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USAREUR Publications and Training Aids Center
USAREUR

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.


History 

7879th AU (USAREUR AG Pubs & Record Center)

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History

German firefighters during efforst to quell a large fire inside the Hoechst Chemical
Plant. EUCOM's AG Graphics Art section was nearby. (Richard Hofacker)

Another photo of the Hoechst Chemical Plant during the fire (Richard Hofacker)
1948
(Source: Email from Richard Q. Hofacker, Jr.)
I served in the Army Air Force in occupied Germany, from Nov. 1945 to Oct., 1947, in Troop Information & Education at Fürstenfeldbruck Air Force Base (Replacement Depot section) and Erding Air Force Base. I took my discharge in Germany, rank of sergeant, to accept civilian employment by the Adjutant General Office, Graphic Art Section in Höchst until Oct. 1948, when I returned to the Zone of the Interior (Armyspeak for the USA).

I have numerous photographs that inform your page, plus actual copies of our base newspaper published at "Fursty". If you are interested,

I never got to the Pubs Center HQ (at Höchst), but I can describe the Graphic Arts Section.

We were housed inside the I. G. Farben chemical plant (possibly the rest of the Center was there too, but in other buildings). Our operation was inside a small former administration building in the middle of large old former chemical production buildings.

I have a photo in my files of that building, but it might be in black/white negative only. I'll have to search for it. I also have some other photos shots inside the office as well as outside, showing the Farben plant facilities at that time (1947/48).

The Graphic Arts Section was headed by Captain Dale Boatman, whom I met in June, 1946, whike on TDY in Frankfurt. We stayed in touch, and he extended an employment offer in September 1947, for one year. Again, I have my papers somewhere so I'll try to find them including the pay grade, etc.

My basic job was as a cartoonist for posters, slide presentations, etc. Captain Boatman noticed my work in 1946 when I won second prize in a command-wide Overseas Artists Competition run by the Höchst Chapter of the American Red Cross. Because the Theater Commander, Gen. Joseph McNarney, was scheduled to present the prizes, my base commander put me on TDY as well as his personal twin-engine Beechcraft so I could fly to Frankfurt for the ceremonies.

The attached photo of a fire scene shows one of the nearby buildings on the same street as our small office building. I also recall that we had an annex operation in an adjacent building, where we had at least one Photostat machine and some silk-screen presses, as well as photo darkrooms.

I also have a lot of info about the ETO redeployment and demobilization of troops in the months following the Nazi surrenders. My data include hard-to-find facts about the "cigarette camps" on the Normandy coast near Le Havre, which processed all the EM and officers, including thousands of POWs, who were returning to the ZI (or who were redeployed to the Pacific before the Japanese surrender).

Attached are three in-plant views of that chemical plant in Höchst. The building fire was on the same street as our little office building, if I recall correctly. The inside view of the fire shows some equipment that might help to determine the type of building usage. I'm still looking for the photo of our building's exterior, but I'm certain I have it. I'm not as mobile as I used to be, so my daughter has to help me and she's often busy with other things, The third photo shows a general view of the plant, the sort of scene I walked through every day going to work.

By the way, did you know that the AFN radio station also was located in Höchst, in a castle(!). I visited them several times and they let me use a turntable to listen to 16-rpm recordings of music. I have some photos of that building if you're interested,.


Graphic Arts Sec
Höchst

 

1. Christmas Fair, 1947

2. Military Govt Bldg Berchtesgaden

3. Berchtesgaden
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
As mentioned in an earlier email, I served in the Army Air Force (Sgt., Troop Information and Education) in Occupied Germany from December 1945 to October 1947, and then as a civilian with the Adjutant General Office in Höchst, until October 1948.

My office (in the Graphic Arts Section) was located in the giant I.G. Farben chemical plant within walking distance of the AFN studios. You can see two of the Farben stacks to the castle's photo right. The guards in the entrance were Polish DPs (displaced persons) hired for security.
 

Entrance to the AFN Frankfurt radio station in Höchst, 1947
 

Occupation GI listens to the radio show "Lunchin' in Munchen" on AFN, 1947
 
In 1947 I met one of the AFN guys (I can't recall his name) who sympathized with my lack of a turntable and records, so I was given permission to go up in the tower with a stack of records at night -- picked from both the classical and pop racks -- and satiate my ears for hours. Eventually I found a source that built a nice console for my quarters (for cigarettes, of course) and stopped abusing AFN's hospitality. I loved AFN!

Thinking about my visit to AFN in 1947, I also recall that the recordings I listened to in the castle tower were on 16" disks, played on 16-2/3 RPM turntables. I don't know when those were phased out.

