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Unit Histories

Crossed Cannons Have Been the Insignia of the US Field Artillery Since 1834

The 34th Field Artillery: "We Support"

The 34th Field Artillery was activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1941. Many of its officers were Midwest ROTC graduates and many of the men were from New England States. They trained on old M1 105 howitzers, learned to dig slit trenches, provided AIT for future cannoneers. During Operation Torch, they sailed directly from Virginia to North Africa.

During World War II, the 34th Field Artillery Battalion served in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy-Germany with the 9th Infantry Division. It first had WWI vintage 155mm guns in North Africa. It was a towed 155mm howitzer unit providing general fire support for the 9th Division. In its initial landings 60 miles north of Casablanca, the 34th Artillery, as part of the 9th Infantry were among the first troops to go ashore in North Africa. Matt Geiger, C Btry's FAO was among the 34th's first killed in action, on the first day. After the Torch landing, the 34th in February 1943, made a four day road march from Algeria to Thala, Tunisia. They battled muddy mountain roads at night, to stop the German panzer advance after the Kasserine Pass defeat. The 34th supported British troops, firing point blank into German tanks. They were a major factor in convincing Rommel to withdraw his forces. One of the first Presidential Unit Citations was awarded the Battalion for this action. German mines & booby traps as well as aircraft were constant threats. A 9th Division report about the artillery fire support at El Guettar: ". . .our artillery crucified them with high explosive shells and they were falling like flies." The 155mm "Long Toms", rifled guns, caught the Germans by surprise. On 6 May 1943, they reached Bizerta to end their North African campaign.

9 July-17 August 1943, they battled in Sicily. According to General Westmoreland, the 34th also provided fire support, as well as vehicle transport to the 82nd Airborne. Veterans of the 34th have fond memories of Sicilian peasants giving them fruit during their advance against stubborn German defenders near Mount Etna. One of the 34th's FAO teams [Kenneth Fritts] was inserted into Anzio, Italy, to support the US defense of the beach-head for three days before being withdrawn. Then Major/LTC [later Army Chief of Staff] William C. Westmoreland commanded the Battalion in Tunisia and Sicily. Brigadier General S. Leroy Irwin was the Divarty commander for the 9th Infantry.

The 9th was then sent to Andover, England to train for the Normandy landings. V-1 buzzbombs made several near misses. Westmoreland was promoted to XO of the 9th Divarty and then Division Chief of Staff. The 9th fought its way from Normandy (Utah Beach, D-Day +4)to Germany. [note: an 8 man FAO team of the 34th FA quietly went ashore at Green Beach, Omaha Beach in the pre-dawn, ahead of the infantry. They went inland as naval gunfire observers.] The 34th provided fire support for the breakout at St. Lo, Normandy, suffering casualties to mines and counter-battery fire.

27 November 1943 BG Reese Howell was the commanding general for 9th Division Artillery. He became acting division commander in May 1945. 34th provided fire support during the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge.) The 34th was at the Elbe River, April 1945 with the link-up with the Russians. ETO Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe. Assigned to VII Corps, First Army except brief attachment to V Corps and III Corps.

The 9th Infantry Division was serving on occupation duty in Germany during 1955-1956. At the time, the 34th Bn was a towed 155 mm howitzer unit in Division Artillery. Served with towed 105mm battalions: 84th, 24th and 60th FA. [thanks to Warren R. Perez,84th FA Bn/9th Inf]

The 1st Bn/34th FA from June 1958 to June 1960.The 1/34FA was at Fort Carson Co. and as a unit went to Munich, Germany as part of the 24th Inf. Div. In 1959 the 11th FA was again recreated by splitting half of the personnel out from the 34th FA. The 1/34th consisted of the following:Hq. Battery; Service Battery;A-Battery: 105 mm; B-Battery: 155 mm towed; C-battery: 8 inch hz towed; D- battery: Honest John Rockets. "Jerry DeSantis" for information about the 1/34FA , Munich, West Germany 1958-60. Jerry reports that the first major war (game) the 1/34th had in Germany was called "Winter Shield"! That was in 1959 and lasted from 2 to 3 weeks. Approximately 60% of the 34th's troops were drafted, the rest Regular Army.
LTC(ret) Bob Tagge, speaks highly of the Battalion and its NCO's during his tour as a junior officer, 1958-61.

