Benjamin Franklin Village Closes

Benjamin Franklin Village, Mannheim Germany—workplace and home for three generations of Army personnel and families as we knew it, is no more.

The official relinquishment of command and deactivation ceremony took place in the Sports Arena on Benjamin Franklin Village in Mannheim on May 31, 2011.

“For more than 66 years Americans have called Mannheim home. Soldiers served here, raised families and built friendships that have spanned decades,” said Lt. Col. Elizabeth Ryan Griffin, USAG Mannheim relinquishing commander.

While Mannheim had been largely destroyed by bombs during World War II, U.S. troops arrived in Mannheim at the end of the war, in 1945. Five soldiers, all privates first class, were killed in action near Heilbroon, and for whom Mannheim installations were named for. They were: Robert Funari, Robert Hammonds, Dominic Spinelli, Georgy Sullivan and Cecil Taylor.

Several of the barracks, named after these soldiers, once a beehive of activity, now stand empty. Soon Coleman Barracks and Benjamin Franklin Village, the housing area known to three generations of Military Brats, will close as well.

On June 9, 2011, Mannheim High School and Mannheim Middle School hosted a Moving On celebration on Benjamin Franklin Village’s Woods field, marking the schools’ closing and the end of the school year. The USAREUR Band and students from both schools attended, along with their families and employees.

For more details about the deactivation and the history of Mannheim download the June 1, 2011 edition of the Herald Post, a PDF file.

For Vann Baker’s Tribute to Benjamin Franklin Village, click here to read his article.

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