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102nd Signal Battalion
Angevillers 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.

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1955 (Herb Majer)
early 1960s (Ron Glaeseman)

1964 (Larry Brogdon)

102nd Signal Battalion
(Email from Herb Majer, Co D, 102nd Signal Battalion at Angevillers, France)
Came across the web site when I entered Angevillers. Fr. Found it very interesting since I was stationed at TW from Jan.1955 to Dec 1956. "TW" meant we were "Terminal West," as in the first site west of the Rhine. I made up a sign that I mounted on the front fence of our site that read Angevillers Radio Station or ARS. Very seldom that we used ARS as our call sign,

I have good memories of those days. We (detachment of Company D, 102nd Sig Bn) were assigned to the 175 th. Sig Co. for rations and quarters in the Angevillers camp.

I had a chance to go to Maison Fort (because I had frameman experience with Ma Bell.) when I first got to Co D HQ in Verdun, but requested TW ( even though I was told it was one of the "cruder" sites.) Since my patents came from southern Germany I wanted to go to the more german part of France. I was able to get right out in the villages and converse with the locals because many of the older people could only speak german.

I worked the GE AN/FRC 26 (?) equipment. The original site was nothing more than a tin shack. We got into the new building about April or May of 1955. Boy the memory sure goes with age.

The big items while I was stationed there were:

First the Hungarian revolution. I happened to be on leave visiting family in the British zone right along the East West border. Being there at the border and seeing the emotions of the German people I thought for sure we would be going in.

Number 2 was when we were put on alert at Camp Angevillers. We (102nd ) were assigned to the camp for rations and quarters along with the air force pesonnel. The alert was because the Algerians were to hit the camp for weapons. The camp had machine guns set up around the perimeter and no one could leave the camp except the air force and us to maintain the MW sites. We traveled with loaded carbines. The 175th Sig. Co.(HF) was in charge of the camp. We also had french troops on the other side of the barbed wire. The lock down lasted about one week.

The next crisis was the invasion of Egypt by I believe the French, English and Israelies. We had to establish special circuits which came from Paris to North Africe via TW, our circuits went out to the air force site .

Another item out of the ordinary was when I believe it was SHAPE had a large scale maneuver in our TW area. All troops had to leave Camp Angevillers and live in the field while the Pentagon, etc. lived in our barracks. We at TW had a squad tent set up in the woods across from the site. Also in the field was a paratrooper outfit from Germany taking part in the maneuvers. Before the paratroopers left they had "torn up" a few places in Angevillers. The next morning (very early) our TW crew woke up in our squad tents with flashlights shining in our faces. These were held by several police in the company of residents from Angevillers with their heads bandaged, arms in slings, etc.

I had friends in Thionville who I met through my uncle who came through France in 1939 with the German army. Its a strange world isn't it. In 1956 I bought a Moped in Germany and rode from my families town southeast of Stuttgart to Angevillers. I really traveled a lot with that. Even rode it down to Lausanne on Lake Geneva, came back via Ulm and on up through the Black Forest to visit more relatives. I had that Moped close to one year (with several kms on it sold it to a guy who had it a short time and drove it into the side of a home that jutted out into the road, (while he was drunk of course) He woke up in the hospital.

In the French camp we had a German barber and a PX staffed by local folks from Angevillers. In the same building Uncle Sam was kind enough to convert one of the latrines into a Photo Lab, which I made good use of. Between doing shifts at the site, and riding my Moped all over the local country side and working the foto lab, it was quite interesting. On a Moped you get a better feel of the local. Dudelange was a favorite spot, I came in and they set a bottle of my favorite Mosel wine down in front of me without asking.

Equipment wise in the new station we had 4 systems of GE AN/FRC 26 ( I believe it was 26). We broke the signal to audio level and some circuits went down to Camp Angevillers switchboard which was in an old Maginot bunker just outside the camp. Sorry to say never bothered to check it out. The other circuits were cut through to the out going system via a small distributing frame. We had a VHF system as back up if the GE system was down in either direction.

We also had one system of Siemens. It was smuggled in to France in old WECO (Western Electric) switchboard crates. If the GE went down we had a VHF link we could keep in touch with the sites either side of us for maintenance.

We worked two shifts. The day shift had early chow, (breakfast) relieved the night shift and then came back for a late supper. The night crew brought food from the messhall up to the site and spent the entire night on duty. The extent of our kitchen was a fridge, a hot plate and an old iron pot for coffee. I periodically SCHEDULED outage time when the entire link went down for routine maintenance. We had outage logs to keep and of course everyone else on the link would keep keep their logs up also. Excessive outage for any station meant of course frequent visits from Col. Rose or his staff.

