Following is an article from the Stars and Stripes. It can give us some idea of the conditions experienced by those who were stationed there. The article was donated by Glen Griffits.

Wednesday, June 1, 1960

Riding The Thermal Currents
by Ernie Weatherall, Staff writer

Anyone who has been stationed at the 601st Aircraft Control and Warning
Squadron's lonely radar outpost atop Wasserkuppe Mountain, overlooking
the Soviet Zone, will tell you that during winter they may as well be
stationed at the DEW Line in the Arctic Circle.

Isolated by ice and snow, with only a tiny village at the foot of the
mountain where they can get away from the daily routine, when the road
is clear, to a small gasthaus that serves as an unofficial service club,
the airman feel more like infantrymen. After a tour of duty at "The
Koop," they feel strange being transferred to a busy air base.

The home of the 601st was a glider school before World War II. It was
here that the Luftwaffe of World War II found its wings. Forbidden to
build warplanes by the Treaty of Versailles, German youths learned the
principles of flying with gliders. Powered flight was easy to master by
glider students when fighter planes were built.

One of the young men who flew during those days now conducts a school
at Wasserkuppe. He is Gunter Heinzel, once a test pilot for the
Luftwaffe, but whose first love is soaring.

He is one of the top glider pilots in Germany. Last summer he flew his
sailplane from Wasserkuppe to Paris in less than nine hours.

Heinzel explained the philosophy that makes soaring enthusiasts.
"Gliding is like sail boating," he began. "A man cannot push buttons to
call upon power. Instead, he is completely alone. He is pitched against
nature with her unpredictable winds and air currents.

When a man is airborne he has to depend entirely on himself. There is
no crew, no copilot or engine. He must call on his self-reliance,
character and nerve. That is why soaring will bring out the best in him,
or perhaps the worst."

Several airmen of the 601st have taken gliding lessons, but more have
just gone along for a ride in a two-seater sail plane for the

Anyone making his first glider flight will be impressed by one thing:
Gliders are not as silent as they appear form the ground.

Gliders are really good little noisemakers. They produce sounds from a
soft swish to a scream, depending on the design and speed. To glider
aces like Heinzel, the cracking of the airframe as it flexes under load,
the snap and pop of the structure expanding under temperature changes,
the squeak and rattle of moving parts all mean something.

These aerodynamic sounds tell him his speed, or whether he is
encountering a lift producing thermal or updraft.

Sounds even guide the glider pilot as to his proper path through the
air. If he is slipping or skidding the sound tells him. The personal
bond between the pilot and plane is no more evident than in soaring when
the machine talks to him who knows how to listen.

To those who have never flown except with power, gliding seems sort of
a miracle. That a plane without an engine can soar miles above the earth
is almost unbelievable.

"But men first flew without power," Heinzel assures his worried
passengers. "Nature is supplying the power and she is just as
dependable, when you follow her rules, as man-made engines."

The flat plateau like mountain top is ideal for soaring. Although some
fans soar all year round, the season starts in April and lasts until
November. In the summer, the air space around Wasserkuppe is like a lake
filled with sailboats.

Each August, the International Glider Meet is held in the mountain. On
rare occasions, some of the sail planes have landed in the nearby Soviet
Zone buy mistake. Most of them have been released after paying a fine.

Glider fans in the Communist East Germany have not been allowed to fly
near the zonal border since several soared to freedom a few summers

One airman in the 601st summed up gliding this way: "I used to think
those guys were off their rockers flying those kites until one gave me a
ride last summer. Now, I can't wait until I get my pilot's license."



The 601st Operating
Location #1 atop the




A home away from home



Home in the winter


and more winter




1956 winter on the Koop


Dave Brabec and Glen Griffits



Below is a Personnel Action Memorandum with names of airmen who participated in a firing of the M-1 carbine in December of 1958.

501st Tactical Control Wing
United States Air Force
APO 171, New York, New York

Number 186
The FNA, this Sqdn, OLA #1, fired the .30 Cal. Carbine .

