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The flag poles at the U.S. Army's Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany, stand empty. The garrison, once home for the U.S. Army Europe and a major NATO headquarters, held its final retreat ceremony Friday. The U.S. military will soon hand the property and other bases in the city back to German control.
The flag poles at the U.S. Army's Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany, stand empty. The garrison, once home for the U.S. Army Europe and a major NATO headquarters, held its final retreat ceremony Friday. The U.S. military will soon hand the property and other bases in the city back to German control. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
The flag poles at the U.S. Army's Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany, stand empty. The garrison, once home for the U.S. Army Europe and a major NATO headquarters, held its final retreat ceremony Friday. The U.S. military will soon hand the property and other bases in the city back to German control.
The flag poles at the U.S. Army's Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany, stand empty. The garrison, once home for the U.S. Army Europe and a major NATO headquarters, held its final retreat ceremony Friday. The U.S. military will soon hand the property and other bases in the city back to German control. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
German and American color guards lower their country's flags one last time Friday at Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg. The garrison, once home for the U.S. Army Europe and a major NATO headquarters, held its final retreat ceremony Friday. The U.S. military will soon hand the property and other bases in the city back to German control.
German and American color guards lower their country's flags one last time Friday at Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg. The garrison, once home for the U.S. Army Europe and a major NATO headquarters, held its final retreat ceremony Friday. The U.S. military will soon hand the property and other bases in the city back to German control. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
German Col. Wolfgang Mika hands the last German flag flown at the Army's Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg to Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., the commander of U.S. Army Europe. Behind then, garrison commander Col. Brian DeCoster hands the last American flag flown here to Heidelberg Mayor Eckart Wuerzner. Until earlier this year, the base was USAREUR's headquarters. A number of bases in the city will soon be handed over to German authorities, ending the American presence here after almost seven decades.
German Col. Wolfgang Mika hands the last German flag flown at the Army's Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg to Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., the commander of U.S. Army Europe. Behind then, garrison commander Col. Brian DeCoster hands the last American flag flown here to Heidelberg Mayor Eckart Wuerzner. Until earlier this year, the base was USAREUR's headquarters. A number of bases in the city will soon be handed over to German authorities, ending the American presence here after almost seven decades. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
A crowd takes photos as German and American officials pose Friday with flags and other gifts presented to them at a ceremony marking the end of the U.S. Army presence in Heidelberg, Germany.
A crowd takes photos as German and American officials pose Friday with flags and other gifts presented to them at a ceremony marking the end of the U.S. Army presence in Heidelberg, Germany. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
After a final retreat ceremony symbolizing the end of the U.S. Army presence in Heidelberg, Germany, guests were invited to tour the former home of U.S. Army Europe's commanding generals.
After a final retreat ceremony symbolizing the end of the U.S. Army presence in Heidelberg, Germany, guests were invited to tour the former home of U.S. Army Europe's commanding generals. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
After a final retreat ceremony symbolizing the end of the U.S. Army presence in Heidelberg, Germany, guests were invited to tour the home previously occupied by commanders of U.S. Army Europe. Photos from the U.S. Army's nearly seven decades in the city were on display.
After a final retreat ceremony symbolizing the end of the U.S. Army presence in Heidelberg, Germany, guests were invited to tour the home previously occupied by commanders of U.S. Army Europe. Photos from the U.S. Army's nearly seven decades in the city were on display. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Gen. George S. Patton died in this Army hospital at Nachrichten Kaserne, part of the Army's garrison in Heidelberg, Germany. After almost seven decades, the garrison held its final retreat ceremony Friday, symbolizing the end of the U.S. Army presence in the city.
Gen. George S. Patton died in this Army hospital at Nachrichten Kaserne, part of the Army's garrison in Heidelberg, Germany. After almost seven decades, the garrison held its final retreat ceremony Friday, symbolizing the end of the U.S. Army presence in the city. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
A cat sits under unused equipment at a weed-choked playground at the U.S. Army's Mark Twain Village housing area, which will soon be returned to German control. The Army held its final retreat ceremony nearby Friday, symbolizing the end of the Army's nearly seven decades in Heidelberg.
A cat sits under unused equipment at a weed-choked playground at the U.S. Army's Mark Twain Village housing area, which will soon be returned to German control. The Army held its final retreat ceremony nearby Friday, symbolizing the end of the Army's nearly seven decades in Heidelberg. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
After sitting unoccupied for months, a sidewalk to a housing unit at the U.S. Army's Mark Twain Village in Heidelberg, Germany, is choked with weeds, leaves and twigs.
After sitting unoccupied for months, a sidewalk to a housing unit at the U.S. Army's Mark Twain Village in Heidelberg, Germany, is choked with weeds, leaves and twigs. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)
Leaves litter an empty street at the U.S. Army's Mark Twain Village in Heidelberg, Germany, where the Army held its final retreat ceremony Friday. After nearly seven decades, the Army is moving out of the city as part of an ongoing realignment of forces in Europe.
Leaves litter an empty street at the U.S. Army's Mark Twain Village in Heidelberg, Germany, where the Army held its final retreat ceremony Friday. After nearly seven decades, the Army is moving out of the city as part of an ongoing realignment of forces in Europe. (Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes)

HEIDELBERG, Germany — Hundreds turned out Friday for the U.S. Army’s final retreat ceremony at Campbell Barracks, the longtime home of U.S. Army Europe.

On a balmy day, German and American color guards lowered their country’s flags here one last time, symbolizing the end of the U.S. Army’s presence in the city.

The base now known as Campbell Barracks was built in the late 1930s to house the German Army’s 110th Infantry Regiment, and was originally called Grossdeutschland-Kaserne. After the end of World War II, the U.S. Army’s 6th Group headquarters took over the base. It inactivated two months later, making way for the U.S. 7th Army, which moved to the base in July 1945.

In 1948, the Army renamed the base Campbell Barracks in honor of Staff Sgt. Charles Campbell, who was killed in nearby Mannheim two days before the Germans surrendered Heidelberg.

U.S. Army Europe was established at Campbell Barracks in 1952, and was headquartered here until earlier this year, when it moved to Wiesbaden as part of a major realignment of U.S. Army forces in Europe. Campbell Barracks and other installations in the city will soon be turned over to German control, ending the U.S. military’s nearly seven decades in Heidelberg.

millham.matthew@stripes.com

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