Reflections of my Service at Camp King in Oberursel, Germany

This post has been contributed by Greg Cochran, who was stationed at Camp King in Oberursel, Germany during the period of 9 June 1971 through 17 August 1973 in Detachment A, The United States Army Reception Group, Europe (USARGE).

I was a Specialist Four in the U.S. Army assigned to Detachment A, USARGE. I lived in the barracks #1010, it was the barracks for soldiers in USARGE. Later some of us moved next door to barrack #1011 as we got more people in the unit. We lived at Camp King and the soldiers in Detachment A mainly worked out of a building at Rhein-Main Air Base during the day close to the flight line, when we weren’t processing soldiers for exercises in Germany, or some national guard units or on military exercises in Norway, Turkey, Greece and Italy.

When I was there, I missed out on going to Greece with Detachment A, because I was assigned to help with boarding U.S. military personnel going to the 1972 Olympic at the town of Dachau, W. Germany outside of Munich. The army base was closed, but several buildings were open to house military people going to the 1972 Olympic. These buildings were located in the old German army base three-story brick barrack (beside the concentration camp of Dachau), where they could sleep for two dollars a night and also could eat in the mess hall in the three-story barrack.

The German Eagles were still over the main doors of the three-story barrack from World War II, without the Nazis symbol below the eagles feet. Officers and female military personnel stayed overnight in the old military housing apartments. The base theater was also open to show movies at night for the people staying there.
The commanding officer of USARGE, when I ended my service in Germany, was LTC Edward R. Shore, JR., LTC, TC, Commanding.

I still have a picture of the arm band that we wore, when directing the soldiers off the planes onto the buses, which would take them to the area from where they would deploy for their military exercise.
Later, after the military exercise was finished, we would process them through customs, and put them on the planes for their trip back to their military bases in the U.S.

USARGE arm band

Below is a picture of Detachment A, USARGE, getting an award for a military exercise in Norway. I’m in the back row on the left * on the end and the award was given in the USARGE building on Camp King.

This is building #1005B, the same building that had the bowling alley upstairs on the end and the post exchange laundry under the bowling alley in the basement. The unit supply room were armory also were in the basement.

USARGE award ceremony

The commanding officer of USARGE, when I ended my service in Germany, was LTC Edward R. Shore, JR., LTC, TC, Commanding.

I have been back to Germany three times (for three weeks at a time) with the Ohio Army National Guard between 1992 and 1993, when they had the draw down of the army. The Ohio maintenance company I was in helped bring equipment up to standard for turn in. We worked long hours, so the equipment could be turned in on time, and units could be deactivated in Germany.

We were there to work and not to see the sites… I was sorry that I never got to see Camp King, while I was in Germany with the Ohio National Guard helping to turn in the military equipment. We were lucky to have any time off during the weekends.

I retired from the Ohio Army National Guard as a Master Sergeant and I really enjoyed my time in Germany, when I was stationed there at Camp King.
Camp King was a military base, where you could feel safe walking alone at night. My army friends and I enjoyed walking the trails in the woods on the weekends, in the old parts of the city in the narrow streets, and we also enjoyed the open restaurants with seating outside on the sidewalks along the streets of the town.
We also had our favorite German restaurants in Oberursel, that we would go to on the weekends as a group.

* The names of the guys, if available, will be added later.

Thanks, Greg, for sharing your experience of your service time in Germany.

Comments

  1. Just found this, very neat! I New Greg alittle, I was there late 1972-4/1975. I roomed with John Eisenhower and we worked in the Moter Pool Under Ssg.Kapono. Keith Wood, Ernie Lein, Greg, Ray Nault Were some of the men in the barracks and unit. Any pictures?

  2. STEPHEN ROMAN says

    I was stationed at Camp King 1971 – 1976 with USARGE and TRANSCOM.
    Please let me know if tis site is still active.

  3. If you mean that the site is still an active military installation, then no.
    It was inactivated in 1991.

  4. STEPHEN ROMAN says

    I’d just like to add a few names to the faces in the photo of the USARGE guys. To the officer’s right is SGT Nick Smart, a great guy I believe from Indiana; to the officer’s left, second man over I believe was Alan Tombs, I think from Iowa, but I could be mistaken; the tallest man in the back is Keith Wood who I believe was from North Carolina.

