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While the title "355th AAA Searchlight Battalion" dates back to May of 1942, the actual history of the unit, and the personnel in it, dates back to fifteen months before that -- February, 1941. At this time there were four coast artillery regiments in training at Camp Stewart, Georgia. The 207th and 212th were from New York City, the 209th from Western New York State, and the 214th from Georgia. These units had been sent to Camp Stewart for one year of basic training. The A batteries, or searchlight batteries, of these regiments were the units which later formed the First Provisional Searchlight Battalion. Such terms as "DEC," "azimuth," "elevation," "orientation," and "slant range," soon became familiar to the men of these batteries. In addition to their specialized training in searchlights and searchlight tactics, the men received regular basic military training. The study of subjects, such as convoy discipline, first aid, communications, map reading and aircraft recognition, became a part of the daily routine. The men were also given calisthenics, infantry drill and manual of arms to build their bodies.
World War, 1939-1945, Regimental histories, United States Army, 355th Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Battalion
Scheufler, Karl W. and United States Army, "Carthaginians, Romans and Americans: overseas with the 355th AAA SLT BN" (1946). World War Regimental Histories. 54.
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