In February 1943, the entire 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for an overseas assignment as a dismounted unit. 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 "SS 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 task force, including the 82nd and 99th Field Artillery Battalions, landed at Hayane Harbor and took the Japanese by surprise.
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 First Cavalry
Troopers were now seasoned veterans.
On 26 January, conveys were formed and departed for the Lingayan Gulf, Luzon Island, the Philippines. Landing without incident on 27 January, the division assembled in an area near Guimba and prepared for operations in the south and southwest areas. One of the First Team's most noted feats was accomplished during the fighting for Luzon. General MacArthur issued an order "Get to Manila!". The resulting mission, and the participating units, was dubbed a "flying column" by General Mudge. The rescue mission, lead by Brig. General William C. Chase, was divided into three "serials", of which included "A" Battery of the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion and "B" Battery of the 61st Field Artillery Battalion. On 03 February 1945, lead elements of the rescue column crossed the city limits of Manila at 6:35 PM, covering the 100 miles of rough terrain in approximately 66 hours.
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".
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. They year found the 1st Cavalry Division in control of Tokyo and vicinity, the capital of the war-built Japanese Empire. On 01 March, the 1st Cavalry Division was given the occupational responsibility of seven prefectures of Japan, in addition to the four occupied during the previous months.
The 1st Cavalry Division began 1947 with the continuation of its occupation of the heart and nerve center of the Japanese Empire. Although there was no change in occupational policy, there had been vast changes among the troopers themselves. The combat veterans of the division had been replaced by new arrivals from the states. Their time was spent in receiving advanced training, guard duty, patrolling and specialist assignments.
As the new year of 1948 opened, the influence of the occupation was everywhere. Japan had been converted into a peaceful nation with a framework of government under its new constitution that would make it a lasting democracy. Reduction of troops continued throughout the year.
All ranks looked forward toward the new year of 1949 in anticipation of bringing the division up to standards of combat efficiency and morale for which it stood. Personnel increased approximately 70 percent over the previous levels of manpower. In March, the 1st Cavalry Division was retitled 1st Cavalry Division (Infantry) and organized as a regular, triangular infantry division. By the end of the year, combat effectiveness had risen sharply over that of the previous year. The emphasis on training conducted by the division had netted the desired result.
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. During the first few weeks,the division artillerymen fighting with small arms along side their thundering artillery pieces. One cannoneer suggested that the crossed cannons of the artillery be changed to one cannon and one rifle. The Korean Conflict was chaotic and difficult for the artillery. Classical front lines disappeared. Artillery units often found themselves surrounded and artillerymen were called upon to fight side by side with the infantry. Artillery personnel was used to perform rear guard actions. To make up for their own lack of artillery, the North Koreans made battery positions their prime targets. Batteries had to fight off invaders in close combat and still fire their guns in support of the combat operations.
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. Solders of the United Nations forces became First Team
troopers, when they were attached to the 1st Cavalry Units and fought along
side of them. The defenders now outnumbered the attackers and they had the
equipment and firepower to go on the offensive.
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). On 15 October 1957, the 82nd Field Artillery was inactivated and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division. Following their inactivation and release from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division, the three battalions of the 82nd Field Artillery went their separate ways.
On 01 June 1958, the 1st Battalion (less "B" Battery) was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery 1st Missile Battalion, 82nd Artillery and activated on 24 June 1958 in Italy. On 20 April 1964, the battalion was inactivated in Italy. On 31 October 1967, the battalion was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 82nd Artillery. On 10 January 1968, the 1st Battalion, 82nd Artillery was assigned to the Americal Division (23rd Infantry Division) and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington. On 01 September 1971, the battalion was redesignated as 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery. On 10 November 1971, the battalion was relieved from assignment to the 23rd Infantry Division. On 21 June 1975, the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery rejoined the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
On 01 June 1958, the 2nd Battalion was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery 2nd Missile Battalion, 82nd Artillery and activated on 25 June 1958 in Germany. On 25 March 1964, the battalion was inactivated in Germany. On 01 September 1971, the battalion was redesignated as the 2nd Missile Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery. In 1988, the Battalion was redesignated as 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery and assigned to the 3rd Armored Division in Germany. During Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the Battalion provided direct support fires to the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Armored Division. In 1991, the Battalion was inactivated in Germany.
