This history is about Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 520th Signal Base Depot and the 521st Signal Base Depot Company. These units worked side by side during the Korean Conflict, and a history written about one unit, and not the other would be incomplete.
The history of the 520th is short compared to one of the Army's old line regiments. However, the men of the 520th have performed their duties in such a commendable manner as to merit decorations once by the United States, and twice by the Republic of Korea. They can well be proud of their record the have established in the Far East Command.
I wish to take this opportunity to commend each and every one of you for your aggressiveness, loyalty, devotion to duty, and esprit de corps, without which it would have been difficult indeed for the 520th to accomplish its mission.
Paul M. Stone
Lt Col, Sig C
520TH SIGNAL BASE DEPOT
28 OCT 51 -- Present
Lt Col Gilbert F Wood28 Oct 51 -- 20 Aug 52
Lt Col Harold C Wafler20 Aug 52 -- 31 Jan 53
Lt Col Samuel Unger 1 Feb 53 -- 20 Aug 53
Lt Col Carl J Yohe Jr21 Aug 53 -- 9 Jun 54
Lt Col Winton H Loveless10 Jun 54 -- 28 Aug 54
Maj George C Steinbach29 Aug 54 -- 19 Nov 54
Maj James A Davis20 Nov 54 -- 24 Nov 54
Lt Col Paul M Stone25 Nov 54 -- Present
The 520th Signal Base Depot was originally constituted on 13 Aug 1946 as the 520th Signal Depot Company, a regular Army Philippine Scout Unit. On 5 December 1946 the unit was redesignated Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 520th Signal Base Depot (Philippine Scouts) and was activated on 31 December 1946 in the Philippine Islands.
The 520th remained on active duty until its inactivation on 1 June 1949. Until that time the unit furnished Signal supply and maintenance services for troops stationed in the Philippine Islands.
on 11 July 1950 the 8052nd Signal Detachment arrived in Pusan from Japan for the purpose of establishing a communications center. Thus, personnel of the 24th Infantry Division were relieved of the responsibility of maintaining communications with our forces to the north.
From this detachment men were selected to establish and operate a Signal Depot in the Pusan area. During the following 15 months the operating organizations were reorganized several times. On 28 October 1951 the 520th was activated in Pusan, Korea, and assumed the responsibility of operating the Depot with the mission of providing logistical support to all United Nations Forces in Korea. This support included field maintenance of all Signal Corps equipment, evacuation of repairable equipment and the receipt, storage and issue of all signal supplies.
The 521st Signal Base Depot Company originally constituted and activated on 25 January 1945 as the 3912th Signal Base Depot Company. With station on New Guinea participated in the Luzon campaign until 25 April 1945 when it moved to the Philippine Islands where the unit remained until its inactivation on 10 February 1946. The 3912th was redesignated the 521st Signal Base Depot Company (Philippine Scout) on 15 April 1947 and activated on 1 May 1947 in the Philippine Islands. On 19 June 1947 it was gain inactivated until
28 October 1951 when it was activated and attached to the 520th in Pusan, Korea.
On the date of its activation the 520th established a detachment, of 1 officer and 20 enlisted men at Taegu, Korea. This detachment, known as the Taegu Annex, furnished direct Signal logistical support to United Nation Forces in and around the Taegue area.
Simultaneously a Wire Annex was instituted on the northeast shore of the North Inner Harbor of Pusan. This installation was designated the "Agaski Wire Annex" and was maintained by 1 officer and 10 enlisted men.
At the time of its activation in Korea the 520th was assigned to the Eight United States Army and attached to the 2nd Logistical Command (C).
With the tactical situation continually increasing, the 520th expeditiously modified their supply procedures in order to resupply the units they served in the minimum time. Due to the rapidly developing tactical situation, it became necessary to expand facilities and to relocate thousands of Signal item. Despite the magnitude of this task, members of this depot through tireless efforts and exceptional ingenuity, maintained and adequate and continuous flow of vitally need supplies to combat units.
