Hanau my home away from home for 18 months

by David Arsenault
(Dracut,MA USA)

Market Square

Market Square

Market Square Freiheitsplatz in the old days

I was stationed in Hanau with the US Army at the Pioneer Kassern from July 1966 to Jan 1968.
I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed my stay there. The wonderful times I had in the city during my off duty hours. Partying and drinking some fine German beer at places like the Eden Bar on Lamboy Strasse or the Jolly Bar. Also the fine German food I ate at the many restaurants through out the city. Oh those Bratwurst and Wiener Snitzels.

But the best part is the really good German friend I met while I was there. His name was Bernhart Koenig (Bernie) and he worked on the base with me in one of the mess halls. We bonded a good friendship and enjoyed going out together partying at the local bars doing some sight seeing and of course admiring the pretty young fraulines in the area. At 19 y/o and the first time away from home, I became very homesick and lonely but that all changed when I met Bernie and considered myself very lucky to have met and became friends with such a nice friendly German guy, who also spoke English very well.

Unfortunately due to some circumstances beyond his control he stopped working there on the base and I didn't hear from him or see him during the last 6 months or so of my stay there. As I went back to the states and got discharged I continued on with my life but always thought of him and wondered how he was doing. For some reason through the years I always had the premination that I would hear from him and see him again.

Then one day nearly 40 years after I left Hanau I came home and had a voice message on my phone from someone in a nearby town of Westford Ma. I came from a city near there called Lowell Ma. The message asked me if I had ever been stationed in Hanau Germany and that someone he was chatting with on line was looking to get in touch with me.

I had thought maybe it was and old army buddy from my company in Pioneer Kassern. So I called the number he left me and the guy gave me the email address of this person. I wrote him an email and he wrote back to me. I was shocked to learn it was Bernie. This was incredible, I couldn't believe it was him after all these years.

We immediately rekindled our friendship and the following Sept I went back to Germany to visit him and his wife of 35 years. It was such a wonderful time visiting him and Hanau again.
He and his family, a son and daughter and 3 grandchildren, were so friendly and hospitable to me.

I have since been back there twice and the last time with my daughter and grandson also.
I am returning to visit him again this Sept and this time he and his wife are taking me on a week long trip through Bavaria and the beautiful Bavarian Alps. It is a trip I'm looking forward to very much and of course a chance to do some sightseeing around Hanau again and a trip to my old base which was closed and all deserted last time I was there 2 years ago.

So that's my story about Hanau and can't wait to go there again this Sept.

Sincerely
David

(Submitted 31st July 2012)

Comments for Hanau my home away from home for 18 months

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Nov 06, 2018
Hanau drinking establishments NEW
by: Tom Mayo

During my tour in Hanau from '66 - '68, I found there were many a fine drinking establishments, the Teddy Bar, The Jolly Bar, the Storksnest to name a few. The 2nd Support Bde and the 155th Signal Platoon frequented the Storksnest. Was it tradition, good beer, up to date tunes, fellowship and sing alongs with our drinkin buds, commiserating about the NCO's and officers or about the Army in general?
I remember the layout of the joint, the placement of the jukebox, the bar maids name (Ursula), my car on the street outside the bar but for the life of me I can't remember the name of the street it was on.
My question: Does anyone recall the street the Storksnest was on? ;(
If u do, please post,
thanks

Jan 07, 2018
Thanks You, Rita
by: David Fincher

My sentiments exactly-Tom. I only hope more may see and know about this site. I'm so glad I ran across it.

Jan 07, 2018
Thank You, Rita!
by: Tom Mayo

I wish to publicly recognize and thank our site Hostess Rita, for making it possible for me to connect with an old Army buddy. I hope you all who post here can connect with some old friends and share some special moments of times gone by. Hanau and it's warm and friendly people made my stay there one of many memories I shall cherish forever. Tell your friends about this site and/or link it to some of yours.
Thank you!

Jan 06, 2018
Another Picture
by: David Fincher

Thanks to Rita for posting those pictures for Tom Mayo.
I have the one I was looking for now and hope she will post it as well.

The tall fellow on the back left name was Paul(last name). Ron Flennor is in the middle and to his left is a fellow we just called Tex...can't recall his name.


