Historical Profile of The 14th PsyOp Battalions and 7th PsyOp Group
14th PsyOp Bn 1943 - 1945
1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Bn 1950 - 1954
PsyWar Far East Command
14th Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Bn 1954 -1958 AND USA Broadcasting and Visual Activity Far East 1956 -1958
U.S. Army Broadcasting And Visual Activity Pacific: 14th PsyWar Bn 1958 - 1965
7th PsyOp Group and 14th PsyOp Bn 1964 - 1975
7th PsyOp Group and 14th PsyOp Bn 1975-Present
US Army Reserve
The above picture is the cover of a 53 page 7th PsyOp Unit History document submitted by Major Carl Yasuda (Ret). This document includes Organization of the 7th, Unit activities, Off island Operations, Awards and Profiles and Unit Historical Profile. The Historical Profile will be covered here....Other items will discussed separately.
When the 14th PsyWar Page was begun in 2004, the goal was to depict the history of the 14th PsyWar Battalion in which I served from 1961-1963.. At that time, I did not know there were other units previous to and following the 14th PsyWar...After Two years and much new information, the project has grown to include the history of five units comprising this organization from its beginning to present day....
The beginning was the 4th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company designated the 14th Psychological Operations Battalion in 1943.. Other than campaign participation credit in Rhineland: Ardennes-Alsace, nothing is known about this first unit. During the Korean War, the 1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion was formed. In 1954, reorganization occurred to form the 14th Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion which was again reorganized as the 14th Psychological Warfare Battalion in 1958. The last change came in 1965 with the formation of the 7th Psychological Operations Group that included the 14th Psychological Operations Battalion...Both the 7th Group and the 14th Bn are now reserve units.
The information gained along the way came slowly from much research and from individuals who discovered the 14th page and contributed their piece of history. . Until seeing the 7th Group Historical Profile, I had speculated on the early history especially as it relates to the period of the Korean War and the reorganization of the 14th Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion to the 14th PsyWar Battalion. The later reorganization of the 14th PsyWar into the 7th PsyOp Group is more clearly recorded.
The most unclear piece of the historical puzzle was the period from the Korean War to the reorganization of the 14th PsyWar Bn... History records that the 1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion was the only PsyOp unit to participate in that conflict.. The 1st RB&L was formed in 1950 from the Special Projects Branch of Military Intelligence Far East Command...This command was redesignated as the Psychological Warfare Section in 1951. The 1st RB&L existed for only the war period in this command and was deactivated in 1954
Until reading 7th Group historical profile, I did not know if the 1st RB&L was a separate but equal PsyOp unit or if it was in some way related to operations of the 14th Bn...According to the unit profile, the 1st is part of the lineage...
As an operational unit, the 1st RB&L was under command of the Far East Psychological Warfare Section...In 1956 two years after the deactivation of the 1st, the Far East PsyWar Section was redesignated as U.S. Army Broadcasting and Visual Activity, the designation used by the 14th PsyWar Bn.. Although the 1st RB&L was not directly reorganized into the 14th PsyWar Bn, its command was.. meaning historically the 1st was part of the reorganization.
The 1st RB&L was later reconstituted at Ft. Bragg in 1960. This reorganization was a reuse of a unit designation since the 1st RB&L was actually incorporated into lineage of the 7th PsyOp Group.
The 7th Unit profile answers another question concerning the origin of VUNC or Voice of the United Nations Command and how the B&VA and the 14th became part of this designation.. The 7th profile indicates the 1st RB&L, under the PsyWar Section, directed VUNC broadcasts over leased radio facilities in Japan during the War.. This again links the 14th PsyWar Bn and the 7th Group to the 1st RB&L via the Far East PsyWar Command. These points are stated in the 7th Unit Profile:
The story of the 7th Psychological Operations Group can be traced back to Sunday, June 25, 1950....the day North Korea invaded the Republic of Korea. At that time, Special projects Branch of Military Intelligence Division, G2, General Headquarters, Far East Command, was responsible for planning psychological operations for the US Army in the Far East. On June 25, Special Projects Branch consisted of seven persons, and had been active in planning for psychological operations since 1949.
On June 25, 1950, because of the north Korean invastion of South Korea, Special Projects Branch became active in conducting psychological operations. Within twenty-four hours after president Harry S. Truman's announcement of direct US aid to korea, Special Projects Branch developed the first leaflets which were dropped in the Korean War by our side. This was on June 28, 1950. the message contained in these leaflets informed the people of South Korea that aid would soon come to them from the United States and other nations of the world. Throughout the Korean War, the US engaged in extensive leaflet operations directed against the enemy.
By June 1951, Special Projects Branch had greatly expanded to a staff of about 55 persons, and it was redisignated Psychological Warfare Section, General Headquarters, Far East Command.
The First Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion made up of the 4th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company and the 3rd Reproduction Company activated at Fort Riley, Kansas, November 8, 1950, arrived in Japan in August 1951 to take over the conduct of psychological operations from the psychological Warfare Section, which, after its arrival, was responsible for planning and supervising psychological operations.
On August 24, 1951, all radio operations, to include the operations of VUNC, were relagated to the 4th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company of the First Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion. Leaflet operations were taken over by the 3rd Reproduction Company.
During the Korean War, Voice of the United Nations Command (VUNC) broadcast in Korean, and in Mandarin and Cantonese dialects (after Chinese intervention) were carried over leased radio facilities in Japan which could cover all of Korea and parts of Manchuria and central China.
During the war, it was estimated that over two and one-half billion leaflets were disseminated against the enemy. To assist in producing leaflets and radio broadcasts in Korean and several Chinese dialects, a number of korean and Chinese people were hired as announcers, translators, and writers. These people worked mostly for the First Radio Broadcasting and leaflet Battalion.. It should be noted that many of these people are still with the 7th PsyOp Group today (1967), and that they possess a long and valuable experience in psychological operations.
