Welcome to VZW's Tribute to the 596th Signal Support
Company, 97th Signal Battalion, 7th Army
ewis Daniel "Zeke"
Whaley served in the United States Army from 1961-1964.
He underwent basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky,
and advanced individual training at Southeastern Signal
School, Fort Gordon, Georgia. Click
here for a photo of the U.S. Army Southeastern Signal
School Graduating Class of 1961. Whaley then traveled
to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he departed for Brooklyn
Harbor in New York City to board the General
Simon B. Buckner.
The Statue of Liberty soon faded into the Atlantic Ocean.
Following several days of seasickness, Whaley gazed
at the White Cliffs of Dover, England, shortly before
the Buckner docked in the port of Bremerhaven,
Germany. GIs then boarded trains en-route to Kaiserslautern,
While stationed in Kaiserslautern, Specialist 4th-Class
Whaley served with the 596th Signal Support Company,
97th Signal Battalion, 7th U.S. Army, as a Radio Relay/Telephone
and Teletype Carrier Operator. He was accompanied by
many soldiers wearing the blue, gold, and red 7th Army
patch, also known as the Seven Steps to Hell.
Whaley resided in the two-story buildings of Pulaski
Barracks, a United States Army base located in Kaiserslautern
and near the towns of Vogelweh and Ramstein. He would
occasionally hike to nearby Hohenecken
Castle a historic castle located on a ridge
approximately two to three miles from Pulaski Barracks.
The 596th conducted fall Army maneuvers at that time
in and around Baumholder, Germany.
A common rumor was that Elvis Presley, who was in the
Army during those years, had visited Baumholder a few
months before the 596th conducted its maneuvers, the
same year the Berlin Wall was being built 1961.
Whaley sailed back home on Saturday,
September 28, 1963, on the same ship that took him to
Germany the Buckner. Whaley arrived about
eight days later at Hampton Roads, Virginia, located
in the Norfolk area. Shortly thereafter, he took a plane
to Fort Smith, Arkansas, a city close to Fort
Chaffee, where the 596th Signal Support Company
was reassigned to the 509th Signal Battalion, Fourth
Army. Whaley was stationed at Fort Chaffee for about
nine months, three months of which he was assigned to
the 176th Signal Company (LB). Whaley's Enlisted Time
Served was completed June 1, 1964.
of the 97th Signal Battalion
My father continued his interest in Ham Radio. Whaley's
callsign is WA4MFZ.
In April 1999, I returned to some of my father's old
stomping grounds in Germany. Having received security
clearance to visit Pulaski Barracks, I took several
photographs of the military base. I also spent the night
in the lovely village of Hohenecken, where I hiked to
the top of the mountain to visit the castle to which
my father frequently hiked with other GIs.
Please visit Whaley's Photo
Page to view images of Kaiserslautern, Pulaski Barracks,
Hohenecken Castle, and Fort Chaffee. To visit some related
Web sites, please visit Whaley's Links
If you served in the 596th Signal Company, 97th Signal
Battalion, please feel free to contact Whaley via e-mail
Thank you for visiting VZW's Tribute to the 596th Signal
Support Company, 97th Signal Battalion. Be sure to visit
a tribute to my grandfather, Starlin H. Hughes, at VZW's
Tribute to the 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry
Thank you for stopping by.