Southern European Task Force
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.
I was disappointed in the fact you have no information on the 560th Sig Bn in Vicenza, Italy.
I was assigned to that unit from 1962 until my discharge in July of 1964 where after that time the unit seem to have been disbanded.
We operated a communication station in the Alps and I spent time on the mountain during its operation. The site provided direct commutation between northern Europe and Verona which was the Army Headquarters (SETAF).
I also helped to resupply the site with provision when needed. I would transport the supplies by truck up to area where a chopper would then lift the supplies up to the site.
We also had personal stationed in Naples to maintain communicates with our radio relay equipment while a new land base system was being installed.
It was a wonderful experience for me. I am grateful for my time in the service and proud that I served.
I also have fond memories of traveling through Germany, beautiful country.
I don’t remember the exact location of the (radio relay) site. I think it was North out of Vicenza and a little west. It was build on a mountain peak.
We had a lot of carrier equipment along with three or four antennas. This site allowed for land line communication between NATO and SETAF.
A four or six person team would spent 30 days maintaining the site. We had two diesel generators that provided our power which we maintained; alternating units every ten or twelve hours.
We were in our own little world up there. In the spring we would have a farmer bring up his live stock to graze on the mountain. There were times we would take turns walking down the mountain which took about 30 minutes. Some time we would use cardboard to slide down, taking a little less time; walking up was an hour climb.
I was raised on a farm so I would enjoy helping out in the field when I was off the site. The people were beautiful and made us feel like part of their families. It was a great experience for all of us that were aloud to work the site.
And when provisions were needed I would jump at the opportunity to drive them up to the base of the mountain. I was an all day trip. Everyone in the area would come watch the chopper make the lifts and sometime help us load the supplies.
After our time on the mountain we would receive certificates for our service in maintaining the site and performing the necessary duties needed to live up there for the month. I think I still have it and will look for it. If I am able to find it I will send you a photo of it.
(If anyone has additional information on the 560th Signal Battalion or on the radio relay site mentioned by Mr. Pease, including its exact location, please contact the webmaster - see email link at top of page.)
Source: Email from Ermest Swain)
The radio relay mentioned in the above post was called Yankee Relay.
Cannot remember the exact location but it was north of Vicenza in the mountains. Spent a few weeks there myself in 1967.