832ND SIGNAL SERVICE COMPANY, SIGNAL SECTION, USASOS
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

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The following document is from "The Things We Save" by George Sullivan

DETACHMENT
832ND SIGNAL SERVICE COMPANY
BASE SERVICE COMPANY
UNITED STATES ARMY SERVICES OF SUPPLY
A.P.O. 923   
16 February, 1944   
DETACHMENT HISTORY

Detachment, 832nd Signal Service Company, APO 923 commenced to function as a separate unit on the 7 July, 1943 by virtue of par. 11, SO#187, Hq. Base Section Three, APO 923, dated 7 July, 1943, which relieved the Detachment of attachment to Hq. Co. Base Section Three, for quarters, rations and administration, Capt. M. K. Wilkins was designated Commanding Officer of the Detachment by L.T. Col. F. J. Andrews, and Lt. J. H. Caldwell was designated Mess and Supply Officer for the Detachment. The Detachment was installed in quarters located in Wooloongabba, Brisbane, consisting of Hibernian Hall, which was used to house the Mess Hall, kitchen, Orderly Room and quarters for a limited number of personnel of the Mess Detachment and administrative section, Coupon Furniture Company building, B.A.F.S. Dispensary Building and Kindergarden Building, all three of which were used as quarters for enlisted personnel.

At the time of the setting-up of the Detachment on a separate basis, the enlisted personnel assigned to Hq. Co. (Sig Sec) Base Section Three, APO 923, were attached to the Detachment for quarters, rations, and administration by virtue of par. 12, SO#187, Hq., Base Section Three, APO. 923, dated 7 July, 1943. This was done in order to have all of the Signal Corps men, who were working in the same Signal Installations, living together and administered as a unit. Also, at this time, the 40 K.W. Radio Station Section, 832nd Signal Service Company, occupied part of the Detachment quarters and messed with the Detachment, although no formal orders of attachment were issued. Administration of all three units was handled in the one Orderly Room at Hibernian Hall.

During the period 7 July, 1943 to approximately 15 December, 1943, the Detachment carried an average of 25 to 30 enlisted men who were on duty in this base section for periods of about six weeks for the purpose of attending courses in teletypewriter maintenance and maintenance of electrical enciphering devises.

On the 25 July, 1943, the Detachment opened a Post Exchange in the day room on the second floor of Hibernian Hall. 2nd Lt. J. H. Caldwell was designated Post Exchange Officer and a Post Exchange Council consisting of Capt. J. A. Holmes, 2nd Lt. J. H. Caldwell, and 2nd Lt. J. J. Hawkinson was appointed to supervise the management of the Post Exchange.

The 15th Radio Station Section, 832nd Signal Service Company arrived in this area on or about 20 July, 1943 and occupied quarters with and messed with the Detachment as well as being administered by the Detachment administrative section, although, here again, no formal orders were issued to attach the unit to the Detachment.

The Mess Detachment, headed by 2nd Lt. J. H. Caldwell, consisted originally of a mess sergeant, butcher, six cooks and 18 enlisted men, chiefly limited service personnel, who were assigned as permanent kitchen police. For the first month of operation, mess gear was used by the enlisted men messing with the Detachment, but about 10 August, 1943, china plates and cups were obtained and used in the Mess Hall. During the seven months in which the Mess Hall/operation, numerous changes have been made in the personnel, either (has been in) by rotating men from one type of duty to another, or by acquiring replacements for and transferring those men whose physical condition made it difficult or impossible for them to properly perform their duties.

On or about 1 November, 1943, a Mail Room was opened at Hibernian Hall to distribute the mail to enlisted personnel who had formerly received their mail at their various places of duty.

On 26 October, 1943, 2nd Lt. W. A. Glenn was designated Executive Officer for the Detachment, and set up an office in Hibernian Hall. This was done because it was felt that it would be highly desirable to have a Commissioned Officer located at place where the enlisted personnel were quartered to better supervise the various administrative matters, such as discipline, routine correspondence, personnel administration, etc.

