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lundi 24 novembre 2008


Les écoles américaines à l'étranger
The American Overseas Schools

Le texte en intégralité (Full text)

"A quote from the September 18, 1955 issue of Overseas Weekly: "The huge runway at this stillborn NATO Air Defense Base is sinking in the mud and USAFE has closed the runway." Therefore, I arrived at an air base that had no planes.

Phalsbourg AFB was located in a beautiful area of France, Alsace. It was about a 45-minute drive to Strasbourg on the Rhine River.

When arriving by train from Paris there was no one to meet me in the small village of Phalsbourg as was promised. Luckily an MP truck happened by and I got a ride to the base. I was let out at a BOQ (1) and found a room. This room contained a narrow cot, a straight-backed chair, and a dresser, no lamp, no desk. During the year I tried to make it homelike by putting desert scenes drawn on paper over the windows, painting the ceiling squares yellow and blue, and finally getting some cast off curtains. Three civilian women employees and several officers lived in this BOQ.

For several months I didn't know whether or not I would stay on this base. There were 34 students and 4 teachers plus the principal who also taught. The powers that be said we were over-staffed. The following is the chronology of my staying and leaving episodes:
1. Sept 11 - I heard I was going to a new school in Italy.
2. Sept. 13 - I will stay in Phalsbourg. In the middle of the morning my teaching assignment was changed from second and third grades to grades 3,4 and 6. There were no 5th graders in our school. No warning about this change, no text, no chance to prepare.
3. Oct 14 - A new principal arrived and she took my two sixth graders.
4. Oct. 24 - Rumors had it that I would leave Phalsbourg.
5. Oct 31 - I may stay.
6. Nov. 1 - Probably stay.
7. Nov. 3 - Staying even though I had orders to go to Chambley. The school officer said I was not leaving.
8. Nov. 25 - The chiefs of schools in France and Germany visited our bases and said we were entitled to only two teachers. Our school officer convinced them to hold off shipping one of us out until after Christmas.
9. After Christmas - I stayed.

The morale of the base at this time was at a low ebb. Funds and personnel had been cut. There were not enough employees to keep things going efficiently. The Officer's Club was closed so we ate in the regular mess. There were no paved roads on base and so after a year of fighting the awesome sand in Libya, I now faced the sticky, gooey, and slippery mud of Phalsbourg. The day I finally got boots to help me through this phenomenon was a cause for celebration.

A BIG problem I had this year was the fact I did not get my hold baggage until Nov. 8th. Another problem was that Paris kept losing or misplacing our payroll records. Only once or twice during the year did we get our checks on time. The fact that they closed the American Express office on our base compounded the problem, as we had to go looking for a place to cash our checks. We usually had to go to Ramstein hoping we could get there before the office closed. The BX closed, but we did have a little snack bar. A bright spot was when they put a refrigerator in my room and the principal got a commissary card. When we purchased a hot plate and an electric pot for heating water we were really ecstatic. We produced some fabulous meals with this meager equipment.

Our Post Office was open from 9:30 AM until 12:30 PM. To use the Post office we had to go during school hours. We were with the children from 7:45 AM - 2:30 PM. We only ate with them in the snack bar. We served their lunch and cleaned the tables.

Somehow, we managed to put on a Christmas play - The Littlest Angel. My job one Saturday morning in December was to move costumes and scenery from the school to the Service Club. I couldn't use my car because you couldn't park near the school and you couldn't park near the Service Club. We practiced the play on the stage of the Service Club Friday and were going to do so again on Saturday afternoon, but this is Phalsbourg and they were in the midst of tearing up the stage floor and would continue to do so on Sunday. I was going to put up the scenery, but of course that was impossible. We didn't have Murphy's Law here, we had Phalsbourg's Law.

Another job I had was that of the secretary at the school. The powers that be requested forms to be filled out, but neglected to send the forms. So, I typed up the forms and then put in the information

Our school library had about 500 books. Some of the children's mothers typed library cards for them. We had to classify and arrange the books on the shelves. This took care of our compensatory time for the rest of the year. We followed the Dewey Decimal System the best we could.

We got a day off from school in May. Strange reason - the troops had been working hard to make Phalsbourg, the base, beautiful. In appreciation everyone had the day off.

