Casualties suffered by signalmen were second only to the Infantry. Among the citations earned by signalmen were fifty-five Ibid. Army Signal Corps, ," U. Pershing commended the Signal Corps when he remarked: " I desire to congratulate the officers and men of the Signal Corps in France on their work, which stands out as one of the great accomplishments of the American Expeditionary Forces Saltzman, Major General George S.
Gibbs, Major General Irving J.
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Carr, Major General James B. Allison, and Major General Joseph 0. Mauborgne, the Corps struggled against reductions in personnel and funds to meet the escalating demand for telephone and other signal services. One of those services was the Washington-Alaska military cable and telegraph system. By the Signal Corps had replaced some 1, miles of cable with a more durable gutta percha cable.
With forty-four officers, in the Signal Corps operated within this system twenty radio stations and eight hundred and forty miles of land telegraph. By radio circuits had replaced all telegraph stations, except a telegraph line along the Alaskan Railroad. With the conversion from cable and telegraph to radio, in the system was renamed the Alaska Communications System.
Another postwar development was the Signal Corps' operation beginning in of the War Department's message center. Routing all radio, telegraph, and any other formatted messages became the message center's responsibility. Until this time and excepting field purposes, the War Department had not utilized the Corps' telegraph, radio, and cable facilities. One of the most significant postwar developments was in radar. The SCR was designed to direct searchlight beams upon aircraft while the SCR was a mobile long-range aircraft detector or early warning set.
In fact, it was an SCR on Oahu which detected the approach of Japanese aircraft on the morning of 7 December However, before Pearl Harbor the Signal Corps became involved in the development and production of exceptional microwave radars. The British cavity magnetron transmitter tube, brought secretly to the United States in , made this feasible.
The British wanted the engineering and manufacturing assistance of microwave radar. Under the Signal Corps' supervision, numerous Any ground and airborne radar types were developed. These included the microwave SCR, a precise gun director. It later proved decisive in deterring the buzz-bomb attacks on England. Edwin H. Armstrong's invention of frequency modulation FM radio. With Armstrong's volunteer assistance, in the late s the Signal Corps laboratories under Colonel Roger Colton produced the first pushbutton crystal-controlled FM tactical radios, thereby, avoiding fastidious dial tuning.
Their reliability, user friendliness, and relative ease of understanding made them commensurate to wire telephone communications. Other developments in radio included the introduction of the portable set radio series, SCR Advancements were made in navigational radio, communication and air navigation equipment, meteorological research e.
Many of these peacetime achievements were tested in World War II. Ingles, the Signal Corps employed these prewar innovations in radar and radio among others in responding to the Axis threat. World War II was on a larger scale than the previous war and, therefore, more demanding. The Corps mushroomed from 27, to some , soldiers supporting the U.
Army in not one theater, like World War I, but in theaters around the world. Accompanying the physical expansion were continued developments in and testing and production of wire and cable, radio, and radar, and the ever increasing sophisticated elements of modern warfare and its communications-electronics needs. Armstrong's tactical FM radio proved its worth not only in ground warfare but also in tank warfare, in amphibious assaults, and for ship-to-shore use.
Patton's signal officer, Brigadier General E. Hammond, directed the critical radio relay circuits provided by utilizing twenty-eight radio-relay truck units. In tactical combat, Armored Force and Artillery operators benefitted from the static-and-interference-free FM sets that plagued the amplitude modulation AM sets and their users.
Infantrymen profited too from the walkie talkie SCR A veteran of Siegfried Line combat reportedly wrote: "I know the fighting would have lasted longer if we hadn't had FM on our side. We were able to shoot fast and effectively because we could get information quickly and accurately by voice, on FM. FM saved lives and won battles because it speeded our communications and enabled us to move more quickly than the Germans, who had to depend upon AM. The worldwide nature of this war necessitated worldwide strategic communications encompassing long-range, transoceanic, multichannel circuits handling mammoth and continuous flows of communications traffic.
The Signal Corps' Army Communications Service working with commercial communications companies developed single sideband radio facilities, spiral four-field cable, and carrier equipment applicable to radio or wire lines. This made it possible to transmit several telephone or teletype communications simultaneously over a single circuit. Quick teletypewriter techniques replaced slower hand-keyed operations. The Signal Corps developed new enciphering and deciphering machines which were synchronized with the teletypewriters at both ends of the circuits.
The suspension of hand ciphering or coding methods marked a significant advance in World War II strategic communications. Eastward and westward ACAN stations extending from London and eventually to Tokyo formed a worldwide belt of powerful long range multichannel radioteletypewriter circuits. This system and other Signal Corps operations required some , men and assistance from the Women's Army Corps. The Signal Corps had to train most in the very rudiments of communications.
Over 30, officers graduated from some fifty courses while almost , enlisted men were trained in communications-electronics. By the end of World War II, the Signal Corps had grown from a relatively small, poorly equipped and trained body to a vast organization of skilled soldiers capable of providing global communications systems. The Signal Corps produced, furnished, installed, and maintained specialized equipment for all the Army's ground forces and the Army Air Forces.
