TRANSCOM at Camp King, Oberursel in the 1970s

Mr. David Strain contacted me via e-mail and offered to share some memories from his time in Oberursel, as well as these newspaper clippings for the Camp King Oberursel archives, of which I am a member. He then gave me permission to publish them here.

This is what David had to say about his time with Transcom in Oberursel, Germany:

I joined the HQ US Transportation Command, Europe (USTRANSCOMEUR) in December of 1970.  I was assigned to the Office of the Comptroller directed by Mr. Howard South.  In our group, there was an interesting mix of military personnel, U.S. civilians (DAC), and local nationals.  The local nationals were not always so “local” as I believe we had more folks from the UK than West Germany.  We traveled a lot throughout Europe as the scope of the TRANSCOM mission was wide.  I was later assigned within the Headquarters to the ACofS (Office) for Security, Plans and Operations.  In this position, I was a part of another team that was essentially military staff.  Our chief was Colonel Whitaker.  While assigned to TRANSCOM my wife and I lived in Friedrichsdorf.  My son was born at the Wiesbaden Air Base Hospital in 1971. I left TRANSCOM and Oberursel upon release from active duty in May 1972.  My assignment to TRANSCOM was a great one for a brand new Second Lieutenant (later First Lieutenant) looking to learn, explore and grow.  My time in Oberursel was quite a ride!

David, thanks for sharing your story with us.

1970s Eateries on the Hohemarkstrasse near Camp King in Oberursel

A blog reader asked me for updates on the eateries on Hohemarkstraße he used to frequent in the 1970s.

He also wondered about several comments about a pizza shop on the corner of the street outside of Camp King. Did that use to be a sausage (bratwurst) place, before it became a pizza shop? 

He continued: I’m interested in finding out, if the pizzeria (outside the main gate, going to the left, towards down town) on the corner is the same place that the bratwurst place was, when I was there. If I didn’t like what we had in the mess hall, I would go outside the main gate for a bratwurst, mustard and a hard roll, if I didn’t go to the enlisted club to eat.

The pizzeria in your article*, I’m sure, is the same shop that was the worst shop in the 1971-73, when I was stationed at Camp King. I remember it was small inside and had small tables were you could stand and eat your sausage & hard roll. Also the shop was on the corner.
 
I was able to locate two eateries (a former drinking place and a current one), sitting at the corner of two streets off of Hohemarkstraße. The first one is this one at the right. The address is Hohemarkstraße 117.
When we came here in 1995, it was a drinking place run by a Greek immigrant. It closed about 2005, when the owner passed away. At the moment, it is an ice-cream parlor.
Driving up Hohemarkstraße, towards the hills and the sunset, you see a long yellow building along the road. This is where the former Camp King Post, now German settlement, begins.

A close-up of the same Eiscafé.

At another corner of Hohemarkstraße and Im Heidegraben, this building houses a shop facing Hohemarkstraße. Around the corner, there is this Treffpunkt (Meeting Point), where the local denizens of drink hang out. This kind of establishment is also called a Trinkhalle (tiny drinking place, in general).

Do the buildings spark any memories? If so, please let me know.

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.

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