In 1968, the 2nd Bn/34th FA was moved to Ft. Lewis, Washington as part of the 212th FA Group assigned to VII Corps in the Federal Republic of Germany. It was part of Reforger, including special weapons (nuclear warheads), with three firing batteries of M109A1 155mm SP howitzers. During 1969-70, the battalion successfully deployed to Germany for the annual Reforger exercises, drawing down pre-positioned howitzers in West Germany. 1970-72, the battalian traveled to the Yakima Firing Range, in eastern Washington, twice a year, for field firing exercises. They also trained for annual special weapons inspections by DoD and the NRC. Many in the battalion were combat experienced troops who had returned from Vietnam Service. LTC Delreed Bergeson was the commanding officer of the 2/34FA during 1970-71. At the end of 1972, the 2/34th was deployed to Ft.Knox, Kentucky when the 212th FA Grp went to Ft. Sill. The 212th FA Brigade is now part of III Corps artillery, with troops now serving in Iraq. (2003)

The 3rd Bn/34th Field Artillery was established as part of the Division Artillery when the 9th was reconstituted for service in Vietnam. It remained a part of the 9th when it redeployed to Fort Lewis in 1972. Jim Mortonwrites about CHARLIE Battery 3/34 Artillery, 9th Infantry, RVN: The 3rd/34th artillery was the battalion that supported units of the 9th infantry in the Mekong delta. General W. Westmoreland visited C battery,in particular, on several occasions. The unit was awarded the Presidential Unit citation in Viet Nam, along with the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Vietnamese Presidential Unit citation. In late 1968, C battery, 3/34th field artillery fired its one-millionth round of the Viet Nam war. [Jim Morton]... served as fire direction section chief in C battery from Jan.,68 through Dec., 68. Other names are Raymond Shilobod, Eric Arronson, Dennis Duckworth, and Ron Hanson. The battery commanders during his tour were Capt. Noyes and Capt. William Sparks. His unit had the distinction of being not only riverine mobile, but also air mobile as well as fixed fire support base in 1968. wrote that: They mounted 2 105mm howitzers per barge and operated as the Mobile Riverine artillery force in the Delta. Attempts at using 155mm cannons failed because of the recoil, "causing the barges to split".

Source Materials at the US Army Center for Military History, 34th Field Artillery WW2:

Miller, Joseph. Papers. 2 Bxes. Arch. (re: 21th FA Grp) Incls. misc memos issued by Miller in Germany w/ unit in 1963.

Westmoreland, William C. "Riding to Battle: Reminiscence of 1941-43".Army (Apr 1993): pp. 43-44.

Stanton, Shelby L. Order of Battle, U.S. Army, World War II. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1984. pp. 90-92. UA25.5S767.1984.

Page, Douglas J. "Sedjenane-Bizerte: April 8-May 7, 1943." FA Jrnl 33 (Oct 1943): pp. 783-84. (Actions after the battles of Thala and El Guettar, Tunisia by 9th Divarty.

Phillips, Henry G. El Guettar: Crucible of Leadership: 9th U.S. Infantry Division Against the Wehrmacht in Africa, April 1943. Penn Valley, CA: H.G. Phillips, 1991. 81 p. D766.99T8P54.1991.

U.S. Army. 9th Inf Div. The Final Thrust: The Ninth Infantry Division in Germany, September 1944 to May 1945, A History. Munich: Bruckmann, 1945? 73 p. #05-9.1945.


Third Armored Cavalry Regiment: The Brave Rifles

The Brave Rifles are now deployed at: Fort Carson, Colorado, a component of the Third Armored Corps, Ft. Hood.
Each Squadron has one Field Artillery Howitzer Battery with 8 M109A6 Paladins.

The Third Cavalry Regiment was formed just prior to the Mexican War, as the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen. Service in the Civil War, Indian Wars and World War I. World War Two saw the regiment serving with Patton's Third Army. In July 1968, the Regiment redeployed to Fort Lewis, Washington, as a REFORGER unit for 7th Army Europe. Its howitzer batteries were nuclear capable with their M109 155's. In 1972, the Regiment relocated to Fort Bliss, Texas, where it trained and prepared for its REFORGER mission. The Third Cav once again saw combat during Operation Desert Storm. On 19 May 1996, the Regiment celebrated its 150th anniversary and completed its restationing to Fort Carson, Colorado. It is the oldest Cavalry Regiment in continuous service.
Author Tom Clancy featured the 3rd ACR in his 1994 book, ARMORED CAV while it was stationed at Fort Bliss. The book devotes twenty pages to the Army's artillery systems [pp 99-119]discussing the MLRS and Paladin systems, as well as munitions. "Ever since the introduction of rifled tube artillery and mortars. . .no single class of weapon has caused more casaulties than artillery."(Clancy, p.99)
The Third Cav provided screening and security for the 3MechInfDiv, during combat operations in Iraq, March 2002.