The Signal Corps' radio and radar equipment was unsurpassed. Its wartime achievements ushered in a new age in electronics technology setting the stage for the postwar communications-electronics industry. But, this did not curtail the Corps' scientific studies. On 10 January Signal Corps scientists, using a modified SCR long range radar antenna the Diana Tower , succeeded in bouncing radar signals off the moon.
The experiment demonstrated that very high frequency radio waves could penetrate the ionosphere encircling the earth and evidenced the feasibility of space communications. Following Project Diana, the Signal Corps broadened its space-related activities and participated in postwar atomic bomb tests.
With the development of Army missiles came the Signal Corps' mission of providing combat surveillance and target acquisition. The Signal Corps made advances in other areas. The Corps developed a walkie talkie weighing one half the amount of wartime models. Progress was made in rear and intermediate area radio-relay equipment, in the development of military intelligence equipment, in vehicular, tank, and ground portable radio sets for artillery, armored and infantry use; in manpack radio sets for frontline use, in the development of wire communications e.
Government Printing Office, , pp. As the all too brief peace gave way to war, once again the Signal Corps was called upon to use these and other innovations in wartime. Back, the Signal Corps again underwent wartime expansion and change. Signalmen were needed in the beginning to operate communications from Japan to Korea and to maintain the Mukden cable. Following the arrival of the Eighth Army in Korea, the Signal Corps provided essential tactical communications.
But, the war was unique.
Matthew Rienzi Thomas
Signalmen had to fight as Infantry in order to preserve their communications and lives. One infantryman commented: "Here they [the enemy] are shooting all over, and those crazy Signal Joes are going on laying lines like nothin's happening. Telephone circuits were not practical. The rugged hills hampered radio relay teams from sending signals between stations. Relay trucks were targets of guerilla warfare and sabotage. The answer was very high frequency VHP radio. VHF radio became more dependable than wire as the primary method of communication.
In fact, one signalman believed it to be the "backbone" of the communications system. This method of transmission, he continued, "was so flexible that it could keep up with the infantry in the rapid moves that characterized the "Kenneth Clifford, A Concise History of Fort Monmouth. Westover Center of Military History, U. Army, Washington, D. Government Printing Office, , p.
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VHF provided communications over mountains, across rivers, ship to shore, and could carry teletype. VHF radio communications in Korea often surpassed expectations. That was particularly helpful during rapid advances and while Korea's Mukden cable was being rehabilitated. It was a Signal Corps responsibility to ensure the operation of the Mukden cable, Korea's primary telephone-telegraph system. This was quite a challenge given the destruction of signal equipment during the war. Often signalmen were forced to work on sections of the cable during an advance keeping just beyond the Infantry.
The Signal Corps met the challenge of the Korean conflict with VHF radio, improvements in radar, particularly in the location of enemy mortar emplacements; new training facilities, such as San Luis Obispo; expanding established schools like Camp Gordon's Signal Corps Training Center, and the derring-do of those "crazy signal joes. A more speedy, reliable, protected, and stable communications system was needed, one that would withstand single breakdowns and still supply rapid communications to all units regardless of their wide dispersion. In the event of an atomic attack and destruction of any signal center on the axis, communications would be severed.
Responding to the lessons learned in Korea and to the deficiencies in the single axis system, the Signal Corps developed the Army Area Communications System. System features included mobility, total self containment, operational capacity in the event major communication centers became inoperable, adequate user required channels, alternate routings capability, and broad coverage even to widely dispersed units. This system provided a reliable multiaxis, multichannel network which enhanced effective command control.
The post Korean conflict years were ones of rapid progress in Captain John W. Among the achievements were a personal atomic radiation dosimeter, a lightweight field television camera with a back-pack transmitter, a highly precise mortar locator, an ultrasonic quartz saw, miniature experimental field radios, light, portable computers to assist battlefield commanders in decision making, silent radar sentries, infrared detection, photographic devices, and seismic and acoustic systems for battlefield surveillance.
The Signal Corps was a pioneer in the satellite and space age. Vanguard I marked the first use of solar cell power in satellites. Vanguard II followed on 17 February Equipped with infrared scanning devices, it provided a rough mapping of the earth's cloud cover. SCORE, a project of the Signal Corps' Advanced Research Project Agency, demonstrated that voice, teletypewriter, and multiple teletypewriter signals could be received, stored, and then retransmitted by an orbiting satellite. These and other accomplishments expanded the Signal Corps' electronics mission area.
These communications have increased in the same proportion as has the extraordinary mobility of troops and of firepower The first regular U. Army ground unit to enter Vietnam was the 39th Signal Battalion. N [F]rom this modest beginning," continued Rienzi, "there followed a steady buildup of Signal troops to match the initially slow but later accelerated growth of U.
Army forces in Vietnam. The 9th Infantry Division was the first American combat unit to operate on a full time basis in Vietnam's Mekong basin. The 9th 27 Colonel G. A rmv Signal Corps , pp. Like signalmen of the past, they adapted to local conditions. The infrequent roads and climatic conditions forced the signalmen to operate largely from helicopters and boats. One of the 9th Signal Battalion's most significant operations was supporting the Mobile Riverine Force, a joint waterborne endeavor comprising an assault squadron of U.
