- In May 2003 -
Downtown Frankfurt has changed (to say the least),
but not Spearhead's former Division Headquarters.
||Downtown Frankfurt (in 2003 postcard
below) was largely battered buildings and heaps of rubble when
3rd Armored troops passed by in May, 1945, about a week after
WWII ended. The Division was headed to areas south of the city,
where it began 5 months of occupation duty. Spearhead returned
to Germany in 1956 with its Division Headquarters at Drake Kaserne
on Frankfurt's north side, where it would stay until 1992. Less
than 50 years after devastation in WWII, Frankfurt, largely under
V Corps and 3rd Armored Cold War protectorship, had blossomed
into both the financial center and "skyscraper capital"
||The Photo Above shows the
main gate and former 3rd Armored Headquarters building at Drake
Kaserne in Frankfurt as seen from the street Homburger Landstrasse.
The building served as Division Headquarters from 1956 to 1992.
Time has stood still, as this scene is remarkably similar to
1992, when the Division ceased to exist. The scene is even similar
to the 1930's, when the German Army first moved in. Most of the
kaserne buildings are still intact and in excellent condition,
but it's not yet completely clear (to the website staff) how
the complex is being used.
Some portion of the kaserne is in the hands of the Customs Unit
of the German "Federal Border Police" as offices and
a training facility. (At the main gate, two armed guards greet
any would-be visitors, who are not allowed in unless on official
business.) The Border Police, among other duties, is involved
in the screening of passengers at major airports. Up until 2002,
the kaserne also housed the "U.S. Refugee Processing Center"
of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Beginning
in 1999, this involved the temporary housing (presumably in some
of the kaserne barracks) of Yugoslav and Albanian refugees for
either immigration or repatriation.
Meanwhile, as of May 2003, the news is not good for Edwards Kaserne,
which was located across the street and was the long-time home
of Spearhead's "DISCOM." The complex has been completely
torn down to make way for clusters of upscale civilian apartment
buildings, which are in the process of being completed. On the
other hand, the former Edwards Housing Area, still exists as
a well-kept, pleasant, civilian apartment community taken over
by the German citizenry.
[Our appreciation to Sue Hartman, a Federal
employee from Virginia, for the above two images and much of
the above information. She returned to Frankfurt for the first
time since her years (1960-65) at Frankfurt-American Elementary
School #2, Frankfurt-American Junior High School, and Edwards