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Why Do We Hear About the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions? Where Are the Other 99?
With so few Americans now in the military the public memory of the institution has faded. Although we hear about the exploits of this division or that division, it's unclear to most of us what different units are famous for--or even how they came by their names.
Why do there exist only the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division? Where are the other ninety-nine? Or why is there a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th and 25th Infantry division, but no 5th Infantry Division? There is a 10th Mountain Division, but what happened to the first nine? There are currently 10 active divisions in the US Army, yet their designation appears random. How and when did they receive their titles?
There exists a simple explanation for this seemingly chaotic naming system. The U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH), the Army organization charged with recording its achievements and the lineage of various army units, organizes the divisions within a hierarchy of honor, predicated upon unit age, campaign participation, and awards and decorations. This helps the Army’s leadership decide which divisions are the most historically important and therefore allowed to remain active.
A division’s history helps inspire the esprit de corps that make military personnel feel as if they are part of something larger than themselves. It instills pride. Its effect is palpable in many ways. The Army certainly subscribes to this belief. General Creighton Abrams, a commander during the Vietnam War, said the 1st Cavalry’s "Big yellow patch does something to an individual that makes him a better soldier, a better team member, and a better American than he otherwise would have been."
This statement is not surprising, as the 1st Cavalry has a long history, which serves as a wellspring of inspiration for its soldiers. It was first created in August 1917, but its component regiments were far older. Some could trace their history to the Indian Wars and included famous personalities, such as General George Armstrong Custer.
Soldiers can also attest to the power of names. When it was announced that the 1st Armored Division was slated for deactivation in the 1970’s, veterans launched an epistolary campaign to ‘save’ their division. The Army Command relented and had the 1st Armored Division replace the 4th Armored Division. This reflagging of units is common, and may appear superficial, but to many it is a successful way to preserve the most distinguished army divisions.
Why was the 1st Armored Division saved? The “Old Ironsides,” as the division is informally known, is the oldest and most prestigious armored division in the American military. Activated in July 1940, it went on to distinguish itself in Operation Torch in North Africa in 1942, Operation Husky in Italy, as well as the Anzio landing. After the war, it was the first division to integrate blacks throughout its ranks. During the Cuban Missile Crisis it performed war games on the Georgia and Florida coast. The “old Ironsides” was no longer just another military division, but living history.
Only a few divisions, such as the 1st, 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions have served continuously since their activation. All three divisions were first mobilized in 1917, and have served ever since. The 1st Infantry Division, called the “Big Red One” by its admirers (because its insignia is a large red number one), was paraded through the streets of Paris to bolster French morale on July 4, 1917. At this juncture, an officer of General Pershing’s staff announced “Lafayette, we are here!” at the dead man’s tomb. The “Big Red One” was the first American unit to fight in WWI and was among the first to fight Germany in WWII when it participated in the invasion of North Africa in 1942. Later, the unit was the first to storm Omaha Beach during Operation Overlord. The carnage was prodigious, but the soldiers persevered and took the beachhead. Their pluck is best exemplified by the words of Colonel George Taylor, commander of the 16th Infantry Regt., who told his men just before their landing, "Two kinds of people are staying on this beach! The dead and those who are going to die! Now, let's get the hell out of here!"
The 3rd Division earned its nickname “Rock of the Marne” when it withstood the ferocious German offensive at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918. Other units collapsed or retreated, but the 3rd remained and blocked the German path to Paris, and thus, victory. The “Rock of the Marne” again displayed its tenacity and bravery in WWII, where it was the sole American division to boast 531 continuous days of fighting.
The 4th Infantry Division, or “Ivy” Division, has also served almost nine decades. Its sobriquet is a pun on the Latin word for four, and that the ivy is a symbol for fidelity and fortitude. It fought in France during the last four months of WWI and in the next world war it was the first to assail the German defenses on Utah beach. In the month-long fighting in Normandy, the division lost 5,000 men.
Nonetheless, decades of uninterrupted existence are exceptional in the American military. Until recently there was a consensus within the American polity that standing armies were a hallmark of European statism and deleterious to liberty. Until the early 20th century, units were formed at the state level the central government maintained a bare bones army. The peacetime army was small (in 1914 it was just 18th largest in the world--smaller than Romania's). Although the Civil War and the two world wars demonstrated America’s ability to create and sustain large, continental armies, they were quickly disbanded after victory. It was only after the onset of the Cold War that American demobilization was halted and then reversed. It is only recently that the historical worth of American units has been cherished and apotheosized. Before, a unit would be deactivated and would only be reactivated when another war erupted.
This was the fate of many divisions and regiments in the American army. The Second Infantry Division was activated in 1917, fought in both world wars, and also in the Korean War before it was deactivated. Later, it was reactivated to counter North Korean aggression along the DMZ. The famous 82nd Airborne followed a similar pattern. It was first formed in 1917, when the US prepared to fight Germany. The unit was given the moniker “All American” because it included soldiers from all 48 states. It served with distinction in the Great War. Feats such as Alvin C. York and his small squad capturing 132 German prisoners and silencing several machine gun nests are emblematic of the division’s excellence.
The 82nd infantry division was demobilized after WWI, only to be reactivated again in March 1942 and converted into an airborne division. The division’s first jumps were into Salerno and Sicily in 1943. After fighting in Anzio, the division earned the nickname “the devils in baggy pants,” which was how the opposing German general described them in his diary. The division made other jumps, later in the war, and would fight in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait and Iraq.
The 101st Airborne was the second airborne unit in the army, and shares an equally distinguished history. The Screaming Eagles, as it is colloquially known, is a young division, being created in 1942. Its first commander, Major General William C. Lee, admitted that the unit had “no history,” but promised it “a rendezvous with destiny.” It went on to serve with distinction in the war. Despite losing a quarter of its men when it launched its airborne invasion of Normandy, it continued to fight. An example of its tenacity was its refusal to surrender the town of Bastogne, which was enveloped by Germany’s Ardennes offensive in December 1944 (popularly known as the Battle of the Bulge). On the fifth day of the siege, the Wehrmacht sent emissaries demanding the surrender of the division and the city. General McAuliffe, the acting commander, replied “Nuts!” and continued to defend the town for over a week before being relieved by Patton’s Third Army.