Navy ships carrying the Second Brigade, 9th Infantry Division. When the ship was in route, the radio operators on board continuously turned a hand crank orienting the directional VHF antenna to maintain the strongest signal with Dong Tam. At Dong Tam two men atop a two hundred and four foot tower, linked to the ground by field telephone, manually turned the antenna on the command of radio operators monitoring the ship's signal. In full view of Viet Cong snipers, the signalmen worked closely to antennas radiating high signal voltages.
Eventually the 9th Signal Battalion obtained heavy duty commercial rotors to crank the antennas from the ground. The innovations of the 9th Infantry Division signalmen tied this potent amphibious force together by means of solid communications, while the force elements freely operated in waterways that were previously controlled, for the most part, by the Viet Cong.
Army Strategic Communications Command, comprised six Signal groups, twenty-two Signal battalions, and a total strength of over 23, soldiers, the largest Signal organization ever deployed to a combat area by the U. Rienzi, "Rienzi" The Armv Communicator. The communications system, despite the handicap of having to provide more service than in any previous war and of operating under severe geographical and tactical equipment limitations, has responded brilliantly to the burgeoning requirements of a greatly expanding fighting force.
No combat operation has been limited by lack of communications. The ingenuity, dedication, and professionalism of the communications personnel are deserving of the highest praise. As the United States increased its assistance to the Vietnamese, there was a compelling need for a modem, dependable, large-capacity communications system providing high quality telephone and message circuits. The communications system developed, code named BACK PORCH, used tropospheric scatter radio trunks able to provide numerous circuits between locations more than two hundred miles apart.
Unlike conventional microwave relay links requiring a line of sight between sets, tropospheric scatter trunks passed over extensive distances of enemy terrain linking major operations in Vietnam north of Saigon.
Tactical communications - Wikipedia
A Signal support battalion deployed to Vietnam began operating the system in It was the first use of that type of sophisticated equipment in a combat zone. Technical problems and escalating communication needs led to additional communications service in the form of the Integrated Wideband Communications System.
A wideband communications system "provides numerous channels of communications on a highly reliable basis; included are multi-channel telephone cable, troposcatter, and multi-channel line of sight radio systems such as microwave. The Gulf of Tonkin incidents made it clear that the radio circuits connecting Vietnam with Hawaii and Washington were inadequate and unreliable.
The immediate answer was an experimental satellite ground terminal. The terminal provided one telephone and one teletype circuit to Hawaii. Signals were transmitted from Saigon to Hawaii through a communications satellite launched into a stationary orbit over the Pacific. The experimental synchronous communications satellite system known as SYNCOM operated by signalmen marked the first use of satellite communications in a combat zone.
The U. Army's Strategic Communications Command operated the satellite ground terminal in Vietnam. It supplied the first reliable communications of high quality into and out of Vietnam. The initial stage of this autoaatic dial exchange, which served fifty of the planned one hundred an fifty secure voice subscriber lines, became operational on a limited basis in July By signalmen were operating fully automatic digital message and data switches, yet another first in a war zone. In assessing the communication developments of Vietnam Lieutenant General Rienzi commented: ". The MSE system is a non-developmental system being acquired by the Army Materiel Command to replace the existing switched communications system in the corps and division areas.
The system integrates the functions of the user terminal equipment, switching, radio transmission, communications security COMSEC , and control into one composite communications system. This new advanced communications system is expected to improve significantly battlefield command and control. The integrated mobile communications network will provide corps commanders with a "secure digital communications system.
Rodgers to General William R. Richardson, January Army by This new advanced division and corps level communications system is envisioned to significantly improve battlefield command and control. MSE will supplant the present switchboard, multichannel and communications center system at division and corps. It will provide digital secure communications to mobile and stationary users.
As one signalmen described it, "MSE is the equivalent of an advanced telephone system with stationary telephones and mobile radio terminals, as well as facsimile devices and the capability to accommodate data terminals. In the event of damaged or busy systems, MSE redirects the call using flood search routing. Automation replaces the need to know the switchboard system.
Other features of the system include user owned and operated facsimile and data terminals, call forwarding, preprogrammed conferencing, compressed dialing, digital nonsecure voice terminal telephones for static users, and mobile subscriber radiotelephone terminal telephones for mobile users. Basic to the MSE system are the node centers, which are interchangeable throughout the battlefield. The node centers, linked by the line of sight LOS multichannel systems, will comprise the grid network or backbone system.
A node center switch, LOS multichannel systems, down-the-hill radios, a radio- access unit RAU , and system management facilities constitute the node centers. LOS multichannel systems connect these extension nodes, either large or small, depending on optimum subscriber density, to one or more node centers. Switchboards at the extension nodes provide service to static users and allow them to enter the total area communications system.
Lieutenant General Bruce R. Harris, former commander of the United States Army Signal School and Fort Gordon, believes that the "MSE concept represents a very dramatic change in the way we provide communication service to tactical units, since it gives the user a great deal more flexibility in selecting communications means. Harris, "Commander's Comments," Army Communicator.
The changes will be dramatic in the field as well as in the school [the Signal School]. Over 1, students were scheduled to receive training at the school in followed in by another 1, soldiers. After the school reaches in its expected "sustainment level — enough graduates to meet skill attritions from the Army each year " some 5, soldiers are expected to graduate annually. The most significant issues involved training strategy changes requiring the establishment of a new course to provide extensive hands-on experience for large extension node switch operators.
