8th Ordnance Company,DS, Mansfield Kaserne, Straubing, Landshut and Regensburg, West Germany
Early 30s postcard of Straubing
The basic architecture of the town has changed little in the last 100 years.
8th Ordnance was always well represented when it came to partying in Straubing on weekends and occasionally in the evening on weekdays. Most of us did not have cars so we took the bus to town. There were many bars (Gasthauses) to frequent with live music and Frauleins galore. Most of the bands sang popular songs of the day including the Beatles. GI's were loved by some Germans and disliked by some. When you think of it, who would like having a foreign army in their midst? Seldom did we wear uniforms in town. In fact, it was recommended we not wear them. Today, there is little left in the way of material reminders but the memories remain. I will never forget the laughs, the good food and the amazing camaraderie we shared. I also spent some fabulous evenings in Regensburg and Landshut where we had detachments located. Regensburg and the Cabaret Von Der Tonn come to mind...........and that is all you need to know.
I was last in Straubing around 2000. The town was busy and almost unchanged from 1964. The colorful buildings and street merchants added to the feeling one gets when visiting an old friend. A part of me will always be with the Bavarians, their unbelievable "bier", their humor and their friendliness. I think in another life I was Bavarian. Schwarzach was also a second home for me. What wonderful and friendly people they were. Herzliche gruesse an euch alle! PROSIT! Ich Kann noch "Oachkatzlschuaf" sagen!
There is a wonderful website that includes photos taken by a man that was once stationed on Mansfield Kaserne. He has pictures taken around the Kaserne and downtown Straubing. He even tells you what the names of a couple bars were and shows you what they look like now. One shot was taken right in front of the 8th Ordnance entrance. It doesn't show much of the building but it does show that it appears much different today. Check it out and click on the slideshow. When you have the site up on your screen, click on "full screen slideshow". You will be glad you did. Click anywhere on the link below:
And then there were the Bavarian girls......
When partying in a busy Gasthaus, one must learn the nuances of their surroundings. For example, when you hear the word "VORSICHT!" behind you, you had better move aside. A waitress or "Bedienung" is coming through with an armload of Bayerische Masskruege or 1 liter beer glasses and they are heavy! (see below) Drink a couple of these and you will know you are in Bavaria! Then again, you may not know who you are. Those of us that served in Bavaria were very fortunate. Those that went on to Viet Nam, not so fortunate. We salute them.