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Charlie Battery - 1959 - 1969

The Barracks Area


- Click Here For Larger Image -Troop Ship - How We Got There And How We Got Home

This is what we mainly did on the trip home. This was definitely not the case going over. Then much time was spent with pointy little hammers that we used to chip the paint off the bulk heads so they could be repainted.

Also on the way over the weather was mild. We took a southerly course around Britain, stopping in Southampton overnight. We then steamed up the English Channel, over to Germany, and up the waterway to Bremerhaven. From there most took a train down to Stuttgart, then were dispersed out to our various units.

The first part of the trip back was an experience. Our course took us up into the North Sea and around the northern tip of Britain, and this time the weather was rough. Known for its weather, the North Sea was rockin' and rollin'. We were kept off deck and down in the cramped bowels of the ship with rows of rope stretched canvas bunks six or eight high. Keeping your food down was the challenge, although I didn't get seasick like some of the others did. It was welcome relief when we were allowed on the rain and wind swept decks, breathing in large volumes of fresh sea air. I did think, how did those old submariners do it.

After the North Sea the weather pretty much behaved for the rest of the journey. This was towards the end of July, so we were heading for summer weather. After about 10 to 12 days we began looking for Light house beacons and land, and especially the Statue of Liberty. Finally spotting “The Lady” we just watched it get bigger and bigger, and finally we came into New York Harbor and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is were we started from two years ago.   We had come full circle...




- Click Here For Larger Image -The Ship's Fan Tail

There is no experience that parallels being out in the middle of one of our planets great oceans. The immensity of all almost beyond comprehension. There was such a purity about the water, I always had this great desire to be immersed in it. And that pull was strong and ever present, a very spiritual experience.

On a more mundane level, after we swabbed the decks with our mops, with them being a dark gray with dirt, the sailors had a natural solution to cleaning them. They tied special series of knots that kept a hold of the long handles, they would then toss them over the aft end of the ship letting them trail along in the water. And after about 5 minutes or less they would haul them back on deck, and those mops were pure white clean. I remember being quite impressed and amazed by that event. The things we remember...!




- Click Here For Larger Image -Gerszewski Barracks (The Zoo) In Karlsruhe

After getting off the ship in Bremerhaven, and an overnight train south, my first station was Gerszewski Barracks in Karlsruhe.

As I remember the Armory was in the basement, and the person in charge of it was Corporal Pea, from Tennessee. We became friends and I convinced him to issue me a 45 caliber submachine gun, known as a “Grease Gun”, as my weapon. It was actually kind of a funky weapon, and not too accurate after a short distance, but it was light, easy to clean, and a novelty.

The most intense experience I had was actually living in barracks that were occupied by former WW II soldaten. I really could feel the energy and karma of the period. As I probably has said I have always had a sense of place and historical context, but that time was particularly intense and something I have never forgotten.

The echoes of jack boots on the cobblestone streets, or coming up and down the stairways was always in my head.

Image by Ken Nendick - Chicago - 1959

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Approaching The Barracks Area

Horace Reed (left) and Leo Brach (middle) heading back after being on pass.


Image by Jim Fitzpatrick - Pennsylvania - 1960

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Approaching The Barracks


Image by Tom Hodges - Montana - 1965-1967

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Ah..., We're Finally Home


Image by Tom Hodges - Montana - 1965-1967

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Battery Main Gate

This is the entrance to the Charlie Battery Barracks, Headquarters, and Motor Pool areas. It was always manned 24/7/365. I never pulled guard that this post, but I'm sure it wasn't easy, being open to such scrutiny and activity. I don't remember that it was ever closed like the Launching Area and IFC, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't. It makes sense that after a certain time in the evening the OD closed it.

You can ““Click Here” to view an interesting comparison between yesterday and today.

Image by Jim Fitzpatrick - Pennsylvania - 1960

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- Click Here For Larger Image -The Back Of The Barracks Rear Mess Hall Door With KP’s On Break

Just inside the main gate and to the left, on a warm sunny summer afternoon, GI's lying in the grass and taking a rest between lunch and dinner. This is an excellent photo documenting the rotating job of Kitchen Police, which is another description of “pearl divers”, washing both dishes and pots and pans from morning to night.

There was always a groan from those, who upon checking the duty rooster on the main bulletin board, discovered that they had KP in 2 days, starting at the bright eyed time at 5 am in the morning... Damn...!

Image by Jim Fitzpatrick - Pennsylvania - 1960

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Charlie Battery Bier Garden


Image by Tom Hodges - Montana - 1965-1967

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Bier Garden First Floor Entrance


Image by Tom Hodges - Montana - 1965-1967

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