Memorial Services Held for 16 U. S. Soldiers



Grafenwoehr, Germany, September 4, 1960 (AP) Three thousand American soldiers paid tribute Sunday at a simple memorial service to 16 comrades, victims of an army training accident Friday. 

In a field overlooking the scene of the accident in this north Bavarian training area near the Iron Curtain border of Communist Czechoslovakia, troopers of the 3rd Armored Division assembled in a hollow – with 16 gaps in the ranks – before an altar erected between two fir trees. 

They heard a chaplain, Captain Merrill O. Challman of Moline, Illinois urge them “to go on as an even more successful part of the team which most assuredly protects our loved ones and all that we value so much in the free way of life.” 

Sixteen steel helmets arrayed on tables near the altar bore mute testimony to the accident which killed 15 men outright and wounded 27 when an overcharged eight-inch howitzer shell overshot an artillery range and landed in a tent camp. One of the injured troopers died Saturday.

Picture of memorial service

Source: The Association of 3rd Armored Division Veterans web site

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