people in military bases in France in...
MERCIER jean Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France

#310 Nov 17, 2009
Hello to all to follow upon my book on the American camp of CAPTIEUX, you could say to me if there were Polish guards on Bases in Germany???
I suppose that YES, because a Polish guard coming back from Germany in 1958 committed suicide in the Garonne in Bordeaux, while he(it) got back the American camp of Bussac-ForÍt.
THANK YOU

Since: Jul 09

San Francisco, CA

#311 Nov 17, 2009
MERCIER jean Bordeaux wrote:
Hello to all to follow upon my book on the American camp of CAPTIEUX, you could say to me if there were Polish guards on Bases in Germany???
I suppose that YES, because a Polish guard coming back from Germany in 1958 committed suicide in the Garonne in Bordeaux, while he(it) got back the American camp of Bussac-ForÍt.
THANK YOU

Jean: I recall at least two suicides at Fontenet when I was stationed there in '55-'56. We GIs felt really bad about how homesick the Polish guards were and, unfortunately, sometimes it was so bad they shot themselves while in the guard towers. I really like the Polish Labor Service guys. I recall many times when they took care of GIs when they'd party too hard in town. They'd take them back to the base either in their own cars or call a cab. Sometimes they'd rent a room and get the GI into the hotel before they caused a scene or the MPs would step in. The Polish were like big brothers to the younger GIs.

Take care. Karl
Jack

San Antonio, TX

#312 Nov 17, 2009
I was stationed at Perigueux, Dordogne. I was in C Company, 29th Signal Batallion from January 1962 until December 1962. After that I was stationed at Dreux Air Force Base until August 1964. I was in the ARMY, but one enlisment was about all the army I could take. I did marry a girl from Perigueux, but we have since divorced.

Since: Jul 09

San Francisco, CA

#313 Nov 17, 2009
Jack wrote:
I was stationed at Perigueux, Dordogne. I was in C Company, 29th Signal Batallion from January 1962 until December 1962. After that I was stationed at Dreux Air Force Base until August 1964. I was in the ARMY, but one enlisment was about all the army I could take. I did marry a girl from Perigueux, but we have since divorced.
Wasn't the 29th Signal a heavy construction batt? If I remember correctly, they came to Fontenet and installed an underground wire system for our new dial system. I arrived in late June of '55 and they were gone. It was up to us, post communications, to tear down the old field wire and get rid of the old WWII EE8s. Was a good thing, too. Civilian operators use to enjoy sending a ring through the old wires when we were up on a pole doing a splice or something. Would cause us to do a little dance on our gaffs on those skinny, little French poles.

Karl
Jim Finn

Biddeford, ME

#314 Nov 17, 2009
Hello. I remember the Polish guards at Braconne. They were very nice to us American soldiers. There was a lot of sadness with them, being away from Poland, and so forth. I remember one Polish guy who drank himself to death by chugging a pint of vodka, then immediately having a fatal heart attack. I once asked one of them how we could ever beat the Russians, knowing that the Red Army was pretty tough. His reply? Don worry about it. He was right.
MERCIER jean Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France

#315 Nov 17, 2009
Hello to all and those who were military in Germany.
Were there Polish guards of the American camps in Germany??
This Polish have avoids(flees) communist Poland in 1945, and took refuge with the American army, having lost their Polish nationality!!!...
Were there Polish guards in the Canadian bases????????
I knew GROSTENQUIN in Moselle in France which was a Canadian base, I have even was stop taken there by a Canadian in this sector in 1964 or 65

Since: Jul 09

San Francisco, CA

#316 Nov 18, 2009
Jim Finn wrote:
Hello. I remember the Polish guards at Braconne. They were very nice to us American soldiers. There was a lot of sadness with them, being away from Poland, and so forth. I remember one Polish guy who drank himself to death by chugging a pint of vodka, then immediately having a fatal heart attack. I once asked one of them how we could ever beat the Russians, knowing that the Red Army was pretty tough. His reply? Don worry about it. He was right.
Many of the Polish guards were veterans of WWII who were in England with the Polish forces there. When the Russians clamped down they were stuck and I guess that's when they formed the Polish Labor Force. They had their own officers, NCOs, chaplains and even a bishop. A lot of us use to go to their base clubs and eat sausages and drink good beer instead of going to our own clubs.

You're right, Jim. That was good advice. I remember standing in line with my weapons card waiting to check out a carbine during a post alert wondering if we'd be standing in line when Russian paratroopers were dropping onto the base. I asked a WWII vet what he was going to do if that every happened. He pointed to the back gate and said, "I'm going through that." I thought about it and told him to wait for me because I was going with him.
Carl Erb

Aberdeen, NC

#317 Nov 18, 2009
In 1961-62, I was stationed in Toul France at Joan of Arc Hospital (Hopital Jeanne d'Arc) in the 525 Eng. Co DT(dump truck) like all the US military hospitals in France Jeanne d'Arc was built with a main hall down the middle and many branch wings off that. In the very next wing to the 525 was the barracks for the Polish Guards for Toul. They pulled all the guard duty on Jeanne d'Arc and at the main post on the opposite side of the city of Toul. You are very right about going to the "Polish Club". It was a regular hangout for all the GI's at Jeanne d'Arc and was a nice alternative to the hamburgers and hot dogs at the PX. Their sausages and the other food they had there was great. They also served beer, lots of it.
Carl Erb

