Posted Feb., 16, 2006
          George E. Hooker            
United States Constabulary
Rothwesten and Fritzlar,

A letter to the Web Master.

Irene Moore,
Reference: Constabulary Lightning Bolt, Dec. 03.

Your article about your father, Gilbert Matherne, brings back memories of my time in Germany in the late forties.
I was stationed at Rothwesten, Germany in early 1947.  In mid 1947, I was assigned to Fritzlar, Germany.  Late January 1948 I returned to the U.S.  A and was discharged from the U.S. Army at Camp Kilmer, N.J. on Feb. 11, 1948.  Although the picture  of your father looks familiar, I have no direct recollection of having met him.

Mar.  47 - Provisional Training        4 wks
Apr.  47 - Constabulary School      4 wks    Sonthofen
May. 47 -"C" Troop, 11th Squadron, 1st Regiment

Aug. 47 -  7801st S.C.U. [Station Complimentary Unit]
Jan.  48  -  Shipped Home

During the late Fall of 1947, changes were taking place at Fritzlar. Specialized training was beginning for "line troops".
This may have been the changes over of various Constabulary Troops to the 14th ACR [Armored Cavalry Regiment].
Including Auxiliary units, the Fritzlar Military Sub-Post Station more than 900 troops.

10-22-43   Air Raid during the evening:  Several thousand people died in  Kassel, Germany.  The air raid was unexpected and people were shopping.  Routinely the British Air Force bombed during the night and the Americans bombed during the day.
By the end of the war, Kassel was 80 % destroyed.  People lived in basements.  In mid 1947, most of the side streets wee blocked with rubble.  I walked the streets that were cleared for 13 city blocks before finding one house standing and it was damaged.  Rubble in the middle of the uncleared streets was six feet high in some places.  I feel certain that our father viewed similar damage.  Kassel had a post war population of 216 thousand.  Today, the population has been regained.
Rothwesten and Fritzlar bore little if any damage.  Air planes hangers were damaged at Fritzlar but the small town of Fritzlar appeared to be undamaged.

About ten years ago, I met a woman who lived in Lohfelden Germany, [2 suburb of Kassel] and worked in downtown Kassel at the Hofbauor Bouhof  [Dept. Store] during the war years.  She was hospitalized with Scarlet Fever on the outskirts of Kassel and was uninjured by the 10-22-43 air raid.   Presently, she and her husband live in the Jacksonville, FL area.

Hazel and I  visited Kassel, Fritzlar and Rothwesten during August, 2000. I celebrated my 72nd birthday near Witzenhausen, Germany.  Kassel has a Burger King restaurant in the main railroad station. Fritzlar has a Mc Donald's restaurant near the Kaserne.  Some memories for you.

George E. Hooker

From the Web Editor:

Thank you George, for sharing with me your memories. It brought back many memories for me especially now that both my parents are gone.  I miss their stories and you have newly refreshed many memories of them.  I am sure that you have brought back memories to most all who reads this page.