I don't know if your AFN history files mention the fact that the Luxemberg AFN station in 1945 had a pile of Nazi Magnetron audio tape machines with many blank tapes. The staff wasn't interested in them but a Signal Corps sergeant named John Mullin definitely was. He copped three of them, with a supply of tapes, sent one machine to his superiors, and shipped the other two with tapes to the States. Of course, we had nothing like that then. The upshot was the introduction of the Ampex company and the 3-M tape line. I have the details in my files if you are interested.


Possible location of the Publications & Training Aids Center at Hoechst, 1946 - 1961 (BING)
(If you have additional details or photos of the Pubs and Training Aid activity at Höchst,
please contact the webmaster - see email link at top of page)


This photo of the Publications & Training Aids Center was taken by someone
else, but shows part of our Hoechst building, facing towards the river (Bill Westland)

1958
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Nov 19, 1958)
The US Army Publications and Training Aids Center, Europe located at Hoechst, Germany, is responsible for supplying printing publications and training aids for Army units from Greenland to Pakistan.

CO of the Publications Center is Lt Col L. W. Teter. The plant employs a staff of American military personnel as well as local national civilians and is equipped with 19 offset and 11 letter presses, 7 teletype machines and additional support equipment.

The installation comprises a printing branch, publications branch and the Training Aid Center.

The plant handled about 650,000 orders in 1957, that included printing Cetificates of Achievements, travel voucher forms, Army pamphlets, posters, Army regulations and circulars, and creating training aid films. The plant uses about 118 tons of paper a month. 300 tons of publications and forms are handled monthly (a lot of it coming from priniting plants in the States) and about 4500 training aids are fabricated monthly.

The printing plant was established at Hoechst in 1946. At the time there were other German printing plants that were also used to meet the Army's needs in Germany. The present consolidated plant was established in 1948. The Center will be moved to Roedelheim (next to the autobahn) to a new factory that is scheduled to be completed in Sept 1959.


Warehouse and loading docks at the new Publications Plant (Bill Westland)

Sign in front of the HQ Building of the new Publications Plant (Bill Westland)

Entrance to new Publications Plant (Bill Westland)
1961
(Source: Email from Bill Westland)
I was with the AG Publications and Training Aids Center, from Aug. 1961 to Sep. 1962, barracked in Eschborn, bused to Hoechst to the printing plant and back twice each day.

The location of the building at Hoechst was in a warehouse-type building that was right next to the Main River, in, I believe, the Hoechst Chemical Company compound. (Webmaster note: I have added a recent aerial view - BING - of a section of the Hoechst Chemical Plant along the Main River that shows three long and narrow warehouse-type buildings right on the river. One of them, possibly the one indicated by the orange arrow, could be the building in question.) Each day we had to go through a gate to enter the complex.


Before going to Germany I was told I was too “short” to go overseas, but then came the orders to go. I’ve always thought it was only because of the need to clean up the new building (at Roedelheim). I’m in contact with a few others from my time there, all preceded me there and spent time in the old Hoechst plant longer than I did, and may have a better perspective of it. I don’t think either of them spent much, if any time, in the new building.


We moved into the new barracks (at Roedelheim) probably about Aug. 1962. They weren’t ready when the move was made earlier in the year to the new building.

Worked as a linotype operator and proofreader. About 30 personnel were shipped in with me to help clean up the new printing plant. It was apparently behind schedule. After the move I spent most of my time as a proofreader.

Only a couple of us had been in the printing trades, rest were all different MOS. I actually started on the linotype, but when it came time to start the cleanup, a bunch of us were issued brooms, sawdust was shipped in, and we began sweeping the building.

Eight to 10 us spent a month or so walking around tables, collating and filling boxes with a sample of all the publications we had on hand, to be used in case needed during the moving process. Don’t think any of them were ever used.

A main part of the GI presence was for Classified work. The Germans did most, but not all, of the clear work. When the new facility was built, it had a self-contained classified area, with most of the material came in on film, from the US, to be plated and printed onsite. But the linotypes were in the clear area, so if there was anything classified that had to be done in hot type, they used wooden screens to surround the linotype machines. The rest of the GIs worked in the Training Aids and Warehousing Operations.

Sometime in 1962 the Commanding General of USAREUR retired. AG Pub was given the last-minute task of printing all the materials for the retirement ceremony. Most of the material was new and had to be typeset on the Linotypes. Myself and another GI were working in proofreading, although we weren’t trained as such, and were assigned to “hold copy” for a proofreader flown in from either GPO, or DOD to assure we didn’t mess something up.

I also have a few photos of the outside of the plant and barracks at Eschborn and Roedelheim.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
As a member of the hot type/letterpress area, I was in one of the smaller groups there. The printing group consisted of offset pressmen, camera/platemaking, 2 or 3 Linotype personnel and 1-2 proofreaders.

