In February 1943, the unit along with the entire 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for an overseas assignment as a dismounted unit. Soon afterward, on 15 March 1943, "D" Troop was redesignated as "C" Troop, 16th Quartermaster Squadron. An impatient 1st Cavalry Division was dismounted and they were processed for movement to the Southwest Pacific theater as foot solders. In mid June 1943, the last troops of the division departed Fort Bliss, Texas for Camp Stoneman, California and later on 03 July, boarded the "S.S. Monterey and the S.S. George Washington" for Australia and the Southwest Pacific.
On 26 July, three weeks later, the division arrived at Brisbane and began a
fifteen mile trip to their new temporary home, Camp Strathpine, Queensland,
Australia. The division received six months of intense combat jungle warfare
training at Camp Strathpine in the wilds of scenic Queensland and amphibious
training at nearby Moreton Bay. In January 1944 the division was ordered to
leave Australia and sail to Oro Bay, New Guinea. After a period of staging in
New Guinea, it was time for the 1st Cavalry Division to receive their first
baptism of fire.
Just after 8:00 on 29 February, the 1st Cavalry troopers climbed down the nets of the APD's and into the LCM's and LCPR's, the flat bottomed landing craft of the Navy. The landing at Hayane Harbor took the Japanese by surprise. Following the assault on Los Negros, "C" Troop, 16th Quartermaster Squadron left their footprints on Bismarck Archipelago and the Philippines.
On 18 May 1944, the Admiralty Islands campaign officially ended. Japanese
casualties stood at 3,317 killed. The losses of the 1st Cavalry Division
included 290 dead, 977 wounded, and 4 missing in action. Training, discipline,
determination, and ingenuity had won over suicidal attacks. The troopers of
the 1st Cavalry Division were now seasoned veterans.
1946 was welcomed as a new dawning of peace for the 1st Cavalry Division. The days of privation, hardship, suffering and death were over for the first time since 07 December 1940. On 15 November 1946, "C" Troop, 16th Quartermaster Squadron was redesignated as the 15th Quartermaster Pack Troop, and remained assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. The following years of the occupation found the 1st Cavalry Division in control of Tokyo and vicinity, the capital of the war-built Japanese Empire. On 31 March 1947, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as the 15th Quartermaster Troop. Subsequent reorganizations on 25 March 1949, resulted in the redesignation of the unit as the 15th Quartermaster Company. 1950 called for an increased training to improve the ever-increasing combat effectiveness of the division, which was soon to be tested.
The ROKs had eight divisions, but only four deployed along the 38th parallel, and they only partially. Much worse, they had no air force, only 2.36 inch rocket launchers, no recoilless rifles, no heavy mortars, no medium artillery and no armor. The T34s, arguably the best tanks developed in WWII, advanced in a line-ahead formation. After scores of ROKs died under their treads, trying desperately to stop them with satchel charges and grenades, the tanks began moving through the survivors as though they were not there. At the same time, their infantry formations attacked in an inverted Y formation, sweeping around ROK opposition with the arms, encircling them, and finally crushing them.
The decision of the United States to send immediate aid to South Korea came two days after the fast moving North Korean Army broke through the Republic of Korea (ROK) defenses and sent tanks into the capital city of Seoul. In addition to the US Air Force, Navy and Marines, a 1,000 man battalion from the 24th Infantry Division, including many specialists and noncommissioned officers transferred from the 1st Cavalry Division arrived 30 June. More help was on the way. "A" Company of the 71st Heavy Tank Battalion, previously assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, arrived in Korea early in July and was immediately attached to the 24th Infantry Division and experienced its first combat at Taejon.
On 06 July, General MacArthur called Major General Hobart Gay, Commanding
General, 1st Cavalry Division and informed him to make plans for the 1st
Cavalry Division to make an amphibious landing at Inchon. In a questionable
state of readiness, the 1st Cavalry Division had been weakened by the earlier
transfer of approximately 750 noncommissioned officers to the 24th and 25th
Divisions to strengthen combat capabilities in Korea.