General Carl E. Vuono, retired Army Chief of Staff, served as a 2LT with the Howitzer Battery of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in 1958. See Artillery Who's Who

The 212th Field Artillery Brigade: "Command and Conquer"

The 212th Field Artillery Brigade in WW2-1944, served with 9th Inf Division, Central Europe, Aachen, Germany... The 212th group was reconstituted on 17 September 1958 and allotted to the Regular Army. The same order activated the group on 15 October 1958 in Germany; the 212th FA Group was then further assigned to Seventh Army, and attached to V Corps. In the fall of 1967, the group was designed to redeploy to CONUS under project REFORGER. On 9 April 1968, the group departed Germany for its new home at Fort Lewis, Washington. In August 1972, the group headquarters and three of its battalion (2-37th FA, 2-18th FA, & 4-18th FA) relocated to Fort Sill...In September 1990, the Brigade deployed to Saudi Arabia, and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. 212th FA Bde History Page:, the 212th FA Bde is assigned to the III Armored Corps Artillery. Colonel Schneider is the commander of the 212 Field Artillery Brigade and the Command Sergeant Major is Eddie Wood. (11/2003) 212th suffered casaulties in Iraq, when members of the 2nd Battalion 5th Field Artillery went down in a CH47.

The 212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 6th Armored Division: Third Army & Battle of the Bulge

Links to the 212th AFA & 6th Armored Homepages. Includes the complete WW II history of this Massachusetts National Guard unit that was assigned to the 6th Armored Division, 3rd Army, for the duration of the war. Louie Whitlow's history picks up where this one leaves off: after 1945, the 212th and its successor unit, the 1/211th, had a number of other callups including the Cuban missle crisis and Vietnam.

WW2 Biographies & KIA Memorial

Its first reunion was held in 1948 in Louisville, KY. On September 12-17, 2000 its 53rd and final reunion will occur in Louisville

The 6th Armored Division was created February 15, 1942 at Fort Knox, Kentucky and was made up almost entirely of citizen draftee soldiers. Its training stations were Camp Chaffee, Ark., Louisiana Maneuvers, the Mojave Desert, and Camp Cooke, CA. It arrived in England in February 1944 and landed at Utah Beach on July 18, 1944. During the next 9 1/2 months, the 6th Armored fought in five major European campaigns of World War II: Normandy Northern France Ardennes-Alsace Rhinelane Central Europe. The majority of this time was spent in General George S. Patton's famous Third Army. The 6th Armored was deactivated September 18, 1945 at Camp Shanks, New York. Medal of Honor awards: GAMMON, ARCHER T. Staff Sergeant, Company A, 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division. Near Bastogne, Belgium, 11 January 1945(posthumous) BEYER, ARTHUR O. Corporal, Company C, 603d Tank Destroyer Battalion. Near Arloncourt, Belgium, 15 January 1945.

128th Armored Field Artillery
212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion: Homepage French Croix de Guerre with Silver Gilt Star, for Lan Froicourt, France. 231st Armored Field Artillery Battalion: French Croix de Guerre with Silver Gilt Star, for Han-sur-Nied, France.

p> The 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery

4th Bn 1st Field Artillery, Fort Riley, Kansas. Email: 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery Currently supports the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Armored Division.
The 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery was organized in 1792 in the Regular Army near Fort Wayne, Indiana. It fought its first action against the British in Canada during the War of 1812. On 1 June 1821, it became Company E, 1st Regiment of Artillery, moved to Florida, seeing action during the Indian Campaigns at Miami and Pine Ridge. In 1846, Company E, 1st Regiment of Artillery fought with General Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War, at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterey.
Stationed at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861, it defended the fort against the Confederates. During the Civil War, the First Regiment served in the Army of the Potomac, participating in the Peninsula Campaign,Manassas, Antietam, Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg.
Saw action in the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection. By 1 October 1940, it had come to be known as Battery A, 1st Field Artillery Battalion. It was assigned in support of the 6th Infantry Division, in the Pacific theater during World War II. Earning battle streamers in New Guinea and Luzon, with arrowheads. It was also awarded the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
After its postwar deactivation, it was reactivated in its present designation as the 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery at Fort Riley, Kansas, on 16 February 1996.

Primus Aut Nullus--First Or Not At All!

