The only places you will find this on the Internet are a couple of Cold War casualty websites. The news is remarkably blank on the subject as they were caught doing bad reporting (no reporting at all, really). The news media at the time basically ran a story based on what they heard, not an investigation of the facts (sound familiar?).
I was stationed in (then) West Germany when this happened. There was some difference of opinion whether or not it was over a card game or a love triangle, but the rest of the facts were clear. A GI put a sabot round into his M60 tank’s gun and fired it into another M60 directly behind him at the rail head.
By the time the story got back to the USA and the American media coverage was repeated on Armed Forces Radio and Television, this story would not have been recognized by its own mother. It was variously portrayed as a terror attack, as communist infiltration within our ranks, in fact, almost everything but what it was.
I admit I trusted the US media when I was young. Walter Cronkite and the rest. That trust was shaken during Vietnam and finally destroyed in West Germany. The reporting in Vietnam was slanted, we all realized that, but the reporting from West Germany on this incident was so far off the mark I realized they were just making it up. And it as all of them back then. All three networks. I’ve never trusted the Fourth Estate since. I always insist on backup, then backup for the backup. Having the mainstream media decide what you should hear and how it should be spun is a bad idea. That’s why I like the Internet. It can, and has, held the media’s feet to the fire and caught them being wrong, lazy, and out & out lying and/or making stuff up. That is also why I am worried about the big Internet companies censoring people for political views which hold the liberal media up to scrutiny. We need freedom to challenge opinion, even (or especially) the media’s. I find it strange that the big Internet companies allow flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers free forums, yet censor conservative political views.
Here’s the real scoop from the Association of the 3rd Armored Division. I looked all morning for news reports on this but there are none I can find. Only other Cold War casualty websites:
SP4 Gregory “Frank” Montoya & SP4 Patrick Romero, A Company 3rd Battalion 32 Armor. were killed on 4 November 1980 at the Hohenfels rail head when (name deleted) climbed into a tank during rail loading, loaded the M60A3 main gun with an armor piercing round (Sabot) & fired the main gun into the tank behind his. All tanks are rail loaded with the main gun in a travel lock position over the back deck. There was apparently a lot of confusion about the whole incident with reports of a lighting strike causing rounds to explode. The incident was finally solved when the tank main gun rounds were counted & inventoried. SGT Jeffrey Young & PVT David Park were also badly burned during this incident. *****The SOB convicted of this murder was sentenced to 20 yrs in Leavenworth but only served 8 years!!
Additional information provided by CPT Mark S. Atwood: The 1980 incident in 3/32, when the sabot round was fired into the turret of another tank during movement by rail, it is my understanding there was bad blood between the shooter and some/all members of the other crew over a card game. During rail movements the troops played cards, D and D, etc to pass the time. The shooter had been the big loser and I believe, thought he had been cheated. Here is additional information on this incident from Ken Armstrong: I served with 3/32 in 1979-1981 and was stationed in Freidburg at Ray Barracks. I also served with Greg Montoya and Pat Romero and was present when they were killed in November of 1980. Pat was a good friend and we drank many a beer together. Additional information on this event from Richard Zipse: I didn’t know Pat Romero but Frank was not only a great guy but getting very short. It was sad indeed that the filthy **** that killed him got out of Germany, much less Leavenworth, alive. As I remember it, he had been chasing a section 8 for months. I’m pretty sure Sgt. Young and I were on 14 together for a bit before he made rank and moved over to the third platoon; and, also that Park was very new to the unit and had just arrived as they needed crewmen. I’m thinking SSGT Able got him out of the smoked vehicle but not certain…also I’m thinking he was flown to Walter Reed Hospital due to the extent of his burns and later passed on….though this obviously may be incorrect.