The compound where the 497th Reconnaissance Technical Group set up shop on Germany's beautiful Rhine River had a long and colorful, multi-national history dating back to 1923. That history was largely the result of the political and military reconstruction of Europe following and between two world wars.
Here then, is a brief look back at the history of the Schierstein Kaserne
Unfortunately, no evidence has ever come to light authenticating rumors of secret tunnels, torpedo manufacturing facilities, or sub-sub-subbasements in the compound. And, although nobody has actually seen the ghosts of drowned submarine crews in the basements, the screeching of the water pipes and the echoes from the upper floors gave the impression that building S-1 might indeed be haunted.
First, the French
The Schierstein Compound dates back to 1923. Under terms of the armistice imposed on Germany 11 November 1918, allied armies occupied the Rhineland. In a few weeks, French troops of the 33rd Corps had officially occupied Wiesbaden. When they moved into Schierstein, the French brought two batteries of the 133rd (horsedrawn) Field Artillery Regiment, and an additional 350 men and 300 horses of the 243rd Regiment.
At the beginning of the occupation, the French troops lived in houses along Rheingaustrasse requisitioned from the local populace. To quiet the growing resentment, the French started construction of the Schierstein Compound in 1922. When the 133rd Occupied the compound in 1924, the S-11 building was used for riding stables, S-1 housed the enlisted, and building S-2 housed the officers.
Then the British
In 1925, the French vacated Germany, and were replaced in January 1926 by tow English infantry companies of the 2nd Battalion, which remained until the year 1930. From 1930 until 1933, the compound was unoccupied, and was opened only occasionally to host local sporting events and political party festivals.
In the spring of 1933, the Germans took over the compound.
Then the German Voluntary Labor Services
The Voluntary Labor Services or Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD) located its headquarters and all 12 of its marching bands at the Schierstein Compound.
Now a German Military Medical Supply Depot
In 1938, the Schierstein Compound officially became a German military installation; the Reichfuehrer ordered the 12th German Medical Supply Depot into the compound in support of the Wiesbaden Schuetzstafel Hospital (later the Regional Medical Center). Remnants of the original Red Cross painted on the roof of S-1 were still visible in the compound photos given to departing 497th personnel. The German medical supply depot remained at Schierstein until late 1945, when the 880th Infantry Division of General Patton's 3rd Army occupied Wiesbaden and forced the Germans to evacuate. During this time the compound was used by General Patton's troops as a motor pool and storage area.
Starting in early 1952, and continuing until 1962, the compound was the one of the Army's Aeronautical Chart and Information Office Number 3 (later re-designated the 7650th ACISQ) and the 497th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron. When the 7650th moved to Kastel Air Station in 1962, the Air Force took complete responsibility for the compound. The 497th Reconnaissance Technical Group and Det. 1, 1856th Computer Support Group remained the sole occupants until the deactivation on July 1st, 1991
French Occupation Forces
French Tank Corps at
English Berkshire Regiment
Occupied Schierstein Compound 1926
The British relieve French Occupation
German National Labor Service
Parade at Weisbaden Kurhaus
Similar group occupied Schierstein 1933-1937
Wiesbaden 1937 - 1940
Wehrmacht Victory Parade
Rheinstrasse after fall of France 1940
Looking twoards S-2
The Navy used the bunker for ammo storage in the early days of the 497th RTS
1954 Saw the construction of S-11, the Reproduction Building