Bottom left I can't recall his name. Beside him was one of my room mates named Accomondo. The guy with the hat is me.

This was a "short timers" party for me at the Park Restaurant, best I recall.

Tom Mayo, you've brought to life so many memories for me, thank you sir! I never knew all that went on with the 155th. Jim Rogers(aka Buzzard) was a character indeed. I still don't know how he got away with what he did without being thrown in the stockade. He was tall, lanky and did have reddish hair and when he got drunk and came back to the barracks you knew it because you could hear him singing below, "Here's a heart crying out for love..."

Nace had a slight space between his front two teeth but wasn't red headed. Sgt. Milner-remember him well. We called him Micky Mouse due to the silly things he did or wanted you to do. Remember Sgt. Eckerson? didn't care much for him, either. 'I am surprised about Tom Adams. SFC-guess I should have known since he was such a gung ho kind of guy but one of the nicest fellow I knew.

I can't recall Jerry Hecker for some reason...can't place his face. Hope you're able to see the photo I got Rita to post of the short timers party for me and hope you're doing well. So great to hear from you and see your posts.

Jan 06, 2018
Photos of David Fincher
by: Rita - Website admin.

David 1967





David somewhere in Frankfurt

Jan 06, 2018
Further Musings of Hanau Memories
by: Tom Mayo

Rita,
Ich lieben Sie for starting this site to bring so many people who have such warm and wonderful feelings of their time in Hanau.
Vielen Dank!
David, I do remember SGT Tom Adams. He was always "squared away", starched and spit-shined. We connected about 10 years ago. He sent me some photos of some of the guys in our unit, Blaney and Bell among them. In 1969 the 2nd Spt Bde and the 155th were deactivated and the cadre from the 155 relocated to Frankfurt as part of the 201st Signal Company, at McNair Kaserne & worked at the Abrams Building (IG Farben). My buddy John McMillan was one who transferred. Tom Adams stayed behind to close up shop. Afterwards he was reassigned to Viet Nam. After VN he was reassigned to a unit in Stuttgart for a time, then back to the States for further duty at Vint Hill Farms Station. VHFS closed in 1997. Tom left the Army as a Sergeant First Class (E7)
Last I head he was living in Warrington VA.
You are correct, it was Blaney who was levied. Jim Bandy left before either you or me. I remember him as a good guy. I hope the years were kind to him.
The "buzzard" was one of the first guys I met after transferring from the 574th. He had quite a reputation of getting stinko and trying to jump out of the 3rd floor windows. He would crouch in the window well (remember the kaserne walls were about 3 feet thick) and caw like a buzzard. I recall one night he was so dunk they had to chain him to his bunk for fear he would really jump. I also recall on the few occasions when we had to stand reveille in winter, the parade ground was smothered in fog you couldn't see 10 feet. Buzz would put on a pair of boots along with his underwear and throw a blanket over himself and stand for reveille before going back to bed. What a character.
I don't recall too many from the 574th. I spent my birthday (Oct) there. My mother sent me a birthday cake but it didn't make it in one piece and it had dried out in transit. Nace sounds familiar. Was he a redhead? The only guy I really recall is Ron Fleenor. He was a 72B assigned to 574th who stayed in the 574th. One day I saw him with E5 stripes while we who left were only Spc4's. I eventually passed the Sergeants' board and got my stripes only to have them taken away by SSG Milner after getting into an argument with SGT Jerry Hecker over undelivered weather reports. I got them back a couple months later. Ron brought his wife over so they lived off post. He bought an old Mercedes taxi (diesel) and had it shipped home. Hope he hung on to it. It would be worth a few Bitcoins today.
I loved those rides to Frankfurt to burn classified trash at the IG Farben incinerator. My driver and I could turn a 3 hr trip into an all day event. Little things made the time pass quicker. Like the Storksnest Bar drinking and sing a longs. Wish I could remember the street it was on. ;-)


Jan 05, 2018
Email me photos-Rita
by: David Fincher

What's the email address, Rita?

Jan 05, 2018
Email me photos
by: Rita

Hi David Fincher,

you can email me a photo, or two, and I'll add them here as comment.
info at germany-insider-facts.com

I can't add large photos, but I'll do my best.

I am glad that you (and others) found old friends.

