Browse Exhibits (2 total)

The 56th Signal Battalion

The US Army 56th Signal Battalion was activated at Fort Jackson, SC in January 1941. The unit was complemented with a group of 460 peacetime Selective Service Draftees from the reception Centers at Camp Dix, NJ and Camp Upton, NY. The period of service originally was to be for one year in accordance with existing governmental regulations. On December 7, 1941 the action at Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war, the one year period of service was extended. In June of 1942 the Battalion left Fort Jackson for the NY overseas staging area and sailed aboard the troopship SS Argentina in Naval convoy from the New York Port of Embarkation on July 1, 1942. The convoy arrived at Greenock, Scotland on July 12, 1942 after an anxious and treacherous voyage across the enemy submarine infested North Atlantic. After 2 years spent in the United Kingdom engaged in training and establishing a Communications Network during the build-up of the Allied Forces, the unit was prepared for the US First Army assault upon the Continent of Europe. On June 6, 1944, elements of the Battalion landed on Easy Red, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France with the US Army Fifth Corps. The 1944-45 winter Ardennes campaign proved the most trying test for the 56th Signal Battalion. Enemy shelling on all wire axis, mud, sleet and snow and impossible travel conditions required herculean efforts to keep communications functioning. At the end of hostilities on May 8, 1945 the Battalion, as part of the Third US Army Forces, had reached Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. Awarded Army Unit Commendation Medal, Battle Star Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe and Initial Assault Bronze Service Arrowhead - Combat Days - 335, Combat Road Miles - 1305 from Normandy Beach on D-Day

A Soldier's Life

A collection of documents, telegrams, maps and letters that traced my journey through the war.