Signal air warning battalion consolidated history of the


PART III TACTICAL OPERATIONS



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PART III

TACTICAL OPERATIONS

Company "A"

A. RADAR OPERATIONS

The Forward Direction Post successfully directed aircraft in action against an enemy flight on 28 July 1944 with the following losses to the Germans: 3 ME 109's destroyed, 2 FW 190 destroyed. 2 FW 190 probably destroyed; 3 FW-190 damaged; 1 ME 109 damaged. An extract from the log of 2nd Lt. Donald H. Ratkie, Controller of the FDP, gives a revealing account of the action from his Filter Board position:

"At approximately 1630, 28 July 1944, Churchspire Squadron under the control of this Unit was over the Wash at the foot of Cherbourg Peninsula. This Squadron was told to go there and assemble as White and Red Flights were separated after investigating a flight of friendly aircraft. When assembled told to go to angles 12 and proceed to check point 16 where hostile aircraft had been reported. This

information derived from I.C. at type 15. Churchspire left the Wash on vector of 100 degrees at 1632, and was told at 1635 that there was an unidentified flight (Bogies) at 3 O'Clock to them, angles 9, range 9 miles. 'Bogie' target on

type 15 scope tracked both on PPI and HR and heights checked continually. At 1635, Controller warned flight 'Bogies' were at the same height and approaching them from 9 O'Clock, range 4 miles".

" 'Bogies' changed course to 12 O'Clock to Churchspire and Churchspire was warned".

" 'Bogies' appeared to be crossing the path of Churchspire, aircraft of target at 2 O'Clock, Churchspire was called and friendlies were warned at 1641 to look out for them as we believed them to be Bandits".

"At 1642, Controller (Lt Ratkie) asked Churchspire if 'Bogies' at 2 O'Clock were Bandits. Answered Yes. "Churchspire attacked and no contact made until

1657. Controller asked Churchspire how his gas was. He answered OK; then new target in same area appeared. At the same time, I.C. said new flight of hostile’s were in that area at angles 5. Controller told Churchspire hostile’s were directly above him and to climb.


When Churchspire burst through the overcast, the enemy were right in front of him. Churchspire attacked immediately. "New contact made at 1711 when Churchspire Squadron which had separated began asking for homing’s."

B. GROUND OBSERVER ACTIVITY

For Ground Observer Activity and credits, refer to Part V.
Company "B"

A. RADAR OPERATIONS

Information supplied by the Forward Direction Post under the control of 2nd Lt. Harvey A. White, AC, Controller, accounted for an additional credit of 9 nemy aircraft to the record of the Battlion's accomplishments. Lt. White reports a brief Summary of a mission executed by the Rover Squadron of the 354th Fighter Group and controlled by his FDP:

"On 26th July at 1445 hours, I had the 354th Fighter Group Rover Squadron in particular. They were in a position West of St. Lo when the Wing Liason Officer, Lt. Meath, called and advised that the Bandits were South of Bayeaux.

"I sent my planes toward St. Lo, in the meantime picking up the blip of the enemy planes which appeared on the scope very faintly moving West and South. When My planes were approximately over St. Lo, I sent them South on a 170 degrees vector and intercepted the enemy at approximately T6044. Rover were flying in the elements of six each above and below the overcast. I believe only the high element contacted Bandits. There were about 40 Bandits in the group

and 9 ME 109's were destroyed with no loss to our aircraft. The blip which appeared reporting the enemy flight was too weak to give a definate height as it was only slightly visible on the scope".

B. GROUND OBSERVER ACTIVITY

On 19 July 1944 at 1430 hours, 1 ME 109 was reported by the King Observer Post and later the Love Ground Observer Post reported in 3 ME 109's. This flight developed into 12 aircraft. One was destroyed by Anti Aircraft fire and 1 by

Fighter planes. King Ground Observer Post reported 1 FW 190 at 2130 hours on 23 July 1944. This aircraft was shot down by a Fighter plane.

To complete the month's record for the Company "B" Ground Observers, reference is made to PART V of this

HISTORICAL REPORT.