SINCGARS will equip combat forces with dependable secure voice and data communications capability in the jamming and electromagnetic interference EMI circumstances of the modern battlefield. An FH, spread spectrum technique is used to achieve the desired electronic counter-measures ECCM capability required for operation in a jamming environment. Report, Col John F. Back, Jr. Stokes and Kathy R. This interservice Army, Navy, and Air Force effort provides jam resistance and a secure integrated communication, navigation, and identification CNI system for use in combat.
The Signal Center encountered significant obstacles in attempting to separate the battlefield support IMA functions from those of its peacetime and garrison role. Most of the problems and issues were related to the IMA disciplines of records management and printing and publications. In spite of such unresolved issues, doctrine developed in increased the user's obligation for implementing its own information systems and services.
It placed the user in charge of installing, operating and maintaining its own terminal equipment. It described the Signal officer's expanded role in support of user information system requirements and responsibility for the staff supervision of the IMA disciplines. Emerging Signal support doctrine required users to perform VI functions in support of their own mission requirements. Units, such as psychological operations, medical and public affairs, owned and operated their own VI equipment and systems in support of battlefield operations.
The advantages and disadvantages of each would have to undergo considerable scrutiny before a final decision could be made. The life-cycle management of electronic records from creation and collection through final disposition was a federal requirement that applied to Battlefield Automated Systems BAS as well as to sustaining base systems. BAS profusion in the tactical environment and the related requirement to share concurrently records while adhering to federal electronic record management requirements justified the need. Although major strides were made in identifying IMA responsibilities, the development of IMA doctrine was expected to continue as a significant issue for the next several years.
The professional challenge that these initiatives represent is not new to our Signal Corps. Our history is dominated by rapid change Myer , ltc William J. Nicodemus acting cujj. Benjamin f. Fisher do wniiam b. Hazen BG Adolphus W. Scriven MG George 0. Squier mg Charles MCK. Saltzman mg George s. Globs mg irving j. Allison mg Joseph o. Akin MG George I. Nelson MG Earle F.
Cook MG David P. Gibbs 58 MG David P. Lotz, Jr. Buckingham Assistant Chief of Staff for Automation and Communications MG Clay T. Harris MG Leo M. Childs BG Robert E. In , the Chief of Communications-Electronics became a separate staff agency. James E. Hewes, Jr. As noted in the text, the official designation of the office has changed several times since then.
That office existed until 1 October DA then established the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Automation and Communications as a general staff agency, discontinuing it on 1 October While a medical student at the University of Buffalo, Myer worked part time in the Buffalo office of the New York Telegraph Company and there became familiar with Alexander Bain's electrochemical telegraph system. In Myer used his experience with the electric telegraph to design a sign language for deaf mutes, the subject of his doctoral dissertation. In January Myer passed the Army medical board examination and was appointed as an assistant surgeon in the Medical Corps.
Based on his early interest in a communications system for the deaf, Myer developed a system of visual communications transmitted by a flag or a torch. The War Department adopted Myer's system in Myer's signal Department was staffed by detailed personnel until 3 March when Congress authorized a regular U. Signal Corps for the duration of the war with a colonel as its head. After the war, Myer and the Signal Corps constructed thousands of miles of telegraph lines and in created within the Signal Corps the country's first national weather service.
Myer received many honors in the s and became widely known in meterological circles. On 17 June Myer received a regular commission as a brigadier general which dated from 16 June, the date of the legislation that raised the Chief signal Officer in rank. Myer founded, organized, and directed the Signal Corps in its formative years.
Childs, directed that the title be changed to Chief of Signal. Fisher Colonel Benjamin F. Fisher served as Chief Signal Officer from 26 December to This was during the time that Secretary of War Stanton had dismissed Myer from the position. When Fisher assumed the post there were one hundred and sixty- eight commissioned officers in the Corps and over one thousand non- commissioned officers and privates.
The Corps actively supported the Army's twelve detachments. By 20 October the Corps had completed its wartime mission and virtually had been discharged from the service of the United States. All that remained were nine officers and thirty-seven enlisted men in the Military Division of the Mississippi and fifteen officers and ninety-nine men in the Military Division of the Gulf.
Myer, committed the Signal Corps to operate a weather service for the United States. However, it was his successor, BG William B. Hazen, who excited the entire country by sending two Signal Corps teams to participate in an international polar project that would greatly increase the scientific knowledge about an unknown part of the world.
Hazen, a Civil War hero, faced formidable obstacles as he led the Corps through the decade following Nyer's death. While the one expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska was carried out flawlessly, the other to Lady Franklin Bay near Greenland resulted in great tragedy. Nineteen of its twenty- five members died after bungled rescue attempts. Many blamed Hazen for the tragedy. In addition, Congress dealt the Corps an almost mortal blow in when it closed the Signal School at Fort Myer and turned over military signal instruction to individual branches of the service.
When Hazen died on 16 January , the Corps had severe problems. It would be the job of Captain Adolphus W. Rios, "Brig. William B. Hazen," Signal, , 19 March During his tenure as Chief Signal Officer , Greely introduced the radio, automobile, and the airplane into military use. Langley to produce a flying machine for the military. Although Langley was unsuccessful, his work encouraged the Wright brothers whose invention the Corps purchased in Politically astute as well as an efficient administrator, Greely was instrumental in the survival of the Signal Corps in an era when Congress almost abolished it.
