5th Battalion 81st Field Artillery ~ 8th Division
5th Battalion 81st Field Artillery
Airborne Battalion 1971 - 1972
The 8th Infantry Division

C~Battery    Specialist  E - 4    Robert J. Brown
C~130 Airborne Assault Underway
~ 1971 ~
Grafenwohr, Germany
On the left is my old post card of Biebrich's Rheinufer, Rhine River front in Germany.
The Rhein Kaserne Barracks is just beyond the buildings in the far distance of the left post card. On the
right is a newer photo of the area. I can see the area around the Customs Office "white building" in the
lower right hand corner has been changing since the 1970s. This area was also featured in
GI Blues, it is
where Elvis and Julliet Prowse boarded the cruise ship"Bonn." I know you could buy cruise tickets in the
left side of the Customs building and it has the public rest rooms.
I only wish I had known then what I know now !!
Please view the Biebrich:Rheinblick webcam. This time laps webcam is located in the area where the trees are
in the left postcard. It records the river front over a one month to one year period.
This area of the river front has not change much over the years since the pictures was taken.
I have spent many of my off time duty hours in this area.
For those that was station at the Army's Rhein Kaserne Barracks.
Map of Biebrich's River Front
Move the map to the left and fallow RheingaustraBe Road.
Rhein Kaserne is located between Wilhelm-Kalle-StraBe and GlarusstraBe Street.
Most of the buildings that was used, have been removed. In some of there locations,
trees and green areas were added.  
You can see another Bird's eye view of the river front at
You will find this link in the Category List at the bottom.
I like this link, you can see more details.
Battalion History
1972 - 1983
Rhein Kaserne/Wiesbaden, Germany
The Army's Rhein Kaserne was located in the town of Biebrich along the Rhine River.
Wiesbaden Air Force Base was our staging area for our airborne operations.
Lee Barrack's across the river in Mainz is where we had most of our jump briefings.
In 1972 our M2A1 105mm towed Howitzers was replaced by the
M 102 105mm Howitzer.
During 1973 moved to Strassburg Kaserne in Idar - Oberstein.
At Strassburg Kaserne, the Battalion was deactivated as a airborne unit. Rename the 2/81 FA
and now using the 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer.
Also in 1973 the Brigade's jump status came to an end. To keep your
jump status, you had to choose going to Vicenza, Italy or remain in Strassburg Kaserne as a leg
(non jumping status.)
1973 - 1983 the 1/509th Airborne located in Vicenza, Italy was assign to the Southern European
Task Force. Also in 1973 the 1/509th had a fourth company assigned to it, "designated Battery D."
To read more about the history of the
1/509 Airborne ~ Vicenza, Italy.
(Please email our Headquarters on main page if you have more information or corrections)
(Strassburg Kaserne closed in 2008)
5th Battalion 81st FA
March 12, 1971
In 1975 Wiesbaden Air
was turned over to
the Army.
Waiting  for the  weather condition
to improve over the drop zone.
Winters can get very cold in
Germany !
Lockheed C~130 Hercules
Wiesbaden Air Base.
Basic Training
Fort Dix, New Jersey
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
~ 1970 ~
(Top row, second one in on the left side)
Trained on the M2A1~105mm Towed Howitzer
From Basic Training To The 8th Infantry Division
1970 ~ 1972
My first jump was in a
Fairchild C-119 ~ Flaying Boxcar
Also made jumps from the C-141 and C-130
Click on photo ~ Fort Benning training 2013
Click on photo ~ Fort Benning training
60's ~ 70's
Click on photo ~ go Airborne !
My old Post Cards
~ 1971 ~
The M2A1~105mm Field Howitzer pictured below has been
taken out of service for a number of years. It has been
replace by the M119A2~105mm Field Howitzer.
70 Years After WWII US Last Tanks Leave Germany.
At its peak Germany had some 6,000 U.S. Armored vehicles.
It had to come to an end someday but it's really sad to
see our Barracks and Kaserns empty this way.
Only fading memories of an era gone by remains.
Current Satellite Images
Rhine Kaserne
Airborne Artillery
Current Satellite Images
Ray Barracks
3rd Armored
Current Satellite Images
Lucius D. Clay Kaserne
Current Satellite Images
Strassburg Kaserne
Current Satellite Images
Lee Barracks
Airborne Infantry
~ Ray Barracks ~
Friedberg, West Germany
Visit to former U.S. Army Base.
