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NCO Club, Bachelor Officer's Quarters and the Enlisted Club: Three Buildings, Three Stories

Three buildings that remain from the American period at Daley Barracks are the former NCO Club, former Bachelor Officer's Quarters and the Enlisted Man's Club. The first two structures have interesting stories that span the years from the early days of Manteuffel Kaserne to the present. The EM Club dates back to 1952 and also survives.


The Frontier NCO Club

The impressive stone and stucco structure that we remember as the Daley Barracks NCO Club dates from the early construction phase of Manteuffel Kaserne in 1936. The records indicate that the land acquisition and authorization for the building came after the initial plan to develop the Kaserne. It is not known why this delay occurred.

The building, named the "Offizier Heim und Kasino" followed one of the standard blueprints used during this period. The function of the building was to serve as the unmarried / unaccompanied officers quarters, dining area and social club for those assigned to Manteuffel Kaserne. Senior officers with families would likely live in the city, however, all others would probably choose the Offizier Heim. Because the motorcycle infantry battalions assigned to Manteuffel spent comparatively little time at the barracks, the building probably wasn't in full use until the Kaserne went to the war years phase as a training center for the 13th Medical Replacement Battalion.

From this period, we find excellent fotos of the exterior of the Offizier Heim in the album created by the men of the 2nd Training Company, 13th Medical Training Battalion to honor their Commander, Doctor - Major Michel, on his 34 birthday in 1941. The building appears in the background of several photographs.

Use of the building in the immediate post war period is unclear. Manteuffel Kaserne was occupied by a variety of Army and Army Air Force units, the clubs for the troopers were established downtown. None of the people interviewed from that period have a clear memory of the Offizier Heim building and its function. The mystery continues through the three year period when no American forces were at Manteuffel, 1947 - 1950. Perhaps the building was simply shuttered.

The story of the building resumes with the remodeling program at the future designated Daley Barracks as the 2/14 ACR occupies their new home. The former Offizier Heim was renamed as the Frontier NCO Club and configured for a new role. It is unknown to what extent the interior was changed, clearly it lost the billet and formal mess function but the changes were probably not extensive. In this new capacity, it served the NCOs of Daley until the barracks closed. Captioning evidence from the German newspapers indicate that once Daley went to caretaker status, the former club may have been used as a Community Recreation Center for the US family members living at Daley Village.

With the final return of the barracks area to German civil control, the former NCO club was spared demolition but completely remodeled as the Bad Kissingen Civil Police Station. The exterior, however, remains very similar to that as remembered by troopers. Anyone with photos of the NCO Club, either interior or exterior, please consider sending us scans or copies.


Daley Barracks BOQ and Officers Club / Marine Kurlazarett

The Daley Barracks Bachelor Officer's Quarters has an interesting background and the story continues to this day. The history of the building begins sometime just prior to WW I. It was built as a Kur Hotel under the control of the Imperial German Navy on one of the last open parcels just off prestigious Kur Haus Strasse. At about this same time, a long planned similar facility was built on the south side of town for the Army. Respectively, the two buildings were known as the Marinekurlazarett and the Militar - Kuranstalt. The architectural scheme of the buildings was similar, featuring open balconies, a partial Mansard roof and ornate front. They easily fit in with the other less formal Kur Hotels of the district. The back of the Marine- kurlazarett building, perhaps as an economy measure, had a decidedly austere look. The navy building served as a Kur vacation spot for officers in the immediate pre war years. The army building was probably a specialty clinic for more serious illnesses. Both buildings quickly moved into the German military hospital system once World War 1 began.

Between the wars, the Marinekur building remained under navy control. The army building seems to have assumed a public clinic role, it also looked after older veterans from a nearby building designated as a military nursing home. In 1935, it was officially redesignated as the Heereskurlazarett and was included in a 1939 survey of all public accommodations in the city of Bad Kissingen; oddly the Marinekurlazarett is not mentioned in this document.

During the first year of the Second World War, the Marinekurlazarett continued as a navy vacation resort and then, like many other Kur hotels in Bad Kissingen, again became part of the military hospital and recuperation system. An early war era post card shows the unique German military postal stamp for this building, evidence that it was in official Wehrmacht use. A few blocks away, the Heerskur building was also part of the army reserve hospital system but further references do not appear in available documents.