The two airborne divisions were created after the world was awed by the feats of German and Soviet paratroopers. The 10th Mountain Division was inspired by another European innovation. The Winter War between Finland and the USSR in 1939-1940 witnessed Finnish soldiers, equipped with skis and winter camouflage, decimate the Soviet invaders. Tiny Finland defied the might of the Soviet Union. Charles “Minnie” Dole, a ski enthusiast, persuaded General George C. Marshall, the Army Chief of Staff, to train mountain troops. The 10th Infantry Division was converted into the 10th Mountain Division in 1943. The 10th entered combat in 1945 and fought the Germans in the mountains of Italy, where they fought high altitude battles against elite German mountain troops. In the Battle of Riva Ridge, the 10th scaled the 1,500 foot ridge, which was previously deemed impossible, to outflank their adversaries. Later, near Castel d’Aiano, John D. McGrath and his company were pinned by heavy German fire. Instead of seeking cover, McGrath sprinted towards a nearby house and confronted two German machine gunners, capturing one and killing the other. He then killed and captured five more Germans who emerged from a nearby foxhole. He neutralized another German position by killing two soldiers and capturing three. McGrath is the 10th’s sole winner of a Medal of Honor.
Important as history is to the military, it's getting in the way of the transformation of the institution. The emphasis in the future will be on smaller units instead of large divisions. In the words of Maj. Gen. J. D. Thurman, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division. "We will tailor our units under modularity to transition and transform the force from a divisional-based army to a brigade-based Army. We are literally pushing down assets to make brigades more autonomous."
This change was precipitated by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and reflects the military’s effort to adapt to the Global War on Terror (GWOT). The army is restructuring itself from a division based force (there are approximately 15,000 men in a division) to a brigade based force (around 3,000 men). It is hoped the latter will be more flexible, and more deployable than the cumbrous Cold War army. The goal is to have brigades capable of deploying anywhere in the world within 96 hours, fighting immediately, and being self-sustaining for 3 to 7 days. The Army’s restructuring plan, termed Objective Force, plans modularizing the old divisions. This is army-speak for allowing divisional commanders to use brigades from different divisions.
This recent change has been called the “most significant Army restructuring in the past 50 years,” and may render divisions almost meaningless. American divisions are not only organizations to fight American battles, but are also organisms of living history. The Army, operating through the CMH, takes pride in the traditions and glorious past of these units and their presence will continue to be felt even as they are dissolved and changed. In this way, the obscure names of army divisions are, to paraphrase Max Weber, part of the half-forgotten past that will continue to haunt our society.
82nd Airborne Division History
The 82nd Division was activated at Camp Gordon, Georgia, on 25 August 1917. It was one of the National Army divisions of conscript soldiers. As the Division filled, it was discovered there were soldiers from every state. Through a popular contest, the nickname "All American" was chosen to reflect the unique composition of the 82nd Division.
On 25 April 1918, the Division sailed for Europe. The 325th Infantry Regiment was chosen to parade before the King of England on 11 May 1918 to show America's commitment to the Allies. Early in June 1918 the 82nd sent small groups of officers and noncommissioned officers to the British held Somme sector of the front to gain experience in small unit operations. During one such action, Captain Jewett Wiliams of the 326th Infantry Regiment became the first 82nd Division soldier to give his life in combat.
On 16 June 1918, the 82nd Division moved by train from its location in Somme to Toul, France. Since the Division had moved into a French sector, the troops were issued French Chauchat automatic rifles and Hotchkiss 8mm machineguns, thus making resupply easier.
The Division's assignment was to relieve the 26th Division in the Lagney Sector, northeast of Toul. That section of the western front was known as the Woevre Front. The mission was conducted on 25 June 1918. Although the area was considered a defensive sector, the 82nd Division actively patrolled and conducted raids. The first large scale raid by the Division occurred on 4 August 1918 when companies K and M of the 326th Infantry Regiment, supported by the 320th Machine Gun Battalion, attacked German positions at Flirey and penetrated over 600 meters. The raid was small compared to the operations the Division would soon conduct, but it provided valuable experience. On 18 July 1918, the sector was reduced and redesignated Lucey at which time command was given to the 82nd Division. On 10 August 1918, the 82nd Division was relieved by the 89th Division, and moved to the area west of Toul.
The 82nd Division was ordered to relieve the 2nd Division in the Marbache Sector on 15 August 1918. The Division trained in this area until 11 September 1918. On 12 September 1918, the Division was committed to the St. Mihiel Offensive. After completing its mission the 82nd was once again stationed in the Marbache Sector from 17-20 September 1918. On 20 September 1918, the 82nd Division was relieved at the front and moved to Marbache to prepare for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, ending its participation in the Lorraine Campaign.
The Allies had planned 2 large offensive operations for the fall of 1918 that would reduce German pockets of resistance in France. One of these was the St. Mihiel salient, which penetrated nearly 25 kilometers into Allied lines, and severed the Verdun-Toul railroad. The French had been trying to dislodge the Germans from the salient since 1914, but had been unsuccessful. It was hoped that the arrival of the American divisions would turn the tide.
To reduce the St. Mihiel salient, the American First Army was formed with the I, IV, and V Corps, for a combined total of 665,000 troops. The 82nd Division was assigned to the I Corps, and was placed on the far right flank on the south side of the salient. Its mission was to make contact and keep pressure on the enemy. On 12 September 1918 the First Army began its attack. The main thrust of the 82nd was on the west bank of the Moselle River heading north to Norroy. Throughout 14 September 1918, the German artillery shelled the area with high explosives and mustard gas, but the 82nd Division held. On 15 September 1918, the Division continued the attack, entering Vandieres and securing Hill 128 to the north. The 82nd Division was relieved on 21 September 1918. Heavy casualties had been caused by enemy artillery. Overall casualties for the Division numbered more than 800 for the St. Mihiel offensive. Colonel Emory Pike, who died of wounds received during the operation, earned the Medal of Honor for his actions, making him the first member of the 82nd Division to be decorated with the nation's highest military award.
The second large-scale offensive planned by the Allies for the fall of 1918 was aimed at reducing German positions in the Meuse River Valley and the Argonne Forest. The key objective was the Carigan-Sedan-Mezieres railroad, which was a vital enemy supply line. On 6 October 1918, the 82nd Division was ordered to clear the east edge of the Argonne to relive pressure on the 1st Division. The following day, the 164th Brigade seized its first 2 objectives, Hill 180 and Hill 223. On 10 October 1918, the 163rd Brigade joined the fight and by evening the Division held Cornay, high ground to the north, a portion of the Decauville Railroad, and had cleared the eastern half of the Argonne Forest.
