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7th Engineer Brigade
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.
9th Engineer Battalion DUI
Short History of the 9th Engineer Battalion, Aschaffenburg, Germany,
In the mid-1950's,
the US Army initiated a system of unit overseas rotation known as
"Gyroscope." Under the "Gyroscope" concept,
an overseas unit would trade places with a like unit from the United
States. On these moves, only individual equipment and weapons would
be transported, the majority of the organic equipment remaining
in place to be assumed by the new unit.
In the fall of 1956, the 9th Engineer Battalion was alerted to make
a "Gyroscope" movement to Germany to replace the 35th Engineer Battalion
in Kitzingen. It did not take long for excitement to mount as preparations
for the move got underway. For many it would be the first trip outside
of the United States. For others, it would be going back to a familiar
land. For most it meant a change of routine, a change of scenery,
without the sudden change of faces and names that had always gone
with a move to a new station.
Those who were shipping automobiles to Europe made the trip from
coast to coast by car, bringing their families with them. At the
Brooklyn Army Terminal they joined the main body of the battalion
which had departed from Fort Lewis by troop-train on 5 March 1957.
Families and troops alike boarded the USNS Callan which cast
off from its pier on the 11th. Problems with the ship's screw forced
the Callan back to New York with less than a day at sea,
but the voyage resumed the next day. The families and men stood
at the rail and watched the Statue of Liberty once more fade from
The ship pulled into Bremerhaven on the 1st of March. Dependents
were put aboard one train, the troops on another. The two trains
pulled into Kitzingen on the 22d and the men of the Ninth got their
first glimpse of Harvey Barracks, their new home. Their counterparts
from the 35th Engineer Battalion climbed onto the same trains and
within a few weeks would he occupying the Ninth's old barracks at
In Defense of Freedom
Main is a picturesque river rising near the Czech border in the
mountains of northeast Bavaria. Following a serpentine route in
a general westerly direction it flows through the vineyards of Franconia,
finally joining the Rhine River near the cities of Mainz and Wiesbaden.
With the aid of an extensive series of dams and locks, the river
is navigable to the city of Bamberg, where flat-bottomed barges
and boats may enter the Regnitz Canal. Moving downstream from Bamberg,
the Main flows through the industrial city of Schweinfurt, then
veers southward to pass through Kitzingen and Ochsenfurt. It then
swings toward the north through the Lower Franconian capital of
Wuerzburg until it is forced southward again by the Spessart Mountains.
Skirting the eastern, southern, and western edges of the wooded
Spessarts, it follows a beautiful valley leading into Aschaffenburg
and then enters a broad plain as it passes through Hanau, bisects
the modern city of Frankfurt, and joins the Rhine for its journey
to the North Sea.
The town of Kitzingen, with a population in the vicinity of 18,500,
lies on the right bank of the Main River in the district known as
Lower Franconia. Along the narrow streets in the center of town
can be seen buildings, churches, and towers dating back to the 14th,
15th, and 16th centuries. It is one of the centers of the Franconian
The 9th Engineer Battalion proceeded to settle down in its new home.
Before long a five-day field exercise was scheduled to give the
officers, NCO's, and men an opportunity to get acquainted with the
terrain on which they might have to fight. The first of a series
of annual inspections by the Inspector General was conducted and
the unit rated superior. An army training test was given the battalion
and an overall score in excess of 95% was achieved. This score earned
a superior rating and a six-day training holiday for the battalion.
It soon became apparent to the commander of the 37th Engineer Group,
the superior headquarters of the Ninth, that this newly arrived
unit was in the peak of condition. This was confirmed when the new
arrival entered and won the 37th Group demolition competition, the
first of a long line of successes which in the next five years would
earn the battalion trophies for communications (1958), rifle marksmanship
(1959, 1960), pistol marksmanship (1959, 1960), panel bridge construction
(1959), float bridge construction (1960, 1961) and many athletic
With less than a year in their new home at Kitzingen, the 9th Engineer
Battalion was ordered to move to new quarters at Smith Barracks
in Aschaffenburg. The move was made by motor convoy in November
of 1957, arriving in time to get settled down for the big Thanksgiving
dinner. The following January the battalion was designated a permanent
V Corps attachment and given the authority to replace the Seventh
Army shoulder patch with the blue and white pentagon of V Corps.