We had many unusual happenings this year in Phalsbourg, but this event topped them all. We four lady employees were enjoying a game of bridge when the base chaplain came in and told us there was a woman in labor in the dispensary. The couple was on their way to a new base in France, coming from Munich, when the woman started having labor pains. There were no nurses on base so one of the dependent wives acted as nurse. My principal volunteered to take care of their other child who was only 9 1/2 months old so the father could pace the floor. History was made in Phalsbourg - the first birth ever on base and then it turned out to be a multiple birth - twin boys. No scales in the dispensary so don't know the weight of the babies. A helicopter flew the twins to a hospital in Landsthul, Germany. I was chief bottle washer and diaper scrounger for their other child. I went to the trailer park where the dependent families lived and did manage to obtain six diapers. The baby stayed in my room that night and her father picked her up the next morning. That summer, I worked six weeks in the base library.

Even though we had problems at Phalsbourg it was a great year, especially meeting some wonderful people. Because there were so few people there it was like one big family. I still correspond and have met with some of these people during the years since 1956. The location of Phalsbourg was just perfect for my VW bug and me. We were in the beautiful Voges Mountains, and just driving through the small, picturesque villages was a treat. I had the chance to take many trips during the year. One of the most beautiful drives was from the base to Saverne, a distance of about ten miles. In the fall the leaves on the trees were spectacular, so colorful. Coming from desert country this really made an impact on me.

This year could not have been that bad because in September I would be on my way to Rhein-Main for another go."
(1) BOQ: Bachelor Officer's Quarters

Groupe de musique des années 60:

"Les cyclones"
(60's Music band "The Cyclones")

Ici sur l'estrade (qui n'existe plus) de l'ex club des sous officiers
Actuel mess ou cercle mixte
(Here in ex-NCO club's podium)
(Carte - Map)

Chanteuse des Cyclones
(Cyclones singer)

"Rien à voir avec "El Toro et les Cyclones"... Après des débuts modestes en 1961 (...), notre groupe frappe un grand coup en 1965, avec un matériel au top ! Les grattes strat/mustang/précision, amplis Bandmaster et Bassman et un orgue Farfisa. (...) Pour la petite histoire, c'est mon père menuisier qui gagnait 1000 F par mois, qui a contracté un crédit pour acheter ma guitare 2200 F, et les deux amplis à raison de 2500 F chacun ....! Dur dur !!!!!!!!! La chanteuse Shannon SMITH était Américo/Canadienne, fille d'une Canadienne et d'un Texan qui gérait les clubs de boys sur la base Américaine de Phalsbourg Air Base ( base de l'OTAN ), et à ce titre, il nous faisait jouer dans les quatres clubs de la base aussi souvent que possible. Sur la photo du disque, il y a la date 2003 ... car j'ai fais un CD avec le 45 trs. Je joue depuis le début de l'année avec un goupe de Metz "LEGEND", çà "shadows" sec en Lorraine, qu'on se le dise ...!"
Voir le site ICI

"Effectivement j'ai connu cette période 'DORÉES' qu'étaient les années 60 avec la musique 'électrique' qui démarrait et je passe tout le reste ............. j'ai uniquement des 'reliques' photos, disque 45t., et des souvenirs pleins la mémoire mais aucun document sur la base proprement dite. Je vais tout de même vérifier mes 'archives 'mais il n'y a que la musique et les amis de cette belle époque qui m'intéressaient leur famille, d'ailleurs j'avais comme 'copine' la chanteuse des CYCLONES SHANNON SMITH dont le papa était SERGENT ils ont été démarqués en Angleterre vers 1964 et de la ????????? dieu seul le sait où ils sont allés et plus jamais eu de nouvelles. ............... "

mardi 18 novembre 2008


26 Jan 1960 (Grostenquin RCAF station)
"Couvert avec des averses de pluie. Vols restreints tout au long de la journée. Un F-86D de Phalsbourg détourné ici en raison de la piste hors d'usage à Phalsbourg."
("Overcast with rain showers. Restricted flying throughout the day. A Phalsbourg F-86D diverted here because of unserviceable runway at Phalsbourg.")
Voir le texte en intégralité (See the full text)

