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Old 06-25-2017, 08:26 PM
Joe21 Joe21 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Clemson, SC
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Default Holibird Signal Depot

Knowing we would be leaving for foreign duty in the near future, we were doing a quick run through last minute training schedules. We had just finished our field exercises and were on standby. Then came a delay and someone higher up the chain decided about 15 of us on the radio repair team should make a quick trip to Holibird Signal Depot, located at Sparrows Point, MD, near Baltimore. So we packed up, boarded the train and off we went.

We never understood why we were sent to a depot when we would never be operating from a depot. Anyway, it was something different and we were close to a big city. Our responsibilities were limited but we did learn how the depot operated.

One day we were instructed to go to a certain room for some important information and a briefing. The Signal Corps also produced training film for distribution to the various branches. We were informed we were to be the "stars" in the next film. The topic was infiltration in enemy territory. GIs always had another name for the many training film we viewed. This was to be an updated version of one we had seen during our training and for this particular topic we dubbed it "Creeping and Peeping".

Barbed wire was strung to a height so it would clear a soldier with a full field pack crawling close to the ground. In addition to the field pack, we were issued an M-1 rifle, which we had to cradle in our arms as we slithered along like a rattlesnake. To each side were land mines which would be triggered remotely. The land mines were not fully charged but the charge was sufficient to blow mud and soil all over us. The lanes through which we were to crawl were designed with safety lines so we would not wander into the area where the mines were located. We had a practice run before the actual filming to familiarize us with the course and learn how to maneuver through the area.

Lights !! Action !! Camera !! And off we went. We slithered through the course on our bellies. Mud and soil were flying everywhere but most of it appeared to directly aiming for us. At times we became entangled with the barb wire but managed to get free and continue our journey as more land mines exploded, sending more mud in our direction. Finally, we emerged with our lives still intact but in need of a shower for both our body and clothing.

We got a thumbs up for our performance and our effort did not require a repeat performance. There was one disappointment, Hollywood never came calling. Furthermore, none of us ever had the opportunity to see the finished film. Neither were we aware that a credit line mentioned the heroic efforts of the 3125th. Signal Service Company Radio Repair Team, who, without their sacrifices, this film would not have been possible.

All good things come to an end, so, after completing our month at Holibird, we packed our bags and boarded the train to return to Camp Crowder, MO. I believe our fellow company mates were glad to welcome us home, at least they gave that appearance. After all, movie stars should receive a little respect for our efforts above and beyond our normal responsibilities.
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:38 PM
tigerpawgt tigerpawgt is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Grand Blanc MI
Posts: 18,897
Default Re: Holibird Signal Depot

Another great story, Mr Joe!
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