HOF AIR STATION--KINGSLEY KASERNE HISTORY
March 1935-On March 16, 1935, Adolf Hitler announces the "Law for Building Up the Armed Forces". This is a direct repudiation of the provisions of the Verrsailles Treaty which limited Germany to an army of just 100,000 volunteers, and it intoduces universal military service and conscription to the country. Hof soon becomes an assembly-point for some of these newly-raised troops.
1935-Summer-Construction begins on the permanent barracks on Kulmbacher Strasse, Hof, for future occupancy by the II Battalion of the German 42nd Infantry Regiment.
1936-October-First units of II Battallion, 42nd Infantry Regiment of the German Wehrmacht move into the new barracks on Kulmbacher Strasse, Hof.
1938-March-II Battallion, 42md Infantry Regiment from Hof Barracks takes part in German occupation of Austria.
1938-Sept.-Alfred Naujocks working in AMT III of German SD Intelligence Service. He travels between Berlin, Hof, and Munich.
1938-Sept.-German Intelligence Service has station in Hof, Germany. This office collects all political intelligence originating in the Czechoslovakian border districts and forwards it to Berlin. This Intelligence Center has direct, 24-hour teletype communications directly with AMT III (Office Three) of the German Security Service in Berlin. Head of the Hof office for the Germans is a Herr Daufeldt; head of the Berlin Office Three is Herr Jost; deputy in Berlin is Herr Filbert.
Hof Intelligence Center gets most of its information from the Sudeten German Free Corps paramilitary group led by Konrad Henlein, who has his headquarters in a castle in the village of Dondorf, which is near Bayreuth. Bayreuth itself is not too far from Hof, and the Germans in the Intelligence Center at Hof had access every day to all the data collected by the Free Corps agents. The Hof Center used runners for cross-border liason with other agents inside Czech territory.
The information collected in Hof was analyzed and exploited by the office in Berlin and presented to Reinhard Heydrich and SS Leader Heinrich Himmler himself.
Hof was declared to be a center for all intelligence collected by the German Security Service (SD) regarding the Czechoslovak question, in an affidavit prepared by Alfred Naujocks for the prosecution of the Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg by the Allied Powers. In addition to the agents in Hof, Naujocks said that "The SD had agents all along the border in every town. The names of these agents were reported to Hof, and two automobiles toured the border every day to collect the intelliogence which had been unearthed. In addition I [Naujocks] remember that two or three companies of the SS-Totenkopf [Death's Head] units were stationed in the neighborhood of Asch."
After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in late 1938 , the necessity for such border patrols and intelligence-gathering on the part of the Germans, of course, no longer existed. (Source: NAZI CONSPIRACY AND AGGRESSION VOLUME I Office of United States Chief of Counsel For Prosecution of Axis Criminality UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON 1946, pp 555-556).
1939-March-Late this month (about March 20-21) Konstantin von Neurath is appointed by Adolf Hitler as Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, now that Germany occupies all of the former Czechoslovakia. (Source: see web posting at : http://library2.lawschool.cornell.edu/donovan/pdf/Batch_7/Vol_XV_42_03_04.pdf for extract from Nuremberg interrogation of von Neurath in 1945).
1939-September-At this time, the first families to be evacuated from the Saarbruecken area arrive in Hof. The Saarland is now considered an endangered borderland, should France or Great Britain decide to attack Germany.
1939-1940-During the winter of 1939 into 1940, due to the war situation, the supply of coal for heating homes in Hof becomes very tight.
1941-December: By this time, despite government rationing measures, housewares and cooking utensils have disappearted from store shelves in Hof.
1942-February-At this time the meat ration is set at 400 grams (14.11 oz., or LESS than one pound) per week per person, as the real effects of being at war continue to make themselves felt in Hof, and throughout the Reich..
1942 (No Specific Date)-At this time in Hof, as in all of Germany, there are no supermarkets such as will become the norm after the war in the United States. Grocery shopping is done at smaller specialty shops: meat is sold in butcher shops, bread at bakeries, and other foodstuffs can be purchased at grocery stores, where most products are kept behind the counter, not on long shelves in the interior of the store. (SOURCE: See "Post #1 by D. Verfasser-'Rationing in Germany' " ((11/09/2009)) at: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=159844 retrieved 2/10/2014-GD).