Under Greely' s command, the Corps strengthened its organizational structure and adapted the technology of the 19th century. Greely' s contributions to the Signal Corps were numerous. Among them were arctic exploration and overseeing the construction of thousands of miles of telegraph lines in the American southwest.
But, most of all Greely 's vision and courage made the Signal Corps an efficient, scientific arm of the United States Army. Rios, "Greely modernized Signal Corps," Signal. He not only continued Greely 's aeronautical policies, such as, the Signal Corps' balloon and dirigible operations, but also advocated an air corps, observing in , that other countries were "providing themselves systematically with aerial fleets" and that a sympathetic plan of development of this military auxiliary for [the United States] should be inaugurated without delay.
He and George Squier Chief Signal Officer from to conducted endless radio experiments and were responsible for the first wireless telegraph link in the western hemisphere. Allen's far-sightedness led him to advocate mobile signal equipment in He observed that equipment was needed to provide "instant communication by the side of the commander, wherever he may be required to go in the exercise of his duties.
Rios, "Allen Encouraged tech growth," signal. Soriven When President Wilson ordered U. Scriven, with almost 40 years of service, was nearing the mandatory retirement age of Advances in communications technology picked up momentum as Scriven physically expanded the Signal Corps. The word radio appeared for the first time in the American press. Heretofore, it was called wireless. The telephone was a proven communications device, but a long distance demonstration astounded the Army's Chief of Staff General Scott when he talked directly to General Pershing in Texas.
World War I proved to be a turning point for the Signal Corps. It changed from a small band of individual experimenters into a large corporate organization, owing largely to the influx of civilians from the commercial communications industry. Squier, as military attache, to London where he observed Allied technology and prepared to replace Scriven as the first head of the Signal Corps with an earned Ph.
Carol E. Rios, "BG Scriven expands the corps," Signal. Because of him, the two most important technological developments of his era, the airplane and the radio, became integral parts of America's military arsenal. After completing only the eighth grade and working for two years, Squier entered West Point. Graduating seventh in his class in , Squier went on to complete his Ph.
With a first class education in electrical science, Squier was transferred to Fortress Monroe where he helped found the Artillery Journal and used photography and electromagnetism to measure the velocity of artillery shells. By , Squier had proven the military application of radio through experiments that, for example, fired cannons and detonated mines by remote control. His interest in aeronautics was evidenced by its introduction into the school curriculum.
That interest in aviation intensified when Squier came to Washington in as Assistant Chief signal Officer. Upon his recommendation, the Aeronautical Division was formed. He not only wrote the specifications for the first military aircraft, but witnessed acceptance trials of the Army's first Wright Flyer.
Squier's interest in radio never faltered. During and , he applied for four patents in multiplex telephony, whereby, several verbal messages could be transmitted and received over a single wire, the basis for modern communications systems. As Chief signal Officer during World War I, Squier was responsible not only for radio, but also was charged with the entire aviation and communications mission of the United States Army.
During the war, Squier succeeded in opening two great Army laboratories, one at Fort Monmouth for radio and another at Langley Field, Virginia, for aviation. Squier can be credited with the Army's institutionalization of scientific research and development for military purposes. Rios, "George Squier," Signal. During the next twenty-three years, he represented the Signal Corps in various ways including acting as a delegate to the International Board on Radio Telegraphy in Washington and as a delegate to the International Conference on Sea Safety.
After serving in various capacities in the Office of Chief of Signal e. Upon completion of the assignment, MG Saltzman retired in , with thirty years of active duty. Rios, "Ma j. Saltzman," Signal. He graduated from Harlan High School in , from the State University of Iowa in , and by had earned a Masters degree in engineering.
In Gibbs enlisted in the Iowa Volunteer Infantry as a private. During the Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection, Gibbs served in the volunteer forces, mainly on Signal Corps duty, in ranks from private to first lieutenant. While a sergeant, Gibbs was cited for gallantry in action against the Spanish forces at Manila. In , he supervised the completion of the new Washington-Alaska cable. He held this position until his retirement on 30 June Gibbs died on 9 January Rios, "Father-son team," Signal. Carr Irving J. After graduating from the Pennsylvania Military College in with a degree in civil engineering, Carr began his Amy career in the infantry.
He participated in five battles and engagements in the Philippine Insurrection in Carr's affiliation with the signal Corps began with his graduation from the Army Signal School in He participated in the Aisne-Marne and St. Mihiel offensives and in the Somme-Dieu defensive with the 2d Division.
After his appointment as Chief Signal Officer, Carr presided over a relatively small Signal Corps of approximately officers and 2, enlisted men. In spite of depression era budgets, the Corps was instrumental in the development of communications technology including the teletypewriter, FM radio, and walkie talkie.
In addition, the Corps provided the Army with the most comprehensive radio net in the world. Message traffic averaged almost 82 million messages per year from to Rios, "Irving J. Carr was 10th Signal Officer," Signal. Allison, the 11th Chief Signal Officer. A native of York, South Carolina, Allison was one of many Army officers whose careers spanned the infantry-cavalry days and ended shortly before the material-machine era of World War II. Allison graduated from the South Carolina Military Academy in and on 4 November was appointed a second lieutenant in the 7th Infantry, Regular Army.
