(Update Oct. 21, 2004)


1951 - 2004






... today is a day of mourning.

Ed Railsback










I spent a very short time at Schneeberg. Most of my time was spent either at Herzo or at Rimbach. To the best of my recollection, I got to Scheeberg sometime around February or early March of 1968, and was out of there sometime in June. But, here are my memories, in no particular order:

1. Bill Morris playing "Young Girl" on the jukebox the first day it got put on there. He must have played it 50 or 60 times, and wouldn't let anyone else get to it to play something else.

2. Poker games in the EM club.

3. I saw the Blue Buddha one night on Schneeberg; may have been the chemical assistance.

4. Grommet cook.

5. I went to bed one night to the radio broadcasting that Robert Kennedy was the projected winner of the CA primary. I woke up to that same radio the next morning, to the news that Kennedy was dead.

6. Cold rain and snow (didn't the Dead have a song by that name?).

7. Most of all--friends. Good people. It's a joy to know that many of you are still around!!

Farewell to the ops building, but not to the joyful memories!

Collie Leroy



Thanks for letting me know. I haven't been back since I left in '67 (one wife and lot of years ago) . Really sad when I think of watching 16mm movies in the day room and listening to Shadow fart ( he did clear the room a time or two). Who knew a fart would bring back memories. Sigh!

Dan Malcom





(From the pass-on books with songs and poems)


Oh Scheeberg my friend you were surely my home

Nights in the guard shack, trying to stay awake

Days in the icy huts when I'd shiver and shake.

Around the space heater with my head wearing cans

Wanting to get off & hear the local DJ bands.

Spinning and gisting the words from the noise

Hotel Klinovec was my station of choice

Movies in the dayroom, laughter in the hall

Jokes we played on one and all

Friendships in Reissmann's, and Sloopy's too

Spades and Hearts, Asbach's was my booze

Bindlach runs- Class VI, PX, and mail call

Driving to Augsburg just to play football.

Driving in snow and sleet and rain

Det House now just memories - Auf Wiedersein

Sandra Aultman






Tears in my eyes when I saw this. Guess progress must move on.


Jim Hopewell





I remember, like it was yesterday, sitting in the movie room reading a letter from home informing me of the death of my dear Grandpa. I can not say why that memory is so vivid, but it is.

"Hutch" Hutchison 67-68





Hi Phil, Yes it's a sad day. I lived in the ops building for a while. It was really convenient on those frosty, snowy mornings. I didn't have to walk up the hill early in the a.m. for the start of the day shift, but when the cabin was enlarged and modernized some of us had to move back down to the cabin.

I wonder why they didn't consider making a gasthaus or bier stube out of it. It seemed of pretty sturdy construction. I was surprised to see that apparently there was still some electronic equipment in there. I got a kick out of Dan Malcom's quote about my old buddy Shadow's flatulence.

Shadow used to come down to the cabin on cold winter nights before it was modernized and thanks to the German type door handles was able to open the outer door and the door to our room and let in the cold winter air. I was usually the one who got up to close the doors and put more brickets in the small coal stoves we had to keep warm . . . brrrrrr!

Boy, it is really a rainy and foggy day in Bisch and on the hill, very apropos to the demolition I would say. Typical Schneeberg weather though.

Paul Miller  SB  1957 - 1960




Thanks so much. Although never actually stationed at Det J, I visited there many times, both on and off duty, from Herzo and communicated (tty in those days) daily. It was, at least in my memory, a great time (1967-1970), although they certainly were different times from what anyone could possibly experience today. You are doing a great job keeping those memories alive for those of use who served back them. I really appreciate it!

Ted Armour



Hi Phil,

Many thanks for letting us know about about the razing of the Schneeberg ops building, and for the photos. This looks like the real end of Det J-1. I am glad to have revisited the mountain in June 2001.

Hail and farewell, but keep this fantastic website alive.


Basil Clark





From: Larry Cole

 Date: 2004/09/24

Phil, thanks for e-mailing the pictures. I spent time in 1966 and 1967 at Schneeberg. In fact my last assignment for 90 days in 1967 was at Schneeberg before I was scheduled for discharge. I was also at Hoherbogen in 1965 and 1966. Thanks, also, for keeping us up to date.

Larry Cole




Phil: I was never there... I spent my whole tour at Rothwesten... BUT, thanks for the tour anyway. I really enjoyed it. Guess you can never go back...

Suds, Dog & Charlie 1960-62



I wintered at Schneeberg - fall '62 to spring '63 between two summers in Rimbach.

The movies in the movie room. What classics we saw! The Frankie and Annette beach movies come to mind.