1942 (No Specific Date)-Kaserne in Hof serves as a base for the volunteers of the "Blue Division", who were prepared there for service at the Front.
1942 (No Specific Date)-At some time this year the rabbit population in Hof reaches 15,400, more than double the number (6,400) that had been there in 1936; people are raising them to supplement the tight meat rations.
1942 (End of Year)-At the end of this year it is officially announced by the German government that there have been 500 casualties among servicemen from the Hof area so far in the war.
1943-June-At some time during this month, the individual weekly meat ration , which had previously been cut from 400 grams to 350, is further reduced to a meager 250 grams. This is obviously creating great stress in Hof, and throughout the Reich. However, the citizens of Hof have one consolation: their city has, as yet, not been a target of the Allied bombing campaign.
1943-August-Refugees arrive in Hof, fleeing from the air-raids on Hamburg. Hof is also, at this time, becoming a gathering-place for those who have been bombed out of their homes in other areas of the Reich.
1943-(No specific date): At some time during this year a new bottleneck develops in Hof, concerning the availability of cookstoves, wash basins and items of furniture for the subdivided apartments in the city.
1944-On February 7 of this year the European Civil Affairs Division of the U. S. Army is formally activated at Shrivenham, England. It is this unit which will eventually administer and provide supplies for the actual detachments which will carry out he restoration of de-Nazified German government in the projected American sector of Germany at the end of the war. (Source for this statement: see: http://images.library.wisc.edu/History/EFacs/GerRecon/omg1945n006/reference/history.omg1945n006.i0006.pdf ).
June 1944-On June 23, 1944 on a Fifteenth Air Force attack on the infamous Ploesti oil refineries in Romania, Lt. David Kingsley, bombadier of the 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) earns the Medal of Honor when he gives his parachute to a wounded crewmate and goes down with the plane after his B-17 (OPISSONYA) is mortally damaged by enemy aircraft and Flak bursts. Hof Air Station will later be renamed in Lt. Kingsley's honor. Go HERE for an excellent account of Kingsley's truly heroic last mission (written by Jerry Mangas).
June, 1944-On June 28, 1944 U. S. Fifteenth Air Force B-17 bombers, based in Italy, bomb the railroad marshalling yards in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, and ont the same day some 138 Fifteenth Air Force B-24 bombers, also flying out of Italy, hit the airfield at Karlovo in Bulgaria and 229 other B-24's hit two oil refineries at Bucharest.
June, 1944-By some time during this month the German government announces that the number of military casualties among servicemen fron the Hof area has reached the 1,000 mark.
1944-Summer-At some time this summer the Germans establish a concentration camp for women prisoners at Helmbrechts, which is just about 10 miles south-southwest of Hof. It functions as a sub-camp of the main camp at Flossenburg, and the first prisoners to be housed here are political prisoners from the Ravensbruck camp in northern Germany. Wikipedia has the story of this camp here:
1944 (No Specific Date)-By some time during this year, even though Hof itself has been spared from bombing raids, its citizens can see, on clear days, long columns of enemy planes flying in unimpeded formations to hit targets in Saxony or in the capitol city, Berlin .
Feb. 1945-On February 14, 1945, the city of Hof is attacked from the air; the area of Leimitzer Strasse is especially heavily damaged,and destruction reaches to the area around the main train station and the Munster quarter. See map:
1945-April-Early this month, as the Allied Eastern and Western Fronts are drawing closer to Hof, the commander, Commandant Doerr, of the concentration camp for women located in Helmbrechts decides to evacuate the camp and to take the inmates on a forced march-a gruelling death march for many-south to the main camp at Dachau, near Munich.