The 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery:

Click for the 1st Bn/5th FA [1st Bde 1st Inf Div Ft Riley] Regimental History and more links.
The 5th Field Artillery was constituted as part of the Regular Army in January 1907. The First Battalion's lineage dates back to the Revolutionary War. Awarded campaign streamers from the War of 1812, Indian Wars, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. Assigned to the 1st Division in 1917. The Regiment was awarded seven campaign streamers and received the French Croix De Guerres with Palm for action in Lorraine, Picardy, the Aisne-Marne and the Meuse-Argonne in WW I. World War II brought eight additional campaign streamers [Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily (with arrowhead), Normandy (with arrowhead), Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe.] Also awarded the French Croix De Guerres with Palm, French Medaille Militaire and the Belgian Fourragere. In Vietnam, the regiment earned eleven campaign streamers and was awarded two Meritorious Unit Commendations, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal. In the Persian Gulf War, streamers awarded for the Defense of Saudi Arabia and Liberation and Defense of Kuwait. The Regiment continues today as the First Infantry Divisionís direct fire support, based at Fort Riley, Kansas 66442.

1st Bn/17th FA 75th FA Brigade, (Paladin Bn), Ft Sill :
Commander of the Copperheads: LTC Walker
The 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery was constituted as Battery A, 17th Field Artillery on 1 July 1916. The 17th received the French Croix de Guerre on three separate occasions as a result of its service in the Aisne-Mame, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne Campaigns. In 1919, the 17th gained the distinction of being the first unit ever to raise the American Flag over a German Fortress, the Ehrenbreitstein Castle, now depicted on the Unit Crest.
During World War 11, the 17th Artillery returned to combat with the 1st Infantry Division in Tunisia on 23 March 1943 against the10th German Panzer Division. They fought across Sicily and France, crossing the Rhine on 1 April, 1945. The battalion fired 150,014 rounds in support of operations in the ETO and earned campaign streamers for Tunisia, Sicily (w/arrowhead), Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe; the French Croix de Guerre with gilt star.
The 17th FA participated in 10 campaigns during the Korean conflict, including the defense of the Pusan Perimeter. The 17th received the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and a Presidential Unit Citation.
The 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery distinguished itself during Desert Storm. It is a proud part of the 75th Field Artillery Brigade and serves III Corps Artillery and Fort Sill.

The 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery

The 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery was organized 11 June 1917 as Troops A and B, 19th Cavalry for operations on the southern border against Mexican bandits. Reorganized on 11 November 1917 as Battery A, 77th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Division. The battalion distinguished itself during five major campaigns in World War I. as a part of the 4th Infantry Division. Battery A was inactivated at Camp Lewis, WA. on 21 September 1921.
Activated as Battery A. 634th Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Sill in 1935. As part of the 3rd Infantry Division, the battalion saw action in the Mediterranean n campaigns of WWII. The unit saw combat from the French Riviera through the Vosages Mountains, to the final drive into Germany. On 15 May 1945 the unit was redesignated Battery A, 77th Field Artillery Battalion, and was inactivated 4 January 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.
The battalion was activated 1 January 1957 at Fort Hood, and after several redesignations, became the 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery. The 1-77th FA arrived in Vietnam on 13 September 1965 as part of the 1st Cavalry Division. Fought in battles west of Plei Me, receiving the Presidential Unit Citation. Also awarded the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Valorous Unit Award.
In April, 1971, 1-77th FA, returned to Fort Hood from Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry. The last active element of the battalion, Battery A, 77th Field Artillery, was inactivated in 1995 at Fort Knox, Ky. It was re-activated as a MLRS Battalion at Fort Sill on 7 June 1996 as part of the 75th FA Brigade, III Armored Corps. Click for History
LTC Mark E. Tillman: Commanding Officer's biography , 1/77th FA. Official Photo See also Artillery Who's Who

The 70th Infantry Division: "Trailblazers" 70th Infantry Division Patch created by the 70th Division Association

World War Two, European Theater Operations: Distinguished Unit Citation and Two Campaign Streamers

70th Division Homepage Includes WW2 photographs of the Division's artillery units: Divarty: The 725th FA Bn, 882nd FA Bn, 883rd FA Bn and the 884th FA Bn.
At the Niederbronn Road near the German border, the 275th Infantry Regiment,". . . maintained communications with the 275th's Cannon Company. The artillery provided such effective support of the foot troops that the Germans spent a huge amount of their artillery ammunition in a futile attempt to silence the 'Blazers howitzers." January 2, 1945 during the Geman Nordwind Offensive. [from the 70th Infantry's History]
Today the 70th Division (Training) is headquartered at the George A. Custer United States Army Reserve Center in Livonia, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The red, white, and green shoulder patch worn by the current 70th Division (Training) is symbolic of its history. The patch bears an axe in recognition of the pioneers who traveled to the Willamette Valley, the site of Camp Adair where the 70th Infantry had been activated in 1943. The snowy mountain represents Mount Hood, and the green fir is in reference to the 91st Infantry Division (the Fir Tree Division) from which the officers and noncommissioned officers of the 70th were drawn.

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