3 Dec 1961 (Grostenquin RCAF station)
"... piste fermée en raison d'un F-86H de l'USAF détourné de Phalsbourg et ayant fait exploser un pneu à l'atterrissage. L'avion a rendu hors d'usage la piste en détruisant 10 feux et dégradant celle-ci avec de la boue. Il y eu un important retard parceque le personnel au sol n'a pas pu obtenir une barre de remorquage afin de retirer l'aéronef et la balayeuse de piste n'a pas pu démarrer."
("... runway closed due to a USAF F-86H who diverted from Phalsbourg and blew a tire on landing. The aircraft swerved off the runway destroying 10 runway lights and putting a lot of mud on the runway. A further delay was caused when the ground personnel could not get a tow bar to remove the aircraft and the runway sweeper would not start.")
Voir le texte en intégralité (See the full text)

Unknown date (Moselle Common Area Control)
Tôt après nos débuts, nous avons reçu un plan de vol d'une formation de F-104 en vol au départ des USA et en direction de Phalsbourg, France. La formation avait ravitaillé en vol et devait prendre part aux portes ouvertes durant le week-end. La formation fut transférée à Moselle Control près de Paris. Notre radar guida les F-104 en final sur Phalsbourg. Un des pilotes rendit compte d'une vibration incontrollée, tira sur le manche et s'éjecta, l'aéronef se désintégra! Je rencontrais le pilote aux portes ouvertes, portant une canne, boitant et couvert de bandelages sur le visage. Le control de Moselle venait d'expérimenter son premier cas d'urgence!"
("Quiet early in our operation we received a flight plan from a formation of F-104's en route from USA to Phalsbourg, France. The formation had refuelled in flight and was to take part in an open house event during the weekend. The formation was transferred to Moselle Control near Paris. Our radar placed the F-104's on final approach to Phalsbourg. One of the pilot's reported uncontrollable shuddering, pulled straight up and bailed out, the aircraft disintegrating about him! I met him at the open house that weekend, carrying a cane, limping and .wearing a couple of band aids on his face. Moselle had experienced its first emergency.")
Voir le texte en intégralité (See the full text)

mardi 11 novembre 2008


Jun 07, 1956 - Grostenquin RCAF Air Station
"A Sabre from 4 (F) Wing crashed near Phalsbourg. The pilot bailed out and was brought to 2 (F) Wing by American helicopter."

North American YF-86H-5-NA Sabre
Serial number: 52-2092
c/n 187-116/150
138th Tactical Fighter Squadron / NewYork Air National Guard
Crashed one mile north-east of Phalsbourg AB, France Jan 13, 1962
Click HERE for more details

North American F-100D-90-NA Super Sabre

Serial number: 56-3247
c/n 235-297/444
50th Tactical Fighter Wings / 81st Tactical Fighter Squadron
crashed in Vosges mountains of France Jun 25, 1963.
Flew into high ground in bad weather 61 mi SSW of Phalsbourg AB, France.
Pilot killed.

North American F-100D-90-NA Super Sabre

Serial number: 56-3297
c/n 235-297/444
50th Tactical Fighter Wing / 81st Tactical Fighter Squadron
crashed in Vosges mountains of France Jun 25, 1963.
Flew into high ground in bad weather 61 mi SSW of Phalsbourg AB, France.
Pilot killed.


lundi 10 novembre 2008


Plusieurs aeronefs en statique pour
le jour des Forces Armées
(Various aircraft on display for Armed Forces Day)
(Carte - Map)

Char de la seconde guerre mondiale près de Phalsbourg
Il s'agit du "Bourg la Reine"
(WWII tank near Phalsbourg)
(Carte - Map)

Opératrices dans le centre de communication
(Switchboard operators in comm. center)

Emblème de l'escadron, escadron de support 7486
(Squadron emblem, 7486 support squadron)
(Carte - Map)

Neige, extérieur des casernements
(Snow outside barracks)

Ma citroen de 1938 et un ami Ronald Schmidt
(My 1938 Citroen and friend Ronald Schmidt)

RF-101 chasse en statique
(RF-101 Fighter on display for Armed Forces Day)

RF-84 chasse en statique
(RF-84 Fighter on display for Armed Forces Day)

RB-66 en statique
(RB-66 on display for Armed Forces Day)

