least popular publication at the Pentagon is the Overseas
-- Time Magazine, 10/20/1967
"Greatest little paper you ever saw. Any time I wanted to
spread the word in the Division, I told the Overseas Weekly."
-- Maj. Gen. Walter Kerwin, Jr.
Commander, U.S. 3rd Armored Division
Quoted in OW issue of 10/14/1966
"[The Overseas Weekly is] personally
-- Robert S. McNamara
U.S. Secretary of Defense
Newsweek Magazine, 7/18/1966
The name "Overseas Weekly" is likely
to mean nothing to U.S. military veterans who did not serve in
Europe at some point from 1950 to around 1975, or in the Far
East during 1964 to 1975. To those vets, and in particular to
the all-volunteer Army of the 1980's to present day, the mere
existence of such a newspaper must come as a surprise and a shock.
But it did exist, and unforgettably so, for over 25 years. During
that time the majority of U.S. soldiers were draftee's, and for
about 10 of those 25 years the Vietnam War cast its morale-lowering
cloud even over the Army in Europe. Much of the U.S. military
abroad faced certain levels of racial, drug, and other personnel
problems that it had never faced before and has never faced since.
Although the pre-Vietnam 1950's and early
1960's in Europe in terms of military service were relatively
quiet and more patriotic in most respects, it was still not an
all-volunteer and entirely gung-ho Army. The "common GI"
really had no voice, and the military-controlled newspaper Stars
and Stripes was hardly a sounding board. In that environment
in 1950, the Overseas Weekly was first published in Frankfurt/M
by an enterprising young American woman, Marion Rospach. Its
target readership would be U.S. military personnel and their
families stationed throughout Europe. Its ownership and staff
were civilian, and free of Department of Defense control. Part
legitimate news and sports journal, part serious whistle-blower,
and part sensational and often humorous tabloid, OW was to become
an integral part of the American military community. It would
at times hold surprising power and influence over the decisions
of American and German authorities alike, civilian and military.
How and why OW would disappear from the scene,
both overseas and with an eventual stateside edition, is a topic
for future research.