Mauborgne Joseph 0. Mauborgne, 12th Chief Signal Officer, pioneered, with others, the development of the aircraft radiotelephone, the device that would change World War I airplanes from solitary units into a cohesive fighting group. Prior to World War II, Mauborgne supported the development of a revolutionary device known as radar, the communications technology that would most affect the outcome of that war. After his commissioning as a second lieutenant in the regular Army in , Mauborgne' s assignments were interspersed with Infantry tours in the Philippine Islands and stateside installations.
During the s and s his numerous research and development assignments included being chief of the Signal Corps' Engineering and Research Division and commanding officer of the Signal Corps' Laboratory in the Bureau of Standards. He retired on 30 September , only a few months before the SCR was used on the island of Oahu, Hawaii on 7 December to detect Japanese aircraft some miles away. M Carol E. Rios, "Joseph Mauborgne, 12th Chief," Signal. With as budget that grew from nine million in to more than five billion in , Olmstead turned to both the Signal Corps' laboratories and the private sector to meet the demands of total war.
Advancements in military technology led to the birth and phenomenal growth of the civilian communications-electronics industry. Mass production of electronic components became commonplace. In spite of radar being in its "billion dollar baby" stage, the Signal Corps needed massive amounts of wire and radio communications, the providers of the heavy-duty voice traffic that assured reliable communications for the war effort. Innovations such as the crystal-controlled FM radio, with its thirty mile range extended by truck-mounted radio relay equipment and automatic coding devices, that ended time consuming hand enciphering and deciphering, made American communications far superior to those of its allies and enemies alike.
With the assistance of an advisory council of reserve officers and a civilian advisory board comprised of key figures in the communications industry, Olmstead brought the Signal Corps to wartime footing. Accomplishments included activating hundreds of Signal units and training thousands of officers and enlisted personnel in a reorganized Signal School. Shortly before his retirement on 16 January , Olmstead was awarded this decoration.
The citation sums up his wartime contributions to the Signal Corps: ". Rios, "Corps' 13th leader," Signal. Ingles likened communications, in the hands of the commander, to a rifle in the hands of an infantryman - each was a weapon used to accomplish certain objectives. As Chief Signal Officer from 1 July until 31 March , Ingles was responsible for providing every commander with the communications to control his forces.
During Ingles' tenure in the branch's highest position, signal troops landed in France on D-Day by parachute with the st Airborne and afoot with the th and th Joint Assault Signal Companies on Omaha and Utah Beaches, respectively. After its phenomenal buildup for the war, he saw the Corps lose its aviation communications-electronics responsibilities to the Army Air Forces, in , and radio-intelligence to the Army Security Agency, the following year. The loss of these activities reduced the Corps' personnel by one half.
However, the expanding military communications-electronics field quickly restored its losses and greatly enlarged the Signal Corps. Before Ingles retired in , the Signal Corps was assimilating the new technology by, among other things, breaking all previous records by transmitting a nine-word radioteletype message around the world in 9. On 10 January , Signal Corps engineers, in Project Diana, made the first radar contact with the moon, using a modified SCR long range radar set.
Ingles died on 15 August Akin MG Spencer B. Before Corregidor and Bataan fell, Akin's radio program, the "Voice of Freedom," broadcast to the world, three times daily, that the two islands were holding. This sometimes irritated others. Sixth army troops, including their commander, LTG Walter Krueger, complained that mobile communications clogged Highway 3, with a long column of heavy Signal Corps' vehicles, during the recapture of Manila near the end of the war.
As Chief of Signal Intelligence in the Far East and of Army forces in the Pacific, Akin exploited the Japanese reliance on radio communications by keeping commanders appraised of pertinent information. In one instance, an intercepted enemy radio message revealed that, expecting bombing raids, the Japanese had issued orders to move airplanes from a vulnerable airfield to a safer location. The Army Air Force used the information to attack before the move could be made, destroying large numbers of enemy aircraft.
Akin's intelligence services crossed service boundaries. At Admiral Haisey's request, a Signal intelligence detachment was placed on his flagship. Vice Admiral Raymond A.
Spruance, as commander of the Fifth Fleet in the southwest Pacific, kept Signal specialists on duty with him at all times. During , radio relay equipment proved itself more vital in the Pacific then in Europe. By November of , message traffic, in that theater of war, was more than a million groups per day. In addition to wire communications, Akin equipped a small Signal Corps' fleet, a flotilla of small vessels, including schooners, ketches and barges, with radio. At first they served as relay ships, but soon became forward command post communications sites, Army Command and Administrative Network ACAN stations, and communications supply depots.
Their support was so coveted that Army elements continually competed to obtain their services. When elevated to Chief Signal Officer of the U. Army in , Akin had earned, among other awards, the Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star, both for gallantry in action in and the Air Medal and Legion of Merit, both in MG Akin retired in He died on 6 October and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Rios, "Voices of freedom proved strong," Signal , 11 June Back advanced through the ranks to Major General. He died in Rios, ""Crazy signal joes' were fighters," Signal. O'Connell, the Signal Corps provided the communications that regardless of mobility and terrain "got the message through. Assignments during the s included Communications Officer of the 35th Infantry Regiment and a company command with the 24th Infantry. By he had earned a Master of Science degree in Communication Engineering at Yale University and returned to the school as an instructor until His civilian awards are equally impressive.
