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Korean War

Korean War

When war broke out on 25 June 1950, the US Army and the Signal Corps were undermanned and ill-equipped. The Corps brought up Reserve signal officers and units and expanded training facilities. There were shortages of various critical components; the equipment was old, mostly WWII era; wire still primarily used; and signalmen struggled to string wire through inhospitable terrain.


These men also made excellent targets for the enemy ambushes. The enemy and fleeing civilians often cut lines making the use of messengers necessary and vital. For long distances, VHF and microwave proved to be the backbone of Eight Army communications. It was flexible enough to keep up with the infantry in its rapid moves that characterized the fighting of 1950-1951. But wire remained number one in their hearts.


While much of the equipment resembled that used in WWII, the Signal Regiment did introduce new devices and innovations as the AN/GRC-26, mobile radiotelephone station; an improved ground radar to locate mortar emplacements; L-5 aircraft were used to deliver up to 34,000 pounds of messages a month; and used planes and helicopters were used to lay wire in rough terrain.


The Korean War brought more challenges to the members of the Regiment than any war previous. Fixed signal stations were prime targets for the enemy and the hostilities produced 334 casualties from the Signal Regiment. CPT Walt Bundy and LT George Mannan were posthumously awarded distinguished service crosses for their actions on 1-2 OCT 1950. During a night infiltration, they covered the escape of seventeen enlisted soldiers from their overrun position at the cost of their own lives. Others who rose above and beyond the call of duty in a hostile new kind of war were the soldiers of the 272d Signal Construction Co. One of several all-black units, the 272d participated in six campaigns between 1950 and 1951, and earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation.


Find out more in "Getting the Message Through" at




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