1945-April-Hof is liberated this month by the U.S. 90th Division, but not before the German defenders set fire to the rolling stock in the Hof railyards, as in this picture:
1945-April 15-The concentration camp in Helmbrechts is "liberated" by the U.S. Army, but the troops find no inmates there (see above). For another story of the Herlmbrechts camp, go here:
July-August, 1945-From July 1 until August 31, 1945 the 76th Reconnaissance Troop of the U. S. 76th Division was stationed in Hof. They were then deactivated after Japan's surrender. Their occupation duty area was well to the north of Hof, in the area that was actually assigned to Russian authorities (the "Ostzone") when the political demarcation lines were finally drawn. The 76th Recon put in a short stretch of occupation duty at Jena, home of the world-famous Carl Zeiss camera and lens company, after they had reached a point as far to the east as Limbach in Saxony. Then they were redeployed back to Saalfeld, and several of the troopers took advantage of the location to go "swimming in the Salle River". After this, the unit was again moved, this time to Hof. The 76th had the ?honor? of being one of the last American units to pull back from what became the Soviet zone of occupation. --THANKS to George Arnstein, who put together the 76th Website notes, and to Jerry Mangas for publishing this info in the 11/16/2005 issue of the Hof Connection Newsletter.
Sept. 1945-At this time the area around Hof and to the South and West are part of the U.S. XV Corps of the Army of Occupation; the XXII Corps has headquarters at Plzen, Czechoslovakia-it controls much of Western Bohemia. (Again, thanks to Jerry Mangas--where DOES he get this stuff??!!)
Sept. 1945-Possibly at this time, but definitely "ater the [German] surrender" the 9th Armored Engineer Batallion of the U. S. 9th Armored Division is assigned to occupation duty in the area around Hof. The Battalion sets up its headquarters in the Wagnerian city of Bayreuth; A Company of the Battalion takes up residence in Coburg, while B Company goes to Kulmbach and C Company settles into Hof. However, their stay is not long, as official occupation duties end "in late 1945", at which time the Engineers join the flood of troops returning "Stateside". (For details, see story of the 9th Engineer Battalion at the globalsecurity.org website here:).
Sept. 1945- At about this time a group of some 146 Russian soldiers, followers of General Andrei Andreevich Vlasov who had been captured by the Germans and who (the General) had then been used by the Germans for anti-Soviet propaganda, are handed over by American officials to Soviet repatriation authorities in Hof, Germany. These 146 soldiers had, at the end of the war, fallen into American hands, and they feared being sent back to the Soviet Union. (SOURCE: William Sloane Coffin, Jr. A Holy Impatience by Warren Goldstein, Yale University Press, 2004, pg. 51).
Nov.-Dec. 1945-At about this time the U. S. 406th Infantry Regiment leaves Hof Barracks and turns over control of the base to the 28th and 15th Constabulary Squadrons.
Jan. 1946-At some time during this month William Sloane Coffin, Jr.-a Lieutenant and Russian-language interpreter in the U.S. Army-is transferred from XXII Corps HQ in Plzen to Hof, Germany, where he is assigned to work on repatriating Russian POW's back to the Soviet Union. Many of these former Russian soldiers are now very reluctant to return to their homeland, fearing that they may be imprisoned or executed as collaborators with the Germans. Lt. Coffin will later become the Presbyterian Chaplain at Yale University, and will become deeply involved in the American Civil Rights movement and also become an important figure in the resistance to American involvement in the Vietnam War. (SOURCE: William Sloane Coffin, Jr. A Holy Impatience by Warren Goldstein, Yale University Press, 2004, pg. 50).
June, 1946-On June 26, in one of its on-going enforcement actions to keep order in the American Occupation Zone of Germany, the U. S. Constabulary Force conducts a road block and document-checking sweep in an unidentified part of Hof,Germany. See picture HERE.
June 30, 1947-On June 30 of this year Irving Kwasnik, the Regional Director for the Bamberg District of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Comittee, files his monthly report with AJDC Headquarters. Among other items in his report is this fact:
During this month, a new committee was set up in Hof Camp
on the same political key as the previous onw which resigned at a
- 5 -
* ' . • • ' * ( ( very critical moment, when the Revisions Commission disclosed certain
facts that would have caused much disturbance if brought out
to the camp population. It took the Regional Committee about three
weeks to set up this new group. (SOURCE: For the text of the full report, see: http://search.archives.jdc.org/multimedia/Documents/NY_AR_45-54_Count/NY_AR45-54_00031/NY_AR45-54_00031_00210.pdf#search='bamberg' ).
