Corps of Signals 100th Anniversary
1911 - 2011

Photographs and Report on 14th Reunion at Jablapur: 13- 15 Feb 2011

Saturday, 26 November 2011

US Signal Corps in India- Burma War 1945

US Signal Battalions
2nd Signal Service Battalion
Det F, 2nd Signal Service BN - New Delhi
23d Signal Battalion (Heavy Construction) - Myitkyina
31st Signal Battalion (Heavy Construction) - Dudhkundi; China (See CBI Unit Histories) Co. A - Rupsi
96th Signal Battalion - Shaduzup
Meritorious Unit Commendation: 23 Oct 43-31 Aug 44, GO 47, Hq USF IBT, dtd 19 Feb 45
Source: Ex-CBI Roundup, December 1980 Issue
The following citation was issued 19 February 1945 by Headquarters United States Forces, India-Burma Theater, APO 885:
During the period 23 October 1943 to 31 August 1944, the 96th SIGNAL BATTALION was called upon to construct, maintain and operate an intricate signal communications system in the jungle of Burma under the most severe and adverse conditions of monsoon and disease and in the face of enemy action. This organization worked in a most exemplary manner to provide the highly efficient signal communications needed to make possible the capture of Northern Burma. The entire battalion saw prolonged service with combat units in Northern Burma serving side by side with Merrill's Marauders. It operated telephone, teletype and radio installations along the Ledo Road from Ledo to Myitkyina, where installations were made under intense enemy shell fire. The record of achievement of the 96th SIGNAL BATTALION is worthy of the finest traditions of the military service of the United States.
Source: Ex-CBI Roundup, February 1999 Issue
We left the USA from Hampton Roads, VA, across the Atlantic to Oran, North Africa. On November 23, 1943, found us pulling out of Oran and on a trip that was to be different than the watchful, but uneventful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
On November 26th, at about 1630, we were greeted by Heinkel 177s. For 2 1/2 hours, the air was full of death, terror and destruction. Although our ship, the Banfora, has suffered no more than near misses, the deck of our ship was splattered with falling fragments of anti-aircraft shells. Our sister ship, the Rhonda, suffered major damage and was sunk with a great many lives of American GIs were lost. Three days later, the "Jerries" came back for another visit using glider bombs. This time they were driven away. The rest of the trip was quiet and we were not to hear the enemy bombs again until we were deep in the wild Burma jungles.

The 96th Signal Battalion was known as the "Ballantine Battalion" due to the fact our army insignia on our equipment was the insignia of the Ballantine Beer. We landed into Bombay, taking the long train ride to Calcutta, down to Assam. From there the Battalion took the long trek in the land of MYSTERY, INTRIGUE AND LONLINESS, known to CBIers as "Burma". We had many stopovers such as Wawalun, Shaduzup, Bhamo, Lashio and finally into Myitkyina and then into Kunming. -- Mr. Fred Robertucci
219th Signal Service Battalion *
236th Signal Service Battalion - Dikom
Source: Mr. Zadoc A. Pool, TSgt, 236th Signal Co.:
The 236th Signal Company arrived CBI c. August 1943. It was redesignated as the 236th Signal Service Battalion late 1944; Hq at Dikom (near Chabua). I joined the outfit in February 1945 and continued as a member until April 1946; I went to Calcutta on points, and I think the unit was deactivated shortly thereafter.
Photo courtesy of Capt Douglas MacLeod, U.S. Army Signal Corps)

341st Signal Service Battalion*
428th Signal Battalion (Heavy Construction, Avn) (Colored) - Calcutta; Ledo; Loglai
Arrived India 20 Mar 44. Orders to reorganize to Heavy Construction Battalion
432nd Signal Battalion (Heavy Construction, Avn) - Calcutta, Kanchrapara (Less Co. B)
Co. B - Chuadanga
China Burma India Signal Units
CBI Unit histories: click here for more Pictures taken in India

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