Independent U.S. Military News
~ See up to date news ~
Click on Stars and Stripes
Current Satellite Images
Barton Kaserne
1st Armored
Airborne School
Fort Benning, Georga
Artillery School
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
~ Welcome To Germany ~
Assign To The Rhein Kaserne
It would be interesting to hear what General George S. Patton
had to say about all of this if he was still living.
U.S. 1st Cavalry Division
Railhead Operations at
14th/11th Armored Cavalry
McPheeters Kaserne
Visit to former U.S. Army Base.
Front of the present Ehemalige ~ Rhein-Kaserne
Back of the present Ehemalige
Elvis Presly, U.S. Army Soldier
Germany 1958 ~ 1960
Circa 1930
Current Satellite Image
McPheeters Barracks
Army Posts in Germany
During The Cold War
Current Satellite Images
Cooke Barracks
4th Armored
Air Drops From C-17s
On maneuvers in Germany
~ 1972
This picture shows some of the area in
back of the Rhein Kaserne.
The tower on the left was used by the
Parchute Riggers to hang their parchutes.
March 12, 1971 ~ Receive orders to report to Fort Lewis, Washington for
Vietnam duty.
Short time after arriving I was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey
for depoyment in Germany.
* It was very disappointing to have my orders being changed and after
making a few regretful decisions that I should never made concerning
people that I really cared about.
To US Field Artillery
Sky Soldier
Galveston  1969
Tribute to Glen Campbell
April 22, 1936 ~ August 8, 2017
Song of a Vietnam Soldier
Exercise Combined Resolve
U.S. Armed Forces uses Armored vehicles that have been kept in reserve
in Germany, ready for fast deployment.
By Herb Walker
Must see this !
Load up, airborne assault !
National Airborne Day
August ~ 16th.
~ NEW ~
Drone Fly By Over
Ray Barracks at Friedburg, Germany.
T-10 Static Line Parachute.
This system was first introduced
in 1952.
T-11 Advanced Tactical
Parachute System. Design for a
slower descent.
All New
~ Gone But Not Forgotten ~
Wiesbaden Hauptbahnhof webcam
Main train station where I made my phone calls to
home. Also I went to Frankfurt from this train station
during 1971-1972.
"The top of the Rock"
Former US Army Training Center
Drake - Edwards Kasernes
Frankfurt, Germany
Taken 2008 by Wolfgang Pehlemann ~ Wiesbaden, Germany
My Old Post Card Photo
Goppingen, Germany
Friedberg, Germany
Garlstedt, Germany
Ansbach, Germany
GI Blues filming locations in Germany.
At Ease Index
Paratroopers using the new T-11 parachute.
Did the parachutes open on one of the howitzers ?
~ Wiesbaden Hauptbahnof 1959 ~
During the movie GI Blues.
You can find more about the movie at
1959 GI Blues fliming.
Wiesbaden - Biebrich Rheinufer
GI Blues filming locations in Germany.
At Ease Index
Theme Song
Burning Bridges
* Has nothing to do with Kelly's Heroes
but everything with my past during this
One of our Paratroopers received a Dear John
letter and committed suicide.
* The power of certain kind of letters can be so
devastating at times for a soldier away from home,
just trying to do his best that he can.
*  I lost a friend over an innocent letter that was
sent to me. I hope some day word would reach her,
how very sorry I've always felt.
I guess you can say this is why I became an Army
* I spent many of my off duty hours
down at the river front. After sending
money back home out of my pay, I
didn't have much money to spend.
* Christmas was always a
hard time but mom made
sure I received a package
from home.
This is the time to be really
focused, specially at night.
No place for the weak hearted.
* It was during Graduation time, I volunteered for the draft knowing the chances are I
would be going to Vietnam.
I failed my first Army physical exam and went back 30 days and past it.
I felt it was my duty because my friends was in Vietnam and some have come back.
This is my story, I went in as some what of a young naive person but came out a young man.
* I basically stayed to myself during
my stay in Germany. I was more
content on watching the river and
the cruise ships docking. To tell you
the truth, this gave me time to reflect
about some of the people back home.
You know for some of us, it comes
to a point when your away from
home you think about many things
you should have done and some
things you shouldn't have done.
* It looks like this
Thanksgiving and Christmas
2019, is going to remind me
just how it was in Germany all
over again.
People tell me I'm to hard on
myself but that's always the
way I've been.