Company "C"

A. RADAR OPERATIONS

The Microwave Early Warning Unit during the course of the month is credited with suppling Warning Service leading to the following enemy losses:

7 July   4 FW 190 downed , 2 damaged and 1 probable in the vicinity of Rouen.

17 July   3 FW 190 downed and 1 damaged in vicinity of Evreux.


18 July   3 ME 109 downed and 1 damaged in vicinity of Fresnay.

25 July   1 ME 109 downed in vicinity of St. Lo. 1 ME-109 downed in vicinity of Sees. 1 ME 109 downed in vicinity of Alencon.


Company "D"

A. RADAR OPERATIONS

SCR 584 in charge of 1st Lt. Milton T. McDonald went on site on 15 july 1944. On 16 July 1944, the Unit performed its first mission in controlling dive bombers whose object was the destruction of a bridge. Contact with the aircraft

was lost on 17 July 1944.

RECAPITULATION OF AIRCRAFT CREDITS

15 June   31 July 1944

UNIT CONTROLLER DATE DESTROYED DAMAGED PROBABLES TYPE A/C

Co "A"


G.O. Lt. Thomson 25 June 1 FW 190

27 June 1 FW 190

9 July 1 ME 109

FDP Lt. Ratkie 28 July 3 ME 109

2 FW 190

2 FW 190


3 FW 190

1 ME 109


                                                             

Co "B"


G.O. Lt. Brown 11 July 1 ME 109

15 July 1 FW 190

19 July 2 ME 109

23 July 1 FW 190

FDP Lt. White 26 July 9 ME 109

                                                             

Co "C"

MEW Lt. Mac Intosh



29 June 4 FW 190

Lt. Bjorge 28 June 1 ME 109

Capt Miller 7 July 4 FW 190

2 FW 190


1 FW 190

Lt. Meath 17 July 3 FW 190

1 FW 190

Lt. Meath 18 July 3 ME 109

1 ME 109

Lt. Harris 25 July 1 ME 109

Lt. Leenhouts 25 July 1 ME 109

Lt. Mac Intosh 25 July 1 ME 109

Lt. Mac Intosh 28 July 1 ME 109

1 ME 109


S/LDR Trollope 29 July 1 JU 188

Lt.Cauley 31 July 2 FW 190

                                                           

Total for Period 44 8 5

PART IV

SPECIAL SERVICE


With the usual adaptability, Special Service "Open Shop" with the establishment of a regular weekly schedule of three Moving Pictures and the erection and furnishing of a tent day room complete with radio and record player. Bingo games on alternate evenings proved to be an enjoyable diversion. A Special Service stage show unit of the Ninth Tactical Air Command supplied a brief but snappy show on the lawn of the day room area.
PART V

ADDENDA
COMMENDATIONS


In operation since D Dy, the Hardy Ground Observers of the 555 are consistently providing their value as an integral part of the Battalion. Elated over the results of their efficiency, Brigadier General McCauley, Commanding General of the 70th Fighter Wing, dispatched letters of commendation on 16 July 1944 to 2nd Lt. James A. Thomson, of Company "A", and 2nd Lt. James R. Brown, of Company "B", whose Platoons reporting to the date above mentioned netted a loss of five aircraft for the German Luftwaffe. Lt. Thomson's Platoon identified and reported a flight FW-190's on 25 June 1944; a flight of FW-190's on 27 June

1944; and a flight of ME 109's on 9 July 1944. On each of these occasions the information furnished resulted in the destruction of one enemy aircraft and the dispersal of the flight.

The Platoon of Lt. Brown identified and reported a flight of ME 109's on 11 July 1944 and a flight of FW-190's on 15 July 1944. Each flight suffered the loss of one aircraft as well as dispersal.

The following letter dated 30 July 1944 was received from Headquarters, 70th Fighter Wing and is a reproduction of a congratulatory TWX from Major General Quesada addressed to 70th Fighter Wing and the 555th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion among others on the occasion of the successful

break through of 25 July 1944.

