Hanau says goodbye to U.S. troops

Aug 7, 2008 Full story: Stars and Stripes 1,387

Col. Ray Graham, left, U.S. Army Garrison Hessen commander, and Hanau's Lord Mayor Claus Kaminsky show off the presents they exchanged following the garrison's closure ceremony on Pioneer Kaserne in Hanau, ...

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Randal Jackson

United States

#1 Nov 8, 2008
I was with the 507th HEM, 543th HEM, and later the 19th Maint. Co. from 1970-1976. Although the 507th Billets were located on Gross Auheim Kaserne the Batallion was on Pioneer, and when it was deactivated we were move totaly to the Pioneer. I made friends there and have visited three different times since my ETS in 1976. I was somewhat saddened when my friends from Gelnhausen visited me here in Maryland this past September and told me the Pioneer Kaserne was closing. I have great memories of my time there. I will be visiting again in the near future and I can only imagine how I will feel when I see it. Any follow up to how the Kaserne is being used would be of interest to many of us.
Thanks to all who are serving.
hanau germany

Oberursel, Germany

#2 Dec 3, 2008
i am 22 and i growed up with american troops.
a part of my world is missing since all casernes in hanau were closed.
i am sad but life has to go on...
Marvin Meyerhoffer

Louisville, KY

#3 Dec 15, 2008
Derby Town, USA, 12/08. Oh what memories of Pioneer Kaserne and Hanau! The Jolly Bar, Lamboy Strasse, the old Bahnhof, the park (with WWII bomb shelters still there), Horst, Hans, Helga, Ellie... MPC's and then the conversion to greenback $$$ in '58, and the chaos that resulted -"entertainers" and taxi drivers wanting GI's to change their MPC's for them... So many buddies and German friends...I was stationed at Pioneer with the 509th. AFA Bn, 3AD, from 1956 until 1958, and with the 2/73rd. Bn., 3AD from '58 until summer 1959. Hans and the workers at the Pioneer Club - thanks for tolerating myself and the other wild GI's who packed the club on payday (once a month), brought our German girlfriends there for dances, Christmas parties... been back to Pioneer three times... excited the first time (1965), had a lump in the throat the last ('89). Back then was treated well by the folks in stadt Hanau... Oh the memories. Too too many memories...
hanau germany

Ostseebad Nienhagen, Germany

#4 Dec 17, 2008
it listens good :)
i heard a lot of these stories from my grandparents, parents, friends and escpecial from my co-worker who was married with an american soldier and lived for a few years in usa.
also i lived to see it.

i saw that the car shop and KFC near to pioneer kaserne closed last time.
now it is christmas time: till the last years allmost all windows at pioneer were decorated, the last years only a few were decorated, now all is dark :(

with your president-elect obama it makes me still more sad that all kasernes were closed, because nothing of this "yes we can"-mentality is here :((
Citizen

Tinley Park, IL

#5 Dec 25, 2008
Marvin Meyerhoffer wrote:
Derby Town, USA, 12/08. Oh what memories of Pioneer Kaserne and Hanau! The Jolly Bar, Lamboy Strasse, the old Bahnhof, the park (with WWII bomb shelters still there), Horst, Hans, Helga, Ellie... MPC's and then the conversion to greenback $$$ in '58, and the chaos that resulted -"entertainers" and taxi drivers wanting GI's to change their MPC's for them... So many buddies and German friends...I was stationed at Pioneer with the 509th. AFA Bn, 3AD, from 1956 until 1958, and with the 2/73rd. Bn., 3AD from '58 until summer 1959. Hans and the workers at the Pioneer Club - thanks for tolerating myself and the other wild GI's who packed the club on payday (once a month), brought our German girlfriends there for dances, Christmas parties... been back to Pioneer three times... excited the first time (1965), had a lump in the throat the last ('89). Back then was treated well by the folks in stadt Hanau... Oh the memories. Too too many memories...
Your post brought tears to my eyes. We were stationed in Kitzingen, Germany from 1977 to 1980 at Harvey Barracks. They were one of the best times of our lives.
leon oxendine

Charlotte, NC

#6 Feb 15, 2009
hello,i lived in the housing area behind kfc i truly have so many memories of my 4 years there from 87 till 91... ate at kfc a lot... miss my german friends !!!!!
leon oxendine

Charlotte, NC

#7 Feb 15, 2009
i was stationed at pioneer from oct 87 till jan 91 truely loved it there i miss the pioneer club,all the great german people, nothing but fond memories... wow....

