5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2021 6:18 PM by Peter Ostrander Branched to a new discussion.

    Seeking Signal Corps units attached to 101st & 82nd Airborne during Battle of the Bulge

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      I'm looking for more information about US Army Signal Corps history related to attachments to the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions during the Battle of the Bulge. I have this much info from letters my grandfather wrote home after V-E day.

       

      "Went into Bastogne with the 101st Airborne but were withdrawn before the town was surrounded...From Marche’ my team was assigned to the 82nd airborne Div. at Vielsalm, just west of St. Vith, where the Germans were being held up, we thought! We were there just a short time when the Germans began closing in on Vielsalm. The town was shelled for some time and then we were told that there was only one road to get out by, and that was under fire. That was later cut off and we had to wait several hours for the 82nd to push them back far enough to make a run for it which we did at 3 A.M. on a dam dark night. Luck again. We were shelled, but did not have one casualty. Believe me, I was plenty scared, and don’t let anyone tell you different. After we got out far enough to take a deep breath I found that my stomach was full of butterflies, my eyes ached from straining to see in the blackout, and my hands were so cramped around my gun it was a job to get them loose. Will remember that ride for some time and shudder every time I do. After that we went up on the north flank, around Malmedy, Stavelot and Monchau. Had a few hot times there (I don’t mean the weather) but by that time the bulge was beginning to shrink and the battle of Malmedy and Stavelot and the murder of our prisoners there. Those towns are already wrecked and were still burning when we went in. The smell of the places was awful. You can use your imagination, but it won’t be anywhere near the real thing." ~SGT Elmer Samuel Halverson, US Army Signal Corps, Summer 1945

        • Re: Seeking Signal Corps units attached to 101st & 82nd Airborne during Battle of the Bulge
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Moss,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          The U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) has posted online the World War II orders of battle for the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division. Each division had a signal company as a permanent part of the division.  While it does not list any external signal units as formal attachments, there would have been other signal units supporting their operations. The 54th Signal Battalion was assigned to the XVIII Airborne Corps (which included the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions) during the Battle of the Bulge and was reinforced during the battle by companies of the 97th Signal Operations Battalion. There would have been also signal units at the Army and Army Group level as well as various other detachments and teams supporting the campaign. We searched online and located War Department General Order 114 listing units entitled to battle credits for the Ardennes Campaign. A search for the word “Signal” gives 97 results. There also may have been Signal Corps personnel assigned to the staff and support troops of some of the units that were not specifically Signal Corps units.

           

          The following CMH publications provide some insights into the role of the Signal Corps during World War II, to include the Battle of the Bulge:

          • CMH Pub 10-16 The Signal Corps: The Emergency (To December 1941) (and -1) (Paper)
          • CMH Pub 10-17 The Signal Corps: The Test (December 1941 to July 1943)
          • CMH Pub 10-18 The Signal Corps: The Outcome (Mid-1943 Through 1945)
          • CMH Pub 7-8 The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge

          We also locate the following websites that may be of interest:

           

          If you are trying to identify your grandfather’s unit, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF).  OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1958 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center 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. You can also fax the form to 314-801-9195 OR view the record by visiting the NPRC Archival Research Room in St. Louis, MO. Veterans and their next of kin can also use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.

           

          However, due to the coronavirus public health emergency, the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is servicing only urgent requests related to homeless veterans, medical emergencies, and funerals that may be faxed to 314-801-0764. The staff of NPRC thanks you for your patience and looks forward to resuming normal operations when the public health emergency has ended.

           

          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

          • Re: Seeking Signal Corps units attached to 101st & 82nd Airborne during Battle of the Bulge
            Peter Ostrander Wayfarer

            Hello  Lance.

              Not sure if this answers your question. My father was a sargent in the 94th Signal Battalion in WWII. The 94th was part of the III Corps from when they both landed in the ETO and initially assigned to the 3rd Army. Their first assignment was in France in the taking of the forts at Metz. Three days after the last fort, Jeanne d,Arc fell on Dec 13th they were moved to support the southern front line of the Bulge at Arlon Belgium.  Arlon is approx 20 miles south of Bastogne. The 4th Armored Div was then in the III Corps . The 4th were the first to break through to open the road to Bastogne. The 94th SigBn  were the first to make communication contact with the 101st at Bastigne.  The 94th were awarded battle stars for both the Bulge and Bastogne.

             

            The III Corps and 94th next were at the Harlange pocket. Next they were assigned to the First Army and were at the taking of the bridge at Remagen which they awarded the Presidential unit Citation. Next they were up north to the Ruhr pocket. Then assigned back to the 3rd Army and went with Patton when he was pushed aside and given the 15th Army.

            The 94th Signal Battalion was deactivated in Dec 1945. The 94th was formed in May 1942 at Camp Crowder,Mo.