The second phase of the 82nd's operation called for the Division to fight astride the Aire River. Moving north, the 82nd Division captured St. Juvin on 14 October 1918 and defended it against a heavy counter-attack the following day. For the next few days the 82nd was involved in fighting in the Agron River Valley and the Ravin aux Pierres. By 21 October 1918 the Division had both in its possession. For the next several days the Division patrolled and manned outposts. During its service in the Meuse-Argonne, the 82nd had suffered over 7,000 casualties and had another Medal of Honor recipient, Corporal Alvin York of G Company, 328th Infantry Regiment. The 82nd Division was relieved in the Argonne on 1 November 1918, thus ending its combat participation in the Great War.
The 82nd Division was demobilized on 27 May 1919, but was reconstituted on 24 June 1921. The Division Headquarters was organized at Columbia, South Carolina, in January 1922. The 82nd formed part of the new Organized Reserves. Elements of the Division were located in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. On 30 January 1942, the 82nd Division was renamed the 82nd Infantry Division.
Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 brought the United States to war again. The 82nd Infantry Division was called to active duty on 25 March 1942 with Major General Omar Bradley as commander and Brigadier General Matthew Ridgway as assistant commander. At Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, the Division was organized as a triangular division, built around 3 infantry regiments. Alvin York was invited to visit the Division to build esprit-de-corps. A Division song was even written for the occasion. In June 1942, Ridgway succeeded Bradley in command of the 82nd Infantry Division.
Due to its high level of training, the 82nd Infantry Division was designated the US Army's first airborne division. The 82nd was reorganized and redesignated the 82nd Airborne Division on 15 August 1942. The original organization called for one parachute infantry regiment and 2 glider infantry regiments. On 1 October 1942 the 82nd moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where training continued and final organizational changes were made. The final structure contained the 504th and 505th Parachute Infantry Regiments, the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, 319th and 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalions, 376th and 456th Parachute Field Artillery Battalions, 80th Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battalion, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, and various support units.
In April 1943, the 82nd departed Fort Bragg and eventually arrived at Casablanca, Morocco, on 10 May 1943. Shortly, the 82nd Airborne Division moved to Oujda where intense training was conducted for the invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky. The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel James Gavin, was chosen to spearhead the assault. The 505th Parachute Infantry was reinforced with the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. On 9 July 1943, Gavin's 505th Combat Team conducted the first American regimental combat parachute assault in the vicinity of Gela, Sicily.
The paratroopers were widely scattered, but were able to gather into small groups to harass the enemy. Colonel Gavin formed one group on Biazza Ridge where the Herman Goering Division was stopped before reaching the newly established American beachhead at Gela. On the evening of 11 July 1943, the remainder of the 504th Parachute Infantry parachuted into Sicily. Passing over the American fleet, the transports were mistaken for enemy bombers and 23 were shot down. Eighty-one troopers were killed, including the assistant division commander, Brigadier General Charles Keerans. The 82nd Airborne Division continued its fighting in Sicily by leading Patton's westward drive to Trapani and Castellmare. In 5 days, the Division moved 150 miles and took 23,000 prisoners.
On 9 September 1943, General Clark's Fifth Army launched Operation Avalanche with an amphibious landing at Salerno, Italy. Several operations had been planned for the 82nd Airborne, including a drop on Rome, but were cancelled. Within 4 days the Allied beachhead was in trouble. General Clark sent an urgent request to General Ridgway who was in Sicily with the 82nd Airborne. On 13 September 1943, Colonel Reuben Tucker led his 504th combat team (minus 3rd battalion) on a parachute assault at Paestum, south of Salerno. On 14 September 1943, the 505th Parachute Infantry jumped. The paratroopers were rushed to the front line where they engaged the enemy in the rugged hills and drove them back. On 15 September 1943, the 25th Infantry and 3/504th Parachute Infantry conducted an amphibious landing near Salerno. Throughout September and October the 82nd conducted operations in the Salerno/Naples area. The 82nd Airbrone was the first unit to enter Naples. The Division advanced north to the Volturno River, cleared the area of the enemy, and became the first unit to set sail for England, via Ireland, to prepare for the invasion of Normandy.
The 504th Parachute Infantry, meanwhile, continued fighting in the Venafro sector of Italy until being relieved on 27 December 1943. By 22 January 1944, the 504th Combat Team was back in action as part of Fifth Army's amphibious assault at Anzio during Operation Shingle. The 504th Parachute Infantry took up positions on the right flank of the beachhead along the Mussolini Canal. 3/504th Parachute Infantry was committed to fighting in the northern sector where it earned a Presidential Unit Citation for actions in the town of Aprilia. While operating along the Mussolini Canal, a German officer noted in his diary, "American parachutists -- devils in baggy pants --- are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere." The 504th Parachute Infantry encountered elements of the Herman Goering Division, the 16th SS Panzer Granadier Division, and the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division. The 504th Parachute Infantry was finally withdrawn from Anzio on 25 March 1944 and set sail for England to join the Division once again.
While the 82nd Airborne was in England, a decision was made to add a parachute regiment to the airborne divisions for the upcoming invasion of Normandy. With the 504th still in Italy, 2 regiments were needed. The 2nd Airborne Brigade, containing the 507th and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiments, was sent from Fort Bragg to join the Division. Early in the morning of 6 June 1944, the 505th Parachute Infantry, 507th Parachute Infantry, and 508th Parachute Infantry, along with artillery and engineers, parachuted into Normandy to being Operation Neptune, the assault phase of Overlord. The mission of the Division was to seize the town of St. Mere Eglise and crossings over the Merderet River. By dawn, the 505th Parachute Infantry had secured St. Mere Eglise and a bridge over the Merderet at La Fiere. Gliders carrying the 325th Glider Infantry and antitank guns began to arrive and join the fighting. Some of the heaviest fighting occurred on 9 June 1943 as the Division seized the causeway at La Fiere. During the action, PFC Charles DeGlopper of C Company, 325th Glider Infantry, earned the Medal of Honor. The 82nd Airborne continued fighting in Normandy for 33 days, leading the Allied advance west across the base of the Cotentin Peninsula. The Division earned the Presidential Unit Citation, 2 French Croix de Guerre, and the French Fourragere of the Croix de Guerre. The 82nd Airborne was relieved in Normany on 8 July and returned to England to prepare for future airborne operations.
