Mt. Meisner-Altefeld Germany: Generations
Courtesy of Dean Slagle-Dan Baranowski
Subject: Det M, Mt. Meissner, Germany
Despite all your references to "1976 - The End of ASA",
it wasn't until 1980, when I arrived at my last duty station - Ft. Ord,
was the company name changed from A.S.A. to C.E.W.I.!! Between 1977
and 1980, I was stationed at either Ft. Devens, Mt. Meissner or Ft. Ord,
TDY in Berlin, Frankfurt and Orlando, FL and they were always ASA units.
I was stationed at Mt. Meissner, FRG from September 1978 to
September 1980 with the 331st ASA Co. as a 33S E/W Intercept Systems
Repairman. At that time, the Three-Thirty-Worst was based in Frankfurt
and since the CO took an instant disliking to me, I was sent to Det. M.
When I first arrived the Ops building was empty, the Generator
hadn't been run in years, but the antenna field was mostly intact.
Rudy the KP had been there for 28 years, and if my memory serves me
correctly, that was how long the site had existed. (1950??)
There was a "Butter Bar" for CO, an E-7 as Senior NCO and an E-5
in charge of the six MP's. Most of the MP's had hair over their ears,
Foo Man Choo moustaches and Lambchop sideburns. There were 17 of us
and Life was Good!! To get a haircut meant riding the Mail run to
Bad Hersfeld, an all day trip. Long hair was OK, the recuiter didn't lie!
We were living in the Haus Sonneblick in Germerode, about 4 miles
down the hill from Meissner. Haus Sonneblick was an old German Hotel
that the Army leased for us. We had our own Club, but had to provide
our own booze. We were on the movie circuit and best of all there was
Muttie, she was at least 75, but one hell of a maid. For $10 a month,
Muttie would clean your room Monday - Friday.
We also practiced the tradition of the "weed" drink, chug a one liter
mix of everything behind the bar, run outside and aim for the "puke bush".
Being of Polish/Irish decent, I wasn't about to waste a drink that good.
Instead of throwing up, I asked for a second, but quickly said "Only kidding!"
The following was our drinking song:
She's a big, fat shit,
twice the size of me.
She's got hair on her ass,
like the branches of a tree.
She can run, jump, skip rope,
wheel a barrow, drive a truck,
take it in the ear.
But she's the girl I'll marry,
when spring comes round next year.
Home A Cycle, Home A Cycle, Hoyt, Hoyt, Hoyt.
After about 6 months, equipment started showing up, along with the
Cunning Linguists and Hogs. One day while trying to repair the only
television on the Mountain, in the Secure Area of course. Two plain
clothes gentlemen showed up with CIA ID's and hand cuffed me, read me
my rights and arrested me for Treason. After scaring the crap out of
me, they explained they were just trying to make me aware of my error.
They uncuffed me and we began the 'bug' sweep. Eventually, things were
in place and we were once again operational.
Early in 1980, we moved out of Haus Sonneblick and into an abandoned
German Air Force Resort at the top of the Ski slope on Meissner.
Attached is a picture of the sign at the entrance to the site.
As you can see, in the past many units used Mt. Meissner as a training
site. Additionally, we were host to a unit of the 21st SAS of Canada.
When it came time to PCS, the 331st had moved to Karlsruhe so
I spent my last two weeks clearing post there.
I'm sorry got so long winded, you wanted info on Meissner and
hope this is of some help. Unfortunately, none of the info is during
the time you consider the ASA as active.
Dan "Bear" Baranowski
3 years, 11 months, 30 days and a wake up was enough Army for me!
But, the two years at Meissner were the BEST of my life!!!
Once a Spec. 5, a long time ago, now a Communications Manager
for Global Weather Dynamics, Inc. in Monterey, CA.
P.S. We are NOT hiring!!
Altefeld, Germany: Dec. 1955 - Apr. 1956
by Dean Slagle
ASA 1953 - 1956
Germany 1954 - 1956
331st CRCo and 307th CRBn.
Letter from Dean To Dan
Hello youngster, read your article on Mt Meissner and found it
interesting. Mt Meissner was not in operation in 1956, I was stationed with
the 331st Comm. Recon Co. (19540 and latter when the 331 st CRCo. became
the 307th Comm Recon Bn. (1955) , some of your ancestor units.
At that time period, Altefeld was the ASA site in that general
area. Altefeld is located about 20 / 25 KM further east of Mt Meissner near
Herlinghausen ( Alefeld and Archfeld are the same place if you are checking
on amap ). Our HQ at that time was at Rothwesten, and we had to make courier
runs almost daily.
Below is part of an article that I wrote on the 331st/307th
Altefeld, Germany: Dec. 1955 - Apr. 1956
Altefeld was a out post located east of Kassel on a mountain
top border site over looking the Eisenach valley . I don't recall the site
designation name, it was located in the vicinity Archfeld. We were
quartered in a house named "Haus Eschwege"
which I was told was a R&R site for recuperating German fliers during WW II.
The operations area was located in an old farn type storage shed a couple of
kilometers from our living quarters.. Their was about 25 to 30 people at this site, I don't
recall any rdf site equipment at this site, a courier run was made to
Rothwesten almost daily.
I also remember the paintings of the spirals on the floor and
the "US Army Parade of Command "
painted on the walls in the basement of "
Haus Eschwege ". I would have liked to met the person who did this art job, but no
one could come up with a name. He was ahead of his time, if you read this I
say "very interesting""
Herlehausen was a border town located about 10 miles from
Altefeld. It was through here in 1956 that the Russians released some of the
German POW's from WWII. Most of the returning German POW's had been captives
for more than 11 years. I can remember going down to the border crossing
point and seeing these gaunt, somber shells of men in worn and tattered
German WWII uniforms crossing the bridge to freedom. They were a somber
group, not showing any signs of joy of being freed. I can remember thinking
that the war had been over for almost 11 years and yet these poor souls were
only now being repatriated.
About the first of April, I got my orders to return to the
states for discharge. Departed by air from Frankfurt to Prestwick Scotland
to New Foundland to McGuire AFB NJ then across the road to Ft Dix NJ for
discharge on April 8th, 1956.