             

            Hope this was of some interest and help and likely more than you may have wanted to know about the 94th.

              • Re: Seeking Signal Corps units attached to 101st & 82nd Airborne during Battle of the Bulge
                Joseph Raniere Newbie

                Peter, My dad was a staff sergeant in the 94th Signal Battalion. I am not sure if you are aware of this but there is a book on the 94th. I just finished reading it. It is fantastic as it takes the Battalion from its create date May 1941 Camp Crowder to demobilization in 1945. Regarding your above response to Lance Moss. You are correct in your detail. I would like to just add one thing more regarding the messenger that was successful in getting the message to the 101st regarding relief. The messenger was Private P. Noss, from near Gary, Minnesota. He delivered that message to one of the American Command Posts in the City.  For this, and later action, this young farm boy was awarded the Bronze Star. If you need more information on the book let's try and connect for a discussion.  The book contains so much more information including the time which a bomb came through the roof of the building that they were in on New Years Eve 1945 which never blew up. My dad told me that story when I was a child and truthfully, it was tough to believe but sure as heck, there are 4 or 5 recounts of that night in the book and it is true that it happened.

                Joe

                1 person found this helpful
                  • Re: Seeking Signal Corps units attached to 101st & 82nd Airborne during Battle of the Bulge
                    David Howell Wayfarer

                    I have started today a Facebook group where we can share information on the 94th Signal Battalion. If you have a issue finding it let me know. My name is David Howell and my Grandfather In Law was Edward Kegeris of the 94th.

                    • Re: Seeking Signal Corps units attached to 101st & 82nd Airborne during Battle of the Bulge
                      Peter Ostrander Wayfarer

                      Hello Joseph - Thanks for your reply.   I had stopped checking HistoryHub after my reply a year ago. I thought that people who participate would get an email that there was an update. I use to check but never saw a reply from the original author of this thread.   I will have to check HH more often in future.

                       

                      Yes your are correct about the book, History of the 94th Signal Battalion by Lt Earl Bennetts. My father died back in 1973 and I only knew a few things. I had been working on trying to find out the where and when of his time in the army and WWII.  This book is THE source for the 94th.  I only found about the book about 3 yrs ago.

                      I have also gotten copies of the After Action Reports (AAR) that Lt Bennetts wrote up during the war.  Each group had to write up summaries of actions and activities and pass up the chain.  While similar to what is in the History also contains other details. My father too  told me also was the bombing of the school building in Arlon where I bomb didn't explode.  It must have been something. But I never knew where or when. The fact that Arlon was only 20 miles south of Bastogne they were at the southern front line of the Bulge.I never realized how much danger he had been in, Actually the whole 94th and III Corps.  My father had made a list during the war of all the places he was stationed from training through the war and  occupation in Germany with approx dates.  This helped me greatly to sync up with the History and now have an almost daily or weekly location where he was. If I remember it's like 60 locations mostly during he war. They were constantly on the move. By his dates and the History I also figured out he was in an Advance Jump Teams that went out ahead of the Battalion.  Again he never talked about the war unless I asked a question and it took 75yrs later for me to find it out all these details.

                       

                      What Company in the 94th  did your father serve A, B or C?

                       

                        My father was in B company.  Enlisted in May 1942 and was with 94th to his discharge in Dec 1945. I have compiled a work (300 pgs) on my father's war time in the Army. I heavily used ( ok copied) from the History.  I also added few hundred photo's my father took while in training and later a few during the war and  most in occupied Germany.   There are daily maps you can find on the Library of Congress web site for 12th Army daily maps starting with D-Day to May 8 1945 when war ends.  I was able to use these also to sync up with the daily activity from the History and AAR to have a maps showing their location. I started out trying to compile a Chronological History of my father's time in the 94th and succeeded beyond my expectations.  There is a history of the Signal Corps , a government pub. written back in the 70s but  it doesn't have much on the 94th.  It leaves out fact they were awarded the Presidential Unit CItation (PUC) for Remagen and 3 Battle Stars for the Bulge, Ardennes and Remagen and no mention.

                      Sorry if some of this is a repeat of what you know.  But others might find of interest. If your interested in talking I can share some scans I have of the AAR or other if interested.  I'm at pjostrander at optonline.net.

                       

                      My one big take away and really didn't know was these guys were truly a Band of Brothers.  I have a few photos of my father with 5-6 others in basic training in 1942 and again at the wars end in 1945.  They served together for the duration.  I had no idea only knowing  how the army deploys these days starting  with Viet Nam up to today in Iraq and Afghanistan.Dad Neurnberg Germany - Reich stadium May 1945

                      Here is a photo of my father in Nuremberg Germany above Hitler's Reich stadium

                      Again Thanks I'm glad you replied.

                      Peter