The headquarter complex for the United States Army, Berlin, was located at Clayallee and Saargemuender Strasse in Dahlem, Zehlendorf. This district, built up mainly between the turn of the century and the late 1930´s, was the location of many villas built by wealthy industrialists and financiers.
The Clay Headquarters compound was built for the German Air Force in the years 1936-38. Originally, it was one of seven "Luftwaffe" district headquarters, "Luftgaukommando III", which coordinated air defense for the region stretching from Berlin to Frankfurt-Oder in the east, and Dresden in the south. In 1943, when the seven air defense districts were consolidated into one central command, the compound became headquarters for the air defense of the whole of Germany.
During World War II, as Allied bombing became increasingly intensive, most of the units stationed in the complex were moved. By April 1945, only signal units occupied the central compound. When Russian troops arived in the first days of May, they found the compound abandoned and shrouded in camouflage netting.
In early July, American advance untis entered Berlin, and on 4 July 1945, the Unites States took formal control of the American sector. On 7 July, the building was occupied by the United States Army. Since damage was slight, speedy repairs by the Army Engineers enabled the Office of Military Government for Germany to establish headquarters in the building by the end of 1945. It was here that General Lucius D. Clay exercised his responsibilities for the American sector of West Berlin and for Germany as a whole. The building was also headquarters for the United States Commandant of Berlin. As such, it was one of the nerve centers of American policy during the Berlin Blockade and Airlift (1948-49).
The military occopation government both of West Germany and of West Berlin (OMGUS) ended in 1949. After then, the Clayallee compound headquartered the three elements of the United States Command: the Office of the United States Commander, Berlin; the U.S. Mission, Berlin (State Department); and the Berlin Brigade.
Immediately after the airlift, the Berlin Senat honored General Clay with the renaming of Kronprinzenallee to Clayallee. General Clay died on 16 April 1978. Less than one month later, on the thirtieth anniversary of the end of the Berlin Blockade, 12 May 1979, the compound was named in General Clay´s memory.