Since: Feb 09

Charlotte, NC

#8 Feb 15, 2009
hanau germany wrote:
i am 22 and i growed up with american troops.
a part of my world is missing since all casernes in hanau were closed.
i am sad but life has to go on...
thank you i really miss germany !!!
neo

Germany

#9 Feb 15, 2009
Hello!
David Arsenault

AOL

#10 Mar 2, 2009
Lowell Ma - I was stationed in Pioneer Kasern from July 1966 to Jan 1968. Wow, I can't believe they closed the base. I have such fond memories of the time I spent there. Many fun times at the Eden Bar, The Jolly Bar and the Pioneer Club.
Most of all the good German friend (Bernie) I met while I was working as a cook in the mess hall. He was around my age at the time and worked in the mess hall as a civilian KP. We had so many great times in Hanau partying at all the clubs and through him I got to know a lot of about the German culture.
Sad part is he stopped working there one day and I didnt see him the rest of the time I was there.
Then one day 2 years ago and about 40 years after I had left Germany he managed to get intouch with me over the internet. It was amazing to hear from him after so many years. After chatting online with him for a while, I decided to go back and visit him and the Pioneer Kasern again. I can't tell you how much of a great time I had on my trip back. We went in to visit Pioneer Kasern the first day I arrived and it was so emotional for me visting the old mess hall we both had worked in and to see the base again even though it seemed so deserted compared to when I was stationed there and the old Pioneer Club was now a health club.
Bernie and his wife were so friendly and hospitable to me I can't thank them enough. The first night I arrived he through a big party for me with all his friends and relatives and oh that German beer I had fogotten how good is was.
So it is just sad to hear that all the bases around Hanau have been closed and I know it is sad for Bernie also as the grew up in the area and has many memories of the US soldiers and had made friends with many of them. It's also how he learned to speak english so well, especially all those American slang words.
Now I plan on going back again this summer to visit him and his wife and look forward to it very much. Only this time I guess I won't be able to visit the base again but I hope to see some more of Germany that I didn't get a chance to see when I was stationed there. Keep the beer cold Bernie I'll be back soon
Dennis Osborne

Harrisburg, NC

#11 Mar 2, 2009
David Arsenault wrote:
Lowell Ma - I was stationed in Pioneer Kasern from July 1966 to Jan 1968. Wow, I can't believe they closed the base. I have such fond memories of the time I spent there. Many fun times at the Eden Bar, The Jolly Bar and the Pioneer Club.
Most of all the good German friend (Bernie) I met while I was working as a cook in the mess hall. He was around my age at the time and worked in the mess hall as a civilian KP. We had so many great times in Hanau partying at all the clubs and through him I got to know a lot of about the German culture.
Sad part is he stopped working there one day and I didnt see him the rest of the time I was there.
Then one day 2 years ago and about 40 years after I had left Germany he managed to get intouch with me over the internet. It was amazing to hear from him after so many years. After chatting online with him for a while, I decided to go back and visit him and the Pioneer Kasern again. I can't tell you how much of a great time I had on my trip back. We went in to visit Pioneer Kasern the first day I arrived and it was so emotional for me visting the old mess hall we both had worked in and to see the base again even though it seemed so deserted compared to when I was stationed there and the old Pioneer Club was now a health club.
Bernie and his wife were so friendly and hospitable to me I can't thank them enough. The first night I arrived he through a big party for me with all his friends and relatives and oh that German beer I had fogotten how good is was.
So it is just sad to hear that all the bases around Hanau have been closed and I know it is sad for Bernie also as the grew up in the area and has many memories of the US soldiers and had made friends with many of them. It's also how he learned to speak english so well, especially all those American slang words.
Now I plan on going back again this summer to visit him and his wife and look forward to it very much. Only this time I guess I won't be able to visit the base again but I hope to see some more of Germany that I didn't get a chance to see when I was stationed there. Keep the beer cold Bernie I'll be back soon
As unbelievable as this may sound, Bernie is actually my Uncle Bernhard. Sounds like you were good friends
Berndt

