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5th Field Signal Battalion Association Collection

New Collection Comes to Fort Monmouth – 5th Field Signal Battalion Association Collection

The CECOM History Office recently received a donation consisting of materials generated by the 5th Field Signal Battalion Association. According to the Army’s Center of Military History (CMH), this Battalion was constituted as the 123d Signal Battalion in July 1916 and organized at Leavenworth, Kansas, on 26 June 1917 as the 5th Field Signal Battalion, Signal Corps. It was renamed the 5th Field Signal Battalion on 3 August 1917, and was assigned to the 3d Division (later the 3d Infantry Division) late in 1917.

Newsletter Excerpt from 1964

The Center of Military History lineage includes the 123d Battalion’s World War I activities as action in Aisne; Champagne-Marne; Aisne-Marne; St. Mihiel; Meuse-Argonne; Champagne 1918. A 1970s newspaper article included in the donation states that only about half of the 1,000 Signal Soldiers with the 5th that were sent to France during WWI returned after the War.

The “5th Field Signal Battalion Association” was formed by Battalion members after the War, and was, based upon the items in the collection, a very active society. Activities included publishing a periodic newsletter and holding annual Association meetings. The Collection was donated by Marion Goldthwaite Harcourt, having belonged to John L. Goldthwaite, a volunteer in the 5th Field Signal Battalion, and a member of the Association.

Another section of the donation, "The Watch on the Rhine"

The donation includes newsletters from 1957 through 1983. Some years are complete sets, other are not. Included in the newsletters are reproductions of WWI photographs, stories and remembrances about World War I, Post-War photographs of members, excerpts from Soldier diary’s, member information, and other information of interest to association membership.

An example of the remembrances printed

Other parts of the collection include association membership lists and as well, there are also Battalion Rosters that were compiled by the association from around the early 1950s to 1970s. There are also annual meeting brochures. Other items include selected issues of member bulletins from the Society of the 3d Division (3d Infantry Division), published as “the Watch on the Rhine”, to include a membership directory, and there are also Rosters of the 76th Field Artillery (1936 and 1956).

If any of our readers have any information about this association, including newsletters or photos, the CECOM History Office is happy to accept both personal experience papers and loans/donations of materials.  Please contact us at or leave us a comment.

Note: Floyd Hertweck composed the blog and scanned in the photos; Chrissie Reilly edited/posted the entry.

Posted in From the Archives.

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  1. John McLean says

    I have found a book from a WWI soldier documenting his duty stations while enlisted. I would love to get it to his family.
    Hartley Danek of hopkins MN he was in the forth section 1918 also noted is John William Huber 3311217 ( is this his A.s. Number?)