512th Airborne Signal Company

The mission of the 512th Airborne Signal Company is to provide the necessary communications to airborne units of the Allied invading force. On July 14, 1944, the company was created in Lido di Roma. On July 21, men are integrated into the unit and begin receiving equipment to support the task force's mission. The men in the company come from many places. Many of the 512th's soldiers come from the 6766th Service Company (provisional), while others are recruited from the Airborne Training Center in Rome and the men of the 82nd and 101st Airborne, others arrive from Replacement Depot. As of July 31, 1944, two weeks before Dday, the 512th had 3 officers and 102 troops as well as 2 warrant officers and 27 other men attached to the unit. Even with additional personnel, the 512th Airborne Signal Company is not sufficiently equipped to support the 1st Airborne Task Force.

The 512th trained throughout August before the 15th to train its personnel and receive the necessary equipment to support the operation. Since the majority of the company's men have never served in airborne units, all soldiers immediately enter a training program designed to deploy signaling equipment and learn basic skills. At the Airborne Training Center located outside Rome, Signalmen receive special training in loading and securing equipment in Waco CG-4As, and all personnel are Glider Rider qualified.

On August 13, 1944, a day before the anniversary month of the 512th activation, the company was split into three groups and moved from Lido di Roma to the airfields of Voltonne, Orbatello and Canino near Rome. On airfields, troops are assigned to their gliders into which they load their equipment. Signal soldiers spend their last hours before the invasion attending operation briefings, rechecking their equipment and waiting. For D-Day, the company is made up of 129 troops, 2 warrant officers and 3 officers.


Dday, August 15, 1944

The first group of gliders of the 512th Airborne Signal Company landed during Mission Bluebird. The other two groups are scheduled for the late afternoon of D-Day.

In the morning, the first wave of the 512th Signal Company glider failed to establish communications between the 517th PRCT and the Task Force command post. The rest of the company arrives at 6:21 pm on the second wave of gliders, another team of the wire section is able to approach safely in the direction of the 517th PIR and then establish communications.