The following message from Hq IX Tactical Air Command is quoted for your information: Quote: There is no use expressing My appreciation for what you all have done these past three days because the results, I feel are a just reward. A real break through has been accomplished and, "Gosh by Gum", You have all done more than your share. I just cannot express My gratitude in words, and just say a simple thanks to every Man and Officer in the Combat Units, Service Units and Ancillary Units for what they have done. My appreciation goes to every Mechanic, Cook, MP, Crew Chief, Radio Operator, Armorer, Intelligence Officer, Wing Commander, Controller, Boys in the Aircraft Warning Service (italics mine), VHF Operator, Telephone Operator, Group Commander, Squadron Commander, and to the Boy with the Stick in his hand. You have all done a grand job.   QUESADA   Unquote  Mc Caulet

For the Commanding Officer:

/s/ Stanley M. Cowan

STANLEY M. COWAN

1st Lt. Signal Corps

Adjutant
HEADQUARTERS

555TH SIGNAL AIRCRAFT WARNING BATTALION

APO 595 US ARMY

1 September 1944


SUBJECT: Unit History

TO : Commanding General, Ninth Tactical Air Command

APO 595, US Army
Transmitted herewith UNIT HISTORICAL REPORT for the period 1 August 1944 through 31 August 1944.

PART I


STATISTICS
A. Organization (e.g. changes effected by transfers of the Unit or by T/O's). NEGATIVE.

B. Strength 2400, 31 August 1944.

Officers Warrant Officers Enlisted Men

69 4 938


C. Date of arrival and departure from each station occupied in the ETO: Station being named.

Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company departed Cricquevil le on 5 August 1944 and arrived Villedeu same date; departed Villedeu on 14 August 1944 and arrived in Le Teilleuil same date; departed Le Teilleuil on 23 August 1944 and arrived Aillieres same date; departed Aillieres on 31 August 1944 and arrived Les Loges en Josas in the city Jouey en Josas near Versailles same date.

Company "A" departed site 3 miles West (ET 73 78) of Bayeux, Nor Guerre, on 7 August 1944 and arrived site 2 miles Southwest (ET 61 36) of Etouvy, Nor Guerre, same date; departed Etouvy site on 26 August 1944 and arrived site 6

miles Northwest (ET 05 43) of Verneuil, Nor Guerre, same date.

Company "B" departed site 1 mile Southeast (VT 24 93) of Crosville on 3 August 1944 and arrived site ½ mile South (VT 21 14) of St. Leonard same date; departed St. Leonard site on 6 August 1944 and arrived site (VT  19 09) of Monititier same date; departed Monititier site on 14 August 1944 and arrived site 1/2 miles Northwest (VY 76 83) of Ambrieres same date; departed Ambrieres site on 19 August 1944 and arrived site 2 miles Northwest (VV 88 56) of Mondoubleau same date.

Company "C" departed site 1/2 mile East (T 5387) of St. Germain du Pert on 9 August 1944 and arrived site 2 miles Northeast (T 4740) of Margueray same date, departed Margueray site on 20 August 1944 and arrived site 1/2 mile Northeast (Q 841159) of Longy du Perche same date; departed Longy du Perche on 30 August 1944 and arrived site 5 miles Southwest(R 856325) of Versailles.

D. Losses in action (killed, wounded, missing and POW) by name, with identification of place (or mission), circumstances and date. NEGATIVE.

E. Awards to and decoration of members of the immediate unit involved. NEGATIVE.

PART II

ADMINISTRATIVE PHASE


Activity in the Administrative field this month, as in other phases, proved singularly uneventful and dully routine.
PART III

TACTICAL OPERATIONS


Companies "A" and "B"

A. RADAR OPERATIONS AND GROUND OBSERVER ACTIVITY

Radar operations and Ground Observer activities of both Companies "A" and "B" concerned routine reporting only, because the swiftly advancing and irregular front rendered units unable to locate properly in time to provide effective Air Warning Service.

