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November 2019
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US Army

“Telephone, Telegraph and Teletype”

“Telephone, Telegraph and Teletype”

 
In cooperation with the other sections of the company, our job consists of maintaining telephone communications within the division forward and rear command posts.  In addition, we handle telegraph lines to the regiments and teletype communications to corps and higher headquarters.  Teletype is used primarily to send messages of high security value or lengthy messages which if sent by radio would tie up the air waves.
 
In keeping these means of communication operating, we have met with many difficulties.  For example, in our campaign through Normandy, where C.P.'s were set up in the hedge rowed fields, trouble on lines was common.  Frequent breaks in lines buried in mud or at busy intersections were found.
 
As the breakthrough below Saint Lo expanded, the regiments moved so quickly that it became necessary to overcome the difficulties of long lines.  This problem was solved by the use of a switch located at a point between the regimental and division C.P.’S; several lines were laid by the construction crews to the switch and from that point four or five lines were laid to the regiments.  The men operating these switches were often in a dangerous area.  In Rott, Germany, equipment at the switch had to be salvaged due to shrapnel holes. 
 
Radio links were used on the teletype circuits whenever the distances between Corps and Division Headquarters were too great.  Telegraph was used on only a few occasions; but its performance was good whenever this means of communication was utilized. 
 
The section is composed of one installation and two operating teams.  When one team was in operation, the other could recheck and repair equipment.  The installing team put up the lines and then prepared for the next move.  This method of organization proved effective especially during our swift advance when we frequently set up A.C.P. For a day. 
 
At the time of German breakthrough, we had two switches operating at Clervaux and Ettelbruck in addition to the main switch at Wiltz, Luxembourg.  Some of the men had to leave or destroy their equipment, and take up their arms against the enemy.  At Clervaux, Sergeant Morrow, Corporal Hartlove and Private West were taken prisoner. 
 
Albrecht, at Ettelbruck switch, joined the 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, and after fighting with them for several days came back to the company at Neufchateau, Belgium.  All of the men left behind in Wiltz came back except for Sergeant Tully, Pfc House, and Pfc Aronen, who were also taken prisoner.  Corporal Deutschman was with the 101st Airborne at Bastogne before coming back to the company. 
 
The loss of these trained men carved a deep wedge in our section, but nevertheless our previous level of efficiency and speed was soon reached once more.  “Teamwork” has always been our password.  The men in the section have reason to be justly proud of their performance on the continent. 
 
Source: With Authorization of Jerry STREITZ from Ettelbruck, Luxembourg. October 2019

By T/5 Claude T FERRON

28th Signal Company

28th Infantry Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium, Luxembourg