After retiring O'Connell used his technological and leadership abilities with, among others, the General Telephone and Telegraph Company. Rios, "O'Connell 'gets the message through," 1 Signal. Dedicated on 31 March , the building preserves the memory of Ralph T. Nelson, "Under His job was to command the Signal Corps Training Center. About a month later, Nelson became a brigadier general.
After first attending Purdue University, he graduated from the U. Military Academy and was commissioned a second lieutenant in His early assignments were with the Infantry in both the United States and Hawaii. His final assignment of the war was in Austria, where he remained until Nelson served at various U.
Nelson's final resting place is among our nation's finest in Arlington National Cemetery. Cook MG Earle F. Cook, the nineteenth Chief Signal Officer, witnessed the evolution of Signal Corps technology from the wire and AM radio technology of the s to the satellite era of the s and s. His career in the Corps included intelligence, research and development, Army communications, electronic equipment and systems, meteorological devices, and finally activities involving the direction of Signal Corps efforts in space age developments.
Army Pacific. When the Army's Electronic Proving Ground was activated at Fort Huachuca, Cook was deputy commander while many of the new communication-electronic and surveillance equipment were undergoing tests and evaluations. Cook's jobs at the Department of Army level included command in of the U. Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory. It was during this time that he became a brigadier general. Rios, "The talking satellite directed by Cook, Signal. Gibbs, had served as head of the Corps some thirty-five years earlier While the elder Gibbs had worked his way through the ranks from private to major general, David Gibbs graduated from West Point as a second lieutenant in The next two years 55 included various assignments in Korea and Japan.
Upon receipt of his second star, Gibbs was first assistant, then deputy and finally Chief Signal Officer. MG Gibbs died in Rios, "Position family affair," Signal. In he was commissioned a second lieutenant and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee Technological University.
Rodgers also holds an advanced degree in Public Administration from the University of Northern Colorado. He returned to Washington, D. Harris and before his promotion to lieutenant general. He also has earned a Master's degree in political science from Auburn University. MG Harris's assignments are numerous.
Childs and received a promotion to lieutenant general. Gray Robert E. He returned from Vietnam in July Kind Peter A. Kind, a native of Wisconsin, graduated in from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor of science degree in economics and with a commission as a second lieutenant. Kind later earned a master of business administration degree from Harvard University.
Lane Charles Evans Kilbourne, Jr. Greely 87 Morgan D. Lane Morgan D. Lane was born in Monroe, New York in the mid- ' s. In the Cavalry he rose to the rank of sergeant. In March Lane transferred to the Signal Corps and was appointed on 1 April a second-class private. His entire service was in the Army of the Potomac, from which he was honorably discharged on 24 June After November , he served in the 5th Corps to whose headquarters he was attached in early April as the orderly of Lieutenant P.
Niles, a Signal Corps officer. On 6 April , during the pursuit of Lee's army an event occurred that earned Lane the Medal of Honor. Lieutenant Niles' description of the event was quoted in the report of Captain Charles L. Engineers, and my orderly, Private Lane, and in advance of the army, we pursued and captured 7 rebels, viz, 2 naval officers, 1 engineer, 1 acting signal officer all of the rebel gun-boat Nansemond , and 3 enlisted men. Lane, U. Signal Corps. In early Lane sent to Congressman Charles Upson of Michigan a slightly different account of the event.
Upson forwarded Lane's letter to the War Department. The department sought to locate the "Nansemond' s" flag to substantiate Lane's claim. But, the search was in vain. He endorsed it by quoting from Captain Davis' report, supporting Lane's assertion of having secured the flag, albeit from one of the enlisted men, not from the Nansemond 's commanding officer as Lane recalled.
Rios, "Lane gets first Medal of Honor," Signal. Also see Frank C. Lockwood, ed. The Reminiscences Of Will C. As the son of a Signal Corps Officer, Kilbourne spent much of his boyhood years at numerous Army installations. When he reached fifteen, he entered Ohio State University's preparatory school but later left due to illness. In he was admitted to the Virginia Military Institute and graduated in with a degree in civil engineering. Following graduation, Kilbourne moved west and worked as a surveyor in New Mexico and the Pacific northwest.
After serving for a time as an Indian school disciplinarian, he became an observer with the U. Weather Bureau until the war with Spain in Kilbourne answered the call to arms and joined the Volunteer Signal Corps VSC , an expansion of the regular Signal Corps assigned to provide tactical communications to the rapidly expanding Regular Army. In order to be accepted as an officer in the Volunteer Signal Corps the applicant was to be adept in an electrical vocation or telegraphy. Kilbourne was one of the few commissioned VSC officers appointed for his leadership potential rather than for his technical expertise.
He shipped out with Major General Arthur MacArthur's expedition to the Philippine Islands where he participated in the campaign against Spanish forces climaxing in the seizure of Manila. Following the end of hostilities with Spain, the Philippine Insurrection erupted on 4 February The following day 1st Lieutenant Kilbourne earned a place in history. Due to a physical disqualification, his request was denied. Subsequently he returned to San Francisco where he reapplied and was accepted as an infantry officer in the 14th Infantry Regiment. In late , he was ordered back to the Far East.
