More from Henry Maas

Odds & Ends from OCS Class 515  H Ft. Belvoir, Va 1968 Honoring 515 H class members who have died Wives of class members during OCS Training Return to the OCS 515 H home page How to reach us What's happened to members since 1968 Reunion details Recollections of OCS Class 515 H Experiences Photos of Class 515 H from 1968 Ft. Belvoir Hotel 515 OCS Class Members 1968 I met LT. Col. Scott at the Officers Club at Ft. Eustis who taught me how to eat raw oysters and drink beer; who put me in touch with the Command Sergeant Major at Ft. Eustis. The Sergeant Major opened up one of the largest safe doors I had ever seen stating the ware bouts of the Active Truck Companies was a top secret. After 20 minutes he came back and said you are headed to Mannheim Germany. Two days latter I got off the plane at Frankfurt. I walked down a set of stairs and had no idea of what to do next fresh in a foreign land, when the CO of the 110th Transportation Company approached me and said Maas grab your bags and follow me. The CO stated that he had only received a copy of individual orders the day before my arrival but was not informed by the Battalion Personnel Officer so he decided to drive to Frankfort to see who the mystery person was, since it was Sunday night and he had nothing better to do and to determine why I was assigned to his unit when already having a full complement of Officers. At 2:00 AM I load! ed my duffle bag into an old 1950 VW with no heater and with snow on the ground and wool blanket on lap headed to Mannheim. I lay over on his apartment couch for three days to get rid of Jet Lag before he reported me to the Battalion Commander of the 28th Transportation Battalion, Lt. Col. Metcalf, who stated my presence was a mystery to him, made a couple telephone calls and then gave me a brief orientation and stated the 28th Transportation Battalion's was part of the 37th Transportation Group which provide Commercial Line Haul using civilian / American build trucks, made by International Harvester that would pull Military S&P's, Box vans, Refers, Strick Container Vans and low beds hauling cargo from the deep water ports to numerous places in Western Europe Theatre to include Berlin. He also stated that since I was in Germany, I should learn to live like a German and not like an American. He assigned me to the 37th Transportation Group Trailer Transfer Attachment at Turley Barracks, an old German facility that housed underground Pant! her Tanks in the massive courtyard that was captured by the Americans near the end of WW II. There I performed maintenance inspections and learned all about TMO operations. Lt. Kennedy was my mentor for three months. After listing to company complaints at Battalion Staff Meetings, Lt Kennedy turned down a promotion for his own Truck Company and I was reassigned to the 68th Transportation Medium Truck Company located at Taylor Barracks performing all of the Duties CO 1 LT Burns did not want to perform. My most memorable assignment was to visit so called lost equipment storage facilities of which one was Portable Bridge assemblies that we had been trained on when attending Engineer OCS and could recognize the components and after research discovered the bridge components had been in storage since WWII and were being maintained by German Maintenance Crews and also the Army had lost their inventory locations. I had also discovered after research these bridge components were the only ones in Europe and reported back to the Battalion Com! mander and suggested the Army should separate bridge assemblies to other strategic locations and not have all in on location. Low and behold within two weeks our company and two other truck companies plus two other Truck Battalions were ordered to proved 10 trucks with S&P trailers daily for the next two months to haul bridge components to other points in Europe to ensure bridge assemblies would be available if needed.

A funny but serious experience, CO Burns took a two week family vacation to tour Europe. I was put in-charge as temp CO. The First Sergeant was frustrated and informed me things had to change to improve Discipline and NCO Moral. I asked what had to be done. Low and behold the First Sergeant presented me with 19 Article 15 documents that had been put previously put off for various reasons, ie drunk and disorderly, disrespect, vehicle accidents, fighting, civilian altercations and others not to mention. I said Top, I will review and we together along with the NCOs' will determine the validity. I presented and issued 19 Article 15's prior to the CO returning from vacation. Boy did I get chewed out by the CO. I had to report to the Battalion Commander who had reviewed the documents and two weeks later I was promoted to 1st LT and assigned as the CO of the 69th Truck Company located back at Turley Barracks. From all of the staff meetings everyone knew the 69th Truck Company was not in good shape. We only had 15 trucks out of 61 assigned on the road, the company had failed the previous CMMI Inspection along with the IG Inspection, Moral was low among the NCOs' and believe me it was a challenge. The exiting CO exited and handed me several files and said good luck and left on vacation prior to going to Viet Nam.

From the 68th Trans Company, the word had gotten out about me being called the Hanging Judge. I had a great First Sergeant in the 69th Truck Company of which I quickly discover received no backing from the previous CO. One month later the Group Commander notified our Battalion of the up and coming CMMI inspection. In review of the previous inspection, the 69Th Company scored 32 points out of 100 possible. With previous experience from OCS, Basic, and AIT I was able to work with my NCO'S to obtain a score of 97%. It was the second highest score of all companies in the 37th Group. The first person to congratulate was The Battalion Sergeant Major and then the Battalion Commander 28th Trans Battalion who both asked what made the change. I simply stated it was what I had learned from previous inspections and doing your homework to cover deficiencies and fill out the appropriate request for material cards establishing qualified amounts of TOE to be replaced with new product. After three months 2nd LT Damon was assigned to our Unit. Lt. Damon was a physical wreck and always asked me to unlock his knees with a gentle tap on the back side. I said how did you get in the Army. He responded they were giving away promotions to 2nd Lt's so I stood in line. I later discovered that Lt Damon had played a lot of Soccer and football and became injured numerous times. I also discovered that 2nd LT Damon was a Graduate from WestPoint and number 1 in his graduating class. We made a good team together. After eighteen months in Germany I was promoted to Captain Maas and I gave up my Company to become the Battalion Maintenance Officer of the 28th Transportation Battalion for the final three months of my tour in Germany with Lt Damon becoming the new CO.

