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Color Constabulary pix

Started by tredhed2 , Nov 07 2008 11:47 AM

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#1 tredhed2

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 11:47 AM

By now, most of you know that I'm very interested in the U.S. Constabulary. One of the vets I know gave prints to me of color slides he took in 1947, while he was a member of the 1st Constabulary Bde HQ - Air Section. Yes, the Constabulary even had an air force for aerial patrolling - I believe these are L-5s.

This is a good way to see what their distinctive uniforms looked like then.

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#2 tredhed2

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 11:48 AM

Here is one of their distinctively marked jeeps. Initially, all Constabulary vehicles were marked with the insigne and the triple stripes. I think a Constab-marked jeep would be an interesting project - note the stripes, the white bumper (both were white) etc.

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Edited by tredhed2, 07 November 2008 - 11:50 AM.


#3 Teamski

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 11:54 AM

Excellent photos!! I find it very interesting the various uniform configurations, something that wouldn't float today. The SSgt is missing his collars and ribbons, the Spec 4 doesn't have the lower collars while the Spec 5 has everything. It gives you a good idea of the large amount of variation seen on uniforms from the era. We think that they had been tampered with, but many probably weren't. For example, the Spec 4's ribbons are configured into a pyramid, something that I would of thought to be a tamper job.

Thanks for sharing. I wish there were more photos just as definitive as this one out there!

-Ski

#4 El Bibliotecario

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 01:44 PM

Excellent photos!! I find it very interesting the various uniform configurations, something that wouldn't float today. The SSgt is missing his collars and ribbons, the Spec 4 doesn't have the lower collars while the Spec 5 has everything. It gives you a good idea of the large amount of variation seen on uniforms from the era. We think that they had been tampered with, but many probably weren't. For example, the Spec 4's ribbons are configured into a pyramid, something that I would of thought to be a tamper job.

Thanks for sharing. I wish there were more photos just as definitive as this one out there!

-Ski


I gotta be the first smartalec to say it--no Sp4 or Sp5 ranks until the introduction of paygrades E8 and E9 in the late '50s

On a more constructive note, from my useless store of trivia I recall that the German nickname for Constabulary troopies was 'potato bugs'--from all those spiffy green and yellow stripes.

#5 tredhed2

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:06 PM

Now that I read the followup post, yep, I don't see any Spc 4 or 5....

The stripes were blue and yellow and I heard they were called Blitz Politzei (Lightning Police), Circle C Cowboys, and a few other things. There are children on this Forum.

#6 CaptCav

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:40 PM

Now, now Boys and Girls!!! No bickering, lol - Please pay attention to the old Border Cav guy!!!

In the late 40s, the German populace referred to the Constab troops as KARTOFFELKAEFER (or potato beetle). It was considered a very derogatory term, and as was noted, was a result of the blue and yellow stripes (on green) on their helmet liners. The first time I ever heard the term was 1949 - our housekeeper (who was a Czech DP) LOATHED the Constab, for the way they treated her in the DP camps when she first came home to Germany after the war. When she called them by that term, the spit would fly out of her mouth.

Ski - if you read Snyder's history of the Constab (dated 1947), you will find that incomplete uniforms were THE LEAST of the Constab's problems. At that point, it was very difficult to pull together (or even find) insignia for the guys. Troops lived in unheated barracks with no running water; morale vacillated at times from poor to miserable; and the German populace did everything in their power (from time to time) to make things difficult for the Cowboys. Me? Living through those years (and watching what all our fathers went through), I'd say those guys you see above are pretty damned squared away. I would have taken them in my troop, immediately!!

And yes, that would be the L-5. Guys I knew (that flew both the L-4 and L-5) all stated the L-5 was a superior aircraft.

Edited by CaptCav, 07 November 2008 - 02:53 PM.


#7 Teamski

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 05:33 PM

I gotta be the first smartalec to say it--no Sp4 or Sp5 ranks until the introduction of paygrades E8 and E9 in the late '50s

On a more constructive note, from my useless store of trivia I recall that the German nickname for Constabulary troopies was 'potato bugs'--from all those spiffy green and yellow stripes.


Doh! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/pinch.gif I meant Tech 4 and Tech 5......


-Ski

#8 Gil Sanow

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 05:36 PM

Great shots!

I had read that Constabulary EMs wore Ikes at all times, while officers wore pinks and greens. Interestingly, these guys are in 4-pockets!

G

#9 tredhed2

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 06:03 PM

Policing the DP camps was one of the Constab duties (no one wanted it) and the camps were full of folks who wanted to go "home" wherever it had been. Emphasis on "had been".

