62nd Highway Patrol (MP)
 Germany      1948 - 1958

Stories of the Highway Patrol



Published in the Stars and Stripes Newspaper, Saturday, February 23, 195?.





Debris left after fire and explosion of ammo truck.




Frankfurt [Special]--- A 2 ½ ton ammunition truck returning from a routine training exercise went out of control on an icy hill north of Nurnburg Wednesday, crashed into an embankment, and burned.


The fire ignited the load of high explosive projectiles on the truck and the resulting explosions lasted for about an hour.


Two enlisted men in the truck were injured and hospitalized, but were reported in satisfactory condition Thursday.  The Army identified them as the driver, Pfc. Alvin L. Spears, 22 of Monroe, LA and his assistant, Pfc. William R. Bennett, 20 of Canton, Ohio.


Witnesses reported that the truck was proceeding in convoy toward Nurnburg when the trailer slid on an icy patch on the autobahn, causing the truck driver to lose control.  The vehicle then slid down an embankment and struck a tree.  The impact burst the fuel tank.  The gasoline was ignited by either the engine or sparks from the exhaust.


The two injured men were pulled clear of the wrecked truck and burning gasoline by Sfc Vernon Holtz, 26 of Plato, Minn. who had been driving the vehicle behind the ammunition truck.


Holtz, aware of the danger of an explosion, moved the men more than 125 feet from the fire and dispersed the onlookers only minutes before the ammunition began to detonate.


NOTE:  Nurnburg (as named and spelled by the Army during the era of the Highway Patrol) refers to the city now known as Nürnberg or Nuremberg.




This story previously appeared in Volume # 5, Issue # 4, July-August 2002 edition of "The White Mice"


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