Rock Hill, SC

#12 Mar 8, 2009
David Arsenault wrote:
Lowell Ma - I was stationed in Pioneer Kasern from July 1966 to Jan 1968. Wow, I can't believe they closed the base. I have such fond memories of the time I spent there. Many fun times at the Eden Bar, The Jolly Bar and the Pioneer Club.
Most of all the good German friend (Bernie) I met while I was working as a cook in the mess hall. He was around my age at the time and worked in the mess hall as a civilian KP. We had so many great times in Hanau partying at all the clubs and through him I got to know a lot of about the German culture.
Sad part is he stopped working there one day and I didnt see him the rest of the time I was there.
Then one day 2 years ago and about 40 years after I had left Germany he managed to get intouch with me over the internet. It was amazing to hear from him after so many years. After chatting online with him for a while, I decided to go back and visit him and the Pioneer Kasern again. I can't tell you how much of a great time I had on my trip back. We went in to visit Pioneer Kasern the first day I arrived and it was so emotional for me visting the old mess hall we both had worked in and to see the base again even though it seemed so deserted compared to when I was stationed there and the old Pioneer Club was now a health club.
Bernie and his wife were so friendly and hospitable to me I can't thank them enough. The first night I arrived he through a big party for me with all his friends and relatives and oh that German beer I had fogotten how good is was.
So it is just sad to hear that all the bases around Hanau have been closed and I know it is sad for Bernie also as the grew up in the area and has many memories of the US soldiers and had made friends with many of them. It's also how he learned to speak english so well, especially all those American slang words.
Now I plan on going back again this summer to visit him and his wife and look forward to it very much. Only this time I guess I won't be able to visit the base again but I hope to see some more of Germany that I didn't get a chance to see when I was stationed there. Keep the beer cold Bernie I'll be back soon
Hello David,
I would like to thank you for writing about me.I read your words and they brought both tears and happiness.
That was 42 years ago. Its a shame that all the Bases in Hessen are closed or closing. Only Wiesbaden Airfield is still
open .I often think back on the time we shared as friends,and all of your brothers in arms in the consolidated mess hall at the Pioneer Kasserne. I also recollect the Eden Bar on Lamboy Strasse and food stand, where good times were had.
Seems you were always eating german Bratwurst and Kartoffel Salad- Oh and the good german beer..
My God those were the times. I wished we could re-live them again.
David, we will see you soon my friend, in the summer of 09.Our door is always open.

Friendly wishes from Me and my entire family

Bernie
The REAL Deal

United States

#13 Mar 8, 2009
Does this mean Germany is ready for self-rule at last? Sig Hiel!!
vincent leno

Apo, AE

#14 May 12, 2009
Berndt wrote:
<quoted text>
Hello David,
I would like to thank you for writing about me.I read your words and they brought both tears and happiness.
That was 42 years ago. Its a shame that all the Bases in Hessen are closed or closing. Only Wiesbaden Airfield is still
open .I often think back on the time we shared as friends,and all of your brothers in arms in the consolidated mess hall at the Pioneer Kasserne. I also recollect the Eden Bar on Lamboy Strasse and food stand, where good times were had.
Seems you were always eating german Bratwurst and Kartoffel Salad- Oh and the good german beer..
My God those were the times. I wished we could re-live them again.
David, we will see you soon my friend, in the summer of 09.Our door is always open.
Friendly wishes from Me and my entire family
Bernie
I had to write, I felt very intrigued that such friendship lasts, especially in a special place for me. I was stationed on Pioneer Kaserne from 95-2007. I witnesses the deactivation of my beloved 130th Engineer Brigade.
My family and I had the best time of our lives and still maintain friendships there. We live in alittle dorf called Neuleiningen near Grunstadt. I am trying to find work so we can move back. We lived in Rodenbach and have grown roots.
It was truely a sad moment to see everything all grown over. I can only hope and wish the US would see a need to reopen in the future.
vincent.leno@us.army.mil
Howard Connour

