[7th Sig Bde]
[2d Inf Bde]
a battalion in 3rd Armored Division (Spearhead),
Combat Command B
The following pages, in pictures and words, describe my
experiences as a US soldier in the 33rd Armor, a tank unit. From my arrival as a
recruit, for the next 5
years I stayed in the same company -- Co D, 33rd Tank Battalion, 3rd Armored
Division (in '57 the battalion became 1st Battalion, 33rd Armor).
Who am I? --- I had immigrated to the US
from post-WW-II Germany in '51
at age 18 and first lived with relatives in Swanton, Nebraska, a tiny
farming town. In '53, I moved to Lincoln, the state capital, where I
worked as a sign painter. I received my draft notice, and in Aug '55 was
inducted at Omaha and sent to Camp Smith, Arkansas, and after a few days on to Fort Knox, Kentucky.
I was one of
more than 12,000 young
recruits to fill up the newly activated 3rd Armored Division slated to
move to Germany the next year. And I was happy to go to Germany; I had
not seen my family there in 5 years. Returning as a
well-paid ($72 a month) soldier in US Army uniform, I would be stationed in Gelnhausen
only 100 miles south of Kassel where I grew up.
The home to the US Armor Center and
(in '55) the newly activated 3d
Armored Division. The division's goal then --- to whip 16,000 men into a
new, combat-ready division
scheduled to replace in less than a year a division in Germany under a
new replacement concept called Operation Gyroscope.
historical German city east of Frankfurt then was the home of Combat Command B (CCB).
CCB's mission: as the most
eastern of three 3d Armored Division commands, to be the first one in
the line of defense from the East to deter any Soviet aggression most
likely coming through the Fulda gap.
Military life as a
tanker in the 33rd Tank Battalion consisted mainly of staying
combat-ready through constant training, field
exercises and Readiness Tests.
more information on Gelnhausen, click this linK;
- Other Pictures and Words
A catch-all for other 33rd Armor material not fitting Ft. Knox and