On the afternoon of 17 September 1944, the 82nd conducted its fourth parachute assault, this time into Holland as part of Operation Market Garden. The Division's objectives were to seize bridges over the Maas and Waal Rivers, and hold the high ground between Nijmegen and Groesbeek. The 504th Parachute Infantry was returned to the 82nd and the 507th Parachute Infantry departed. The 508th Parachute Infantry remained with the 82nd Airborne. The majority of the drops were on target and assembly was rapid. The bridge over the Maas River at Grave was captured on 17 September 1944. On 20 September 1944, the 505th Parachute Infantry launched an attack through Nijmegen to capture the south end of the bridge over the Waal River. The 504th Parachute Infantry, with C Company, 307th Engineers, launched a simultaneous attack across the river to capture the north end of the bridge. The first wave suffered 50 percent casualties, but captured its objective. On 21 September 1944, Private John Towle of C Company, 504th Parachute Infantry, single handedly broke up an enemy counter attack consisting of 100 men and 2 tanks. For his actions, Towle received the Medal of Honor. After 56 days of combat in Holland, the 82nd was relieved on 11 November 1944 and sent to rest camps near Rheims, France.
On 16 December 1944, lead elements of a German offensive broke through the American line in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium. The only reserve forces available were the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The 82nd was alerted on 17 December 1944 and by the next evening was in Webermont, Belgium, on the northern shoulder of the bulge created by the enemy attack. On the morning of 19 December 1944, the 82nd Airborne took up defensive positions along the Salm River. There, the 82nd stopped Von Runstedt's armored offensive. In the fierce fighting of the Battle of the Bulge, 1st Sergeant Leonard Funk of C Company, 508th Parachute Infantry, earned the Medal of Honor.
The 82nd was on the offensive by January 1945. The Division moved through Belgium and the Hurtgen Forest, penetrated the Seigfried Line, and arrived at the Roer River by February 1945. On 30 April 1945, the 82nd Airborne conducted its last combat operation of World War II with an assault crossing of the Elbe River near Bleckede, Germany. On 2 May 1945, Major General Gavin accepted the surrender of 150,000 troops of the German 21st Army. On the same day, troopers of the Division liberated survivors of the Woebbelin Concentration Camp. After 6 campaigns spanning 442 days in combat, the war was over for the 82nd.
From August to December 1945, the 82nd conducted occupation duty in Berlin, Germany. There, while being reviewed by General George Patton, the 82nd Airborne Division received its title "America's Guard of Honor." In January 1946, the 82nd returned to the United State aboard the Queen Mary and led the victory parade in New York City on 12 January 1946.
On 19 January 1946, the 82nd Airborne returned to Fort Bragg and began training for the uncertain Cold War years. The 82nd Airborne became a strategic deployment force as it trained for a variety of conditions and tested new airplanes with greater capacity and range. In 1948, the 82nd Airborne was allotted to the Regular Army, ensuring its active status.
In 1957, the 82nd Airborne underwent reorganization for the Pentomic structure. The Division consisted of 5 Airborne Battle Groups that were capable of independent operations on a nuclear battlefield. Fortunately, that concept did not have to be tested in a real war. In 1964, the 82nd Airborne was again reorganized under the ROAD concept, which called for 3 brigades of infantry, each with 3 battalions, and a brigade of artillery with 3 battalions, plus the usual division support elements. Life in the 82nd during the 1950s and 1960s consisted of intensive training exercises in all environments and locations to include Alaska, Panama, the Far East and the continental United States.
When President Kennedy came to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to inspect the Division for a check on its state of readiness and to get a briefing on the air-mobility tests, the Commander divided the Division into 5 groups, each group in a different uniform to show how versatile the division was to take on assignments in any part of the globe. One group was in standard fatigues, ready to fight in Europe. A second group was in jungle camouflage fatigues, ready to deploy to Vietnam. A third group was in desert camouflage fatigues, ready to go to a desert operation. A fourth group was in winter uniforms, similar to those used during the Korean War. The fifth group was dressed in white ski suits and carried skis, showing that we were ready to fight in the Arctic. It was a hot day and those dressed in jungle or desert suits were quite comfortable. However, the groups dressed in winter clothing were very uncomfortable.
In 1965 the 82nd Airborne was able to test the ROAD concept in combat. On 29 April 1965 the 3rd Brigade (1st and 2nd Battalions, 505th Parachute Infantry and 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry) was alerted for deployment to the Dominican Republic in Operation Powerpack. The Brigade arrived on 30 April 1965 and secured the Duarte Bridge over the Ozama. A link up was conducted with Marines in Santo Domingo and a corridor was established to isolate the rebel forces. An attack was launched by rebel forces on 15 June 1965, but was stopped by the 82nd after 2 days of heavy fighting. Most of the Division returned home by late summer 1965. The 1st Brigade remained to maintain order. By 21 September 1966, the last elements redeployed to Fort Bragg.
The 1960s were a turbulent decade. The 82nd Airborne sent small contingents to the Congo in 1964 and 1967. The Division also participated in several civil disturbance operations. The largest were in Detroit in 1967 and in Washington, DC, in 1968.
With the Tet Offensive in Vietnam during February 1968, additional US troops were needed in a hurry. On 14 February 1968, the 3rd Brigade deployed to Vietnam in Operation All American. The Brigade arrived at Chu Lai and moved north to Phu Bai near Hue. In March 1968, the 3rd Brigade troopers fought alongside the 101st Airborne in Operation Carentan I. The Brigade conducted combat operations for 22 months, fighting along Highway 1, the Song Bo River, Hue, and Saigon. In September 1969, the Brigade conducted its last combat operation in Vietnam, Operation Yorktown Victor, in the so-called iron triangle. The 3rd Brigade returned to Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne on 12 December 1969.
During the 1970s, the 82nd Airborne was alerted several times and Division units deployed to the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Greece for exercises in potential future battlegrounds. An antitank task force armed with the new TOW missile deployed to Vietnam in the spring of 1972. Other alerts such as the Middle East crisis of 1973, the Zaire hostage crisis of 1978, and the Iran hostage situation of 1979, did not see the 82nd Airborne deploy. The 82nd Airborne was, however, the first US Army unit to participate in the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping mission in the Sinai in March 1982.
