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Charlie Battery - Kleingartach

Archives And Official U.S. Army Personnel Rosters - 1959 - 1969

This area of the web site is the repository of all documents pertinent to the history of Charlie Battery collected from a variety of sources such as village archives, soldier stories and document collections, created documents of appreciation, official U.S. Army Personnel Records, etc.

This web site really began to gather momentum when I realized I could obtain the official U.S. Army Personnel Rosters for the time I was stationed at Charlie Battery from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Those rosters helped me reconstruct that time period so I could be as accurate as possible in this presentation.

I had intended to just scan the pages of each roster, but most of copies I received were not of scan quality. So I decided to recreate the DA Form 305-5 in my Adobe InDesign Desktop publishing program then filled in the tables.

It was actually an interesting and challenging exercise, and I do state on each page of the form that it is a recreation intended only to present a sense of the time period only, with no other intentions.

The original forms were all white paper, however, for the sake of viewing ease I inserted a subtle “every other line tone”, which I think makes it easier to read across the rather long lines of data. It also gives the form a bit of a more contemporary computer form look.

It took me 4 days to enter the complete rosters data, and it was a burn out, but I wanted a document that everyone could view with clarity and ease. I then turned each semi-annual document into a PDF file so that, by using the magnification tool, everyone can easily view the data.

I tried to be as accurate as possible while entering the data. However, because this web site project has so many aspects that I've had to pull together, I haven't had time to do a serious proof read.

So if your data has errors, or has been entered incorrectly, please let me know and I will correct it. It's easy to change now, and to update to web site as well. Also, if anyone spots any typos, here or any where in the web site, please let me know.

And finally, for those who came to the site subsequent to my time, and want their time of service rosters added to our Charlie Battery Historical Record, let me know and I'll tell you how to get them.

Actung: To view the PDF's the icons below link to, you need to have the Adobe Reader application installed on your system. It's a cross platform program, PC, Linux, or Mac, and it is totally free. Our web site makes frequent use of the PDF format because it is so versatile, so I suggest acquiring it. Just click on the “Get Adobe Reader” Icon and it will take you to the web page where you can start the download process.

Once there scroll down a bit and click the “Download” button to begin the process. Be patient, it takes a moment for the process to get started. It may ask you if you want to save the file or install it. Choose “install”, and it will do everything automatically. When Adobe Reader is installed just click once on any of the icons below and the file will open for viewing.

Charlie Battery Official U.S. Army Personnel Rosters

January & July 1960 - January & July 1969

The rosters below are official U.S. Army records that were requested from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Vet Recs requires that daily personnel accounting records can only be acquired by those who served within their peticular time frames. Which means, for example, I could only get information pertinent to the time I served.

At this point we have records for the times shown below, although there is a request in process for the 1968 - 1969 time period. We thank our comrades who took on the responsibility to file requests for their time period and contribute them to our effort.

However, we still have several time periods that still need to be requested. The years for Charlie Battery, Kleingartach; 1962, 1965 - 1966, 1967 - 1968, still need volunteers to come forward to make the request. It would be great if we could cover all the years we were there. The process is very simple and easy to submit, and I'd be happy to help anyone through the process. If you want to help, you can contact me using the email link at the bottom of each page.

Every effort has been expended trying to transpose this information as accurately as possible. This process is nothing more than data entry. Looking at each member, line by line, and entering that info into a data table form that tries to recreate these historical records. However, the records supplied by Vet Recs were marginal to unreadable to say the least. So the possibility for clerical errors are high.

Fortunately, many of the personnel were at the battery for multiple years, which made some unreadable data on one page, readable on another. So... using a large magnifying glass, a pinch of common sense, and a lot of time flipping back and forth between the various time frames supplied, some up to 10 pages each, this laborious effort began.

I think I managed to identify almost everyone. However, old age, being left handed and dyslexic are not good ingredients for absolute accuracy. If anyone observes any typos, errors, and or mistakes, please let me know so we can correct the historical record... Please...!


Charlie Battery Official Archives

The documents included below at this time are a 1959 Thanksgiving Day Menu, a certificate of appreciation given in recognition for services rendered at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO, the Charlie Battery Site Relocated document via Google Earth, and a rare Charlie Battery Group photograph taken down a the baseball field in the Launching Area.

The Thanksgiving Day Menu and the Battery Group Picture was provided by Jim Fitzpatrick and are great memories for us all. We think the Thanksgiving Menu was created by Company Clerk Howard Kostler, but that can't be confirmed. Along with the holiday memories the menu is also a record of the Officer Corps and the Enlisted personnel at that time. The document includes the reproduced original, as well as a reproduced facsimile.

The Archives Technician at the National Personnel Records Center was so helpful, and I/We are so grateful for the information provided, that I wanted to acknowledge her efforts.

I could have just written a letter, but something like that gets filed and out of site.I wanted to give something that could be displayed, not only for her enjoyment, but as a daily reminder of her professionalism that can be viewed by her colleagues and supervisors.

A new addition the our archives is the NCO/EM Membership Card provided by Tom Hodges (IFC 1965-1967). The addition of a Bier Garten, adjacent to the Canteen, featured a live band on Saturday Nights and was affiliated with the NCO/EM Club at Wharton Barracks in Heilbronn. We appreciate your contribution Tom, Thanks...!

We encourage all of you guys to contributed any kind of document(s) or information/stories that would enhance the Battery's historical archives. No matter how insignificant it might seem to you, others might find it interesting and jog others memories as to what they might have. So check you attics and closets, and open those boxes of past memories and liberate your artifacts.

Charlie Battery
Site Located

Thanksgiving Day
Menu - 1959


552nd Grp. Photo
Gerszewski Br.