Then there was the guard shack which reeked of tobacco, and the picture of JFK on the wall.

Ed Sachnik



Thanks very much, Phil, for telling us all about this--and for all the wonderful work you do with this website. I never would have expected this at the time but some of the best memories from my nearly 61 years on this earth date back to the time I spent (from August 22 to December 18, 1968) up on that beautiful mountaintop and the towns nearby. Best regards to all of you!

Owen Christianson (Chris), Minnesota


I really enjoy the news but it's the worst that the Det ops/club is gone.
Willard Eldridge: 


Yes the buildings may be gone
stones scattered
like those of us who knew life on the mountain
and yet we are all the better
for having been there
sadness and joys shared in
a brotherhood of uncommon backgrounds melted together
indelibly etched in memory
untouched by time
   John Kelliher     Schneeberg/Rimbach  68-71


Hi, Phil, Thanks for the photos of the demise of your ops building. That has to be sad for each  of you who served there. (a passing of an era?)  In Mahring, we did not have an ops building, as such. Just a temporary site overlooking the CZ border. As I think you know, we lived in hotels in nearby Tirschenreuth. Anyway, as a former ASA'er, I enjoy your emails and especially, the photos. Please keep me on your email list.
Gene Cook  (1956-1958)



Thanks...I guess...for the photos.  I spent five good, hard years of my life  there.  My first son was born in Kulmbach, my wife and I spent the first two and a half years of our marriage there, we were there long enough for my son to get his first haircut.  I remember one winter when the antenna on top of the tower was blown off. It just missed the aluminum building we used for

I remember my first drive up the hill.  It was a winter day just after an ice storm.  A good two inches of ice covered the forest, with a sprinkle of snow for effect.  The hard freeze had crystallized the snow on the ground, so it was sparkling like it had it's own power source.  I was so awestruck, so grateful to have been sent to such a beautiful place. That feeling never wore off.  Every season had its own beauty.

What you call the Ops building, we called the Det House.  One winter, we had a storm so bad, the front of the building was snowed in.  The swirling snow had blocked the back door, too, so one of the lower ranking guys (of course) had to climb out of a second-story window to work his way down and around to dig out the back door, then we put a crew in front to clear the front.  It was always fun, too, when the snow got deep enough to dig tunnels instead of clearing walkways.

My favorite days were when it was overcast below, but our peak was above the clouds.  It was so awesome to look out over the sea of clouds, looking at the other "island" peaks in the distance.  As far as events and people, Dickens said it best, "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." And I wouldn't trade the memories for the world.

Robert Smith
SFC, US Army (retired)
NCOIC, Det Schneeberg 1987-1989 (assigned in 1984)




Saw the pics in the Nordbayerischer Kurier.  Sad that so many things come to an end.

Gene Looram




I really enjoyed the film clips you just sent out.

It is kind of curious that it appeared that they were doing some interior work on the stone building when you were there and then they completely leveled it this month.

Jerry Shipley

(Jerry - Yes it is curious.  My wife Anita, who comes from a long line of Volga Germans, when learning of the demolition said " .... isn't that just like the Germans to clean something up before they tear it down.... "  Go figure!  Phil)




Losing Schneeberg’s buildings must be like going blind.  It’s all still there; look in your heart, because you just can’t see it with your eyes anymore.

The site, powerful as it was, wouldn’t even rate a footnote if not for the shades of those who brought it to life.  All I have to do is start with one name, and I’m there again… and again…

Tom (“Topside, Clerk”) Mara,(Standing in front of his locker in the back bunkroom in the ops building behind the orderly room:  Let’s see – what will I wear today?  I think I’ll put on my green suit.”), John (It’s dat ol’ dope smoker’s cough…) Kelliher, Terry (Well, here I am – You got any peanut butter?) Von Diest, Chuck (Duty Bod) Arnold, Sepp, “Dilly” Dalen (The Porn King),  “Flapper” Ellis, Alcide (You’ a Fox) Gray, Lester Cruse, Billy (X-150) Bunn, Bubba (Marathon Squat) Clark, Fred (You’re fat and bal-ding!) Haack, “J. Fred Muggs” Kramer, “Papa” Knowles, Larry “Spastic Man” Nelson, Jerry Mallin, Jan “Chicondis” Chapel, Lt. John (Peachfuzz) Stevens, Cpt. Larry “Chopper” (God Bless ‘im) Chartier, 1st Sgt. Gary E. (Bark Bark, Mad Dog – Bite-‘em-in-the-ass) Magner(R.I.P.), William Penn (But that’s absurd…) Tilton III, Rich Hill, Baby (Please don’t shit on the pool table again) Huey, Gabe (STRAC) Acosta, Pete (“Ican’t bare it”) Sandoval, Wally (Ushi) Price, Jack (Jumpin’ Jack Flash) Ordway, Crazy Cook, Carl Huddleston, Bernie “Buns” (I’m all tied up right now) Hannum, SSgt. William S. (Shitley) Whitley,  Nero Dog (aka Shithead - lya-lya-lya) & on and on.

