Dragoon Base

Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.

Very first foot patrol in camp rotz sector, we ran across a chez patrol going in the other direction. My team leader told me to stay in place and lock but not load my M2 submachine gun while he approched them. During those times (1973) we had to keep a peice of green tape over the top of the magizine so the ammo did not fall out, heavan help you if you were short a round when you returned from patrol. To my horor the magizine would not go into the gun becuase of the residue left from the tape. Afterwards we discovered once the mag had been cleaned the top round also had enough residue that it would not chamber.

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They loaded all us 'cruits up in a bus and we drove the trace to give us a quick and dirty introduction. At one point, we stopped right in clear sight of a Czech border tower and dismounted. SSG Schroeder, wanting to mess with the Commies, walked to within a few feet of the grenze, set his big lifer thermos down on the ground, then started running from it, yelling for all of us to move back, move back! The Czechs, not knowing what the hell that silver thing on the ground was, whipped out the binos, began calling it in to their higher (I assume), etc. Finally, Schroeder casually walked back, poured himself some coffee and dank it. We all got a good laugh at the expense of those poor, confused Commies. Welcome to the border, PFC Howell.
Man, those were the days!
One of my fondest memories I have of my tours at Camp Gates is the system I shared with my best friend Johnny Walker. After patrolling for 12-18 hrs, we were pretty worn out and the last thing we wanted to do was look around for the CEOI in the jeep. So, when John was in ops he would acknowledge my arrival at Hotel Sierra with Sierra Bravo (suck butt) or Kilo Alpha (kiss ass) or variations of the sentiment. I would authenticate his message with the initials of a certain large jawed NCO. We both got a laugh out of it and it made for an easy return. Anyway, one night a cruit LT was in ops and overheard our transmissions. Instead of reaming us out , he commended us on our quick use of the CEOI, he claimed he had never seen anything so professional! If he only knew, we never told him of course.

Oh yeah, John. You owe me a lap top. When I heard you say you were "going to the club" in your video I blew a cup of coffee all over mine! (only kidding)
This sounds a little like the Grosser Osser. There are 2 mountains that form the border in that area.You would have still have to have climed a ways to reach the Gasthause if this is the same place. It is the only one I remember with cables. Try this link to see what you think.http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://...
Gary Gray said:
I remember once on patrol one of our check points was a gastaus that had the border running a few feet behind it. This place was near Bayer Eisenstein I think, but it was way up a steep dirt road that was difficult to traverse even in the summer. The owner had an elaborate rope and pulley system to get supplies up in the winter. After several tries on one trip in the winter, we made it up! (in jeeps) it was hilarious! Once at the top we went around back where you could see into checholslovakia for miles. At that time a chech patrol came up the path and we were face to face with them!! us on one side and them on the other. All of us panicked (including them) hid our weapons and maps etc. They did reports on us and we did reports on them. Once that was over we all shook hands, one guy gave me his belt buckle and I gave him a pack of good ole' marlboros. I remember this because it scared the crap out of me!! does anyone remember this gasthaus or the name of it? I'm pretty sure it was in the camp May sector but not positive. Gary 76-79
One of many things I remember about the border is being there at Christmas. I drew the short straw and had GSR duty on Christmas eve. Once we were in position and settled in for the night, border ops called and said an an unidentified object was crossing the border. We identified it as Santa crossing the border, border ops told us to name all the reindeer in our report. So here are the 4 of us trying to remember all the names.
My first memory is arriving on the Rock and B Troop was already on the border. Upon getting to camp Pitman I was assigned to Sgt. Burns team. It must have been like 3 days later when I actually saw the border. We went on patrol and at one of those rural PVP's where the road just ends at a pole across it, Sgt. Burns quite literally walked me right up to it and pointing left and right said that;s the border try to stay on our side of it today. mk
My first border patrol was in the late fall of 1962. I voluntered to go with C. troop. We went to Hof. It was 12 hrs on and 12 hrs off. One month duration. Still beat being bored at the rock.
Cold and deep snow. Only had our parkas and sleeping bags to keep warm.
Went from OP to OP. Checked in on our arrival at each OP.
My first OP a surprise. While inside the OP and West German Border Guard rushed in and shouted " Seig Hiel". Took me completely off guard and I scrambled out of that OP. Everyone was laughing at the new guy.
We patroled normally in an open jeep having a 30 cal. coax machine, along with our individual weapons.
I do remember that the meals at the mess hall at Hof served very good meals. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and a midnight meal. Real plates, glasses, cups and silverware. Beat C rats all to pieces.
I guess that in my 2 years on the Rock, I went to the border about 5 to 6 times, with different line companies.
Hard to believe that is was that long ago. Things do change.
It's nearly Christmas and that always brings back memories of my first Christmas in Germany. Joined K Troop in November 1962 and joined them at Camp Gates as a platoon leader. Deep snow and super cold. A Christmas tree "magically" appeared, probably courtesy of the Scouts, and was decorated with electric candles. Several women and their daughters came in from the village each evening after the Mess Hall was cleaned up after dinner and baked German cookies all night. The deal was that we supplied the materials and they got half of what was baked. This went on for about five nights and resulted in a huge amount of cookies that were placed on the tables at the meals, taken along by the patrols and OP teams, and taken along by our Santa in costume on Christmas Day as gifts to children on the patrol route. We had a Christmas party for needy children from a school in Marktredwitz and gave the kids and nuns rides in a M113; showed them several cartoons that we had accumulated by "forgetting" to pass them along with the movies to the unit to our north ... and received a lot of complaints from those guys. It was a great party and we enjoyed it very much. Christmas Night I took the place of the assistant patrol leader. We stopped in a village square in the wee hours to thaw out the machinegunner (who sat up higher because of all the ammo boxes, C-Ration boxes, etc. on the floor in the back of the M-151, and got an extra dose of windchill). The square had a big, beautiful, lighted tree at one end, and, with the ice crystals in the air, produced quite an effect in the quiet night. Later, we had driven above the village where we could look into Czechoslovakia. The only light we saw across the Border was a huge Communist star outlined with red neon lights above a factory . . . you could look back at the village in the distance and see the beautiful white lights of the Christmas tree. What a contrast between the two sides of the Border! That was quite a Christmas.
Can someone please explain why no one mentioned "first memories of the boarder" should be first memories of the BORDER. Boarder is someone taking board, as in room and board, somewhere.
Easy Wayne, we don't grade on spelling around here. Been a long - hard war for some of these Troopers, and we tend to overlook the small stuff.

As the editor of the 2nd Cavalry Association websites I'm always looking for mistakes in everything I read without even thinking about it, and often I find myself going over things several times. Yet I still find mistakes "i" made in things I know have been gone over at least twice, and sometimes several more.

We had an occasional poster back on the old Dragoon Base website a few years ago. Guys started giving him a bunch of crap about being too drunk to type. Turned out the poster was a Vietnam Silver Star awardee who later commanded a squadron in the 2nd Cavalry. He soon died from a terrible disease that had completely crippled him to the point he had to learn to walk and talk again, and from which he was trying to recover from long enough to touch base with a few fellow Troopers, because he was a Soldier and refused to give up the fight.


Are you talking about LTC Tony Brinkley? 

Thanks Richard. You'll notice there are a few signatures in the guest book there from Dragoon Base members.

No mention of his Silver Star in the obit though.





This was the third design of the 2d Cavalry DUI, worn from 1924-1931. The sharp points on the ends of the bottom scroll again called for a redesign.


Machine Gun Troop, 2d Cavalry; Adjutant General.

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