U.S. Occupying Forces requisition a German school on Lahnstrasse, located in the northwest part of the city of Wiesbaden in 1945.
Formerly a German school for girls and boys ages 6 to 14*, the building sustains little damage during the war and a portion of it is delcared fit enough to open immediately as a school for American dependents.
The first floor opens in October 1946 as an elementary school called Wiesbaden Dependents School, while the second and third floors are readied for future use as a high school.
From October 1946 to January 1948, Wiesbaden-based high school students are bused to Frankfurt High School, a 3+ hour daily commute.
*Source: 1948 Wiesbaden Warriors yearbook. Subsequent yearbooks would claim the Lahnstrasse German school was an all-boys campus.
In January 1948, the second and third floors of the Lahnstrasse building open as an American high school in the Wiesbaden American Dependents School.
After the first four months of commuting to Frankfurt, the students are relieved to finally have a school of their own.
With the high school opening in the middle of the academic year, the first Wiesbaden cheerleading squad is hard-pressed to find blue and gold clothing, so they scramble last-minute to coordinate outfits of green and white.
*headcount in 1948 yearbook - w/mid-year departed students, 56.
The first Wiesbaden High School varsity patch, roughly 8 x 8 inches, is worn by Warrior athletes typically on long sleeve sweaters or sweater vests.
If you're wondering what that dark turtle-like shape behind the W is...
In 1949, and for several years after, the yearbook for Wiesbaden High was part of a multi-school production called Erinnerungen (which is German for Memories).
But for some reason, the Wiesbaden section rolls off the printer as 'Die Krieger,' a grammatically incorrect 'female' translation of The Warrior that goes unchecked for four years!
'Oh, Luuuuuucy, you got some 'splainin' to dooooo!'
The idea that a school could get 5 years into its existence, consistently publishing an annual with such a big grammar issue is a topic frought with interesting speculation. In fairness to the yearbook staff and its sponsor, it was still early days in the Wiesbaden community. It's not a reflection on the yearbook staff, but rather of the times they lived in.
While the unenforceable non-fraternization policy had been dropped quietly within months of the arrival of U.S. occupying military forces, there was still a lot of 'together, but separate' propoganda in the area, such as a sign hung at the Wiesbaden Dependents School that read, 'This playground of the American school in Wiesbaden may be used by all children except Monday through Friday from 8.30-15.00, when it is reserved for American schoolchildren.'
Also, Germans and Americans were not allowed to occupy the same residential buildings right through the mid-1950s. In some ways, Wiesbaden students were more isolated in the late 40s, early 50s than kids of modern times, living behind secured access. And it's not difficult to imagine that German publishers and printers weren't in a hurry to provide extra help to the occupiers so near the end of the war, assuming they even looked at the content of what they were printing. They may simply have not seen it, as it was a big, multi-school production at the time.
Still, to be a fly on the wall for that conversation...
Ms. Hirsch (yearbook sponsor):
'De Ette, Penny... I do like the layout, everything's looking great, but... can I gently remind you that the name of our publication is 'Die Krieger'?
De Ette Matchan (editor):
Ja, aber Bob Dietz spricht Deutsch und er hat gesagt... es gibt keine dinge.
Ein Krieger ist doch immer ein Mann.
Are you telling me that we've been using a gramatically incorrect title this whole time?!
Betty Marshall: Genau.
Grace Van Blarcom: Das stimt.
Scottie Eldridge: Richtig!
Dean Glazier: Ja.
Penny Olson: 'fraid so, teach!
-Ms. Hirsch falls off her chair and faints.
Penny: ... Teach! -fans Ms. Hirch's face with a manila folder- Teach!
There's nothing to worry about!
...They're not gonna notice for another 65 years!
During the 1949/1950 school year, freshman Mary Dodson '53 came up with the idea to name the Wiesbaden American high school after the father of the Air Force, General Hal Hap Arnold.
Mary and twin sister Martha worked on a committee with other students to push the initative through. The high school was officially named after General Arnold within a few months of his passing in January 1950.* Mary received a letter from General Arnold's widow, Eleanor 'Bee' Pool Arnold, acknowledging and thanking the students for thier efforts.
It would be several years before the name catches on with the students, leading to the erroneous conclusion that the naming of the school coincided with its second campus.
Wiesbaden High School became General H. H. Arnold High School in the academic school year 1949/1950, just one year after the high school's creation.
Sandra Young serves as President of the Class of 1953.
