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Division Call Signs- WW1 & WW2

Started by 37thguy , Oct 25 2009 03:40 PM

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#1 37thguy

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 03:40 PM

Haven't heard anything about these here on the Forum so I thought I'd start this topic and see where it goes.

In both WW1 and WW2 Divisions used call signs that started with the same letter of the alphabet for all units within as well as the higher up officers etc.

I'm curious if anyone here knows any for other Divisions. It would be neat to gather as many as we can for research purposes. You may have something now that might relate to your division and not even know it. Such as "What the heck does 'Keller 6' mean?"

As shown below, the 37th Division in WW1 used the letter "K" in WW1. This is taken directly from the 74th Brigade Adjutants Diary, Lt Col. Gilson D. Light.

*Note the Signal Battalion got the name "KODAK" with their "K"!

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Edited by 37thguy, 25 October 2009 - 03:47 PM.


#2 37thguy

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 07:02 PM

Anyone?

#3 37thguy

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 03:34 PM

BTT

#4 3mxd

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:52 AM

I believe it's "Killer," not "Keller." The call sign for the 1st Infantry Division headquarters during WW II was "Danger," hence the title for the divisional history, "Danger Forward." In the 1970s, the 3rd Infantry Division units used the letter "T." The methodology for indicating the CO, XO and staff changed at some point such that the S- (or G-) 1 through 4 would have, for example, the call signs Killer-1 through 4. The CoS, XO or second-in-command would be Killer-5. The commander is always "6."

#5 scmcgeorge

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 05:31 AM

37th Guy: I've collected quite a few from WW1 from multiple sources. 77th Div IIRC was D - Detroit I think was Div HQ Dreadnought, Digger etc etc for subordinate units. I suspect there must have been a master directory of telephone codenames, likely published by Chief Signal Officer AEF. I have not searched National Archives yet.... I'll bet the master directory was classified at SECRET level. The question is made a little more difficult because early in the tenure of the AEF different telephone code names were used, I believe for a period the 26th Div used "River Codes" all sub units being named for American rivers. "Brevity codes' were also used random groups of letters signifying longer words or phrases ie "XYZ"= "we are under attack" "CJS" = " we are halted". But it appears by the time of the meuse-argonne offensive telephone codenames had stabilized, each division with a letter and all sub-units using words starting with same letter as illustrated in your 37th Div example. A guy named Friedman was the guru of communication codes and cryptoigraphy in WW1 and did a lot of crypto work in interwar years into WW2. His wife was also a crypto geek. Friedmans papers are at the VMI library and I once asked if they held any material on WW1 telephone codenames, but I never got a response. I have a copy of WW2 5th Inf. Div signal instructions ( Feb 1945) with code names for and duty position suffixes for 5th ID and telephone code names for most nearly all major combat units in ETO. However I was never able to find a complete ETO directory from WW2 either. Email me direct at stephen.c.mcgeorge@us.army.mil and we can hook up and share. Best regards Steve McG

#6 scmcgeorge

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 05:57 AM

ALL: just remembered... 2nd Div AEF was "M" Div HQ was "McCall" Telephone codenames wer used for both lanline telephone and wireless (radio) communication. I have transcript of notification of the armistice sent from Eifel Tower ( the central broadcasting station) to "McCall" dated 0545 11 Nov. with Gen Foch's notification of when Armistice woyould go in effect "11 O'clock ("French O'Clock") and allied troops not to proceed past line reached at that time. ( French time and German time were one hour different) The transcription is in pencil on a standard message book sheet. best to all Steve McG

#7 37thguy

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 02:49 PM

[quote name='3mxd' date='Oct 27 2009, 08:52 AM' post='418695']
I believe it's "Killer," not "Keller." The call sign for the 1st Infantry Division headquarters during WW II was "Danger," hence the title for the divisional history, "Danger Forward." In the 1970s, the 3rd Infantry Division units used the letter "T." The methodology for indicating the CO, XO and staff changed at some point such that the S- (or G-) 1 through 4 would have, for example, the call signs Killer-1 through 4. The CoS, XO or second-in-command would be Killer-5. The commander is always "6."




Up close it is "Keller" and thanks for adding to this guys. Anyone else?


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