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Charlie Battery - Kleingartach/Hardheim

23 Year Odyssey in Rural Germany - 1959 - 1982

Site News - Summer 2011





In This Issue...!

Our website continues to enjoy active participation and visits, both from old hands, as well as those who discover it for the first time. I am also pleased that our friends in Germany visit and use the website, which was always part of the original vision in its creation.

In fact one new visitor, from the kleingartach site in the mid-sixties, actually lives in Colorado Springs just a few blocks from the Academy Hotel, but didn't know of the reunion. So close, yet so far away, here's hoping they make it to the next Reunion this year in Huntsville, Alabama next Fall.

In this issue some of the topics we will be discussing are;

  • Charlie Battery Website Business
  • New additions to the website
  • The U.S Army Historical Museum
  • The approaching Reunion

Charlie Battery Website Business

We have a most pressing decision to make, one that needs everyone's attention and participation. The website domain name is about to expire, or be renewed, by July of this year.

When I first bought the “Domain Name” back in the spring of 2010 I only committed myself for a year, because I wasn't sure if it would even gain a following or participation. But as the site grew in content and popularity, it was clear that we needed to protect ourselves with a longer commitment. I knew that a Reunion in Branson was about to happen so I thought the best way to achieve a group decision was when they were altogether in one place. So I contacted Jim Fitzpatrick and explained the situation as asked him if he could poll the guys and see if they were interested in contributing to group renewal or extension of the website's domain name. As it turns out they were very enthusiastic and came through.

There were 10 core guys, all from the 1959-1961 time frame, and they gave 10 dollars each, and we were able to extend our contract with Go Daddy for another additional 5 years, which along with my year plus the 5 came to a total of years. Well, as previously stated, that time is rapidly coming to a conclusion. My how time flies when "yer are havin' fun".

So at this point I want to tell you all a little story. Originally Don Yarbrough had his Delta Battery website Domain Name registered. Unfortunately he experienced a rather serious health issue that forced him into the hospital with all focus at that time on his condition and recuperation.

Sadly at the same time his website Domain Name came due for renewal and he missed that deadline, which resulted in loss of his Domain Name and all of its content. It seems there are Domain Name “VULTURES”, who I guess, have software that allows them troll the web looking for websites that are about to expire. Then, when websites becomes available they suck them up and hold them for ransom. The “PINHEADS” that got Don's site want $500 before they will give it back to him.

Now back to the present, we would not lose our content because I have the site completely backed up, however, we would NOT want to lose our Domain Name. Therefore we as a group need to decide whether we want that scenario to occur. So you know where I am going with this and it's all about money. The more years we extend our Domain Name for the cheaper each individual year is, and with so many more people aware of, and interested in website, then small contributions from more people lighten the load.

To Be Continued...

New Website Additions - Kleingartach Area

To start there is a new photo in the barracks on page 4. It's a photo of someone on KP, and is the only image we have of the kitchen. Also, if anyone knows who the GI on KP is please let me know, and if you have any unique photos of any areas of the battery that are not now on the website please let me know and we can talk about it. Also, the photo I was sent is a copy of the original, and is not very well focused. I did what I could with it and it's not the best, but it's all we've got so far.

There are a number of new and interesting items in the Archives section. One is the original "Building Site Plan" that was from the archives of our good friend and military historian Thomas Schulz, of Heilbronn. Thomas has been a very important contributor of photos and documents pertaining to the origin, building, and history of Charlie Battery Kleingartach. Our history would be a much barer cupboard if we had not met Thomas Schulz. We are grateful Thomas for all of your hard work and willingness to share your efforts with us.

Another very unique and rare document came to us at the Reunion in Colorado Springs by way of Warrant Officer II Robin E. Smith (Retired), a former Electronics Specialist in the IFC. Much of what was Nike was created by the research and production of Western Electric. Early Nike technology was analog, an old radio tube type technology. This book illustrates and describes the transition from that older technology to the new digital technology. It is thought that this book is one of very few surviving today, so it is worth taking a look at. Robin is understandably protective of this book and we are extremely grateful for trusting it to my care so that I could scan it and make it into a pdf document. It has been safely returned to it owner, and I hope I got the above information correct, if I didn't I'm sure Robin will correct me.

And to top it off there is the very personal and interesting Archives document of the photo album of Francis J. DeGrado (1961-1962). This again was some more of the bounty of the last Reunion. (Now you see the real benefits of a great reunion). Francis had brought his album with him and when I saw it I expressed great interest and he trusted me to take it home with me to scan some representative examples the album. So be sure to take a look at this one, it really great to see how he chronicled his experiences at Charlie Battery with humor and a keen eye.