Der Krieger has been sighted! After four years of being female, Der Krieger is featured in the Wiesbaden section of the multi-school yearbook for the first time.
Also in the yearbook is a two page Report on Operations that provides a significant amount of detail on the growth, development, successes and failures of the school system. Such outlines would continue for several years while the school system was still in its infancy, and would often feature pictures and write-ups about new facilities as they were completed and opened.
The high school newspaper, Smoke Signals, is being published four times per year and is a sophomore class responsibility.
Jim Fisher and Joe Barker serve as President and Vice President respectively.
On January 31, 1955, the new campus up on Hainerberg Hill opens on what used to be an expansive orchard of fruit trees. Wiesbaden Warriors say goodbye to the Lahnstrasse school for good (the building is returned to the city). At this time, Hainerberg Hill is on the outskirts of the city, on its own with very little near it.
'We splashed our way through the sticky mud of the then-unfinished grounds into a colorful and airy plant where we luxuriated in having our own gymnasium and auditorium at last.
After having lived among the rather neutral colors of the former school, we were somewhat overcome at finding each separate room boasting of its own individual color scheme: walls, window trim and drapes harmonize in shades of blue, rose, green, or tan. Located on a hill commanding a spectacular view of the Taunus Mountains...'
In 1957, the first dormitory opens at WHS for students who don't have their own schools. Depending on where the students live, some bus back for weekends, others stay all year and head home for holidays and summer.
'As reveille sounds each morning, sixty sleepy dormitory students start a new day. Breakfast is served at eight o'clock on weekdays in the bright, new cafeteria adjoining the residence hall; but on Saturdays and Sundays "dormers" are allowed that all important extra hour of sleep.
After school each day, students return to the dormitory to sign in; but before long they scatter to the AFEX, athletic practices, or friends' homes. Evenings are spent in the basement recreation room dancing, playing ping-pong, or just relaxing until study hall begins at 7:45.
Taps at 10:30 ends each rather hectic but enjoyable day for students from all over the world. Such far off lands as Saudi Arabia, Iceland, Turkey, Russia, and the Scandinavian countries are represented at the dorm where four American and two German supervisors offer advice, friendly talk, and counsel.'
Even among Wiesbaden Warriors, dormies experience WHS in a way that only other dormies can understand. Home away from home away from home...
Andy Sundberg and Fred Allen serve as President and Vice President respectively. Tom Spencer is elected first President of the dorm as the dorm population surges from 60 to 90 from one year to the next. The number of dormies is now significant enough that they gain two dedicated representative positions on the student council.
Without the previous year's 300 junior high students among them, it becomes evident there's been a significant uptick in overall population, as the total student count reaches 502, an increase of 200 over last year.
Notice the angle of this picture? To the right sits the main building, and to the left? Wide open fields. That's it. That's our school in 1958.
The mosaic tile crest makes its first yearbook appearance. The timing of the installation of the crest has been a matter of discussion among Warriors. Some insist it was a gift from the Class of 1958 to the Class of 1959, others say it was a year earlier. Some claim it was installed by the time the new campus opened.
When we get enough feedback, we'll set the record straight. The crest quickly becomes part of school culture as seniors go out of their way to protect it from being stepped on.
In later years, the crest is roped off as a preservation measure. Many alumni believe the traditions concerning the crest are identified as forms of hazing, and as a result, are discontinued.
Again, the overall population of the school sees an increase of nearly 200 students. In 1959, the campus gets a new building near the gym, to serve as a youth association.
An unexpected influx of yet another 200 students at the start of the 1960 academic year sees HH Arnold stretched beyond capacity for the first time as the overall population climbs to more than 775 students. A second dorm opens at the Air Base to accommodate out-of-town students. The school's 2-story building has 26 classrooms, the campus was designed to serve about 650 students.
HH Arnold's in trouble!
Faced with a severe shortage of space, administration considers implementing half days to allow for double scheduling, but they know that by reducing learning time that drastically, they could potentially compromise the students' future education plans. So instead...
They repurpose the recently-built AYA building adjacent to the main gym into a giant classroom. Crisis averted! (for now...)
Imagine how difficult it must have been to protect the crest with all that traffic...
'Houston, we have a problem...'
The over-population at HH Arnold has reached critical point. In an effort to maintain order, and help with the overcrowded conditions, administration implements one-way traffic to help students get to class on time.
The 1961 yearbook gives no sign of panic from administration or its student body despite the untenable situation they are in. The opening comments about the school describe the halls of HH Arnold as 'bustling with activity' during breaks and lunch hours.