Company "C"

A. RADAR OPERATIONS

Company "C"'s Microwave Early Warning Unit accounted for the destruction of 12, the damaging of 2 and the probable destruction or damaging of 2 enemy aircraft. Refer to the following RECAPITULATION or AIRCRAFT CREDITS for details.


RECAPITULATION OF AIRCRAFT CREDITS

1 August 1944   31 August 1944

UNIT CONTROLLER DATE DESTROYED DAMAGED PROBABLES TYPE A/C
Co "C"

MEW S/L Trollope 2 August 1 JU 188

1 Dornier

217


                                                       

Lt Bjorge 3 August 2 ME 109

F/L Knowler 1 JU 88

1 ME 110


                                                        

F/L Weissman 5 August 1 JU 88

1 JU 188

                                                        

RAF Controller 7 August 1 JU  88

1 Dornier 217

1 FW 190

1 FW 190


1 JU 188

                                                        

RAF Controller 8 August 1 JU 188

2 JU 188


                                                             

Total: 1 August 1944  

31 Auguat 1944 12 2 2

                                                             

Add Total 25 June 1944  

31 July 1944 44 8 5

                                                             

Grand Total to Date 56 10 7

                                                             
PART IV

SPECIAL SERVICE

"Spike" Jones and his band entertained the Headquarters Company and Platoons of Companies "A" and "B" one Sunday in the early part of August at the site near Villedieu. A thrice weekly schedule of Moving Pictures constituted the

principal activity of Special Service for the month of August. Five relocation movements resulting in temporary loss of contact with entertaining Units precluded the possibility of a more extensive program. Moving Pictures exhibited proved to be definitely third rate.

PART V

ADDENDA
CAPTURE of PRISONERS



Inasmuch as an Air Warning Battalion is of a non combat nature, the capture of German Soldiers is considered a stellar event in an otherwise unexciting existence. Company "B" rings the bell this month with a total of eleven. doubtless the collection of souvenirs received a few desirable additions.
Company "B"'s Report:

"On the 4th August 1944, while the FDP was located at St. Leonard in the vacinity of Avranches, two German Infantrymen were taken prisoner at about 2030 hours. These two Germans were turned over to a POW cage by Lt. Murphy on the same night. At about the same time, the LW Team, located at VT 394312, captured one German Infantryman and turned him over to a POW cage.

"At 1800 hours, 18th August 1944, two Germans were captured by Jig, one of the GO Posts. These two prisoners were turned in to a POW cage on the same night. Corporal Ben Davis is in charge of Jig Post.

"The 22nd of August 1944 was a big day for Company "B". A total of five prisoners were taken: Four of them by King, one of the GO Posts, and one prisoner by the SCR 582 Team. The five prisoners were disposed on in the same manner as above. Corporal Gomer Drazdik is in charge of King Post.

"The SCR 582 Post added one prisoner to their record on the 29th august 1944 by picking up one more German Infantryman."

For the Commanding Officer:


/s/Stanley M. Cowan

STANLEY M. COWAN

1st Lt. Signal Corps

Adjutant

HEADQUARTERS

555TH SIGNAL AIRCRAFT WARNING BATTALION

APO 595 US ARMY

1 October 1944

SUBJECT: UNIT HISTORY


TO : Commanding General, Ninth Tactical Air Command

APO 595, US Army


Transmitted herewith Unit Historical Report for the period 1 September 1944 through 30 September 1944:

Part I


STATISTICS
A. Organization (E.G., changes effected by transfers of the Unit or ny new T/O'S). Negative.
B. Strength 2400, 30 September 1944:

OFFICERS WARRANT OFFICERS ENLISTED MEN

68 4 935

C. Date of arrival and departure from each station occupied in the ETO; station being named.


BATTLION HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
Departed Les Loges En Josas in the city of Jouey  En Josas near Versailles on 4 September 1944 and arrived Paris same date; departed Paris and France on 13 September 1944 and arrived Ham Sur Heure, Belgium, same date; departed Ham  sur Heure on 26 September 1944 and arrived Verviers same date.

