Hi Dan....yes I believe you are correct. Being 52,my memory fades when it comes to certain things, but that I'll never forget. Loved it there...great place to be as an 18 year old!
Our M113s were also in MERDC but with out the sand color-we never used it. During one of the Reforger exercises, we did a "Reconstitution Mission" for what ever reason, and were issued forest green M113s...interesting.
I was with 2-81 Armor at Erlangen for my first tour, and then 3-33 Armor at Kirchgoens for my second. While at Erlangen the entire battalion repainted from MASSTER (7th Army) Camo to MERDC, and at first we were following the book strictly using four colors. For some reason word came down to paint out the sand "lines" on vehicles that were already done, and not apply that color in the pattern to anything yet to be painted. So everything was left in a three color pattern of Forest Green, Field Drab, and Black. The only use of sand was to provided a backing for bumper numbers.
I saw the same thing on my second tour with 3-33, and from what I can determine it seemed to be a USAREUR thing, because when I was stateside, everything was in full four color MERDC with the sand lines included.
I never have been able to find out why USAREUR choose to delete the sand lines.
Later on of course, everything was done in NATO Tri-Color, but I was long gone when that started.