From the Files of John & Johanna Lawler (64-66)
From the AF Pamphlet Entitled
"Tempelhof Central Airport
Berlin, Germany"

Berlin Facilities and Services

Help from the AF Aid Society may be obtained at the Personal Affairs Office. Loans and grants are available according to the conditions.


While in Berlin, you will find available to you all the financial services that are present at Stateside installations, plus the normal overseas currency con­version facilities. The Army Finance and Accounting Office, located across the street from the Shopping Center, will handle your pay and allowance accounts and sell you Deutsche Mark at the prevailing rate of exchange. In addition, all open messes, both Army and Air Force, will convert dollars into Marks. The Mark, is at present, worth approximately 24 cents in United States currency. American Express Com­pany Facility Bank is located in the Shopping Center and has a sub-office at Tempelhof. Here, checking and savings accounts may be established, traveler’s checks cashed, loans obtained and foreign currency purchased. As an added convenience, checking ac­counts are maintained so as to permit the drawer to write checks in either US Dollars or Deutsche Marks, West. In the event you desire to transfer funds from an account in a Stateside bank to Amer­ican Express here, it is advisable to consult your present bank and arrange for an inter-bank transfer via Air Mail or cable to insure timely arrival. Also, in the event you anticipate carrying on considerable business via checks to the United States, it might be advantageous For you to maintain a sufficient balance in your Stateside checking account, since there is a ten cent charge for each local American Express Company check cashed in the United States.

A clothing sales store is located at Tempelhof in the basement of building C-2. All types of issued items may be bought at this facility.

The Base Education Center, located in D-2 below the library, has three classrooms, offices and a lan­guage laboratory. This facility provides all phases of the Air Force Education Program at Tempelhof including USAFI correspondence and group study courses, USAFI testing, University of Maryland classes, USAFE German language laboratory, the Airman Education and Commissioning Program, Operation Bootstrap, Short Term TOY Programs, ECI courses and student counseling. A full time Education Advisor Officer is assigned along with full time German and part time American personnel.

The Base Family Services Center is located in Building D-2, Room 1898. Volunteers assist all new­comers in locating suitable economy housing and provide information on local military facilities. Kitchen utensils and china are available to the new family on a 60 day loan prior to the arrival of their hold baggage.

Newcomers to Berlin are urged to join the other members of the Tempelhof Family Services group. Experience is not necessary to join. All that is needed is the desire to help others.

TIPS. If your weight allowance permits, bring your favorite pictures, throw rugs etc. And if your toddler needs a crib, by all means bring yours. Family Services and the Quartermaster have a limited supply. Your TV set will need to be converted (this can be done at EES). However, all programs are in the German language.

Housing, quite naturally, is uppermost in the minds of people transferring to an overseas area. Berlin, fortunately, has some of the finest government housing in Europe. There is, however, a considerable waiting period for those in the ranks of captain and below.

Economy Housing
Housing on the German economy is scarce and not up to U. S. standards. Rents are relatively high and a lease is usually required. You will also be required to live within the area of the city authorized by military authorities. The situation regarding housing is variable, so obtain as much information as possible from your unit sponsor. Stop by the Family Services Center for further assistance in obtaining hotel accommodations, accredited rental agency information, and available private rentals. When it comes time to sign a lease or contract be sure you understand it. Legal assistance and quick translations are available if necessary.

Government Housing
Government quarters for unaccompanied officers and airmen are located on Tempelhof Central Airport and also for officers, on the economy if you choose. Officers are assigned rooms in the BOQ at the Officers Club. The NCO's are assigned rooms in NCO quarters and airmen are billeted in airmen billets.

Government quarters for authorized Air Force families are furnished by the US Army as they become available. Field grade officers have a waiting time of 30-60 days, while Company grade officers must live in economy quarters approximately 36 weeks. CMSgts can be housed immediately, while all other NCOs must wait about 36 weeks. These waiting periods, of course, are subject to change.