Aberdeen, NC

#318 Nov 18, 2009
One thing I thought of after my last post. The Polish Guards also had some kind of a "deal" with the US Government to obtain US citizenship. I don't know the particulars of the deal, but I know it speeded up their process of obtaining it.
MERCIER jean Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France

#319 Nov 18, 2009
Hello, I know well Toul, and the round place(square), I was May 21st there.
I am crossed(spent) near the hospital Joan of Arc.
Every year when I was young by 1952-1958 I attended the military parade of the American army, and the French army commemorating the liberation of the city of Toul by the Americans on September 3rd, 1944.
Jim Finn

Biddeford, ME

#320 Nov 18, 2009
Carl Erb wrote:
One thing I thought of after my last post. The Polish Guards also had some kind of a "deal" with the US Government to obtain US citizenship. I don't know the particulars of the deal, but I know it speeded up their process of obtaining it.
hi Carl, i think they had to contract for the guard duty for 10 yrs.they were decent people. really brought the iron curtain home to me
Steve

Forney, TX

#321 Nov 18, 2009
Carl Erb wrote:
In 1961-62, I was stationed in Toul France at Joan of Arc Hospital (Hopital Jeanne d'Arc) in the 525 Eng. Co DT(dump truck) like all the US military hospitals in France Jeanne d'Arc was built with a main hall down the middle and many branch wings off that. In the very next wing to the 525 was the barracks for the Polish Guards for Toul. They pulled all the guard duty on Jeanne d'Arc and at the main post on the opposite side of the city of Toul. You are very right about going to the "Polish Club". It was a regular hangout for all the GI's at Jeanne d'Arc and was a nice alternative to the hamburgers and hot dogs at the PX. Their sausages and the other food they had there was great. They also served beer, lots of it.
Carl,I did a bit of researching and my father was assigned to the 84th Transportation Co,53rd transportation Bn USAREUR ? does that make sense or ring a bell?If I recall correctly he used to take us kids to the armed forces day celebration on the base at Toul,I do recall riding in an APC and getting to fire an M-14 with blanks of course.We arrived in country approx. mid year '62.Our first "accommodation" was some dive french hotel with a community bathroom and tub down the hall,we hid our hot plate on the window ledge as the "madame" did not allow cooking in the room.Next was a 4 story house on the economy then finally to Regina Village.I was at the hospital at jeanne d'arc because my appendix decided it wanted to act up,they shipped me to Metz or Verdun(can't remember for sure) to have it removed.His post was there at jeanne d'arc.Being so young I don't recall anything about Polish guards but I'll bet my mom will so I'll call her and ask if she remembers anything concerning them.I believe the exchange was 5 francs for a dollar,does that sound right to you?
Jim Finn

Biddeford, ME

#322 Nov 18, 2009
Steve wrote:
<quoted text>
Carl,I did a bit of researching and my father was assigned to the 84th Transportation Co,53rd transportation Bn USAREUR ? does that make sense or ring a bell?If I recall correctly he used to take us kids to the armed forces day celebration on the base at Toul,I do recall riding in an APC and getting to fire an M-14 with blanks of course.We arrived in country approx. mid year '62.Our first "accommodation" was some dive french hotel with a community bathroom and tub down the hall,we hid our hot plate on the window ledge as the "madame" did not allow cooking in the room.Next was a 4 story house on the economy then finally to Regina Village.I was at the hospital at jeanne d'arc because my appendix decided it wanted to act up,they shipped me to Metz or Verdun(can't remember for sure) to have it removed.His post was there at jeanne d'arc.Being so I young I don't recall anything about Polish guards but I'll bet my mom will so I'll call her and ask if she remembers anything concerning them.I believe the exchange was 5 francs for a dollar,does that sound right to you?
I played basketball against Toul/Nancy in the BASEC Tournament. Braconne won that one and lost two straight to Orleans who won the championship in 1958
Katherine Tracy

Abita Springs, LA

#323 Nov 24, 2009
My dad was stationed in Braconne in the 50s and again in the early 60s. We lived in AngoulÍme, LaRochefoucald, and Chaumont. I attended Braconne Elementary on the based for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. I love France. I've returned to France several times. It was like going home, but I didn't go to AngoulÍme or LaRochefoucald. I'm working on a novel from an 11-year-olds point of view. The first chapter is posted on my blog: http://www.katrhianna.blogspot.com/
My email is [email protected]
Jim Jones

Lacey, WA

#324 Dec 8, 2009
Barb Kitzmiller Curtis wrote:
We lived in army housing near Feucherolles from 1959-1963 and my dad worked at Camp De Loges. I have tons of pictures and slides but since I am the sole survivor of my family and was only six years old in 1959, I am unsure as to being able to identify the places and people in the photos. I just know that we were in Feucherolles.
Barb, I also lived near Feucherolles in De Grass Village. I visited there about 15 years ago, it is still there but changed a bit. I will have to see if I can find my pictures.
Jim Jones