Aschaffenburg, a city of 55,000 inhabitants, is located downstream
from Kitzingen along the Main River in the extreme northeast corner
of Bavaria. Since serving as an ancient Roman outpost, it has grown
in size and importance until today it claims to be the center of
the West German men's clothing industry. It is proud to be called
"The Gateway to the Spessart Mountains." To the visitor and resident
alike, it offers several beautiful parks for relaxation after visits
to the Johannisburg Castle, the 10th century Basilica Church, or
a stroll through the narrow streets of the old Fisherman's Quarter.
In February of 1958, the battalion participated in the major field
training exercise "Sabre Hawk." This maneuver involved the majority
of the Seventh Army units and required extensive coordination with
the West German Army, the Bundeswehr. For the Ninth, the exercise
culminated with the construction, under very difficult conditions,
of a floating bridge on the Main River near Wertheim.
Another major maneuver was conducted during January and February
of 1960. This was the highly publicized exercise "Wintershield"
which involved virtually the entire Seventh Army and troops from
the Bundeswehr and French Army. The battalion took the field and
did its fighting in the area between Bayreuth and the Seventh Army
major training area at Grafenwoehr. The following winter the Ninth
was again called out on a similar exercise, "Wintershield II." Few
who participated in these long arduous problems will forget the
snow, the cold, the mud, and the many difficulties encountered by
an army in the field.
Between these large-scale maneuvers the battalion engaged in several
division-level field exercises and conducted annual training in
the mountainous terrain of the Wildflecken training area. Annual
float bridge training was conducted on the Main River at the Campo
Pond training site near Hanau, in preparation for the yearly crossing
of the Rhine River at Leeheim. An experiment was successfully carried
out during the 1958 bridging at Leeheim, when an Army helicopter
was used to transport the pre-constructed anchorage towers from
the near to the far shore.
In addition to a heavy schedule of routine training, the battalion
was committed on tasks which proved their skill in all phases of
combat engineering. An access road to the training areas at Wildflecken
Post was started in 1958. The formal opening ceremonies took place
on 30 September 1959 with the V Corps commander, Lieutenant General
Paul D. Adams, officiating. Assisting the Ninth on this job were
the 299th and 317th Engineer Combat Battalions, the 568th Light
Equipment Company (all from the 37th Group) and elements of the
7th Engineer Construction Brigade.
In the summer of 1958, a flare-up in the Cold War resulted in the
dispatch of an expeditionary force to Lebanon. One of the battalions
of the 37th Group, the 299th Combat Battalion, was moved with short
notice into the troubled area. The Ninth responded to a sudden call
for personnel and transferred 100 of its men to the Lebanon-bound
outfit. Upon the return of the 299th to Germany, the men were given
the opportunity of returning to their former unit and the majority
returned happily to the 9th Engineer Battalion and their Aschaffenburg
On 13 December 1958, the 9th Engineer Battalion was expanded by
the addition of Company D. The company, which was formed by a redesignation
of Company A, 63rd Engineer Battalion, was originally located at
Giessen, Germany, and remained there until the following March when
the move to Aschaffenburg was completed.
On 1 December 1961, the battalion was relieved of attachment to
the 37th Engineer Group at Hanau and attached to the 540th
Engineer Group with headquarters in Kornwestheim, Germany.
With the change, the men of the battalion removed their V Corps
shoulder patches and sewed on the big red star of VII Corps.
With the transfer to VII Corps attachment, the unit began to do
their twice-yearly training at the Seventh Army Training Areas of
Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr instead of on the reservation at Wildflecken.
The battalion began moving to the field more frequently, as they
provided engineer support to the divisions of VII Corps on their
annual week-long field training exercises. On these exercises, the
majority of which were held during winter months, the Ninth rendered
a variety of support. On some it augmented the divisional engineer
battalions in the accomplishment of engineer tasks. On others the
battalion was charged with the responsibility of controlling, reporting,
and repairing maneuver damage. They had already gained considerable
experience in the latter field while serving under V Corps. In the
summer of 1961, Company D spent several months at Grafenwoehr straightening
out the damage done during "Wintershield II." During November 1961,
the Ninth was charged by the V Corps commander with the responsibility
for establishing a tight control and reporting system for maneuver
damage created by the 3rd Armored Division and the 8th Infantry
Division on exercises "Brandywine" and "Main Barge." Company D spent
several months in 1962 and 1963 repairing maneuver damage near the
town of Osterburken.
