68th Chemical Company
Organizational Legacy
"Let us rule the battle by means of the elements"

  "Chemical Corps Song"  
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United States Army Band - Ft. Meyer, VA.

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Edgewood Chemical Defense Institure, Aberdeen Prpoving Grounds

Battalion Distinctive Unit Insignia


The 1st Cavalry Division, a major subordinate command of the US Third Mobile Armored Corps, is a 19,000 soldier, heavy armored division stationed at Ft. Hood, TX. As one of the two "on-call" heavy contingency force divisions of the Army, the First Team has an on-order mission to deploy by sea, air or land to any part of the world on a short notice. The following narratives, divided in timeline eras of major operational missions, describes the threat environment, tactical conditions, evolution of equipment technology and the strategic methodology employed by one of the subnorate units of the Artillery Command, the 68th Chemival Company whose accomplishments and and the honors they achieved are summarized in the sections that follow.

On 16 May 1942, the 68th Chemical Company was constituted as the 68th Chemical Smoke Generator Company. The Unit was activated on 01 June, at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland and was assigned for specialized training at Camp Haan, California.

The association of the 68th Chemical with the 1st Cavalry Division began on 01 July 1977, when the 68th Chemical Company was redesignated the 68th Chemical Company (NBC Defense) and reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. Following a long series of assignments, as described in the sections thst follow - the 68th Chemical Company, Artillery Command, was inactivated at Ft. Hood, TX. on 15 July 2005 as part of task of reorganizing and realigning its manpower and equipment resources into the Army Matrix of Modular Forces.


The mission of the 68th Chemical Company is, on order, deploys and conducts Operations in support of combatant commanders or other governmental agencies to counter Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high- yield Explosives (CBRNE) threats. As sson as the threat is eradicated, on Order, the Company redeploys and prepares for future operations.

Organizational Summary:

The US Army Chemical Corps traces its history to the European battlefields of World War I. The European use of chemical weapons to break the deadlock of trench warfare led General Pershing to the creation of a Gas Service. It trained and equipped the American Expeditionary Force for defense against gas attack. The First Gas Regiment was formed and deployed to make our defense more robust and to deliver retaliatory strikes. On June 28, 1918, the War Department established the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) to manage chemical offensive and defensive programs. Recognizing that chemical warfare was a likely threat in any future conflict, Congress made the CWS a permanent branch of the Army in 1920.

During the interwar years of the 20's and 30's, the CWS conducted research and development to ensure that the Army had a credible chemical offensive capability as well as an effective defensive posture. The success of these programs helped prevent the use of chemical weapons by our adversaries in World War II. The CWS expanded its battlefield capabilities with implementation of the 4.2-inch chemical mortar and smoke generators, which delivered smoke and high explosive munitions in support of combat arms missions. The CWS also developed and deployed a family of flame and incendiary weapons systems. In 1942 the CWS undertook the responsibility for managing developments in biological, as well as, chemical warfare. After World War II, the CWS, redesignated the Chemical Corps in 1946, continued its work on improving chemical and biological offensive and defensive capabilities. In 1949 it was assigned the responsibilities of radiological warfare, giving the Chemical Corps the responsibility for Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) warfare.

Throughout the Korean War, the Corps conducted the longest duration smoke mission ever: a continuous smoke screen protected troop movements in Artillery Valley for 14 months. The 4.2 inch Chemical Mortar battalions were also employed extensively, eventually transferring the mission to the infantry in 1953.

During the Vietnam War the Corps developed and used aerial "people sniffers" to find the enemy, thickened fuel flame devices to protect firebases, herbicides to clear fields of fire and tear gas to restrict the enemy and control crowds. With the post-Vietnam demobilization, the Corps found itself in danger of abolishment; however, in light of clear signs that the Soviet Bloc was increasing its ability to employ CBRN weapons, the move never came to fruition.

The United States renounced the use of Biological Weapons in 1972 and Chemical Weapons in 1997. Despite these changes in US policy, the threat of attack by CBRN weapons remained high. Thus the Nation determined that it remained essential to maintain a substantial CBRN defensive capability.

In 1991, Operations Desert Shield and Storm were clear tests of the Chemical Corps' capability to protect Army forces from an adversary armed with Chemical and Biological weapons. Saddam Hussein's regime had a vast array of these weapons and the Chemical Corps' Herculean efforts to ensure the force was adequately prepared helped to deter Iraq from the use of chemical and biological warfare.

On 11 September, 2001, the beggining of the terrorist attacks on America and the Anthrax attacks of October 2001. The original Chemical Corp's mission to "Protect the Force" expanded. The Chemical Corps was called upon to be prepared to protect the homeland, conduct sensitive site exploitation, and to be ready to protect against a greater and ever changing list of potential threat CBRN hazards.

Chemical Corps Soldiers and Units have participated in every stage of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, conducting a variety of missions in support of national objectives, demonstrating their unmatched adaptability and dedication.

Since 1918, the proud Warriors of the US Chemical Corps have served to protect the Nation and the US Army from the threat of CBRN attack and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

The following sections is dedicated to those officers and men who have served, training and fighting, as members of the 68th Chemical Company.

This folio of material highlights of the many subsequent historical critical missions performed by members of the 68th Chemical Company, whose actions, operations and the many critical issues resolved over its 94+ years history to meet the changing threat and the honors they achieved are summarized in the following sections:

Table of Contents

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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.

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