41st Fires Brigade
1st Cavalry Division
Historical Missions
"RailGunners"





The Early Years, 1918 - 1941

On 26 August, 1918, the 41st Fires Brigade, "Railgunners," was first constituted in the Regular Army as the 41st Artillery (Coast Artillery Corps). It was organized on 01 October 1918 at Fort Monroe, Virginia. The unit was demobilized on 22 December 1918 at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

On 15 January 1921, the colors were transferred to the Pacific Theater, where the 41st Artillery was reconstituted as the Hawaiian Railway Battalion. The unit was organized on 22 December 1921 at Fort Kamehameha, Territory of Hawaii. The unit was redesignated on 01 June 1922 as the 41st Artillery Battalion (Railway) (Coast Artillery Corps).

On 01 July 1924, the unit was redesignated as the 41st Coast Artillery and remained in Hawaii until its inactivation on 30 June 1931 at at Fort Kamehameha, Territory of Hawaii.

World War II, Pacific Theater, 1941 - 1945

On 21 April 1942, the 41st Coast Artillery was again activated, at Fort Hase, Territory of Hawaii, where it served until being disbanded on 25 May 1944. It was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Streamer without inscription for its role in World War II. At that time, it was retired from the roles of the regular Army and incorporated into the Hawaiian Department.

On 28 June 1950, the unit was reconstituted on the inactive roles of the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 41st Field Artillery Group. The group was activated on 18 January 1952 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Vietnam War, 1965 - 1972

In April 1967, the 41st Field Artillery Group was deployed to the Republic of Vietnam. There it participated in 9 campaigns: Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970. On 15 November 1969, the 41st Field Artillery Group was inactivated in the Republic of Vietnam and its colors were returned to the United States.

On 15 March 1972, the unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 41st Field Artillery Group, and activated in Babenhausen, Germany. The unit was redesignated as the 41st Field Artillery Brigade on 16 June 1982, and was assigned to V Corps Artillery. On 1 September 1986, the 41st Field Artillery was authorized the distinctive unit designation "Railgunners" in honor of its origin in the Railway Coast Artillery.

Although the 41st Field Artillery Brigade headquarters did not deploy to southwest Asia for Operation Desert Shield or Operation Desert Storm, two Bbattalions of the Brigade, 1st Battalion, 27th Field Artillery (MLRS) and the 3rd Battalion, 20th Field Arillery (155mm), proudly served under the 42nd Field Artillery Brigade.

V Corps' 41st Field Artillery Brigade from Babenhausen, Germany launched its main weapon, the Multiple Launch Rocket System on 16 March 2000 in Grafenwoehr, Germany. The exercise, named Railgunner XV, allowed the 41st Field Artillery Brigade to test the MLRS in the most real-life way since the system's beginning in 1984. The 41st Field Artillery Brigade's primary unit, 1st5 Battalion, 27th Field Artillery, fired its MLRS 2 or 3 times a year, but in previous training, it had always been from a fixed position. Fixed firing allowed the weapon system to be tested, but did not make the soldier think like he would on the battlefield.

For the first time, the 41st Field Artillery Brigade had approximately 500 meters to maneuver the MLRS. Soldiers had to think and react as if they were in war, and they took advantage of the opportunity.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM - I, 2003

In 2003, the Brigade deployed with V Corps to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following their service in Iraq, the unit was inactivated in Germany on 15 July 2005.

On 28 March 2006, the unit was redsignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 41st Fires Brigade and on 16 April, 2007was reactivated at Fort Hood, Texas. The 41st Fires Brigade included the Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1 Battalion, 21st Field Artillery, 2 Battalion, 20th Field Artillery, "A" Battery, 26th Field Artillery (Target Acquisition), 589th Brigade Support Battalion, and the 324th Signal Company (Network Support). Assigned to III Corps, the 41st Fires Brigade established a relationship supporting the 1st Cavalry Division, also based at Fort Hood, Texas.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM VI, 2008 - 2010

As January 2008 began, the 41st Fires Brigade was trained and ready, serving as a contingency expeditionary force with a prepare-to-deploy-order mission, providing lethal and nonlethal fires and fire support anywhere in the world. Then in late January, the Brigade received a change in mission, directing the unit to deploy to Wasit Province as a battlespace owning brigade serving as a brigade combat team in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Brigade reorganized, trained at home station and in 28 May 2008, began to deploy personnel and equipmentto Iraq for the third time. Arriving in Wasit, the Brigade served under the 10th Mountain Division and Multi-National Division-Central.

On 16 October, 2008 the 41st Fires Brigade, still deployed to Iraq, was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division with full Administrative Control (ADCON) and Training and Readiness Authority (TRA).

On 03 August 2009, in a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Delta, members of the 41st Fires Brigade transferred responsibility of coalition operations in Wasit province, to the 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade For the Soldiers of the 41st FB, the ceremony marked the end of a 15-month deployment that has spanned the transition from counter insurgency to nation building.

Operation IRAQI DRAWDOWN, 2009 - 2010


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Operation NEW DAWN, 2010 - 2012

20th Field Artillery Regiment Cannon Salute

Brigadier General Terence J. Hildner, a highly-decorated officer who received the Bronze Star Medal for combat heroism, died 03 Febuary 2012 in Kabul of apparent natural causes. BG Hildner, the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) commanding general, was the highest ranking officer to die in Afghanistan.

On 09 February, the family and friends of Brigadier General Hildner joined Fort Hood leaders at the base of the III Corps flagpole as the the 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade conducted a cannon salute of 11 rounds in his honor. The cannon salute is a traditional courtesy bestowed upon a general officer following his or her death. The number of rounds fired is associated with their rank.


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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 01 May '12 SpellChecked