Please, God, don’t take our memories away…

Auf Wiederseh’n.

Greg “Fat Jap” Skinner 68-71



Hi Paul,

Can't yet bring myself to look at the pictures of the ops building reduced to a pile of rubble.   I had often hoped that someone would  turn it into a gasthaus.   That I could handle.   It would have made a great place for cross-country skiers and hikers to stop for a snack and a beer or two, ala the See Haus.  The pictures you have posted on the web site are how I want to remember where I spent three of the best years of my life.   And what made it that way were the guys we served with. 

Til next time,
Bill Evans



To Bill Evans and Paul Miller -

Yes, I've seen the pics.  I saw the ops building two years ago from the Backöfle.  It really saddens me but I've know for a long time that it was coming.  We received an article that was in the Kurier from some friends a few days ago that told about it too.
And speaking of Shadow----One night a bunch of us were playing pool and drinking the hard stuff and we forced Shadow to drink some.  He was so drunk he couldn't lift his hind legs.  The next day he must have had one hell of a hangover because he just lay in one spot all day with his eyes half open.  It was a really stupid thing to do and I felt so bad about it the next day.  It's a wonder it didn't kill him.  He and Teddy were such great dogs.  Hope all is well out your way. 
                                            Tschüß Ray

Thanks for the PICS of the Ops Building.  I've know for at least a couple years that it was going to be demolished but the pictures really sadden me.  I've been to Germany many times over the years but two years ago is the first time I went all the way to the top to see the Ops Building.  (After 40 years.)  Many memories have faded away over the years but not those of life on Schneeberg.
                                 Ray Croel   SB 1957-1961



Thanks for the memories!  Sad to see the old place go - but the memories will live on.
I was there 1975 to 1977 and l got to go back in 2001 for a visit.  My time there was unforgettable and the friendships made were priceless....

Thanks for all the work putting this together.

R Scott Becht




Thank you so much for the work you have done.  It saddens me that I have not been able to get back to B-gruen.  I was planning on it, but things have happened here on my job that have made life challenging.  

I was with Gene Looram's group '76 to '78.    

Randy "Bomber" Bombardier




Thank you for the photo-requiem of Det J, now dead physically but still alive in spirit because of the people who crossed paths there.  It was my home from April to December 1970 when I was transferred to Det K to continue Cz transcription until March 23, 1972.  

Among many memories are spinning out a suburban on a trip down the hill to pick up the German guards one frosty fall morning, a miracle 360 with no damage, Bill Bunn letting me use tools to replace the starter motor on my red and black Opel coupe in the vehicle maintenance shed,  Al Gray goovin' at Reizmann's to "Young Gifted and Black" on a one man mission to save German femininity from provincialism.

Joe O'Connor, Chicago




Thanks for the photos!  I had a few trips to Det J from Herzo between January '66 and December '68 on my first tour to Germany.  My first trip up was delivering furniture for Jack Ordway as I remember it.  My next trip was September '71 to February '75 at Bad Aibling and Augsburg.  My next trip was September '78 to August '82 in the 326th.  Made a few trips up as a platoon sergeant and Ops Sgt.  My last trip that I'm sure of was the winter of '81-'82 with my 1st EW Plt.  Some of the young troopers could not believe the snow we saw on top.  Thinking about Schneeberg as I looked at the photos brought back many memories of my 26 plus years.  Thanks again!

Tex Luhrman






Phil, "Visited" Schneeburg a few times while assigned to 326th ASA Co in Augsburg from 74-76. Thanks for the memories!

David Blazek




Schneeberg - Back to Nature ..... Click here to view Newspaper Article.

