT) Bismarck Ksn, Schwaeb. Gmuend  
1st Bn, 75th FA Bn (8in SP) Warner Bks, Bamberg  
72nd FA Gp    
HHB, 72nd FA Gp Peden Bks, Wertheim  
3rd Bn, 21st FA Bn (HJ) Larson Bks, Kitzingen  
3rd Bn, 35th FA Bn (8in SP) Peden Bks, Wertheim  
2nd Bn, 37th FA Bn (155mm SP) Daley Bks, Bad Kissingen  
210th FA Gp    
HHB, 210th FA Gp Barton Bks, Ansbach  
3rd Bn, 17th FA Bn (8in SP) Merrell Bks, Nuernberg  
Btry, 2nd Bn, 25th FA Bn (Tgt Acq) Peden Bks, Wertheim  
2nd Bn, 28th FA (175mm SP) Bleidorn Ksn, Ansbach  
1st Bn, 33rd FA Bn (HJ) Barton Bks, Ansbach  
2nd Bn, 34th FA Bn (155mm SP) Merrell Bks, Nuernberg  
1st Bn, 68th FA Bn (SGT) Dolan Bks, Schwaeb. Hall  
 

 
1968
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Aug 28, 1968)
Army Training Tests

VII Corps artillery units are currently taking their annual Army Training Tests at Grafenwoehr. The ATT's began July 1 and will continue through the middle of December. All VII Corps artillery battalions are tested once a year under the eyes of VII Corps umpires to determine their state of readiness.

Units must prove their proficiency in conducting fire missions and in survey, communications, tactics, special weapons, maintenance, code of conduct and CBR training. The big test of the ATT's is setting up firing positions, moving from one location to another, dry firing and completing several other training projects.

 

M110 8" SP howitzers of 3rd Bn, 17th FA from Nuernberg, early 1970s (Rick Landrum)
 
1971
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Jan 11, 1971)
35th Artillery Group to be Inactivated

The 35th Arty Gp at Warner Barracks, Bamberg, will be inactivated on Jan 15 in a move to streamline VII Corps artillery command and control headquarters.

Artillery battalions currently controlled by the 35th group will be reassigned to the remaining corps artillery groups, the 72nd Arty Group in Wertheim and the 210th Arty Group in Ansbach.

Webmaster note: Artillery units attached to 35th Arty Gp (Sept 1970) (1):
Btry A, 2nd Bn, 25th FA (Tgt Acq), Warner Bks, Bamberg
3rd Bn, 17th FA (8in SP), Merrell Bks, Nürnberg
3rd Bn, 37th FA ( 8in SP), Eastman Bks, Dachau
1st Bn, 75th FA (8in SP), Warner Bks, Bamberg

(1) Source: USAREUR STATION IST (30 Sept 1970)

 
1976
(Source: USAREUR STATION LIST, 1 June 1976)
VII CORPS ARTY ORGANIZATION - 1 JUNE 1976

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
HHB, VII Corps Arty Kelley Bks, Möhringen  
72nd FA Gp    
HHB, 72nd FA Gp Peden Bks, Wertheim  
6th Bn, 10th FA (175mm) Warner Bks, Bamberg  
3rd Bn, 35th FA (8in) Peden Bks, Wertheim  
2nd Bn, 42nd FA (LANCE) McKee Bks, Crailsheim  
1st Bn, 75th FA (8in) Warner Bks, Bamberg  
1st Bn, 80th FA (LANCE) Fiori Bks, Aschaffenburg  
Btry C (TAB), 25th FA Peden Bks, Wertheim  
210th FA Gp    
HHB, 210th FA Gp Herzo Base, Herzogenaurach  
3rd Bn, 17th FA (8in) Merrell Bks, Nürnberg  
2nd Bn, 28th FA (175mm) Bleidorn Ksn, Ansbach  
1st Bn, 36th FA (8in) Reese Bks, Augsburg  
3rd Bn, 37th FA (8in) Herzo Base, Herzogenaurach  
2nd Bn, 377th FA (LANCE) Herzo Base, Herzogenaurach (1)
Btry A (TAB), 25th FA Herzo Base, Herzogenaurach  
     
2nd Bn, 34th FA (155mm) Ft. Knox, KY REFORGER unit
2nd Bn, 37th FA (155mm) Ft. Sill, OK REFORGER unit
(1) Source: Email from Rob Allen
Correction: 2nd Bn 377th (LANCE) later became 2-12th FA (LANCE). It stayed with VII Corps with a general support mission with tactical range rockets facing the Soviet threat with nuclear capability until 1992 at the casing of the VII Corps colors.