Construction experience was gained by the battalion in many ways.
Projects were assigned which assisted the German communities in
the vicinity of Aschaffenburg. These German-American projects generally
consisted of sport-field construction, the earthwork connected with
civic or church enterprises, or the emergency use of heavy equipment
to alleviate unexpected problems. During May of 1962, Company B
went to the Grafenwoehr Training Area to do light construction work
on the ranges of the reservation. Each of the companies engaged,
at one time or another, in small construction projects for the military
units at Aschaffenburg. Several HAWK missile sites were also built
by the men of the 9th Engineer Battalion.
Float bridge training continued with the unit spending a dozen or
so days each year on the Rhine River. In general the training site
near Leeheim was used, but in 1962 the bridge was put in near the
city of Speyer. Additional periods of float bridge training were
scheduled in the summer of 1962 on the Danube near Gross Mehring;
and panel bridge training was carried out in the beautiful Altmuhl
Valley near Riedenburg.
So, with many days each year being spent away from their home station
of Aschaffenburg, the 9th Engineer Battalion continued intensive
training to keep prepared for that ever-present possibility, the
outbreak of war. While the diplomats conferred, negotiated, and
sued for peace, the 9th Engineer Battalion, with its many comrades
in the Seventh Army, maintained itself in a combat-ready posture.
With the Iron Curtain only a few miles away, the battalion was truly
serving on "Freedom's Frontier."
|If you have more
information on the history or organization of the 9th Engr Bn, please
Pamphlet, 9th Engr Bn, 1959)
of Activities (1958)
Since its arrival in Aschaffenburg in November 1957 the
battalion has run a tight schedule, dividing its time
between customary training and field exercises and projects
designed to benefit surrounding communities as well as
improve existing military facilities. Some examples: assistance
in building several sports fields, maintenance of the
local orphanage, aid to the youth center and International
Club; partial construction of an airstrip at Buedingen,
restoration of rifle ranges at Wertheim, Schweinheim and
Darmstadt, and construction of a hardstand and washrack
for armored vehicles at Kitzingen.
For an idea of the range of battalion activies - which
you will be taking part in - here ist a brief review of
the 1958 highlights:
February - engineer support on FTX "Sabre Hawk", the largest
ever held in USAREUR; bridge and minewarfare training
at Campo Pond, Hanau.
March - support for V Corps CPX "Lion Bleu".
April - moved to Wildflecken Training Area for tactical
training, engineer support of the 373rd Armd Inf Bn and
maintenance of range roads.
June - earned 3rd place in the 37th Engr Gp Bridge Competition
July - Rhine River crossing at Oberstein.
August - back to Wildflecken for more tactical training
and road maintenance.
October - "high excellent" on the Army Training Test
November - engineer support for the 3d Inf Div CPX "Autumn
December - "high excellent" on the Annual General Inspection
|"Home of the
Smith Barracks is home. Here you eat, sleep, work, pull guard duty,
and best of all - get paid.
The local citizens know it as La Garde Kaserne, named for a large
forest near Paris which served as a famous World War I battlefield.
It was completed in 1937 and was the headquarters of the 106th Infantry
Regiment of the German Army until 1945. For three years the kaserne
lay unoccupied; when restored it housed Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion
of the 18th US Infantry Regiment.
The kaserne was re-designated Smith Barracks in honor of Colonel George
A. Smith, the Commanding Officer of the 18th who was killed in action
1 March 1945. He had been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in
action in the vicinity of St. Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, on D-Day
These units remained until 1955 when they were replaced by the 87th
Infantry Regiment, whose tenure ended in July of 1957. The 9th (Engr
Bn) took over in November of that year and has kept house up to the
present, just recently expanding to take over part of Jaeger Kaserne.
This was the result of the addition of Co D to the battalion, new
facilities being needed to house the increased number of personnel.
Co A moved into a section of the Education Building in Jaeger Kaserne,
thus leaving adequate room for the new company.
Besides well-equipped day rooms, this kaserne contains a large gymnasium,
the home of "Colts", and an eight-lane-bowling alley. The EES also
maintains a pick-up point for laundry, shoe and watch repair etc .
. . .
|(Source: Email from Ronald Carnaghi, C Company, 9th Cbt Engr Bn)
|I was in the 9th from November 1959 to September 1961. Was in both Wintershields, was in cleanup of Wintersheild 2 at Grafenwohr when the wall was put up in Berlin.