The quarters are completely furnished except for washers and dryers. Dryers are assigned to individual units and to each washroom in apartment buildings. In addition, a set of dishes and silverware are provided. As stated in the household goods section, however, extra pots, pans and sheets are desirable.


NCOs and company grade officers live in apartments. Each set of quarters has a small storeroom in the basement. Field grade personnel have their choice, dependent on availability, of government individual houses, or requisitioned German housing. The number of dependents normally determines the apartment size. People with five or more children are assigned houses insofar as practicable. It is unwise, however, to count on a large apartment since there are several different styles and the large ones may be filled when you arrive.


Household Furnishings
Personnel assigned to Berlin should keep in mind that all household goods for government quarters are furnished by the Quartermaster, Berlin Brigade, with the exception of small kitchen utensils, sheets, pillow cases, sweepers, irons and ironing boards, which are available on a 60 day loan basis from the quartermaster. Laundry rooms in government quarters are equipped with dryers and hook up points for your washers.


The Military Affiliated Radio System (MARS), located at Tempelhof Central Airport, offers fa­cilities to military personnel and their dependents. Messages may be sent throughout the world. Amateur radio operators are invited to use the facilities on their off duty time.

Hospitalization and medical clinical services are provided by the U.S. Army Hospital for military and authorized U.S. civilian personnel and members of their families. A modern army hospital is equipped and staffed to perform all required medical and surgical procedures. The hospital is located ap­proximately three miles from the main housing areas.

The hospital occupies a 20 acre reserve on the site of a former German hospital. All outpatient clinics operate on an appointment basis to provide optimum service to patients. The current military telephone book should be consulted for clinic operating hours and the number to call for appointments. Emergency medical care may be obtained at any time. Because of the limited number of medical personnel who are on duty during other than the hours of 0800 through 1700 Monday through Friday and 0800 through 1200 Saturdays, night and weekend visits should be confined to emergencies. Ambulance service for emergency cases is available at all times.


Dental care for military dependents is also provided. This does not include prostheses, bridge or crown work.  Dental  care for all  dependents  is  necessarily limited   by   the   need   to   care   first   for   the   troop population. It is recommended that necessary dental work be accomplished before your family leaves the United States. Corrective dental care cannot be done in Berlin, and is generally unavailable in Europe. Treatment once started, however, may be continued under certain circumstances. Your dentist in the United States should be consulted for advice.


A preventive dental service is established at the Thomas A. Roberts School to care for dependent children in attendance at the school. This service includes routine dental care and prophylactic treatment. If possible, you should obtain and bring with you a record of fluoride applications given to your children to provide continuity to their treatment while in Berlin.

Tempelhof has a post office which is open during normal duty hours, Mon—Fri. The APO number is 611. Mail from the United States should contain the pre­fix 09, which is the zip-code. Four more post office facilities are located across town in Army installa­tions. They are at McNair, Andrews Barracks, the main Shopping Center and Saargemuender Strasse. The APO number for Army installations is 742.

The American Red Cross Field Director's office is prepared to assist military personnel and their dependents with counseling on personal and family problems, reporting health and welfare conditions, both on servicemen and families living here, and relatives living in the United States, verifications of emergency situations, financial assistance for emergency   leave   travel   or   other   emergency   needs   for families   living   in   Berlin.

A Hospital Field Director and an active volunteer group of Gray Ladies, Staff Aides and Nurses Aides work at the 289th Army Station Hospital.

Tempelhof has a new chapel which was opened last year. Protestant services are held by an Air Force chaplain while Catholic ones are conducted by an English speaking German priest.


In addition to the Tempelhof chapel, there are four churches at Berlin Brigade. They are the American Community chapel, located in the housing area, chapels at Andrews and the McNair Barracks and one at the US hospital. Protestant and Catholic services are held at all these facilities, while Jewish ones are conducted at the American Community Chapel.

