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Old 09-01-2018, 10:22 AM
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Arrow Little-known Grafenwoehr accident remains vivid to those who lived it, nearly 60 year

Little-known Grafenwoehr accident remains vivid to those who lived it, nearly 60 years later
By MARTIN EGNASH | STARS AND STRIPES - Published: September 1, 2018
RE: https://www.stripes.com/news/little-...later-1.545417

Photo link: https://www.stripes.com/polopoly_fs/..._900/image.jpg
On the table are 16 helmets in front of the altar. The memorial service for the victims of the accident was held Sept, 4, 1960.

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Few today know about the grim accident — the worst in Grafenwoehr’s history — that took the lives of 16 soldiers serving on this base on Sept. 2, 1960.

A platoon of U.S. soldiers was putting up tents that Friday morning, getting ready to spend their weekend training in the field. At about 9 a.m., an 8-inch, 200-pound howitzer shell overshot its intended target and hit their tents, killing 16 soldiers and wounding 27.

“The shell smashed into three tents occupied by soldiers,” according to Stars and Stripes on Sept. 3, 1960. “It tore through one tent, exploded in the second, and sent fragments hurtling into the third.”

Photo link: of Stars & Stripes 9-3-60. https://www.stripes.com/polopoly_fs/..._900/image.jpg
The front page of Stars and Stripes on Sept. 3, 1960. A day earlier an ill-aimed artillery shell caused the deadliest accident in Grafenwoehr Training Area history, when it killed 16 soldiers and wounded another 27.
STARS AND STRIPES

Army investigations determined the 8-inch howitzer shell was overcharged and badly aimed. It missed the artillery impact area and landed at Camp Kasserine.

There are no memorials or services these days to mark the tragedy. Only newspapers and a small section dedicated to the accident at the Grafenwoehr Museum for Cultural and Military History serve as memorials of the incident.

“The accident seems to have been lost in history,” said Army spokesman Desiree Dillehay. “At this time, [U.S. Army Garrison] Bavaria does not have any memorials or services that recognize this accident. It was the deadliest accident seen in the Grafenwoehr Training Area to this day but remains relatively unknown to most people.”

Yet the memory of that day lives on in the soldiers who were there.

Retired Gen. Colin Powell, who went on to become secretary of state under President George W. Bush, was one of them.

On the day of the accident, Powell was a first lieutenant stationed on Grafenwoehr. He describes the event in his memoir, “My American Journey.”

“My ears pricked up at an odd, whistling sound overhead. In about a nanosecond, I realized it was an artillery shell that had strayed wildly out of the impact area,” Powell recounts in his book. “I stopped, frozen, and actually saw the 8-inch round come in. It struck a tent pole in the 12th Cavalry’s sector, detonating in an air burst. The roar was deafening, followed by a terrifying silence. I had seen a hundred war movies, but nothing prepared me for the sights I saw that day.”
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:12 PM
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Boats,
We (10th Recon Co.) spent lots of time up at: "Graf" from '55 to '57 (actually starting our very first 2 months in West Germany there), as 10th Inf Div Aggressors/Op-Forces/Trainers.

Regardless, and even though all our vehicles (Tanks/APCs/Trucks/Jeeps) always carried their basic load of Live Ammo (whether for Enemy Alerts or just Live Fire Exercises) For Years, We quite fortunately never had such a deadly accident.

Maybe we were all just lucky?

After all, and especially if serving in any Air, Sea or Land Combat Units, most all equipment and armaments can prove quite deadly. Even slightest mistake could be QUITE LETHAL.

Whatever. May any or all those having died in Service to Country be Honored & RIP.

Neil
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Old 09-01-2018, 03:28 PM
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They estimate that there are at least 350K tons of live bombs and mines still in VN.
It's estimated 20M people have been victims since WWII. That's a staggering number of people. God only knows how many bombs are still buried or unexploded? War can leaves scares for decades to 100's of years to come. I'm not a pacifist we fight wars to win (says our leadership) but once the wars over the unexploded devices can still kill many innocent folks at any time. We see this ever now in the news many countries have been in wars or suffered by the wars and these unexploded devices "don't care who they kill" - that's their job.

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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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