115th Brigade Support Battalion
"Prepared in Peace and War"

The Early Years, 1919 - 1941

The roots of the 115th Support Battalion can be traced back to February 1919, when its predecessor, the 675th Motor Transport Company which was constituted in the National Army of the United States at Camp Henry Knox, Kentucky. On 01 December 1919, the unit was redesignated as the 84th Motor Transport Company. On 31 December 1920, the unit was demobilized at Camp Dix, New Jersey. On 01 May 1936, the unit was reconstituted in the Regular Army as "D" Troop (Pack), 16th Quartermaster Squadron, an element of the 1st Cavalry Division and on 15 January was activated at Fort Ringgold, Texas.

World War II, Pacific Theater, 1941 - 1945

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.

Island Combat
On 27 February, Task Force "Brewer", consisting of 1,026 troopers, embarked from Cape Sudest, Oro Bay, New Guinea under the command of Brigadier General William C. Chase. Their destination was a remote, Japanese occupied island of the Admiralties, Los Negros, where they were to make a reconnaissance of force and if feasible, capture Momote Airdrome and secure a beachhead for the reinforcements that would follow.

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.

Troopship Cecil - Yokohama, Japan
On 13 August 1945, the 1st Cavalry Division was alerted that they had been selected to accompany General Douglas MacArthur to Tokyo and would be part of the 8th Army in the occupation of Japan. On 02 September the long convey of ships steered from Subic Bay into Yokohama Harbor and past them battleship Missouri where General MacArthur would later receive the Japanese surrender party. The First Team was given the honor of leading the Allied Occupational Army into Tokyo. At 8:00 on 08 September, a history making convey left Hara-Machida with Tokyo as their destination. Headed by Major General William C. Chase, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, the party included a veteran from each troop of the Division. Passing through Hachioji, Fuchu and Chofu, the Cavalry halted briefly at the Tokyo City Limits. General Chase stepped across the line thereby putting the American Occupational Army officially in Tokyo and adding another "First" to its name;

"First in Tokyo".

The first mission of the division was to assume control of the city. On 16 September, the 1st Cavalry Division was given responsibility for occupying the entire city of Tokyo and the adjacent parts of Tokyo and Saitama Prefectures. The 16th Quartermaster Squadron's garrison assignment was at Camp Drake near Tokyo.

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.

Korean War, 1950 - 1952

Korea, The Location Of A New War
On 25 June, 1950, it happened before dawn in a distant country whose name means "The Land of Morning Calm". It was on a Sunday morning that began with a gentle rain. Then in a long and intensive barrage of artillery and mortar fire, 90,000 Russian -armed North Korean (NK) troops in seven assault infantry divisions smashed headlong into totally unprepared units of the army of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The North Korean Peoples Army (Inmun Gun) were led by over 150 T34/85 tanks, and closely supported by seventeen hundred 122mm howitzers and SU76 self-propelled 76mm guns. Over 200 Russian-supplied YAK ground-attack aircraft gave them total domination of the skies. Less than 5 years after the terrible devastations of World War II, a new war had broken out.

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.

The Pusan Perimeter
On 18 July the 1st Cavalry Division was ordered to Korea. Initially scheduled to make an amphibious landing at Inchon, it was redirected to the southeastern coast of Korea at Pohang-dong a port 80 miles north of Pusan. The North Koreans were 25 miles away when elements of the 1st Cavalry Division swept ashore to successfully carry out the first amphibious landing of the Korean War. Its initial mission was to establish the Pusan Perimeter. By 22 July, all regiments were deployed in battle positions; in itself a remarkable logistical achievement in the face of Typhoon Helene pounding the Korean coastline.

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 peninsula.

he UN Counter Attack, 1951
On 25 January 1951, the First Team moved back into action. The movement began as a reconnaissance in force to locate and assess the size of the Red Army, believed to be at least 174,000. The Eight Army moved slowly and methodically, ridge by ridge, phase line by phase line, wiping out each pocket of resistance before moving farther North. The advance covered 2 miles a day, despite heavy blinding snowstorms and subzero temperatures.