On 01 June 1958, the 3rd Battalion was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Gun Battalion, 82nd Artillery and activated on 25 June 1958 in Germany. On 20 December 1963, the Battalion was inactivated in Germany. On 10 September 1964, the Battalion was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Artillery and assigned to the 196th Infantry Brigade. On 15 September 1965, the Battalion was activated as a 105mm towed battalion at Fort Devens, Massachusetts and was assigned to the Americal Division (23rd Infantry Division).
On 01 June 1958, "B" Battery, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion was reconstituted. On 31 July 1959, the battery was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 5th Battalion, 82nd Artillery and on 01 July 1965, was subsequently redesignated as "E" Battery, 82nd Artillery and concurrently transferred(less personnel and equipment) from Korea to Fort Benning, Georgia, reorganized and assigned to the new 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).
The "Red Team" had arrived in Vietnam. Interesting that they arrived in three units, each reporting to separate divisions. Elements of "E" Battery, 82nd Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) began arriving in Vietnam in August 1965. The 3rd Battalion, 82nd Artillery, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal Division) arrived in Vung Tau, Vietnam on 15 August 1966. The 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal Division) arrived in October 1968.
Organic to the DIVARTY, the mission of "E" Battery was to provide Aerial reconnaissance, tracking of artillery fire and command liaison for the 1st Cavalry Division, with auxiliary functions of aerial surveillance, resupply of artillery elements, personnel and medical airlift. By 30 September, "Echo" Battery pilots had logged 359 hours in 382 missions utilizing primarily OH-13 observation helicopters. At that time their asset inventory included four UH-1B helicopters.
On December 1965, the use of fixed wing aircraft in Operation "Clean House", led the battery to request permanent assignment of airplanes to the unit. In 1966, the battery continued to serve as the eyes of the artillery and to provide transport for DIVARTY and battery officers. In response to the request for fixed wing aircraft, O-1 "Bird Dogs", gave the batteries new capabilities as high flying observers to adjust the strike of distant artillery guns.
Unon their arrival in 1966, the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Artillery, Americal Division was immediately airlifted to Tay Minh, where their first fire base was constructed. Subsequent locations of firebases in Vietnam were established at Chu Lai, Tam Ky and Da Nang. On 01 November, the 3rd Battalion came under the control of the 169th Infantry Brigade.
In Operation "Pershing", the longest single mission of the division, "Echo" Battery carried out their mission of direct support for three artillery batteries and DIVARTY. In October 1967, the 3rd Brigade was placed under operational control of the Americal Division in the Chu Lai area. With the end of Operation "Pershing in January 1968, "Echo" Battery moved to Camp Evans located in I Corps area. The first mission of the battery was to provide surveillance for the drive to force the enemy out of dug-in positions and in and surrounding the enemy held city of Hue.
On 02 November 1968, the main body of "Echo" Battery left Camp Evans for the new base camp of the division located in III Corps, Phoue Vinh. On 08 November, Operation SHERIDAN SABER, the interdiction of major enemy force movement, began. Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) sections of "Echo" Battery were located in Tay Ninh, Ton le Chan and Quan Loi in support of 2nd Battalion, 19th Artillery, 1st Battalion, 21st Artillery and 1st Battalion, 77th Artillery.
On 15 February 1969, the 3rd Battalion was relieved from assignment to the 169th Infantry Brigade and was reassigned to the Americal Division (23rd Infantry Division). On 01 September 1971, the 3rd Battalion was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery. In early June, the "Red Dragons" departed Vietnam. On 30 June 1972, the battalion was inactivated in Oakland, California. On 16 June 1986, the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery rejoined the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
With 26 March 1971 being officially marked the end of duties in Vietnam for the 1st Cavalry Division, "Echo" Battery was inactivated on 10 April. On 21 January 1977, "Echo Battery" was reactivated as "Echo" Battery, 82nd Field Artillery at Ft. Hood, Texas and remained assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division.