The US Army requisitioned most of the Kur district of the town for its own use and as expected, the HQ of the 9th US Air Force occupied much of the space and this includes the Marinekurlazarett building.  The German medical personnel moved out and the 2nd Air Force Clearing Station, part of the 39th Field Hospital moved in providing medical support to the local US forces at least through the early Winter of 1945.  As things stabilized and troop levels drew down in 1946, the central part of Bad Kissingen was returned to German control. Because the Marinekurlazarett property was listed as belonging to the German Navy through the Third Reich government, like Manteuffel Kaserne, it was subject to immediate American requisition with no promise of speedy return. For real property accountability, it was considered part of the former German barracks.  It is unknown who, if anyone occupied the building once the 9th USAF medical personnel departed.  The next time the Army and the building can be linked with any certainty is with the movement of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Armored Reconnaissance to Bad Kissingen and the revitalization of Manteuffel Kaserne renamed as Daley Barracks.  At that point, the building was reconfigured as the BOQ.

Why the Heereskurlazarett building was not requisitioned is also unknown, perhaps it was simply considered excess to Army needs. It was returned to the city of Bad Kissingen and began a new life as a private clinic. The building still stands, much modernized, on Bismarkstrasse, a specialty woman’s health facility.

A late 1930s post card image of the Heerskurlazarett located on Bismarkstrasse in Bad Kissingen. The US Army passed on retaining this building after World War II. It is still in operation, much remodeled and in civilian hands.

My first hand experience with the BOQ begins in 1978; the building served the Daley Military Community with on site management and accommodated three groups of service members. The basement level quarters were occupied by senior grade unaccompanied NCOs, the ground, second and third floor had quarters for unmarried / unaccompanied officers and the top floor was configured as a consolidated barracks space of the small female troop population assigned to Daley: PAC, DENTAC and MEDAC. One set of ground floor quarters was retained for VIP guests. From what I saw, there was very little interaction between these three groups. There was a communal TV and small lounge area by the entrance to the building and a grand staircase running to the upper levels. Remodeled during the upgrade program at Daley in 1972 - 73, the facilities were first rate, even if the Cav Lts were seldom home. There was a tenants parking lot adjacent to the building taking up a part of the space once devoted to the formal gardens. The BOQ campus area even had “ mystery “ bunker entrances and odd cone shaped air vents in the lawn, all carefully secured.

The wing running from one side of the building held several spaces, one of which served as the "on again - off again" Officer's Club. A separate building just adjacent to the BOQ, once served as an Officer's Mess. Bob Stauffer, assistant S1 with the 2/14 ACR, gets the story underway:

"In the early 1950s, I was a new Lt in Recon Company "F", then became the Assistant S1 with the additional duty ' Club Officer '. I was not with the unit when it moved from Schweinfurt to Bad Kissingen but I can tell you the Officer's Mess and bar were in operation in the Marine Hotel from the first days of the 14th Cav in BK. I had a Mess NCO in charge of the place and a German staff of waiters, cooks and a bartender. I recall we served breakfast and supper every day, the most popular meal was 'brunch' on Saturday and Sunday. "

"You may not know that the Germans had a formal bartender training program, apprentice to journeyman and finally master grade. To qualify to the highest level, it was necessary for the bartender to invent a new drink. The O Club bartender, 'Fritzy', had invented a cocktail called a 'Rakoczy', named after the local mineral springs in the town. They were quite good; here are the ingredients, I'll leave it up to you to experiment with the proper proportions ... and have fun!"


quatro + lemon juice + vodka + champagne .... mix in crushed ice, strain into a glass

Bob Kraimer, an Ordnance lieutenant assigned to the 2nd battalion, 14th ACR as the Battalion Motor Officer:

"I arrived in January 1955 and received quarters in the BOQ. At the time, all the support activities for Daley Barracks were up and running, the library, elementary school, Recreation Services. There were a lot of American women employed in these activities and they lived in the BOQ, on the second and third floors. The officers had all moved to the top floor. At the end of a long day, to hear an unmarried young woman speaking English in the same building as our mess and Officer's Club ... well, it really was pretty good even allowing for the three day alerts and long field duty."

