Taylor Barracks - American Occupation

American Occupation

The American garrison has its roots with the American occupational forces immediately following World War II. In those days, Mannheim installations were administered by 2nd Military District (renamed Heidelberg Military Post in 1947, Headquarters Area Command in 1952 and in 1965 North Baden Area) that also managed Heidelberg, Worms and Karlsruhe posts.

The barracks was named after Pvt. 1st Class Cecil V. Taylor who posthumously received a Silver Star for courage in the face of the enemy. Taylor continued to fire his machinegun, though mortally wounded, fighting off an enemy counterattack in Beilstein, Germany, on 18 April 1945. Taylor was assigned to 399th Inf Reg, 100th Infantry Division.

In January 1948, the 547th and 584th Ordnance Companies were moved to Taylor Bks from Mannheim-Rheinau to operate Heidelberg Military Post Ordnance. In June, the companies were joined to form the 7859th Ordnance Company and over the years this unit was renamed many times becoming the current Maintenance Activity Mannheim.

In Dec 1949, 503rd Engineer Light Equipment Company moved from Berlin to Taylor Barracks. At Taylor Barracks they were involved in German-American friendship projects such as building sports fields etc.. As the Cold War became hotter, they were increasingly sent into the French occupation zone near Kaiserslautern to build various military facilities. One of these was then called Rhein Ammunition Depot, now called Rhine Ordnance Barracks. In 1950 the French zone roads and economy were lagging far behind the British and American zones. The escalation of the Cold War mandated the French zone roads be upgraded. An Autobahn bridge near Kaiserslautern destroyed by German engineers near the war’s end made long stretches of the autobahn useless. The 503rd built a by pass road around the bridge to facilitate traffic movement on the Autobahn. In early 1951, the entire company moved from Taylor to Ettlingen, near Karlsruhe. At this time the 501st & 502nd Engineer Companies were also at Taylor Barracks but the 501st was deactivated in 1950 and in early 1951, the 502nd, a pontoon bridge unit, moved to Phillips Barracks, Karlsruhe.

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