As a separate unit, the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery deployed to South West Asia as part of Operation Desert Shield. It provided direct support fires for 3rd Brigade, 3rd Armored Division during Operation Desert Storm against the Iraqi Republican Guard. Following the conflict, the battalion returned to Germany and was again inactivated.
By 13 January 1991, the division moved north toward the juncture of the Saudi, Iraq and Kuwait borders through a series of defensive positions designed to thwart any preemptive attack along the Wadi. Meanwhile, the air war began and other Allied ground forces began to reposition for the offense. The "Red Team" began a calculated war of deception along the Saudi border. Among the various actions taken were:
The goal was to lure Saddam Hussein into believing the main ground attack of the Allies would come up the Wadi al-Batin, a natural invasion route, causing him to reposition additional forces there. The deception consisted of three major thrusts:
This operation was an unqualified success. The enemy reacted as anticipated. Iraqi divisions focused on the coalition threat in the Wadi, and the First Team froze them. The deception worked, in that it tied down four Iraqi divisions, leaving their flanks thinned and allowed the VII Corps to attack virtually unopposed, conducting a successful envelopment of Iraqi forces to the west.
On 28 February 1991, 100 hours after General Norman Schwarzkopf had initiated
the ground attack, President George Bush ordered a cease-fire. In the 100
hours of battle before the cease-fire went into effect, the Iraqis had lost
3,847 of their 4,280 tanks, over half of their 2,880 armored personnel
carriers, and nearly all of their 3,100 artillery pieces. Only five to seven
of their forty-three combat divisions remained capable of offensive
Returning to Ft. Hood, the 1st and 3rd Battalions, 82nd Field Artillery continued the constant effort of personnel and equipment readiness preparation. On 16 December 1992, the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery rejoined the 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas. Since that time, the 82nd Field Artillery has fielded the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, the M-109A6 Paladin Howitzer, participated in National Training Center rotations, "no notice" redeployments to Kuwait in which soldiers are deployed from each battalion and each separate battery to SouthWest Asia.
From September through December of 1996, the 2nd "Steel Dragons" battalion participated in and lead the way during Operation Desert Strike. The Steel Dragons were also the first to draw the new Paladins in Kuwait and the first to live fire and test the Paladins in theater. Additionally, the battalion was first to establish digital communications and conduct full-scale operations with the AFATDS. Along with paving the way for all other artillery units to follow, by live firing over 2000 rounds and providing baseline calibrations for the Paladins, the Steel Dragons also conducted Officer Professional Development classes and training exercises with Kuwaiti Army.
In April 1998, the IRONHORSE Brigade was alerted for peace enforcement duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Stabilization Forces (SFOR) 4 on Operation Joint Forge. Although units of the 1st Cavalry Division are deployed routinely around the world, the Division Headquarters had not deployed since DESERT STORM. In August 1998, the headquarters command staff of the division deployed and were stationed at Camp Eagle near Tuzla, Bosnia during the entire year-long deployment. It was planned that the 1st Brigade Combat Team with the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, at Eagle Base (and other subordiate units) would be replaced by the the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery of the 2nd Brigade and its subordiate units.
In August 1999, the 10th Mountain Division, with its subordiate units, replaceed the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters, 4th Brigade, 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, and 13th Signal Battalion. The 2nd Brigaden with the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery (and other subordiate units) Combat Team would remain in Bosnia under the control of the 10th Mountain Division until October 1999 when, as the last unit of the 1st Cavalry Division to return, it would redeploy to Ft. Hood.
On 20 November 2001 the 3rd battalion answered the call once again, deploying to Kuwait for Operation Enduring Freedom. The Battalion achieved the mission of defending Kuwait and deterring aggression in the region.
