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Dear Ms. Kessinger,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
"Co. C 32nd M.Tank BN, CCB" stands for Company C, 32nd Medium Tank Battalion, Combat Command B. In 1949, the 32nd Medium Tank Battalion was assigned to the 3rd Armored Division, which was stationed in Fort Knox as a training formation.
There were no Army units called the “3rd Signal Corps”. There is only a single US Army Signal Corps which is the branch of the Army responsible for maintaining Army communications systems such as radios. Some signal corps units were also involved in combat photography and creating films for the Army. Furthermore, the 3rd Armored Division never served in Korea. If your father deployed with a 3rd Division to Korea, it was likely the 3rd Infantry Division. It may be that your father served in the 3rd Signal Company, which was the signal company assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division. During the Korean War, the 3rd Signal Company participated in eight of that conflict’s ten campaigns (CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea, Summer-Fall 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953), garnering two more Meritorious Unit Commendations, a pair of Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations, and the Chryssoun Aristion Andrias (Cross of Valor).
An official Army campaign recognizes a particular action or series of actions, involving combat, which has historical significance or military importance to the Army and the nation. Beginning with Korea, the definitions of the campaigns were based solely on participation in the war zone between particular dates. See Listing of the Campaigns of the U.S. Army Displayed on the Army Flag for a listing of the campaigns of the Korean War. Therefore, the 3rd Signal Company’s credit for participation in campaigns is based on the dates that it served in the Korean conflict.
In regards to hills, the Korean peninsula is rather rugged and hills and mountains were frequently centers of conflict as the opposing forces sought to control high grounds. High grounds are advantageous because troops on them can typically see and shoot further than those in valleys or other low grounds, and it is also difficult to attack a higher ground because moving upslope requires more energy. Therefore, controlling hills provided a tactical advantage.
If you have not already done so, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for soldiers of the U.S. Army who served during the Korean War and who were separated from the service after October 1912 and before 1959 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know, you may omit it or provide estimates (such as for dates), but the more information you provide, the easier it will be to locate the correct file if it survived the fire. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
Copies of most of the Army unit monthly rosters from 1947 - 1959 and morning reports from November 1, 1912 to 1959 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). For more information about these records, please contact RL-SL via email at email@example.com.
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Command Reports, 1949 - 1954 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917 - 1985 (Record Group 407) that includes the file 303-SIG - 3rd Infantry Division: Command Report of the 3rd Signal Company, 05/1953 - 09/1953 as well as a total of 510 files concerning the 3rd Infantry Division during the during the Korean War. We also located a series titled Unit Histories, 1943 - 1967 in the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) ( Record Group 338) that includes the file unit titled 3rd Infantry Division: Historical Reports Signal Company as well as a total of 315 files concerning the 3rd Infantry Division during the 1950s. See also The Korean War Reference Information Paper 103 for more information about Korean War related records in National Archives custody. For more information about these non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL and RDT2. Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
The U.S. Army Center of Military History has a number of online resources regarding the Korean War, including the publication Combat Support in Korea which has some information regarding various signal corps activities during the Korean War.
The U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013, has a large collection of published unit histories.
Additionally, you may wish to review the following sources, as well as search online for keywords such as “3rd Signal Company” or “3rd Infantry Division” plus “Korea”. You may also wish to search libraries and book retailers for books regarding the Korean War.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!