But that may be because a solution to the overcrowding is slowly making its way to the school, day by day, brick by brick. Though the yearbook gives no clues about this solution, the students who were there remember... that another structure is going up alongside the main building at HH Arnold High.
Enter: The Annex. Annex construction timeframe confirmed by Sjon Eukert, Class of 1963 & an October 1961 article in Smoke Signals.
Where do you start with Class of '63? Maybe with super-couple Dale Rhoney and Kay Moffat Rhoney, Senior Class President and Secretary respectively, who have been the driving force behind keeping this class together over the years...
Or Sandy Brunke Whalen, another pillar of strength in the '63 community. Sandy doubled down on Kay and Dale's efforts to keep everyone together, adding even more glue to this steadfast group of friends.
Or maybe you start with Priscilla, the future Mrs. Elvis Presley and, in her own right, an actress with a long and successful career...
Or the collection of indefatigable personalities who came together and created a collective identity with such cohesion that few other classes could match them; a group who show us what enduring friendship looks like...
By 1963, the student body is bigger than it's ever been before, having increased from 935 students in the previous year, to over 1,100. But the recently finished Annex building has increased classroom capacity and worries of overcrowding are a thing of the past, even with the population increasing yet again the following year to over 1,300.
One of the first pictures of the Annex building shortly after completion, featured in the 1962 yearbook...
At HH Arnold, it's now common knowledge that Class of 63er Priscilla Beaulieu is dating singer Elvis Presley, who served in the U.S. Army at a nearby base (at Friedburg, about half an hour north of Frankfurt).
Along with Mike Kimball, Priscilla gets voted best looking senior in the senior superlatives and would go on to marry the King of Rock -n- Roll.
Funny thing about Priscilla's last year at HH Arnold - she was back and forth between Wiesbaden and Memphis a lot at the time, and her attendance apparently had become something of a concern for administration.
According to Marty Reddington, Class of '74, whose dad was Principal at HH Arnold in '61 and '62, Priscilla's dad was trying to get the current Principal of HH Arnold to sign a form allowing his daughter to attend her senior year remotely to ease the burdon of travel.
The principal supposedly refused to sign, looking to make an example of Priscilla's poor attendance. But Priscilla's dad was a clever chap and found a loophole in the rules that allowed for 'any' principal who served during the student's tenure at the school to sign the form.
Priscilla's dad found Marty's dad, explained the situation to him, asked him to sign, and then one good-natured response later, Priscilla's dad had accomplished his mission!
Who knew that Elvis had Marty's dad to thank for helping him out!
But Priscilla isn't the only cool thing going on in '63. Look no further than the 1963 yearbook to see an important development in Warrior history.
1963 is the year we took control of our high school yearbook.
There were a few independent yearbooks in our history. The first year of our school's existence saw one published. And before the Air Force got it's multi-school 'Vapor Trails' annual program together, we had stand-alones in 1955 and 1956. But in 1963, we took over WHS YB publication for good.
The previous year's expansion of the west end of the Annex building, adding library space and additional classrooms, happens just in time for another influx of students for the 1971 school year. An additional building is also erected near the AYA, providing additional classroom space, as well as part of a gym to meet the needs of the expanding P.E. program.
Administration implements a change to the handling of school absences in an effort to cut down on skipping class, which our early 1970s brothers and sisters apparently turned into an art form... After a student hands in a note, it is sent to the parent to ensure it's legitmate.
Administration also approves a program proposed by the senior class that creates a Class Cut Plan. Seniors earn points for service-oriented activities, such as teacher assistance, participating in team activities, performing clean-up duties, etc.
When a Senior earns thirty points, they receive a Cut Card, which gives them the right to cut each class two times per semester. --pretty cool, huh.
November 21st, 1976* - Just a few months into the 1976/1977 school year, vandals strike the Warrior gymnasium.
They access the fire hose located inside the gym, and soak the gym floor with tons of water.
Many of the floorboards come away from the foundation. The estimated cost of repair is around $20,000 ---that would be more than $100,000 by today's standards.
The vandals are never caught, and since it's likely they were WHS students, this goes down as a real low point in Warrior history.
In other 1977 news... McDonald's comes to downtown Wiesbaden!
There's something about winning the European Championship in football that stays with someone their entire life. Not just for the players, but for the coaches, students, really, the entire school.
