for anyone who served in the ASA in Korea from 1957-1967:
ASA operations in Korea began with the first ASA element to arrive in Korea, an eight man detachment deployed in mid-September 1950. They were followed at the end of November by ASA Pacific --Advance (many of whom came from the 126th SSC at Kyoto which shortly thereafter became Field Station 8610 AAU). They absorbed the liaison detachment and took over its mission. The 50th Signal Service Detachment -- COMSEC, relocated from Japan to Korea in early October 1950. At the end of October, the first sizable ASA component, the 60th Signal Service Company from Fort Lewis, Washington arrived in Korea. In June 1951, the 303rd Communication Reconnaissance Battalion arrived and co-located with ASA Pacific -- Advance, as theater ASA command and control. The 501st Communication Reconnaissance Group became operational in July 1951, having been ordered to Korea from Camp Pickett, VA to support the Eighth U.S. Army. The 501st absorbed ASA Pacific -- Advance.
The 501st distinguished itself in the war and, by its end, had participated in six campaigns, receiving the Meritorious Unit Citation of the United States Army and the Republic of Korea's Presidential Unit Citation. As part of a worldwide redesignation of ASA units, the 501st Communications Reconnaissance Group was redesignated as the 501st ASA Group in July 1956. The following year, the 501st was inactivated and replaced by the newly-created 508th USASA Group.
There are a couple of websites dedicated to the 501st. The first is:
http://www0.delphi.com/501stasakorea. The second 501st site is found at:
According to an article titled "Vigilance from North to South - The Story of USASA Group Korea." 501st was redesignated as 508th USASA Group in 1957. The article goes on to say that this new name was to last a little more than 10 years and that the group was again officially redesignated as the USASA Group Korea in December 1967." This article can be found at: http://asa.npoint.net/asakorea.htm.
The actual story of the replacement of the 501st ASA Group by the 508th USASA Group is somewhat more complex. The 501st ASA Group was a TOE (Table of Organization and Equipment) unit while the 508th USASA Group was a TDA (Table of Distribution and Allowance) unit. The difference is at the same time both subtle and profound, and all tied up in the games the military has to play to live within its budget.
The underlying reason for the redesignation lies in the agency having been forced to downsize in 1957. A DoD decision that year cut the Army's strength by 50,000 personnel and threw ASA's force structure into disarray. ASA found itself unable to sustain the manning of its tactical TOE (Table of Organization and Equipment) units.
In order retain a support structure in the tactical commands, the TOE units were inactivated and replaced by units which were tailored specifically to the needs of their supported command (i.e. mission tailored). A company in Korea would be sized and equipped to fit the needs of that theater but would not be structured and equipped the same as a unit, say, in Germany. These new mission structured units were TDA (Table of Distribution and Allowance) units. The designations of these TDA units also differed from the TOE units they replaced. TOE units were designated as "ASA" whereas TDA units were titled "USASA." As a result of these changes, the 501st ASA Group was inactivated and replaced by the 508th USASA Group.
As part of this shift from TOE to TDA, other ASA units in Korea were inactivated and replaced by USASA units with different unit number assignments. An example is the 330th ASA Company, which was deactivated and replaced by the 177th USASA Company. Deactivated TOE units and their corresponding TDA replacement units should not be considered officially related. While personnel and equipment from 501st may have been used to help form 508th and similarly with 330th and 177th, the history, lineage and any honors of these units did NOT transfer and were not inherited by their replacements. This distinction between TOE and TDA units has been the source of much confusion. To those in the units, the impression might have been that their ASA unit was redesignated USASA. In fact, as evidenced by memos from Dept of Army to several units, only TOE units rated the maintenance of lineage and honors. They were considered permanent units on the troop list (active and inactive) whereas TDA's were temporary.
It is, in fact, because TDA units were considered temporary, and not entitled to maintenance of their unit histories by the Army, that it has been very difficult to accurately determine much of the history reported on this website. This website is specifically dedicated to the 508th USASA Group and its subordinate units. The 508th was a TDA unit, as were all its subordinate units. The Army maintains no official history of TDA units, so it appears that what history of the 508th there is exists here and here alone. I am in the debt of many people who served in the 508th at different times for bits and pieces of historical information which you see assembled here.