Cheers, Rita

Jan 05, 2018
Remembering the Guys
by: David Fincher

Tom-I don't see a way to attach a photo or I would. Remember Tom Adams(E5)? I roomed with him on t he end facing the "strass" then moved to another room with those guys I mentioned. I think Bell, Blaney and the others were in the next room down. Bandy went home before I did and never was levied. Maybe you're thinking of Blaney. I think Tom Baxter was levied also. Do you remember the guy named Rogers that they called the 'Buzzard"? Always drunk every chance he got.

While at 574th I roomed with Caine, Jamula, Hessler and Nace. Remember any of those? My last six months I got Roger's job as courier and all I did was go back and forth to Frankfurt, sometimes Stuttgart, delivering classified documents...love it. :)

Jan 05, 2018
Hello David Fincher
by: Tom Mayo

Hello David Fincher. After 51 years I'm a little fuzzy on your visage but I'm sure I'd remember you if I saw your photo. After all the 155 wasn't that large. I lived on the second floor also in one of the corner rooms that overlooked the guard shack and main entrance. I roomed with an E5 who had transferred from Korea who spent most of his waking hours at the Legion Post across the street getting soused. I came off "mids" one morning and found him kneeling before his bunk, half on, half off, I thought he was praying... he was actually dead drunk asleep. He left the room a mess and the XO tore up the room on inspection. Soon thereafter I joined the rest of the squad on the 3rd floor in the last room next to the latrine. To this day I think the shift work ruined my circadian clock. I had a car and a German girlfriend (whom I married) so I didn't spend much time in the barracks when I wasn't on shift. Saw much of Germany as a local would see it. If our esteemed site hostess would allow it, you can reach me at tango, golf, whiskey, 1 (at sign) golf, bravo, India, sierra. Nice hearing from you.
All the Best

Jan 05, 2018
Bandy, Bell, Koslasky
by: David fincher

Tom May-you probably remember me as I do you! I was in the "zoo" after transferring from 574th PSC for a short time then got a room down the hall on the 2nd floor with Tom Baxter, Accomondo(sp?), Brewer and myself. I remember us having a short timers party for Bandy.

I don't know how to post a picture but have one You'd love to see of one of the short timer's parties across the street from Hutier. I went back to "the world" Dec 29, 1967. Baxter sent me a letter not long afterwards and inside was the Queen of Spades!! We played hearts a lot.

Jan 04, 2018
My Hanau Memories
by: Tom Mayo

David, seems you have written my Hanau story. Arrived in Hanau in late '66 by way of a 9 day sail to Bremerhaven and train to Hanau. Assigned to the 574th PSC (top floor of the brigade building) managing Officer 201 files. Able to transfer to the 155th Sig Plt. Was a trick chief in the Commcenter in the basement of same building. Also made classified trash burn runs to IG Farben in Frankfurt. Loved to watch the mini skirted girls ride the Paternoster elevators there. Spend many hours at Zum Storksnest bar downtown. Married in Berlin to a girl I met in Hanau. I think the roommate who was levied was Brady or Bandy who used to pal around with Bell and Kosloski. He wrote back to say they changed his MOS from 72B to 11B and gave him a rifle. Remembering John McMillan, Tom Adams, Jerry Hecker. Ron Fleenor. Had a run in with SSG Milner, lost my E5 stripes for a while. Would loved to have gone back before the Kaserne closures. I loved Hanau and think of those days often. Hope the world has been kind to all the guys I served with. Bless you all.

Dec 16, 2017
Quaint Little Hanau
by: David

We arrived in Frankfurt around June of 1966 and I was stationed at Hutier Kaserne from then till late December 1967. I was initially put in 574th Personnel Svc Co. due to slots not being open to put us in our regular MOS, 72H20. After a period of time I transferred to 155th Signal Platoon where I worked in the Comm Center across the parade field from where we stayed.

I've thought of this place often over the years and even thought of visiting till I found out all Americans had left in 2008 when Hutier was closed and I assume the other Kasernes like Francois, Hessen-Homburg, etc. My only memories are in my head as I didn't take many pictures not being into photography back then like now. I'd love to hear from some of the guys I was stationed with but no idea whatever became of them. One of my roommates I know got levied to Vietnam shortly after I left, right after Christmas 1967.

