Army 1963-66 - Photo #43 - Other 3rd ACR pictures that I didn't take

Photo:, 1963. This is how we got our tanks to Grafenwöhr (near the Czech border). I can't remember all the details, only securing each tank to the railroad flatcars using huge steel chains and hooks in February, in 30-degree-below-zero weather in the middle of the night and my flimsy work gloves all torn open. Once the tanks were all loaded we could ride in heated train cars the 400km to “Graf”, but then we had to unload them again. I don't think the temperature ever went above 0 the whole month we were there. At Graf we stayed in cinder-block shelters with coal stoves, where we slept on GI bed frames in our fabric-and-feather sleeping bags. But we stayed outside most of the day; it was so cold we had to wear special thermal ("Mickey Mouse") boots. When we took them off at night, we could pour out several cups of sweat and you can only imagine the smell. The mess hall was a huge canvas tent heated by coal stoves; food was served to you in your mess kit, which you had to clean and sterilize afterwards by passing it through a series of 55-gallon drums full of boiling water. A month of ice, coal smoke, and diesel exhaust, but in retrospect it was kind of fun. One night after dinner there was unlimited free beer for everybody... Good German beer.