May, 1948-On May 25 the 603rd Aircraft Control and warning Squadron is activated at Hof, Germany; Captain Glenwood McDowell is the Squadron Commander.
July, 1948-During this month the Russians begin their blockade of land routes into Berlin, Germany from the Western (American, British and French) zones of Germany. In response, the Western powers organize the "Berlin Airlift" to bring in vital supplies of coal and foodstuffs to the German citizens through the three approved air corridors to the city. Radar installations in the Hof area are instrumental in monitoring traffic in the corridors.
May, 1949-Russians lift the Berlin Blockadce and supplies are again able to travel overland to the "Island City".
June, 1949-Hof Kaserne officially renamed as Kingsley Barracks, per General Order #51, HQ European Command, dated 2 June 1949.
June, 1949-Major Otto B. McIver assumes command of the 603rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron in the Hof, Gerfmany area. Captain R. L. Woods also joins the 603rd. and the Squadron immediately leaves Hof for field maneuvers at Darmstadt. Purpose of the maneuvers is to streamline the unit's movement capability. Unit then returns to Hof.
September, 1949-603rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron again goes on field maneuvers, this time deploying to Neustadt/Asch, and Captain Leo A. Allen joins the organization as Communications Officer.
April, 1950-603rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron deploys to Giebelstadt, Germany.
June, 1950-603rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron assigned permanent status at Giebelstadt, Germany, ending its association as a full Squadron with the Hof area.
November, 1952-A detachment of the 603rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron is assigned to the Hof, Germany area.
May, 1955-Detachment 2 of 6912 RSM operating at Hof, Germany. See their website HERE.
August, 1956-On August 10 of this year Public Law 86-593 of the 86th U. S. Congress is approved; this is a law to authorize the issuance by the U. S. Air Force of its own highest award, the Air Force Medal of Honor.
1957------------602 AC&W Sq. at Hof, Germany; Dean C. Thompsaon arrives there
Aug. 1957-Gary Cherpes arrives at 602 AC&W Sq., Hof, Germany
Dec. 1958---Detachment 5 of the 6910 Radio Group Mobile stationed at Hof, Germany
Dec. 1958---Airman Van Conway stationed at Det. 5, 6910 RGM, Hof, Germany
1958 (No Specific Date)---At some time during this year three Airmen from Kingsley Kaserne in Hof are captured and taken into custody by Communist border guards when they wander across the border into "forbidden" territory. Then, not long after this incident, a Western (possibly U. S. Cavalry) border patrol comes upon two other airmen who they find to be asleep next to the border and inside the famous "5-K" Zone. (See picture HERE of border warning sign.) All five Airmen had been on all-night drinking sprees. The original three, Burke, Bernhardt and Mynes, it was later learned, had just jaunted across the border to sample Russian vodka, but had experienced Communist police procedures instead. They were returned to Western authorities some eight days after their adventure began. Upon returning to Air Force control, they all received stiff fines.
1958 (No Specific Date)----At some time during this year Airman Charles "Chuck" Capps and his wife Peggy arrive at Det. 5, 6910 RGM in Hof, Germany
Jul. 1959 -Detachment 5 deactivated and renamed and reestablished as 6915 Radio Squadron Mobile in Hof, Germany
Sept. 1959-SSgt. Jim Patterson stationed with 602 AC&W Sq. Hof, Germany
1959 (Whole Year)----All during this year Airman "Chuck" Capps and his wife Peggy are stationed at Detachmednt 5, 6910 RGM/6915th Radio Squadronj Mobile in Hof, Germany
Jun 1960: According to figures that will later be found on the World Wide Web, the average annual salary in the United States for this year will be between $4,080.00 and $4,743.00; it's considered a sign that you're "doing well" if you earn $100.00 a week ($5,200.00 a year). A teacher in America at this time averages just $5,174.00 per year, and the minimum wage is all of $1.00 per year. Yet, in Hof, the exchange rate for the American dollar is 4 Marks, so the Airmen stationed in Hof can do quite well in town.
