Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Baltic Corps II

English army uniforms were black, the wage about 102 DM and 24 shillings. These corps folded once immigration began.

The American zone formed guards, the first in 1946 in Wurzburg Military Community Headquarters APO 227, May 20th. This squad was from the Seligenstadt DP camp. The squad was lead y Captain Matulionis. They had no uniform but had UNRRA on their borrowed raincoats. Armed guards guarded the army’s railway wagons and other objects. The first corps was formed in the beginning of January 1946, Jan 5th the second corps was formed. The English corps was called the Labor Service Co, the Guard company was added, sometimes known as Lithuanian Guard Company, officially the word civilian was added. The corps was run along military lines, you were known by your army rank.

The first corps was from Scheinfeld and other DP Camps, the II corps was formed from several DP camps, this corps tried to recruit men who did not have DP status. The corps was formed in Scheinfeld DPcamp. From here, you were taken to Kafertal near Mannheim training centre. This centre had many Poles and was so called Camp Kosciuszko. From the train station, they marched singing. Most of the men had served in some army. Here they learnt drills, how to use firearms. Everything was by USA Army standards. All the commands were in English. At the camp they received black uniforms, white socks, ties, belts and either white or blue helmets. Because of the colour of the uniform, we were known as “blackies”. On their sleeves they wore the national colours with corps number or ‘Baltic’ on it. The rank insignia were like in the army on your shoulders or sleeves.

Monday, 6 July 2009

The Americans are coming


In 1964 a team of American and Canadian Lithuanian basketballs arrived in Australia. It was the first time a team representing a free Lithuania came here. Twelve athletes with their coach, plus media arrived July 9th 1964 in Sydney airport. They were met by ALFAS president Jurgis Jonavicius, Sydney “Kovas” sport team and women in national costume.

Twenty-five games were organised around Australia, competing against teams from different towns, ethnic groups and Lithuanian and Latvian combined teams.

The image above shows the team ariving at Adelaide airport.