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Is This the Location of the Former Fort Prince of Wales?

exspy

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Below is an aerial shot of the artillery camp.  I scanned it from the souvenir book printed by 2RCHA to commemorate their 1964-67 tour in Germany.

This is the Google Map of what I'm guessing is the same location today.  Please note the street named Kanadastrasse.

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=x&g=hemer,+germany&ll=51.384397,7.802439&spn=0.011811,0.027122&z=15

Am I correct in thinking that the Google Map shows the location of where the Fort was?  Notice the bunkers at the bottom of the photo and the similar bunkers at the top of the map.  That would mean that the 1960's photo was taken from the north of the camp looking south.

In the photo the town seems to be to the south of the camp.  Correspondingly in the Google Map the camp seems to have been located to the north of the town of Deilinghofen.

I'm hoping someone with pre-1970 service in Germany can help me.

I'm also hoping to Google Map the locations of the other nine Forts which comprised the Canadian Army garrison in the Soest region.

Thanks,
Dan.


 

George Wallace

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If you move left and into the town of Hemer, you will see the Kasserne with the Parade Square in the middle of the Barracks.........Easy to identify by the bid "H" marking it as a Helicopter LZ.
 

Old Sweat

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I served in Fort Prince of Wales 1964-1967. The aerial photo certainly looks like it. In the picture the entrance to the camp is flanked by the chapel on the right and the movie theatre on the left. Without getting into too much of a wander down memory lane, I believe this is Fort POW.
 

exspy

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Thanks gentlemen.

OS,

The photograph is definitely that of the Fort and please, feel free to wander down that lane in your replies.

George,

I found the Kasserne you identified but I don't think that's the former site of the Fort.  I will however, be the first to admit I was wrong if it is.  I've always believed that Fort MacLeod was closer to Hemer and Prince of Wales was in Deilinghofen.  I also don't think that when the British Army took over the two camps they made the sort of improvements your Kasserne photo shows ie. multi-level brick barracks.  But if you've been there, and I'll admit I haven't, I'll gladly defer to your experience.

Dan.

PS:  OS, if you served at Prince of Wales during the time you said you did then you're probably in the photo of the members of the Officer's Mess that's in the book.  I can now narrow down your secret identity to about one in thirty individuals.  What was your rank at the time?
 

Rifleman62

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I was in Fort MacLeod in 1968. Fort MacLeod was closer Deilinghofen than Fort POW.  When you went in the front gate of Fort MacLeod, Fort POW was to the left. The two Forts were side by each separated by a six foot wire fence. Hemer was closer to Fort POW, but both forts were considered in the area of Deilinghofen. We told the cab driver "Camp Zwei bitte, schnell "  I went to the movie theatre at POW several times. When you went out the front gate of Fort MacLeod, Oprica (??) hill, which we run up every week day,was to the left. That is my recollection.
You may be interested in this web site: http://www.ruhrmemories.ca/
I am digging out my photos to post at the web site.
 

Old Sweat

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I was a lieutenant but I probably am not in the picture as I was posted to HQ 4 CIBG as one of the four liaison officers from October 1965 to January 1967. This were normal taskings for the brigade units and the positions vacated were filled by in-postings. It worked because the RCHA regiment always provided the position I went into so it often was a case of swapping establishment positions between the incumbents. As another indication that it was a posting, I switched my brass RCHA titles and rank badges for cloth RCA ones, took down my chain mail and ball buttons from my patrols and put up normal buttons and shoulder boards and exchanged my cross belt for a waist sash.
 

Old Sweat

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Further to my above, moving clockwise from the chapel, we come to the sergeants' mess and quarters, then the officers' mess and quarters with the ammo dump beyond it. The vehicles and buildings we next come to are those of 1 SSM Bty RCA. The line of buildings this side of the parade square are junior NCM quarters and the mess hall, canteen, etc are in the large buildings on the left side of the square in the picture. Above them are the RCHA vehicles and gun park, maintenance, QM stores etc. The pay office, regimental kit shop, the translator, regimental funds office, etc are in the two buildings on the top side of the square as we view it, with RHQ above them on the right of the road towards the gate. Last, but not least, the battery offices are on the right side of the square between the officers' mess and the square.

