For those of you going "Back to Kassel" in 2006.
Article by: DICK ROAN)
If you can go....you should go. No, you can't go back there to live. More
than likely, nobody wants you to go back there and live anyway. Look at it like the southerners regard the yankees:
"They're sorta like hemroids...If they come down and go back up....they're OK. If they come down and stay down, they're
a pain in the a--.!!"
Consider this: A trip back to Kassell will make you feel 50 years younger for at
least a few days....Now that's no small thing. Don't you remember when you first went over to Dutchland? Fresh
faced, clean shaven, small waisted teenager. You probably don't look much like that anymore. I know I sure don't..
One of the first things you'll remember is the first German words you learned...Something
like "Comen sie heer fraulien mit dine hosen in die linke hande". Probably, every one of you learned that phrase first.
More than likely though, you never used it....me niether. But there was something sinfully exciting about learning it.
No doubt, you'll take a tour or rent a car or somehow try to get back to the 601st squadron
to see the old statue and buildings. I understand that it is private property now and you may not get back on base.
You might not even see the gate shack anymore that I help redecorate back in 55.(that's another story). Then you will
take the 15 minute drive back up the hill to the old "site", if you can find it. I hear it's some sort of microwave
site now and the only remaining 601 building is an old Quonset hut. I guess the natives got used to it and used it as
I wonder if the bomb crater I fell into going out to the DF shack for midnight shift
is still in the field. It was about 6 feet deep and had 6 inches of water in the bottom. It took me two days to
dry out my shoes and fatigues enough to oil the shoes and launder the fatigues. Just had permanent creases sown in those duds
Then, of course, the city of Kassel.....Wilhelmsoe....Koernishplaza...liters of bier and
miles of bratwurst, knockwurst, brochen, spicy mustard, kartofelsalad, cognac and coke, "The Dugout" and frauliens that taught
us how to "get along in the city". Probably not much left that any of us would remember except the Bahnhof.
And that has been remodeled at least as much as our old training base in Biloxi.
If you're renting a car and driving around town, go by my old address and wave.
Philopenhoferweg 40. If someone give you the finger, just keep driving. They probably still remember me.
If you can go, you should....I mean lets face it, the memories you have are worth their
weight in what and who you are today. Personally I think we learned our lessons well. We worked hard, we played
hard, we made friends and those things make us special to anyone that knows us. The teenager in uniform is gone now
and the pot bellied grandpa stands in his place. The hair may be gray ( if there is any) but the smile on his face is
genuine. Oh those memories are so precious.....dick roan