battery_title_1.png - 10883 Bytes
Please Click Here

Charlie Battery - Kleingartach

The IFC Area - 1959 - 1969

- Click Here For Larger Image -The IFC In With A Dramatic Winter Sky

- Click Here For Larger Image -The Heuchelberg On A Wonderful Summer Day

Enjoying a summer day on the road down to Haberschlacht, and the Gasthaus with the great Schnitzel.

- Click Here For Larger Image -Summer Crops In Various Stages Of Growth

A lazy late summer day on the Niederhofen/Haberschlacht road, just off the barracks road heading down to Niederhofen and the Gasthaus Rose. The Gashouse Rose was one of our hangouts. You can “Click Here” to view that image.

We would sometimes continue down the strasse to Kleingartach, but every step further one takes away from the barracks is another step you have to take to get back there. Especially late at night and in the winter.

You can see the Niederhofen road a little farther down the hill and in the winter. Just “Click Here” to view the image.

- Top of the Page -

- Click Here For Larger Image -The Target Tracking Radar - Acquisition Radar - Missile Tracking Radar

We receive the following stories from two different IFC Boys within a day of each other, one who manned the IFC at the beginning of the Sixties, and the other at the end of that decade.

Fred Van Zandt (1958 - 1960) wrote:

“In 1959, when I was an acquisition radar operator at an Ajax site in Gerszewski Barracks, Karlsruhe, West Germany there was a time when we were locked on an aircraft and suddenly I noted that the target was quickly decreasing in altitude. I walked outside the radar van and saw a twin fuselage jet fighter come right at us, right between the MTR and TTR antennas.

We were doing a SIMO tracking test with both the MTR and TTR locked on. Of course the radar antennas could not keep tracking the plane that close and so broke contact. I'm sure he knew we were tracking him and wanted to say hello! I don't know if it was the USAF or the German force, or the type of plane.”

And Bill Silva (1968 - 1970) followed with:

“I remember the IFC area being a favorite strafing run target for the Luftwaffe, on numerous occasions we would be outside and have a group of about four or five German F-104 Starfighters come in on us a tree top level on practice runs, the camouflage I think was to try to make the site a bit more obscure and harder to acquire as a target for “Ivan” should he try the real thing.”

Two completely separate entities inextricably linked my time and space...! Amazing. Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same...

- Click Here For Larger Image -IFC - The Heart Of The Action When The Shootin’ Starts

What you see are the trailers (Vans) that housed the various radars and maintenance supplies. They are backed up to so that the open ends provide easy access to each other. The Gray structure in between them is a enclosed platform that allowed this easy access at the height of the trailer openings. From the platform a stairway led down to ready room, shown in back of, or the right of the trailers, through which also provided access to the stairway up on to radar berm. The interior of the bunk area can be seen in the following photo.

There were literally no buildings, like a ready room or the platform, provided at all, except the Gernerator Shed. In fact, the GI's built both the platform and the ready room from anything they could scrounge up, like packing creates, excess lumber, anything they could find. And none of it was insulted, and you all know how cold it was in the winter.

As Jerry Haslett tells it, they tried one heater that really put out the heat, but was fueled with GASOLINE, so the danger of an explosive fire was just to great, so they got rid of it. So with the usual cool German climate, staying warm was always a challenge.

Some time between 1961 and 1965 a formal ready room was constructed (see two images down), but as of this time we don't know exactly when it was built. So, if anyone who was in the IFC knows when it was built please let us know.

- Click Here For Larger Image -IFC Visitors - 1961

Local residents visit the IFC. I am guessing that it's on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. A time when families are out for a summer walk.

Image by Edwin Stoll - Schwaigern De - 1961

Image Use Policy

- Top of the Page -

- Click Here For Larger Image -IFC Ready Room - 1969

These next 6 images were taken by (Spec-4) Bill Silva who was stationed at Charlie Battery in the late 60's. Other than the obvious visual clues, I don't know anything about the images.

The IFC Ready Room is visually identical to the one in the launching area, and as Bill has related, “A great place to get 8 hour old coffee”.

I am amazed at the how much camouflage was used at that time. Maybe it was because of the more sophisticated spy satellites at the time. That's strictly a guess on my part.

Some time between 1961 and 1965 this ready room was constructed, but as of this time we don't know exactly when it was built. So, if anyone who was in the IFC knows when it was built please let us know.

Image by Bill Silva - Virginia - 1968 - 1970

Image Use Policy

- Click Here For Larger Image -IFC Bunk Area - 1959

Cliff Scott, Erv Blumenthal, and Ernie Fried on duty in the IFC.

Image by Jim Fitzpatrick - Pennsylvania - 1960

Image Use Policy

- Click Here For Larger Image -The Missile Tracking Radar

For an up and close view of to view a Suite of photos that present an excellent illustration of this equipment. So “Click Here“ to see this presentation.

- Click Here For Larger Image -The Target Tracking Radar

The Target Tracking Radar in full camouflage...!

Image by Bill Silva - Virginia - 1968 - 1970

Image Use Policy