97th Signal Battalion. Nellingen Kaserne 1954

 

 

 

 

Don Davis   

 

English Version on End of this Page

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Herr Don Davis kam mit dem 97. Signal Battalion im Winter 1955 nach Böblingen / Deutschland in die Panzerkaserne. Kurze Zeit später wurden insgesamt sieben Kameraden seines Battalions in die Nellingen Kaserne versetzt. Das 97. war dort dem 87. Ordenanz Battalion unterstellt. Diese Kabel und Elektrik Spezialisten hatten die Aufgabe einen streng geheimen Alarm Kommunikations-Stand zu installieren und aufzubauen. Diese Kabelnetzwerk Station war eine von 57 in Deutschland, Italien und Frankreich. Alle waren miteinander verbunden. Die Soldaten arbeiteten im 12 Stunden Schichtdienst rund um die Uhr. Gegenüber des General-Gebäudes, im Haus Nr. 3505 wurden sie in die Kellerräume einquartiert die noch im 2. Weltkrieg als Luftschutzbunker dienten. General Banks hatte damals diesen Alarmanlagen Profis spezielle Ausweise ausgestellt um im ganzen Bundesgebiet in US-Amerikanische Einrichtungen zu reisen. Im Juni 1956 ist Don Davis zurück in die USA.

 

Nellingen Kaserne 2007 - southern part

97th Sig Bn - WOC 1954 Nellingen

 

97th Sig Bn - WOC 1954

 

97th Sig Bn - WOC 1954

 

 

 

97th Signal Bn cover

Original Comment of Don Davis:

 

 

MY TOUR OF DUTY WITH THE 97TH SIGNAL BN 1955-1956

I arrived in Germany in the winter of 1955. I was assigned to the 97th Signal Battalion, Wire Company, at Boeblingen. The first few months, I worked at the 7th Army Hqs. Communications Center at Patch Barracks.

During the fall of 1955, I was assigned to a
detachment of 7 men to set up and operate a secret alert communications station far from the company, at Nellingen, Germany. Our station was one of 57 alert stations around Germany, Italy, and France. My unit was assigned to the 7th Army G3 at Army Hqs. We were under the direct control of Brig. Gen. Banks, the Army G3 officer.

When the Army went out on one of many maneuvers, my detachment went with them. We provided all communications for the G3 Officer, Gen. Banks. All members of our detachment had to have top Secret clearance, by the FBI before we were allowed to provide this service. When the maneuvers were over, we went back to Nellingen, to operate our secret communications network. We all worked 12 hours on duty and 12 hours off, seven days a week.

At Nellingen, we were assigned to Hqs Company, 87th Ord. Bn. They were to have NO contact with our detachment. They moved a whole company out of their barracks, and our little 7 man detachment occupied the building and set up our communications station in the basement. This was an old German barracks and our station was set up in an old bomb shelter in the basement, behind 4 ft. walls and a steel door, that was closed at all times.

We went on the air at 0600 each morning and closed down at 1800 hours each night. We could not shut down until all 57 stations answered the call. We ate at the battalion mess hall, with the guards going on duty, which means, we ate first. They provided us with sandwiches and coffee each night for our night crew.

The only contact we had with our company, was on payday. A Lt. from the battalion would drive up and give us our pay. We had our own generators in case of a power failure; they ran them all during the day. When we went to the field on maneuvers, we took our generators, which were on a trailer, with us. Since we were off by ourselves, Gen. Banks issued us pass’s good for all off duty time, for the Federal Republic of Germany. More than once, we were stopped my MP’s that didn’t believe our pass, but when we had them call the 7th Army Hqs. They saw the error of their ways. Gen. Banks didn’t like his authority questioned.

I left this duty station in June of 1956 to return to the States for discharge. I believe the reason you haven’t heard much about the alert stations was everything was Top Secret at the time, and we were not a very large group. These alert stations were set up in case of a surprise attack by a foreign power, the first thing that would be hit was the communications network at 7th Army Hqs. Then the alert stations would go to full operational status so the Army could communicate with the different units under their command.

I am sending you some pictures of some of what I have told you, including an article from the Stars and Stripes on the whole 7th Army communications set-up in Germany, excluding us, because they didn’t know about us. I trust this piece will be of some help to you and your Web Site, by the way, I think it is terrific.

Don Davis former member of Wire Co. 97th Signal Battalion.

 

 

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