And that is Fort POW as I recall it. I served there Nov 64-Oct 65  and Jan-Jul 67.
 

exspy

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Outstanding replies.  Thanks for all the info.

R62,

Until now I had never read that Prince of Wales and Macleod were side by side.  If one looks closely at the left side of the 1960's photo of Prince of Wales there is a definite demarcation line for the camp.  On the other side of the line are two more barrack style buildings which I am now guessing were probably a part of Macleod.

Your description of turning left out of the front gate to run up Apricke hill every weekday also corresponds to the Google Map image of this area today.  As well, contained in an article in the 1975/7 issue of Sentinel magazine about the Canadian forts in Westphalia five years later is the following quote "Another sign of prosperity is the modern soccer field built by Hemer and Deilinghofen just across the Apricke road from Fort Macleod".  That soccer field is clearly visible so I think we have the right location.

OS,

To give you a better idea of when the Officer's Mess photo was taken, the CO in the picture is WE Sills and not JP Beer.  Other notable names in the picture which I recognize would later become CO's in their own right are Major Simonds and Captain Doyon.

I noticed in the 2RCHA book are parade photos which show that all ranks wore brass titles on their battledress and TW's.  This necessitated the sewing on of 'CANADA' tabs above the 1st Canadian Division red patch.  It would have also, I assume, prevented the wearing of any red on blue unit identification slides on battledress epaulettes.  Also, are you saying that the officer's rank stars were brass in the RCHA rather than cloth on all uniforms?  It's too hard to distinguish in the photos in the book.  Finally, how traumatic was it to have to switch from Horse Artillery to Artillery?

I wish I was more computer literate so I could take the description of the buildings you provided and label the photograph appropriately.

George,

Good work, thanks.  Your first Google Map with the oblique view really provides more evidence that that is the site today.  Your second photo is a good shot of the former sites of both Prince of Wales and Macleod.  The soccer field across from where Macleod's main gate was located is clearly visible.

Gentlemen all of your input is greatly appreciated.  Keep posting the stories and recollections.

Dan.

PS:  R62, any chance you were formerly QOR?
 

Old Sweat

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To give you a better idea of when the Officer's Mess photo was taken, the CO in the picture is WE Sills and not JP Beer.  Other notable names in the picture which I recognize would later become CO's in their own right are Major Simonds and Captain Doyon.

I noticed in the 2RCHA book are parade photos which show that all ranks wore brass titles on their battledress and TW's.  This necessitated the sewing on of 'CANADA' tabs above the 1st Canadian Division red patch.  It would have also, I assume, prevented the wearing of any red on blue unit identification slides on battledress epaulettes.  Also, are you saying that the officer's rank stars were brass in the RCHA rather than cloth on all uniforms?  It's too hard to distinguish in the photos in the book.  Finally, how traumatic was it to have to switch from Horse Artillery to Artillery?


To respond to the above, Chick Sills took over from Jake Beer in the first half of 1964 and brought the regiment home at the end of 1966. As you noted, Charles Simonds (son of GG and father of Chris) later commanded 3 RCHA and CFB Shilo while Bob Doyon commanded the airborne battery. Bob replaced me as CIG at the school. Others who may be in the picture who also commanded were Jim Cotter (2 RCHA and 1 CBG), Doug Walton (1 AB Bty, 1 RCHA, the Artillery School and CFB Shilo), Con Malikowski (2 RCHA) and George Ohering (1 RCHA). Depending upon when the picture was taken, Bill Dawes who later commanded 2 RCHA and retired from CDLS(L) may be in the picture as a captain.

This was less than twenty years after the end of the Second World War and Chick had FOOed for the Commander 4 CIBG during the campaign in North West Europe. He was an experienced SP gunner who did much to prepare the ground for the arrival of the M109s in 1968.

The RCHA wore brass shoulder titles on our epaulettes on both battledress and service dress while officers wore brass badges of rank on all orders of dress except combat clothing. Therefore we did not wear the cloth unit identification flashes. Changing from RCHA to RCA and back was an accepted part of life as a field gunner. Except for the minor expense of maintaining two sets of badges of rank, etc, it was no big deal.
 

exspy

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OS,

The Officer's Mess photo does have a Major Cotter, and Lieutenants Walton, Mialkowski (sic) and Oehring.  There's no one named Dawes in the photo.