By virtue of par.1, SO#35, Hq. Base Section Three, APO 923, dated 4 February, 1944 the appointment of Maj. M. K. Wilkins as Commanding Officer of the Detachment was confirmed as of the 3 September, 1943. This was done since it was felt that the original authority by which Maj. Wilkins was designated C.O. was insufficient.

On or about 1 December, 1943, the Post Exchange, which had been operating as a separate unit Exchange, was closed, and a Branch Exchange of the Main Exchange, Base Section Three, was opened in its place. Since this meant that the operation of the Post Exchange would be on a simple basis of receiving goods, selling same and turning over the receipts therefor, the Post Exchange Council was disbanded since there was no longer a need for it.

On or about 28 Sept., 1943, a small group of Officer and enlisted personnel of Detachment 4, 805th Signal Service Company, arrived in this area and the enlisted personnel were attached to the Detachment, their administration being handled as a separate unit. On or about 9 December, 1943, a small group of Officer and enlisted personnel of the 997th Signal Service Company arrived in this area and again, the enlisted personnel were attached to the Detachment, their administration being handled as a separate unit.

The buildings occupied as quarters by the Detachment were all fairly old, and in rather poor repair. Bed Bugs have been a constant problem in the various buildings, with a continuous campaign being waged through the medium of chemical sprays, insecticides, and general cleaning, without much success. Other sources of trouble have come from leaky roofs, bad plumbing, and inability to keep the buildings properly clean, either, as in the case of Dispensary and Coupon building, because of the danger of damaging goods stored in the shops below, or because of the general run-down condition of the buildings.

In October of 1943, two dances were held in the Day room at Hibernian Hall, music for dancing being supplied by a local dance band composed of soldiers. These dances were not considered as being too successful and no more were held. During the Christmas week in December, 1943, full length moving pictures were shown in the Day Room at Hibernian Hall on two occasions and were very well attended on both occasions, demonstrating that many of the men would probably welcome continued showings of such pictures.

On or about 10 January, 1944, an inspection of the Detachment was made by Major Chisholm, Control Officer, Base Service Command, Base Section Three. This inspection included buildings, kitchen, supply rooms, administrative and personnel records. Certain deficiencies and errors were noted and steps taken to correct same.

On 11 February, 2nd Lt. R. E. Wallace, was designated Mess and Supply Officer vice 2nd Lt. J. H. Caldwell, relieved and 2nd Lt. F. S. Veith was designated Post Exchange Officer vice 2nd Lt. J. H. Caldwell relieved, on 16 February, 1944.

 

TECHNICAL SEPTEMBER 1943

1. Communications facilities in this Section were:

a. One (1) Multi Channel Radio Teletype System to the United States furnishing three (3) full duplex direct teletype circuits to San Francisco, three (3) full duplex circuits to Washington, D.C. (with automatic relay at San Francisco) and one (1) voice circuit to San Francisco (also used as a Radio Telephoto circuit to Washington).

b. Ten (10) full time C.W. circuits, both high speed (Boehme Automatic) and manual from Brisbane to: Port Moresby (3) Honolulu, Noumea, Adelaide River, Townsville, Sydney, New Delhi and Fall River.

c . One (1) part time (standby) C.W. circuit, High Speed, from Brisbane to San Francisco.

d. Seven (7) Land Line Teletype Circuits (Half Duplex) to local Headquarters and, by switch at the Brisbane Teletype Switching Central, to all major points in Australia.

Approximately five million words in traffic were handled during this month.

e. Boehme High-Speed equipment was installed on one of the Port Moresby circuits during this month to bring the total to three stations with whom WTO/WVLB worked in this fashion; namely New Delhi, Port Moresby, San Francisco.

 

OCTOBER

a. Radio Telephoto service was initiated between Brisbane and Port Moresby. The first picture was transmitted on the 28th. Terminal for this equipment in Brisbane was at Luna Park with local loops running into the WTO/WVLB Control Room and thence to the transmitting station at Redland Bay.

b. An A.W.A. 10 KW transmitter (Signal Corps designed) was installed at Redland Bay for use on a circuit to Delhi, India. The operating position for this circuit was installed at Central Bureau, Ascot. T/Sgt. Ralph Sprovieri was appointed N.C.O. in charge of the station and began operation with three American and one Australian assistant.

c. An additional transmitting rhombic antenna directed on Delhi, and another directed on Chungking, China, were erected at Redland Bay.

d. An A.W.A. 10 KW transmitter and a Federal BC-339 1 KW transmitter were installed at Hemmant for proposed standard frequency and time transmissions.

