Gordon Van Kleeck's war journal - part 14 - Brohl, Germany

Ancestral Photographs of Upstate New York

by Roxy Triebel

Pvt. Gordon Van Kleeck

Co. F. 51 Pioneer Inf.

American Expeditionary Forces

Part 14

Brohl Germany.
April 8.

Six of us from Co. F. left Guls Monday morning and had to spend about four hours in Coblenz.  Reached Brohl about five oclock and were put in barracks with a bunch of other fellows who just arrived.  The barracks are only about half finished and this morning most of us had to move for the officers formed us into platoons and we had to have each platoon together.  I am in the fourth platoon and have the second squad.  Was to the Y.M.C.A. last night and today and had hot chocolate with cake.  The engineers are still working on the barracks and it will be some time before we have everything arranged.

Brohl  Apr. 12

The school has started and we are having two hours lectures in morning and three hours practical work in the afternoon.  I think it will be alright.  The platoons were changed around a couple days ago and by a mistake I was listed as private.  It is just a(s) well for I dont have to worry about a squad.  This morning we had inspection of equipment and barracks and now have the rest of the time to ourselves until Monday morning.

Brohl  Apr. 13

Was for a walk to Andermach yesterday afternoon.  It is a pretty nice place and O'Donnel and I found a Y.M.C.A. with ice cream and pie for sale.  We came back on the train.  This morning I was on a detail for a couple hours to get rations and to a movie in the afternoon.  Some of the boys were back to the Company on pass and say they are working very hard and expect to move in some other town very soon.  I (am) glad I am here now.

Brohl  Apr. 25

We have been getting a couple moters to work on besides the German trucks.  One is a Cole Eight and the other is a Dodge.  They are set up in one of the buildings and the section I am in has been working on them for a few days.  They were taken down and we have them put together again.  We have to put guards on the German trucks nights and I was on for one hour.  Also during the rainy weather the Rhine rose so high a guard had to watch nights to see that it did not get high enough to do any damage.  Have been to several shows nights lately and was down to Andernach Saturday afternoon.  Sunday was Easter but we did not have any eggs.  Instead they gave us plenty of ice cream and candy.  The School has a base ball team and played their first game today with C. Co. 301 Engineers.  The score was 34 to 8 in favor of the school.

May 1  Brohl

It has been raining a lot lately and we have a couple stoves in the barracks.  Last Saturday Ingram and I went to the Third Army Carnival at Coblenz.  It was good but we got disgusted because a lieutenant put us on detail for a few minutes and we left early.  It seems Pioneers have to work every where.  Today we were issued new clothing that we needed and I got a coat and trousers.  They will have to made over before I can wear them.  Hear a lot of stuff about going home but suppose it is same as usual.

May 6  Brohl

Tried to get a pass to Guls after inspection Saturday but did not succeed.  Took a walk down to Anzig in the afternoon but only stayed a few minutes.  It is quite a large town and has an American areadrome and airplanes in it.  Sunday was up to Andernach for a while.  Tuesday we were paid in marks instead of francs.  I drew 451 marks.  We had to be very particular arranging our barracks as a General and the men who have charge of the education system came to inspect us and make a couple speeches.  We all all watching the papers close to see what the Germans say about the peace terms.  Probably they will protest as usual and then sign.  Just got a letter from home saying the paper announced the 51st Pioneers would leave Germany the last of April.  We seem to be here yet however.  The new Y.M.C.A. theater was opened last night for the first time and there was a good show.  We have a show of some kind every night mostly movies.

May 15  Brohl

Tried to get a pass to Guls last Saturday but was out of luck.  Was down to Andernach on Saturday on also Sunday night.  Oppenheim was down to the Company Sunday and brought us word that the 2nd Battalion had left for Wengerohr.  They have some work to do and we got orders to leave tomorrow morning at nine oclock.  We go on truck.  The Engineers are getting ready to move and we had to put the trucks back together quick.  They expect to go home and we hope to be not far behind them.

(page missing here?)

... and have been loafing around most of the time.  I hear that we work again tomorrow.  There is a report around that troops have been stopped from going home until the Germans sign peace.  I dont know how much truth is in it.

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Gordon's Journal part 15:  Trier to St. Naizare, France.

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