Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Cold War-Global 1945-/ Cold War-Germany 1945-1990
I am Petty Officer Richard Williamson, Jr. I am proud that my dad served on the first nuclear powered fast attack submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN 571) which set all kinds of records in the 1950s for length of submerged missions around the world including under the North Pole. SSN is the Navy’s hull classification symbol for nuclear powered: SS means “Submarine” and N means “nuclearpowered.” Because of my dad, I too, joined the Navy and became a submariner. Since 1985, I have been a crew member of the USS Alabama (SSBN-731). The addition of a B in the hull classification means that my sub carries ballistic missiles with thousands of miles of range — a truly awesome capability of the US to be able to deploy beneath the sea and around the world. I have learned that this is a really dangerous world we live in and we “Boomers” have made a difference. Along with Air Force strategic bombers and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Army Pershing missile crews and the special Americans who track possible enemy activities, we are America’s first line of global defense. As I reflect back, I never thought I would spend extended hours on duty, much less
I am Specialist Eugenia Beushausen Haughian, an Intelligence Analyst stationed in Heidelberg, Germany in 1990. My dad was a “gung-ho” paratrooper who was killed in Vietnam during the Battle of Dak To on Hill 875, in November 1967. I became a soldier to honor him. Here in Germany, I give new soldiers a border orientation. The border was established on 1 July 1945 as the boundary between the Western and Soviet occupation zones of Germany and East and West Berlin; what Winston Churchill called the “Iron Curtain.” The WWII alliance between the Western nations and the Soviet Union (mostly Russians) quickly deteriorated after the war and hard lines were drawn over control of the European territories. In response to the Soviet’s actions, sixteen Western nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO and agreed that an attack on one is an attack on all. The communist nations formed the Warsaw Pact and built one of the world’s most heavily fortified frontiers, defined by a continuous line of high metal fences and walls, barbed wire, alarms, anti-vehicle ditches, watchtowers, automatic booby traps and minefields. Fifty-thousand German Democratic Republic (GDR) East German guards facing tens of thousands of West German, British and US guards and soldiers, patrolled that fortified line. In the hinterlands behind the border, called the Green Belt, more than a million NATO and Warsaw Pact troops awaited the possible outbreak of WORLD WAR III. Nuclear weapon delivery systems such as 155mm howitzers and Pershing and Ground Launched Missile Systems were on alert and capable of being fired in three minutes. Fighter planes and air defense missiles, some with nuclear capability, were also on very high alert status and constantly training for war. Our intelligence continuously monitored the Warsaw Pact forces to prevent another “Pearl Harbor” type attack. In 1948 the Soviet army closed all ground access to Berlin. To get food and coal to the people of East Berlin, the U.S. and our allies used cargo airplanes for a year to supply over two million people in what was known as the “Berlin Airlift.” Political issues were contentious. The Wall went up in Berlin in 1961. It was not to protect the residents of the Warsaw Pact but to keep them imprisoned in their own countries. In 1986 President Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!” and indeed on 9 November 1989, the Wall was breeched by crowds, then by former border guards, the border was opened. I am awaiting reassignment since I will never have to give another “border orientation”!
Location. 34° 44.107′ N, 86° 35.324′ W. Marker is in Huntsville, Alabama, in Madison County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Monroe Street Northwest and Jefferson Street North, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Veterans Memorial Park along the Patriots Walkway near the five points ditch. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 Monroe Street Northwest, Huntsville AL 35801, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1959-1975/Vietnam War/Vietnam War (here, next to this marker); Gulf War-1991/War on Terrorism (here, next to this marker); Korean War/1950-1953 (here, next to this marker); Korean War/ Cold War-Korea 1953- (here, next to this marker); World War II - European Theater of Operations (ETO) (here, next to this marker); ETO 1939-1945/PTO 1941-1945 (a few steps from this marker); Spanish American War 1898/Philippine Insurrection 1899-1913 (a few steps from this marker); World War II - Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huntsville.
Also see . . . Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial. (Submitted on April 17, 2015.)
Categories. • War, Cold • War, Korean •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2015, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 317 times since then and 30 times this year. Last updated on July 15, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 16, 2015, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.