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Physical Plant. (Buildings as used in 1970s to 1980s)
There were rumors of tunnels under Camp King. I have verified with Heidi List of the SEWO in Oberursel as well as a person who was involved in reconstruction on the post in the 1960's that there is no evidence that the tunnels existed. The myth may have been perpetuated as many other former German Military Installations were found to have tunnels. For example, the IG Farben Complex in Frankfurt is known to have tunnels beneath the building..
Camp King was located on 39 Acres of land. There were a total of 56 buildings. (Department of Defense Records)
The post was a like a self-contained city. It had a Post Exchange, commissary, bowling alley, movie theater, youth activity's club, and Officers and NCO clubs.
There were 4 barracks located on the lower portion of the post and others throughout the post. The barracks on the lower part of the post were used to house junior enlisted. Housing for senior enlisted and single officers were located on the hill in older buildings. The post had barracks space for 250 troops.
The largest building on the post was the headquarters building that housed the military operations of the post. Across the street from the headquarters building, behind the bowling alley, there were other offices.
There was a multipurpose field located near the headquarters building, across from the bowling alley. This was used for sports, as a parade ground as well as a helicopter-landing pad. There was enough room for a baseball and football field. On German American Days this field housed most of the military equipment as well as tents for concessions and booths for games.
Multi-purpose field, being used as a helicopter landing pad. The area where it is landing is the football field and to the left is the baseball field. (Picture Courtesy of Barry Friedman)
The clinic was located next to the headquarters building. It was one of the original German houses. There was just enough room for an exam room, a doctor's office and small waiting area.
Pictured above is the Dispensary (Picture courtesy of Maurice Cammack taken circa 1967-69)
There was also a small jail facility on the post that was located in the area of the bowling alley and NCO Club.
Aerial View of Camp King above (Courtesy Stadt Oberursel and SEWO, date of picture unknown)
Picture above and Below is an aerial picture taken in the 1950's.(Picture courtesy of Walter Elkins)
There was 5 family housing buildings, built in 1953, located on the lower portion of the post. Although most of the people quartered on Camp King were assigned to the military tenant units, there were also people assigned to other units within the Frankfurt American Military Community housed on the post. It was not uncommon to have military members working in Frankfurt living on the post. The housing area predominately housed Army families; however, there were also some Navy, Air Force, Marine and Department of Defense Civilians. The average tour of duty was about 3 or 4 years.
Each of the larger family housing buildings had 3 stairwells with 6, 3 or 4 bedroom apartments each. The attic areas were used for Temporary housing. There were 3 temporary quarters per building. The basements had storage bins, one for each family, as well as a laundry room. Buildings 1047,1048, and 1049 were used to house enlisted and their families and 1050 and 1051 officers, usually Major and below.
Buildings above are 1047 to 1049 (Courtesy of Ginny Collins-Llope pictures taken in 1998)
Until the late 1960s and early 1970s the post was surrounded by Forrest. In the late 1960s buildings were erected on the north side of the post.
There were approximately 10 duplex and single family homes located on the hill. These were used to house senior officers, Lt. Colonel and above. This was also where the Post Commander resided.
Housing located on the hill. It housed Senior Officers usually Lt. Colonel and Above (Courtesy of Ginny Collins-Llope picture taken in 1998)
The Commissary, Post Exchange, Library and Gym were all located in the same structure. The gym was well equipped and used by both active duty troops and dependents. There was a basketball court, weight room and sauna. Tennis courts were located behind the gym. The library was small and not well equipped. The Post Exchange was small and there was only a limited amount of items available. The commissary was not always in existence and was in this building periodically throughout the history of the post. It also only provided limited services. At one time there was a small snack bar in this building also.
Pictured above is the building that housed the (from left to right) the gym, the library, The commissary/snack bar and the PX at the far left. (Picture courtesy of Maurice Cammack taken circa 1967-69)
The Bowling alley was located in the area of the Post Exchange. It had 4 lanes as well as a snack bar. It was a popular place for dependent children to hang out. It should be noted that the bowling alley sat on the 2nd story of a building that was once used for interrogations. (I believe that the bowling alley was once the reception office) Below the Bowling alley there were military storage areas, a thrift shop, and a dry cleaner.
Building on the left is PX/ Commissary/Gym. Center left is the communications building and the jail On right is the bowling alley and offices behind the bowling alley underneath the steps of the bowling alley is the thrift shop, the cleaners and storage. (Picture courtesy of Maurice Cammack taken circa 1967-69)
The Movie Theater was located next to the mess hall and military day room. The theater was small and showed one movie per day except for weekends at which time matinees were also shown. Most movies were shown for two days. The films were popular American movies. They usually ran approximately a year behind the release in the United States. The Movie Theater was especially important up to the early 1970s, as there was no television.
Movie Theater (Courtesy of Maurice Cammack Circa 1967-69)
The mess hall, which was located next to the theater, served meals to the troops.
The Day room was next to the Mess Hall and was used for troops to unwind and relax.
Pictured above is the Mess Hall ( Courtesy of Maurice Cammack Circa 1967-69)
The post also had a Dependent Youth Activities Center, initially named Army Youth Activities Center, located just inside the main gate. (I believe that this building was uses as a Rod and Gun Club before the 1970s) This was a place for dependent children to congregate. There were many activities such as dances, bingo, and summer programs. The center was chaperoned by a civilian hired to direct activities. When there were no planned events, kids could go to the center to play board games, listen to music, play pool or just hang out.
Dependent Youth activities Center (Courtesy of Ginny Collins-Llope, picture taken 1998)
There was also a Day Care Center located on the post. Dependent spouses staffed this center. This service was of great benefit to those families that had small children.
On the hill, just below the senior officers' quarters and the Officers Club, was a road that lead partially down the hill. At the end of this road was the chapel. The chapel was nondenominational. The minister assigned to the post was usually Protestant and other religions had their clergy come into the post for services. For example, the Catholic faith had a main chapel in Frankfurt, St. Sebastian's. A priest would either come from St. Sebastian's or a contract priest would be used. Another interesting aspect was that the cross on the altar would have to be turned around for each faith. The Catholic cross, Jesus present on the cross, was on one side and the Protestant Cross, Jesus not on the cross, was on the other side. Not only were services held, but it was also an opportunity to socialize.
Pictured above is Chapel located on the hill (Courtesy of Ginny Collins Llope, picture taken 1998) Below is another picture of the Chapel ( Courtesy of Maurice Cammack Circa 1967-69)
The Officers club offered family dining as well as a bar. The NCO club was predominately a bar type atmosphere; however, they did serve food. The NCO club had, at one time, a snack bar attached to the outside.
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PRIOR TO WORLD WAR II1936-1939
WORLD WAR II "DULAG LUFT" 1939-1945
POST WORLD WAR II (1945-1953)
The Gehlen Organization
AMERICAN MILITARY UNITS (1953-1995)
THE FRANKFURT AMERICAN MILITARY COMMUNITY
EMPLOYMENT TELEVISION, RADIO AND THE STARS AND STRIPES NEWSPAPER
POST SECURITY, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND TERRORISM
THE PEOPLE AND CITY OF OBERURSEL
POST CLOSURE AND FUTURE