Posted Nov. 14, 2008
United States Constabulary
Unveiling of the United States Constabulary Memorial Stone
November, 12, 2008.
Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany was known as Kurmacher Kaserne
during the period the U.S. Constabulary existed and it housed the Headquarters for the U.S. Constabulary from 1948-1950.
Click here to read a copy of the Stars and Stripes Newspaper article.
Click here for the background of the Stuttgart Memorial Monument.
Jim Deming, the
National Commander of the United States Constabulary Association was an
honored guest speaker for the unveiling of the Monument Memorial Stone
presented by the people of Stuttgart, Germany to the troopers of
the United States Constabulary 1946 -1952. These soldiers were known by several names, the Circle C Cowboys, THE "BLITZ-POLIZEI" or "LIGHTNING POLICE", and the U. S. Constabulary.
They will never be forgotten by those of Germany who struggled
following W.W.II. The German people reached out to thank the U.S.
Constabulary Troopers for what they did for them and their country
during that time.
The words read:
A TRIBUTE TO
Speech given by Jim Deming at the Dedication of the Memorial Stone:
THE UNITED STATES CONSTABULARY
ORIGINAL COLD WAR WARRIORS
ARMY OF OCCUPATION
GERMANY AND AUSTRIA
1946 - 1952
IF YOU WERE NOT HERE THEN
WE WOULD NOT BE HERE NOW
GERMAN WOMAN TO
My name is James Deming, and I am the current Commander of the United
States Constabulary Association.
It is a great honor to be here today and to deliver brief comments as
part of this dedication.
FOR MANY YEARS MILITARY AND CIVILIANS PERSONNEL ALIKE HAVE ASKED.
“WHAT IS THE UNITED STATES CONSTABULARY”?????
When the fighting in Europe ended in 1945, it was evident that the
United States could not simply withdraw from Germany. The country was
in ruins, and a period of occupation to restore order and help with
rebuilding was urgently needed. There was no functioning border and
there were no local, State or National police forces in place. There
were no governing bodies of any kind. Germany was flooded with
thousands of refugees and displaced persons desperately looking for
food and shelter. The crime rate was soaring. Prior to this the United
States had never occupied another country, and had no historical data
to rely upon. The combat configuration of the military was not suited
to accomplish this new mission so a new force was created. It was
smaller, lighter and could cover large areas in a short period of time.
That new force became known as the United States Constabulary. In
January 1946, Lt. Gen. Lucian K. Trescot Commander of the US Third Army
Major Gen. Ernest N. Harmon, (a distinguished war time Commander of the
1st and 2nd Armored Divisions), to command this new force.
MG Harmon was able to assemble an elite new force and by 1 July,1946,
the US Constabulary became operational.
The Mission of the US Constabulary was. To- maintain Military and Civil
To- assist in the accomplishment of the objectives of the United States
Government in Germany, and
To- control the Borders of the United States Zone
We accomplished our mission on horseback, motorcycle, a variety of
vehicles, single engine, aircraft, and on foot.
Though this Elite new force never reached its total authorized
strength, we were able to perform our assigned Tasks
. History tells us that we did a damned fine job.
Morale was always high. As the years passed we transferred some
assignments to the German government and to the German Police. Our
mission continued, however, until the unit was disbanded on 15 December
Constabulary members understood that restoring order to post-war
Germany during the period 1946 to 1952 was critical to German and
Austrian citizens, World History remembers the men and women of the
Constabulary as a unique unit, created, trained and activated to meet
that task. Constabulary Troopers were the Original Cold War Warriors.
With meticulous attention to every detail, starting with distinctive
uniforms and vehicular markings, We achieved the lofty goals that were
set by Major General Harmon.
Constabulary Troopers were described by Robert Strand, in the European
Edition of the New York Herald, as; “one of the most colorful commands
in the history of the United States Army”. Because of the Constabulary,
the German people no longer feared the American Soldier. They quickly
learned that the Constabulary Trooper was there to help them, and we
were welcomed wherever we were assigned.
Troopers restored order and helped local police re-establish their own
operations, working together as a team. We conducted raids on black
market operations together and patrolled the border to prevent
displaced persons from crossing from other sectors. When relations with
the Soviet Union became strained, a precise border was established, and
border patrol became a priority. The task consisted of fixed posts,
foot patrols, motor patrols, and in the more rugged terrain, on
horseback. It is interesting to note: The Constabulary was the last
U.S. Army unit to use horses in their operations.
When the Soviet Union blockaded Berlin, a little over sixty (60) years
ago, the United States used the ingenuity of the Berlin Airlift to
break the seal and end the blockade. Constabulary Troopers on the
ground in Germany assisted the United States Air Force in this
important and successful mission.
The Constabulary was deactivated in December 15th 1952. It had
accomplished its mission. The law enforcement duties were turned over
to the German Police and many Constabulary Troopers were reassigned to
combat oriented units to maintain the border.
Robert Strand closed his report with the line, “The Constabulary, which
never saw its homeland, has now completed its mission, but it will
always have claim to be ranked among the elite organizations in
American Military History.” Although the Constabulary was a special
unit that served within the United States Army, it was created in
Germany, served in Germany and Austria, and was deactivated in Germany.
