Fritzlar Germany Direction Finding Detachment
Following is extracted from email from Neil Piercey and a few photos regarding this site operated by Field Station Rothwesten in the late 1950s.
On my first hitch, I was sent to Germany in 6-58. At Frankfurt, I was assigned to Rothwesten, and spent a few months there. There was a decision to open a new outstation at Fritzlar, Germany. There were no U. S. Troops in that town except for a few that were attached as liaison with a German Armored unit. I believe that the number was 5 or less. We did not see them very much. After the site had been opened for a few weeks, I was able to convince the powers that be to send me there. Scott Messenger was the NCOIC. We were billeted in the Hessischerhof, a local hotel. We were on full per diem and had to pay 10 dm per day for room and board. There were about 9 or 10 of us there, and we were the only guests in the hotel.
Sgt Messenger assigned me to be roommate and trick mate with Sp/4 Frank Coleman. Sp/5 Mellisch was the site chief. Some of the other people, whose names I can recall. that were there at different times were Bob Gregory, David Distel, Jerry Moran. Maybe some one can help out with other names. We had a good bunch of guys and the duty could not have been better.
Naturally, 18-21 year old guys are going to get in trouble and it seemed like we stayed in trouble. Frank and I got in trouble for staying on the reporting frequency and talking to other outstations one day while control's transmitter was down. We didn't think that anyone back at company was sharp enough to catch us. Unfortunately for us S/Sgt Henry had just arrived on the company and he could and did copy it all down. On our next supply run to the company, SIT NCOIC John Kelly, ex-paratrooper, WWII vet, chewed on our butts for an eternity and I don't recall being called the same name twice.
The site was out in the middle of a field and we got a lot of vehicles stuck in the mud! One day, we had to get the German tank retriever to get all of the vehicles out of the mud.
I learned a lot while at this site. There was a lot of theory taught at Devens, but we were constantly using the theory and trying to make the site better. I never did know why it was closed down and we were all re-assigned in the summer of 1959. Maybe our results were no good, or the site was not justifiable economically, or maybe it was our shenanigans. I was re-assigned to Gieblestadt, German and will say more about that site at a later date.
Neil's Fritzlar photos and captions; circa 58/59.