Life at the Motor Pool Oberursel, Germany, in the 1950s

Jack Stites, a former U.S. Army soldier and now a retired police officer, was stationed in Oberursel at the Motorenfabrik (Motor Pool) from January 1954 to January 1955. Here are some more photos he shared with me.

The guys at work

Shaving cream fight

Vehicles parked near the Urselbach Creek

A description of a wrecker

In front of the Motor Pool Oberursel, with men working underneath the vehicle

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.

Life at the Motor Pool Oberursel, Germany, in the 1950s

Jack Stites, a former U.S. Army soldier and now a retired police officer, was stationed in Oberursel at the Motorenfabrik (Motor Pool) from January 1954 to January 1955. These are some of the photos he shared with me.

Oberursel, Germany

Goofing around, the boys were having fun.

The shipping trunk served as a writing desk for home-bound letters.

Looks like this photo was taken in some park in Oberursel, where there are many.

Life at the Motor Pool and Swimming Pool in Oberursel, Germany in the 1950s

These pictures have been contributed by Jack Stites, a former U.S. Army soldier and now a retired police officer, who was stationed in Oberursel at the Motorenfabrik (Motor Pool) from January 1954 to January 1955.

This photo shows Jack in front of the Motor Pool, Oberursel.

I pass this building, now Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd. & Co. KG, every time I take the U-Bahn into town. The outside hasn’t changed.

Motor Pool Oberursel 1954/55

Jack and his buddies went to the Oberursel swimming pool in their free time.

Oberursel swimming pool in the 1950

On 6 June 1937, Gauleiter Mr. Sprenger, (a political head of a district in Nazi Germany), officially opened the Oberursel Freibad. After the war, the pool was confiscated by the U.S. Forces. In 1953, the pool could be used by the locals on two days a week. By 1954, the pool was turned back to the city of Oberursel.

Camp King Oberursel Mountain Lodge

A stateside reader and former military family member left a comment on a previous post about the Mountain Lodge, situated on Camp King’s hillside. This served as a reminder to check into its progress.

In February, I had reported about the city’s plans to turn the Mountain Lodge into a culture center by year end. This was to include giving the Camp King archives a final home on its former grounds. As of now, the archives are still being housed in a damp basement of some café in our neighborhood, just outside of Camp King.

Boarded-up Mountain Lodge Camp King Oberursel

Earlier today, I took a stroll  to take a closer look at the building. Yes, it is still boarded up and knowing German bureaucracy, I see no way of having this project even started by year end. Could be due to a lack of funds as well, since the city is getting into high gear for the Hessentag 2011 event.

Mountain Lodge stairway

Another speculation is the Mountain Lodge’s neighborhood. Early on in the building process, there had been talk of turning the building into a fancy restaurant. But the German neighbors did not agree to it. When building a new house or changing the existing function of a building, there has to be a common consent or the project dies right then and there.

Then there was talk of turning the building into a hotel, and again this proposal was rejected as well. After that private investors shied away from the building, and now this might only leave the city of Oberursel to pour some finances and purpose into it.

Hearsay has it that most of Camp King residents are part of the Erbengeneration. This Erbengeneration (generation of heirs) inherited money from parents/grandparents who worked hard in the early post war years and left substantial sums to this new generation of settlers. The reputation of these well-heeled folks is not too grand around here.

Today, I have sent an inquiry in regards to the Mountain Lodge and its future to the Oberursel Municipal Administration. I wonder if I get a response… My most recent inquiry to the city archives of Oberursel, mailed 24 March and a friendly reminder on 30 April, have not been answered yet.