In the next to last week of August, about 50 veterans of the former Field Station Augsburg travelled with their relatives to Augsburg. The reason was not only the annual reunion of this former Gablingen intelligence unit, but also the 20th anniversary of the Augsburg base closure. By their presence, they wanted to express a sign of closeness and appreciation of their former garrison city.
On August 22, 2018, the Amerika in Augsburg e.V. society fulfilled the veterans’ wish to carry out an informal meet and greet supper at the site that once had been Sheridan Kaserne. Building 116 was the only still existing building that could be utilized for this event, as there were, besides just as many relatives, also numerous Augsburg society guests. In two of the bays, so called Bierzeltgarnituren (tables and benches) for 180 guests, plus a buffet with typical Bavarian food, salads and homemade cakes were put up. Of course cool beer from the Swabian neighborhood was also served. By courtesy of the AGS / WBG - Augsburger Gesellschaft für Stadtentwicklung / Wohnbaugruppe Augsburg - all of this could be carried out without restraint.
The evening event was enhanced by a parade of American old-timers, owned by the American Car Friends Augsburg e.V., as well as by exhibits and displays of Augsburg’s garrison time by the host. The reunion was organized by Vic McFadden in an outstanding way. Due to the agreeable weather, many opportunities arose for an exchange of memories in front of the open bay doors. Prominent guests were Dr. Volker Ullrich, MdB (member of parliament), and Johannes Hintersberger, MdL (member of state parliament). Also, a few Bundeswehr paratrooper reservists followed the invitation to this unusual meeting at the foot of the newly built Sheridan Tower.
Amerika in Augsburg e.V. offered a carefree, open-armed reception for the former Military Intelligence soldiers from Gablingen.
Left: Evening small talk in front of Bldg. 116 bay doors. Right: Even the Hawaiian Police attended – anyhow, AiA’s Gerhard Rankl took care of this gag.
Vic McFadden (right) thanks chairmen Georg Feuerer (left) and Max Lohrmann (middle) for the warm reception of the American guests.
Left: Welcome and speech by Georg Feuerer. Right: Friendly moments between members of Amerika in Augsburg e.V. and reunion attendees. Stan Lawson (right) is one of those who stayed in Augsburg and who learned to value and love the city.
The delicious meal on former U.S. premises was creating authentic feelings.
Dr. Volker Ullrich (MdB) presented two lavishly decorated layer cakes, which had been prepared on behalf of Georg Feuerer (left). In the middle: Vic McFadden.
Left: 1st chairman Max Lohrmann and Dr. Volker Ullrich, cutting the richly decorated layer cakes. Right: Georg Feuerer, the designer of the cakes, is the first to test their taste.
The press was also attending. Stan Lawson during an interview with Augsburg TV (left), and organizer Vic McFadden talking with a reporter (right).
Group photo. From left: Vic McFadden, Dr. Volker Ullrich, Max Lohrmann and veteran Stan Lawson. Far left in the background Dr. Wolfgang Bockholt (OTL d.R.) of the Bund Deutscher Fallschirmjäger e.V.
Left: Taking a joint sip of beer in the evening sun: Georg Feuerer and Johannes Hintersberger. Right: Paratrooper legend Alois Scherer speaking to the American guests, telling of his 3764 parachute jumps.
Red carpet at the American Car Friends Augsburg’s old-timer center: The US visitors met a different, nevertheless familiar world.
An Augsburg TV film documentary gave an account of the events at Bldg. 116, which were also a revitalization of that building. Every guest received a pin as a symbol of Bavarian-American closeness.
A row of US limos from earlier times – the reunion guests were impressed by Augsburg’s muster!