Mike Grube  (Web Master http://www.lostplaces.de)



ich finde es sehr schön, daß Ihre Gemeinschaft so zusammen hält, so das selbst nach 10 Jahren noch Treffen statt finden und sich selbst Menschen, die nicht auf dem Schneeberg "spioniert" haben für die Seite
interessieren,.....ich als ein Einwohner/Bewohner der Fichtelgebirgsregion finde es auch sehr, sehr schade und
traurig, daß die Gebäude einfach abgerissen wurden,
verwunderlich finde ich es zudem, das die Gebäude leer standen, aber für die Bergwacht eine neue, (expensiv) Hütte gebaut wurde,.....nachdem in unserer Region seit ca. 10 Jahren schon in vielen großen Firmen und Fabriken die  Lichter ausgehen und die Firmen Bankrott gehen, bekam ich als ich die Webseite www.schneebergvets.org mal wieder besuchte richtig "Gänzehaut", als ich die Bilder vom Abriss sah und in der Zeitung Kosten für die "Renaturierung" genannt wurden, aber Naturschutz ist nun mal wichtiger als Denkmalschutz,........  jetzt fahren erstmal für mind. 4 Wochen Bagger und LKW`s über den höchsten Berg des Fichtelgebirges,.....tja Naturschutz geht vor,......
an anderen Stellen der Region Fichtelgebirge hatten Burgen und Schlösser 400 Jahre Zeit, um zu verfallen,...... was will man dazu sagen,.....besser nicht`s!
Grund für meinen Besuch auf der Webseite war ein Zeitungsartikel in der Frankenpost über den Abriss der Gebäude auf dem Schneeberg.  Ein Telefonanruf beim LRA Wunsiedel, bzw. Naturpark Fichtelgebirge, weil ich mich für den Stein mit dem Siebenstern 1951 intressierte um Ihn als Menier aufzustellen führte leider auch zu nicht`s.   Mit dem Abriss der Gebäude stirbt für mich wieder mal ein kleiner Teil unserer Region mit dem ich aufgewachsen bin.  Im Frühsommer war ich im Bayerischen Wald, um noch einige Bilder von den Anlagen auf dem Hohen Bogen zu fotografieren.
Bei der Sache die mittlerweile am Hohen Bogen, bzw. im Bayerischen Wald aufgezogen wird, wo Sessellifte und Berggastwirtschaften gebaut werden, ist es kein Wunder, warum unsere Region immer weiter hinten bleibt, aber da kann man halt nicht`s machen,.....
eine Gaststätte, oder eine Berghütte hätte ich mir auf dem Schneeberg auch gut vorstellen können,.....
Soetwas bekommt aber nur der Schwimmverein Hof,....
aber bei uns kommt erst das Vieh,....dann der Mensch.
Demnächst stelle ich Ihnen eine Sammlung von Bildern zur Verfügung, die ich am 03.Oktober 2004 auf dem Schneeberg aufgenommen habe,....

Viele Grüße an Leni und Al Murdock

Michael Hein




Holy cow!!  Didn't think a few pictures would rouse
such longing for times gone by. I'm so glad we went
up the hill this summer. I guess it gave the whole
episode some closure. Thanks for all the hard work
on the site. I just wish more guys from my era would
check in. Oh well.

Carl "Pit" Peters




This is the most touching memorial to bricks and mortar I've ever seen!  Being in real estate and dealing with foreclosures and old properties in an old city like Milwaukee, I get to see a lot of demolition. But reading these memorials ... these memories ... it's the unique people .. that unique 50+ year era of German/Americana that we all got to experience that made that place so special and such a Godsend to most who were fortunate enough to be stationed there. I too can still see " Bill spinnin' around in his barstool every time I hear "Young Girl". (I still like the Union Gap yet too) ... And Hutch, I remember that Saturday you got that letter. .. There were so many of us that were
learning to deal with emotions we didn't even knew we had, because we were all young then.  We're older now, the buildings .. old too!  The memories " Forever Young " ... Thanks Phil for the work you're doing! 

 El Jarvis .. '67 - '70


Thanks Phil,
These shots bring tears to my eyes !
Someone once said that our past is the best and the worst of our lives.    When I think of Det J, I think of the good times had by my friends and of the harsh winters, the walks though the woods, the unforgettable sunsets, many long hours spent behind the old Kleinschmidt teletypes.  I also think of (and wonder where) my friends have gone.  1967 and 1968 seem so long ago, but so close too.  Schwartzen Katz wine at the club, Fletcher asking "how do you want your eggs?" (cooked of course was always the answer).  Ausust 1968 when we worked our tails off about 25 hours a day trying to keep the world safe.  Oh well, enough of my rambling on!  God bless you all ASA!  Especially, the comm center crew, Walt Bosserman, Ron Adams, Ed Jarvis and all the others.  Thanks again for the memories!  I guess the future must go on and memories become sweeter by just knowing that "We Served Proudly"!  The ASA will always live on if only in our memories.
Jim Hopewell



I was at Schneeberg as a 98G just before and just after the Czech invasion in 1968. Damned if I remember much up there except the tower and the no-see-'ums, and small wonder, so much was I up to when I was off the top. Even 12-and-12's afford you opportunities that are hard to ignore.

