Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.
When I would go on Border Patrol I liked to take cooks and mechanics as extras so they could get off of camp Gates and see the Grenze. One time one of the cooks said that he would like to find some mushrooms. So I decided to do a border trace in some woods. I kept a PRC 77 with me, one of the Patrol Members, the cook and sent the Jeeps ahead. We found a lot of mushrooms and had some good Spot Reports. When we got back all the O's were excited and had a bunch of questions.
The food at Gates I thought was always good. After we picked the mushrooms it got even better for me. For one thing I always got mushrooms in my omelets as long as they lasted. Taking the mechanics as Patrol members or extras also had the extra benefit of having Jeeps that ran well.
This happened in 1966. I had a patrol with two jeeps checking a trail leading up to the wire, northeast of Coburg.
The 2nd jeep had a nervous E-4 (and THEY all had a "nervous" 2Lt. - me!) manning the M-60 machine-gun. I got out of the M-151; dark and foreboding woods all around; engines off; as cold as it always was when you stepped into those forests near the grenz.
As I recall a 'sitrep' had come in over the Troop net ("G" - I was a PL) suggesting that folks had crossed from the GDR and were weaving there way away from the wire on the 'friendly' side.
Naturally, I thought that we would just go and welcome them!
Soon, driver and I are low-crawling through the woods (trail having ended), me in front, along those deep pine-needle beds that carpet most of the forests. Driver is behind me and a little to my left.
I notice a bit behind me something sticking out of the ground, granite, 6 inches square, with "KB" chiseled on it . About then the driver tugs on my boot-heel and whispers that we had just passed another marker a "few yards back"! He assumed that I'd seen it . . .
About 10 seconds later, a burst of .52 compete with blue-green tracers arc up and into the trees on our left - about 50 yards distant. Small sticks could be heard clattering down in the short distance . . .
Ever notice how tricky it is to crawl backwards? One soon has a growing weight of pine needles swelling you up and slowing you down.
Finally up and run to the jeeps; gunner on second jeep is trying to open a banded box of 7.62 when we get there . . . . I stopped that 'self-preservation' impulse. We pushed the two jeeps away on the trail for a bit before starting the engines . . .
I never bothered to tell the guys at the Coburg Border Camp (HQ, Golf Troop) & my three 'accompanists' were mum as well.
Those were the times. . . . .
I remember in "73" ( I think) we were out at Gates and the LTC decided to pay us a visit,so he flew out in his copter with a Cobra escort.All was well till his bird had a flameout.Lucky for him they were close to the LZ out side the front gate.Needless to say he didn't fly out . Was not very happy either. The guys in the Cobra thought it was funny.
My wife was in country with me and was taking back to camp gates and when she was going back to the rock she told me she had seen an albino deer. We all told her she was nuts and played it for a while until we let her off the hook because there was one out there. We had seen it before. The next time she droped me off she almost crossed the boarder when she got lost she remembered to turn around when she had seen the one k zone sign. She got rased alot for both trips.
Must've been in winter of '79 we took a M113 out to support an extended patrol from Camp Rotz. We loaded the track with groceries & ammo, and with our 2 jeep escort we took off in waist deep snow. I think my roommates Ted Schade & Mark Dimitroff (RIP) were the jeep divers. As usual, I was driving the PL's track. Somewhere down the trace, but not too far from a town, we set up our base camp in the forest. The jeeps eventually left to run their patrols, and Eddie Colson & I headed for town on foot. Aside from hiding a case of bier in the snow when the Troop Commander drove by, all went well the first day. That evening, things got a little wierd. SSG Daily was tipsy and climbed 30-40' up a tree and bet SSG Mulhausen that he could get down faster than he could chop down the tree. After about 20 good whacks with an incedibly dull axe, the tree wasn't in jeopardy of coming down. I guess SSG Daily got bored , so he just jumped out of the tree and landed flat on his back in the snow. The cloud that kicked up was reminiscent of jumping off the front slope of a tank into poof dust at Graf. The second morning, I vaguely remember cooking a ton of eggs for some fuzzy headed Cavalrymen. I don't know if other Troops did similar "extended patrols", but as far as I know K Troop didn't do them any more.
damn, Max, that sounded like fun!.
most we did was grab a rack of flippies whenever we had to pull relay duty....
but i surely would have loved a camping trip in a 113
My buddies and I were headed towards the gates to go on a bike ride into Rotz when suddenly one of them flew past me unexpectedly and I took a fall. I got a pretty bad raspberry and bent the crank on the Fuji 10 speed that belong to the E-6 that I had borrowed it from. He never forgave me for that. In fact, he had it out for me after that. But what makes this funny is the reason I couldn't see my buddy passing me. The sunglasses I was wearing had those leather cups on the side of your eyes(1988 mind you) so you couldn't see shit. Trying to look cool. Probably looked like an ass.