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7748th Dependents Housing Detachment
Bad Mergentheim Sub-Post

European Command

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.


Sub-Post HQ

Signal Section

Transient Hotels

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Research Request
1. Photos of transient hotels, sub-post activities at Bad Mergentheim
Subject: Looking for period photos of the US Army activities (including hotels, messes, service clubs, dependent school, PX, commissary, etc.) in and around Bad Mergentheim in the 1940s and 1950s.
Contact: webmaster

2. Installation maps of US Army sub-post and activities in Bad Mergentheim
Subject: Looking for facility/post engineer maps of the various installations, activities and transient hotels in the Bad Mergentheim area during the 7748th Dependent Housing Detachment era.
Contact: webmaster

Panorama of Bad Mergentheim, 1950s (German postcard)
(Source: STUTTGART POST NEWS, June 19, 1948)
Special Train Carries 184 EC Newcomers
The largest shipment of dependents and their sponsors in the history of the 7748th Dependents Housing Detachment arrived here (Bad Mergentheim) aboard a special train from Bremerhaven on June 11.

Made up of 10 sleepers, a diner and baggage car, the train had to be divided two sections in order to be accomodated at the station. Aboard were 184 persons of 60 families who had come to the EC on the Blanche Sigmund.

Members of the transportation section of the 7748 boarded the train at Würzburg, and orientation was given to the passengers prior to arrival here. Busses were waiting at the depot to take the newcomers to rooms which had already neen assigned by the billeting section in one of the 15 hotels run by the detachment. Baggage was unloaded and transferred by truck to the respective hotels; hold baggage is kept in a warehouse until the families are moved to their permanent stations. Moves to permanent locations are carried out with the same care and attention as the original operations.

The 7748th, which was activated on Sept. 10, 1947, has accomodated thousands of transient dependents and their sponsors. Families arrive directly from Bremerhaven and remain until quarters are available at the sponsor's permanent station. The largest number housed at any one time was 727, and the average now is approximately 600.

Lt Col Charles K. Dillingham is commanding officer of the sub-post, along with Capt Eldon B. Wood, hotel officer, Capt Adolph Doman, transportation officer, and Lt Lance E. Butler, Special Services officer, and all other officers and EM of the detachment make every effort to see that the stay of dependents in Bad Mergentheim is comfortable and entertaining.

(Source: STUTTGART POST NEWS, September 18, 1948)
Sub-Post Celebrates Anniversary
The 7748th Dependents Housing Detachment celebrated its first birthday here (Bad Mergentheim) last Friday with a program which included a concert, a retreat parade and a buffet support.

The ceremonies began at 2:30 Friday afternoon, with a concert by the 7764th Army Band, a 60-piece organization from the Kitzingen Basic Training Center led by SFC Butler E. Rogers. They played classical and modern American music.

At 5 p.m. a formal retreat parade was held, at which Brig Gen Arnold J. Funk presented Bronze Star Medals to six EM of the 7748th Dependents Housing Detachment, for exemplary conduct in action. The men were M/Sgt Rupert R. Holland, SFC Dell D. Hensley, SFC John E. Anagnost, Sgt Milton R. Heinle, Cpl Charles L. McQuerry and Cpl Charles F. Clark, Jr.

The parade was held under the shady trees of the Kur Park, in which the Sub-post headquarters building is located. This was a pleasant contrast to the usual formal parade inasmuch as there was no blistering sun to make the formation uncomfortable, and a cool breeze blew through the trees to fan the faces of the troops and bystanders. The fine atmosphere seemed to set the keynote for the lovely evening that followed, as there was nothing to mar a really enjoyable day.

At 7 p.m. a buffet supper was held in the Glass House for all members of the detachment and their guests, along with the dignitaries invited by Lt Col and Mrs Charles K. Dillingham. Among the latter were Brig Gen and Mrs Funk, Col and Mrs Abner Zehm, Lt Col T.H. Sills, Maj J.E. Harrison and others.

The buffet supper was prepared under the supervision of Maj Robert R. Weidoff, sub-post mess officer, who incidentally, claims to be the oldest cook and baker in the US Army. The supper menu consisted of fried chicken, cold baked ham, cold pork sandwiches, shoestring potatoes, baked beans, rolls, and assorted relishes. Liquid refreshments were served with a choice of bottled beer, champagne punch, coca-cola, and coffee.

Maj Weidoff has 32 years in the Army and has had a rather interesting career. He rose from the grade of private somehwat erratically from rank to rank, as he never held a corporal's rating, and never was a lieutenant, advancing from M/Sgt to Captain in one jump. He told POST NEWS that his messes are the best in the EC; he operates 14 hotel kitchens and four regular messes, and according to Lt Col Dillingham, runs the Class B messes at a profit, which is a feather in any man's hat.

Cake Carries Inscription
The cake itself was a beautiful creation prepared especially for the occasion. Two large white swans floating on a green lake, held in check by a tiny figure holding the reins, decorated the top, while on one side in colored icing was inscribed the following:
Bad Mergentheim
Military Sub-Post
7748th Dependents Housing
24th General Dispensary
10 September 1948
"Our biggest troubles are other
people's little ones."

Before the cake was cut Lt Col Dillingham spoke for a few moments and briefly told the history of the detachment, how it was the first of its kind in the history of the US Army and how it functioned. He told something of the many troubles and tribulations the officers and men had faced successfully. He expresses his thanks to the personnel of the sub-post and hoped that they would all continue to work together in the future as well as they had in the past.

Mrs Gabriel Cuts Cake
Upon concluding his talk, Col Dillingham introduced Mrs J.C. Gabriel, wife of Lt Col Gabriel, of Darmstadt, who was the first dependent to be served by the detachment on Oct 28, last year, while enroute to Darmstadt from the MTO. Mrs Gabriel did the honors and made the first cut in the cake.

After the cake was served, dance music was provided by the Atoms dance band group of the 7764th Army Band.

The mission of the 7748th Dependent Housing is to provide temporary billets and accomodations for military personnel and their dependents enroute to the new assignments in the theater. In the past year approximately 4,500 dependents have passed through the unit. During the month of June, 811 transients were accomodated. The regular monthly average is 466.5 to date. Messes must be prepared to serve from 400-800 people each day, including babies, which are not the least of the mess officer's worries.

The detachment enjoys the prestige of performing a novel and unusual job, that of temporary home and family to American personnel newly arrived in Europe

Sub-Post Signal Section

STUTTGART POST NEWS article, Sept 25, 1948

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