64th Ordnance Company
Spent many hours driving Thunder Road (1986-1989) while working for the Material Officer, 197th Ord Bn. The Mitchells, Troy Lichtenberger, SFC Stowell, and Joe Geer made a big difference there at the 64th. Mike Carruthers was the Commander. Roger Jett
My first unit was the 64th Ord Co in Fischbach, Germany. I joined the unit in late 1959. The unit had just gyro'd from the States and the site was still being built. (In the 1950's there was a plan to rotate complete units to and from Europe. It was called Operation Gyroscope. Hence the verb "to gyro" was coined.) I was assigned to N Bay. It was understood that I would/could not touch anything until I proved I knew the difference between my elbow and an H-36 Handling Tool. (That was a wise move!) N Bay was run by a CWO-2 who was a RIFed Navy Commander (O-5). We had a sizeable number of WOs and NCOs in the Army at the time who were RIFed officers from Korea serving out their 20 years. In my opinion, it was not a wise policy. Many, such as this WO, were quite bitter and it affected their work attitude.
The site was being constructed by one of the Labor Battalions. This one was of Lithuanian displaced persons. We had one NCO who was of Lithuanian descent and could communicate with the Battalion. At the time, the Army had about 20 Labor Battalions. They were made up of DPs from many of the European countries then behind the Iron Curtain. They worked literally for pennies and three hots and a cot. The biggest inducement was a preference (not a guarantee) on the U.S. immigration list.
I was there about 90 days was transferred to the 28th Ord Co in Zweibrueken. The transfer came about when someone realized that everyone in the 64th had essentially the same rotation date. I was transferred to make room for someone to start spreading out rotations. Because of the short time I do not remember any names in the 64th. I was new and it was all a blur. Warner Talso