According to the reports of several individuals who were in Korea, in the ASA at the respective times, it appears that 501st was not commonly recognized as 508th until as late as 1959 or so. Furthermore, it also appears that 508th was still considered to be in existence as late as 1969 or 1970. Never the less, the official date of re-designation of 508th Group to USASA GP Korea is 13 December, 1967 according to the USASA Group Korea, Annual Historical Report, FY 1968, from which the following quote is taken from page 12:
"2. (C) USASA Group Korea, formerly 508th USASA Group (Fld A), was redesignated by General Order Number 113, Headquarters, USASA, Arlington Hall Station, virginia, dated 13 December 1967. No change was made in organization and no problems were encountered."
This web site is dedicated to recognition of 508th USASA Group and all ASA units under the command of 508th Group during the period from 1957 to 1968, which certainly covers the period when 508th was active. As such, this is primarily a cold war ASA web site relating to ASA operations in Korea prior to, and during the early years of, the Vietnam War.
508th Group's Headquarters and Headquarters Company was located in Yongdongpo, just across the Han River from the main part of Seoul. It was about 20 minutes from the Eighth U.S. Army Hq. and 15 minutes from downtown Seoul by jeep.
The largest mission of 508th Group was tactical support of the two US combat divisions stationed in Korea during that period, 1st Cavalry Division, located in the Munsan region along the DMZ due north of Seoul, and 7th Infantry Division, located along the DMZ further to the east. In mid-1965, 1st Cav was replaced by the 2nd Infantry Division, which remains today as the only U.S. combat division in Korea. The tactical support function came under 321st USASA Battalion (later re-designated as Det. A, 508th GP) which was headquartered at I Corps headquarters at Camp Red Cloud in Uijongbu. (Waddya mean ya never heard a Uijongbu?)
321st USASA Battalion (successor to the 301st ASA BN) consisted of two operating companies, Company A had its own compound, located adjacent to the town of Yongjukol in the middle of the 1st Cavalry (later 2nd. Div.) area. Company B was located at 7th Division headquarters at Camp Casey in Tongduchon. Company B also had a detachment which had the distinction of being the northernmost ASA unit in Korea. Daily operations for both A and B company consisted of COMINT, COMSEC and some ELINT operations with both the COMINT and COMSEC operations limited to low-level tactical voice intercept and monitoring.
There were two other major operational units subordinate to 508th Group. These were the 277th USASA Operations Company, the 226th USASA Operations Company and the 177th USASA Operations Company . The 277th had its headquarters at the 508th Group compound, with three remotely located platoons. The three platoons were located on PY-do island, Kanghwa-do island and at Sokcho-ri on the Korean east coast. The 226th USASA Operations Company was formed from the 1st Platoon of the 277th when the 277th was eliminated in 1962. The 226th was located on Kanghwa-do Island at the mouth of the Han-Imjin estuary. The 177th USASA Operations Company (successor to the 330th ASA CO) was originally located at Mia-ri at the north edge of Seoul. They moved in 1960 to K6 (later Camp Humphries) near Pyong-tek (close to Osan AF Base). The 226th ran ELINT and COMINT operations. The 177th had a mix, including intercept, DF and a CRITICOM relay station, with all the morse intercept occurring there.
Subordinate to 508th USASA Group
Click on the name of a unit, below, to go to that unit's page:
Hq & Hq Co, 508th. USASA GP - Camp Spade - Yongdung-po
Hq & Hq Co, 321st USASA BN (later re-designated Det. A, 508th GP.) - Camp Red Cloud - Uijongbu
Co. A, 321st USASA BN (later re-designated Co. A, 508th GP) - Camp Beaumont - Yongjukol
Co. B, 321st USASA BN (later re-designated Co. B, 508th GP) - Camp Casey - Tongduchon
226th USASA OPERATIONS CO - Kanghwa-do Island
277th USASA OPERATIONS CO - Camp Spade - Yongdung-po and three remote sites
177th USASA OPERATIONS CO - Camp Humphries
to Other Army Security Agency Websites
National Army Security Agency Association - The membership organization for ALL former ASA vets, regardless of when, where or how long they served.
NASAA's VetSeek Log - The place to post and read messages from other ASA vets seeking contact with old buddies.
Army Security Agency ONLINE - Dedicated to ALL the men and women who served as the eyes and ears of the US Army and the Nation in peace time and in wars both Cold and Hot.
ASA VETS USA - A site dedicated to the men and women of the U.S. Army Security Agency, 1945-1976 and probably the best source for ASA historical information.
Steve Stickley's Page Dedicated To the 05G's That Died In Vietnam - This page has an 05G locator database. If you were a COMSEC monitor (055 or 05G) you should register here and search for old buddies.
Vern Greunke's ASA Worldwide Database - A searchable online database with over 17,000 former ASA personnel listed. If you're not in it, and you were in ASA, you should get listed ASA-P!