Chiefs of Signal
Major General Harry C. Ingles
1943 - 1947
MG Harry C. Ingles likened communications, in the hands of the commander, to a rifle in the hands of an infantryman ‑ each was a weapon used to accomplish certain objectives.
As Chief Signal Officer from 1 July 1943 until 31 March 1947, Ingles was responsible for providing every commander with the communications to control his forces. His years as Chief Signal Officer included some of the most challenging times of World War II.
During Ingles' tenure in the branch's highest position, Signal troops landed in France on D‑Day by parachute with the 101st Airborne and afoot with the 294th and 286th Joint Assault Signal Companies on Omaha and Utah Beaches, respectively. The 165th Signal Photographic Company also landed with the first infantry elements at Omaha Beach. Its commanding officer, Captain Herman Wall, was the first Signal Corps casualty of the Normandy invasion.
Ingles, who was born in Pleasant Hill, Nebraska, on 12 March 1888, graduated from West Point in 1914, and served in World War II in both Panama and the European Theater of Operations before becoming Chief Signal Officer. After its phenomenal buildup for the war, he saw the Corps lose its aviation communications‑electronics responsibilities to the Army Air Forces, in 1944, and radio‑intelligence to the Army Security Agency, the following year. The loss of these activities reduced the Corps personnel by one half. However, the expanding military communications‑electronics field quickly restored its losses and greatly enlarged the Signal Corps.
Before Ingles retired in 1947, the Signal Corps was assimilating the new technology by, among other things, breaking all previous records by transmitting a nine‑word radioteletype message around the world in 9.5 seconds (April, 1945). On 10 January 1946, Signal Corps engineers, in Project Diana, made the first radar contact with the moon, using a modified SCR‑271 long range radar set.