It is therefore appropriate today that we consider Germany as the
homeland of the Constabulary, and a proper place to dedicate and
preserve forever the memory of the Unit by this presentation of this
National Commander Jim Deming
At the U.S. Army Birthday
Ball in Stuttgart, Germany in June 2007, the U.S. European Command hosted a display of
army uniforms and memorabilia from 1917 to the present. The intent of the
display was to depict the Army and its contributions in Europe
through two World Wars, the stand against communism during the Cold War, and
the current Global War on Terrorism.
Regrettably, the display had a void for the period immediately following
WWII. In an effort to fill in that
historical gap in the display, LTC David S. Jones of the EUCOM J2 was tasked to
research the period immediately following WWII to find what activities and
responsibilities were assigned to the United States Army.
Colonel Jones found Irene Moore’s web site and
e-mailed her requesting any information about the U.S. Constabulary.
Irene forwarded the request to Bob Plath, then National Commander, and
she copied me in as I had given her information in the past. I
contacted Commander Plath and asked what he wanted to do. He requested
I E-mail the Colonel and ask what he wanted. I did E-mail Colonel Jones
asking what information he wanted. He replied relating the story
about the military ball and that the U.S. Army appeared to be
non-existent during the years following the war till the Berlin Wall
was erected. I gave him a short briefing about the Constabulary. He
asked that I forward any information possible as no one in the
headquarters had ever heard of the Constabulary.
some of the stories I had put together for our request for a commemorative
stamp, ‘The Unheralded – Men and women of the Berlin Blockade’ (book by Edwin
Gere Pilot on the Airlift), that featured some Constabulary; a copy of the Fort Leavenworth booklet titled
‘Mobility, Vigilance, Justice: The US Army Constabulary in Germany, 1946 –
1952;’ An Army Magazine that featured a story on the Constabulary and some
other miscellaneous articles I had gathered. I sent these all to the Colonel at
an e-mail about week later that the package arrived and everyone was very
excited as they had never heard of the Constabulary and this was a whole new discovery
There was a
follow up message that they were seeking memorabilia and setting up some
displays. I put him in touch with the curator at Fort Riley
who had a pot full of memorabilia from members that never got to be displayed. The last I heard of that situation, nothing
was forwarded in response to his request. Then I received a message that so far
as HQ Europe knew there were no memorials about the Constabulary anywhere in Europe but many of the varied Combat units. So far as
they knew there were no monuments of the Constabulary and the 100th
Division. At that time he offered to act as point man to help us set up a
memorial if we wanted.
people have set up some mini museums at varied spots
was the border. These speak of the local activities. The
honors the Americans, British and the French,
concentrate on the Airlift and the Wall. On my visit there in
the Berlin Veterans Association, there was virtually nothing on
Most Berlin Vets were from the 50’s and
60’s and they
too did not
know of the Constabulary. Several years ago I did send the
museum a copy
of the Constabulary History book.)
the monument offer with Commander Plath and it was decided to work up a design
to see if it would be feasible and also to get some cost figures with the
thought we would present this at the National Reunion in Tennessee. We did work up a design and
received a ‘rough’ estimate of the cost.
The cost was given in Euros that equated to approximately $12,140
but would be about $10,200 if we could avoid the tax..
presented to the members of the Executive Committee who attended the reunion
and also included representatives from other Outposts who did not have the Committee
member in attendance. Basically all
agreed we should look into the possibility of setting up monument. Also we
should use the
least amount of copy to keep costs low.
were placed on a board and presented to the members at the general
meeting. A show of hands showed there
was some support, but others wanted more information and lower costs.
There was an article in the September/October
Reunion issue of the
Lightning Bolt asking members to give their opinion if we
should pursue this
memorial. While the total response was small, as all votes
and responses, 90% thought we should pursue erecting a memorial. This
would be erected in Patch Barracks – Headquarters U.S. Army Europe – outside Stuttgart.
(see words on design) would be in keeping with paragraph 1.2 of our bylaws that
reads: “The purpose of the Association is to promote a spirit of camaraderie,
fellowship and brotherhood among the members and their spouses and to keep
alive the spirit and history of the United States Constabulary.” –
If you have watched Judge Judy - she might say, “Perfect.”
was simplified using the least amount of words. The design was sent to Colonel
Jones for a ‘final’ estimate. A copy of that estimate is attached along with a
translation of the German terms. The
design of the memorial is also attached.
While there are ‘suggested’ dimensions shown on the drawing, I left it
to the stone cutter to determine the necessary size of the stone to ensure
proper space for the copy illustrated.
costs are given in Euros. As of January 26 the value of the Euro is: 1 Euro
= $1. 47. So that there is no misunderstanding, the
rate on the day the money is paid will be the rate used to determine the amount
estimate is less than the original estimate – in euros. However, the exchange
rate does not permit a similar reduction when converted to dollars.
Euros € Dollars $$$
The Stone: 100 CM X 45 CM X 50 CM 1950.00
(2.5 CM = 1”) 40” X
18” X 20”
Ornament (Carved insignia) 520.00 764.40
Bronze Plate (W/ copy)
+ 19% Tax (Payment
maybe avoided) 849.30
You are reminded that there is $10,000 +/- in the museum
fund that was never really required as memorabilia donated becomes the property
of the U.S. Army
and required no support from the association. That money is
therefore available for this memorial for the Constabulary.
By Bill Strub
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