1. Abel, Jack L                     A/2C              AF17441865
2. Abromaitas, Peter J         A/2C              AF17502027
3. Adkinson, Raymond        A/3C               AF28056251
4. Aime, Marion O               A/3C               AF18526537
5. Alferi, Victor                    A/2C               AF16519962
6. Allen, Robert L                S/Sgt               AF12198583
7. Arsenault, Robert J         A/2C               AF11321954
8. Autry, J C                         A/2C               AF18497470
9. Awalt, Donald F               A/2C               AF13570188
10. Bahn, Willie W               A/2C               AF18507492
11. Bailey, Perry C               A/2C               AF14628353
12. Bartling, Stanley L          A2/C              AF17484212
13. Bauer, Robert B              S/Sgt             AF16384787
14. Beaver, James E             A/3C              AF13630547
15. Berkowitz, Gerald            S S/Sgt          AF12462474
16. Blodgett, Jerome A          A/2C             AF11323161
17. Blumetta, Peter                A/1C             AF42267236
18. Boyl, Ottis J                      S/Sgt            AF14448391
19. Brabec, David G               A/3C            AF16559948
20. Bringle, J B                       A/2C            AF17494781
21. Brooks, Richard J             A/3C            AF13632014
22. Broussard, Richard           A/3C            AF25960412
23. Brown, James L                 A/2C            AF25349951
24. Brown, Kenneth L              A/2C            AF16281316
25. Bumgarner, Wayne             A/2C           AF14622983
26. Bunch, Clifford                    A/1C           AF23173041
27. Burgess, O. T.                     A/1C           AF6947545
28. Burns, Robert D                  S/Sgt          AF12419549
29. Burrows, Bruce R               A3/C           AF13632708
30. Burton, Marion O               T/Sgt           AF14278320
31. Carpenter, Thomas             A/3C           AF13632700
32. Chastain, Clyde D               A/3C           AF18544092
33. Conrad, Eugene C               A/C             AF23621853
34. Coody, Wandall W              A/3C           AF18522002
35. Dekany, Ronald                  A/2C           AF11315704
36. Dixon, Norman                    A/2C           AF13529561
37. Dodson, Kay J                     A/2C           AF11306047
38. Dolin, Donald T.                  A/2C           AF14571634
39. Domenech-vila, M               A/2C           AF10200966
40. Driscoll, Robert W              A/3C            AF12500014
41. Duczkowski, J V                  S/Sgt            AF16370736
42. Duffy, Ronald W                 T/Sgt            AF11202013
43. Dunn, Robert F.                  A/3C             AF14580082
44. Ecker, David W.                  S/Sgt            AF16498231
45. Eickoff, James L                 A/3C             AF27129569
46. Elmore, William H               A/2C            AF14586060
47. Fales, Gary A                      A/1C             AF16504070
48. Fennell, Leroy R                 T/Sgt             AF13308013
49. Fink, Gary P                         A/B               AF17439449
50. Fisher, Charles F                 A/3C             AF13629837
51. Flagg, Richard W                 S/Sgt             AF11230646
52. Frankie E Miller                  A/3C              AF18509703
53. Friend, Sherl E                     A/2C              AF13552218
54. Fruzzetti, W P                       A/2C              AF11336851
55. Garcia, Jesus L                    A/2C              AF18499597
56. German, Wesley W             T/Sgt              AF12444153
57. Gerrior, Joseph A                A/2C              AF11317597
58. Gimm, Robert G                  A/2C               AF1746013
59. Gober, Robert L                  A/2C               AF15557121
60. Gordon, Vernon A               A/2C               AF18523575
61. Griffitts, Glen L                   A/2C               AF19583054
62. Hauk, John E                       A/2C               AF1352845
63. Hearding, William R            S/Sgt              AF34630697
64. Helmstetter, Eugene J.        A/3C              AF13632136
65. Henrikson, Jens P.               S/Sgt              AF11232447
66. Hodge, Herbert B.               A/2C               AF16539850
67. Hoffman, Jerome A             A/2C               AF15557116
68. Hurst, Billy J                        A/2C               AF12508047
69. Izer, Richard C                     A/2C               AF13582862
70. Jeffers, Joseph P                  A/2C               AF19526079
71. Jene, Chester J Jr                A/3C               AF18526170
72. Johnson, Davin C                 A/2C               AF11320488
73. Jones, Daryl W                     A/3C               AF26812311
74. Josephson, William D           A/2C               AF11346281
75. Julian, Jack W                      T/Sgt               AF34600659
76. Karau, Clifford E                  A/3C                AF16549637
77. Kessler, Edwin J                   A/3C                AF17483058
78. Keuseman, Howard E           S/Sgt                AF17228437
79. King, J M                              A2/C                 AF19555692