We were on TDY from Wobeck (hi, Chris!). Frank, Jerry, and I lived in the Alte Post and hung with Opium, Lisele, and der Forstmeister. Residents initially imagined that we were were shock troops sent in to defend them against the Russians, since we were packing our helmets, M-14's, and bayonets. Only later did they realize why our cars were always warmed up and pointed toward the setting sun. It wasn't really because of the Russians, of course -- we were afraid of our own artillery at Herzo.

I recall once going into a city official's office in Weissenstadt as translator for a visiting antenna guy who was caught taking pot shots into the forest on the road up to the tower with a big old pistol he had just got somehow. The Germans didn't like the idea that big lead slugs were chewing up their wood, but everyone was bending over backwards for us. I kept saying, "Er ist nicht bei uns; er geht schnell nach seiner eigener kaserne," and the guy got off, providing he left town the next day.

David Trollman, President
Link Associates




This is the second time I have looked through all the video clips and read all the messages.  Thank you so much, Phil.  I remember you on your CZ position
(it was very hi-tech compared to the Russian or German positions) and I on my Russky missions, and the late night conversations and learning the Braille  alphabet from the dictionary (only outside book we had in the Ops Bldg.)   I had a handle bar mustache then and lived in Barnreuth above Bad Berneck.   Memories
rush in: my son was born while we were there; living with the Catalano's in a centuries old farmhouse; Sgt. Hill, the diddybop guy that came in on tdy;
the snow - my lord we had snow that winter of '66-'67; the NCOIC that didn't have a clearance to come into Ops but tried to help by shaking the ice off the
antenna guywires and then the antenna crashing through the Ops roof.   The rush of memories are as clear in many ways as they were 37 years ago.  Someday I am going to take my son and his son to Kreis Bayreuth to see his first home and were his Dad worked.  I am so sorry they tore it down before we could make
that trip.   God bless you all for your remembrances.

John Callahan, Sp5, 98G2L63





I was stationed at Herzo from 1962 - 1965. Made several trip to the mountain. I remember my first trip when the clouds and fog were so thick that I couldn't even see the mountain. I just followed directions and made the proper turns and in my little red VW started up hill. I don't think I could see 20 fret ahead. Finally, out of the mist, the gate came into view.
Capt. Larry Medlin was site Co at one time, and also Lt. Bert Haun.

Thanks for the memories.

Bob Doehrman
Herzo and Det K1 (Coburg)




I can't believe the old place is gone. Guess that kinda throws a wrenchin the old memory pot.  May God let her rest in peace. I will never forget the old ice burg.

Harry Whitehead
Detachment Schneeberg 1986-1990



I was proud to be the NCOIC of Det-S (First to know, First to glow) in
1983. Robert Smith (one of 3 greatest men I've ever known) was OPNS NCOIC. Harry Morgan was our #1 Mess Sgt. SSG Perriman, Sgt Farmer - darn good RU 98Gs. SPC Livingston was a commo dude and I can't remember his SSG boss. I have tears listening to My Old Friend.  I have a videotape of the place taken in about 83, can't remember if the Trojan Towers were up yet.  I'd be happy to make copies and send to all who are interested. I have a lot of time on my hands now.

I forgot one important item. In the summer of 1983 (I believe) the OIC, 1lt Kyle Rogers and I decided to open the site to the locals so they could visit the Backoeffle - Alten Turm. The line was almost down the entire mountain. For about three months no Det Schneeberger could do any wrong.  Mayor of Bischofsgruen was our biggest fan. Got a few free meals at the Goldene Lowe (remember the raspberries flambé?). Looking at the photos with the music is killing me.

Mark D. Kotanchik, 1SG(ret)


Saw the pictures of Scheeberg for the first time today. A flood of memories rushed back to me. Broke my heart. So many fond memories now lying in ruins. Spent many moons in and out of Schneeberg as a 98GCX with the 326th out of Augsburg during '80-'86. Also have fond memories of Gene Looram, Dennis Holck, "Stretch" Morgan, Sandy Johnson, among others, partying at Reisman's, living at Dunker's, working long cold night shifts in the huts, dodging falling icicles from the tower and warm breakfasts in the det house. Wow, I know exactly how everyone must feel about those times. We are extremely lucky to have had those experiences.

Still holding back my tears. All the best, Jim (SGM, RET).

James R. Velez
US Embassy Jakarta

(Thanks to Cathryn Craig  for "Goodbye Old Friend" ... but it takes a few minutes to

download as the MP3 file is 1.15mb)

Click here to email me your "memorial".

Captions provided by Phil Ward.

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Michael Hein "Goodbye Old Friend" Photos ..... 


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