From 09 June to 27 November, the 1st Cavalry took on various rolls in the summer-fall campaign of the United Nations. On 18 July, a year after it had entered the war, the 1st Cavalry Division was assigned to a reserve status. In late fall, the artillerymen were being relieved by elements of the 45th Infantry Division and they began their rotation back to Hokkaido, Japan.

Return To Japan, 1952 - 1957

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.

DMZ - Freedom's Frontier
The Korean War wound down to a negotiated halt when the long awaited armistice was signed at 10:00 on 27 July 1953. A DeMilitarized Zone (DMZ), a corridor - 4 kilometers wide and 249 kilometers long, was established dividing North and South Korea. The nominal line of the buffer zone is along the 38th parallel; however, the final negotiations of the adjacent geographical areas resulted in giving the North Korean Government some 850 square miles south of the 38th parallel and the South Korean Government some 2,350 square miles north of it.

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.

Return To Korea, 1957 - 1965

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.

Vietnam War, 1965 - 1972

Division Of Vietnam - 1954
The roots of the Vietnam War started in 1946 with the beginning of the First Indochina War. Vietnam was under French control at that time (as was Laos and Cambodia), and the Vietnamese, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, wanted independence. So the Vietnamese and French fought each other in Vietnam. Eventually, in 1954, the Vietnamese defeated the French and both countries signed the Geneva Peace Accords, which, among other things, established a temporary division in Vietnam at the 17th parallel. The division of the country eventually led to the Vietnamese War.

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.

Air Cavalry Unit
The 1st Cavalry Division went home, but only long enough to be reorganized and be prepared for a new mission. On 03 July 1965, in Doughboy Stadium at Fort Benning, Georgia the colors of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) were cased and retired. As the band played the rousing strains of Garryowen, the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division were moved onto the field. As part of the reorganization, the 11th Administrative Company, 11th Air Assault Division was redesignated as the 15th Supply and Service Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division Support Command,

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.

Supply Kits Awaiting Transport
The battalion used ground and air transportation to move supplies from the depots in Saigon or Long Binh to all the forward areas of operations. All the conveys movements were supported by armored vehicles and armed helicopters. Innovation was the key to effective, efficient responses. One of those was the development of a "firebase kit" which contained all the prefabricated material to construct a firebase; concertina wire, timbers, steel support columns, culverts, and thousands of sandbags, all packaged and ready for shipment on a moments notice.

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.

Persian Gulf War, Southwest Asia, 1990 - 1991

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.

Iraqi Freedom - II, 2003 - 2004

In March 2004, the 115th Forward Support Battalion deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom II. The Battalion mastered a myriad of new tasks and challenges as it adapted to the rapidly changing environment in and around Baghdad during their year-long deployment. Continuing their lineage of excellence, the 115th Forward Support Battalion provided first-class logistical support to the 1st Brigade Combat Team during periods of intense combat in Sadr City, and during the landmark first free Iraqi election.

Modular Forces, 2005

In 2005, the Army was moving from a division-based force structure to a brigade-based force structure generally referred to as the modular force structure. The 1st Brigade Combat Team restructured as Interim Brigade Combat Team, incorporating elements of 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, 20th Engineer Battalion, 13th Signal Battalion, 1/82 Field Artillery Battalion, and 115th Forward Support Battalion.

On 12 July 2005, the 115th Forward Support Battalion was inactivated, reorganized and redesignated as the 115th Brigade Support Battalion. It was relieved from assignment to the Division Support Command (DISCOM), 1st Cavalry Division and reactivated on 15 July 2005 as the organic support battalion for the reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. As part of the modular transformation, units previously held at division level, but habitually assigned to brigades during operations were made organic to those brigades. The 115th Brigade Support Battalion provided distribution-based, centrally-managed combat service support to thr 1st Brigade Combat Team to sustain its operational employment in small scale contingencies.

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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Copyright © 1996, Cavalry Outpost Publications ® and Trooper Wm. H. Boudreau, "F" Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment (1946 - 1947). All rights to this body of work are reserved and are not in the public domain, or as noted in the bibliography. Reproduction, or transfer by electronic means, of the History of the 1st Cavalry Division, the subordinate units or any internal element, is not permitted without prior authorization. Readers are encouraged to link to any of the pages of this Web site, provided that proper acknowledgment attributing to the source of the data is made. The information or content of the material contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Revised 18 Sep '11 SpellChecked