After the Korean War, the First Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion, including the 4th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company and the 3rd Reproduction Company, were returned to the United States and de-activated.
In 1956, the Far East Psychological Warfare Section was redesignated U.S. Army Broadcasting and Visual Activity, Far East, and in early 1958 it became U.S. Army B&VA, Pacific.
The preceding documentation supports the role of the 1st RB&L as being a part of the unit history of the 14th Battalion and 7th Group. It also explains the origin of PsyOps in Korea leading to the presence of the 14th PsyWar Bn in the late 1950's.. B&VA, and the 14th PsyWar Bn are new designations for the previously deactivaed 1st RB&L....VUNC is a continuation of the 1st RB&L legacy.
The documented unit history also covers the transition of the 14th Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion to the 14th PsyWar Battalion and clears up a confusing point made in an Okinawan news report. A 1962 Ryukuan Review reported the 14th PsyWar celebrating its third Anniversery on Okinawa in 1962.. How could the 14th be celebrating a 3rd anniversery in 1962 if the official reorganization is documented as 1961:
It (14th RB&L Bn) was reorganized and redesignated on 25 March 1961 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 14th Psychological Warfare Battalion. (Global Security.Org: 14th Bn)
The answer to this question involves the role of the 14th RB&L under the command of USARPAC:
In Feburary 1958, the headquarters of B&VA moved to okinawa where it was assigned to USARYIS/IX Corps with operational control retained by USARPAC.. At the same time, the 14th Radio Broadcasting and leaflet Battalion was sent from Hawaii to join B&VA on Okinawa..The concept at that time was that B&VA, composed largely of civilian personnel together with a few key military personnel, would remain as the headquarters and form the nucleus of a Theater Army PSYWAR Staff, responsible for the planning of PSYOP just as it had done as PWS during the Korean War..The 14th RB&L was intermeshed with B&VA, but it could be disengaged from it to operate anywhere in the PACOM area as required. B&VA remained under the command of USARPAC until September 15, 1961, when it was then placed under USARYIS/IX Corps Command. (From Unit Profile)
Jack Giza who served with the 14th RB&L at Ft Shafter Hawaii, indicates the 14th was already moving personnel and equipment to Okinawa in December 1958...Although there is still no documented evidence of equipment movement to Korea from the 14th RB&L during this time (1958), personal communication (2/13/06) with Robert Conrad (14th RB&L 56-57) indicates teams WERE sent to Korea as well as Okinawa, Vietnam and Taiwan during his tour:
The teams that were sent to various locations during my time were primarily for training the indiginous military or to do surveys of facilities. Prior to my arrival, I believe one team went to Vietnam to give some oversight on a series of radio stations being built in the country. I have, in my infamous non-walkin-closet, an illustrated report of a team visit to Taiwan which assessed the broadcast facilities of the Chinese Nationalists, as I recall.
Evidently the use of the 14th Battalion designation did not occur in Korea until a later time. Tom Pry who served with the Korea Detachment from 1958-59 said his orders assigned him to USAB&VA FE (Far East). He does not remember any mention of the 14th Battalion during his tour. Tom also reported the equipment at the Seoul compound was not new indicating it had probably been left behind (by the 1st) after the War. Tom also stated that command headquartes was in Japan not Okinawa. This supports the movement of B&VA to Okinawa in 1958..
In 1958, our equipment was shopworn and had been there for quite some time. We had two studio vans and a 5KW transmitter, plus two 250 watt shortwaves. To my knowledge there were no other psyop sites on the peninsula, except for our office in the KBS Building. Japanese Broadcasting relayed some of our stuff, as did Korean Broadcasting, in prime time. When I got there in January of 58, B&VA HQ was in a suburb of Tokyo, and using Tokyo Rose's old studio for most of its broadcasts. .It was sometime in 58 that HQ moved to Okinawa, and both Seoul and Tokyo became detachments of B&VA. Tokyo was the creative center. Except for The English Hour and the two-hour classical music program, anything else we recorded went to Tokyo, was edited, and the fed back to us as completed programs.
Bob Richards who also served in the Korea Detachment from 1960-61 said his friend George Mikuchonis was assigned to B&VA as Supply Sgt. In 1958 Mikuchonis reported that at that time they were wearing the "Mt. Fuji" shoulder patch. and the unit desigination was just " US Army Broadcasting and Visual Activity" He said "Korea Detachment" and "VUNC" was added shortly thereafter..Its interesting to note that the 1st RB&L also wore the "Mt Fuji" patch.
The last step in unit reorganization occurred on October 20, 1965. B&VA became the 7th Psychological Operations Group. In April 1966, it was relieved from attachment to IX Corps and retained under operational control of USARYIS. At the same time, The 14th PsyWar Battalion was redesignated the 14th PsyOp Battalion and became part of the 7th PsyOp Group. The designation VUNC continued but B&VA was dropped.
Redesignated on 30 October 1975 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 14th Psychological Operations Battalion, and the 7th PSYOP Group were concurrently withdrawn from the Regular Army, allotted to the Army Reserve, and activated at Mountain View, CA.
The 7th PSYOP Group was reorganized and redesignated on 18 September 1990 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Psychological Operations Group. It relocated on 15 September 1994 to Moffett Field, CA.
One final note....The 7th PsyOp Group Unit History of 1967 does not include the earlier origin of the unit in World War Two. The 14th Psychological Operations Battalion was originally constituted on 24 December 1943 in the Army of the United States as the 4th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company. It activated 29 December 1943 at Camp Ritchie, MD. Following the end of World War II, the unit inactivated on 25 November 1945 in Luxembourg.