440TH SIGNAL BATTALION, US ARMY
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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visits since 1 December 2004

 

The 440th Signal Battalion, US Army  was first constituted on 18 March 1942.  It was activated at Geiger Field, Washington on 25 March 1942. 

The unit was reorganized and re-designated as the 440th Signal Construction Battalion on 14 December 1942. 

The unit was reorganized and re-designated on 23 July 1944 as the 440th Signal Heavy Construction Battalion.

The Battalion comprised a Headquarters Company, two Construction Companies, and a Medical detachment.

The 440th Signal Battalion arrived in Brisbane in July 1942 aboard the M/S Torrens. Shortly after arriving they were sent to Townsville in north Queensland.

James L Hendricks has been told that some of the telephone poles and lines that the 440th Signal Battalion installed during the second half of 1942, were still in use 3 or 4 decades later, and are still visible today.  Does anyone know if this is true?

Pfc Vernon Johnson, of Company A of the 440th Signal Battalion, was killed in Australia's worst ever aircraft crash at Bakers Creek near Mackay on 14 June 1943, when USAAF B-17C-BO (Model 299H) Flying Fortress #40-2072, "Miss Every Morning Fix'n" (or "Miss E.M.F"), of the 46th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 317th Troop Carrier Group crashed on what is now the site of the Thomas Borthwick's Abattoir, killing 40 of the 41 service personnel on board. Pfc Vernon Johnson was eventually buried at the Hawaii, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this unit?

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank James L Hendricks for his assistance with this home page. James is writing an oral history of the U.S. Army 440th Signal Battalion.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2003

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This page first produced 1 December 2004

This page last updated 01 December 2004