On 25 October 1983, the combat capabilities of the 82nd were put to the test again in Operation Urgent Fury to rescue American students and prevent revolution on the Caribbean Island of Grenada. The Division conducted air-land operations at Point Salines Airfield on the south side of the island. Fighting lasted several days as the 82nd encountered the People's Revolutionary Army and Cuban forces. Using aviation assets, the 82nd Airborne rescued students on the Lance aux Epines peninsula and captured General Hudson Austin, commander of the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces. The last 82nd Airborne elements returned to Fort Bragg on 12 December 1983.
On 17 March 1988, the 1/504th Parachute Infantry airlanded in Honduras as part of Golden Pheasant, an exercise designed to ensure regional security. The 2/504th Parachute Infantry parachuted in the next day. The exercise provided a show of support for Honduras and tested the rapid deployment capabilities of the 82nd Airborne. The deployment was billed a joint training exercise, but the paratroopers were ready to fight. The deployment of armed and willing paratroopers to the Honduran countryside caused the Sandinistas to withdraw back to Nicaragua.
On 20 December 1989, the All American Division conducted its first combat parachute assault since World War II. The 82nd parachuted into Torrijos Airport, Panama, in Operation Just Cause to oust a dictator and restore a duly elected government. Armored vehicles, the M551 Sheridan, were parachuted into combat for the first time. Airmobile operations were conducted against Fort Cimmarron, Tinajitas, and Panama Viejo. The 1st Brigade Task Force was made up of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. In Panama, the paratroopers were joined on the ground by 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which was already in Panama. After the night combat jump and seizure of the airport, the 82nd conducted follow-on combat air assault missions in Panama City and the surrounding areas. The Division moved to Panama City where it took part in the attack against Noriega's headquarters and his eventual surrender. The last elements of the 82nd Airborne returned home on 12 January 1990.
It was not long before the 82nd was back in combat again. On 2 August 1990, Iraqi armor and troops rolled into Kuwait. The 82nd deployed on 8 August 1990 in Operation Desert Shield. Standing across the border from the Iraqi tanks, the 82nd Airborne drew a line in the sand with its light M551 Sheridans, TOW missiles, and AH-64A Apache helicopters. The United States assembled an allied coalition of forces and committed to the largest military deployment since Vietnam. The first unit to deploy to Saudi Arabia was a task force comprising the Division's 2nd Brigade. Soon after, the rest of the Division followed. There, intensive training began in anticipation of fighting in the desert with the heavily armored Iraqi Army. The adage, or battle cry picked up by the paratroopers was, "The road home. is through Baghdad." Air strikes against Iraq began on 16 January 1991.
On 24 February 1991, the ground phase of the war, Operation Desert Storm, began. The 82nd Airborne conducted airmobile and mounted operations on the allied left flank, penetrating deep into Iraq. The vehicle mounted 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers protected the XVIII Airborne Corps flank as fast-moving armor and mechanized units moved deep inside Iraq. A 2nd Brigade Task Force was attached to the 6th French Light Armored Division becoming the far left flank of the Corps. In the short 100-hour ground war, the vehicle mounted 82nd drove deep into Iraq and captured thousands of Iraqi soldiers and tons of equipment, weapons and ammunition. With its mission complete, the 82nd Airborne began to deploy home on 7 March 1991. By April 1991, the entire Division was back at Fort Bragg.
Following the Division's return and subsequent victory parades, the troopers began to re-establish some of the systems that had become dormant during their eight months in the desert. On top of the list was the regaining of individual and unit airborne proficiency and the continuation of tough and realistic training. In August 1992, the Division was alerted to deploy a task force to the hurricane-ravaged area of South Florida and provide humanitarian assistance following Hurricane Andrew. For more than 30 days, Division troopers provided food, shelter and medical attention to a grateful Florida population, instilling a sense of hope and renewed confidence in the military.
Early in the evening of 18 September 1994, nearly 3,000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division were enroute to Haiti to launch Operation Restore Democracy. Aviation elements were already deployed to the nearby island of Great Inauga. Elements of the 3/73rd Armor were waiting aboard ships off the coast. When Haitian leaders heard the 82nd Airborne Division was on the way, a peace agreement was reached, and the 82nd Airborne was recalled. From 26 September to 25 October 1994, elements of the 3/73rd Armor supported peacekeeping operations in Haiti.
82nd Airborne Division paratroopers were among the first ground troops sent into the war-torn Kosovo region of the Balkans in Summer 1999, when the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment moved in from neighboring Macedonia. They were followed shortly by the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, who themselves were followed by the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment in January 2001 as part of regular peacekeeping operation rotations.
When America was attacked on 11 September 2001, President George W. Bush called upon the American military to fight global terrorism. Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division deployed to Afghanistan and the Central Command Area of Responsibility to support combat operations.
In June 2002 the 82nd Airborne's Task Force Panther, comprised of elements from the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and other 82nd units, deployed to the Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Task Force Devil, comprised of the 504th Parachute Infantry and other 82nd elements, replaced Task Force Panther in January 2003, where they maintained the Division's mission.
In February of 2003, the 2nd Brigade, deployed along with the Division Headquarters to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division was the theater reserve, available to employ deep in Iraq, specifically Baghdad. The 82nd could jump or fly into Baghdad to restore order and demonstrate a coalition presence if Saddam's government fled or imploded. In the meantime its presence in the theater gave Saddam another problem to contemplate. The Division conducted sustained combat operations throughout Iraq and the CENTCOM area of operations.
In May 2003 the Division Headquarters returned to Fort Bragg. The 2nd Brigade remained in Iraq attached to the 1st Armored Division and continued to conduct combat operations. The Division Headquarters along with the 3rd Brigade and elements of the 82nd DIVARTY, 82nd DISCOM, 82nd Aviation Brigade, and separate battalions returned to Iraq in August of 2003 to continue command and control over combat operations in and around Baghdad.
In January 2004 the 1st Brigade deployed to conduct combat operations in OIF. The 2nd Brigade redeployed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in February 2004. The Division Headquarters was relieved by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Division in March of 2004 and the remaining 82nd forces in Iraq redeployed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina by the end of April 2004. For the first time in 2 years all of the Division's units were returned to home station.