  5. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  6. William Hultgren says

    I was the company clerk at the end of Det A USARGE’s life (1975). The Company Commander of Camp King was very jealous of the USARGE, and showed his dark heart when we were transferred to his command in 1975. When I contracted pneumonia he did not want me to be admitted to the hospital in Frankfurt. He even convinced an old German Doctor 9(NAZI veteran) to prescribe a walk in the woods with newspaper in my shoes. I was not the only one. His lackeys stole property from us, harassed us, and threatened to throw us in jail…I quietly PCS”d back to the “world” in August, 1975. I was one of the lucky ones. I even helped the USARGE First Sargent cheat the Army out of 60 days leave…my gift to the Camp King Commandant.

  7. Greg Cochran says

    For any veteran that is interested in using the military exchanges again.
    Starting on November 11, 2017, all honorably discharged veterans are eligible to shop their military exchanges (ONLY) online & tax-free. THIS BENEFIT IS FOR LIFE.
    Verify your eligibility today at: shopmyexchange.com/vets
    AAFES at: shopmyexchange.com or at: aafes.com
    NEX at: mynavyexchange.com
    CGX at: shopcgx.com
    MCX at: my MCX.com

  8. Greg Cochran says

    Corrections to my first posting on the “VOSB with Limited Privileges”.

    Veterans Online Shopping Benefit (VOSB) with Limited Privileges
    This benefit does not grant installation access.
    MCX at: mymcx.com

  9. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

  10. Steve Williams says

    I was the USARGE S-3 NCO early ‘71-late ‘74. My wife and I lived in the family quarters on Camp King. Newlyweds, we departed FRG in Nov 74 with two sons, one born in Frankfurt and one in Wiesbaden, a great stereo, a cuckoo clock, a grandfather clock and a love for German cuisine. I’m sure some of you probably remember Sgt Dimitulac (Sgt D). He and his family were wonderful friends of ours. We kept in contact with them via Christmas cards and reunited with them in the early 2000’s. Sadly D and his wife Carnation have left this world now but my wife and I are happy we got to visit with them several times before they passed. I recognize several of the faces in the Det A photo but unfortunately I’m not good with names.

  11. gregory phillips says

    i remember most of you guys in that picture……i was in Det A as well after a tour in VietNam
    i arrived at camp King around May 71 and stayed to June 72 got a 5 month early out
    and headed home to Calif… i remember LTC O’Horo as commander and he was not popular at all
    Det A was commanded by 1LT Dan Collins and he was removed from Command for lack of experience
    drove all the NCOs crazy for being a noob i was on the E5 promo list for the entire year being there and never got that. the Army had just made E5 centralized and had a point system applied…i lacked the points and my awards in Vietnam were lost. my unit in VN had de comissioned ( 124th Trans command) and that kept me from the promotion.. my best friends in the Unit were SGT Nick Smart and SSG Higgins who was a severe alcoholic…also was good friends with Woody , Jerardi, and Castelli

  12. gregory phillips says

    I hope people can share pictures from this period as i had a lot but all lost in a home fire in the 70s
    in the picture above that is 1LT Dan Collins for Det A.. Det B was Lt Zeller who i liked immensely
    he used to pull me aside and pump me for VietNam stories and experiences,i considered him a great friend, he recommended me for E5 a few days after i arrived in the unit..I kept in touch with a few poeple after leaving USARGE a woman who worked in the EM/NOC club Rose was her name red hair…married a guy in Transcom and come to the US. was emailing with her for a lot of years…also a little blond irish guy who frequented the NCO club named Brian…he moved to Calif and i kept touch with him a while ..i could tell stories for hours about that compound Camp King…i was a UP there the last 2 months of my service and got to know a lot of things i shouldnt have known ( dark secrets)…
    Keith Wood and Mark Palmatier and I correspond on facebook if any of you want to join us in rehashing old times here, and there

  13. If any of you would like to join the group ‘Camp King Oberursel’ (initiated by our Oberursel Historical Society), of which I’m the admin, you are very welcome.
    Have a look: https://www.facebook.com/CampKingwithMaria/

  14. Keith Wood says

    To Greg Phillips, thank you for sharing this information. To Greg Cochran, thank you for all your information. I was stationed at Camp King, from ’71 to’74. I started out in Detachment B. When I found out they were to transfer to Kaiserslautern, I asked Lt Zeller if I could move to Det A, which he OK’d. I was in Det A through the end of 1972 when I moved to the HQ Det. I finished my time there in the Admin & Personnel as a SP5. I could add more but do not want to bore everyone.

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