The 406th Occupier

Page 19


W ith enemy action cleared from the skies and the Germans rolled back for their final stand along the Elbe, the Group personnel relaxed, awaiting the final declaration of victory. Although planes remained in the air and pilots continued with their training program, Colonel Grossetta announced that the 406th had definitely been designated as an occupational group.

German Scenes Top: typical scene that greets travelers entering Germany
from the Holland side. Middle: typical living quarters used by
the Group at Handorf, near Munster. Bottom: the 512th boys,
"sweating out" the opening of the mess hall.

Soon after the announcement, several changes took place. The Group moved to present quarters at Nordholz, in the Bremen port area, and Lt. Col. Converse B. Kelly became group commander, succeeding Colonel Grossetta, who joined 29th Tactical Air Command.

The move to Nordholz was made about June 5, 1945, with many captured vehicles being used for transportation of the "gypsy caravan" to the northernmost point the Group has occupied. But soon after arrival at Nordholz all captured vehicles were discarded and transportation problems arose anew.

Since arrival at Nordholz, the Group has been under three different commands. First the 29th, then Ninth TAC, and now 12th Tactical Air Command and 64th Fighter Wing.

A constant change of personnel has been underway since arriving n the Bremen port area. The final shipment of more than 500 enlisted men from the Group on September 18, 1945 just about cleared all units of original 406th members, starting them on their homeward trail. As this paper goes to press, additional changes were slated for officer personnel.

Several additions were made to Group facilities since arriving at Nordholz. A Red Cross Aero Club was finally established, and one of the ugliest buildings on the field was transformed into perhaps the most beautiful—interior, at least. The work was accomplished under the direction of Miss Mary Malsed and Miss Frances Wilson. A Group newspaper was started upon the supervision of Capt. Charles C. Gremillion, director of the I&E program, and T/Sgt. Houston A. Lawing of the 514th squadron. The NCO Club was opened again with S/Sgt. Kenneth Pearson in charge, later being succeeded by S/Sgt. John Di Tata. The club is now under the direction of Pfc. Paul Arriola. M/Sgt. Clyde F. Welch has served as president of the organization since it was originated at Cretteville, in Normandy. The Officers club has also been an active unit thruout the campaign.