In September of 2004, the 82nd's DRF-1, 1-505th Parachute Infantry was deployed to support OEF 6 in support of JTF-76 and the Afghnistan elections. The TF redeployed in October 2004.
In December 2004, the 82nd's 1-17th Cavalry, TF 2-325 and TF 3-325 deployed to Iraq in support of the Iraqi national elections. They started their redeployment to Fort Bragg in March 2005.
In July of 2005, the 82nd's TF 1-325 and slice elements deployed to Afghanistan in support of the Afghanistan national elections. They started their redeployment to Fort Bragg in November of 2005.
In September 2005, the 82nd TF 2-325 and TF 3-504 deployed to Iraq in support of the Iraqi national elections.
On 15 January 2006, as part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, the composition of the 82nd Airborne was changed. The most noticable changes as a product of the modular transformation were the changes in the relationship between support elements at division and brigade levels, and the addition of a 4th Brigade Combat Team to the Division's structure. The 82nd Airborne Division inactivated its Division Artillery (DIVARTY) and Division Support Command (DISCOM). DISCOM and other assets (engineer, military intelligence, military police, and signal) habitually assigned to the line brigades were activated as organic support elements either in reorganized Brigade Support Battalions or Brigade Special Troops Battalions. Additional assets were passed to the Division Special Troops Battalion and the 82nd Sustainment Brigade. The 82nd Aviation Brigade was also reorganized and redesignated as the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. The 82nd Soldier Support Battalion was also reorganized as part of the shift.
In late 2006 elements of the 82nd Airborne Division again deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with another deployment coming in January 2007.
In May 2008 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division was announced along with other units as part of a planned series of rotations to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 3rd Brigade Combat Team subsequently deployed to Iraq in late 2008.
82nd Field Artillery Regiment
The United States Artillery can be traced back to the Military Company of Massachusetts, which was chartered in 1638, and with other colonial artillery companies formed what became the Continental Artillery. More than a century later, in April 1775, the legislature authorized the formation of an artillery regiment. This unit was first commanded by Colonel Richard Gridley, a former British artillery officer who later was replaced by Colonel Henry Knox. Colonel Knox eventually became the Chief of Artillery and is credited with shaping artillery tactics for the remainder of the Revolution.
The continued utilization of technical innovations throughout their history has enabled the artillery to be a decisive threat to destroy, neutralize, or suppress the enemy. Not since the formulation of gunpowder by the Chinese, two technical innovations faced the artillerymen rifling and breech loading. To the forward looking military arsenal manufacturer, their utility was not in doubt – but the engineering of a reliable design and integrating the geometry of the ammunition into the cannon had many problems. You may be interested in reading about the technical and contractual problems of one such early pioneer, “The Free Enterprise Patriot”, who expended many years in building and testing a prototype, but was unable to supply a timely design to the Colonial Army hence their introduction was delayed until the Civil War Period.
From the historical battlefields of Yorktown and Gettysburg, through the Western Plains, Mexican and Spanish American Wars, the artillery was always there. In fact, the nickname, “Redlegs”, comes from that era when artillery uniforms had a 2-inch red stripe on their trousers and horse artillery men wore red canvas leggings. Continuing through the modern days of the European and Asian Theaters of WWII, the Pusan Perimeter in Korea, the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam, to the “Steel Rain” of Desert Storm, “Redlegs” have served with distinction and valor in all of our country’s armed conflicts.
The 82nd Field Artillery (Horse) Regiment traces its ancestry back to the famous “First Dragoons”, the original Regiment of the US Army. Because of the “dragon” or short musket, so called from the dragons head worked on the muzzle, the “First Dragoons” represented a type of fighting force, both unique and effective, for their service could be employed as mounted or dismounted troops. From the “First Dragoons” was formed the “First Cavalry” which in turn became the mother of the 24th Cavalry.
In preparation for the formation of the 24th Cavalry, the units currently known as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 82nd Field Artillery was constituted on 01 July 1916, in the Regular Army of the United States as “A” “B”, “C”, “D”, “E” and “F” Troops, 24th Cavalry. At a later time period, 01 June, 1917, the unit that would later be known as the 5th Battalion 82nd Field Artillery was constituted in the Regular Army of the United States as “I” and “K” Troops, 24th Cavalry.
The 24th Cavalry was organized on 5 June 1917, with one third of the officers and enlisted men coming from the old First Cavalry. Subsequently, on 01 November 1917, the 24th Cavalry was reorganized as the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment at Fort D.A. Russell. The total strength of the 82nd FA Regiment was 62 officers, 1,448 enlisted men, 1,117 horses, and 114 mules. The entire 82nd FA Regiment eventually was relocated to at Camp Logan, Houston, TX, and then proceeded to Fort Bliss, TX and assigned to the 15th Cavalry Division.
Although training was in full swing and preparations were being made for overseas movement to fight the Germans, it was not to be. On 01 November 1917, units of the 82nd Field Artillery, 24th Cavalry,(“A” and “B” Batteries were consolidated as “A” Battery, “C” and “D” were consolidated as “B” Battery and “E” and “F” Batteries were consolidated as “C” Battery) were redesignated and transferred as the 82nd Field Artillery, an element of the 15th Cavalry Division,
The 15th Cavalry Division and the 82nd FA Regiment were specifically trained and equipped for border service. The Mexican rebel, General Francisco “Pancho” Villa, had been causing problems in cross border raids, and had committed acts of aggression against US citizens and Soldiers for a number of years. A Punitive Expedition led by General John J. Pershing into Mexico had been carried out in 1916-1917. A number of Pancho Villa’s rebel forces were either killed, captured or scattered. But Pancho Villa was never caught.
By 1919, Pancho Villa had reassembled a sizeable rebel force and had initiated several battles against Mexican military troops in an attempt to win the hearts and minds of the Mexican people to rally with him against President Carranza. In early June 1919, indications were received that Villa was moving his rebel forces north to attack the Mexican military troops at Ft. Hidalgo near Juarez, Mexico. The attack on Ft. Hidalgo began at 0010 hours on the morning of 15 June 1919 and lasted until 0050 hours. At 0130 hours, another attack by Villa’s forces broke out in a separate part of the city and a battle raged back and forth for most of the day. For reasons that may never be known, rebel snipers from Villas forces began foolishly to shoot sniper fire across the Rio Grande River into El Paso, TX, wounding several civilians.