(Carte - Map)

Jeu de poker dans les casernements de la comm.
(Poker game inside comm. barracks)

Mattio Cirrilo devant les casernements
(Mattio Cirrilo in front of barracks)

Mattio Cirrilo récupère sa casquette devant les casernements
(Mattio Cirrilo retrieving hat in front of barracks)

Entrée principale vers la base aérienne de Phalsbourg
(Main gate to Phalsbourg Air Base)

Vue de l'extérieur des casernements en direction
du mess
(Looking out of barracks windows toward dining hall)

Les personnels du magasin téléphonique
(Telephone shop personnel. Gillespsie on top
then Lucas, Martin and Jimenez)

Techniciens d'équipements téléphoniques et un civil
(Telephone plant technicians, Joe Sheets and civilian)

Phalsbourg Air Base
(Carte - Map)

Aéronefs en statique pour le jour des Forces Armées
(Aircraft on display for Armed Forces Day)

(RAF FR-5 Swift)

Personnel de magasin téléphonique travaillant sur une ligne
(Telephone shop personnel working on flight line)

Chasseur F-86 en statique pour le jour des Forces Armées
(F-86 Fighter on display for Armed Forces Day)

Chasseur F-86 en statique pour le jour des Forces Armées
(F-86 Fighter aircraft on display for Armed Forces Day)

(Digging up telephone cable at the flight line)

Vue depuis les casernements en direction
du centre de communication
(Looking from barracks toward Comm center)

Gillespie à côté de la fenêtre du bureau du central téléphonique
(Amn. Gillespie by the window of the telephone central office)

Zone de parking durant le jour des Forces Armées
(Flight line area during Armed Forces Day)
(Carte - Map)

Techniciens réparant un cable dans le centre de communication
(Cable troops repairing cable inside Comm. center)

T-33 jet d'entrainement durant le jour des Forces Armées
(T-33 Trainer Jet on display for Armed Forces Day)
(Carte - Map)

SGT Chef Doritty et SGT Chef Peach.
Entrainement à la montée de poteau
(SSGT Doritty and SSGT Peach. Pole climbing training)

Gillespie frime après un exercice sur la base
(Amn. Gillespie showing off after base exercise)

Mécanicien de maintenance radio. Nom?
(Radio maintenance technician. Name?)
(Carte - Map)

Pitreries après un exercice sur la base
(Clowning around after a base exercise)

Aéronef en statique durant le jour des Forces Armées
(Aircraft on display for Armed Forces Day)
(Carte - Map)

Tempête de neige de 1958. Zone des casernements
(Snow storm of 1958. Barracks area)

RB-66 Aéronef en statique durant le jour des Forces Armées
(RB-66 Aircraft on display for Armed Forces Day)
(Carte - Map)

Aéronef en statique durant le jour des Forces Armées
(Aircraft on display for Armed Forces Day)
(Carte - Map)

A2C Gillespie devant un mur de casiers dans les
casernements de la comm.
(A2C Gillespie in front of wall locker in Comm. barracks)

From Randall G. (See his profile on Comm Troop.net)
I joined the US Air Force on 1 Feb, 1956 and retired from the Air Force on 31 December, 1983. With credit for the two years I served in the South Carolina National Guard, I was credited with 28 years active duty.

After basic training at Lackland AFB in Texas, I went F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming where I attend the Telephone Installer/Repairman School for 11 weeks.

From there I was assigned to Andrews AFB just outside of Washington DC. I was there for a year and was transferred to Spangdhalem Air Base in Germany. I was only there for 3 months and then I transferred to Phalsbourg AB in June, 1957.

I worked as a Telephone Installer at Phalsbourg for three years. At on time, I was the person in charge the Telephone Outside Plant. The Telephone career Field was composed of several shops at that time. There was the Outside Plant that installed and repaired telephones on the entire base. There was the Telephone Inside Plant which maintained all the switching equipment in the Central Office. There was the cable section that maintained all the communications cable on the base and then there was the Antenna Section that maintained all the Radio antennas on the base.

I left Phalsbourg Air Base on 9 June, 1960 and was reassigned to Andrews Air Force Base for a second time.