The work, dedication, perseverence, and victory after victory after victory that bring us to that final game, that last struggle, and that ultimate win... the journey that leads an entire school to bask in the glory, to take pride in the accomplishment of their athletes.
For the Warrior football team and their fearless leader, Coach Tom LeBlanc, 1977/1978 was one of those times.
Que the Queen song because, yes, we ARE the champions!
Pictures, or it didn't happen?
What makes a prank a prank instead of an act of vandalism? Lack of harm or criminal activity, for starters. And the presence of pure, unadulterated, 100%... mischief.
There have been instances of cars finding their way into the high school throughout the 1960s. But the story that continues to surface over and over is the now-infamous tale of the VW Bug parked over the crest in the spring of 1979.
This story is so legendary that different versions of the same incident exist to this day. Some think the car belonged to the principal, others say a teacher and that the teacher asked a bunch of football players to carry it back out, not realizing they were the ones who had carried it in. A few think the car belonged to one of the coaches at HH Arnold.
But because we got the scoop from the horse's mouth... not only are we confident in the details, we're naming names because, let's face it, these guys are PROUD of what they did!
It was indeed a VW Bug, it was blue, and it definitely happened in spring of 1979 because Lamar Longineau '80 and Larry D. LeMaster, '79 say so, and it was Larry's car, so... we're running with it.
James Vandenberg, Stephen Linton and Jim Corbett all admit to having played a part in this top-level prank. And many others are still laughing about it.
Generations of HH Arnold pranksters salute you. Well played, Gentlemen... Well Played!
P.S. We have reason to believe that one of the main masterminds behind this spot of mischief is none other than DAVID CONIGLIO, '79 (You have been officially outed!).
The class of 1983 is another one of those rare class years that exists as a cohesive unit with a collective personality.
They frequently dominate shout-outs in the Warrior facebook groups, cross over class years and make friends with fellow Warriors of any age.
Several Warriors from class of '83 have been involved with reunion efforts since the early days of the Alumni Association.
Josi, Moonpie and Angie
Big shout outs to Angie Pope Rinehart, who was instrumental in pulling together some of the all-years reunions in the 90s, and Josi Williams Amaral, who was heavily involved in helping the association with the 2010 Wiesbaden reunion, as well as helping to run the Warrior network site. These ladies have done so much for the Warrior community.
That love of all Warriors is plain to see in the years represented on the letterjackets of folks who attend the End-of-Year Dinner so often hosted by Josi.
-click here to expand image-
This recurring event is beloved in the hearts of many Warriors, young and old and somewhere in between.
Class of '83 gets together on a regular basis, celebrating their class milestones or just to stay in touch.
A quick glance in the Warrior Honor Roll will also tell you that the Class of '83 has been hit disproportionally with losses that cause many a heart to go out to them.
Their drive to spend time with each other predates that loss, but maybe it also helps them double down on what they already know: Making time to hang with our fellow Warriors is good for the soul.
And they did it again, returning to Austin, TX for their 30th in October 2018, this time with a spread of class years 87-92 and a venue that was to die for...
A hidden gem in the heart of Austin's famous South Congress shopping district, featuring an outdoor Airstream Park with five Airstreams and a gorgeous two-story 4-bedroom house ensconced under beautifully lit Live Oak trees. The atmosphere was amazing, the company even more so.
Impromptu gatherings and mini-reunions continue to pop up with this group.
About 15 classmates from the late 80s and early 90s gathered at an ocean-facing beach house in Panama City Beach, Florida in October of 2019 because they wanted the fun to continue. And now there's talk of additional events coming their way.
P.S. The web developer wants everyone to know-
It's not an accident that 'great' rhymes with 88.*
*(Sorry about that, guys. We feel that the slightly obnoxious arrow above is a sufficient compromise over the flexing Schwarzenegger gif she originally added. She can be annoying... we're aware.)
A few days before the end of the 1989-1990 school year, simmering tensions come to a boil when administration announces yearbooks will not be distributed that day, the scheduled delivery date. Administration gives no reason for the delay, though others claim it is a retaliatory measure aimed at the journalism staff who continue to lock horns with administration over freedom of speech and freedom of press issues.
The story goes that a few journalism students launch a protest after receiving encouragement and instruction from a teacher. As word spreads and students gather, the crowd gets bigger, packing the foyer, spilling into hallways, and up the stairs in the main building.