The Guest book continues to live up to all of my hopes and expectations. If you have not seen it lately, you'll see what I mean by making the website inclusive to both those who served and those who shared their neighborhood with us, and even including those searching for information of lost fathers, and even finding some, giving them closure to their lives.           >>>

New Website Additions Continued...

When I saw that series of entries it made my day and confirmed my whole idea for the Website and Guest book.

Continuing, I still need help with the Honor Roll section, because many of those listed are in name only. Some have been a great help, and we all Thank You, but are still many that need more information. Even just knowing their service time frame, job and rank would help. And another big help would be having roster reports, they really help fill in the gaps.

And finally, after working on a page I get so I can't not see it very well, on a proof reading level, so blurry eyed mistakes happen. Correcting any typos or incorrect info would be gratefully welcomed.

U.S. Army Museum

The U.S. Army Historical Foundation's Army Museum project is finally about to become a reality. After years of fund-raising the ground breaking occurred this past fall/winter season. Their quarterly journal "On Point", and their editor Matt Seelinger have been very supportive of Charlie Battery and the 3rd/71st (Matt is a big Nike fan) listing our last Reunion in Colorado Springs, as well as our upcoming Huntsville gathering in their "Reunions, Meetings, and Conferences" page, and it will continue to be listed until the reunion. The "Reunions, Meetings, and Conferences" document may be viewed by selecting the "On Point" link located in the next paragraph and going to page 2. Matt also forwarded to us in Colorado Springs a promotional kit containing older issues and other items helping our members become aware of their organization, perhaps some of you remember seeing it all on a table in the room upstairs where we had our battery meetings.

I have put together, with permission of course, a "PDF" containing pages from their journal that I scanned thinking they would be of interest to our members. Please "Click Here", or the "On Point" graphic below, to view that document. There is the journal cover page, the Reunions page, as mention above, a museum Ground-breaking information page, a membership info page and mail in form, a page on ways you can do volunteer work if you are so moved, and on the last page is information about how individuals and organizations like ours can purchase a brick, of different sizes, that will become paving of various paths around the museum. Text can be added to these bricks, and all of that information is on the "Brick" page 7. I thought it would be great if the 3rd Missile Battalion - 71st Artillery was represented. Perhaps that suggestion could possibility be on the agenda for discussion at our various Reunion meetings in October.

The "On Point" Quarterly Journal is very interesting and informative and I have learned much about Army history and tradition, about the Service over all, as well as individual Units, and individual efforts. A great feature of this publication is the wide variety of authors and other contributors along with an equally wide variety of subjects which are seriously scholared and well presented. Also there are many features that are very personal in nature. And that is another reason for the "PDF", which was I thought, a way to give back for all of Matt's, i.e. the Foundation's help in our efforts to achieve our goals as well. So take a look at the "PDF", and hopefully you guys will find the contents it informative and worth looking into.


If you missed the last Battalion Reunion you really missed an incredible event. It was really a celebration of so many different experiences, friendships, memories, bringing it all into the present, that I don't think many of us expected to occur. Many left thinking can the next one be any better. Well, let me say that, from what I have been hearing folks, you ain't seen nothing yet. I know that is easy to say, but I would say that you had better get your reservations in early, because when what I think is going to happen is finally announced there will be a stampede for the reservation hot line. And PLEASE do not take what I say as hype, because it is not.

I think that there would be reasonable time to cancel if the current negotiations are not successful. But I can say that there will be events at the Von Braun Center, and as many of you know, the Huntsville Redstone Arsenal is where the Post WWII German Rocket Science Team, led by Werner Von Braun worked their magic, to ultimately create the most powerful American rocket in history, the Saturn 5, which took us to the moon. So, if nothing else we are talking about some serious history here, and a potentially very unique experience.

So I would suggest that you all seriously consider all of your options here, so that you don't miss this one. I know that some of you feel that you wouldn't know anyone, and or wouldn't know what to say to people, well let me say all of that anxiety and hesitation dissolves when you begin to feel all the great energy and the genuine happiness that is flowing through out the gathering. And being a card carrying Recluse, I can say that with all honesty and sincerity, besides if everyone you know and were stationed with were there, then you would have plenty share and talk about. And who knows, you might even... heaven forbid... make some new friends, see someone you once knew and hadn't thought about before, and again I know, because that very experience happened to me. And I even went away with some valuable source materials for our battery archives, as I have previously mentioned in this newsletter. None of that would have occurred if I had stayed home.

So... Watch this space...!

Hope Springs Eternal

And finally, I still hold out hope that someone at Charlie/Hardheim owned a camera and took some photos of the 3 areas of the Battery.


Carry on...!

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