The camps were full of agitators, commies (for real - Joe McCarthy should have spent investigative time there), psychos, gun-toting criminals, black marketeers, etc., in addition to folks who wanted to go home. Folks had to be Id'd, too. There were riots in some of the camps (one in a Jewish DP camp), and one never hears or reads of how they were supressed.....but there were surprisingly few casualties.

Yes, initially the Constab wore the 4 pockets, and this practice continued until approx 1948, when the mission changed from policing Germany to the defense of W. Europe. The Constab was then used to support the different ground forces on occupation duty; engaged in more war games/exercises, rotated into a previous unit's AO, etc. Then the Ikes tend to turn up. By 1948, the success of the Constab also resulted in a new branch of service - Armored Cavalry

#10 Gil Sanow

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 06:13 PM

Thanx. You saw the 6th Cav group Ike I had at ASMIC -- bought it off the Forum a few months back.,. That guy was home by late '46. He did not go over til late '45, so I suspect he was issued it stateside.

G

Edited by Gil Sanow, 07 November 2008 - 06:14 PM.


#11 tredhed2

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:08 PM

Yes, I did.

#12 1st AAA Group

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:07 PM

Very nice photos Tredhed, and in color too! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Am also interested in Constabulary items as one of my late Uncles was career Army and served with them in Germany. He actually came to that assignment by an interesting if not long route. During WWII he served as an NCO in the Pacific (earned CIB) and at the end of the war returned Stateside for a short time. Not sure about the exact date, but he probably shipped out to Germany sometime in 1946 as he was assigned to 3rd Army Constabulary in Munich. Interestingly, during his time there he was also assigned as part of a security detail to the Malmedy Trials when they were held at Dachau located outside Munich. He also served in the Korean War where he earned a star to his CIB. Did you have a family member who served in the Constabulary?

CaptCav, that is a great story. I salute your service Sir. I guess my Uncle did not have it rough like your outfit did. Said duty in Munich was really good (understatement).

Edited by 1st AAA Group, 07 November 2008 - 08:13 PM.


#13 124cav

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:18 PM

I have a bunch of occupation stuff
ikes or 4 pockets
lots of pics,ill get some up soon,a bit of colour
mostly horse platoon stuff

Edited by 124cav, 07 November 2008 - 08:18 PM.


#14 124cav

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:28 PM

http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n155/alden405/Copyofimg448.jpg

Ikes in 46

#15 tredhed2

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 10:00 PM

Very nice photos Tredhed, and in color too! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Am also interested in Constabulary items as one of my late Uncles was career Army and served with them in Germany. He actually came to that assignment by an interesting if not long route. During WWII he served as an NCO in the Pacific (earned CIB) and at the end of the war returned Stateside for a short time. Not sure about the exact date, but he probably shipped out to Germany sometime in 1946 as he was assigned to 3rd Army Constabulary in Munich. Interestingly, during his time there he was also assigned as part of a security detail to the Malmedy Trials when they were held at Dachau located outside Munich. He also served in the Korean War where he earned a star to his CIB. Did you have a family member who served in the Constabulary?

CaptCav, that is a great story. I salute your service Sir. I guess my Uncle did not have it rough like your outfit did. Said duty in Munich was really good (understatement).


The Constab was a completely separate "unit" from U.S. 3rd Army. 3rd US Army did activate some District Cosntab units in late 45, but these were separate still from the 1 Jul 46 activation date of the Constab as a whole.

If he was in Munich in 46, he was either in the 42nd or 66th Constab Sqdns (2nd Constab Regt).

It is interesting to note that following the conclusion of the Malmedy Trials, there were a couple of commissions set up to investigate the conduct, pre-trial investigation, verdicts, etc -and good ol' Sen. Joe McCarthy, later known for his red-baiting, got heavily involved for unknown reasons. Perhaps because of the large German-American (oh hell, nazi sympathizers) who lived in his home state of Wisconsin? The same groups that formed the German-American (nazi sympathiizers) Bund pre-WW II? His fading footprint in the Senate? He used some incredible tactics, e.g., accusing survivors of lying, twisting facts around to fit his pre-conceived ideas (in his mind, all the CID investigators were Jewish) and he was successful, too. Many of unserved death sentences were overturned. S'okay - Peiper burned to death c. 1955 at home. Got off on a tangent here for sure.

No, no family member in the Constab.

Edited by tredhed2, 07 November 2008 - 10:17 PM.