When I first got there I was the Comany clerk because I previously had typing experience. I worked for Sgt. Major Harold H. Hood. I can't remember our CO's name.
I had four MOS's so in March of 1960 I transferred back to being a Heavy Equipment Operator. I operated a Bulldozer and drove a tractor trailer lowboy.
In the summer of 1960 we were on bridge training for crossing the Rhine River when the Hellicopter carying the cable across the river had to drop it because of the wind. The bridge work was completed successful on that day.
Some of the men in the equipment crew were SP-5 Hobbs , SP-4 Ebert, SP-4 Larry Darlington, PFC Al Nixon, PFC Pennington, and myself, SP-5 Ron Carnaghi. Some of the Platoon Sgts. were Hicks, Musselwhite, Randolph, Mathews.
In the fall of 1960 the Company received a Michigan rubber tire end loader and I became the operator of it.
In the spring the Company returned to Grafenwoehr for the restoration of the farmland and roads. We were out doing the work when the Berlin Crisis happened. We were immediately put on alert and ready to move out.
The barracks we lived in had outside walls that were 3 ft thick and housed C & D company's. They had two floors and also a game room and a basement with tailor and barber shop.
I have lost track of names of the Battalion Commander.
Also, in our Company our Lieutenants were 1st Lt Pouscheck, 2nd Lt Loschabo.
It was a great experience of my life, do not regret it.
"A" Company, 9th Engr Bn, Jaeger Kaserne, 1960-63
"A" Company, 9th Engr Bn, Jaeger Kaserne, 1960-63
|(Source: Email from Walter King)
|Service in 9th Combat Engineer Battallion, A Company, Headquarters Squad 1960 to 1963
1. Main gate, Jaeger Kaserne
2. Barracks, Jaeger Ksn
3. Motor pool
|(Source: Aschaffenburg Reunion Page)
|Click here to read a write up by Colonel Paul S. Denison, CO of the 9th ECB from 1964-1966. Well written, interesting reading! Discusses the challenges of battalion command. (File is in PDF format.)
9th Engr Bn photo, 1963
|(Source: Email from William R. Petrie)
9th Engr BN (CBT)
Smith KSN - HQ, B, C, D Companies
Jaeger KSN - A Company
Our primary responsibility was about 100 miles of the River Main, Frankfurt to Wurzburg, as I recall.
I served with A Company 9th Engr BN (CBT) from March 1965 - May 1967 and wore the VII Corps patch the entire time.
I have setup a unit page on Military.com http://unitpages.military.com/unitpages/unit.do?id=801950 whick includes info from the BN Commander, a story posted by my Plt Leader, LT Farmer and a Unit history. (A Company 9th Engr BN)
Click on image to enlarge
from Robert Farmer, 9th Engr Bn, 1965-66)
|I was just on
your website and saw your article about the 9th Engineer Bn history.
I was in the 9th Engr Bn from April 1965
until about May-June, 1966. Harold
D. Morgan was my second company commander and was my best man
at my wedding in 1966. The picture he sent was the bridge I remember
helping to build. I was a 2nd Lt and platoon commander of the 1st
& 3rd platoons of A Company, 9th Eng Bn.
Later, after my wedding in 1966, I was assigned to our sister battalion,
the 82nd Engr Bn, in Bamberg, Germany, and was there from 1966
till 1967. I was the S-4 Supply Officer and special assistant to the
Co A (9th Engr Bn) built two bridges over the Rhine: the first in
1965 and second in 1966. One was at Speyer, and the other near Heidelberg,
Germany. We also built bailey bridges and timber trestle bridges as
part of our training, like all Engr Bn's.
My wife was from Brand bei Marktredwitz, north of Grafenwoehr. Brand
was a base for a 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which patrolled the
Border between West Germany, East Germany, and Checloslavakia. My
first platoon command was to renovate the roads leading up to the
camp and making a helicopter landing pad. We also did some other work
inside of the old camp. The camp is now used by the town of Brand/Marktredwitz.
Co A was assigned to the Main River bridges from Aschaffenburg to
Wurzburg, and the canal locks, and all of the roads around. Co A used
to build a lot of soccer fields in the Aschaffenburg area. Every year
we would go to Grafenwoehr for a month of construction projects, like
tank firing pads. Also, once a year we went to Hohenfelds for combat
training, and live firing. There we had our live explosives training
and orientation and familiarization with the Army's latest weapons.