COMPANY "A" departed site 6 miles Northwest (ET 05 43) of Verneuil on 2 September 1944 and arrived site near near Guiry (VR 71 73) same date; departed Guiry site on 15 September 1944 and arrived site 1 mile South of St.Trond (VK

20 48) same date; departed St.Troud site and France on 25 September 1944 and arrived site 1 1/2 miles North of Valkenberg, the Netherlands, (VK 66 56) same date.

COMPANY "B" departed site 2 miles Northwest (VV 88 56) of Mondoubleau on 1 September 1944 and arrived site 1 mile Northwest of Champeaux (VS 3610) same date; departed Champeaux site and France on 13 Seotember 1944 and arrived site 1 mile Northwest of Fronville, Belgiym, (VP 3491) same date; departed Fronville site on 29 September 1944 and arrived site 1 mile Northwest of St. Vith (VP 8488) same date.

COMPANY "C" departed site 5 miles Northwest of Warnecourt (0 768301) same date; departed Warnecourt site and France on 20 September 1944 and arrived site 1 mile Northeast (K 714313) of Thimister, Belgium, same date.

D. Losses in action (killed, wounded, missing and POW, by name, with identification of place (or mission), circumstances and date.

The body of 2nd Lt. James G. Raibley, Jr., ASN 0 1640842, of Ground Observer Platoon, Company "C", missing in action since his failure to return from a reconnaissance mission near the front line in the vicinity of St. Germain De

Pert on 17 June 1944, was reported interned in the La Cambe Military Cemetery near Cricqueville, France, at 1430 hours on 5 July 1944. Death was caused by Motar shell fire wounds of the chest and legs.

Pvt Chester M. Sneed, ASN 39049005, Ground Observer Platoon of Company "B", and T/5 Eugene W. Ockerby, ASN 36418975, same organization, were killed in a motor accident at Fronville, Belgium, on 18 September 1944. Both men were acting under orders to secure oil and gasoline preparatory to moving into the field for operation. Returning after dark, the correct turn in the road was missed and the vehicle plunged over a cliff. The death of each was caused by scull fracture. Burial reports have not yet been received.

E. Awards to and decoration of members of the immediate unit involved. Negative.

PART II

ADMINISTRATIVE PHASE


1. REASSIGNMENT OF BATTALION

The Battalion was relieved from assignment to the 70th Fighter Wing and reassigned to Headquarters, IX Tactical Air Command, per paragraph 1, section III, General Order No. 57, Hq IX Tactical Air Command, dated 13 September 1944.

2. PROMOTION OF OFFICERS

Major Albert J. Gilardi, 0350271, Battalion Commander, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel per paragraph 1, Special Order No. 259, Hq IX Air Force, dated 15 September 1944.

2nd Lt. Charles W. Blackburn, 0918359, of SCR 584 Platoon, Company "D" was promoted to the rank of First Lieutemant per paragraph 2, Special Order No. 259, Hq IX Air Force, dated 15 September 1944.

2nd Lt. Richard H. Freiermuth, 01628479, Filter Officer, Company "A", and 2nd Lt. William F. Murphy, 01639440, Filter Officer, Company "B", were promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant per paragraph 3, Special Order No. 259, Hq IX Air

Force, dated 15 September 1944.

2nd Lt. James H. Thomson, 01646056, Ground Observers Platoon, Company "A", was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant per paragraph 18, special Order No. 251, Hq IX Air Force, dated 7 September 1944.

2nd Lt. James B. Brown, 01644488, Ground Observers Platoon. Company "B", and 2nd Lt. Charles M. Cain, 01637138, Ground Observers Platoon, Company "C", were promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant per paragraph 17, Special Order No.251, Hq IX Air Force, dated 7 September 1944.

