From the Stars and Stripes archives

Hundreds greet singer on arrival in Germany

Police hold back the crowd awaiting Elvis Presley's arrival in Bremerhaven, Germany, in October, 1958.


By MARTY GERSHEN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 2, 1958

BREMERHAVEN, Germany — Singer Pvt. Elvis Presley arrived here Wednesday aboard the Randall, an all-Navy military sea transport, with 1,381 other soldiers.

He was quickly processed at the dockside here and put aboard a special troop train bound for Friedberg, Germany, near Frankfurt.

Presley will be assigned to Co D, 1st Medium Tk Bn, 32d Armd (Patton), 3d Armd Div, an Army spokesman said.

Hundreds of screaming teen-age Presley fans greeted their khaki-clad hero who, with duffel bag on his shoulder, walked off the gangway.

Despite foggy, threatening weather, by 7:30 am the dockside was already crowded with fans although the Randall was not due in until 8:30 am.

While MPs roped off the docking area, the Presley fans soon broke through the barricade.

A new rope barrier was hastily set up closer to the Randall's wharf.

Already docked just ahead of the incoming Randall was the MSTS vessel H.W. Butner, its fantail jammed with blue-clad, white-hatted sailors waiting to see Presley.

The Randall docked to the tune of "Molasses Trombone" and "In Muenchen Steut Ein Hofbraeuhaus" played by the 61st Army band with M Sgt Willie Coxx conducting.

Presley was not among the scores of troops lining the rails of the ship.

Sp4 Sam Shelby, of the Bremerhaven PersonnelMovement Section, checked Presley off as the youthful singing star became the 96th soldier to leave the Randall.

Prior to the debarkation, Brig Gen J.D. Alger, assistant CG of the 3d Armd Div. welcomed the replacements in a dockside address.

Meanwhilke, MPs, SPs and German police locked arms to hold back the surging youngsters whose view of Presley was blocked by distance, a band stand and crowds of reporters, cameramen and radiomen.

Presley, with duffel bag on his shoulder, was surrounded by a crowd of reporters as he moved about 40 feet to board the special troop train.

During a half-hour wait before the train left, Presley appeared at the window several times to sign autographs and acknowledge the cheers of troops and sailors from the Randall.

Said a Navy chief petty officer aboard the Randall:

"Presley is one of the best."

Elvis Presley leaves the Randall to begin his Army tour in Germany in 1958.

from around the web