Good memories of Hanau and made many trips to Frankfurt to the I.G. Farben building delivering classified documents. My one regret is not getting many photos since it's all changed now.

Dec 13, 2017
85th maint veteran Hanau
by: Anonymous

hi, was in 85th Maint. same Bldg Sep 66 to Oct 69 Was in Electronics Maint the guy who spoke german rainier-6@hotmail.com

Sep 04, 2017
Pioneer Kaserne
by: John

I was stationed with the HHC 85th Maintenance Battalion from 1970 to 1972. If I remember right we were the third building to the left as you entered the main gate. I was one of the operators of the van mounted NCR 500 for stock control. I lived at 2600 Bogenstrasse in Wolfgang.

Jul 30, 2017
Hanau
by: Jerry Lollis

During your time there I was getting ready to go to Viet Nam from Fliegerhorst Kaserne. Loved Lamboystrasse..take care

Jul 23, 2017
RE: Bill Rafuse comment
by: Ken Moore

If you were in the computer trailer, I recall one of the operators or NCO was Hugh Garrity (sp). He might have came after you left, but he was a wonderful individual. Major Deso was the CO when I arrived and Jack Ducray was the 1SG- who was also in charge of the ration coupons we all were issued. That led to some problems a few months later relative top Black-Marketeering. A wonderful time and experience.

Ken Moore

Feb 08, 2017
Must have crossed paths
by: Bill Rafuse

I was with the 574th from early 1971 till my discharge in 1973. Worked in the keypunch trailer and than the Univac 1005 trailer with a friend Gary Neu the only other name I recall was Steve Heath.

Jun 23, 2016
retired
by: joe

I was stationed at the Pioneer Kasern, Feb. 1955. I remember most my visits to the Jolly Bar. Sorry to see the Pioneer Kasern in its present condition.. Many GI's called it home. I was part of the 507th Ordinance and left Germany in the Spring of 57. Joe

Feb 23, 2016
574th PSC
by: Anonymous

I was stationed at the 574th PSC from April 1972 - March 1975 and loved every minute of it. When my wife arrived we had an apartment on Burgalee before we were assigned quarters I Fliegerhorst. We went on as many Volksmarches as possible - usually within two hours of Hanau.

My wife and I returned to Hanau in 2014. Through a series of exchanges with the townspeople, we were able to gain access to Pioneer and tour the old sod. We even got to go into the 574th building. It was one of the last to close down before the kaserne was turned over to the German government. The walls and rooms had many memories of the good time and interesting people that I met and worked with. On the basement floor, next to the gun room, was a tailor shop where we could get our uniforms put together with the proper insignia and also buy a tailor-made suit at a very reasonable price. It was the people that made the place special - plus I was in my early twenties back then.

They unlocked the old dining hall building and we were able to walk through it. The building was so strongly made that it would only take a couple of week of cleanup and installation of cooking equipment and you would have a first rate dining facility one again. I would go there for breakfast some mornings because the head chef made some superb SOS.

I also remember going into town every Saturday for the farmer's market (that also operated on Wednesdays) During our recent trip, my wife and I went down there and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Although I no longer drink beer, I did have a "curry-wurst mit senf und pommes-frites

Great memories - keep them coming

Oct 23, 2015
lou fabbiano
by: David Arsenault

Hi
I read your post and have to say I was in Germany from 1966 to 1968 and stationed at Pioneer Kasern. If you went to the Jolly Bar then Im sure we must have bumped into each other because I pratically lived there especially on the weekends. Went there all the time with my German friennd Bernie who worked on the base with me. I have so many fond memories pf the jolly Bar and of Hanau also.

Oct 23, 2015
574TH PSC
by: Bill Messacar

I was with the 574TH from July '70 to Feb '71 - a short hitch over there. Was unit CBR NCO.


Oct 23, 2015
Looking for Fellow Soldiers
by: Lawrence Moody

Hello, I was stationed in Hanau from September 1982 until July 1984, on Pioneer Kasern, with the 574th PSC, I would like to hear from some of my fellow soldiers, I have a lot of fond memories of being there, and the people I've met will forever be in my heart!

