Dragoon Base

Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.

Anybody remember those days at Graf. In Summer was hot , fall was muddy and winter was a so cold. Any body rebember those blanket partys. I slept with the bayonet under my pillow

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Thankfully I was only there long enough to do one Graf, but I think it scarred me just as well. Gotta wonder what's in that dust/mud/snow to leave such lasting memories!
The "O" Club had the best Cordon Bleu in Germany.
As a small town boy, I was moved by many of the memories of my days in the 2nd Cavalry, many of them at Grafenwöhr. Here is one that moved me to reconstruct it on my HO scale model railroad. On a cold winter morning, I was just getting up and stomping around in the cold to get my day started. Our company had bivouacked on a piece of ground that was at the curve of a roadway. It was very foggy and I heard the sound that could only announce the arrival of some very heavy hardware. Suddenly, out of the fog there were seven M-55 self propelled howitzers moving at speed, manned by warriors bent on subduing the battlefield somewhere ahead. As each M-55 entered the curve, the monsters slipped in the ice from the right side of the road across to the left. As the left edge was about two feet higher than the road surface, the tracks were able to find a purchase and allow the vehicle to safely negotiate the curve and disappear into the fog. As the seventh M-55 made the curve and disappeared, it was not long before the silence erased any audio proof that they had ever been there. I stood for a while still appreciating the spectacle that I had beheld.
Hey Bobby,

I am also into HO ... UP in the steam diesel transition and some modern for my son!

dancurr@frontiernet.net and I will send you some picks ... it is still "under construction"!
I was there for two in a row, 72 & 73. In 72 it was hot and dusty. Is it true that the Afrika Korps trained there before shipping out? That is the story I was told. On those road marches to the different ranges, if you were not in the first track in the convoy, you were eating dust big time. The standard method was to tie a bandana around the nose and mouth. Some guys tried using their gas masks only to catch hell for plugging up the filters with dust. I also remember in 72 changing out Sheridan main gun tubes because some of them were found to have small cracks in the bore found during bore-scoping. I can't recall if all the Sheridans in the Squadron were changed or just the ones with cracks. In 73 it was during oct-nov so it was cold and windy. The Squadron was quartered in one of those tent cities with the stinky diesel fuel heaters in the tents.
I'm not sure how well everyone remembers the transision to M60A2 rise tanks from sheridans but it was a very steep learning curve at graf and hohenfels both. when dust was 6" deep or sometimes even more the 60's would actually hydroplane on dust and control was less than ideal. somewhat like driving in ice. however with ice we had the option of flipping over center grousers on track for temperary bite. which helped alot. Quite often the slick conditions resulted in thrown track usually to the inside of drives. these were so tight the only option was to lay on top of road wheels inside of the track and cut connecting links with a torch. sometimes the center link would pop before I finished and that track would fly apart with a hell of a bang. It took a few times to get used to that but I never got completely comfortable. must have had something to do with self preservation instinct.
oops. . .
Speaking of mud! Am I the only one who had the battle with washing the inside of the jeep windshield to clear the mud as well as trying to keep the outside windshield clear. And, to add insult to injury, the mud would cook on the tail pipe to the extent that it would close over so that the engine did not run well. A quick stop and a few hammer blows would let the engine run back up to speed.
There was that time when B Troop was to supply troops and Sheridans for searchlight duty at Graf. It was TDY so i figured what the hell. We went with at least 4 Sheridans, some extra searchlights, 2 turret mechanics and about a dozen trooper and Lt. Atkins as OIC and SSG. Valesquez as NCOIC of our little detail. When we arrived we were informed we would be lighting for the 2/11 Cav. and were placed under the control of F Troop. Now, if you are of a certain age, as am I, you can recall a sitcom from the mid-60's by the name " F Troop". I mean no disrespect to our own F Troopers, but anytime someone said F Troop, we would start humming the shows theme song. We had our own barracks. We had an assinged driver and duece and a half to transport us to and from whatever range they had us at. However, there were quite a few raised eyebrows the first few times we stormed into their mess hall, once the headcount nco saw we had on the 2nd ACR patch. It was an interesting month though. We only worked at nite. We got up at around 1500 hrs, had breakfast/supper and waited for our ride. Got to the range, then a different truck took us downrange to our tanks. We did the normal pre-start checks and a fuel truck came to top us all off. Fired-up, got on the range net and settled in for the nite. Just when it started to get dark, the range control Officer would come downrange in his jeep and stop at various firing points and have each tank verify their range cards by using your azmith and elev. indicators. Once he was satisfied, he went to the ready line and got the first firing tank and we went to work. He would call for white or pink (IR) light on specific targets as needed. Sometimes it was so foggy, they could not see the light from very close range and they would call it a nite. We were supposed to stay buttoned up, but many of us kept the TC hatch open. When some other tank was lighting I would lean back in the gunners seat to watch tracers pass over the top of the berm we were behind.
Yea i pulled two trips in graf one dust one frozen mud and snow can not say one was worst than the outher.
The dust sucked trying to keep air filters cleaned out was a nightmare road marches as mike sayed were something you had to see to believe.
The frozen mud and snow was a trip, but then there was just the mud at times which you could dam near drown in and covered everything!
AA the good old days
mtw
b/37
Seems when in Bindlach in the mid 70s, we we so close to Graf that we sent a troop down whenever one of the other units cancelled or there was a weather break. I must have gone to Graf at least ten times over two tours - so many I can't count them individually anymore. I do remember a time on Range 42 in the mid 60s when I was in E troop, 2d Squadron, while waiting for the fog to lift for night qualification in M60s. A wild boar stuck its nose under the GP medium we were waiting in and one of the troopers used a bit of guard ammo and his .45 to terminate same. The mess SGT was really old school and knew how to butcher one of those beasts and we had a feast the next night. When the Graf forest meister found out that one of his boars had gone missing he was furious and threatening mayhem - those who know German hunting law will understand - we could have been in a heap of trouble. Hummm, not a trace of evidence left for anyone to find - late fall or early winter, lots of mud and a burial party down range on range 45!!!

I remember it was winter of 83, I was a new PV2, standing guard duty at some ammo pad, as How Battery was doing night firing and they put a round out of impact about 300 meters from the ASP, talk about have the crap scared out of you....

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8th Colonel of the Regiment Nelson B. Sweitzer 9 Jun 1886 – 29 Oct 1888

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