62nd Highway Patrol (MP)
 Germany      1948 - 1958

Stories of the Highway Patrol

 
 

THE MUNICH HIT AND RUN


by  Paul V. Elmstrom

Detachment "C", Augsburg and Nurnberg Stations

 

 

 

 

During the winter of 1957 I was pulling night patrol on the Autobahn A6W in the Ulm area. My partner, and senior patrolman, was Sergeant Monte Devere. About thirty-five years old, Monte had served in the Military Police Corps in World War Two and Korea. He was short, well built, and blonde headed and a dead ringer for the actor James Cagney. I think he was once a policeman in civilian life. He was a pro and knew what he was doing; he was well read, liked to discuss literature, and his written and spoken English was perfect. Beyond that he wrote poetry and an occasional short story.  It must have been the job, but the Highway Patrol always had interesting people.

 

Nothing much was happening and the traffic diminished as the night dragged on. We stopped for coffee and killed some time at the Ulm EES branch and then returned to the Autobahn. It was a nothing night until a call came through that a damaged dark colored seven Charlie sedan, wanted for a hit and run accident in Munich, was headed towards Ulm. The report said the occupants were armed and dangerous and that we should proceed with all caution. Later, we spotted a Seven Charlie sedan with one headlight out parked on the center divider of the Autobahn. We pulled over and positioned our car, bright headlights on, facing the sedans dimmed and broken headlights. As we pulled up I cocked my pistol and Monte said "This might be bad ... Keep your head and don't get jumpy."

 

We dismounted from our car and I covered Monte as he approached the sedan. As he approached it, the sedan's motor raced and roared. I leaned in to shoot, but held off for a split second and the motor stopped. We ordered everyone out with their hands up and two men immediately exited. We positioned them stretched leaning against the sedan. Monte covered them and I moved in and checked back seat of the car where two women and three small children were packed. I ordered them out. They were scared and moved quickly to the sedan's side and lined up alongside the two men. The adults were drunk and cooperative; the children looked scared. There were no weapons in the car or on the occupants. We contacted Ulm and two cars came and helped us transport the people to the Ulm M.P. station where they were booked for "Leaving the Scene of an Accident", and "Driving Under the Influence."

 

Later, I realized that if! had fired at the sedan, which I almost did, I could have hit the women and children. That thought really scared me and I'm eternally grateful to Monte for cautioning me to keep my head and not get jumpy. Months later, at the Courts Martial it transpired that the driver of the sedan hit a car in the rear and sideswiped another car leaving the scene of the accident. No information was developed about why the sedan's occupants were broadcasted as armed and dangerous.

 

Years later, I learned that Monte had been killed in action. "Master Sergeant Monte Devere, 9th MP Company, was killed in action on January 10, 1970 by a land mine at Dong Tam, Vietnam. A native of Pot Towns, Washington, Devere was forty-seven years old and had completed twenty-seven years of service as a Military Policeman. He was well regarded by his comrades who nick named him pop." I believe Monte left two daughters behind. He was proud to be a soldier.

 

 

 

 


This story previously appeared in Volume # 14, Issue # 3, July-Aug-Sept 2011 edition of "The White Mice"


 

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