Traffic handled during this month totalled five and one half million words.

 

NOVEMBER

a. There was an additional A.W.A. 10 KW transmitter installed at Redland Bay for use to Chungking. Test schedules were begun with that station.

b. The installation of Special Communication Equipment at GHQ was completed, and on November 2nd service was begun, utilizing the Multi-channel System's Voice, or picture circuit to the United States when in use.

c. A second Technical School in components of the Multi Channel System began at Somerville House, Rocklea, and Hemmant. This school was scheduled for six weeks and had approximately thirty students.

d. The radio circuit to Sydney was discontinued.

e. The traffic handled in November exceeded six million words.

 

DECEMBER

a. Construction was begun at Hemmant on new antennae for single channel radio teletype circuits.

b. The Phillips 800 watt transmitter at Redland Bay, used on one of the Brisbane-Port Moresby circuits, was replaced by a Federal BC-339, 1 KW transmitter.

c. The installation was made, and tests begun, of the frequency multiplier and time signal keying equipment at Hemmant and Capalaba for use in conjunction with the A.W.A. 10 KW and Federal BC-339 frequency standard and time signal transmitters.

d. Construction of new antennae for the standard frequency transmitters at Hemmant was started.

e. A seventy (70) foot annex to the Operating Room at Hemmantwas begun.

f. The Signal Operations Center began a remodeling program, calling for complete realignment of all equipment, fixtures, and interior cable layout. The first result of this was the removal of all cryptographic equipment to U.S.A.S.O.S., G.H.Q., and U.S.A.F.F.E. Signal Centers. The greatest allotment went to U.S.A.S.O.S., when the equipment and operators for the automatic encipherment of approximately one hundred thousand groups per day were set up in that location. The ultimate aim of all these changes was, in addition to natural expansion, to add a "Q" relay section to the Signal Operations Center.

g. The Brisbane-Chunking circuit was discontinued. Traffic, in words, handled in December again exceeded six million.

 

JANUARY

a. The Phillips 800 Watt transmitter at Redland Bay used on the Brisbane-Adelaide River circuit was replaced with a Federal BC-339 1 KW transmitter.

b. Construction of the antennae for the standard frequency and time signal transmitters was completed at Hemmant and the broadcast of this service begun. Transmission was made periodically on standard frequencies five, ten and fifteen megacycles. Time signals broadcast at seven and eleven a.m. and seven and eleven p.m.

c. The second Technical School on the Multi-channel System was completed.

d. Construction of Rhombic antennae for the Port Moresby, Noumea and New Delhi radio teletype circuits was begun.

e. Further progress was made on the rearrangement of the Signal Operations Center in that all C.W. (high speed and manual) circuits were relocated in the new position. A new Traffic Desk was built; cable run under the floor for the new positions, installation of a primary testboard and main distributing frame was begun in the Control Room, and wiring begun on a main distributing frame and associated patch panel in the Signal Operations Center. January's traffic load dropped slightly to 5,900,411 words handled in Signal Operations Center.

 

PART 1
INTRODUCTION

On the sixth of September, 1944, the Headquarters of the United States Army Service of Supply issued General Order No. 182. Paragraph No. Three, thereof redesignated the "832nd Signal Service Company" as "832nd Signal Service Battalion." At that time the Battalion was billeted at Camp Moorooka, however, on the 26th of September, 1944, with the authority of the verbal order of the Commanding Officer of the base, the Battalion moved from Camp Moorooka to Area Three, Camp Yeronga, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

 

PART II
UNIT HISTORY

1. On the 27th of September , 1944, the Battalion Headquarters endured the birth pains of Detachment Three, in the form of Special Order No. 2. The Headquarters of the Detachment was established immediately, and Special Order No. 2 bestowed upon it seventeen Officers and four hundred and eighteen enlisted men. In addition to this personnel, it entrusted to our care two hundred and thirty eight Enlisted Men, which were at the time of the activation of this unit, placed on detached service with the Battalion Headquarters. This adoption of these two hundred and thirty eight Enlisted Men was not accomplished by written order but rather by the verbal order of the battalion commander.