In January 2004, the 3rd "Red Dragons" Battalion deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. During the deployment, the Battalion conducted thousands of security patrols and searched hundreds of suspected enemy locations to disrupt insurgent activities. The "Red Dragons" spent countless hours building and developing a company of the new Iraqi National Guard before redeploying to Ft. Hood in February 2005.
In March of 2004, the 1st Battalion 82nd Field Artillery deployed to Eastern Baghdad, Iraq to participate in the Transition of Iraq. The battalion redeployed to Ft. Hood, TX in March of 2005.
In July 2005, as a part of the Army Modularity Plan "C" Battery, 1st Battalion, 82 Field Artillery was deactivated. On October 2005, 1-82 FA became a Unit of Action Fires Battalion. In addition, Golf Forward Support Company was attached to provide organic combat service support to the battalion.
On 5 September 2005, the 3rd "Red Dragons" Battalion deployed with 72 hours notice to New Orleans, Louisiana to support the humanitarian relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina. The Battalion conducted presence patrols, distributed supplies and helped serve meals to more than 350 members of the St. Mary's Mission. The "Red Dragons" were highly successful in restoring order and providing comfort to their fellow Americans.
On 17 October, 2005, E" Battery, 82nd Field Artillery was redesignated as the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment and assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
In March 2006, 1st "Dragons" Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery was redesignated as Task Force 1-82 in preparation for deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08. In addition, Delta Troop was organized to provide maneuver capabilities on the battlefield. On October 2006, Task Force 1-82 FA deployed to Northern Baghdad for fifteen months in support of National Resolution.
In October 2006, the 3rd "Red Dragons" Battalion deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08. During this deployment, the Red Dragons provided continuous security and services to the people of the Qadisiyah and Janayn Hayy’s in the Karkh district of western Baghdad. In addition to the counterinsurgency mission, the red dragons conducted non-standard missions in support of the American embassy and 1st Cavalry Division. The battalion executed over 2,500 combat escort missions of 60,000 contractors, Department of State personnel and senior military officers. Escort missions included the safe transportation of $13 billion throughout Baghdad. In their artillery role, they fired over 4,500 155mm artillery rounds in support of maneuver operations and counterfire. The Red Dragons safely redeployed to Ft. Hood in January 2008.
The 5th Battalion earned a Valorous Unit Award for extraordinary heroism during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 31 October 2006 to 30 September 2007. In March 2008, the battalion was reflagged and relocated to Ft. Hood, Texas.
In January 2009, the 3rd "Red Dragons" Battalion again deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The battalion was given authority for the volatile city of Kirkuk and bordering Kurdish areas in vicinity of the "Green Line." The mission required the red dragons to organize as a maneuver battalion and secure the population in the provincial capital, the largest city in the 2bct area of operations. Kirkuk was the heart of the ethnic struggle in Iraq and widely considered the main effort of American forces in shaping a future Iraq. Partnering with Iraqi police and the Kurdish regional army, the red dragons reduced violent extremist activity by over 75% over the course of the year. The complexity of the environment required over thirty Iraqi unit partnerships and the maintenance of over 100 spheres of influence, many of which had never before partnered with American units. The battalion led the way in both civil and information operations as well, completing the largest civil projects in Multinational Division North (MND-N). Not forsaking our artillery role, the red dragons were the first in MND-N to fire Excalibur munitions and followed with several missions in support of other units. Through much of the deployment, Alpha Battery supported operations in Mosul from combat outpost power. Partnered with Iraqi army and police, alpha battery played a key role in MND-N's decisive effort of securing the last major violent extremist stronghold in Iraq. Alpha battery returned to the Red Dragons in July of 2009 for operations in Kirkuk and the battalion safely redeployed in December of 2009.
From June 2008 to June 2009, the 5th Battalion deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 08-10.
In February 2009, the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery deployed to Baghdad in support of Iraqi Sovereignty. The Battalion supported the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division and the 1st Combat Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, during combat operations in Iraq. The Battalion re-deployed to Fort Hood, TX in January of 2010.
As a member of the "Red Team", the 82nd Field Artillery stands ready to support the "First Team" in the defense of freedom and security of peace.
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