Thursday, November 8, 2007

Radio-op / Paul London

It all started when the USA armed forces WW2 wartime enlistment service began advertising posters of UNCLE SAM pointing at you and saying "I NEED YOU". The ads offered to permit you to choose your preferred branch of service. I went down to the enlistment sevice and asked to be assigned to the Air Corps. They accepted me but learned that I had previous morse code
experience and thats how I was put on detached service to the Signal Corps for the rest of the war. The closest I came to the Air Corp was when they flew me from Leyte to Manila on my
way to Japan at the close of the war.

I enlisted WW2 Oct 1942 and reported to Camp Crowder, Missouri for basic training. Upon completion was ordered to Fort Monmouth, NJ for cross training as Mil-spec 777 fixed station radio operator (which required passing 25WPM CW) also Navy signal lights and M-209 cryptography machine operator. Was then assigned to 2201st Provisional Signal Company at Sea Girt, NJ.... Shipped overseas July 1944 and arrived Guadalcanal.... 2201st was assigned to newly formed 8th Army (HQ) as it's communications company.
First invasion assignment was Hollandia, New Guinea.... About that time 2201st was renamed 4025th Signal Service Group, detachment 8.... Next invasion assignment was Leyte, Philippine Islands.... Detachment 8 was attached to the 304th Signal Battalion when they arrived in Leyte some months later.... My next asignment was to a special 6 man radio communications team and assigned to 8th Army HQ newly acquired Emergency Communications ship PCE-850 (Fairview).... Duty was to provide the on site commanding general and his staff with immediate emergency communications during upcoming invasions.... Philippine invasions of Panay, Cebu, Mindoro, Mindanao followed.... Team was in position off Negros for it's planned invasion which was cancelled unexpectedly.... Upon completion of each invasion assignment emergency communications team returned to land based 8th Army HQ (where ever it was at that time) and resumed normal duties....
When Japan offered to surrender, communications team was flown to Manila and rejoined the PCE-850.... PCE-850 was the third ship to arrive at the mouth of Tokyo Bay for the occupation of Japan with the battleship Missouri not far behind ....PCE-850 waited for a group to assemble and then all entered the bay as initial occupation forces**. This took place five days before the Japanese surrender was signed on the Missouri September 2,1945.... During these five days the war was still on and PCE-850 was anchored in Tokyo Bay at Yokohama....... anchored off the starboard midship of the Missouri..... We were witness to the surrender ceremonies of the greatest war ever fought.... 8th Army HQ set up operations in the Yokohama Custom House at which time I was promoted to 8th Army HQ Radio Trick Chief.... Our billet was in the Imperial Japanese Silk Mill building located near by.... Finally left Japan end of January 1946 for USA and discharge.... My SOPAC (South Pacific)radio call signs were PM46, A3K and WVVV
** We were each issued one historical special imprinted mailing envelope that confirmed our arrival within the first two hours of Japanese occupation
Started and built manufacturing company which produced marketing displays, super market equipmenmt and consumer housewares that were sold nationally.
Built home in Punta Gorda, Florida August 1982 and retired there shortly after....
New Jersey ham call n2dhf changed to ki4xz and signed up as RACES volunteer.... Emergency Management director Wayne Sallade appointed me Charlotte County RACES Radio Officer/ARES EC in 1990 and I held emergency communications post until I resigned in 2000 when I planned moving to Boynton Beach. Florida.// Am now active in developing a CERT emergency communications ham network in Palm Beach County, Florida.