2. The Headquarters of this Detachment exists primarily as an administrative office and performs no tactical mission, however, the duty of the Detachment as a whole is to furnish personnel for the operational control of Administrative Signal Communication Systems located within this area. All the personnel either assigned or attached to this Headquarters are placed under the operational control of the Signal Officer, Base Three, consequently it is their responsibility to adjust the needs of the various signal installations within this base with the personnel of this Headquarters. In other words the personnel mentioned in paragraph one, above, are under our supervision for administration, quarters, rations, and court martial jurisdiction only, regardless of whether they are attached or assigned hereto.

3. Concerning this Headquarters only, the following information may be found of some value, in helping to designate the duties of the officers "assigned present" with this office.

a. First Lieutenant Wesley A. Glenn, 0-1634799, Signal Corps, was appointed Detachment Commander by virtue of paragraph 14, Special Order no. 2 (attached). In addition to this the Lieutenant has been assigned the duties of Intelligence Officer, Summary Courts Officer, and Special Investigating Officer of the Unit Post Exchange, for this organization.

b. Second Lieutenant Julius S. Boldissar, 0-888219, Signal Corps, has been assigned the duties of Unit Mess Officer, Unit Supply Officer, Unit Plans and Training Officer, and Unit War Bond Officer.

c. Second Lieutenant Arthur NMI Drucker, 0866923, Signal Corps, has been assigned the duties of Unit Post Exchange Officer, Unit Mail Censor, Unit Special Service Officer, Unit Information and Education Officer, Unit Investigations Officer, and Unit Gas Officer.

4. The remaining fourteen Officers, are, like the Enlisted Men of this unit, under the operational control of the Signal Officer, Base Three, and as a result, this office can give no definite account of their duties.

5. The Enlisted Men who are assigned to this organization are the orphans of the 40 KW Radio Station Section, 832nd Signal Service Company, the 15th Radio Station Section, 832nd Signal Service Company, and the General Assignment Section, 832nd Signal Service Company. The complete personnel of the two radio stations mentioned above, were absorbed by this Unit when it was activated. The General Assignment Section merely gave a healthy donation by assigning all its personnel in this base to this Headquarters.

6. The Enlisted Men attached are personnel from many and various organizations. Our fan mail comes from the 997th Signal Service Battalion, 88th Signal Battalion, 99th Signal Battalion, 161st Signal Photo Company, 842nd Signal Service Battalion, 52nd Signal Battalion, 805th Signal Service Company, Hq. Co., Base Three, and the 3169th Signal Service Detachment. The 3169th Signal Service Detachment is attached to this office for rations, quarters, administration, and courts martial jurisdiction, as an organization, while the remaining represented organizations personnel have been attached individually.

7. The Enlisted Men of the Detachment have been in slightly higher spirits since the move from Camp Moorooka, for here at Camp Yeronga we have the blessing of electricity while at Camp Moorooka we had none. Here we are living in huts constructed of pressed sheeting material, with smooth wooden floors, and graveled solid streets while at Camp Moorooka the Enlisted Men were living in pyramidal tents which were old and in many cases would have made better shower heads than overhead protection.

8. Here at Camp Yeronga, we have been able to develop a more complete Special Service Program. The organization is quite proud of the ball club and its accomplishments.

a. It is felt here that Lt. Drucker's efforts to construct and keep current, the tactical situation map in the Unit Reading Room, deserve special attention. The tactical situation as it changes day· by day on all the battle fronts in the world can be viewed by a few minutes of interesting study of the numerous maps and sketches that are displayed on the fiber-board which as can be seen above, covers one end of the Reading Room.

