Dragoon Base

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?

Phil Greaves

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Replies to This Discussion

I came to The rock in August 1963. i would also be interested in when the name Dragoon started being used. I'm fimillar with the history and Dragoons, but we never used the name. 

i was in B Troop 2nd Platoon. A bunch of guys had been extended because of the Berlin thing and were about to rotate back to the states. when I got there. They griped often. 

In those days our border stations were Kronach and Hof 

I remember the taxi and the laundry across from the main gate, and a load of GI's headed down the hill. 

You mentioned the old Luftwaffe air field, Yes, we puled a long range patrol and stayed in the basement down there. I remember playing Acey Ducey with Harry Campbell and others for hours and hours it wasn't the best duty - and expensive at times.

Do you remember "Crazy Mary's' house that set right on the border? or the Autobahn bridge, it was being rebuilt while I was there. 

I've been back there quite a few times and watched everything change. I guess it's only memories for us.

Do you remember the PVP in Nordhalben. the road ended and on the left side right by the road was a tower? I always remembered the BC's in the tower. Anyway just after the Russians took off for home I went up in that tower - no one there but it sure left an errie feeling.

Jim 63-66

 

Jimmie thanks for your comments.  I do remember the name "Crazy Mary's" but I had forgotten about it until you mentioned it.  I don't remember which Patrol Warning Area it was in.  I always worked out of Hof and two places that I do remember were a Gasthaus that was just across the street from the plowed strip and the story was that the East German Border Guards would jump the fence into West Germany and spend time drinking in that Gasthaus with the Bavarian Border Police.  Thats not hard to believe considering it is their fellow countrymen.  The other place was a factory on the East side that had the Hammer and Sickle with a Red Star symbols on the roof.

To answer the question about using the title Dragoons, I think it had a major resurgence just recently as the 2d Cavalry is actually back to being Dragoons....mounted infantry that can fight on foot or mounted, like we started out in 1836 when we were 2d Regiment of Dragoons.

 

For more decades than I have been able to trace, the Regimental newsletter has been the "Dragoon", and Dragoon has been used on Troop and Squadron guidons at least back to the early 1990's in recent history. On official Army records we were designated 2d Regiment of Dragoons from 1836-1843, and 1844-1861. In 1843 the government took our horses away from us for a year trying to save money, and we became the 2d Regiment of Riflemen for that brief period. In 1861 we became the 2d Cavalry.

 

When we became a Stryker outfit c2005 the Regiment transformed to an infantry unit but retained the Cavalry title to keep our long history alive. The Regiment quickly began loosing it's identity as the new flush of Soldiers lost touch with our glorious Dragoon/Cavalry past. Thankfully, new leadership in the Regiment and a renewed kinship with the 2d Cavalry Association have rekindled the time honored traditions of our Regiment and dusted off the pages of our unequaled past. The heart of the Regiment beats on true and strong.

Vary well said Dave!  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my 2nd Cavalry Brothers.

Dan Wroten  D troop 1st recon 2nd A/C Bindlach (The Rock) 1961 to 1964

Hello Philip, I was at bindlach(B Troop) 1st patloon in 62-65 ------ I shared some of your same experience's and remenbrance's of (old bindlach) as far as the taxi & laundry across from the maingate ,yes I do. They was a bar in bindlach we call mom's

Ronny O. Littlejohn                                        

I was with D trp, from 1962 thry july of 1964. I remember the taxi and laundry across from the main gate. I remember  the EM Club at the gate also.

Even though I was not with a line company, I was able to volunteer several times to go to the border with A, B or C companies. I remember the cold days and nights on the border in those open jeeps w/ no heaters. Also remember the good meals at the mess hall in Hof. They had real dishes, cups and silverware. ( Blew my mind)

I remember when Lt. Werner from How. Battery ( they occupied the second floor of D. Trp ), was arrested and charged with murdering his German girlfriend. About that same time we had a D trooper get into a fight with someone in Depps and killed him  He to was imprisoned there.

Graf was another adventure within itself. It was either dust or snow. Tanks and self-propelled guns everywhere. Building made from cement blocks with no doors or windows installed in the openings.

I remember that we paid so much a month to hire German civilians to do KP. After a short time there, a vote was taken by the enlisted men to quit paying and do KP ourselves. This was done after it was apparently learned that not all the money was being used to pay the civilians.

The harringbone is where I remember the tanks being parked. It was a long way to carry everything on alerts. Since I was normally the only one assigned to my tank ( never saw a Sgt. or assigned T.C. ) I had to carry it all there. Maintance was usually my duty. Got the tank looking pretty good, then locked it up, so the assigned NCO would look good on inspections.

Yea.....I was there. I too heard that it is now all gone. Things change, but not always for the better. We survived there and I wouldn't want to do it all over again. To damn cold.

Get my German beer imported to me.

 

 

 

I came a few years late but the vestiges of what you are talking about were still there.  I'm not sure if it was still called "Pete's" when I was there 1969-1971 but I got some of of the scariest rides of my life down the mount in those cabs.

 

In my time there heaters were still scarce for many of the same reasons, but mostly because of parts shortages, igniters and so forth.  I spent most of my time in an M577 Communication vehicle, basically a apc with a big raised back section to accommodate the radios and such.

 

We regularly patrolled the Czech Border with the Ground Radar guys in jeeps by then.

 

Anyway we speak the same.

 

dw

 

 

     Daniel, thanks for your response, I also got a email from Verl Hughes.  I made a mistake when I referred to Pete's Taxi, it was actually called Fritz's Taxi and was located just outside the Main Gate.  When I was there {1961 to 1963} Fritz was driving a Opel sedan if I remember correctly.  He was a pretty nice guy.  There was also a D.P. {displaced persons} camp across the street behind Fritz's.  

     I never heard of the "Ground Radar" guys during my time.  We patrolled the East German and Czech borders and we were based at Hof, Germany while doing Patrol.  When I first got to Christensen Barracks we had the old Willy's Jeeps and later we got new Ford's.  I was told that we were the only U.S. Military {Border Patrol} that carried the full basic load of Ammunition.  We had M1's and later M14's, and mounted on the rear of the Jeeps were the old Browning 30 cal. machine guns and in the back there was a 3.2 Rocket Launcher {Bazooka} folded under the rear seat.

     I remember walking to a small town named Gold Kronach with my friends a few times.  It was a long walk and I wouldn't try it today, but we were young.  Also, there was a small village named Deps at the back of our Kassern that we frequented.  I actually met a Fraulien at the Gasthaus in Deps.  I think that a good sized bottle of Beer cost the equivalent of about 12 cents at the time.  Lots of memories. 

Phil

Phil, I was just reading your comment about the laundry across the street from the main gate at the rock. As I recall, and I could be wrong, we also called him Pete. As a matter of fact we refered to the laundry as  "  Pete the Pirate's".

When I got there in Aug, 1963 the Jeeps were just being phased out and the 114's had just arrived.

We did, however, continue to use the Jeeps to patrol the border. We used the 114's for the OP's.

Reading your comments brings back a few memories.

Oh, and by the way I too tossed a few in Deps, I guess we all did.

The Ground radar was used during the Cuban missile time. We ran ours out of Kronach.You went out one hour after dark and came back one hour before daylight.

Who's ever taxi it was, I was there a few years later (69-71) and some of the scariest rides of my life were down (and back up later) that damn mountain.  It did not for nothing earn the name 'the Rock'.

Vearl,

You'll be happy to know the "herringbone" is still on the Rock. Visited it the other day over a few German biers. Not much else left besides the old HQ building and motor pool.

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