Then 2-12th FA was reassigned to V Corps at that time, still located at Herzo Base, Germany, until LANCE deactivation a few years later as a SALT and START treaty stipulation.

I was a battery commander and Ops officer in the 2-12th FA (LANCE) during that time.

 
1986
(Source: FAMAG, Nov-Dec, 1986)
The Artillery of the VII US Corps supports what is currently the largest maneuver corps in the Free World. Headquarters, VII Corps Artillery; its 13 battalions and 3 Field Artillery brigade headquarters; the artilleries of the 1st Armored and the 3d Infantry Divisions; the 2d Battalion, 5th Field Artillery of the 1st Infantry Division Forward; the howitzer batteries of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the artillery of the 12th German Panzer Division form our remarkable Field Artillery Community. During the past year, the leadership of these fine units have taken advantage of new equipment and organizations to improve the quality and quantity of fire support to the VII Corps. Several of our specific initiatives in force modernization, training, command and control, and deep operations are particularly noteworthy.

Force Modernization
The main thrust of VII Corps Artillery force modernization effort has been increased firepower. Implementation of Division 86 and the Army of Excellence designs has resulted in an increase in the number of cannon tubes within the Corps. Specifically, our up-gun program consists of 3 parts.

• Conversion of all 155-mm battalions from the 3x6 to 3x8 format.

• Conversion of 8-inch battalions from the 3x4 and 3x6 formats to the 3x8 organizations.

• Conversion of the divisional 8-inch and multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) battalions to separate MLRS batteries.


VII Corps Arty Upgun Program
 
So far 3 155-mm battalions have undergone conversion. The coming year will witness the upgunning of 11 more. In 1987, 2 divisional 155-mm battalions will convert to the 3x8 design, 2 divisional composite battalions will deactivate, and 7 8-inch battalions will become 3x8 organizations. Overall, by the end of the 8-inch conversion in fiscal year 1988, VII Corps will have received 12 more 155-mm howitzers and 36 more 8-inch howitzers. By fiscal year 1990, VII Corps will have 240 155-mm howitzers organized in 60 battery computer system-equipped firing platoons and 168 8-inch howitzers in 42 4-howitzer platoons.
In the areas of mobility and transportability, VII Corps Artillery recently began to improve its cargo fleet with the initial fielding of the M984 and M977 heavy expanded mobility tactical truck (HEMTT). Each of these 10-ton trucks will replace 2 5-ton trucks for ammunition transport in the cannon battalions. Our MLRS units received the M985 model HEMTT for ammunition hauling and handling. Modernization of the Corps Artillery's survey capabilities also continued with the fielding of 9 additional position and azimuth determining systems.

1988-89 
(Source: Field Artillery Professional Bulletin, Dec 1988 & Dec 1989 - website)

Redbook Issue, Dec 1988

Redbook Issue, Dec 1989

 
Target Acquisition Units
 
2nd Observation Battalion, 25th Artillery
2nd Observation Battalion, 25th Artillery DI (?)
 
1967
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, March 1, 1968)
The CO of Btry "D," 25th Arty, VII Corps' artillery aviation battery, has devised an airborne radio complex that allows the extension of the range line-of-sight radio communications between ground stations. The two set radio complex is installed on a U-6 BEAVER, dubbed "Jayhawk Satellite." When the plane is airborne, the radio operator on board establishes contact with ground stations which then transmit through the aircraft's equipment. Operating normally at a ceiling of 8,500 feet, the range of the airborne radio relay is approx. 200 miles - about the same range as four or five ground stations.

The retransmitter usually operates on two networks: a command net, where artillery commanders can talk to other commanders; and a fire direction net, which aids in the direction of artillery fire.

 
1968
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, March 1, 1968)
Btry "A," 2nd TAB Bn, 25th Arty is assigned to 35th Arty Group in Bamberg. TAB Battery is commanded by 1st Lt Jack J. Campbell.