b. We dare say that no organization's special service directors have done so well as ours, for what organization of our standing can boast of a piano, a billiard table (although it is admitted that there are not enough balls nor cues to make it really practiceable ... but after all ... who can boast of the table alone?), ping pong table, a reading room, and even a miniature library? For a stranger to come into our camp and view the facilities that are offered to the Enlisted Men of this Detachment for their entertainment and leisure, one would think that we used as reference the comic cartoon appearing in the Saturday Evening Post, entitled "This Ain't the Army" as a basis for our ideas. Yes, we feel that we can truthfully say that the morale of this organization is quite high, and if we are right in saying so, a good portion of the credit for this state of being can be given to the efforts of our special service personnel.

c. It would be an injustice done, if this Unit History were concluded without the mention of the efforts and accomplishments of the Unit Post Exchange personnel. The Unit PX shares a building with the game room. One particular point that truly requires acknowledgment is the fact that a good many current magazines are made available by this means. (Of course, when it came time to snap a picture of the many magazines, they were 'fresh out' ... doesn't it happen every time?) This feature is probably one of the most appreciated of all the Post Exchange activities.

9. In conclusion, we would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the special service personnel of the Yeronga Park W.A.C. Detachment for their open invitation to the personnel of this organization to visit the open air theater and share in the enjoyment to be had in viewing the motion pictures made available to that Unit. Without this kind invitation the Enlisted Men billeted in this area, would not have the opportunity to see the films provided by the Army. And so to the W.A.C's. "Thank You", and to the reader "Au Revoir."

THE END

 


Photo:- Tec. Henry "Hank" C. Hendrickson (37192535)

Coupon Furniture Company on corner of Gibbon Street
and Stanley Street, Woolloongabba, Brisbane used as
Barracks for Detachment 832nd Signal Service Company

 

Radio Repairman Tec. 3 Henry "Hank" C. Hendrickson (37192535) of the 832nd Signal Service Company used the Coupon Furniture Company Building on the comer of Gibbon Street and Stanley Street, Woolloongabba as his barracks for approximately 8 months. "Hank" helped to keep Sigsaly, the "Green Hornet" operational while he was based in Brisbane.

 

The above is an excerpt from Special Order No. 147 dated 29 October 1944, which is
a movement Order for the 832nd Signal Service Battalion from Brisbane to Hollandia.
Henry C. Hendrickson is shown as a member of the 1st Single Channel Radio Station.

 


Photo:- Tec. Henry "Hank" C. Hendrickson (37192535)

Two sections of the 40 KW Transmitter operated by "Hank" Hendrickson

 


 

In 1944, Ken Osterberg was a member of Detachment 3 of the 832nd Signal Service Company, Signal Section, USASOS. The group later became known as Detachment 3 of the 997th Signal Service Battalion and finally as Detachment 3 of the 4025th Signal Service Group. Ken went overseas as a replacement from San Francisco on board the ship Monticello, and landed at Milne Bay, New Guinea. He was then sent from there to Brisbane via Sydney. His group from the 832nd worked on the 7th floor of General Douglas MacArthur's General Headquarters, South West Pacific Area (GHQ, SWPA) in the AMP Building in Queen Street, Brisbane.

Ken and his unit were initially billeted in an old orphan's home in Brisbane (where was this?). They then moved to a camp which he believes was Camp Moorooka on the southern side of Brisbane where they lived in tents. They then moved to a camp at Camp Yeronga consisting of small huts made of white or grey mineral siding (3 men to a hut) and finally, they moved Camp Victoria Park not far from the central city area of Brisbane.

 

Ken Osterberg on the right in front of the small huts at Camp Yeronga

 

Ken Osterberg remembers a pub they used to visit about a block down Edward Street going toward the Botanical Gardens. Since they were a long way from their Camp, they ate in restaurants a lot for which they had an allowance. He remembers that instead of rationing, there were "Austerity Prices" which meant they could only charge so much for a meal. 

 

The pub in Edward Street (Which Hotel was it?)