Military police are called to the scene, though they appear amused when confronted with what amounts to a peaceful sit-in by a bunch of kids packed in the front of the school mostly laughing, talking and having fun. The students take the protest outside, some carrying signs and marching around, others using the time to enjoy the sunshine and get out of class.
The pictures make it clear the students had fun with the protest. And to hear them tell it... they got their yearbooks that day.
Check out the alumni newsletter for more details.
During the 1994-1995 school year, budget cuts for General H. H. Arnold High School were announced to take effect the next school year. With the closure of Lindsey Air Station in 1993, the Air Force had left Wiesbaden, and the number of personnel and their dependents had dropped in the Wiesbaden area.
The proposed changes, elimination of a couple of programs, reduction of the school nurse to half time, and dismissal of several teachers and counselors did not sit well with some parents and students in the community. The parents took to a letter-writing campaign, which garnered only a form-letter response that did not address their concerns.
So, the students decided to act. April 25th, 1995 at 9:00 am, students walked out of class. The walkout had been thoroughly planned, with signage, timing, participation and press coverage. German and American news teams were at the scene.
One of the counselors who was to be eliminated asked the students to return to class around 11:00 am, which the students complied with. The base commander met with the main organizers of the strike and eventually, the student's concerns were taken into account.
One of the issues that led to the WHS protest of 1995 was Wiesbaden Community's pending absorbtion of the Frankfurt American student population after the shuttering of the Abrahms Complex in Frankfurt at the end of the '95 school year.
Wiesbaden students felt they were going to need all hands on deck, especially their school counselors to deal with the difficulties that were bound to arise with the merging of two of the fiercest sports rivals in Germany's American school system.
The Frankfurt Eagles were coming to Wiesbaden. Nurmberg was also coming to WHS, but it was Frankfurt that posed the biggest threat in the minds of Wiesbaden Warriors.
So, how did it go?
To hear the principal tell it, it went well. That principal, who took over leadership of Wiesbaden was Ed Siemaszko, the same principal who was at Frankfurt the year before. What a great leadership move to help with the transition.
It's easy to see why alumni look back on Ed's leadership with fondness.
His comments in the yearbook begin with questions and concerns about how the year would go, and end with crediting the Senior Class of 1996, praising their leadership and citing their positive example to the entire student body as the reason for their success.
The '96 Yearbook theme hints at finding unity at HH Arnold.
Students dress up for Spirit Week - Hippy Style!
In the midst of shrinking and disappearing military communities in Germany, the hope is that the commonality of overseas brats carried the day, that former rivals worked toward being successful together, and that everyone got over the initial awkwardness and feelings of trespassing, and found a welcoming atmosphere in a close-knit community.
Smiling faces thoughout the 1996 yearbook tell a story, much like the stories that came before and after this transitional year.
Learning was done, fun was had, and the Golf team has emerged as the most unlikely, and yet obvious choice to party with. Hat's off to Josh Castle and Hal Hays for bossing it on the green.
Our sincere respect goes out to the Frankfurt and Nürnberg Alumni Community. We don't know what it feels like to lose our home base, but as overseas brats, we feel you.
Construction projects continue on the high school campus. The breezeway, main gym and locker room have been torn down. The old AYA gym has been refurbished into a multi-purpose room with skylights, cafeteria, media center and computer lab. A matching new gym is built alongside it. Gone are the days of crossing the street to the cafeteria; the end of yet another era.
With the peripheral projects nearing completion, it was time to move on to the next phase...
Finally, the Main building and the Annex come down in 2016.
The Principal at the time, Greg Hatch, worked hard to keep a sense of continuity for the students; as showcased by an AFN News segment on the progress of the build and how the community was coping with the changes.
The PR shot of the temp building looks much nicer than the more realistic images of the campus.
The Seniors who graduated from WHS in 2015, 2016 and 2017 spent their time in Wiesbaden attending school at a makeshift campus, surrounded by a construction zone.
These 'displaced' Warriors gained knowledge, made friends, went to the dances, competed as Wiesbaden athletes and experienced all the wonderful things we did, because...
It has never been about the building.
The Wiesbaden American Community has been in the midst of a significant expansion project.
Trying to keep up with what's being done, when and where can be a head-spinning experience, so we've gathered everything we can find into one spot to help keep you informed about the Wiesbaden community.
Come see what's going on...
Like reconnecting, dislike facebook? Prefer networking on a smaller scale? The Alumni Association runs its own chat site:
• No creepy tracking of buying habits
• Open only to:
-WAMS & Elem students
Come on over and check us out...
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