1951 the U.S. Army reached the river Danube. An advance party of three U.S. Army soldiers arrived in Ulm in July 1951 to manage their takeover of former Wehrmacht barracks situated on the eastern (Ulm, Wuerttemberg) and western (New-Ulm, Bavaria) side of the Danube. In Ulm, the United States Armed Forces took over Boelcke-Kaserne, Bleidorn-Kaserne and Flandern-Kaserne, which is now a part of the Wilhelmsburg-Kaserne. Hindenburg-Kaserne was also taken over and renamed Ford Barracks after Major James C. Ford of the 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. Major Ford was awarded the Silver Star in World War II.
In New-Ulm, the U.S. Army seized Ludendorff-Kaserne, Reinhardt-Kaserne and the subsistence depot (Supply Center) in Offenhausen - a district of New-Ulm. The first GIs of the 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division arrived in New-Ulm on 5 December 1951. As part of the ongoing stationing of troops, another 500 National Guard soldiers followed five days later.
The U.S. Army soon returned the four barracks in Ulm to the Bundeswehr; three in the late 1950s (Boelcke-Kaserne, Bleidorn-Kaserne and Flandern-Kaserne) and one in the mid-1960s (Hindenburg-Kaserne/Ford Barracks). At the same time, the GIs were expanding their garrison in New-Ulm, Bavaria by adding their own utilities and residential areas for U.S. soldiers and their families.
The two barracks there remained under U.S. control. Ludendorff-Kaserne was renamed Wiley Barracks after Captain Robert C. Wiley. Wiley served with the 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in the liberation of France in 1944. Reinhardt-Kaserne was renamed Nelson Barracks after Sergeant William L. Nelson, who served with the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his duties in the North African Campaign.
At the time, USMCA New-Ulm (United States Military Community Activities) was an independent military agency in this location. It was responsible for the approximately 9,000 soldiers and their families as well as both German and American civilian personnel. In the 1950s, soldiers would go to the officers' mess called Blue Byway Club on Karlstrasse in Ulm. Another popular venue was the Donau Casino Officers' Club on Paulstrasse in New-Ulm. Nowadays, it is a brewery with a tavern and guest house.
On 22 October 1983, the U.S. Garrison in New-Ulm made headlines around the world. Approximately 300,000 people took to the streets in Southwest Germany to protest against NATO's armament plans. Demonstrating against the stationing of nuclear missiles, protesters formed a 108-kilometer-long human chain from Wiley Barracks to the United States European Command (USEUCOM) in Stuttgart. New-Ulm had been a base for Pershing I missiles since 1968.
26 July 1991 saw the end of the U.S. Garrison in New-Ulm and the missiles were subsequently dismantled. "Maintaining a position of strength, of stability and uncompromising resolve in the defense of peace and freedom helped change the climate across Europe in such a way that it is time to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Europe," said the last Commander in New-Ulm, Lieutenant John C. Heim, in his farewell address.
The almost 350 acres of land formerly used for military purposes have since been turned into a residential area housing approximately 3,000 people. The area also offers residents gardens for leisure activities as well as a sports and recreation center. The 38-meter-high water tower built by the U.S. Army in 1952 is still standing today, a landmark of the neighborhood.
On 22 April 1993, the German Minister of Defense and the Commander in Chief of the U.S. land forces in Europe together initiated the II. German-American Corps, which relocated to the Wilhelmsburg-Kaserne four years later. According to the Lead Nation principle, the HQ was provided by the German Army. The United States military was represented by about a dozen of field-grade officers and senior noncommissioned officers. Some HQ elements of the II. German-American Corps were reorganized to form the Response Forces Operations Command on 7 October 2005. Since then, military personnel from American have returned to the Wilhelmsburg-Kaserne, in addition personnel from other nations.
Since 2 July 2013, the headquarters at Wilhelmsburg-Kaserne has been known as the Multinationales Kommando Operative Führung/Multinational Joint Headquarters Ulm. Even today the HQ is employing American officers and noncommissioned officers on key posts that are essential for the HQ to accomplish its mission.
Middle and southern part of the former Wiley Barracks residential area in Neu-Ulm. In the background the Ulm Minster (161 meters/530 feet) and the former water tower built by the U.S. Army (38 meters/125 feet) can be seen.
1951-1952: Colonel Henry M. Fluck
1961-1961: Lieutenant Colonel Samuel E. Scott
1972-1975: Colonel Charles E. Weddle
1952-1953: Colonel Walter E. Bare
1961-1962: Colonel Stephen W. Downey
1975-1975: Lieutenant Colonel Bobby Works
1953-1954: Colonel Samuel J. Rasor
1962-1964: Colonel William W. West
1975-1977: Colonel Marvin J. Krupinsky
1954-1955: Colonel M. T. Wilckinson
1964-1966: Colonel Marvin C. Kettelhut
1977-1979: Colonel Bernard B. Brown
1955-1956: Colonel Paul T. Clifford
1966-1967: Colonel Charles L. Steel
1979-1981: Colonel James W. Eitel
1956-1956: Colonel James F. Pearsall
1967-1969: Colonel John Perkins III.
1981-1984: Colonel Linus H. Fiely
1956-1957: Colonel Ellis W. Williamson
1969-1969: Lieutenant Colonel Donald J. Wild
1984-1987: Colonel Michael P. Eskew
1957-1958: Colonel Eugen A. Trahan
1969-1971: Colonel William L. Durham
1987-1989: Colonel Juergen Nolte
1958-1959: Colonel Jack F. Wilhm
1971-1971: Lieutenant Colonel Donald Green
1989-1991: Colonel Terry A. Gordon
1959-1961: Colonel Welborn G. Dolvin
1971-1972: Colonel Edwin Yates Arnold
1991-1991: Lieutenant Colonel John C. Heim