In Korea, the 15th Quartermaster Company supported the 5th, 7th and 8th Regiments, Division Artillery and Special Troops. Their baptism of fire came on 23 July. They were hit by heavy artillery fire and mortar barrage, and North Korean infantrymen swarmed toward their entrenched positions. The Pusan Perimeter continued to hold. With added reinforcements, Pusan became a staging ground and depot for United Nations supplies and soldiers from all around the world. The defenders now outnumbered the attackers and they had the equipment and firepower to go on the offensive.
In late October 1950, orders came from I Corps to saddle up the rest of the division and move north. The 15th Quartermaster Company fought with the division, north across the 38th parallel and entered the capital of North Korea - Pyong Yang. The Korean war seemed to be nearing a conclusion. The North Korean forces were being squeezed into a shrinking perimeter along the Yalu and the borders of Red China and Manchuria. By now, more than 135,000 Red troops had been captured and the North Korean Army was nearly destroyed.
On 25 October 1950, the Korean War took a grim new turn. The sudden
intervention of Communist Chinese forces dashed hopes of a quick end to the
war. In the morning of 01 November, patrols from the 1st and 2nd Battalions,
8th Cavalry, clashed with soldiers clearly identified as Red Chinese. By 28
December, the true extent of the enemy buildup had become clear. There was at
least 20 Red Chinese divisions poised for a drive on Seoul. Now there was
almost a million and a half Chinese and North Korean troops on the Korean
On 27 November, the advance party from the division, left Korea and by late
January 1952, all units had arrived on Hokkaido, under the command of Major
General Thomas L. Harrold. Arriving in the port of Muroran, each unit was
loaded on trains and moved to the new garrison areas. Three camps were
established outside Sappro, the Islands capital city. The division controlled
a huge training area of 155,000 acres. The mission of the division was to
defend the Island of Hokkaido and to maintain maximum combat readiness.
In September 1954, the Japanese assumed responsibility for defending Hokkaido and the First Team returned to the main Island of Honshu. For the next three years the division guarded the northern sections of Honshu until a treaty was signed by the governments of Japan and the United States in 1957. This accord signaled the removal of all U.S. ground forces from Japan's main islands.
On 20 August 1957, the First Cavalry Division, guarding the northern sections of Honshu, Japan was reduced to zero strength and transferred to Korea (minus equipment). With the advent of the Pentomic Organizational Structure, on 22 August 1957, the 15th Medical Battalion was assigned to the forerunner of the present Divisional Support Command, the Divisional Trains. Although the concept of "Trains" under a controlling headquarters was new to the infantry divisions, it had been utilized by the Armor during World War II. The lifeline through which the combined administrative and technical support is provided by the trains. The organic units, at the time of activation of the Trains on 22 August 1957, included the 15th Aviation Company, 15th Administrative Service Company, 15th Medical Battalion, 15th Quartermaster Company, 23rd Transportation Battalion and the 27th Ordnance Battalion.
In ceremonies held on 15 October, the colors of the 24th Division were retired and the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division were passed to the Commanding General of the old 24th Division, Major General Ralph W. Zwicker. "The First Team" had returned to Korea, standing ready to defend the country against Communist aggression.
On 01 November 1957, the Trains were activated in Korea. The redesignated and reorganized First Cavalry was assigned the mission of patrolling "Freedom's Frontier" (DMZ). In addition to their assigned duties of patrol along the southern border of the DMZ, training remained a number one priority for the troopers and unit commanders. In January 1958, the largest training exercise in Korea since the end of hostilities, Operation Snowflake, was conducted. This exercise was followed by Operation Saber in May and Operation Horsefly in August. On 01 September, the 15th Quartermaster Company was reorganized and combined with the assets of the 23rd Transportation Battalion and redesignated as the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion. In June 1965 the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion began rotation back to the United States along with other units of the 1st Cavalry Division.
The Geneva Accords stated that the division was to be temporary, and that national elections in 1956 would reunite the country. But the United States did not want to see Vietnam turn into a communist state, so the US supported the creation of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, which provided defense for South Vietnam.
North Vietnam, then called the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, wanted a communist state, and South Vietnam, then called the Republic of Vietnam, wanted a non-communist state. In 1956, Ngo Dihn Diem, an anti-communist, won the presidential election in South Vietnam. But communist opposition in the south caused Diem numerous problems. And in 1959, southern communists decided to implement greater violence to try to oust Diem. This led to the formation of the National Liberation Front (NLF).