Jul 1960-Tom Nickerson arrives at 602 AC&W Sq.
1960 (Whole Year)----All during this year Airman "Chuck" Capps and his wife Peggy are stationed at the 6915th Radio Squadron Mobile in Hof, Germany.
Mar. 1961-Airman Tom McKinney arrives at the 6915th RSM in Hof, Germany.
Mar. 1961-Airman Van Conway with 6915 RSM, Hof, Germany
May 1961-At about this time the members of "A" Flight (Trick), 6915th RSM pose for their official picture. Some of the members of "A" Flight at this time are Bruce Munro, Sgt. Feldcamp, Tsgt. Myers,Ken Avery, Carl walker, and Vic Marrone. Click HERE to see the picture.
Unknown Date, 1961-Tom Nickerson marries Monika Dunne from Selb, Germany
Unknown Date, 1961-Bill Cunningham arrives at 6915th RSM and is assigned to the Motor Pool as mechanic, truck driver, heavy equipment operator, fire truck operator-generally, to drive anything that could move.
Unknown Date, 1961-At some time during this year Airman "Chuck" Capps and his wife Peggy, along with their son Michael, who was born during their tour in Hof, Germany, leave the 6915th Radio Squadron Mobile there. During "Chuck's" assignment in Hof, his wife Peggy was for a while in charge of the Family Service Office.
Unknown Date, Approx, 1961-1964 time period, according to Miles Nelson, the following happens::
1,): A Czech AF B-25 overflies the 6915 site and makes several low passes, remaining in the area for "an extended period of time".
2.): Two young Czechs steal an old AT-6 training plane and fly it over the border. They land on the old runway behind the 6915 site, and the plane is left there for some time.
3.): An RB-47 recon plane is shot down over East Germany; the whole crew perishes. And:
4.): Another RB-47 recon plane is shot down "sometime in '62"; two of the crew manage to survive. They are held for about six months, until President Kennedy can negotiate their release. The staff of the 6915 sees the newsreel reports of President Kennedy welcoming them home.
Unknown Date, Approx. 1962-At this time the U.S. Seventh Army's 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment's 1st Squadron has a border camp located at Hof, Germany and its headquarters is at Bindlach. Headquarters of the 2nd ACR itself is at Nuremberg. In fact, the U.S. Army has border patrol units stationeds all along the East-West German and the West German-Czechoslovak borders.
Feb. 1962-At some time during February of 1962 Airman Tom McKinney and his girlfriend from "the States", Jan, are married at the Rathaus in Hof, Germany,and then in a military ceremony in the Kaserne chapel by 6915th R.S.M. Chaplain Captain Peden.
Mar. 1962-At about this time Airman Harvey Harris arrives at 6915 RSM, Hof, Germany. It is "about mid time of the 1961-1962 basketball season " at Hof., and he joins the Able Flight team, According to Harris, the Able Flight team has an undefeated 56-0 season, and they represent the base at the regional championships in upper Germany, but they have troubles there and "get blown away". The team's coach was SSgt. Paul Baldridge of Prestonburg, KY, [Thanks, Phil Ruth, who knows the Coach.]
May 1962-At about this time the "new" intercept site-soon to become the ONLY inteercept site-opens for busines at Hohen Saas near Hof, Germany. Here's a picture taken about three years later. X
Aug. 1962-Airman John X Neiser arrives at 6915 RSM, Hof, Germany
Aug. 1962-Airman Van Conway leaves 6915 RSM, Hof, Germany
Sep. 1962-At about this time (allegedly) Airman Harvey Harris and another airman , after a drinking party in town, get tired of helping a friend across one of the small bridges over the Saale, so Harris climbs a fence (his story), and finds a large washtub. The otherwise unidentified friend-also drunk- is placed into the tub and set adrift. This could have been an international incident because the floating companion had a cryptologic clearance, and he finally came to shore in Czechoslovakia. But, apparently, he made his way back to the base without being interrogated by the Czechs. (At least, this is how Harris tells the story).
