Signal Corps Song
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Words and music by

(wife of the Chief Signal Officer)


In the time of war, no matter where you are,
There you'll find the Signal Corps!
When the long lines file, weary mile by mile,
They're the ones who are at the fore.
When there's big news coming and buzzers humming 
When Springfields rattle and the big guns roar,
With a flash and flare, over land and air,
Comes the word: That's the Signal Corps.

In time of peace, our duties never cease,
There's drill and work to spare;
In the field we go with our radio,
And we talk to the empty air.
From our short-wave stations, we call the nations, 
From Greenland's mountains to the South Sea shore; 
Every day we say, we're in the Corps to stay;
"See the world with the Signal Corps."

When the doughboys hike on the hard turnpike,
We'll be there to show the way;
When the big guns roll toward their far-off goal,
We'll follow them day by day;
If you take a notion to cross the ocean,
We're there with radio on sea and shore;
For the sun can't set on our short-wave net!
That's the boast of the Signal Corps!


To hear the Signal Corps Song performed by the Signal Corps Band from Fort Gordon    and look under

The U.S. Army Signal Corps Band

The United States Army Signal Corps Band, headquartered at Fort Gordon, Georgia, serves as a musical outreach asset for the U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon

The 40 member ensemble performs numerous concerts and ceremonies in support of local and regional events, including festivals, inaugurations, and both city and state commemorations.  The Band's smaller ensembles frequently travel, both within the Central Savannah River Area, and throughout the United States, in support of the Commanding General's public outreach program.  The Band also serves as the primary ceremonial unit assigned to Fort Gordon, providing ceremonial and musical support for a wide variety of signal Center ceremonies, graduations, and formal military functions.





Found in the front of the  "Notes For The Basic Signal Corps Soldier", Revised May 1943, from the archives at the Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation - Glendale AZ -  - Ed Sharpe note..... do not know the date this was composed but there are a few ww-I references in it.  

The author was the wife of....


As Chief Signal Officer during the major portion of World War II, MG Dawson Olmstead presided over a momentous buildup of the Signal Corps. With as budget that grew from nine million in 1941 to more than five billion in 1943, Olmstead turned to both the Signal Corps' laboratories and the private sector to meet the demands of total war.

Advancements in the military technology led to the birth and phenomenal growth of the civilian communications-electronics industry. Mass production of electronic components became common-place. In spite of radar being in its "billion dollar baby" stage, the Signal Corps needed massive amounts of wire and radio communications, the providers of the heavy-duty voice traffic that assured reliable communications for the war effort.

Innovations such as the crystal-controlled FM radio, with its thirty mile range extended by truck mounted radio relay equipment and automatic coding devices, that ended time consuming hand enciphering and deciphering, made American communications far superior to those of its allies and enemies alike.

With the assistance of an advisory council of reserve officers and a civilian advisory board comprised of key figures in the communications industry, Olmstead brought the Signal Corps to wartime footing. Accomplishments included activating hundreds of Signal units and training thousands of officers and enlisted personnel in a reorganized Signal School.

Olmstead's illustrious career blossomed in the anti-war 1920s and flourished during the depression years of the 1930s. However, it was during World War II that Olmstead's talent and vision won him the Distinguished Service Medal. Shortly before his retirement on 16 January 1944, Olmstead was awarded this decoration. The citation sums up his wartime contributions to the Signal Corps: "...he directed the expansion and training of the Signal Corps with impressive speed and instituted radical improvements in communication equipment and methods of modern tactics."


Signal Corps Museum Home Page, Visit it!


A favorite camp song of the UNION SIGNAL CORPS. was one composed by Lieut. A.B. Jerome, and sung to the air of "Do They Miss Me at Home." It was of the conventional convivial stamp, and sang praises of the Signal Corps. (Brown, Page 74)

From: "Signal Corps Association (1860-1865)" at
Music Version #1 ~ Music Version #2
"While there's life there is hope" do not murmur
       For life's but a span at the best;
And a soldier's couch and fare boys,
       We'll enjoy while hope fires our breast.
Then a song and a glass we'll fill now,
       And drink our success in the war;
Not forgetting a drop in the cup, boys,
       For the health of the "SIGNAL CORPS."

When the cannons first sounded the onset,
       And the flag which we loved then first fell,
How we rushed to defend it "en masse," boys,
       Let future historians tell.
Then wave your wands in good token,
       Tho' it cost you the last of your gore;
We'll drink full success to the Nation,
       And a health to the "SIGNAL CORPS."

With numerals as well as with words, boys,
       We'll join in libation and song;
May the ties which now bind us ne'er sever,
       Nor death decimate this gay throng.
May our signals be signs of affection,
       Should we meet when we've ended the war;
When a comrade waves his wand, boys,
       Remember the old "SIGNAL CORPS."
Where the waves of old ocean dash on
       The coast of European domain;
Come friends to defend our good cause, boys,
       As friends may we always remain;
Each hand and each heart now united,
       No matter which state or what shore,
And while there's a drop in the cup, boys,
       Let us drink to the "SIGNAL CORPS."

Thrown together by fate for instruction,
       A glass for the friends we met here;
'Tis but meet we should drink in good bumpers,
       Our thanks for their kindness and care.
Like us drawn together by fortune,
       As comrades in arms in the war,
They will drink as hearty as we, boys,
       The success of the "SIGNAL CORPS."

To the mind who has thus interwoven,
       These numbers in system and form;
In behalf of ourselves and the nation,
       Our thanks and good wishes confirm.
May his life be protected in battle,
       And success give her smile all the more;
For it is he who has brought us together,
       Then to him and his "SIGNAL CORPS."
                                                   One more cheer, and our song is ended,
                                                          A cheer for the "Stripes and the Stars;"
                                                   For the army who fight to protect it,
                                                          And the shrine of our patron "Mars."
                                                   Good luck to the HEAD OF THE ARMY,
                                                          And our friends far away from the war;
                                                   So fill up your glasses once more boys,
                                                          And we'll drink to the "SIGNAL CORPS."


To The Tune of Bonnie Blue Flag

Music Version #1
There is a flag as yet unsung,
       A banner bright and fair,
It moves in waves of right and left,
       That banner in the air.
The wise may look, the scholar con,
       The wondering urchin stare,
But naught can make of the bonnie white flag
       That bears the crimson square.

              Hurrah! Hurrah!
              For the Signal Corps, Hurrah,
              Hurrah for the bonnie white flag
              That bears the crimson square.

To comrades true, far, far away
       Who watch with anxious eye,
These secret signs an import bear
       When waved against the sky.
As quick as thought, as swift as light,
       Those airy symbols there,
Are caught and read from the bonnie white flag,
       That bears the crimson square.

When arm'ed hosts in serried ranks
       Sweep forward to the fray,
The signal flag is waving there
       To point the victorious way,
From hill to hill, from crag to crag,
       The winged words to bear
That gave a name to the bonnie white flag
       That bears the crimson square.

When night draws o'er the wearied earth
       Her cloak of sable hue,
And bid us dream of home and friends,
       The soldiers staunch and true.
'Tis then the torch that's burning bright,
       Tells by its meteor glare
That we're on watch with the bonnie white flag
       That bears the crimson square.

Then let us hope when war is o'er
       And great, and good, and free
We stand and boast ourselves with truth
       A model confederancy,
That mildst war's recollections oft
       We too may claim a share,
As we fondly think of the bonnie white flag
       That bears the crimson square.


Civil War Signal Corps songs  reproduced from the Signal Corps Association  with permission. See a wonderful collection on Civil War communications at


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