"By the way, Bob Stauffer was the only Lt I ever met who owned a Porsche in Germany. He owned it but really, all of us helped him pay for it .... Bob was the best poker player I ever met! There was no English language TV and I really don't recall any radio either ... just plenty of time to play cards. We took our uniforms to the laundry point and then Bob took us to the cleaners!"

LTC (Ret) Willard C. Copp, with the 2/14 ACR from 1959 - 1962 recalls girl trouble at the BOQ:

"I was commissioned as a Quartermaster but the way the Army ran back then, one would spend eighteen months to two years in the combat arms as a platoon leader and XO or secondary staff officer prior to actual duty in the logistics / supply side of the house. All this combat arms service was OJT, no basic course, just pick it up on the way. So I found myself in the Tank Company first, then one of the recon companies and on to the S3 staff before I finally moved over to Daley Barracks Community in a logistics function. The administration of the BOQ was one duty, both the billet operations and the club. I recall that the German employees had the day to day stuff under control and we had a manager of the BOQ who handled that job with one exception."

"There was a rule that a German girl could not be left alone in US Army quarters ... period. This applied to both family housing and the BOQ. I would get a call, usually on a Monday morning from the manager that the cleaning staff or someone else had identified a German girl in room such and such of the BOQ. So, I would pick up an MP or two, drive over, get the manager and his pass key and in we would go like ' gang busters '. The poor girl, usually frightened to death, would be given about two minutes to get dressed and then would be escorted off Army property by the MPs. Never cared to find out how the issue was fixed up with the boy friends. It was just one of those odd things that one encounters."

"I also recall that the building had a faded elegance to it, not much money had been spent on upkeep over the years and I felt it was sort of shabby. I also believe we had the unmarried officers on the top floors and the US civilian employees on the ground and second floor."

Bill Carlisle, who as a Lt, had the additional duty of running the O Club in 1967, continues the story some years later:

"About half way through my initial in - briefing with LTC Paul Palmer, I had the feeling that he was about to personally escort me back to the BK rail station with a note pinned to my uniform addressed to the Officer Assignment Office in Frankfurt: ' Great potential and a credit to the Army .... what I REALLY need are Armor Lts, CPTs and Majors ... I am returning this fine young man to your control, please send me someone who went to Fort Knox!'. You see, I was a Medical Service Corps officer and had just completed an MBA at Wharton Business School. Although slotted into the open position of the Medical Platoon Leader, this was not the most pressing need in the 2/14 ACR. Somehow, LTC Palmer let me stay and offered me the position of Officers Club Manager as an additional duty. Having no idea what this was, I readily agreed."

"CPT M.D. Woehlers, the Squadron Surgeon, certainly had the medical side of the house under control and the NCOs were taking care of the other medical platoon responsibilities, I threw myself into the O Club mission. LTC Palmers guidance to me was brief and to the point, 'I want this to be the best small club in Germany ... now get out!' I read every regulation and every change, read the booklets and pamphlets, talked to everyone I could find."

"The club had great potential and the SCO wanted it fully realized. We had a German cook and a couple of very attractive German girls as waitresses. The club served both breakfast and supper from a limit menu in the dining room; once I understood the system, we began to improve the meals and variety. It took a while to straighten out the financial and property records and bring us into compliance with all the regulations, but I got this done. Heinekens were sold for 25 cents and we organized foosball tournaments, pool tournaments and poker nights and, common to the clubs of the time, there were also slot machines. To provide some additional funds to pay for both improvements and local entertainment, I was able to 'skim' a portion of the slot proceeds and SCO Palmer insured the club had good exposure with the officers at Daley by making it the focus of Hails and Farewells and other functions designed to bring the men back to the club. And, in the case of one Lt from the FA unit at Daley, he came in for a sandwich ... and left with a wife. We tried to be a full service operation."

"I was only in BK for a year; by late 1968 I was in Vietnam and that was an entirely different story. While there, I ran into another officer who had recently served at Daley and he told me that the club had passed all inspections by a USAREUR visiting team shortly after my departure, the first time this had happened in some time. The parting comment to the SCO was, 'This is the best small club we have seen in Germany this year."

