Kearney, Neb. Sergeant, U.S. Army
Served with 14th Armored Field Artillery of the 2nd Armored Division in Germany from 1953 to '55.
Memory: “By the beginning of 1953, the Korean War was winding down and more troops were being sent to Europe. We were stationed at Gonsenheim, a suburb of Mainz, in 1953 and 1954. In 1955, we were in Baumholder. In 1953, we were considered an occupying force. There was some resentment from the Germans, but at the same time, they would rather have the Allies there and not the Russians.
“The Cold War was in full bloom. Our job was to be a big speed bump to the Russians until enough forces could be assembled to stop them. Our artillery pieces were 105 mm howitzers on full-tracked vehicles. There were also 155 mm and 240 mm howitzers and a 280 mm gun weighing 85 tons and capable of firing an atomic shell 20 miles.
“We were often put on standby alerts, where we had to be ready to move at a moment's notice to reassigned areas. Every fall after the crops were harvested, we went on maneuvers. We would play war games for several weeks as we headed for the East German border. We crossed the Rhine River on (light tactical vehicles) and when the maneuvers were over, we loaded the tracked vehicles on flatbed trains and returned to our permanent stations. Overall, the duty in Germany was good.”
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