63rd Signal Battalion

On 26th January 1942, 63rd Signal Battalion were one of the first US Army units to arrive in Northern Ireland, establishing communications for V Corps.

Activation of 63rd Signal Battalion took place at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana on 1st June 1941. Within 2 months, the unit strength was 24 officers and 456 enlisted soldiers. They trained in Louisiana and South Carolina before receiving notice in December 1942 that they were ready to go overseas.

On 15th January 1942, 63rd Signal Battalion left New York, New York on USAT Chateau Thierry along with elements of 34th Infantry Division. Along with other units of the United States Army, they arrived at Belfast, Co. Antrim on 26th January 1942.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Lloyd A Keisler recalled there not being enough room on the troopship. He had to march one unit of his soldiers back off the ship for them to follow at a later date.

John G Winant in Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim

American Ambassador Mr. John G Winant accompanied by Major General JE Chaney and Major General Russell P Hartle visiting Sunnylands Camp, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim on 18th February 1942. Copyright unknown. (Photo fom ToThoseWhoServed.org)

On arrival in Northern Ireland, 63rd Signal Battalion trained and operated communications for V Corps. They were one of the units inspected by American Ambassador Mr. John G Winant during his visit to Northern Ireland on 18th February 1942.

By 10th August 1942, the unit strength was 33 officers and 898 enlisted soldiers. The battalion consisted of a Headquarters, A, B, and C company by the end of its time in Ulster. On 26th September 1942, the battalion departed for Shrivenham, Oxfordshire. From there, they would leave to take part in Operation Torch – the invasion of North Africa.

Bases in Northern Ireland

Start DateEnd DateUnitLocation
26th January 194263rd Signal BattalionSunnylands Camp, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim
26th January 194230th October 194263rd Signal Battalion (V Corps)Lurgan, Co. Armagh
American Ambassador Mr. John G Winant visits Northern Ireland

American Ambassador Mr. John G Winant visits Northern Ireland

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18th February 2020

Mr. John G Winant - American Ambassador to the United Kingdom visited Northern Ireland on 17th-18th February 1942, inspecting US Army troops and camps.