504th Signal Battalion

The Years in Germany: 1961 - 1965

Click for Mannheim, Germany Forecast

The people, memories, and images of the 7th Army 504th Signal Battalion in Germany from 1961 to 1965.  I was assigned to the 504th Signal Battalion HQ at Sullivan Barracks in Mannheim-Kafertal as the Assistant Electronics Major Items Supply Officer under Captain Leigh Cheney in ECP-1078 (better known as the 7th Army Signal Supply Depot) from October 1964 until the demise of the 504th under the Army's COSTAR supply reorganization at the end of 1965. I was re-assigned to the newly formed 7th Inventory Control Center (7th ICC) in Taylor Barracks, and moved to the 7th Inventory Control Center HQ in Karlsruhe Germany in March, 1966. 

Anyone who was assigned to the 504th Signal Bn from 1961 to 1965, or the 7th ICC from 1965 to 1967, is invited to send their life profiles and unit memories to me at neagle504@yahoo.com . I'm also looking for photos of the units, Sullivan Barracks, Benjamin Franklin Village, and the Mannheim-Kafertal area during the early 60s for this website. If you have any you can e-mail them to me as .jpg file format attachments.

504th Signal Battalion History

Constituted 7 July 1944 in the Army of the United States as 3213th Signal Service Battalion


Activated 8 August 1944 in Italy


Inactivated 30 September 1945 in Italy


Redesignated 31 December 1946 as 504th Signal Service Battalion, and activated in Japan


Inactivated 15 September 1948 in Japan


Redesignated 8 January 1952 as 504th Signal Service Battalion, and allotted to the Regular Army


Activated 15 February 1952 at Camp San Luis Obispo, California


Inactivated 15 December 1958 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona


Activated 10 March 1961 at Tobyhanna Signal Depot, Pennsylvania


Inactivated 14 September 1965 at Mannheim-Kafertal, Germany


Activated 16 April 1993 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona


Inactivated 22 June 2007 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona

1960s Field Army Communications System

The Field Army (in Europe the US Army field army was designated Seventh Army) receives signal support from an Army Signal Section, a Combat Area Signal Group, and an Army Signal Group. The Field Army Signal Officer, aided by the Army Signal Section as his staff, normally has operational control over two signal groups.

The Combat Area Signal Group sets up and operates the Field Army Area Communications System which the signal section has devised to support the field army commander's tactical plans. In the 1960s, the 505th Signal Group provided that support to Seventh Army. This army area communications system is a high-quality, high-capacity, multi-means, multi-axis system that meets the requirements for flexibility, mobility, and dispersion. Basically, the system is composed of area signal centers interconnected by trunk circuits under centralized control. Each area signal center is assigned a geographical area for operations and is interconnected with at least two other signal centers to provide alternate routing and to allow distribution of the traffic load.

The Army Signal Group plays its part in the Field Army Communication System for the field army command posts: main, rear, and alternate. The 12th Signal Group performed this mission. It also provides communications for the field army tactical operations center and associated air support communications. Internal communication facilities for large logistical complexes are also furnished, as well as ground photographic service for army hqs and air courier and messenger service for the field army. A Signal Supply and Maintenance Battalion (the 504th Signal Battalion), organic to the signal group, operates field army signal depots and forward supply and maintenance points. Other signal units are attached or assigned to the army signal group to perform such highly specialized missions as cryptologistics, electronic warfare, automated data processing, and signal technical intelligence.

504th Signal Battalion Activation (1961)

The 504th Signal Battalion (Army Supply & Maintenance) was formed in 1961 from a number of company and detachment sized maintenance units already in Germany, which reported to the 7th Army Signal Officer, and a headquarters company deployed from Tobyhanna Signal Depot in Pennsylvania. The battalion was organized under the 505th Signal Group. During the buildup of combat and signal units through 1961, a number of officers were reassigned from incoming communications battalions to populate the battalion's 10-12 direct support detachments (DSUs) and staff positions.  

                        UNIT                                                          DUTY STATION

HQ & HQ Detachment

Sullivan Barracks, Mannheim


A Company (Direct Support)

Panzer Kasern, B÷blingen


B Company (Direct Support)

Fliegerhorst Kasern, Hanau


C Company (Direct Support)

Wharton Barracks, Heilbronn


D Company (Depot)

Sullivan Barracks, Mannheim


E Company (Direct Support)

Pendleton Barracks, Giessen









504th Signal Battalion Deactivation (1965)

The Seventh Army Support Command was an organization reactivated during the summer of 1965 as part of the program to realign the Seventh Army logistic structure in accordance with the new COSTAR concept of operations. This concept of operations centralized the control of all field Army non-divisional combat service support resources. The 7th Inventory Control Center, which was responsible for the major items supply functions for Seventh Army, was one of the support units so designated under the Seventh Army Support Command. The activation and organization of the subordinate units of 7th Army SUPCOM, and the deactivation of the 504th Signal Battalion, occurred during the period 25 May 1965 through 21 December 1965.

7th Army Units deactivated and/or discontinued under COSTAR:

3759th Stock Control Center


HHC, 15th Chemical Group


9th & 11th Chem Co


HHC, 521st Engineer Group


24th, 27th, 68th, 78th, 964th, 261st & 587th Engr Co


984th Engr Co


12th Med Co


163rd Med Bn, HHD


HHD, 47th Ordnance Group


53rd, 10th, 42nd, 546th, 569th, 571st & 40th Ord Co


515th, 115th, 254th & 517th Ord Det


HHD, 2nd & 6th Quartermaster Group


504th Sig Bn


557th Sig Co


7th Trans Aviation Group


HHD, 41st Trans Bn


246th Trans Co


149th Trans Det


HHD, 10th Transportation Group


152nd Trans Det


HHD, 125th Trans Bn


Co A & B, 242nd QM Bn


People of the 504th Signal Bn in Germany

Names of some of the people who were also in the 504th Signal Battalion Headquarters in 1964 and 1965:

Sid Faress | Leigh Cheney | Byron Christian | Jim Topple | Ramey Brandon | Dennis Larson | Joe Maylie | Bill Eriksson | Larry Engel | Henry Simpson | Leo Shoemaker | Stan Hurley | Ron Nadeau | Larry Hood | Ben Leavell | Carl Vitatoe

Profiles and photos of some of these people, and others who served with the 504th Signal Bn, can be seen on the People Page. Profiles of some 7th Inventory Control Center people can be seen on the 7th ICC page.