The NLF was a group of communists and non-communists who opposed diem and sought his ouster. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy sent a group to South Vietnam to determine what actions the US needed to take to assist them. When the group returned, they proffered recommendations in what became known as the "December 1961 White Paper" that indicated a need for an increased military presence; but many of the advisors of Kennedy wanted a complete pullout from the country.
In the end, Kennedy compromised and decided to increase the number of military advisors, but with the objective of not to engage in a massive military buildup. But in 1963, the government of Diem quickly began to unravel. The downfall began when Diem's brother accused Buddhist monks of harboring communists -- his brother then began raiding Buddhist pagodas in an attempt to find these communists
The Buddhist monks immediately began protesting in the streets, and in Saigon
on 05 October, 1963, one monk died by self-immolation. This incident caused
international outrage and Diem was soon overthrown and killed. On 02 August,
1964, North Vietnam attacked an American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin that
resulted in congress enacted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted the
president broad war powers.
Lyndon B. Johnson was the president at the time, and the Gulf of Tonkin
incident and the resultant resolution marked the beginning of the major
military build up of America in the Vietnam War. In 1965, massive bombing
missions by the US in North Vietnam, known as Operation ROLLING THUNDER,
quickly escalated the conflict.
In 1965, the 15th Supply and Service Battalion accompanied the Division
Support Command when it was deployed to Vietnam, arriving on 12 September. The
primary functions of the battalion were two-fold; the first being services.
The second being supplies which involves in supporting the division in all
classes of materials.
In carrying out its mission responsibilities, the battalion participated in all major campaigns and distinguished itself in battle, writing new chapters in its history.
26 March 1971, officially marked the end of duties in Vietnam for the majority of the 1st Cavalry Division. On 29 April, the 15th Supply and Service Battalion along with the Division Support Command departed Vietnam for Fort Hood, Texas.
On 05 May 1971, the 15th Supply and Service Battalion was redesignated as the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion. Under the Tricap (Triple Capability), the battalion quickly adapted itself to meet the ever changing needs of the division. On 01 October 1984, the entire structure of the Division Support Command which included the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion, underwent a dynamic change in order to best support the logistic requirements of the division by the activation of the 1st Forward Support Battalion which incorporated elements of the 15th Supply and Transport and 27th Maintenance Battalion.
Following the evolution of the 1st Forward Support Battalion into a full time Forward Support Battalion which supported the 1st Brigade, the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion was inactivated at Fort Hood, Texas on 15 September 1985. Under the initial support concept, the 1st Forward Support Battalion had no history or lineage, only generic colors. The problem of no identity was corrected by realignment of all support battalions by the Army and the Institute of Heraldry. On 01 May 1987, the 1st Forward Support Battalion was given full lineage, honors and colors of the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion and being redesignated the 115 Support Battalion (FWD).
With the activation of the 115th Support Battalion (FWD), the "fuel, arm and fix forward" combat service doctrine was inaugurated. This concept is the linchpin that keeps combat units operating continuously on the Air-Land Battlefield. The battalion is organized with a multifunctional staff, a Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and three diversified company-sized units. As an aggregate, the battalion provides responsive fuel, ammunition, rations, medical support and direct support maintenance the requirements of a combined arms maneuver brigade in combat or in garrison.
In August 1990, the 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for deployment to Southwest Asia as part of the joint forces participating in Operation Desert Shield. The focus at that time was the defense of Saudi Arabia against potential Iraqi attack. In October 1990, the 115th Support Battalion (FWD) deployed in support of Desert Shield and provide critical logistical support to the soldiers of the 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade. In January and February 1991, the efforts of the Division Support Command were key in carrying out the fast moving ground war.
The 115th's action of providing resupply of fuel and ammunition was critical to the 1st Brigade's successful 300 kilometer advance in 24 hours into Southern Iraq to cut off and stop the Republican Guard. In March, the 115th Support Battalion (FWD) along with the balance of the DISCOM Units, joined the assembled division on the plain of the Wadi al Batin. Desert Storm was over. In April 1991, the Division brought all its soldiers safely home to Fort Hood, Texas.
The 115th Support Battalion's (BSB) has distinguished itself with the brigade, DISCOM and the division for getting the job done and "making it happen", a phrase which describes the hard charging spirit of the battalion and the men and women who serve it.
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