Nov. 1962- At this time John Wible is assigned to B-Flight and Father Phillip Wild is the Squadron's Catholic Chaplin.Through Father Wild, John learns about a Catholic orphanage near the train station in town, and he decides to do something special for the children at Christmas time, so he and his friends buy seven turkeys for the nuns to roast, and they also buy toys for the kids. One of John's buddies plays Santa, and everybody has a good time, so much so that they hated to leave. Then they decided to do even more, and they start a payday fund with permission from Lieutenant Ledet and Master Seargant Komp. Purpose of the fund is to buy the playground equipment that the nuns had asked for, and the contributions are just fifty cents each payday. In just a few months they have enough and are able to give the nuns their new rockers, etc. Among those helping with this worthy cause is Airman Second Class John O"Brien. [Thanks to Phil Ruth for sending a copy of the July, 2013 Newsletter, where I found this charming story.-GD].
1962 (No Date)- At some time during this year Airman Dick Herbert joins the 6915 RSM at Hof, Germany, and begins working in the "Top Secret Crypto" Communications Center at the Operations Site. A couple of his coworkers there are Mike Ramsey and Ed Harvey.
May, 1963-Tom Nickerson leaves 602 AC&W Sq. at Hof, Germany
Jun. 1963-Airman Harvey Harris leaves the 6915 RSM at Hof, Germany on an "early out" discharge, and the Able Flight and Base teams lose a shortstop for their basenball teams.
Jul. 1963-Effective 1 July, 1963 the U. S. installation at Hof,Germany is redesignated 6915 Security Squadron from 6915 Radio Squadron Mobile (Thanx, Len Montie-via C.A.Russel & Jerry Mangas).
Jul. 1963-At about this time Airman Tom McKinney and his wife Jan of the 6915Security Squadron at Hof, Germany have their first child, a son. He is born in the Nurnberg Army Hospital.
Aug. 1963---Tom and Jan McKinney and their son leave 6915 Sec. Sqdn. at Hof, Germany
And return to the USA
Dec. 1963---This is Airman Miles Nelson's last Christmas at 6915 Security Squadron in Hof, Germany.
1963 (No Date)- At some time during this year Airman Dick Herbert leaves the 6915 RSM/Security Squadron at Hof, Germany.
Mar. 1964-A/2CJack Farrell assigned as medic to 6915 Security Squadron at Hof, Germany. (See some of his pictures at http://www.hofreunion.com/6064/page_8..html and at http://www.hofreunion.com/6064/page_9.html
Mar. 1964-Medical staff at 6915 Security Squadron in Hof includes Dr. Dalton, Capt. USAF and Dr. Mikolatos
Sep. 1964-At some time during this month the 6915 Security Squadron at Hof, Germany is bumped up a notch in the Air Force pecking order, becoming a Security Group. (Again, thanx to Len Montie via C.A. Russell & Jerry Mangas).
Oct. 1964-Mike Becker arrives in Hof, Germany
1964 (No Specific date)-Nurse (Capt.) Ellen Boucher is member of the medical staff at 6915 Security Squadron in Hof. She is promoted to Major before leaving Hof.
1964 (No Specific date)-Either in late 1964 or early 1965 Nurse (Captain) Rita Flannigan replaces Major Boucher on medical staff at6915 Security Squadron in Hof.
Jan. 1965-Airman Tom McKinney and family return to 6915 Security Group at Hof, Germany
Feb. 1965-A/1C Jerry Mangas arrives at 6915 Security Group at Hof, Germany.
Mar. 1965-A/1C Jerry Mangas' bride arrives to join him in Hof, Germany.
Nov. 1965-On November 1 of this year the issuance of the Air Force Medal of Honor officially takes effect.
Nov 1965-Tom Bryson stationed with 6915 Security Group, Hof, Germany\
1965 (No Specific date)-At some time during this year Airman Jim Riley arrives at 6915 Security Group, Hof, Germany.
1965 (No Specific date)-At some time during this year a Dr. Bergstrom (possibly) replaces Dr. Dalton at the 6915 Security Group in Hof, Germany.