Whenever one of the field artillery battalions of the 35th Group moves out for live fire training, elements of the TAB Btry go along to serve as the eyes of the artillery. In addition to a headquarters and a communications platoon, the Battery consists of several other platoons that specialize in flashing, survey, sound, radar and meteorological operations.

During field exercises, the Flash Platoon mans several observations posts to plot the impact of artillery rounds. They report the plots back to the TAB's Flash Central.

The Survey Platoon uses the new DME (Distance Measuring Electronically) equipment to conduct surveys measurements. The DME equipment replaces the 30-meter metal tapes used previously.

 
VII Corps NCO Academy (PLDC)
 

VII Corps NCOA
Pocket Patch

 
Need information on mission, organization, history of the VII Corps NCO Academy, Augsburg

 
602nd Air Support Operations Center (ASOC)
 
602nd Air Support Operations Center
 
On 15 Feb 1965, the 601st Tactical Control Gp was activated at Sembach AB, Germany. Concurrently, DASS Detachments were formed:
Det 1 at Stuttgart
Det 2 at Mannheim
Det 3 at Koblenz
Det 4 at Frankfurt

On 1 October 1969, Det 1 (Frankfurt) and Det 2 (Stuttgart) of the 601st DASS were redesignated as Detachments 41 and 42 respectively. These two detachments would later evolve into into the two Air Support Operations Center Squadrons (ASOCS).

1 Jan 72 Dets 41 and 42 began conversion to the AN/TSQ-93 operations central.

 
1967
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, April 25, 1967)
Detachment 2, 601st Direct Air Support Sq, Robinson Barracks, Stuttgart, is responsible for providing VII Corps air support in the event of hostilities. Det commander is Col Paul L. Park.

Det 2's mission consists of (1) providing VII Corps with advice on tactical air reconnaissance through liaison officers and (2) operating a highly mobile air support center.

The Direct Air Support Center (DASC) is designed for control and direction of close air support and other direct air support operations. It is located at Robinson Bks and is manned by Army and Air Force personnel. The Army personnel are from the VII Corps G-3 Air Section branch. They receive air support requests from Army units under VII Corps and decide if the requests should be granted. If so, the request is passed on to the Air Force personnel of the DASC who then determine the requirements, the number of aircraft, types of armament needed and the flying unit that will perform the mission.

Air support requests are relayed to the DASC by an Air Liaison Officer (ALO) who is part of a tactical air control party (TACP). TACPs are attached to division and brigades. (Division-level TACPs consist of two ALOs and one airman; brigade-level TACPs have one ALO and an airman.) The ALO making the request (transmitted through an AN/MRC-107) then acts as the Ground Liaison Officer who guides the aircraft tasked with the mission to their targets.

 
1980
(Source: Email from Joseph Long)
I was station at Kelley Barracks 1980 thru 1982 in the Air Force assigned to the 602 ASOC (Air Support Operations Center).  Our Commander reported directly to the Corps Air Liaison Officer or ALO. 

Air Power was requested through the Corps Tactical Operations Center (CTOC) and the AF ASOC personnel processed the requests and got the air power to front lines as needed. 

I had just enlisted in the AF and this was my first assignment after Tech School.  I can tell you it was the best assignment a brand new AF kid could have had, and that's said after doing 26 years active duty. 

Julius Becton (CG VII Corps) and William Livsey (succeeded Becton as CG, VII Corps in June 1981) were some tough Generals for a bunch of Air Force guys to be around all the time.  I can remember being in the small AAFES Theater after a NATO TACS Eval inspection (That the ASOC didn't fair to well in) and General Becton standing up there and calling us his Air Force. 

Any history you could find and add to your website about the 602 ASOC formerly 602 DASC, formerly 602 DASS OL-A would be very interesting. 

 
Miscellaneous
 
ADDITIONAL PATCHES

Honor Guard
 


 

 
Related Links:
VII Corps LRRP (ABN) Association - website for former members of LRRP assigned to VII Corps at Nellingen
75th RANGER REGIMENT ASSOCIATION - very nice website also includes LRRP units assigned to V and VII Corps
LRRP Company, 3rd Infantry Division - page on the SuaSponte web site (www.SuaSponte.com)
  601st DASS, OL42 - a personal page by Winston Rogers on his assignment to Operating Location 42K at Aschaffenburg in support of 3rd Brigade, 3rd Inf Div (Mech).