62nd Highway Patrol (MP)
 Germany      1948 - 1958

Stories of the Highway Patrol





by  Bob Krome





In August of 1957, I decided that I was going join the military service. My intentions were to join the Marine's and when I arrived at the Marine Recruiting Office, the recruiter was not there. I then went to the Air Force recruiting office and once again there was no one there. I also checked the Navy recruiting office and there was also no one there. As I was walking away I heard someone say "can I help you"? Seeing that it was the Army Recruiter, "I said yes, that I would like to join the Army.


I was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey for my basic training and for Military Police training to Fort Gordon, Georgia. On January 1, 1958, I was on my way to Europe on the General Rose. My tour in Europe was to be approximately 32 months. My original orders stated that my assignment was to be with a Military Police unit in Toul, France. Somewhere around the third day at sea, I along with two other soldiers (was) notified to report to the Officer-in-charge. My first thoughts were, what have I done now? Upon reporting to the Officer-in-charge we were informed that our orders had been changed. He noted that we should be proud because we had been selected to report to Heidelberg, West Germany to join an elite group of Military Police called the 62nd Highway Patrol. Arriving in Bremerhaven we found a sergeant in a deuce and a half truck waiting for us, we were on our way to Heidelberg.


Upon arriving in Heidelberg, Major Byrnes gave us a speech about the 62nd Highway Patrol and told us that what we had learned in the United States should be forgotten and that we would be taught to be a patrolman with the 62nd Highway Patrol. With that we got back on the truck and headed to Stuttgart where we stopped to warm-up since it was January and it was very cold in the truck. We then headed (to) Augsberg where I was to be stationed. About three months later they asked if anyone would like to go to the Stuttgart station. I volunteered. There were only thirteen men located at the Stuttgart station and it didn't take long to know all the men and we soon became a family. I will never forget the 62nd Highway Patrol and I was proud to have served in the unit.


On the 28 of September, 1958 the Highway Patrol deactivated and I was assigned to the 793 MP Battalion located in Heilbronn to serve my remaining 9-10 months. Several of the other guys were also assigned to Heilbronn. Approximately four months before coming home, along with a buddy were sitting in the Cafe Blin when I noticed two fraulines enter the Cafe. I immediately told my buddy "I am taking that frauline home with me". He replied that "he would bet me a case of beer that I couldn't get a date with her". The frauline in question was Vera.


Vera had come to the Cafe Blin that day to meet her parents who were to adopt a little girl from a waitress working at the Cafe [they did eventually adopt the little girl]. There were two empty chairs at our table; the waitress ask them to sit with us, and that we were okay and that we were MP's.  I spoke with Vera and discovered that she didn't understand or speak English very well. Vera's parents soon arrived and I offered them a glass of wine. I was broke at the time and I quickly used my high school ring for the wine until my next payday. Her mother and father were real nice. Her father had been a high-ranking officer during the war. He had been taken prisoner in Russia when Vera was only 6 months old. Vera was about 8-9 years old when her father was released from the Russian prisoner of war camp and returned home to Germany.


Considering all that he had gone through during the war, we got along very well after I had answered many questions concerning me. Vera's mother spoke to me in German and when she looked serious, I looked serious, when she would laugh, I laughed. She would say to me "Bob you understand German"? I would reply "nein". She would laugh until the tears rolled off her cheeks. Vera's father, mother, brothers and sisters became my second family. We eventually got engaged and with the help of her father and an interpreter we got all the paperwork done fast and Vera came to America in September 1959.


When Vera arrived in America, I wanted to show her New York City, wouldn't you know, we got lost and ended up in the Bowery. As I looked at Vera I could see by the expression on her face that she was asking herself "what did I get myself into"? The closer we got to my home town the more at ease she seemed to be. Pennsylvania reminds you of Germany. When we arrived at my home my dad stood at the top of the steps of his grocery store and when Vera got out of the car, he yelled in a very loud voice "how are you"? I told my dad that Vera can hear fine but that she does not understand English very well. I also told my parents that they would have to speak slow in order for Vera to understand what they were saying. Fortunately, my folks and relations knew Pennsylvania Dutch and it being very close to the German that Vera spoke.


Vera and I have been married now for over fifty-two years and it only seems like yesterday. We have two sons, three grandchildren, one great-grandchild and another great-grandchild on the way. I spent nearly 40 years in law enforcement in Pennsylvania and retired in 1997. During my career I relied upon the experience and things I learned during my time with the 62nd Highway Patrol while I was stationed in Germany.


Approximately fifteen years after Vera and I were married, my buddy from the Cafe Blin came to visit and ask me if he ever bought me the case of beer that he owed me. We all had a good laugh when we told Vera about the bet. Vera's response was "you mean to tell me that I am here in America based upon a bet for a case of beer'. When my buddy turned seventy years old I was unable to make his party. I sent his son $25.00 to buy is dad a case of Lowenbrau and attach a note stating that this was the case of beer I never received when we made our bet that I couldn't get a date with Vera. That case of beer and the story around the bet ended up being the talk of his birthday celebration.


I not only have great buddies who served with me in the 62nd Highway Patrol but. attending the reunions I got to meet other members of the unit that were stationed throughout Germany. We have all become family over the years. There was never another unit like the 62nd Highway Patrol. Just ask anyone who served in the unit and I am sure that they will agree.   God Bless



Robert A. Krome, Det. C-Augsburg/Stuttgart, 1957-58



This story previously appeared in Volume # 15, Issue # 2, April-May-June 2012 edition of "The White Mice"


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