Det. B Field Office Berlin

The precursor organization of the 42d MP Group, i.e., the 7751st MP Detachment, was established on 21 March 1949, to fight organized and widespread blackmarket activities which posed a serious threat to the German economy. The unit enforced USEUCOM Customs Regulations, investigated violations thereof, controlled parcel post shipments of blackmarketable goods, and manned twenty-three border stations used by US military personnel crossing the international borders of (then) US occupied Germany.

In August 1950, the US High Commission for Germany requested the services of the „Customs Unit,“ later designated as the 42d Military Police Detachment, to control the eastward movement of restricted goods to „Satellite Bloc“ countries. On 1 November 1952, the „Customs Unit“ was relieved of its strategic export control function and this function was resumed by German authorities.

In May 1955, Germany regained sovereignty. The rights, privileges, and obligations of the foreign forces and their members stationed in Germany were then based on the „Bonn Forces Convention,“ the forerunner of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (NATO SOFA) and the Supplementary Agreement thereto. As a result, the „Customs Unit“ was charged with establishing customs controls within Germany.

The 42nd MP Group was organized in 1968 from the 7751st MP Detachment.

– Customer Service (Retiree Verification, Unit Briefings, Customs Information)
– Blackmarket Investigation
– Overwatch of the Military Customs Inspection Program

This was the unit layout in July 1980: HHDMannheimDet AHQ in Karlsruhecovered Baden-WuerttembergField Offices: Karlsruhe, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Heilbronn, Stuttgart, Zweibrucken Det B HQ in Bremerhaven Field Offices: Hamburg, Berlin, Osterholz-Schwarmbeck, Bremerhaven (including Vehicle Processing Center)Det C HQ in Frankfurt covered HessenField Offices: Fulda, Giessen, Hanau, Darmstadt, Rhein-Main, Wiesbaden Det DHQ in Kaiserslautern covered Rheinland/Pfalz – SaarlandField Offices: Kaiserslautern, Baumholder, Mainz, Saarbrucken, Livorno (IT), Vicenza (IT)Det EHQ in Fuerth covered Bavaria Field Offices: Nuernberg, Aschaffenburg, Bamberg, Wuerzburg, Ansbach, Schweinfurt, Grafenwoehr, Augsburg, Munich, Bad Toelz, Garmisch, Berchtesgaden, Neu UlmIn June 1985, the companies converted to TO&E units. Evelyn P. „Pat“ Foote, then a Colonel, was group commander.

EPW Guard Companies:
294th MP Co, formerly Det D
560th MP Co, formerly Det B

EPW Escort/Guard Companies (TO&E 19-256):
193d MP Co, formerly Det E
256th MP Co, formerly Det C
285th MP Co, formerly Det A

While being designated as TO&E units, they still maintained a TDA unit. Investigators were assigned the TDA positions. I was in Frankfurt Field Office. Our Field Office NCOIC was the „squad leader.“ A TO&E platoon sergeant, responsible for personnel, leadership and training (not the TDA missions) was responsible for Wiesbaden, Frankfurt and Rhein-Main „squads.“

Lots of conflicts arose from this strange setup (which looked good on paper, albeit severely hampered the effectiveness of investigations and customer service capabilities)