The American soldiers L - R:- John D. Stewart, Douglas Womack, Harvey Zacharias,
Ken Osterberg, Henry Oppenheimer, Floyd Armstrong, Edwin Copeland, Clark Siebels

 

Close-up of the above group at the pub in Edward Street, Brisbane. Ken Osterberg is 4th from the left

 

Douglas Womack had the nicknames of "Wombo" & "Young Tom Edison". Ken Osterberg was initially not sure whether Douglas Womack worked in the code room or the teletype section, but he has since found two military orders, one showing Doug and Ken receiving Good Conduct medals and the other showing Doug and I being promoted to T-4's.  The promotion order shows both Doug and I with the same MOS number 806, which means he worked in the code room on the same shift as I did.  The pub picture was taken after we got off of the 8:00AM to 4:00 PM shift.

 

Ken Osterberg has asked if I can help identify this street.
Is this in Albert Street opposite City Hall? Is that the old T&G building behind the statue?
That looks like one of the statues outside City Hall on the plinth.
Note the Air Raid Shelter sign. 

 

Ken Osterberg advised that another part of Detachment 3 was the men who operated the overseas radio station. They were billeted near the radio station. It is possible that this was the US Army Signal Corps' Radio Communications (Telecommunications) site which was established in 1943 at Cotton's Farm, Capalaba near Brisbane.  Ken said that the radio station was connected by land line (teletype) to the Signal Center at the GHQ, SWPA in the AMP building in Queen Street, Brisbane. The teletype section was also connected to other installations like Sydney, Townsville, etc.

In June 1942, a Detachment of the 832nd Sig Serv Co (Rad) was located in Darwin in the Northern Territory. Their old designation was Radio and Code Team F.

Detachment 3 of the 832nd Signal Service Company used a Sigaba Machine in the Signal Center on the 7th floor of General Douglas MacArthur's General Headquarters, South West Pacific Area (GHQ, SWPA) in the AMP Building in Queen Street Brisbane in southern Queensland. General Douglas MacArthur was located on the 8th Floor and the Navy HQ was on the 6th Floor. Ken Osterberg was assigned there in 1944 until February 1946 and operated the Sigaba Machine in the Signal Center. 

 

Sigaba Machine

 

Ken remembers that there were four or five cryptographic technicians on each of three eight hour shifts that rotated each week in the Signal Center in the AMP building.

Ken Osterberg also remembers the Sigtot machine, a secure teletype conferencing system, which was used in the Code Room on the 7th Floor of the AMP building by Detachment 3 of the 832nd Signal Service Company. He used Sigtot to decode incoming messages. There was a code group (which changed frequently) that denoted that the message was for McArthur's eyes only. When that happened, there was a Lieutenant on McArthur's staff who was summoned. He had the necessary scrambled teletype tape to decode these messages.

Ken Osterberg said that the Teletype Section gave them Sigaba messages in printed form of five letter code groups. The Sigtot messages were in the form of a teletype perforated tape.

In May 1944, the Military Telephone Directory for Brisbane shows the following details for the 832nd Signal Service Company which was located at USASOS Headquarters at Camp Victoria Park in Brisbane, in southern Queensland:-

SIGNAL SECTION (Building No. 8)
    832ND SIGNAL SERVICE CO.:
        Major Swanson, C.A.
        Capt. Green, M.J.
        1st Sergeant
    SIGNAL CENTER (Building No. 1):
            Capt. Rose, O.
            Lt. Peters, D.W.
        Message Center
        Duty Officer
        Teletype Station
        Teletype Conference Station (Bldg. No. 9)

BASE SECTION THREE
    SIGNAL OFFICE (Somerville House)
        832nd Signal Service Detachment, A.P.O. 923:
            Commanding Officer:
                Capt. Ankrum, A.M.
            Executive Officer:
                Lt. Glenn, W.A.
            Supply & Mess Officer
            Orderly Room

In February 1945,  the Military Telephone Directory for Brisbane shows the following details for Detachment 3 of the 832nd Signal Service Company which was located at Yeronga Park in Brisbane, in southern Queensland:-

SIGNAL OFFICE: (Building No. 2)
Det. 3, 832 Signal Service Battalion: (Yeronga Park)
    Commanding Officer:
        Capt. Sanders, R.W.
    Personnel Officer:
        Lt. Drucker, A.
    Supply & Transportation Officer:
        Lt. Drucker A.
    Chief Clerk
    1st Sergeant
    Post Exchange

A Detachment of the 832nd Signal Service Company, Signal Section was also located in Townsville attached to Base Section Two. (Can anyone tell me about this Detachment in Townsville?)

