UNIT HISTORY



Camp Davis
On 26 March 1943, Lt. Col. Terrill returned to assume command of the battalion, as Lt. Col. Ostenburg was assigned to the command of an AW battalion. The unit's strength had been depleted by frequent calls for fillers for overseas shipment and by other causes, and on April 11, 124 enlisted men who had already received basic training at Camp Callan, California were assigned to the battalion.

CAMP DAVIS THEN (8K)
Members of C Battery gather outside the battalion office at Camp Davis
to read orders and other bulletins. Like most of the hastily built structures
at the camp, the wooden walls are covered with tarpaper.

The lack of sufficient night tracking missions caused the battalion to be set back to its ninth week of MTP on 19 April 1943 and, again, on 17 May 1943, the battalion was set back to its ninth week for the same cause. While this difficulty delayed training on the battalion's basic weapon, the unit took advantage of the additional time for training to reach a remarkable state of efficiency in other departments. After a thorough course in army fundamentals during the first weeks of its training, the men and officers of the battalion began to take their more or less permanent positions in the unit. Radar crews trained continuously, mastering the intricacies of the SCR-268, which had only recently supplanted the sound locator as the standard searchlight detector. Heavy stress was laid on the problem of living under field conditions, and, during the months of April and May, batteries rotated continually in occupying bivouacs. Due to the fact that the battalion was semimobile, it was necessary to make these bivouac movements by means of shuttling, and these frequent moves gave the unit invaluable convoy experience.

CAMP DAVIS TODAY
Today, the land once occupied by Camp Davis is a county park.

On 2 June 1943, the battalion left Ft. Sheridan by train, and on 4 June 1943 arrived at its new station, Camp Davis, North Carolina. Battalion Headquarters & Headquarters Battery and Battery "C" established a bivouac near the post firing range, while Batteries "A" and "C" set up bivouacs five and three miles distant, respectively, north of the Battalion Command Post. The unit was again set back to the tenth week of MTP on 7 June 1943 and spent the rest of the month in small arms firing and in its first intensive series of tracking missions. These missions were held from consolidated battery positions with the SCR-268s of each battery operated from a master keyer to prevent mutual interference. During this period, the battalion experienced an epidemic of dysentery, 124 men being hospitalized from 9 June to 25 June before the medical detachment, by means of stringent supervision of sanitary conditions, succeeded in quelling the epidemic.


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