[Frankfurt am Main-Schwanheim: Printed by Franz Jos. Henrich, November, 1945]. 114pp. Profusely illustrated from photographs. Quarto. Original printed paper-covered boards, tan cloth backstrip. Front board and titlepage printed in blue, black and red. Cloth chipped at foot of spine, boards very lightly soiled. Very good. Item #WRCAM55496
An extensive and profusely-illustrated regimental history of the 43rd Signal Heavy Construction Battalion, an African-American unit that fought in Germany during the last two years of World War II. This history of the battalion was partially written and edited by African- American members of the unit serving as associate editors. It was printed in occupied Germany in November, 1945, almost certainly in a small edition for distribution among members of the battalion - the concluding section of the volume has a section for "autographs." Included is a detailed timeline of the unit's activities from February, 1944, to early October, 1945, along with a technical history, pictures of the all- white officer corps, a detailed background of the 43rd, and a short account of individual recognitions. The three most detailed sections of the work give in-depth accounts of the Headquarters section, Company A, and Company B, respectively. These sections are also full of images of the soldiers in training, and include roster lists. The 43rd Signal Heavy Construction Battalion was formed at Camp Crowder, Missouri on February 7, 1944. The battalion served in four separate campaigns in Europe: northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and central Europe, spending most of 1945 in Germany. The battalion was responsible for constructing communications support throughout Europe, laying or hanging hundreds of miles of wire and cable during their time in the war. The battalion was inactivated on May 28, 1946 while in Germany, but was reactivated and redesignated for service in Vietnam in 1966. OCLC records just two copies, at the New York Public Library and SMU's DeGolyer Library. OCLC 67778375.