Terminal West
Angevillers, France


1. TW (KB)

2. Winterized tents (KB)

3. AN/FRC-26 (KB)

(Source: Email from Ron R. Glaeseman, 102nd Sig Bn, Angevillers, 1960-63)
Angevillers Radio Site, 102nd Sig Bn Co. D, 1960 to 1963

This write-up on the Angevillers site supplements that posted by Larry Brogdon for the years 1964 to 1966.

I arrived at the 102nd microwave radio-telephone station at Angevillers, FR in November, 1960 and left April, 1963. I extended my enlistment for 6 months while at Angevillers. I just couldn’t get enough of the place I guess.

PFC Ron Glaeseman
Station Layout and Personnel
The station was located about 50 meters off of the D14 (see detailed map - note that this is a new wider road and now by passes Angevillers). The location placed it on a high ridge running parallel to the D58 which heads towards Escherange and the Luxembourg border. Approximately two miles further north were NATO sites comprised of Canadian AF and USAF personnel. These were contained in vans and were in a temporary configuration. The 102nd MW site was a fixed site with the ops bldg., utility and hobby bldgs. made of cement and the mess hall and the barracks made of corrugated tin.

The buildings and fixtures contained within the compound fence (approximately 100m square) were the operations building with the Deutz air-cooled diesel in a back room (the large permanent building which remains to this day), the radio antenna tower, the barracks, the mess hall, a utility building, a hobby shop, and an ammo bunker. The Deutz diesel was installed in 1961 and operated in such a way that if main power was interrupted, the generator would immediately cut in. It accomplished this by means of a constantly spinning flywheel. The energy of the flywheel was transferred to both the generator and diesel, which would start up and keep the flywheel spinning. We also had a mobile backup generator in case the Deutz failed.

In the early sixties, the site had nine NCO’s and operators. MSgt. William Soto-Arrocho was site commander, Spc6 Charles S. Dixon was asst. site commander (Specialist Dixon had been site commander when I arrived in 1960, but took second slot when Sgt. Soto arrived), Spc6 David Escilito, Spc5 James Sullivan, Spc5 Wallace B. McClellan, Spc5 Dave? Richardson, myself and Spc4 Alan Mohill were radio operators. Spc4 Nolan Harrell was our diesel mechanic.
In 1962, we had 120-channel Siemens microwave frequency division multiplexed FM modulated gear for the main radio-telephone equipment, teletype machines, and a Siemens (or Lorenz) 24/200 PPM R/T setup for a separate link to Pirmasens and Verdun. There were two identical Siemens transceiver bays, one repeating France to Germany, the other Germany to France and two parabolic antennas to do this. The Siemens gear was maintained by two German tech reps. Army personnel were not permitted to align the Siemens gear, other than tune the final amplifier for maximum output. We were the last repeater in France, so the alternate call sign for ARS was "TW" (Terminal West). One channel was connected to a loudspeaker and was reserved for communication between the stations on the link. Our company HQ ("D Co") was located in a little town (LeChenoy or "LCY") outside of Fountainebleu.

The stations in the French link were (from LCY):
Les Plessis
Les Essarts

The next station from ARS in Germany was Weiskirchen.

Station Duties
Operators pulled a three 12 hr. day, three 12 hr. night, and two 24 hr. days off shift. Kitchen duties were performed by a foreign national cook who was hired from our separation rations allotment. We had three cooks during my stay, the last being Mme. Smolog. Operators were also responsible for cleaning of the latrines and barracks at the end of their shifts. Much encouragement was given to “beautifying” the station. After all, you never could tell who was going to stop by. One of the photos shows such a project underway. Operators were also responsible to make PX runs either to our secondary company HQ in Verdun, or the caserne in Metz. These runs would include picking up mail, buying rations, and any other duties proscribed by the NCOIC.

Station Equipment
In addition to the real estate and radio gear, we had 10 M14 rifles and 1 M2 carbine for defense. The ammo bunker contained C4 explosives as well as ammunition. The explosives were to be used to blow the tower in case of evacuation. The vehicles were: ¼ ton truck (Jeep) with trailer; a ¾ ton truck, and a 2 ½ ton truck. We also had a portable diesel generator to back up the Deutz in case it failed. Our facilities were maintained by French engineers from the Angevillers military camp.

Operator Pay
A Specialist E-5 was taking home around $140.00/mo base pay with $77.00 for separate rations. If Proficiency Pay was authorized (P2), that meant an extra $60.00/mo. That came to about $277.00 per month, out of which we had to pay our cook and buy rations. One could easily save $100.00 per month, and considering that a new VW Beetle with US specifications cost $1250 at the dealer’s in Luxembourg City, it’s easy to calculate the buying power of the American GI in post-war Europe.