#16 1st AAA Group

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 07:30 AM

http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n155/alden405/Copyofimg448.jpg

Ikes in 46



Very nice photo 124cav. All the photos of Constabulary Horse Platoons that I have seen show squared away looking troops. Yours is no exception! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#17 1st AAA Group

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 07:37 AM

The Constab was a completely separate "unit" from U.S. 3rd Army. 3rd US Army did activate some District Cosntab units in late 45, but these were separate still from the 1 Jul 46 activation date of the Constab as a whole.

If he was in Munich in 46, he was either in the 42nd or 66th Constab Sqdns (2nd Constab Regt).

It is interesting to note that following the conclusion of the Malmedy Trials, there were a couple of commissions set up to investigate the conduct, pre-trial investigation, verdicts, etc -and good ol' Sen. Joe McCarthy, later known for his red-baiting, got heavily involved for unknown reasons. Perhaps because of the large German-American (oh hell, nazi sympathizers) who lived in his home state of Wisconsin? The same groups that formed the German-American (nazi sympathiizers) Bund pre-WW II? His fading footprint in the Senate? He used some incredible tactics, e.g., accusing survivors of lying, twisting facts around to fit his pre-conceived ideas (in his mind, all the CID investigators were Jewish) and he was successful, too. Many of unserved death sentences were overturned. S'okay - Peiper burned to death c. 1955 at home. Got off on a tangent here for sure.

No, no family member in the Constab.



Thanks for the info. Tredhed2. Yep, I thought you would correct the 3rd Army Constab part. which is 100% correct. I'm up on that info too, but interestingly that is what my late Uncle always refered to it as when he first arrived in Germany! Sounds as if, unofficially anyways, GI's were still refering to the old 3rd Army connection. At least amongst themselves.

#18 Varangian

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 08:19 AM

Posted Image

All that churned up mud...stack of PSP next to the hut....

I'd have put certain goof-offs taking pictures to some useful purpose...

#19 CaptCav

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 08:37 AM

Spoken like a TRUE cav troop CO, lol. Funny how we both saw the same things. Oops - you missed those drag slicks they're running on the front of that quarter-pounder. 1947 was a very BAD year in EUCOM - race riots, unit mutinies, the terrible results of the Doolittle Board, et al. It probably took all the CO/1SG could muster to keep a lot of those guys in correct uniform. ;)

#20 tredhed2

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 12:53 PM

Posted Image

All that churned up mud...stack of PSP next to the hut....

I'd have put certain goof-offs taking pictures to some useful purpose...


and then we wouldn't have color photos 60 + years later.....................

#21 Varangian

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 12:56 PM

and then we wouldn't have color photos 60 + years later.....................


Of course we would...of Constabulary soldiers laying PSP. ;)

#22 General Apathy

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:03 PM

Great shots!

I had read that Constabulary EMs wore Ikes at all times, while officers wore pinks and greens. Interestingly, these guys are in 4-pockets!

G


Hi Gil, yes as you mention, interestingly that they are wearing four pockets in the post war period, however it shows that the guy in the middle ' ate all the pies '.

Cheers ( Lewis )

#23 Varangian

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:17 PM

Hi Gil, yes as you mention, interestingly that they are wearing four pockets in the post war period, however it shows that the guy in the middle ' ate all the pies '.

Cheers ( Lewis )


I was going to comment that someone had thrived on brautwurst and schnitzel, but they were getting beat up for being out of uniform so I let it slide...

In marked contrast, those horse troops look sharp.

Edited by Varangian, 08 November 2008 - 01:18 PM.


#24 DwightPruitt

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 03:31 PM

Now, now Boys and Girls!!! No bickering, lol - Please pay attention to the old Border Cav guy!!!

In the late 40s, the German populace referred to the Constab troops as KARTOFFELKAEFER (or potato beetle). It was considered a very derogatory term, and as was noted, was a result of the blue and yellow stripes (on green) on their helmet liners. The first time I ever heard the term was 1949 - our housekeeper (who was a Czech DP) LOATHED the Constab, for the way they treated her in the DP camps when she first came home to Germany after the war. When she called them by that term, the spit would fly out of her mouth.


The Constabulary was nicknamed the "Circle C Cowboys" by U.S. troops.

#25 tredhed2

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 04:40 PM

Of course we would...of Constabulary soldiers laying PSP. ;)


I told ya, the Constab was initially an elite unit - in the pic from the same batch the vet gave me, it says on the back that German PoWs and US prisoners are laying PSP at Biebrich in the Spring 1947, for the 1st Constab Bde Air Section Airstrip. The Constab just took the pix!

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