Battery Group
Color BG Photo

Battery Group
B & W Photo

Membership Card

Charlie Battery
Condensed Hist.

Der Spiegel
Reference Article

Charlie Battery
Basketball Team

Charlie Battery
Baseball Champs

Charlie Battery
Business Cards

Bill Griffin's
Newspaper Article

First Assignment
Post Basic Oct 58

Launching Area
Const. 1958

Launching Area
Const. Spring 59

3rd 71st Fifth An-
niversary Book

3rd 71st Bier
Stein Souvenir

Cmd. Sgt. Mjr.
Zeb Scales Bio

Heilbronn Nwsppr
Kleingartach Art.

IFC Equipment
Ger. AF Museum

John Smoley's
Nike History Bk

The Zabergäu
by Uli Pfingstler

German History
by Uli Pfingstler

Bill Griffin's
Newspaper Article

Capt. Eugene P.
Wroten Tribute

Hercules Support
-ability Program

F. J. De Grado's
Photo Album

U.S. German
Pocket Guide

Charlie Battery
Orig. Site Plan

Overview Of

Overview Of
Wharton Barracks

The 3 Amigos
In Memory Lane

Sgt. Gerszewski
Is Honored

The Rise & Fall

Heuchelberg 2011
Year Of The Forest

Three Charlle
Battery Stories

Begining & End
Newsppr Articles

Grim Reality
Of The End

U.S. Army's
Termination Notice

Baden Württem-
berg Nike Mtgs

Battery Reservoir
As Of 2018

Cstle Stocksberg
A Brief History

Charlie Bat. Innag
uration Dec 1959

Music Of The Time

Music has always been a passion for me. I vaguely remember hearing country music while growing up, but it was never a central part of my experience. Then came my time at Charlie Battery and Hillbilly Reveille.

Every morning on the Armed Forces Network we would wake up to the sound of “It's 6:05 and it's time for Hillbilly Reveille”. And thus began a 30 minute program of traditional and contemporary country music that would serenade us while we washed up and got dressed, in order to beat it down the stairs from the 3rd floor to make the morning roll call formation

Over time I began to enjoy, understand, and appreciate the nuances of the genre, and although it is a pretty much a “heart upon your sleeves” style of music, it has kind of forthright honesty that I liked. Soon I found myself having favorite singers and songs, and to this day I still have that appreciation that has only grown and expanded.

In fact we actually got to see one big country star by the name of Roy Acuff, who actually came to do a show right there in the Charlie Battery Mess Hall. That was pretty amazing considering we were this tiny little outfit way so far from any large kaserne. That always impressed me.

The same appreciation applies to the local German and European music. Songs like “Morgan Morgan” by Ivo Robic were hugely popular. And even though it is sung in German Ivo Robic was from Croatia. Other stars like Caterina Valente, from Italy, also had many European hit songs. Someone in the barracks had one of those highly polished “Telefunken” radios, so we could listen to local music.

One of the songs that has always stayed with me is “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles. That song was on a jukebox in a gasthaus in Brackenheim, which was a favorite watering hole for alot of the guys. It was a more modern style of tavern rather than the older traditional gasthaus. I seem to remember they served good food and were very friendly.

The icons are links to “YouTube” videos, so you get to see the artists as well as hear them. In fact, once you load the YouTube music page, you can minimize it and continue looking at the Charlie Battery site and still listen to the music. So check out the music time capsule that appears down below. And if you know of a song you want to include, let me know and I will see if I can find it.


Ivo Robic
Morgan Morgan

Bobby Helms

Ray Charles

Faron Young
Hello Walls

Ernest Tubb
Walkin' The Floor

Patsy Cline
I Fall To Pieces

Everly Bros.
Walk Right Back

Ray Price
Heartache By #'s

Roy Acuff
Wlbash Cnnball

Marty Robbins
El Paso

Johnny Cash
5ft High & Risin’

Muddy Waters
Miss Delta Blues

Charlie Battery Official Battalion Orders

We are pleased and excited to announce the acquisition of some very special archival material donated by Fred “Olney” Van Zandt. Fred was member of the IFC Area, and has had s number of documents from Headquarters, 3rd Missile Battalion, 71st Artillery in his possession for all these years. It's really quite amazing that they even still exist, seeing as how they are basically “mimeographed” copies printed on the absolutely lowest quality paper. ( They weren't meant to last for any extended period of time. This stuff was whacked out by the ton...!)

They are all special orders of various kinds, ranging from several travel orders, including a blanket order for Bravo, Charlie, and Delta Battery personnel to fly from Germany to Fort Bliss, Texas, and back to Germany for the Annual Service Practice (ASP). The Annual Service Practice orders document the very first time Charlie Battery went to fire at McGregor Range, of which many of us were honored to be chosen to crew that event.

There are orders dealing with the selection of a Charlie Battery Special Disasters Teams that would deal with a variety of critical and dangerous situations in the launching area, as well as an order changing the MOS's of a large group of Charlie Battery personnel.

Also, the orders assigning the Special Weapons Disaster Teams is also excellent documentation of the Officers that were assigned to Charlie Battery at that time.

It appears that Fred Van Zandt traveled to Fort Bliss several times, once to attend a training school in fall of 1959, as well as our Annual Service Practice in the spring of 1960. We are very grateful that he choose to contribute these documents to the Charlie Battery web site archives. Fred has also contributed a number of photographs, mainly of the ASP in the Fort Bliss section that help fill in the memory gaps.

ASP Trvl Orders
Ft. Bliss   -  1960

Ft. Bliss  -  1959

Spcl Orders 15
February - 1959

Spcl Wpns Team
Orders 20 - 1960

Spcl Ord 221 MOS
Changes - 1959