Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.
Is there anyone on this site that was at Christensen Barracks in the years 1961, 1962, and 1963? At that time we were called the 2nd Armored Cavalry. I did patrol on the Czech. and E. German borders in open air jeeps with no heaters allowed at that time, the reason for no heaters was so that one didn't fall asleep while on patrol. At that time Russian troops [Volpo's] patroled in conjunction with the E.German Border Police.
It appears that all of the buildings from that era are gone now. In the early 60's there were still bombed out ruins on the base. The Barracks we used and other buildings were left from the German Luftwaffe Base that had occupied the site during WWII. I am curious when the Dragoon name began to be used? Does anyone remember "Pete's" Taxi Cab that was stationed just across the street from the Main Gate?
There are several guys here from Bindlach/Bayreuth in the 50's and 60's, but they might all be taking naps now. Maybe if we talk about them enough their ears will start ringing and they'll wake up.
It's funny that more guys seem to remember the tailor across the street than do the conditions on camp. Christensen Barracks was to me a non encampment within one. Racism was around, but not a burning problem we all had the same pains in our asses, the officers. While there was some clannish behavior, mostly things went along.
I remember roll call because I was asleep for most of them, only excusable because I was frequently OG of the night shift, main job is to wake up KP'ers, answer the phone,like that. I had a 'runner' but they were usually worthless to count on but you got the next day off for doing it so hey.
I would listen at 0445 for the drill sergeant to be rustling everyone out of bed except me and the other CQ's (Charge of Quarters), then satisfyingly going back to sleep after the cannon and the recording at 0600
I'm a few years later but the situation couldn't have changed that much. I was in Commo down in the motor pool. The commo shack was just a small appendum to the maintenence shop where they worked on everything else. In the back of the motor pool was a place where they brought crashed helecopters to diagnose. They brought in once a portable 'bridge', awesome.
Party time was down in the city at the howitzer club, army police or not, we had great times. Me and a bud were foosbball champs at that enlisted man's club. I still am, but can't find a game.
Dan Williams 330 848 3664
60-63 How battery HQ Davy Crockett plt Gunner M-29. NO border They did allow us to go there.
Phil I was there when Werner killed her. The talk of the post. Several of our guys (not me) were sent to guard him. In Nurenburg, I think - something about guys from his outfit, and yes he was from How Battery.
There was also write ups in most of the papers.
He got life. If he's still in he's an old man now.
Jim Loyd 63 - 66
Just joined the site so sorry for the late post. I was officers records clerk for the 1st Recon Sqdn, 2nd Armored Cav in Bindlach, Germany from December 1965 to June 1967. Every month I had to send a report to the Army Headquarters in the US on 1st Lt Gerald M. Werner (I'll never forget that name). The damn reports had to be perfect, no corrections. I must have typed some reports over 10 times. Here is a summary I kept for my self on Werner:
On March 13, 1964, 27 year old 1st Lieutenant Gerald M. Werner from St. Paul, Minnesota assigned to the 1st Recon Sqdn 2nd Armored Cav, Bindlach, Germany killed his 18 year old German girlfriend Ursula Schamel by choking and drowning her in a bathtub in his off base Bachelor Officers' Quarters. He then cut up her body into small pieces with a razor blade and then tried to flush the pieces down the toilet. After this failed he put the pieces in his car, got on the Autobahn and threw the pieces out the window. Three days later on March 16 the pieces were found. On March 17 Werner arrested and turned over to US military authorities. Werner became known as the “Beast of Bayreuth” in the German press. In accordance with the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) the German’s elected to prosecute him undoubtedly spurred on by the general German people outrage at the crime.
On November 14, 1964 the criminal court of Bayreuth, Germany Werner was indicted for the first degree murder of Ursula Schamel.
On October 18, 1966 Werner was a quitted of the murder by reason of insanity. The court said he was not responsible for his actions and should be committed to a German mental institution. On April 26, 1967 Werner was transferred from the U.S. Army stockade in Fuerth to a German mental institution.
On December 1, 1966, an Army medical board determined that plaintiff was suffering from "schizophrenic reaction, paranoid type, chronic to severe; manifested by depersonalization, disturbance of affect, delusions of persecution, autistic thinking, looseness of associations, and auditory hallucinations." In other words he was basically nuts.
On September 9, 1970, an Army physical evaluation board determined that plaintiff's condition was "paranoid schizophrenic, chronic" and that this condition was permanent.
Werner continued to be confinement in a German mental institution until December 2, 1971. He was released from German confinement on that date and returned to the control of U.S. military. On December 3, 1971, he was granted a permanent disability retirement from the Army and was placed on the retired list effective December 6, 1971, with a 100-percent disability.
On December 8, 1971, after returning to his home state of Minnesota, Werner was declared incompetent and mentally ill the Minnesota state court after which he was committed for psychiatric care to two hospitals.
On September 26, 1972, Werner’s father petitioned for a review from the Army Board for Correction of Military Records. The requested correction was that plaintiff's records be changed to reflect (a) that his March 17, 1964-December 3, 1971, absence from duty was excused as unavoidable (eg: he was in custody for the murder of his girlfriend) and (b) that he was in a full pay status for the period November 30, 1964-December 3, 1971.
On January 6, 1976, a Minnesota state court adjudged plaintiff to be of sound mind and capable of taking care of himself and his property. As of the same date, it restored him to “capacity” (my quotes) and his guardianship was terminated.
And finally, are you ready for this, on January 4, 1979, Werner was judged to be “entitled to recover military pay and allowances for the period December 1, 1964 December 3, 1971, and to have his military records corrected to reflect that his March 17, 1964-December 3, 1971, absence from duty was excused as unavoidable. His motion for summary judgment is granted to this extent.” Werner was awarded 7 years of back pay.
After 1979 I can find no further record of Werner. If still alive he would be about 76 now.
Here is an update on Werner.
Thank you, Gary.
Hi Phil, I was in D-Troop maintenance from 61 to 64, I have a lot of photos on my profile page. I am a member of the Old Timers group and on the new Binblach page.
Daniel I looked at your photos and left a couple of comments. You said that you worked in maintenance - does that mean you worked as a mechanic in the Motor Pool? If you did do you remember a tall guy that was called "Ox" At least I think that was his nickname, were going back 47 or 48 yrs.