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P36 08-27-2020 18:26

History behind The Box
For anyone who might be interested of the history of that place. I was assigned there 1984 -1985 and helped close it down. The second paragraph is where it applies to Torii.

The history of Signal Intelligence Operations on Okinawa begins on April 8, 1945 with the arrival of the first operating platoon, 126th Signal Service Company. The Okinawa invasion took place on April 1, 1945. Three months later the 126th was joined by the 125th Signal Service Company, which remained on Okinawa until the end of the war. Following is an excerpt from the 125th’s diary: “On the 17th of July all the equipment had been unloaded from the ship (US Navy LS Jackpot) and moved to the new site on the north side of the Motobu Peninsula. Operations had already started on 6 July and continued through July and August while everyone pitched in to build what was probably the best company area we ever had overseas. Okinawa was found to be quite a scenic little place, but with wind, rain, mud, sun, and heat plentiful, and with nightly enemy air raid and a few ground alerts to occupy our minds, the “delight” of being on Okinawa soon wore off. After Japan’s surrender, it really became a very quiet place.” From that moment in April 1945, U.S. Army cryptologic units maintained a continuous presence on the island. The 1st operating platoon of the 126th Signal Service Company remained at Shimabuku until July 1948 then the unit (less personnel and equipment) transferred to Kyoto, Japan. At that time the 111th Signal Service Company deployed from Seoul, Korea, to Okinawa and assumed the personnel and mission previously assigned to the 1st operating platoon of the 126th. The 111th Signal Service Company was redesignated the 327th Communication Reconnaissance Company on 25 October 1951 ultimately transferred (less personnel and equipment) to Fushimi, Japan on 1 September 1952. On 1 April 1951, the Field Station 8603 Area Administrative Unit , assigned to the 111th Signal Service Company, was organized at Futenma, Okinawa. This unit initially existed only on paper with one officer and one enlisted man assigned. On 15 May 1952, a full contingent of personnel transferred to the 8603rd from an ASA unit located elsewhere on the island.

On 3 August 1953, 8603rd personnel moved to new barracks at Sobe, but operations continued at Futenma. The soldiers commuted daily until operations were transferred to Sobe on 16 November 1953. The 8603rd was redesignated 3rd US ASA Field Station on 1 January 1957. The installation at Sobe was named Torii Station on 20 November 1958. Later that year, the Field Station adopted its motto “Best In The Business” inspired by the many accolades the station was receiving at the time. On 14 July 1961, the 51st Special Operations Command was organized at Torii Station and this designation replaced that of the Field Station. The 51st SOC underwent a series of restructuring through the years. On 15 December 1967 the 51st SOC was redesignated as USASA Field Station Sobe. On May 1, 1977, following the incorporation of the Army Security Agency into the newly formed Intelligence and Security command, USASA Field Station Sobe was once again redesignated one final time—this time to US Army Field Station Okinawa. This structure continued until operations ceased and the Field Station was discontinued in December 1985.

lindy 08-27-2020 18:27

This is great! Very much appreciated!!!

WoodMoose 04-06-2021 11:25

that's good history - I was on Torii Station when it closed, but left before 1/1 moved that way

Sinister 04-08-2021 22:13

I spent two tours in The Box and never knew its history.

Thank you!

P36 04-17-2021 09:04


Originally Posted by WoodMoose (Post 668295)
that's good history - I was on Torii Station when it closed, but left before 1/1 moved that way

It closed (mission) in late 85/early 86. 1SFG folks showed up in 84, much to the consternation of Torii MPs, who at that time were the Alpha males on post. ;-). I’m not sure when the guys moved into the facility as it was still being shuttered when I PCSd out.

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