1965 (No Specific date)-6915 Security Group in Hof expanding in number of personnel assigned and new Bachelor Officer Quarters are erected behind the dispensary.
1965 (No Specific date)-At this time Nurse Dorothy Cucka (Capt.) is assigned to the medical staff at 6915 Security Group in Hof.
1965 (No Specific date)-At some time during this year Lonnie Henderson (Chief, to everyone) returns to Hof and the 6915 Security Group for his second tour there after completing the Intermediate Russian course at Syracuse U.'s Skytop detachment. Ron Buck is also at the 6915 S.G. at this time.
1965 (No specific date)-Also at some time during this year Airman Bill Cunningham leaves the 6915 Security Group, where he has been stationed for four years in the Motror Pool.
Jan 1966-Early this month Bernie Harland arrives at 6915 Se curity Group in Hof to establish a one-man office of the 1040th Auditor General Group, which ahs its headquarters at Rhine/Main Air Force Base. His superiors, or sponsors, at Hof are Jimmy Johnson, who is the base Finance Officer, and Bill Gladis, his deputy. Bernie's job is to perform a full schedule of audits of all activities on the base, as well as of some activities at Dobraberg. He does not check activities at the Operations Site, except for one occasion when he has to audit the supply and maintenance activities there. To do this audit, he has to check some of the Site records, and this gives him a pretty good idea of what the guys there are doing, but he definitely does not get beyond the "Green Door" of the Crypto Communications room. He's aware of what equipment is used for Comms, and of how it's probably used, but he never gets to be physically present there.
At this time, as Bernie will much later relate, activities at "The Site" are quite hush-hush and not a topic of general discussion back at the Kaserne. Bernie's office in the beginning is next to that of the OSI officer, a "Mr." Halvorson, and is in the Dispensary and Contracting building-the first building on the right as you come into the Kaserne.
Feb. 1966-Jack Nelson stationed with 6915, Hof, Germany
Jun 1966-At some time during this month Lonnie Henderson and Ron Buck are sent on a TDY assignment to help the airmen stationed at Samsun, Turkey transition to the FLR-12 radio system, and then they return to Hof.
Mar. 1967-A/1C (medic) Jack Farrell leaves 6915 Security Group, Hof, Germany.
Mar 1967-At about this time "the powers that be" decide to increase the staffing of the current one-man (Bernie Harland) detachment of the 1040th Auditor General Group at Hof. They add two more military auditors and a German national as secretary. The newly-asigned Air Force people are Captain Jim Tamekazu and Master Sargeant Dick Semple. With the "huge" increase in manpower, Bernie Harland has to vacate his office in the Dispensary/Contracting building and move into that formerly occupied by the base commander, Lt. Col. Anderson. This puts Harland on the second floor above the Finance Office and next to the Personnel Office, in the sec ond building to the right as you enter the base.
Oct. 1967-Mike Becker leaves Hof, Germany
1967 (No Specific date)-At some time during this year Airman Steve lawrence arrives at 6915 in
Hof., assigned to medical staff at 6915 Security Group.
1967 (No Specific date)-At this time Colonel McAuliffe is commander of the 6915 Security Group in Hof, Germany.
Jul. 1968-Tom Bryson leaves 6915 at Hof, Germany
Aug. 1968-Jack Nelson leaves 6915 at Hof, Germany
1968 (No Specific date)-At some time during this year, Airman Jim Riley leaves 6915 at Hof, Germany.
1968 (No Specific date)-At some time during this year also, Airman Jerry Mangas and his wife leave 6915th at Hof, Germany.
1968 (January)-At some time during this month, but coinciding with the German Fasching festivities, Claude Proctor and his wife arrive in Hof.
Dec. 1968-Sgt. John S. King of the 6915th Communications Center, was selected as Communicator of the Month, having demonstrated superior performance of duty, and maintained excellent military bearing and behavior. This marked the second month in a row that this very able non-com has won the award.