I stayed at Andrews from June, 1960 until July 1964. I was then transferred to Saigon, South Vietnam and then was transferred to Ubon Air Base in Thailand.

I left Thailand in January, 1965 and was assigned to Sewart AFB in Tennessee. I was at Sewart AFB until September 1966. I was the assigned to Danang AFB at Danang, Vietnam. I left Danang and was assigned to Patrick AFB in September, 1967. While assigned to Patrick, I worked at Cape Kenned Air Force Station which was about 25 miles North of Patrick AFB. At the Cape, I installed missile inter comm systems on the launch pads, Gantrys, Support towers and block houses and control centers. After doing this for about 3 or four years, I assumed duties as the NCOIC (Non-commissioned officer in charge) of the Inside Plant section and was responsible for maintaining all Missile intercom systems on the Cape. I had 45 men under my control at that time.

I left Patrick and Cape Kennedy in January, 1973 and went back to Germany. I was at Sembach, Germany from January '73 until June, '73. I was transferred to Lindsey Air Station in Wiesbaden, Germany. I spent 4 years at Lindsey and traveled all over Europe in support of the Secretary of Defense and other big shots who came to Europe for what ever reason.

I was in a Combat Communications Squadron at Lindsey and I was NCOIC of the Air Force Component Headquarters. My section was capable of setting up an emergency Air Force Base any where in Europe. This was truly a satisfying assignment. I traveled a lot to England, Belgium, Holland, Spain ,The Netherlands, and all over Germany.

I left Germany in June, 1977 and was assigned to Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. At Kirtland, I worked as a Quality Control Specialist inspecting all types of communications equipment, Training Programs, and maintained Plant-in-place records for all installed communications cables on the base.

After about two years in this job, I became the NCOIC of the section and ran the section I left Kirtland AFB in June, 1982 and was assigned to Edwards Air Force Base in California. This was the Air Force Flight Test Center.

I was assigned to the 1925th Communications Squadron there. My job was Maintenance Superintendent for the Squadron. Once again I was in charge of the Telephone Inside Plant, Telephone Outside Plant, Telephone Cable Shop, Radio shop and a couple of other shops. This was my last assignment in the Air Force. I retired there at Edwards AFB on 31 December, 1983.

I moved back to Albuquerque, New Mexico at that time and was hired on as a Telephone Installed at Kirtland AFB. I worked there for another 17 years in Civil Service working for the Air Force as a civilian. I had several Titles while assigned to the Outside Plant. At one point, I was in charge of the Outside Plant operations.

The Squadron I worked for went contract in the year 2000 and I the worked for the Contractor for a year and then decided to retire. I had 47 years combined service at that point and was called back by the contractor on a couple of occasions to do several different jobs.

Before I sign off, I'd just like to say that I did a lot of work there in the control tower. I installed and Maintained the telephones, HeliFax machines, Teletype machines and radio circuits there. Base operations was on the ground floor and I did a lot of work there to.

I use to visit the Snack Bar there which I believe was on the second floor at that time. The main Snack Bar was back up the street a couple of building away.

mercredi 5 novembre 2008


Numérotation américaine des bâtiments
(American numbering of buildings)
Voir carte (see map)

Bâtiment 109
Cinéma de la base
Films américains projetés chaque jour
Capacité 250 places
(Buiding 109
"Base Theater"
American films shown daily
Capacity: 250 seats)
(Carte - Map)

From John L.:

"I remember seeing this in the base theater at Phalsbourg Air Base, France.
(We always 'rooted' for the 'good guys' !) Heh, heh."

Ouest bâtiment 407
(West buiding 407)
"Service station"
(Carte - Map)

"No smoking within..."

"Service station"
"No smoking within 50ft.
Défense de
fumer dans
un rayon de
20 mètres"

"Service station"

"Service station
vehicules only"

"No smoking
beyond this

"Lubrification parking area
all other vehicules
keep out"

Bâtiment 208
(buiding 208)
"Shelter 6
Capacity ... N°
(Carte - Map)

Bâtiment 305
(buiding 305)
(Carte - Map)

"Shelter ..."


"Shelter ... 6"


Bâtiment 401
(buiding 401)
(Carte - Map)

Bâtiment 402
(buiding 402)
(Carte - Map)

"Bay 35" "Bay 37"

"Bay .. "