Russ Mission Given Escorts

By Pete Shinn
The Stars And Stripes
Apr 1, 1962

THE U.S. ARMY clamped down on activities of the Soviet military mission in West Germany in the wake of the incident in East Germany in which shots were fired at an American staff car.

The car was hit by five Vopo [Volks Polizei - East German police] bullets.

Gen Bruce C. Clarke, USAREUR commander-in-chief, also suspended routine patrols of the U.S. liaison mission in East Germany.

Clarke said that Soviet mission members in Frankfurt may travel only with American escort.  MPs moved in to cordon off the Soviet mission compounds in Frankfurt.

The Russian reply to Clarke's protest over the shooting incident was called "unacceptable."

The reply by Soviet Marshal Ivan S. Koniev, commander of Soviet troops in East Germany, was not acceptable, Clarke said, because it did not assure the safety of U.S. Mission personnel in the future.

The Soviet reply alleged Americans involved in the shooting had broken East German traffic regulations.

"In point of fact, no reason was given when a U.S. Mission auto was stopped at 11:50 a.m., east of Wahlwinkel," the U.S. Army statement said.

A USAREUR spokesman said that even if the allegations of traffic violations were correct--which they were not--firing on the car with U.S. Mission personnel inside was completely unjustified.

The President's military adviser flew in to visit the divided city of Berlin last week.

While in the city, Gen Maxwell D. Taylor (ret.) conferred with Gen Lucius D. Clay (ret.), the President's representative in Berlin, and other American officials.

Taylor called Soviet harassment in the air corridors to West Berlin "senseless, pointless nonsense."  He said the Russian tactics have "no bearing on the ability to keep airlanes open."

After his visit to Berlin, Taylor flew to Britain for consultations with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, Foreign Secretary Lord Home and American officials.

News clipping courtesy Mel Ratz
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