The Berlin American School is located in the center of one of West Berlin's most exclusive residential areas known as Dahlem. Set in surroundings of tall pine trees and a modern American housing settlement, the school consists of a kinder­garten, elementary school (grades 1—6) and a high school (grades 7—12). This is one of the most modernistic and well equipped Army schools in Europe.

Eligible children who have or will have reached their fifth birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the current school year may be admitted to kindergarten. Children who have or will have reached their sixth birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the current school year may be admitted to the first grade.

Eligible children for the elementary and high school are those unmarried school-age natural children, step-children, and legally adopted children of Department of Defense personnel. They may attend the Berlin American School on a space-required, tuition-free basis; space-required, tuition-paying basis; or a space-available, tuition-paying basis.

School administrators and teachers are all fully qualified and experienced educators from stateside school systems. Most of them are on a two-year leave of absence from their respective schools. This method of employing teachers insures that students are receiving an excellent education by use of modern, up-to-date teaching methods.

Bus transportation is provided for children who live within a certain radius of the school. However, there is no bus transportation for children living in the housing area immediately surrounding the school except for kindergarten students.

A modern and well equipped cafeteria serves a noon meal daily. In addition to the hot meal each day, a variety of sandwiches, soup and beverages are available for those students who do not desire to eat the hot meal. Children may bring their own lunches and supplement them with soup, dessert or a beverage.



John F. Kennedy
Founded in October 1960, the John F. Kennedy School was set up as a special bilingual elementary school under the supervision of the Berlin Board of Education. Although part of the German public school system, the school is advised by a joint committee of six Americans and six Germans appointed by the U.S. Commander in Berlin and the Governing Mayor respectively.

The John F. Kennedy School combines features of both the American and German educational systems, and at present is organized from kindergarten through the fourth grade. Grades five and six will be established in the near future.

Instruction Is given both in English and German and classes average in size from 20 to 30 pupils. The student body of 534 is equally divided between American and German children. As in all Berlin public schools, the school year runs from April to March with a summer vacation in July and August. American children will be admitted to the school at anytime during the school year.

The faculty consists of German and American teachers who have all had education experience in the United States or England. U.S. teachers are either resident Americans or under the Fulbright program. The faculty is experienced in helping pupils to make the adjustment to the school easily, and extra tutoring In German is   given until the child becomes proficient.

There is no tuition at the German-American School. Parents wishing to enroll their children in the school should contact the USBER Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Headquarters in the Consulate Building.


Nursery School
The Berlin American Nursery School Association operates a nursery school for children between the ages of 3 and Kindergarten age. Children are eligible to attend provided their sponsors are within the criteria for entrance to elementary school. The school is not a part of the government school system. Current rates are $12 per month for the first child and $8 for each additional child. Detailed information may be obtained from the Supervisor, Berlin American Nursery School.

Air Force
A small EES store at Tempelhof Central Airport sells a variety of department store type goods, as well as a supply of canned food. EES is a representative of the Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward mail order service, and current catalogues are available to all persons desiring them. Facilities also available at Tempelhof include a snack bar, serving hot and cold meals; barber and beauty shops; laundry, dry cleaning and tailor shops; newsstand, post office and American Express bank; Class VI liquor store and gasoline station.

Includes a department store where anything can be purchased from clothing and shoes for adults and children to radios, cameras, chinaware, cutlery, and the general necessities of life. Various major appli­ances are also stocked, including washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, deep freezers and vacuum cleaners. Repair or replacement parts are stocked or can be special ordered for all appliances sold directly by EES. This shopping center also acts as a representative for Sears and Montgomery Ward mail order services. In addition, the following facil­ities are available in the same building: A snack bar, serving hot and cold meals; barber, beauty and tailor shops; made to measure clothing; watch and TV repair service; special order department; Americ­an car sales; delicatessen; newsstand, flower shop, post office and American Express Bank; travel and ticket agency; While-U-Wait quick press shop; laun­dry/dry cleaning and shoe repair service; portrait studio and 48 hour diaper service; a well stocked commissary; Class VI liquor store; and a beverage shop selling both German and American beers and soft drinks, plus outdoor furniture and picnic items.



