Units on Post
B Battery 6th MSL BN 59th ADA
59th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Distinctive Unit Insignia
A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Per fess vair and Argent, in base a thistle Proper. Attached above from a wreath Argent and Azure a demi-lion rampant Gules grasping in dexter claw a sword Or. Attached above and to the sides of the shield a Gold scroll inscribed “DEFENDIMUS” in Red letters.
The vair on the shield is from the arms of the Coast Defenses of New York, the thistle is one of the emblems of Lorraine and is borne on the arms of Nancy not far from St. Mihiel. The crest it taken from the arms of St. Menehould in red for Artillery. The motto translates to “We Defend.”
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 59th Artillery Regiment on 15 August 1930. It was redesignated for the 59th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons) on 23 November 1953. The insignia was redesignated for the 59th Artillery Regiment on 5 December 1958. It was redesignated effective 1 September 1971, for the 59th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.
Coat Of Arms
Per fess vair and Argent, in base a thistle Proper.
On a wreath Argent and Azure a demi-lion rampant Gules armed and langued of the second grasping in dexter claw a sword Or.
DEFENDIMUS (We Defend).
The vair on the shield is from the arms of the Coast Defenses of New York, the thistle is one of the emblems of Lorraine and is borne on the arms of Nancy not far from St. Mihiel.
The crest it taken from the arms of St. Menehould in red for Artillery.
The coat of arms was originally approved for the 59th Artillery Regiment on 1 April 1921.
It was amended to correct the motto on 28 April 1927.
It was redesignated for the 59th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion on 21 April 1949.
The insignia was redesignated for the 59th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons) on 23 November 1953.
It was redesignated for the 59th Artillery Regiment on 5 December 1958.
It was redesignated effective 1 September 1971, for the 59th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.
6th Msl BN
The 6th Missile Battalion 59th Artillery ADA (HAWK, HOMING ALL THE WAY KILLER) was activated at Fort Bliss, Texas in 1960. After training at Bliss the battalion was sent to Germany in 1961. The 6th/59th was part of the 10th Arty Group, 32nd Arty. Brigade, Seventh Army. The battalion commanded by LTC. F.J.Donaghue convoyed from Bremerhaven with each unit dropping off to their assigned locations. Battalion headquarters was located at Fligerhorst Kaserne outside of Hanau. A&C btry. located to Fliegerhorst Kaserne as well. “B” btry. was assigned to the Kaserne at Babenhausen. “D” btry. ended up in Wiesbaden.
The primary mission of the battalion was to provide missile air defense coverage in Germany. I have included a news article which pretty much sums up what HAWK is all about. HAWK is a low to medium altitude, ground to air missile with incredible accuracy. Once we “ locked on” the hostile didn’t have much of a chance.
Our unit was located behind the 5th/77th just before the airfield fence. The barracks area consisted of three gray and drab units. The HAWK site was positioned beyond the airfield which was surrounded by barbed wire with one central gate. This was a secure site with walking and stationary armed guards. I am not sure if any would remember a posting that was issued by the 36th group HQ. that all base personnel avoid the site as the guards were armed with live ammo and would fire. (After appropriate warnings of course)
As was the case with all units in Germany the battalion participated in many readiness alerts. One never knew when the alert came down if it was the real thing or just another practice alert. At times during these alerts the btry. would remain on site. Other alerts we would pack up all equipment including radars, launchers with missiles and head out for a field exercise. Nothing was left behind.
Capt. Norman L. Brame Jr. was the Btry commander when the unit arrived in Germany. At some point in 1963 he located to BN. HQ in Hanau. Capt. Charles E.Deal became the Btry commander. He remained with the unit into 1965 when he was re-assigned to a unit in the states. Capt. Deal subsequently served in Viet Nam in an advisory capacity with the South Korean forces.
Once a year the units in the battalion would go back to the states for live fire exercises at the White Sands Missile range to certify their readiness. “B” btry was designated as an on line, ready to launch unit should the occasion present itself.
The 6th/59th has a long storied past. It no longer exists except in the annals of Army Artillery history. In Sept of 1972 the battalion was redesignated as 3rd/59nd. ADA.
I have listed some of the names of those with whom I served during my tour in Babenhausen from 1963-1965:
1ST SGT Vernon Bell, SSG G Art Pugh (married a local girl), James Martin who also married a local girl. I believ her father owned a gasthous in Babenhausen? ,SFC Kilbreath, SP4 Edward D. Anderson, SP5 T.G.Henderson, 2nd Louis Kubus, 2nd LT Clausen, 1st LT Hunt, 1st LT Frederick Eley, SP4 Joe Zoppi, SP4 Frank Schwartz, CWO Albert Waters, PFC Meyers, Brown, J.D.Cook, Brunson, Zipperer, SP4 Hay, SSG Magee, SSG Son Taylor, SP5 Joe Collins, SGT Bollig, SSG Enis.
B Battery 6th Msl BN, 59th Arty
1963 - 1965
SNAFU at the Hawk site
While tranfering a Hawk missile, the launcher crew accidentally "Dropped" one.
All photos © Wayne White
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