62nd Highway Patrol (MP)
 Germany      1948 - 1958

Stories of the Highway Patrol



Memories Of The Highway Patrol, part 2

by  Edward F. Smith





My first few months were great and I soon became aquatinted with the local area and the customs of the land. The German people as a whole were very friendly and pleasant to be with. At this time in my life, I had a better understanding of people, having been half way around the world and not yet 20 years old. Only their culture is different, the people are the same.


One morning In August, Tony Coder and I went to the Snack Bar tor coffee, or a meal, I am not sure which. As we entered through the side door I noticed a young and beautiful German girl whom I had not seen before come from the kitchen with a tray of clean glasses, I told Tony that the new girl was sure good looking, I'll have to have a date with her. I also thought to myself, this Is the girl I want to marry; it was love at first sight. No one could tell me much about her, or where she came from. I learned from the other girls that her name was Irmgard, I would make regular trips [more often than necessary] to the Snack Bar just to get to see her. I would ask her for a date and it she spoke English. I guess I must have made ~ pest of myself. I had never seen her talking to anyone except in German, and I wasn't sure if she had a boy friend or not.


It had taken approximately six months, and only then with the help of Gerda Williams, one of the cashiers, for me to get Irmgard to agree on a date. I was to pick Irmgard up at the Snack Bar at 7:00 p m.  I arrived early, and Irmgard probably did too. We climbed into the Rock-N-Roll auto and proceeded to one of the movies in the Mannheim area. April Love was playing, it had just come out and I thought she might like it. I spoke very little German, and she spoke no English, there was not a great deal of conversation between the two of us. I tried to be the perfect gentlemen, it had taken me approximately six months to get this far, and I certainly wasn't going to ruin it in one night. After the movie, I am not sure just what we did. Irmgard was home at a decent hour and while on the steps leading to the front door, I ask if I could see her again the next night. I am not 50 sure that she understood what I had said, we said goodnight without even a kiss.


The next night when I showed up at her door, she seemed surprised, and I can understand . why, since we had only been able to communicate in a few broken words the night before. On this night we went to the German movie in Seckenheim. I thought that turn about was a fair thing to do. This would also help me learn German, and while in the American movie, she would learn some English. Things went a lot better on the second date.


While stationed in Karlsruhe during the winter of 57-58, I commuted back and forth to Seckenheim to see Irmgard as much as possible. Some times the roads were covered with ice and snow. I remember one evening while on duty as Desk Sgt., it started to snow, it was a real blizzard. I managed to get every one up and on the road; we were getting calls like crazy. The snow flakes were as big as sliver dollars, and the accumulation was almost a foot in one hour. Gerd [Fritz] Konieczny said that he would go south. I never saw him again until three days later. He must have had a least thirty to forty accident reports. He stayed and ate with the German land Police. Fritz had managed to call in several times to let us know that he was okay.


On one occasion while traveling from Karlsruhe to Seckenheim, the autobahn was icy in spots, especially those places where the sun could not get to, I was getting close to Heidelberg when I came up behind a German man on a motorcycle. He was traveling at approximately forty-five miles an hour, and each time he passed over the shaded spots, his motorcycle would fish-tail. I said to myself. I think I had better stay back and away from this guy; he is about ready to take a fall. Sure enough, I didn't have long to wait, at the next underpass, the ice got him. He went rolling down the pavement; his motorcycle was spinning circles on the autobahn. I managed to slow down and come to a safe stop. By the time I got out of my car, the German man had gotten up and was trying to catch his motorcycle. He finally managed to get the thing stopped and pushed to the side of the road; he then proceeded to check himself and the motorcycle. It wasn't long before he was on his way once again, he was very lucky that there wasn't a lot of traffic at the time.


Sometime during the last part of February 1958, I returned to the Seckenheim station for duty. On March 7, 1958, Irmgard and I were married and moved into a nice first floor apartment at #36 Bergstr, Heidelberg, a great location just above the Neckar River. A five minute walk and you were in the center of Old Heidelberg. What a great time to be in Germany.


On September 20th of 58, the 62nd deactivated and we were all assigned to Company ďA" 382nd Military Police Battalion. Most of us continued patrolling the autobahns. Of course it was without the white sedans and HP brassards. We had to change to the regular MP brassards and they painted the sedans olive drab.


In February of 1959, Irmgard and I returned to the states.


I have lots of memories of those days, some I have printed in previous newsletters. There are also a lot of memories which I will never tell, at least not in print. Sometimes itís best to leave things to memory.




This story previously appeared in Volume # 6, Issue # 5, September-October 2003 edition of "The White Mice"


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