The men of the 520th and 521st were cited for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services in support of combat operations in Korea during the period 1 January to 31 July 1952. The citation for each unit states, in part, that they "displayed such outstanding to devotion to duty in the performance of exceptionally difficult task as to set it apart from, and above other units with similar missions. The determination the outstanding ability, and the esprit de corps exhibited by the members of this company throughout this period materially furthered the cause of the United Nations in Korea and reflect great credit on themselves and the military service of the United States."
The men of the 520th and 521st were also cited by the Republic of Korea for outstanding and superior performance of duty during the period 28 October 1951 to 31 July 1952.
On 21 August 1952 the 520th was attached to the 3rd Logistical Command (B), for administration and logistical support and to the Korean Base Section for operations.
The attachment to the 3rd Logistical Command (B) was culminated on 21 October 1952. During the following months the 520th had attached for logistical support the 21st Military Police Criminal Investigation Detachment and the 9th Finance Disbursing Section. The 507th Signal Service Company and 521st Signal Base Depot Company were assigned to the 520th on 1 January 1953, the 521st Signal Base Depot Company having been attached to the 520th since its activation on 28 October 1951.
On 9 June 1953 detachment "A", of the 4th Mobile Broadcasting Company was attached to the 520th for logistical support.
The men of the 520th and 521st, on 7 February 1953, were commended for their outstanding service by Brig. Gen. E. T, Cho, Chief Signal Officer of the Republic of Korea Army. The commendation reads, in part, "Realizing an early shortage of Signal Corps equipment, constituting the nerve of the Army, caused by the tactical crisis of military operation, your unit contributed outstanding service, this being the shipment of Signal Corps equipment by the most effective means."
The men of the 520th and 521st were again cited by the Republic of Korea for their exceptionally meritorious service from 1 August 1952 to 30 September 1953. The citation reads in part, "The resulting services and assistance accomplished under difficult conditions is an inspiration to all free people and is in keeping with the highest tradition of the United States Army, the military service and the United Nations."
On 31 December 1953 the 520th was attached to Pusan Military Post for logistical support, disciplinary and court-martial jurisdiction. The 507th Signal Service Company was reassigned to Pusan Military Post and on 12 March 1954 was attached to the 520th for logistical support and court-martial Jurisdiction.
On 20 January 1954 the Taegu Annex was attached to the Taegu Military Post for logistical support due to the transportation problem involved in supporting that detachment from Pusan.
On 5 March 1955, "Unit Day" for the 520th and 521st was designated as 28 October. This date was selected to commemorate the activation date of both units in Korea.
On 15 March 1954 a cadre was sent to the newly established Signal Corps Processing Center to assist in it establishment. The cadre remained on temporary duty at the "Center" until 7 November 1954 at which time they were relieved from TDY and assigned thereto.
The 31st of March 1955 saw the close of the Taegu Annex. During its tenure, the Annex handled approximately 35,000 short tons of Signal supplies. This detachment was a distinct and definite asset to the 520th and performed its mission in a truly commendable manner.
The Wire Annex of the 520th was closed on 11 April 1955 and the 10 men detachment returned to the 520th Compound. This Wire Annex, during its tenure, handled heavy material such as telephone poles, cable, field wire, rubber cable and pole line construction material.
On 17 April 1955 the 520th was relieved from attached to the 7th Transportation Port Command "C" and Pusan Military Post for logistical support, disciplinary and court-martial jurisdiction and remained assigned to the Korean Communications Zone.
The initiative of men of the 520th and 521st is manifested in the role they played during the disastrous Kyung Sung Naamdo Mountain fire in Pusan.
At approximately 0300 hours on the morning of 10 December 1954, fire broke out on the mountain. This "hill" was covered with Korean homes, housing, for the most part, refugees from a northern area called Yung Doo San. The 520th Compound, located at the foot of this hill, was immediately imperiled due to it proximity to the fire. Moderate winds which fanned the blaze, added to the already dangerous situation. The men of the 520th and 521st without the slightest hesitation, greatly assisted in the rescue of thousands of refugees escaping the fire. In a letter to the Depot Commander, Brigadier General N. H. Vissering, Pusan Military Post Commander, who was present at this devastating fire, commended the members of the 520th and 521st for the exemplary manner in which they assisted the Engineer Fire Fighting Company