80. Kinslow, Ralph                      A1/C                 AF17361629
81. Klatt, R S                               A/2C                AF15561219
82. Klutts, Julius E                      A/3C                AF24916193
83. Kunzman, Carl                       A/3C                AF12534852
84. Leavitt, Raymond A              A/3C                AF11343432
85. Ledford, Robert L                 A/2C                AF14635432
86. Lee, Ronald C                       A/2C                 AF15340219
87. Lee, William F                       A/2C                 AF14616585
88. Licheta, Frank P                    A/2C                 AF12507404
89. Little, John D                         A/2C                 AF17483057
90. Little, Thurman O                  A/3C                AF1363339?
91. Lovin, James L                      A/3C                AF18529689
92. Mann, Fred F                         A/2C                AF21775284
93. Mastrangelo, John                A/3C                 AF21703443
94. McBenge, Frank                   A/2C                 AF17464277
95. McDonald, John L                A/3C                 AF25531047
96. McIntosh, Robert A              A/3C                 AF12553651
97. McKelvie, Robert E              A/2C                 AF17483098
98. McReynolds, Ronald             A/2C                AF17441865
99. Merritt, Marley C                  A/3C                AF14626792
100. Miller, Richard L                  A/3C                AF17476636
101. Moody, Thomas H                S/Sgt                AF19489094
102. Moore, Verl D                      A/3C                 AF19571019
103. Murray, Edward E                A/2C                 AF12507330
104. Murray, Philip G                   A/3C                 AF1742982?
105. Murry, Peter A                      A/2C                AF12474581
106. Nelson, J B                            A/2C                AF19547602
107. Owens, Donald E                   T/Sgt               AF16285068
108. Paulman, George A               A/2C                AF16550176
109. Penn, Harry T                       A/2C                 AF13578747
110. Perry, Joseph V                    A/3C                 AF11346363
111. Perry, Rudolph                      A/3C                 AF13533292
112. Pierson, Leo                          A/2C                 AF17470565
113. Plane, Emil J                         S/Sgt                 AF22899170
114. Plowden, Robert W              T/Sgt                 AF14271033
115. Powell, Harvey A                 A/1C                  AF13530996
116. Powers, Francis D                A/3C                  AF21277684
117. Printy, Donald                      A/3C                  AF17511052
118. Raines, David H                  A/3C                  AF34389145
119. Rawl, Jerald A                     A/2C                  AF14624401
120. Rigdon, Elvin                       A/2C                  AF14602081
121. Rishel, Richard W               A/2C                  AF11297947
122. Ritter, James                       A/2C                  AF13560625
123. Robinson, Charles S            A/1C                  AF21209098
124. Roetman, Raymond             A/2C                  AF14637633
125. Rose, Barney                       A/2C                  AF18532239
126. S mond, D.F.                        A/2C                  AF21284485
127. Sapone, Carl R                    A/2C                  AF19577163
128. Schneck, George P              S/Sgt                  AF24001189
129. Shopfner, Donald A             A/3C                  AF18406558
130. Small, William F                   S/Sgt                 AF14560029
131. Smith, Tim G                       M/Sgt                 AF17226210
132. Smith, Wilson R                  T/Sgt                  AF13328257
133. Smoak, W. H.                      A/2C                  AF14566636
134. Strickland, Bobby D            A/2C                  AF14557975
135. Suina, Joseph C                   A/2C                  AF18518897
136. Thompson, R G                    A/2C                  AF16538575
137. Thorpe, John Jr                    A/2C                  AF11299513
138. Thrall, Robert A                   A/2C                  AF17474677
139. Tucker, Rodell                      A/3C                  AF16563282
140. Turner, Clarence Jr              A/2C                  AF14635319
141. VanTassel, David J              A/2C                  AF11307399
142. Vickery, Donald                    A/1C                  AF24651263
143. Wade, S E                              A1/C                  AF13369387
144. Weddle, George                    A/2C                  AF17460791
145. Wetzler, Merlyn                    A/3C                  AF17468466
146. Wilson, Paul E                       A/3C                  AF18526161
147. Winters, Thomas                   S/Sgt                 AF12436084
148. Woomer, Van O                    T/Sgt                  AF32775001
149. Wurster, Malvin A                A/3C                  AF17483840
150. Yurcak, John M                    S/Sgt                  AF11275226

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