A filling station nearby sells both Quartermaster and ESSO gas. The EES garage, located about two blocks from the shopping center, stocks most modern American car parts, and offers facilities comparable to a Stateside garage.

Smaller Shopping Centers are also located at McNair Barracks, Andrews Barracks, and at Sundgauer living quarters area. These are comparable to the Tempelhof facilities.

A joint operation of the Tempelhof Officers' Wives Club and the NCO Wives Club, the Thrift Shop provides an excellent opportunity for the purchase of good used merchandise.


The selection of goods includes such things as transformers, large and small electrical appliances, baby furniture and clothes, along with clothing for men, women and children. Prices for the items in the Thrift Shop range from 5 DM to 200 DM.

Hours of operation for the Thrift Shop are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Material for sale may be turned in to the Thrift Shop on these same days of operation. Checks for sold merchandise may be picked up after the 10th of the month at the Thrift Shop.



The American Youth Activities Association of Berlin was established to furnish a wholesome youth program for dependent children residing in Berlin. Athletic, scouting and social activities for all children are considered essential in order that the American way of life can be successfully pursued in an overseas command.

Primary aims of this program are to: provide for wholesome athletic, scouting and recreational fa­cilities and programs for dependent children; supplement the dependent school athletic and recreational programs to provide for functions not programmed by the dependent school system; provide children with the facilities and functions which would be available in a modern American community, but which are not readily available in an overseas command; promote social graces, good scouting principles and good sportsmanship among children of the American community; foster good German-American relations through the media of sports, scouting and social activities; and support for other worthwhile activities.

Membership in the AYA is extended to all accredited dependent children of U.S. personnel residing in Berlin. The children between the ages 7 to 18, inclusive, are eligible to become active members. For those youngsters under 7 years of age there are special programs designed for their age group.

The athletic program offers sports activities such as baseball, softball, football, basketball and boxing for boys and girls in the age groups mentioned above. The AYA scouting includes Cub Scouts, Boy and Explorer Scout programs as well as Brownies and Girl Scouts.

The social side of the AYA activities consists of a Junior and a Senior Canteen whose members participate in tours of West Berlin, hayrides and dances at the Youth Center on Huettenweg. Facilities available at the Youth Center are snack bar, ballroom, and a game room.

AYA in Berlin is one of the most active programs supported by the Berlin American community. Just as the military personnel in this area are subject to the scrutiny of three million Berliners and the world press, the youth of the American community are also subject to this same scrutiny. As a consequence, emphasis is placed on this activity to make sure that an active youth program is pursued year-round. The finest athletic and scout­ing equipment is provided by the AYA, and the social program is enhanced by the availability of the many superb facilities both in the City of Berlin and in the American community.

The AYA Board of Governors is appointed by the Commanding General, Berlin Brigade, and has full responsibility for programs, facilities, fund raising and budgeting of the organization. Currently all AYA activities are provided on an almost "no-cost" basis. For certain events a nominal registration fee of $1 is charged. One of the principle sources of revenue For the AYA is the annual German-American Volksfest held in the heart of the American Com­munity.

Children participating in some AYA activities are often afforded the opportunity to travel throughout the Federal Republic of Germany for very nominal costs. Free instruction is provided in swimming, athletics, social graces and many other facets of a healthy and normal life.

A limited small animal treatment facility is operated by the 168th Medical Detachment. The clinic is located at the U.S. Army Hospital.


Rabies, distemper and hepatitis immunizations are available, in addition to emergency treatment of animal diseases of epidemic proportions to Berlin, or of a threat to public health. Cosmetic procedures cannot be performed.

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