3. APPOINTMENT OF NEW EXECUTIVE OFFICER

After a vacancy period of three months and 8 days, the office of Battalion Executive Officer and S 3 was awarded to Captain William P. Quantz, former Commanding Officer of Company "C", who assumed his duties per paragraph 3, Special Order No. 66, Hq 555 Signal Aw Bn, dated 21 September 1944.
4. APPOINTMENT OF NEW COMMANDING OFFICER, COMPANY "C"
Captain Edwin C. Andress, formerly in Command of the Microwave Early Warning Radar Unit of Company "C", and recipient of two awards  Legion of Merit and Member of the British Empire, was appointed Commanding Officer of Company "C" vice Captain William P. Quantz, relieved, per paragraph 4, Special Order No. 66, Hq 555 Signal Aw Bn, dated 21 September 1944.
5. APPOINTMENT OF NEW COMMANDING OFFICER. BN HQ & HQ CO
1st Lt Stanley M. Cowan was appointed Commanding Officer of Battalion Headquar­ters and Headquarters Company vice Captain Albert B. Huff, relieved, per paragraph 2, Special Order No. 69, Hq 555 Signal Aw Bn, dated 29 September 1944.
Captain Albert B. Huff was relieved from assignment to the 555 Signal Aw Bn and reassigned to the 327 Fighter Control Squadron per paragraph 9, Special Order No. 147, Hq IX Tactical Air Command, dated 25 September 1944.
6. RELEASE OF BATTALION OPERATIONS OFFICER
Lt. Colonel Albert J. Gilardi, in assuming the additional duties of Battalion Operations Officer, relieved 1st Lt.Thomas R. Armstrong of that responsibility. Lt. Armstrong was elieved from assignment to Batallion Headquarters and Headquarters Company and reassigned to Company "C" per paragraph 1, Letter Order No. 124, Hq 555 Signal Aw Bn, dated 27 September 1944. Lt. Armstrong will engage in communications work in connection with the Microwave Early Warning Radar.
PART III

TACTICAL OPERATIONS


The Battalion takes pride in the knowledge that its operations are international in character. Company "A" is located in the Netherlands: Bn Hq & Hq Company and Companies "B" and "C" in Belgium and lightwarning Unit Platoon of

Company "B" in Luxembourge and Company "B" Ground Observer Post in Germany; and Company "D" in England. The work of each organization in its respective location is part and parcel of the definite pattern of Air Defense and Offense which is providing the margin of safety in the persent War and which will be improved, extended and more heavily depended upon in future conflicts. The technical success which this Battalion has achieved fully justifies the confidence of the powers that be when they selected the 555 for particiption in the European War. The occasion merits a reiteration of the fact that the Battalion was the only one

of its nature to be so honored.

In close pursuit of the rapid advances of the First Army, the Radar and Ground Observer Units continued their task with the same high efficiency as they have been doing since D Day. While this month registers no spectacular occurances, their contribution continues to be as invaluable as ever.


COMPANIES "A" AND "B"

A. RADAR OPERATIONS AND GROUND OBSERVER ACTIVITY

Company "A" reports operations for the month of September consisted of Aircraft Warning Reporting, control of Armed Reconnaissance Missions with the SCR 584 Unit of Platoon "D". Similar operations were conducted by Company "B". Ground Observer Activity of both companies was likewise confined to correlated reporting.

COMPANY "C"

A. RADAR OPERATIONS

Consistent in performance, the Microwave Early Warning renders the report AC detailed in the following :


RECAPITULATION OF AIRCRAFT CREDITS

1 SEPTEMBER 1944   30 SEPTEMBER 1944


Unit Controller Date Desroyed Damaged Probable’s Type
Co "C" Lt. Leenhouts 20 Sept 2 ME 109

                                                     

Lt. Leehouts 26 Sept 2 ME 109

                                                     

Lt. Bjorge 28 Sept 2 FW 190

                                                     

Total: 1 Sept 1944   30 Sept 1944 6

                                                             

AND

GRAND TOTAL AS OF 31 AUGUST 1944 56 10 7



                                                             

GRAND TOTAL TO DATE 62 10 7

                                                             

PART IV


SPECIAL SERVICE

The regular schedule of three weekly movies and the diversion of "LIBBER'S LENDING LIBRARY" constituted the Special Service activities for the month. Supplementing Special Service, and officially unsanctioned, but nevertheless recreationally effective, was the overwhelming hospitality extended to the fellows by both French and Belgians.




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