1969-At some time around January 10, 1969, Mrs. Robert Morgan, the outgoing coordinator of Family Services, was presented with the 2,000-hour service pin by Lt. Col. Redick M. Hamer, deputy commander of Hof Air Station.. Mrs. Morgan was also voted to be Volunteer of the Year for 1968. Mrs. Larry McKeag received a 250-hour pin.
1969-Also in January, 1969 the kindergarten of the Dependent School began operation under a new directive by United States Dependent Schools, European Area. The kindergarten was now funded through appropriated funds; in the past, financing had come through funds raised by the parents themselves in private associations, paying from $10 to $15 per month for the purpose. This year's (1969) kindergarten class had 51 students. Bus service was provided to bring the children to class, and this was furnished as part of the existing routes for older students. Mrs. Ronald S. Zobrak was the kindergarten teacher.
1969-In January, 1969 also, the first management course for senior non-commissioned officers in supervisory positions began at Hof Air Station. This was the first in a planned series of couses of this type, Staff Sargeant Donald Thomas, NCOIC of the base Photography Lab, was the instructor for the two-hour classes.
1969-By January of 1969, Hof Air Station had a Driver's Training classroom on base.
1969-At this time Colonel Richard G. McAuliffe was the Station Commander at Hof Air Station.
1971 (No Specific date)-At some time during this year Claude Proctor and his wife leave Hof, Germany.
Oct. 1971-USAF ceases Security Service operations at Hof, Germany; operations transferred to Rimbach, Germany
1972-Tom Bryson returns to Hof, Germany
April 1973-On April 20, 1973 Royal Oak Police Officer Jim Riley, who had served in Hof,Germany from 1965 through 1968, is killed in an automobile accident that involves suspicion of foul play. At the time of the accident, Officer Riley was involved in an undercover investigation of moonshining activity.
April 1985-Former Kingsley Kaserne/Hof Air Station is now renamed by German authorities as General Huettner Kaserne, in honor of Generalmajor Hans Huettner, who had commanded the 38th Infantry Supplemental (Reserve) Battalion in Hof in the Autumn of 1935, before the outbreak of the Second World War. In Autumn of the next year the 38th was attached as a reserve battalion to the 42nd Infantry Regiment in nearby Bayreuth, which is where then-Major Huettner was living at the start of WWII. During the war, he was first a lieutenant-colonel and then a colonel with the 520th Infantry of the 296th Infantry Division, and in this capacity he was awarded the Knight's Cross on September 4, 1942. He fought on the Eastern Front against the Russians, and by 1944 he was commanding the fortress of Christiansund in Norway. Finally, by the end of the war he was commander of Fortress Ijuimiden in the Netherlands.
1990 (No Specific date)- At some time during this year German film producer Klaus Beer starts to set up the "Fernweh Park" signpost collestion "as a common point of interest (in Hof, Germany) for visitors to have their names, license plates, place and street signs, or other types of logos from their hometowns placed in the 'Middle point of Europe' ".
2001-Don Riverkamp is "discovered" living in Austin, Texas by Chuck Wilson.
2001-Members of Hof Reunion Association hold their annual reunion in Colorado.
Sept. 2002-Members of Hof Reunion Association return to Hof and to the Kaserne. The Reunion event includes a side trip to Prague, Czech Republic, and a reception by the Burgermeister of Hof at the Rathaus. Reaction of many members who had not seen Hof since leaving for other assignments or for discharge from service was that the place had changed tremendously. Members had a chance, also, to show their families the inside of the barracks, and everyone had a nice luncheon hosted by the German Luftwaffe that now occupied the base. Other events on the busy schedule included a trip to the radar site at Dobraberg, and to the intercept site at Hohe Sas. (What some of us oldtimers from the very early '60s called the "new site").
2008-As of May 26 of this year the total number of members and guests who had registered for the Myrtle Beach Reunion Fest at the Landmark Resort had reached the amazing level of 265-and we were aiming for as many as 300, all told!
As of this time also (May, 2008) Stu Sturdevant is President of the Hof Reunion Association, and Jerry Mangas is the Association's Secretary, in charge of writing and publishing the group's Newsletter among many other duties.
2008--October 5-10: Hof Reunion Association has convention at Myrtle Beach, SC.