Lacey, WA

#325 Dec 8, 2009
TOM PARISella wrote:
I went to Camp Des Loges from Vietnam in 1963 to 1964. We had so much fun there. I worked in the Bel Manoir Motor Pool which was around the corner from Versailles. I was 20 years old. We use to go into Paris in the General s car. Ronnie Dout would drive me. Bruce Spunagle from Oklahoma and I from Red Hook NY at teh time use to go to the French weddings and party. We use to go over to the Marine Quarters and Parth there. My favorite was the Sun Club in Paris. Loved the music and the Dancing there .. it was great there. I loved Paris and prayed for President Johnson to extend the troop for one more year all over the world. I prayed but it did not happen. Montmare where all the Artis lived was great .. had a girl friend there and she always had a Hot Tottie ready for me when I came to see her. Love the jon bonnes.
I loved the country side.etc.. Camp Des Loges had a NCO Club where we would dance all the time to the Beatles with a fantastic band from England. Missing it... they were great times. Tom Parisella
Tom, I have a mug on my desk that my dad kept. It has a picture of the Eiffel Tower and the words 'NCO OPEN MESS, PARIS FRANCE, 1964, CAMP DES LOGES'. We lived in De Grasse Village near Feucherolles.
W E Stewart

Brookville, PA

#326 Dec 13, 2009
Hello
I am writing re your posting re braconne depot. I was also stationed there. in 64, 65. left there ans went to nam. i very much liked the area and enjoyed the outdoors, fly fishing and hunting for small game for the pot in our BNCOQ. I have some very nice photos of the post area and some of the surrounding country side. I would be interested in see the what happned to braconne, the post and what has occured since then. I can't immagine that it was just left ot rot away and not used by the french govt. Althoiugh i understand the many of the properties were owned by different agenicies and were not returned to french control. if that was athe case with braconne i consider it a shame, it was a very preactical piece of reral estate. The main gate was as you know right up to the MSR that went by and The PMO, Provost Marshal which was my billet was a handy and great place for watching the people has they flowed in and out of the post. it was great place, a lady by the name of Marie was our secretary and she was married to one of the Polish Captains in charge of the Polish Gurad. Great lady. I really miss the place and often i think of how wonderful it would have been to be able to live there. i used to go the ocean and sit and relax, have great meals and drink the best damn wine in the world.I used to go the Cafe De la Paix and play chess, drink some wine and listen to music. There was a club called the New Canasta, it was place that got going about ten oclock, a great place to meet people and have a good time. let me know, i would be very interested in seeing your pictures of Braonne in it's, not too declining state.
Thx
W E Stewart
John Cross wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi
I was stationed at Braconne from 1960- 63. I have some photos from this time ( I was in Det. A). I also revisited this area last October and made some pictures. The camp is now in ruins but I think I recognize the barracks where we used to live. I also visite AngoulÍme, La Rochefoucauld and Montbron (where my wife and I lived for two years.).
Would like to hear from you.
John Cross
Roy Chace Fall River Ma

Boston, MA

#327 Dec 14, 2009
It would be great if the pic's Barb and you have could be posted on internet for all to see. Our pic's were in a bag that was stolen when we were in NYC to pick up our shipped car. My husband was at Camp de loges however we lived in Petit Beaugard by Bel Manoir.
Joe Zager

Magnolia, DE

#328 Dec 15, 2009
Kent Bole wrote:
Kent, As you can see, we share the same first name. I was stationed at Braconne from fall of '60 until spring of '63. I was in Hq & Hq Co and worked in Personnel. Most of the time was in
charge of the pay records section. What is your brother-in-law's name? I might remember him. I
have a few photos from there. My email is:
[email protected] Contact me.<quoted text>
Kent, I got to Braconne in Jan 64, I worked in personnel, I remember Sp5 Charlie Bond,Sp4 Jon Lands,Sp4 Wayne Buttler, Sp4 Donald Ruth, Msg Honeycutt, The WO was Seiley. Sp4 Fred Steinbauger, We were in the billets up on the hill near the fence across from the NCO club. We had to shower in the next building.Then the moved us to the Billet above the Orderly room. I remeber a American Indian that had his oun room with a for real bed. He had some sort of back trouble. The guy that ran the EM club had a fake hand.The Chaplain was Capt Neily. I remember Pfc Denten from the MP Co. Sp4 Sherry from the medical unit. There was the train engineer that never pulled Kp or any other details, He always paid someone to do it for him. I remember we had USO on post, every sunday they would have donuts, I alwasys sleep in. Well I taxed my brain enough. Joe Zager
John Taft

Chesapeake, VA

#329 Dec 16, 2009
Hi,
I was stationed at Braconne in 1955 & 1956. I was in Post Signal. Lost all the pictures I had of the post but have alot of memories. Had a girl friend that worked on the post and lived in Angouleme. I would really like to know how to find out if she still lives there and her family. If I can help in any way, let me know.
Thanks...John
My email address is...[email protected]

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