At 0136 hours of 15 June 1919, the 82nd FA Regiment, minus Service Company, left camp at Ft. Bliss and headed towards El Paso to occupy pre-planned firing positions. The 82nd FA Regiment, consisting of approximately 20 officers and 475 enlisted men, deployed with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion with “A” and “B” Batteries, the 2nd Battalion with “C” and “D” Batteries and the 3rd Battalion with “E” and “F” Batteries.
By 0230 hours, the 82nd FA Regimental Headquarters was in position at the El Paso Union Stockyards and the 1st and 3rd Battalions were in firing positions at Camp Cotton. At 0400 hours on 15 June 1919, the 1st Battalion, 82nd FA was directed to deploy two Firing Batteries near the El Paso Milling Company at the Stanton Street Bridge in support of the 24th Infantry Regiment. Occasional sniper shots were received from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande River in the vicinity of the 82nd FA Regimental Headquarters. At 2130 hours the 1st Battalion, 82nd FA were directed to support the advance of the 24th Infantry Regiment across the Rio Grande River into Juarez from its present artillery positions.
The District Headquarters ordered 3,600 American Soldiers to cross into Mexico to prevent further promiscuous firing into El Paso and to provide protection for American citizens. The American Force consisted of the 24th Infantry Regiment, the 5th Cavalry and 7th Cavalry Regiments, and the 2nd Battalion, 82nd FA. At 0020 hours the 1st Battalion, 82nd FA was directed to open fire on the Juarez Racetrack, as the Villistas had been definitely located there. The first artillery shot was fired across the Rio Grande River into the Juarez Racetrack by “A” Battery, 1st Battalion, 82nd FA. “A” Battery fired a total of 52 rounds and “B” Battery fired a total of 12 rounds before a “Cease Fire” was called at 0100 hours.
While the 24th Infantry Regiment was advancing through the streets of Juarez the 5th Cavalry and the 7th Cavalry Regiments were moving as a blocking force on either side of the advancing Infantry to prevent any flanking movements by the Villistas. The 2nd Battalion, 82nd FA advanced in support of the 5th Cavalry and 7th Cavalry Regiments and were prepared to fire quickly should targets of opportunity present themselves. By 0650 hours, the Combined Arms forces of the US Cavalry and the 2nd Battalion, 82nd FA were in pursuit of the rebel forces. They had marched southeast about six miles when a sizeable force of Villistas were spotted.
The 2nd Battalion, 82nd FA advanced towards the Villistas at an extended gallop and opened fire with shrapnel on their column at a range of about 4,000 yards. A direct hit was made with the first volley of shots and the shrapnel bursting overhead in the center of the rebel column wiped out a complete section. The other two sections of Villistas were routed and scattered in different directions. This action was completed around 0900 hours on 16 June 1919, by “D” Battery, 2nd Battalion FA. During the continued pursuit afterwards, an adobe shack was targeted and a direct hit was made by the howitzers of the 2nd Battalion, 82nd FA. After this attack the bodies of twenty-five killed or wounded Villistas were found.
On the return march over 50 abandoned saddles, 300 horses and burros, and 100 rifles were scattered all over the area. Some of the rifles were of German manufacture and were brought back as souvenirs by members of the command. Most of the men of the 82nd FA Regiment that participated in the Battle of Juarez were entitled to wear the Mexican Service Medal.
In recognition of this battle, the Distinctive Unit Insignia for the 82nd FA Regiment shows a black artillery shell imposed on a wavy white background. The black artillery shell and the wavy white background are symbols of the first round shot across the Rio Grande River by “A” Battery, 1st Battalion, 82nd FA. As an integral part of the 82nd FA Regiment, the motto “Can and Will” are reflective of a spirit steeped in traditions of men doing what needs to be regardless of the obstacles to be overcome.
On 09 September 1921 the 82nd Field Artillery, comprised of “A”, “B” & “C” Batteries, was redesignated the 82nd Field Artillery (Horse) Battalion and assigned to the newly activated 1st Cavalry Division at Ft Bliss, TX. The 82nd FA Battalion was the only (Horse) Artillery in the US Army at that time. The designation (Horse) meant that all unit members rode mounted on horses instead of riding on the gun carriages.
On 17 March 1930, the 82nd FA Regiment was reactivated and the 82nd FA Battalion (Horse) was reorganized as the 1st Battalion, 82nd FA but lost its designation as (Horse). In parallel with the assignment of the 1st Battalion, 84th Field Artillery was redesignated as 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery and inactivated. Assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division was delayed until 01 December 1934. Concurrently “C” Battery of the 1st Battalion was relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division. In an internal reorganization, the 82nd FA Regiment was restructured, comprised of the 1st and 2nd Battalions. It would not be until 03 January 1941, that “C” battery would be reassigned to the 1st Battalion of the 82nd Field Artillery.
World War II, Pacific Theater, 1941 – 1945
On 03 January 1941, the tactical significance of the artillery organizations was recognized, with the activation of the 1st Division Artillery Headquarters and Headquarters Battery at Fort Bliss, Texas for extensive field training. By that time the 82nd Field Artillery had expanded to include two battalions.
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 Soldiers. 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 where the 82nd Field Artillery fired its first round in World War II. After a period of staging in New Guinea, it was time for the 1st Cavalry Division to receive their first baptism of fire.
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 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.
The unit’s actions in the Admiralty Islands prepared it for the amphibious assault on Leyte in the Philippines. The 82nd Field Artillery Battalion received a campaign streamer with arrowhead for participation in this action. On Columbus Day, 12 October 1944, the 1st Cavalry Division sailed away from its hard earned base in the Admiralties for the Leyte invasion, Operation King II. On October 20, the invasion force must have appeared awesome to the waiting Japanese as it swept toward the eastern shores of Leyte. The Division fought tirelessly against Japanese fortifications. With the last of the strongholds of Leyte eliminated, the Division moved on to Luzon, the main island of the Philippines. Leyte had been the biggest campaign of the Pacific war, but the record was about to be shattered by the invasion of Luzon.
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.
Occupation of Japan, 1946 – 1950
On 13 August 1945, the 1st Cavalry Division was alerted that they were 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 the 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 noon on 05 September 1945, a reconnaissance team headed by Colonel Charles A. Sheldon, the Chief of Staff of the 1st Cavalry Division, entered Tokyo. This embarkment was the first official movement of American personnel into the capital of the mighty Japanese Empire.