Kilbourne participated in the Boxer Rebellion at Peking where he led his platoon in the assault that captured the Imperial City Gates. There Kilbourne perforated his duties with the Provost Marshal's office. It was during this tour that Kilbourne made an important career decision. In he requested and was granted a branch transfer to the Artillery Corps. Transferred to Fort Monroe, Virginia to attend the Artillery School, he determined to learn all that he could about his new branch. Kilbourne was the honor graduate in his class and was assigned as the post district adjutant, a highly competitive and reputable position in his day.
He served in this position for the next two years. Promoted to captain in , Kilbourne assumed successive commands of coast artillery companies. Kilbourne 's tenures in command were always characterized by demanding, tough training, and distinguished maintenance. Inspection reports commented on the "perfect conditions" of his coast artillery batteries and of his unit's training, which resulted in setting new gunnery records and improved techniques for both range-finding and fire direction.
The company's mission was the defense of Manila Bay. Kilbourne began the construction of an elaborate defensive fortification system on Corregidor Island. This was to have significant affects on the course of world events. His efforts were finally completed in when as a brigadier general he commanded the entire harbor defenses of Manila.
His outstanding performance was not limited to the training environment. When Moro guerrillas threatened the local area, he undertook several tactical operations against them. In he was assigned to the War Department General Staff during which time he developed plans for the defense of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Serving in several staff position for the following six years, Kilbourne established relationships with his superiors, peers, and subordinates based upon mutual respect and trust.
While serving as the Chief of Staff, Southeastern Department, in Charleston, South Carolina, Major Kilbourne recognized the need for a regular army post in that section of the country. His foresight led to the establishment of Fort Jackson, South Carolina. In preparing to move the division to France, Lieutenant Colonel Kilbourne made a pre-deployment, fact finding trip to the front in France. While learning of the new demands of trench warfare, a mortar shell seriously wounded him.
Not deterred by his wounds and now a 90 colonel, he led the advance party of the division to France and prepared the way for the 89th Infantry Division's entry into combat. Once the division was in combat, the Chief of Staff set an example in leadership by "moving among the forward units, reorganizing them, and urging forward. Mihiel offensive. In October, , he was promoted to brigadier general and was the commanding general of both the 36th Artillery Brigade and later the 3rd Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Division. An indication just how confused the Comsec mission units were at that time is a review of how the th Signal Group were titling these responsible units.
From onward I believe the records will shown the CLSC-Vietnam was the correct gaining unit for all incoming personnel. Speaking with a CWO who was with the unit in he had no recall nor found any old orders having just what perhaps the unit designation was. I contacted him as I, too, could find no reference nor a regular designated signal unit either. Now, I note references are made in some writings where they were six Comsec Divisional Contact Detachments. But only on paper. These were nothing more than paper entities and never manned.
Factually, had they been manned the personnel would have been absorbed into the division signal battalion. These unit never had a mission. I could be wrong, but I never knew of a single person being physically located with a division and served in that capacity. We used those authorizations to gain and hide people.
The 53 rd General Support Group apparently came into country in from Ft. Eustis, VA. Best I can determine that came about in I had the privilege of visiting this unit twice in and again twice in In they were located near the airport area just south east of town. On my first visit all officers were housed with an engineering unit in a hotel downtown.
On my second tour the officers were housed with an aviation unit. Fortunately the unit was relocated and in new quarters by the time of my second tour in as noted. We closed the unit in late or very early in CWO Bright can provide further and more fully the details of the final closure and disposition of the troops and other unit equipment. At that in the war we were standing down in both units and personnel at a rapid rate.
There we in place alternate support plans for not only the Mekong Delta but all other areas as well. Seems as if someone stole the windshield. Not only that, it was during the monsoon season and the troops relied on it for their transportation. In the total scheme of things not a war-looser, but to a wet troop it comes up to a disaster. Fortunately I was able to get a windshield from a friend at a Ordinance unit in Long Binh. It came down to the simple fact it was time that our mission was coming to a close. The 2 nd CLSU had fully accomplished its mission and had done it very well.
The history of the Comsec support mission and those directly involved in that mission has never been told nor will it ever be I suppose. But those of us who were involved we can all be proud of our individual contribution and what our respective units actually accomplished. I was fortunate to have visited ever one of the units during both my tours during and I have never heard of a single incident where any one of our units were ever criticized for a mission failure. We are all aware of the caliber of our personnel.
The were well educated to start with. Their military training was extensive and difficult to say the least. Their job was far from easy. The men were no problem to the commanders. They were without exception fully relied upon in all occasions and they never failed us. As far as pursuing your efforts in the 2 nd Comsec Logistic Support Unit history allow me to give you some names. I do not know of where they are today. That I will leave to you. William N. Not sure if he replaced Major Rice or not. But I think perhaps another was in between them but if so it would have been but for a very short time.
That fact can also be a research avenue as well. James D. See comment on Wittbrodt. Thomas A. Wittbrodt, CPT: He and Scharf, were responsible in fully integrating all the above named units into one. Not sure if he replaced ere the Operations Officer of the th at various times in They could provide a lot of information.