I've attached the photo below so you can have a look at it yourself.

I've also attached two photos of Lt Col Sills inspecting a guard of honour commanded by Captain Troop.  Troop is wearing the blue patrols with the cross belt, ball buttons and chain mail, just as you described.

Notice the WOII in the third attachment, left photo, left side.  He's stopped his inspection to look back at some poor gunner and straighten him out!  Poor sod.

On a completely different note, each photograph of an artillery piece in the book shows four different markings on the obverse gun shield.  One is the 1st CID red patch with a centred gold leaf, another is the RCHA insignia and the third is the unit tactical sign of a '13' on a red over blue square.  Finally there is a square with two letters on it but the letters are different on each gun.  On one it's 'ED', on another it's 'FD' and on another it's 'BA'.  I'm guessing that the first letter corresponds to the troop within the regiment while the second refers to the gun within the troop.  Am I correct?

And please, keep the stories coming.

Thanks,
Dan.
 

Old Sweat

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The last of the four tactical signs on the gun shields signified the troop and the battery. The sign was a large blue square with a small red square 1/4 the size of the large one to indicate the battery. The small square positions for 2 RCHA were upper right - D; lower right - E; and lower left - F. If there had been a fourth battery, its square position would have been upper left. The guns were identified by the troop letter, A through F, followed by A, B, C or D. Thus the 'most junior' gun in the regiment would have been FD. The other vehicles used a combination of letters and numbers which were identical across the regiment except for some of the troop vehicles, the only difference being the placement of the small square. For interest, some of these were: X - Battery Commander; H - Battery Command Post; J3 - BSM; M1 - Battery Sigs Sgt; Q1 - BQMS; RA - Troop Commander (FOO) A Tp; GC - GPO C Tp; TLE - Troop Leader E Troop. RHQ used a plain red and blue square with the tac sign superimposed - Z for the CO, for example.

These signs were mainly a garrision device, as we used to cover them with mud in the field. They were replaced by call signs (19, 21, 30, etc ) conforming to the standard ones in use today at some time in the last half of the sixties.
 

exspy

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OS,

Just thought of a follow-up question.  I didn't notice an airfield or landing strip in the 1960's photograph.  Where did the L-19's of the AOP troop fly from?

Were the AOP troops considered to be RCHA after they were allocated one to each regiment, or still a part of the RCA?

Again, thanks.
Dan.
 

George Wallace

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exspy said:
OS,

Just thought of a follow-up question.  I didn't notice an airfield or landing strip in the 1960's photograph.  Where did the L-19's of the AOP troop fly from?

Were the AOP troops considered to be RCHA after they were allocated one to each regiment, or still a part of the RCA?

Again, thanks.
Dan.

If you look to "2 o'clock" on the original photo, you will see what looks like a "grass Strip" and taxiway.  That may be the location.
 

Old Sweat

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The AOP Tp was part of the regiment. It operated from a grass strip somewhere nearby, but I can't recall exactly where. Certainly it didn't require a very elaborate set up as it was designed for austere conditions.

Edit to add: On reflection and thanks to George's post for jogging my memory, I think the AOP Tp operated from somewhere past the officers' and sergeants' messes in the picture.
 

janet

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I was in Germany from 1966-1969 and lived at the top of the hill in Apricke overlooking Fort McLeod.  PPCLI II were in Fort McLeod which was at the bottom of the hill.  As you came down the hill you turned right and it was the first camp.  I was the CO's secretary.
 

exspy

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Janet,

Welcome to the forum.  I hope you'll share some stories with us about your experiences.  Who was the CO when you worked there?

Dan.

PS:  This is the first time I've ever seen 2PPCLI referred to as PPCLI II!
 

KenB

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Hi I was in Fort Prince of Wales from '65 to '69
This brings back memories.
Is that book still available?
 

medicineman

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My dad was a gunner with 2 Horse there in the mid 60's and my mother was a brat there as well.  I too am wondering if this book is still available and where I might be able to find it?

For those that may know him, my dad is Nelson Kelcey, a gunner/radio operator with D Battery and played basketball for the Regt - in fact was on the team that won the British Army championship in '65 (IIRC).  My late Grandfather was Frank Noble, and was in E Battery.

Cheers.

MM
 
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