We also had special maneuvers with the Bundeswehr and the other Combat
outfits of 7th Corps, Seventh Army Europe.
I have seen where the 7th Corps was assigned to the Gulf War in 1980-81,
and my outfit, the 9th and 82nd were probably involved.
from Harold D. Morgan, A Co, 9th Engr Bn, 1966-68)
was stationed with the 9th Engineer Bn in 1966-1968. I
was CO, Co. A, Bn S-3, Bn XO.
The year 1966 was memorable for me as in that year several
of us got married in Aschaffenburg, mostly to American
The 9th was commanded in 1965-67 by LTC Milford Nealis,
who was replaced in the summer of 1967 by LTC Robert S.
Attached is a photograph of a Bailey Bridge training exercise
that took place in the Spring of 1966. This is Company
A, 9th Engineer Battalion, somewhere near the Main River
Several of old 9th Engineers are meeting in a reunion
of Aschaffenburg people in September, and I will attempt
to collect some information from some of the others and
pass it on to you.
In searching the web last night, for example, I found
out my old Company A building at Jaeger Kaserne is now
the main building for the Aschaffenburg University of
ADM Pltn, 9th
Engr Bn CBT Pocket Patch
|(Source: Email from Eugene D. Arial, ADM Pltn, 1971-1973)
|I was stationed in A-burg with the 9th Engr. Bn. ADM Platoon from 1971-1973, I was a Team Chief for most of my there I did act as the PSG for some of the time. We had a real good bunch of soldiers and we not only worked hard, but we played hard also.
There was another saying for the TQ part of the patch, I'm sure you can figure it out. The bad part about wearing that patch on our uniforms was it made us easy to spot when we were some place we shouldn't be.
If any of you old 12E's would like to hook up with some other 12E's go to www.567thadm.org -- we have had 2 reunions so far and are planning on having one every 2 years. Next one should be in 2008 in the Pacific Northwest.
I can remember some names from the past and would like to hear from you, please excuse the spelling: George M. Kivii Jr., Tom Kapski, John Rybecky 1lt, Barry Kent PSG, Earl Kasco, Brad P. Mantha, Dan Blocher (run through the woods naked), Walter Erb Christsen, Blotzie (document clerk), Smalley, Howard, Robert Brown, Palmer, Fransworth, & my driver Cinnonmy (comic book collector). Just to name a few I can remember right now.
Eugene D, Arial (Bucket Ass)
| (Source: Email from John H. Maher, ADM Pltn, 1974-1975)
You have a question mark (Webmaster: now removed. Thanks, John!) after your picture of the 9th Engineer ADM Platoon patch. If you are questioning, that is exactly what it is. It was a two part pocket patch, the TQ on top be awarded only after someone was Technically Qualified . . . . . we also called it Tequila Qualified after a long standing tradition.
I was with the 9th ADM Platoon in 1974 and was part of the group that moved the platoon to the consolidated 275th Engineer Company in Ludwigsburg in early 1975.
The 9th ADM Platoon became the 1st Platoon of the 275th. We were the first group to move from A-burg to Ludwigsburg. I can't seem to remember which platoons came next. I do remember, although I lived "off post", that the third floor at Coffey wasn't completely done when the 9th platoon got there. We took one end of the 2nd floor and the next group in the other. There was about a month when we were there alone. We also had to take turns going back to A-Burg to cover NRAS for at least a month, maybe more.
I was the NCOIC of the Coffey Barracks theatre for awhile, which was fun. We had a medical unit, don't remember their number, on Coffey with us. I spent my last 8 months as a ADM site inspector, which means I had to drive all over Germany counting our weapons and sending reports back to Washington.
I was not a long time ADM person, I came from the 101st Airborne (Ranger) Co, Vietnam and Ft. Campbell. Somehow they thought a 12D40P was right for a ADM assignment. I got 2 weeks of ADM training before going to Germany. I felt like a fish out of water, the ADM Platoons were much more laid back than what I was use to.
The ADM guys had a reputation of Ain't Doing Much. But had the ballon gone up we pretty much knew if the Russians didn't get us our own weapon probably would.
In just about every scenario we would be heading East while everyone else was heading West.
9th Engineer Battalion - official web site of the unit that still serves in Germany; check out Page 2 in the Glance at Our History section - some Cold War photos of the unit