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Ike inspects Air Force bases, GIs

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives at Neubiberg Air Base in Germany on an inspection tour in April, 1951.


By DWIGHT SCHEAR | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 13, 1951

AUGSBURG, April 12 — Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower flew to Bavaria today for his first close look at U.S. tactical air and ground power in Germany since he became Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

Seventy-two F84 Thunderjets flashed through the sky to welcome the five-star general to Neubiberg Air Base. The jets were preceded by a formation of 18 C82 Flying Boxcars.

Eisenhower and his party of high-ranking officers drove from Neubiberg to 2d Air Div Hq at Landsberg and continued on to the training area of the 2d Armd Cav Regt at Augsburg.

Inspects Display

Eisenhower was greeted at Neubiberg by Lt Gen Lauris Norstad, commander-in-chief of USAFE and of Allied Air Forces, Central Europe; Maj Gen Truman H. Landon, Deputy CG, USAFE; Brig Gen Thomas C. Darcy, CG, 2d Air Div; Col John S. Chennault, CO, 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing, and other air officers.

The SHAPE chief, whose uniform was devoid of rank insignia, inspected an honor guard of the 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing and then was led by Darcy on a detailed inspection of aircraft and equipment. Eisenhower appeared to take a keen interest in the technical display.

Later, he brought a broad smile to the faces of the throng of base personnel and dependents by "trooping the line" of onlookers, who otherwise would not have had a close look at him.

In apparent high spirits, Eisenhower delighted the crowd by pausing to chat with an onlooking little boy.

At Augsburg, Eisenhower inspected the Constabulary regiment's honor guard and lunched at the Officers Club. Later, he was jeeped to a nearby training area, where he watched troopers going through routine field training.

Sees Tank Firing

For more than an hour, the Eisenhower party moved about the wooded area, observing firing o machine guns from tanks, a tank infantry demonstration and four bazooka teams in action.

Eisenhower called his visit "more of a courtesy call than an inspection." He praised the troopers as a "very devoted group of soldiers who look well-trained."

"I expect to come back frequently for visits," the general remarked, "sometimes for a day and sometimes for several days."

Eisenhower added that he intends to visit troops "in the north and in Italy."

Col Robert W. Porter, Jr., CO, 2d Armd Cav Regt, conducted Eisenhower on the training area tour.

General's Party

With Eisenhower during the day were:

Gen Thomas T. Handy, EUCOM commander-in-chief; Maj Gen Dean C. Strother, CG, 12th AF; Maj Gen Howard Mc C. Snyder, Jr., of Eisenhower's SHAPE staff; Lt Gen Manton S. Eddy, CG, 7th Army; Brig Gen George W, Smythe, CG, 2d Constab Brig; Darcy;  Col James Pirtle, CO, Augsburg Military Post, and members of Eisenhower's personal party., including a British, French and Belgian officer.

The general later returned to Heidelberg and was to remain there overnight in the windup of his tour.

Gen. Eisenhower inspects an F-84E at Neubiberg. Seventy-two jets like this one soared overhead to welcome the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and his entourage.

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