During my tenure, the single GI’s spent their time in Dudelange, Luxembourg. Primarily because we could find companions our age (both male and female) who spoke English. Little or no English was spoken by the Angevillers townsfolk. In fact, one could say that about the area of northern France as a whole. Our time was spent mostly at “Mom’s” café in Dudelange, or in the Italian section (slang: the “IT”) of Dudelange. There were many Italians imported as “gastarbeiter” to work in the local steel mill. They lived and played in an area close to the mill, which was a good bit shabbier than the rest of the town, and also a good deal wilder. Our motto was “If you couldn’t do it in the IT, you better leave it alone”. As long as we behaved ourselves, we were welcomed by the local inhabitants. In fact, over the 2½ years I was there, I never saw any genuine fights or rowdiness. Much can be said for the fact that there were only about 30 GI’s who knew about Dudelange. Most of those were attached to the 208th Signal Company located in the Camp Militaire at Angevillers (I have never been able to find reference to this group, although I am reasonably certain that I remember the unit designation correctly).

The 7th Army imposed a weeknight 12AM bedcheck requirement on Army personnel who did not have a pass. On Saturday night, the bedcheck was extended one hour to 1AM. The fear was that one would be caught off post without a pass when an alert was called. During alerts, all personnel had to be accounted for and a report made to company HQ. The bedcheck requirement did not apply to our NATO friends down the road; a fact which irritated us no end when things were getting wound up at Heueretz dance hall in Dudelange on Saturday night.

The other fear that company HQ had was the vehicle accident rate. No accident report was ever made to HQ unless it involved injury or total destruction of the vehicle. It was that serious. The CO would restrict vehicles to post if the weather looked like snow or ice. In the winter of 1962 when we were hit with the worst ice and snow storm I’ve ever seen, we lost two POV’s totally destroyed and one (a Mercedes 180) which took extensive repair to bring back into running condition. Even though we were restricted to the site, it became necessary to make a commissary run and one vehicle was lost on the way to Verdun.

In 1960-61, the 208th ran a 2½ ton into Dudelange as a pass run. This practice stopped in mid-1961 owing to some idiotic border requirement. From then on, it was hire a taxi or buy your own car if you wanted to make the 13 km trip into Dudelange. This cessation of the pass run made life a bit desperate for those single GI’s who had dates in Dudelange. And phoning across the border was next to impossible for us who knew no French.
Ron R. Glaeseman

102d Sig Bn - 1960-63
Angevillers, France


Location of the ARS microwave relay site ()

1. The Angevillers MW Relay site in 1961

2. The site in 1962 (KB)

3. Auxilliary Diesel, Transformer Station and Jeep

102d Sig Bn - 1960-63
Verdun, France


1.  Verdun MW Relay Site, D Company

2. ¾-ton truck of D Company at the Verdun signal site

102d Sig Bn - 1960-63
Vernou, France

1. D Company headquarters at Vernou

(Email from Larry Brogdon, 102nd Signal Battalion at Angevillers, France, radio site, 1964-66)

Larry Brogdon relaxes in pool room
I was at Angevillers, France (Co. D, 102nd Sig BN) from July/August, 1964 until Sept., 1966.

We consisted of 5-7 operators. Two German nationals took care of our 80 KVA generator for backup power. One of them was named Klaus Fuchs, if I remember right.

Had a local woman, Madam Smolog, as a cook. She cooked lunch and supper. Breakfast was on our own... unless she would volunter to cook some eggs for one or two of us. We got seperate rations and everyone chipped in to buy our food and pay her wages. Bought our food at the Commissary in Verdun, about hour away. maybe more.

We got movies every week from the Air Force microwave system down the hill from us. Plus we got a box of paperback books about once a month with the latest novels in addition the standard Playboy and other magazines.

Life was pretty routine, three shifts a day around the clock running the site. Since most of were single we spend our off time either in the local bars in Algrange which was over the hill from the site, depending how you got there (walked thru woods or drove). But mostly we went to Luxembourg for our time off. Some of us got our hair cut in Luxembourg rather than go to Verdun PX. We got a razor cut and shampoo and blow dry for a dollar on the local economy.
We watched movies, read books or played pool for relaxation. Occasionally we had water fights with the pump water fire-extinguishers. I used to explore the surrounding Maginot line and its bunkers plus rode a bicycle around the countryside until I got a car, a French Simca. Spent some time in the village of Angevillers with the locals bowling.
Larry Brogdon

102d Sig Bn - 1964-66
Angevillers, France


1. The site crew in 1965 (KB)

2. Site kitchen during a Thanksgiving dinner, 1964 or 1965 (KB)

3. Brogdon in front of MW tower (KB)

Sleeping quarters (KB)

5. Mess hall (KB)