I received Orders to go next to guess what, Thailand, the country I knew little about. Remember the dream sheet. It all came true.

I went to Thailand and discovered that I and another Officer with 19 years due to retire were staying at the Cohopia Hotel in Bangkok. Our assignments were never announced. We watched as officers came and went for a full week. On the 4th day I asked the Personnel Specialist what is going on. He stated your change orders did not catch up with you and both of you were to have stayed at your last duty station.

Eventually I went to Karat to Sub-Thai Headquarters and again was lost for assignment. I discovered two previous acquaintances. First was LT. Col. Scott who I had met at Fort Eustis, and then walking through the headquarters building I discovered Capt. Kennedy my first superior and mentor who had a desk job. It was a small world after all and not Disney Land.

I was assigned to replace the Officer in Charge of TMO II in Karat. I was one of three TMO's in Thailand providing transportation to move troops equipment ammunition and supplies from the Deep Water Port to four air bases located north and west destinations in Thailand. I had my own driver and traveled numerous times to all of the Air Bases and Support Groups in Thailand to coordinate their support needs. My biggest job was to move the 809th Engineer Battalion out of country. Again experience from attending Engineer OCS, and knowledge Engineer Group TOE troop and equipment became valuable noting the 809th had three times more equipment than their TOE allowed. It took longer then Headquarters had planned. Once the 809th Battallion was moved we had to provide buses to move the last of the Battallion from base to depart for home for TV Cameras. Latter I discovered it was all military show and most of the troops went to Viet Nam.

The last three months in Thailand I was assigned as a Liaison Officer to the General's Staff that had relocated from Karat to the Deep Water Port where I had to attend regular meetings. One day I went to breakfast I again saw the Lt. Col. whom I briefly met when entering country and wondered where he had ended up. I was told he was the Port Commander by fellow Officers and to stay away that he was always in a foul mood. I said to fellow Officers I was eating with "Watch me", and went over to his table and sat down to eat breakfast. He said hi and that it was good to see a Friendly Face. No one else would ever eat with him. He was bitter due to having to pull one more short tour and not being allowed to retire state side and be in San Diego with his family. We all made sacrifices in different ways.

I was approached and interviewed by two Personnel Majors, Cleveland and Shelton who tried to convince me to attend the Army War College after my tour in Thailand. I was tired of going to school after spending six years at college and made a fatal mistake and turned down the opportunity to become a Major. I often wonder what and where I could have gone to serve Our Country. I applied for a 90 day early out to finish College to complete a Masters Degree that I had started prior to entering the Army, and was granted a 103 day Early Out. I put in 3 yrs, 6 months and 15 days. I was released at Travis Air Force Base, May 15, 1971.

The best part of my Tour in Thailand was to meet and hear Mimi Van Doran sing at the Karat Officers Club during Christmas. It was good to see an American woman again. Do not read me wrong. Thailand is a very beautiful country and Thai people are about the most gracious people I had ever met. I learned a lot from their culture in a very short time living in their country.

My dreaded part of my tour in Thailand was going to bed at night. After living in my hooch for one week, it was discovered I was sleeping with pith vipers under my bed and lizards crawling over me all night long. It became a nightly ritual to tare the room apart looking for snakes and lizards, stuffing towels in all of the holes and under the doors of the hooch. I still think of them being around.

I returned to College in Chico thinking I could complete a Masters Degree in Education and teach at the Secondary Level, but soon discovered teachers were a dime a dozen upon returning to Chico. I also discovered there was no more "Chico State College", But a California State University, Chico. Since I worked my way through college, I returned as a Student Maintenance Worker, Applied for full-time job as a Building Maintenance Worker for two years, a Supervising Lock-Smith for 10 years and then an Estimator Scheduler for 12 years and retired as a combined duty of Facilities Management and Services Design Manager, Construction Projects Manager, and Building Trades Manager to complete 36 years of full time service to the University. I retired in 2008.

I am married to a wonderful Wife, have two boys from a previous marriage and two step sons. We, Gay and I have resided in a small Mountain Community, Cohasset, CA for approximately 15 years. Located sixteen miles North East of Chico, CA.

Want to Thank all of team who are working hard for the Class Reunion in May 2014 at Fort Belvoir.

I am interested in attending; however it depends on my mother's health. She just turned 96 on June 8th and her quality of health changes daily. A lot of driving is involved. I live approximately 100 miles north of her residence. She has no desire to leave her home. Her home is her security blanket.

May all of you have Peace with each other? It has been great to hear and read all of you life experiences.

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