The rest of the group consisted of a few artists that worked for the Training Aids Division, clerks to handle requests and distribution of publications and training aids, various drivers, warehouse and the in-camp personnel.

Not having worked in the other areas, I can’t describe their functions at work, but saw a lot of the activity in the rest of the printing and binding areas. As I mentioned before, a majority of this work in the non-classified areas was performed by German civilians, as linotype operators, hand compositors, pressmen, camera/platemakers and binders. I think the same was true of the Training Aids Area.

Some of the work that was done in the non-classified areas, were ration coupons: done on large sheet-fed off-set presses, then cut down into smaller sheets, sent to the letterpress area to be printed with numbers on Heidelberg Presses. (Various military personnel were assigned weapons and acted as guards for phases of the ration coupon work. Each night the coupons and scrap were all taken to a vault until shipped. They had a large “street value.”) Another large job each month were menus for the Army and Air Force mess halls in Europe. If my memory serves me right, the type for the menus was set on the linotypes. I’m not sure of everything else that was produced on the offset presses, but that is where the majority of the printing was done.

Shortly after the new plant opened an old Kelley flat-bed press was brought into the letter press area and was used to print score sheets for the military bowling alleys.

HOECHST / ESCHBORN

Unit sign in front of Enlisted Det barracks at Camp Eschborn (Bill Westland)
Bldg 749 in the background on the right.

Annotated map for Camp Eschborn, 1960
Comments on the Annotated Map (above)

Our barracks was #751, part of which was also occupied by German civilians who worked for the US Army in various capacities. They wore Army fatigues with no patches.

#752 also housed the Germans.

#753 and 754 were occupied by a Quartermaster outfit that drove gasoline trucks and supported units in the field during alerts. The 2 large cylindrical buildings under #677 were gasoline storage tanks. (Webmaster note: a third, larger, POL storage tank was located on the southwestern end of the post, west of Bldg #666.)

#758 was a clubhouse that was built for the Germans, but was used by the GIs as well.

The buildings underneath #652 were apparently storage buildings, altho, one was a club for the GIs, but I only remember it being open one or twice, and not used much after the club for the Germans was built.

#749, don’t know, was never in it.

#750 was the Mess Hall.

#s 656-659 were quonsut huts, probably used for storage. Rumor was they were left over from WWII.

That’s it from my perspective. Was never in the rest of the buildings.


Playing catch next to the unit billets (right) at Camp Eschborn (Bill Westland)
Storage buildings across the road - one of them was used as a GI Club.

Publications Plant
Eschborn billets

 

1. Sunday morning ball game

2. Inside the German club

3. Open bay billets
 

4. POL storage tanks

5. View towards the back of the post

6. The German club
 

7. Unit barracks building

8. Mess hall and quonset huts

 
       
ROEDELHEIM

First official formation held at the new plant (Bill Westland)

Part of the Enlisted Detachment gather for a group photo
after the first formation (Bill Westland)

Publications Plant
Rödelheim

 

1. Publications section

2. Admin section

3. Parking lot & barracks
 

4. New barracks bldg

5. Front entrance

6. Lady from Camera Department and her future husband
 

7. Kitchen area of barracks
     

Late 1960s
(Source: Email from James Preston)
I was stationed there from circa August, 1968 through August, 1970. I may have a few photos and possibly a brochure about the facility. I can also supply a fairly long list of names of personnel I remember being there.

I understood that there was also a Raytheon Missile Plant close to us to the North. We had a detachment of Security MPs attached to us for rations and quarters, whose duty was to guard the Raytheon Plant. They came from units all over Germany, rather than from a specific MP Unit. More on this in the narrative to follow.


 

Former AG Support Center in Roedelheim (BING)
(click on image to view larger annotated format; click on BING link to redirect to the BING satellite view)
 

Inside the printing plant at Roedelheim, 1971
 
1971
(Source: ARMY in EUROPE Magazine, November 1971)

ARMY in EUROPE Magazine article, 1971: Page 1, Page 2

(Source: US Army Training Support Activity, Europe Pamphlet)
 
Page 2-3
Page 4 (back cover)

 
US Army article on move of TAPC (an element of TSAE) from Roedelheim to Kaiserslautern in 2009 - link
 
Webmaster note: If you worked at the AG Support Center or have details about the center at Roedelheim, I would be very interested in hearing from you. Ehemalige deutsche Angestellte können auch auf Deutsch schreiben - webmaster

 
Related Link
The American Overseas Schools Historical Society
- the Memory Book on this interesting web site presents personal recollections of school teachers, administrators, students and their families who lived in post World War II Europe and other overseas locations. A great site for "brats."