Ambler, PA

#15 Jun 19, 2009
David Arsenault wrote:
Lowell Ma - I was stationed in Pioneer Kasern from July 1966 to Jan 1968. Wow, I can't believe they closed the base. I have such fond memories of the time I spent there. Many fun times at the Eden Bar, The Jolly Bar and the Pioneer Club.
Most of all the good German friend (Bernie) I met while I was working as a cook in the mess hall. He was around my age at the time and worked in the mess hall as a civilian KP. We had so many great times in Hanau partying at all the clubs and through him I got to know a lot of about the German culture.
Sad part is he stopped working there one day and I didnt see him the rest of the time I was there.
Then one day 2 years ago and about 40 years after I had left Germany he managed to get intouch with me over the internet. It was amazing to hear from him after so many years. After chatting online with him for a while, I decided to go back and visit him and the Pioneer Kasern again. I can't tell you how much of a great time I had on my trip back. We went in to visit Pioneer Kasern the first day I arrived and it was so emotional for me visting the old mess hall we both had worked in and to see the base again even though it seemed so deserted compared to when I was stationed there and the old Pioneer Club was now a health club.
Bernie and his wife were so friendly and hospitable to me I can't thank them enough. The first night I arrived he through a big party for me with all his friends and relatives and oh that German beer I had fogotten how good is was.
So it is just sad to hear that all the bases around Hanau have been closed and I know it is sad for Bernie also as the grew up in the area and has many memories of the US soldiers and had made friends with many of them. It's also how he learned to speak english so well, especially all those American slang words.
Now I plan on going back again this summer to visit him and his wife and look forward to it very much. Only this time I guess I won't be able to visit the base again but I hope to see some more of Germany that I didn't get a chance to see when I was stationed there. Keep the beer cold Bernie I'll be back soon
I just happened to find this website and the posts that people are leaving. I was saddened to find out Pioneer was closing. I was stationed there in the 88th. H.E.M. Co. from Dec. 1965- Feb. 1968. I too remember Jolly Bar and 'Several" more in Hanau. The names of which have long been forgotten....
Howard Connour

Ambler, PA

#16 Jun 19, 2009
Randal Jackson wrote:
I was with the 507th HEM, 543th HEM, and later the 19th Maint. Co. from 1970-1976. Although the 507th Billets were located on Gross Auheim Kaserne the Batallion was on Pioneer, and when it was deactivated we were move totaly to the Pioneer. I made friends there and have visited three different times since my ETS in 1976. I was somewhat saddened when my friends from Gelnhausen visited me here in Maryland this past September and told me the Pioneer Kaserne was closing. I have great memories of my time there. I will be visiting again in the near future and I can only imagine how I will feel when I see it. Any follow up to how the Kaserne is being used would be of interest to many of us.
Thanks to all who are serving.
I just happened to find this website and the posts that people are leaving. I was saddened to find out Pioneer was closing. I was stationed there in the 88th. H.E.M. Co. from Dec. 1965- Feb. 1968.
William

Elk City, OK

#17 Jun 19, 2009
Randal Jackson wrote:
I was with the 507th HEM, 543th HEM, and later the 19th Maint. Co. from 1970-1976. Although the 507th Billets were located on Gross Auheim Kaserne the Batallion was on Pioneer, and when it was deactivated we were move totaly to the Pioneer. I made friends there and have visited three different times since my ETS in 1976. I was somewhat saddened when my friends from Gelnhausen visited me here in Maryland this past September and told me the Pioneer Kaserne was closing. I have great memories of my time there. I will be visiting again in the near future and I can only imagine how I will feel when I see it. Any follow up to how the Kaserne is being used would be of interest to many of us.
Thanks to all who are serving.
Why are they closing the base?
TJ DeMartino

Nashville, TN

#18 Jul 30, 2009
I was at Pioneer from June of '86 To July of '88. I was with the 81st Maint co.-Later became the 53rd HMSC. First Sgt. Punihaole was "top" when I was there. Anybody out there from that time???. I remember Lamboy Strasse, the Boat, Tony's and of course the Pioneer club.
Ivo Grabinski

AOL

#19 Aug 6, 2009
Howard Connour wrote:
<quoted text>I just happened to find this website and the posts that people are leaving. I was saddened to find out Pioneer was closing. I was stationed there in the 88th. H.E.M. Co. from Dec. 1965- Feb. 1968.
I was stationed at 88th. H.E.M. Co. from 1964- Nov. 1966 as SP 5 squad leader, bay chief (2nd bay)(with "Sgt. Dry Rod")
room commander and in charge of hallway detail.
I think on 2nd. floor.
Howdy!
Ivo Grabinski

AOL

#20 Aug 6, 2009
It's been a long time since Pioneer Koserne, I was in Unit Police for 3 months in 1964 at main gate, directing the traffic (6 ways),wearing white gloves and a wooden club, saluting the oficers, but making them wait to to go in or out.
Great memories!

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