Photo Unit 1, a photographic detachment of the 832nd Signal Service Company was firstly based in Sydney. Initially Photo Unit 1 took over several offices on the sixth floor of the Bank of New South Wales building in 15 Wynyard Street, Sydney. Ovid Di Fiore, a member of Photo Unit 1, also lived for quite a few months in the Hotel Imperial in King's Cross

Ovid told me that the entire Imperial Hotel was used by the Americans to house detachments of various army groups. He does not remember the exact street address of the Hotel. Ovid returned to Australia in 1999 and tried to locate the hotel but without success. Ovid said that Kings Cross was far more sedate then, than it is now. Ovid indicated that he was one of ten men and two officers that comprised their Photo Unit 1. 

Each of them had his own private room in the Hotel Imperial in King's Cross. They would get up and head for a local luncheonette for breakfast before taking the tram downtown. They ended up always going to the restaurant run by the Church of England Emergency Fund. It catered only "For Men of the Fighting Forces and Women of the Auxiliary Services". (Ovid still has one of their menus.) They were welcomed with open arms by the ladies, all volunteers, who did the cooking and served the patrons. 

Ovid told me "They were truly wonderful, so much so, that we called the head our 'Mum' "

They also occupied a building in the south-western part of Sydney near the General Motors Holden assembly plant for a few months. (Does anyone know which building this was?). The entire complex consisted of a few buildings one of which was their processing lab and another was their sleeping quarters. There were additional buildings on the property which Ovid believes was used as a warehouse for cigarettes.

While in Sydney, Ovid Di Fiore would occasionally visit the Grace Building, which was Base Section 7 Headquarters.  Ovid's first recollection of that building was photographing IDs of all civilian employees being hired by the newly established American presence in August 1942. Ovid indicated "This was a great and exclusive opportunity to meet loads of young ladies, Believe me, we made the most of it since we could pick and choose whom we were attracted to and getting plenty of dates!"

Ovid Di Fiore then moved to Brisbane where the photo unit used Newstead House as their Barracks. The unit was attached to the Photo Laboratory for the Army Pictorial Service, US Army located in the historic house "Cintra" in Boyd Street, Bowen Hills, adjacent to Luna Park (Cloudland). The 832nd Signal Service Battalion, was responsible for the Brisbane Radiophone Station located at Cintra. Radiophone equipment allowed the transmittal of a photograph to a remote location by a radio link in about 7 minutes.

After a nine month tour of duty in Port Moresby Ovid returned to Sydney, rented a flat with two other men and worked in the Cinesound Studios cataloguing and editing combat footage from the north.

 

osterberg04.jpg (152426 bytes)

A PIECE OF HISTORY - 2 SEPTEMBER 1945

This message announced the signing of the formal surrender by the Japanese on that day on the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay

This message came into the Signal Center used by the 832nd Signal Service Company on the 7th Floor of GHQ, SWPA in the AMP building in Queen Street, Brisbane. It was received at the overseas radio station (probably the one at Capalaba) and was transmitted to the Signal Center via teletype. It was received in "Clear" Classification.

It was the first message to pass between Japan and the United States over an Army Circuit since Pearl Harbor. It was sent from Radio Station WVLX on USS Teton in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. It was a message from the Supreme Commander for the Allied Forces, General Douglas MacArthur.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Ken Osterberg of the 832nd Signal Service Company for his assistance with this home page. I'd also like to thank Russell Miller and Dave Spethman for their assistance with this home page. I'd also like to thank Douglas Womack, son of Douglas Womack of the 832nd Signal Service Company for his assistance with this home page. I'd also like to thank Ovid Di Fiore, a member of the Photographic Detachment who worked in the Photo Laboratory at "Cintra" at Bowen Hills.

I'd like to thank Todd Johnson for his assistance with this web page. Todd is the grandson of Tec. Henry "Hank" C. Hendrickson (37192535) of the 832nd Signal Service Company.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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