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102nd Signal Battalion
Melibokus Radio Site

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.

Main Page
1952 (Jim Scheibner)
1954 (Donald Neely)
1956 (Donald R. Elmore)
19.. (Jim Creek)
2008 (Markus Ruehl)

315th Signal Battalion (Construction)



Melibokus M/W Relay Station, 102nd Sig Bn, April 1955 (Donald Neely)

Melibokus M/W Relay Station on day site turned over to 102nd Sig Bn, 1955

The double doors on the left lead to the Operations Room. The recessed entrance to
the right leads to the emergency power unit...
(Source: Email from Donald Neely, 315th Sig Bn (Const), 1954-55)

Donald Neely , Melibokus
  I accidently discovered your website while perusing the internet. I was particularly interested in the page concerning Melibokus. I served there during 1954 and 1955. It was during that time that the name was changed from the 315th. to the 102nd. Signal Battalion.

Your photographs taken in 1956 and 1957 show soldiers who replaced those with whom I served. However, the cook, Margot Weber, shown in one photograph was there during my time of service.

When I arrived from Smiley Barracks in Karlsruhe, we had a G. I. cook. He was followed by our first female German cook. Her husband was killed in WW II. With two children to care for, she had a tough life. I have one special memory of her. With her struggle to raise the children, it was difficult for her to prepare her garden for spring planting. Four of us who were off duty at the time arrived at her house—each with a shovel in hand—and quickly spaded her garden.

Our next cook was Margot—shown in the picture. Margot must have gotten married soon after I left the station because when I left in ‘55, her name was Margot Helds.

A class of German school children visit the site after having hiked up the mountain on
one of the many off-road trails. POV in the background belongs to Michael Kishmoian.

Three young visitors outside the perimeter fence.

Radio relay site of the 32nd Signal Bn - just outside of the Melibokus M/W site.
Each of the men at Melibokus was assigned duties other than those in the signal station. One of my extra duties was as an all-purpose driver. Margot and I became good friends because I was assigned to provide transportation for her each day. This gave me an opportunity to enjoy the drive between her home and the site. I particularly liked the drive in winter when the mountain was covered with snow. I usually used a weapons carrier for this purpose; however, I would sometimes use the jeep in order to explore the many trails on the mountain. I would take these off-road trips alone on the way to meet Margot in the morning and on the return trip in the afternoon. One icy, winter morning, the weapons carrier skidded on a sharp curve and broke a beautiful spruce tree. On the first Christmas that I returned home the gang remaining at Melabokus sent a Christmas card; Margot drew a broken spruce tree after her signature.

I could tell you many things about duty a Melibokus; however, this is mainly a posting to express my appreciation for your work.

For military service, I can’t think of a better place to have been in 1954-55 than at Melibokus
Scenic roads from the valley to the M/W site

315th Sig Bn


1. Equipment room

2. Weapons training

3. Organized workbench

Site members

They ate well

Louise Riggar, second site cook

Margot Held, third site cook

Neely & Kines


102nd Signal Battalion

PFC Gary Martin, Melibokus 1956

Don Elmore (no hat) and others at Melibokus 1957
(Source: Email from Donald R. Elmore, Co A, 102nd Sig Bn, 1956-58)
I was assigned to Company A, 102nd Signal Battalion, 4th Signal Group, in February 1956 and was sent back to the States in June 1958. Captain Jack Rosen was the Commanding Officer of Company A, 102nd Signal Battalion in 1956/1957. 

Company A, was in 7811 Kaserne, Frankfurt Germany. Hq, 102nd Sig Bn was in Karlsruhe, Germany. Hq, 4th Signal Group was at Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany.

I was at the Melibokus Radio Station. Here is a list of names for some of the guys at the Melibocus Radio Station (Co A, 102nd Sig Bn, 1956-1958):
SFC Michael J. Kishmoian (New York)
SP1 Albert W Spangler (West Virginia)
SP2 Donald R. Elmore (Kentucky)
CPL Schneider (Illinois)
SP3 Bill Moore (Oklahoma)
SP3 James Mitchner (Pennsylvania)
SP2 Horace Smith (South Carolina)
SP3 Jerry L. Cordis (Nebraska)
SFC Almond S. Peppers (Unknown)
Margot Weber (Civilian Cook) (Bensheim, Germany)
PFC John Padden **
PFC Cutts **
PFC Ketzner **
PFC Gary Martin **
PFC David Lebanoff ***
PFC James Cutts ***

(** added to the list on June 22, 2012)
(*** added to the list on October 24, 2017)

Looking at the cars (in Jim Creek's photos -- below), they look like the same time period.  My Site Commander, SFC Almond S. Peppers, had a 1957 Ford Sedan.

I am looking at the weeds along the fence and this is not what it looked like when I was there. We kept it neat and I planted flowers along the inside of the fence. We also had a large 4' X 8' sign warning not to take pictures, etc.  I am disappointed at the condition of the site. We had it so neat.

If you look in the middle of the picture by the Flag Pole, there is the remnant of an old tower base, with a wood frame around it. I built that wood frame and made a flower box to hide the old tower base.

102d Sig Bn


1. (KB)

2. Equipment room (KB)

3. Site crew and Margot Weber (KB)

Operations Building (KB)

Gate (KB)

A little card game (KB)

CPL Schneider (Site cmdr) (KB)

Site personnel (KB)

Site personnel (KB)

10. "Lucky" Luciano

PFC Donald Elmore, 1956
Additional photos added June 22, 2012

102d Sig Bn


1. Spangler & Simon, 1956

2. Schneider

3. Padden & Cordis, 1957

Cordis, 1957

5. Simon & Nishimura, 1957

6. Cordis & Elmore, 1956

(Source: Email from Jim Creek and the 102nd Sig Bn MSN Group website)

102d Sig Bn


1. Sign near gate (KB)

2. Ops bldg and billets (KB)

3. Billets (KB)

(Source: ABOUT TOWN, Nov 18, 1981)

View from radio tower, 1981
The photo on the left appeared in the ABOUT TOWN issue of November 18, 1981. I have tried to clean it up a bit and also added some information that should make it easier to compare the photo with those provided by Markus Ruehl from 2008 (see below).

The accompanying article about the "Mountain men of Melibokus" can be read on the 11th AD Sig Bn Page.

(Source: Photos by Markus Ruehl, Germany)
Markus reports that the relay site structures - with the exception of the concrete radio tower - will be torn down starting sometime in September, 2008.

A report in the Darmstädter Echo newspaper confirms that. The Bundesanstalt für Immobielienaufgabe, a German agency that manages properties that have been handed back to the German government by NATO forces, will remove the structures.

Melibokus Radio Site
Who can provide additional details about the site?

1. Front view (KB)

2. Main gate (KB)

3. Rear view (KB)

4. Old sign (KB)

5. Bldg 6025 (KB)

6. (KB)

7. Bldg 6024 (KB)

8. (KB)