Below is a dissertation by Glen Griffitts after a visit to Wasserkuppe
By Glen Griffitts
August 16, 2000
My wife and I just returned from a 4 week vacation to Germany and Austria. While there, I visited our old 601st AC&W Squadron Headquarters at Rothwesten A.B. and Detachment (OL#1) at Wasserkuppe. The visit to Wasserkuppe was even more special because we shared the experience Earl "Dude" Klutts and his wife, Gayle. Dude and I served together at Wasserkuppe form 1958 to 1960.
We had lunch and a cold glass of bier at Peterchen's Mondfahrt. Both Herr and Frau Peters are now deceased. The restaurant is now operated by Herr Peter's son. We visited with his wife who was very gracious. She wanted us to convey to all veterans that the Peters very much appreciate visits from old Air Force and Army friends.
We then took a self guided tour of what remains of the 601st AC&W Squadron OL #1. We found the base is now in private hands and being remodeled into a youth hotel. Dude and I had no trouble finding the old NCO club. It also is being remodeled, but the stage, bar and dance floor are still prominent. The "swimming pool," after 40 years, is still unusable. Remodeling of the living quarters are nearly complete. I located my old room on the second floor. To my disappointment, the door was locked. We also tried paying our respects to "Fritz". However, his tomb wasn't open to tourists.
From the compound we walked up to the hill top tech site that is now only a shadow of it's former self. It is currently used for micro wave and communications relay purposes. Eintreten Verboten ! There is no radar on the hill. Only one dome remains and it stands empty. I learned there is some controversy over whether it should be taken down. The local citizens prefer the dome remain as is and believe it symbolizes the skyline of Wasserkuppe. Indeed, it is a prominent feature that can be seen on the summit from about 30 kilometers. One would hope it stays that way.
The glider fields are very busy this time of year with two paved runways on the hill and the sky filled with gliders . There is a large sail plane museum (Deutsches Segelflugmuseum) near the old front gate. The Wasserkuppe glider school is still open to would-be pilots. The nature trails are nicely maintained and well used by hikers and tourists.
With souvenir shops and kiosks selling bratwurst, beer and tee shirts, the grounds surrounding the radar station had a carnival atmosphere. While it is probably good for the local economy, I found it to be a bit sad. We remembered Wasserkuppe for the serenity of the mountain. It has been said that you can never go home, and I suppose that is true, but we do have those precious memories of the good men with whom we served. That will be enough.
Glen Griffitts 601st AC&W Sqdrn. 1957-1960
Glen and Dude
Dude, Gayle and Glen
I had asked Glen to comment on this building therefore his detailed description above.