The history of the radio battalions goes back to the establishment of a Headquarters Company, Corps Signal Battalion, with a table of organization approved 2 January 1943, which provided for a Radio Intelligence Platoon. A new table of organization on 17 October 1944 provided for a Separate Radio Intelligence Platoon. By August 1945, at least four platoons were so designated, the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th. (The 1st platoon was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation as part of the 5th Amphibious Corps for the capture of Iwo Jima.) On May 1945, a new table of organization was approved providing for a Radio Intelligence Platoon, FMF, Pacific, dropping the "Separate" and adding "FMF Pacific".
With the close of World War II, and post war occupation, the need for these radio units decreased, and the existing units having served in the Pacific and China, were deactivated . Their importance was recognized, however, and a post war table of organization on 29 October 1950 provided for the expansion to a company-sized unit, including a cryptanalysis section.
The Korean War brought about the re-designation of the 5th Signal Company, (Supplemental) , USMCR, to 1st Radio Company , FMF Pacific Troops on 17 February 1951 at Camp Pendleton, California. The first Commanding Officer was captain Victor M. Johnson who had commanded 3rd Separate Radio Intelligence Platoon, III Amphibious Corps in China in 1945 and 1946.
The Fifth Signal Company (Supplemental) was activated in the fall of 1949 with headquarters at the headquarters of the Fifth Marine Corps Reserve District, Washington, D. C. Personnel for this organization were recruited by mail, and upon enlisting in the Reserve were loaned communications equipment for drill periods. These drill periods were performed in the individual's own home, with the results being forwarded to the Commanding Officer for drill credit. Nearly every state in the United States was represented in this organized reserve unit, and few of the men had the opportunity to meet other members of the company until the outbreak of hostilities in Korea necessitated calling this company to active duty.
Unlike the other organized reserve units that were mobilized, the Fifth Signal Company retained its reserve title and personnel, and was stationed at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia until its transfer to Camp Pendleton and re-designation as the 1st Radio Company, FMF. 1st Radio Company spent the time between its organization and the summer of 1954 supporting the training of the 1st and 3rd Marine Divisions and fabricating the specialized equipment required to perform its mission since the Marine Corps did not possess the equipment of this nature.
In July 1954, 1st Radio Company turned in its Marine Corps common equipment, loaded all the Radio Company peculiar equipment on an LST and roved from Camp Pendleton via San Diego, the Panama Canal and Morehead City, to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The 1st Radio Company set up its new base of operations at Camp Geiger, drew replacement equipment for that which had been turned in, and began support of Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic (FMFLANT).
1st Radio Company provided support to the 2d Marine Division and FMFLant in all the major exercises conducted in the East Coast/Caribbean area, as well as sending training detachments to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean areas.
During the period 1 July to 1 November 1958, a detachment of 1st Radio Company provided support to Marine forces involved in the Lebanon Intervention. On 15 September 1958, 1st Radio Company was re-designated 2d Radio Company and a new 1st Radio Company was activated at Camp Smith, Hawaii, in support of FMFPacific.
In 1959, Radio Companies were re-designated Composite Radio Companies and were to be the nucleus for forming both Division and Force Radio Companies during mobilization. In 1962, this dual concept was dropped, and the units became Radio Companies again.
Marine forces were deployed from 24 October to 31 December 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis and were supported by detachments from 2d Radio Company, both afloat and ashore.
In 1964, authority to expand the Radio Companies to Battalions was granted, and on 1 July 1964, 2d Radio Company became 2d Radio Battalion, FMF. The basic mission remained the same, but the amount of support was expanded.
In 1965, 2d Radio Battalion provided a detachment in support of the 6th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Dominican Republic, and in 1967 provided personnel in support of U. S. Naval forces during the Arab-Israeli conflict. On 19 April 1967, Detachment "M," 2d Radio Battalion was activated as a permanent deployment. It was sent to Sidi Yahia, Morocco and provided support to Commanding Officer, Naval Communication Station, Morocco. This detachment operated continuously until 13 July 1972 when it was deactivated.
Another permanent detachment, Detachment "L", was formed 15 November 1970 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in support of the Naval Security Group Activity there. 2d Radio Battalion continues to provide support to II Marine Expeditionary Force and personnel from the Battalion are deployed regularly in support of operations.
2D RADIO BATTALION CHRONOLOGY
1943 - Radio Intelligence Platoon established in Headquarters, Corps Signal Battalion.
1944 - Established as Separate Radio Intelligence Platoons.
1945 - Re-designated Radio Intelligence Platoon, FMF Pacific.
1946 - Deactivated post World War II. Four Radio Intelligence Platoons had been organized and served in the Pacific and China.
1950 - Table of organization developed for expansion to Radio Intelligence Company.
1951 - 5th Signal Company (Supplemental) USMJR re-designated 1st Radio Company, Fleet Marine Forces Pacific Troops.
1954 - 1st Radio Company moved from Camp Pendleton to Camp Lejeune via Panama Canal.
1958 - Detachment, 1st Radio Company participated in Lebanon Intervention in support of Marine forces.
1958 - 1st Radio Company re-designated as 2d Radio Company, new 1st Radio Company activated at Camp Smith, Hawaii.
1959 – Re-designated 2d Composite Radio Company, to be nucleus for Division and Force Radio Companies.
1962 - Participated in Support of Marine forces involved in the Cuban Missile crisis.
1962 - Concept of Division and Force Radio Companies cancelled. Re-designated 2d Radio Company.
1964 - Expanded and re-designated as 2d Radio Battalion, FMF.
1965 - Participated in support of the 6th MEU in the Dominican Republic.
1967 - Detachment "M" formed. Provided support to the Commanding Officer, U. S. Naval Communications Station, Sidi Yahia, Morocco.
1967 - Participated in support of U.S. Naval forces involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
1970 - Detachment "L" formed. Provided support to the Base Defense Commander, Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.