Sep 19, 2015
Mess Hall On Pionier kaserne
by: Bill M

Does anyone remember the German Army artwork on the ceiling of the mess hall on Pionier (H shaped building) located at the Western side of the kaserne ?

Jun 16, 2015
Lamboy Kaserne
by: lou fabbiano


I was stationed at Lamboy Kaserne 1966-1968
Visited the Jolly Bar on a regular basis.
Loved the food. beer and people overall.
I visited Frankfurt and Heidelberg, Paris,
Rome, Athens and Holland.
Great experiences with my side kicks Larry
Schlenger, Pat Murphy, Joe DePasquale, Albert
Snachez, Rich Lytle and many more.
Never a dull moment. Summers in Germany were
in particular, beautiful.
Take me back anytime.
Lou

Mar 01, 2015
Lamboy Strause
by: Wendy

I was there in 1973... I lived on the 6th floor above the
Roxy Bar and paid 350 DM a month for
rent... Beautiful City ... I will never forget the weddings in the park... The food.... The people and Pipneer Kaserne
weekends at Kimg Ludwigs Castles... The Markets

Aug 01, 2014
HI Anita
by: Anonymous

Thank you for that nice reply. So you live in Douglas. Im up outside the Lowell area in Dracut.

That was an old posting and I already went to Bavaria in 2012 and it was a beatifull trip and such pretty country. It reminded me of Vermont alot. Also visited 3 different castles while there. Bad part was I had a miserable cold all the time I was there. Must have caught it on the plane.
I haven't been back to see Bernie since but im sure I will eventually go back again.

I just recently made another interesting trip this past April to the country of Cambodia with my Cambodian American friend who was born there. Was a fantastic trip and certainly very much different then Germany. Only thing there was I don't care for the Cambodian food but boy do I love German food. Give me a bratwurst or wiener snitzel with pomme fritz or german potato salad and my taste buds are in heaven.




Aug 01, 2014
long lasting friendships
by: Anita

Hi David, My name is Anita and I live in Douglas, MA. I learned about you through facebook from Bernhard König. As a matter of fact he sent me your youtube site just today. I am one of those souvenirs my husband brought back with him from Germany. He came from Cambridge. Just wanted to say that I love your story and that you were able to get back in touch with Bernie and all your memories of Germany. I lived in Offenbach and Frankfurt for a few years. So I know the neighborhood. Unfortunately I never made it to Hanau.
My home town is Augsburg. I don't know when you wrote about your plans to visit Bavaria, but I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time (or HAD a wonderful time)
Good luck and God bless
Anita

Aug 05, 2012
Visiting Hanau
by: David Arsenault

Rita

I am glad you like my story about Hanau. I forgot to metion though he actually now lives and another town very near Hanau called Langenselbold and that's where Ill be staying with him when I'm there but I'm sure we will be visiting Hanau too and my old base Pioneer Kassern even though it is deserted now and kinda makes me a little depressed to see i that way.

Aug 05, 2012
Hanau revisited!!!
by: Anonymous

Dear David
Loved your Hanau story.I was born in Hanau and lived in a small town nearby. I met a handsome young GI in Hanau and we have been happily married for over 33 years. It is nice to see that others remember Hanau and Germany as a nice place. I am thrilled that you found your friend Bernie and are in contact with him. I myself am always looking to find friends from "way back then" Good luck on your next trip, and enjoy.

Aug 05, 2012
What a coincidence!
by: Rita

Hello David,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your story. It always makes me happy that so many people have good memories of my home town.

Wow, that is really wonderful that you met your old friend again, after nearly 40 years. The internet is not a bad thing :).

Many of the former US barracks have changed into new housing areas, however, the Pioneer Kaserne is still empty, a sad sight.

There are big changes happening in Hanau right now. I've put on a photo album on my Facebook page called Hanau baut um. Freiheitsplatz is going to be totally rebuilt with a huge cultural and shopping center, but this will take a few years until completed.

I've added also many other photo albums on the Facebook page, so have a look around and stay in touch. There are quite a few people who are "fans" of the Germany Facts Facebook page who were also stationed in Hanau. Perhaps you will find some more friends.

Anyway, thanks again for your story. Enjoy your stay in Hanau and the trip to Bavaria. Have a good time.

Rita

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