Colonel (Ret) John Byers adds:

"As Squadron Commander in 1968 and 1969, I developed a warm relationship with Dr. Hans Weiss, the Lord Mayor of Bad Kissingen. For display in the Officer's Club, he loaned us a copy of the large painted mural showing the Battle for Bad Kissingen from the German civil war as well as a 'carronade', a small cannon that had actually been in that battle. These additions really dressed up the place. "

Major (Ret) Mike McGehee:

“I lived in the BOQ for about ten months when I first arrived. It had a wonderful location just on the edge of the town, the building itself had a certain elegance although the elevator never worked and the bathrooms in each set of quarters, in European fashion, were not set up for showers, just those big porcelain tubs and a hand shower arrangement. There was maid service that we paid a fee for that did light cleaning and I think actually made the beds!“

“The Officer’s Club in the side wing of the building was almost never open, only used for formal affairs. Behind the building was a coin operated laundry area that was always in use, particularly when the Army switched over to the “wash and wear“ fatigue set. No one seemed to mind if you washed your car in the parking lot, I think in the housing area, this was not permitted due to water use concerns.“

“The building manger was an older guy with a felt hat and a long overcoat who drove around in a big Mercedes. He was retired military and I think at some point had married a local girl and settled in the area. I wish I had taken more time to get to know him, I’m sure he had some interesting stories to tell.“

“I think it was October 1975 when, upon returning to my quarters one night, I discovered a photo copied note on my bed directing all occupants to find substitute housing because the entire BOQ building was to be remodeled. I recall we were given about two weeks to do this and it caused quite a scramble. I ended up in Garitz and never went back. When I think of it, I do recall that for the first two or three weeks in BK, I think I saw the building in daylight once! Between the long hours at Daley, the border and FTXs, I began to wonder if the sun ever shined on that end of town.“

While the remodeling was a professional job, in 1976 the club had problems. It was run as a satellite of the Schweinfurt community, meals and the slot machines were gone. The Daley Barracks Officer's Club went to limited operation then almost closed due to lack of patronage by the mid 1977. It reopened in 1979 with a small remodeling effort partially paid for by the local brewery, EKU, in exchange for exclusive distributor rights. The club was only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. I recall the menu was limited to pizza and hamburgers. One novel addition was a first generation big screen TV and a video cassette tape player. We watched the movie The Deer Hunter over and over again. New management later installed an outdoor "cafe" and towards the end of the US Army stay in Bad Kissingen, the Eaglehorse built their own bar in an unused basement space of the building


The club space also served as a meeting area for Eaglehorse officer professional development classes. Captioning evidence from the Saale Zeitung, indicates that this building was included in the Daley Community upgrade in the mid 1980s.

A new page for the Marine Kurlazarett has finally begun. When Norbert Ruckel first investigated the building, it was shuttered and empty. Chunks of the stucco finish have scaled off the exterior walls. The rehabilitation of the building has finally begun in 2005 and it appears on its way to conversion to another first class Bad Kissingen hotel. The other buildings on the BOQ "campus" have been recycled into new uses. The former Officer's Mess now supports a restaurant, the Medical Station is a health club and so on.
All the pictures below were taken by Randy Mitchell in Sept 2003
Same building looking up from the BOQ parking lot.   The MP Hqs and Dental Clinic in the upper portion of the BOQ compound.  This building appeared to now be a business office of some sort.
The "wing" portion of what was the Officer club.  There was an upstairs "cupola" room the led out to an upper terrace.   The "basement" O'Club 2/11 made for itself.
Entrance to the O'Club.  This room was in-use for some business purpose.   Originally this forward section was BOQ rooms but with the renovation in the early 1980s the club was expanded into these rooms with additional tables and some game machines.
A nice side profile taken late on a Sunday

Enlisted Club

The Em Club supporting Daley Barracks dates back to the US arrival at Manteuffel. It was built during the same wave of construction that brought the Chapel, Rec Services, PX and other "lower Kaserne" structures. It survives to this day, reconfigured as office space and a day care center. The exterior now sports colorful murals.


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