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  Somewhere between everything we did and everything we wanted to do, there was time for a beer and troopers of the US Cavalry in Bad Kissingen enjoyed a wide variety of experiences with the “brown Bavarian brew". From the Kreutzberg to the border camp and from Munich to Munnerstadt and dozens of village Fests in between, from steins on the shelf to sometimes foggy memories ... whether it was " Bitte, ein Bitt! " or " Eku Hier!! " or " all I’ve got is sixty cents, can I get a Bud? " .... bitte noch einmal ...


The German - American Friendship Fest was a long standing tradition in Bad Kissingen. Summer Bier Fests provided both a sense of continuity to the residents as well as a needed economic boost. Normally, a town worked in conjunction with a local brewery to sponsor the event and then, split the profits. The most desirable weeks were in the height of the Summer and those commanded the highest rates from the brewers. As I recall, the town worked with Daley Barracks for the German - American Friendship Week which also included a vehicle display and carnival. Probably the most frequently found souvenir that troopers brought back from Germany was a stein or " Krug " from the friendship Fest. On the other hand, long hours of duty and the desire to " blow off steam " had interesting results as my first Platoon Sergeant explained the morning sick call report to a very green and very new Lieutenant the Friday morning after the Fest began the previous night, " let’s see ... broken finger, bruised ribs ... eye swollen shut .... yep ... Friendship Week has begun!!".

"Flippies", German beer bottles with a ceramic stopper built into a wire bale were popular with the NCO’s and, at least through 1979, once the post FTX recovery was complete with all requirements of the SOP met ... a case of beer would sometimes appear in the Platoon OVM room for all to share and enjoy a good laugh. If you had thrown track, gotten stuck, lost or otherwise distinguished yourself ... stand by for the roast!!

At various times in the history of the Eaglehorse in Germany, both the squadron and individual cavalry troops contracted with local brewers for bottles marked with distinctive " cavalry " labels.

This beer was then sold at the Camp Lee beer hall or through the club system. If anyone has clear scans of those labels, we would very much like to display them. In the mid 1980’s, Camp Lee became the site of a very popular Fest sponsored by the squadron and this new tradition seemed to last until the border mission ended. Ted Prescott recalls how it began:

“In 1985, Camp Lee was the focal point as 2/11 hosted a beer fest at the Camp. LTC Ramick initiated the fest in order to promote German-American friendship. Teaming up with Karmelieter Brewery in Bad Neustadt, the Squadron hosted the event while the border unit (E Troop) had the honor of conducting border ops and playing Open House hosts to the public. It was a huge public relations success and we even made some money on it. CPT Steve Eggert was the principal "go to man" for the event. I can still see him sitting behind a desk in one of the barracks room with a loaded .45 pistol on the desktop as he counted the receipts.

The following year we hosted another event which was even a greater success. Following the recommendations left by Steve Eggert, we were able to refine the operation (primarily by requiring a deposit on beer mugs) and cleared over $10,000. This money was channeled into funds which enabled the Squadron to get more perks for Camp Lee and the Troops."

Through the early 1980’s, it was not uncommon for the squadron to move to Wildflecken for training and find adjacent Bundeswehr units still on the ranges and tent areas. Along with the Marders and Leo 1’s, a commercial beer delivery truck could usually be spotted. Beer was fully integrated into their military culture and soldiers were allowed an eight ounce bottle with the evening meal unless training that night.

For cavalry troopers at Grafenwoehr for Level One Gunnery, a Regiment run beer operation in the rear area could usually be found. LTC (r) Allen recalls how a squadron run beer hall in 1976 helped pay for the mother of Lt Lee to travel to Germany so she could be present at the re - naming of the border camp.

The border camp featured the Beer Hall in the building proudly built by troopers of the 2/14 ACR, although it is unclear at what point beer first became available. After the major upgrade to Camp Lee in 1985, this building was replaced with a much improved version and troopers not otherwise committed to the border mission could enjoy a brew until the camp closed.

The Kreuzberg, near Wildflecken, featured a monastery ran a popular micro brewery well worth the trip on a Saturday afternoon. This was a very popular side trip for men of the Eaglehorse. Troopers returning to Germany for the organized Blackhorse reunion found this excursion a popular side trip.

Walter Saint Cyr writes in:

“... let‘s not forget the barracks beer vending machines. Each troop had at least one pop and one beer machine, Miller and Bud for 25 cents per can. Before pay day, not much activity but the beer machine was cleared out every other night right after we got paid. If we were ‘ bad boys ‘, Top would unplug the machine and the CQ’s would make sure it stayed that way ... and there was always the Daley Barracks Class VI store behind the PX, a lot of beer got carted into the barracks Friday night and the empty cans went out with the Monday AM clean - up after PT. Our roll out alerts were almost always on an early Monday morning, it really would have been exciting to have had one on a Friday night at about 23 00 hrs! "

Beer Steins were popular souvenirs of service with the cavalry in Bad Kissingen, most officers and senior NCO’s received at least one as a commemorative of their duty. The shops in Bad Kissingen offered a wide variety of steins carrying the city seal and on pay day, local vendors outside the PX and main gate offered affordable steins as well as hats and jackets all carrying the Blackhorse patch. The Regiment also marked special events with ceremonial steins; both the opening of the border and the annual Blackhorse Marathon were featured topics and are highly sought after collectibles.

At Daley Barracks, the near dead Officer’s Club was revived through the efforts of a local brewery as they paid for a small remodeling effort in exchange for distribution rights in 1979. The squadron revived a " peg and mug " tradition with each officer having a personalized stein hanging on a display board behind the bar, the steins were used at official gatherings and were great mementos upon departure. Ten years later, Bill Becker remembers the Eaglehorse building a club to call their own:

“We got approval to develop the basement of the (Officer’s) club, so long as it didn't cost anything. On a weekend, several LTs and the two maintenance chiefs built a bar from borrowed wood and 'The Stables' was born. The MILCOM gave us some old chairs and tables, installed a video game and TV/VCR, and added a pizza oven and refrigerator in a back room. We moved our mug wall from upstairs and christened the place with a trash can punch party."

Please contact webmaster with photos and stories to further develop this chapter ... and don’t leave your empties on the table!

A well attended open house at Camp Lee, 1988. Vehicle displays and presentations by the BGS, Bavarian Border Police, Bundeswehr and the Eaglehorse Squadron.
--Tom Favia
The bar at Camp Wollbach
--Rob Hudgins

Troop F Family Day at the border, 4 July, 1975. Everyone has a chance to kick back for a few hours except my driver, at far right, Terry Oster.
--Mike McGehee

Here's a rare picture from 1975, men of Troop F parade through Wollbach on the way to a Bierfest sponsored by the Germany Military Veteran's Association. Troop Commander, CPT (Col Ret) Clint Ancker is at far right, I am in the first rank, far left. In the Fest tent, I was seated between a former enlisted Luftwaffe pilot and a former U Boat commander.
--Mike McGehee
Camp Lee Beer Hall as of 1978
  Click on the thumbnail below to view the full-sized picture

Wally moves smartly towards the beer garden, Dave takes in the sights at the Kreuzberg.

Two of Erwin Ritter's Eaglehorse related steins. The one at right is a very rare model that celebrates the opening of the border.
From left, 14th ACR stein, 11th ACR and two steins from the Eaglehorse. The gray mug was from the " peg board " located in the Officer's Club.
This modern day image captures the entrance to the " stables " annex added to the BK O Club in the final years of the Eaglehorse at Daley Barracks.
--Norbert Ruckel
Three views of a Blackhorse beer mug recently passing through E Bay.

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