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. Artillery Headquarters and Headquarters Troops and other units were stationed at Camp Drake near Tokyo.
In September of 1945, the 82nd Field Artillery completed its war effort with occupation duties in Tokyo, Japan. While in Japan, the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion transitioned to 155mm howitzers and became the Red Team’s general support battalion.
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 redesignated 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.
Korean War, 1950 – 1952
1950 called for an increased training to improve the ever-increasing combat effectiveness of the Division which was soon to be tested as dawn approached on 25 June 1950. Less than 5 years after the terrible devastations of World War II, a new war broke out from a distant land whose name means “Morning Calm”. 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 that pounded the Korean coastline.
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 were fighting with small arms alongside 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 were 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 alongside of them. 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 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. On 01 November 1950, an aerial observer in an L-5 Plane directed fires of the 82nd Field Artillery onto columns of Chinese forces entering Korea. This action was one of the first contacts between the First Team and the Chinese. 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 were at least 20 Red Chinese divisions poised for a drive on Seoul. Now there were almost a million and a half Chinese and North Korean troops on the Korean peninsula.
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 Eighth 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. During the campaign they had fired 1,345,250 rounds of ammunition.
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.
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, gave 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.
Demilitarized Zone, 1957 – 1965
On 20 August 1957, the 1st 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).
Vietnam War, 1965 – 1972
The 82nd Artillery Regiment arrived in Vietnam and interestingly, 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.
Upon 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, Phouc 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.
Persian Gulf War, Southwest Asia, 1990-1991
In August 1990, the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery, along with the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 82nd Field Artillery 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. The First Team Soldiers flew from Robert Gray Army Airfield to Dhahran International Airport via Paris, France and Cairo, Egypt. As soon as their equipment arrived, they moved to the remote Assembly Area Horse (AA Horse) in the Saudi desert 160 miles west of the airport.
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 First Team’s Multiple Launched Rocket Systems (MLRS) repeatedly lit the sky, battering targets deep in Iraq. Cannon batteries fired Copperhead rounds (computer controlled, rocket assisted projectiles) and thousands of high explosive along with improved conventional munitions into Iraq.
Operation Red Storm, a VII Corps Artillery-Aviation raid up the Wadi Al – Batin, was designed to make the Iraqis believe that the Wadi was being prepped for the main offensive. It utilized the resources of the 11th Aviation Brigade, the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery, and elements of the VII Corps Artillery. Just prior to 0100 hours, 16 February 1991, the artillery units fired a 3 minute prep on selected targets, followed by Apache attack helicopters crossing the Berm to engage targets of opportunity. In conjunction with this action, USAF assets attacked targets deep in Iraqi.
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: (1) On 16 February 1991, in Operation RED STORM – a night artillery and attack helicopter raid conducted in the Ruqi Pocket, the First Cavalry Division Artillery fired against Iraqi targets in the Wadi al-Batin. (2) On 19 February 1991, in “Operation KNIGHT STRIKE – a reconnaissance in force conducted by TF 1-5 CAV up the Wadi al-Batin to determine the strength, composition, and disposition of Iraqi forces in the area. This operation, intended to make the Iraqis think that a major attack up the Wadi al-Batin was being initiated, was the first mounted combat in Iraq during the war. It was also the bloodiest battle of the war for the First Cavalry Division. On the opening of the ground war, the Blackjack Brigade, supported by the Aviation Brigade Apache helicopters, moved 10 miles into Iraq on a “reconnaissance in force”. The Brigade broke contact after penetrating enemy obstacles, taking fire and causing the enemy to light oil fire trenches. They withdrew south to join the division for the subsequent series of final attacks. (3) On 24 February 1991, in Operation QUICK STRIKE – The 3rd Battalion, 82nd FA, reinforced by “A” Battery, 21st FA (MLRS), fired in support of the 2nd “Blackjack” Brigade’s attack up the Wadi al Batin on “G-Day”, the first day of the ground campaign. This attack was a “feint” intended to make the Iraqis think that the coalition main attack was coming up the Wadi Al-Batin.
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 operations.
1st Cavalry Division units setup defensive positions where the cease fire had stopped their attack and then expanded north to “Highway 8” clearing bunkers and looking for enemy equipment and Soldiers. Captured Iraqi Soldiers interviewed testified to the overwhelming, shattering effects of the “Steel Rain” of the Multiple Launched Rocket Systems. Within two weeks, the 1st Cavalry Division moved south into Saudi Arabia and the new assembly area (AA) Killeen. There on the plain of the Wadi al-Batin, the Division began to prepare for redeployment home.
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.
Desert Peacekeepers, 1992 – 2000
In early July of 1996, the Regiment began fielding of the M109A6 155mm Paladin Howitzer.
From September through December of 1996, the 2nd “Steel Dragons” battalion participated in and led 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.
Operation JOINT FORGE, 1998 – 1999
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 subordinate units) would be replaced by the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery of the 2nd Brigade and its subordinate units.
In August 1999, the 10th Mountain Division, with its subordinate units, replaced the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters, 4th Brigade, 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, and 13th Signal Battalion. The 2nd Brigade with the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery (and other subordinate 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.
Enduring Freedom, 2001
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.
Iraqi Freedom, 2003 – 2005
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.
Modular Forces, 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.
Iraqi Freedom – IV, 2006 – 2008
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 counter fire. 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.
Iraqi Freedom VI, 2008 – 2010
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 2md BCT 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 “Steel Dragons”, Alpha Battery, 2-82 FA 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.
The 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery was inactivated along with the 4th Brigade Combat Team on 17 October 2013 in a ceremony conducted on Cooper Field in front of the 1st Cavalry Division’s headquarters.
The 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery was inactivated at Ft. Hood, TX on 5 May 2015 and was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery and remained assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division.
As a member of the “Red Team”, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 82nd Field Artillery stand ready to support the “First Team” in the defense of freedom and security of peace anytime anywhere they are needed.
Algeria-French Morocco (with Arrowhead), Sicily (with Arrowhead), Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes Alsace, Central Europe, Rhineland.
Unit Decorations: Distinguished Unit Streamer WESTPHALIANPLAINS
Streamer Belgian Croix de Guere BELGIUM, Streamer Belgian Croix de Guerre, Ardennes, Fourragere in the colors of Belgian Croix de Guerre.
The 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion was reactivated on 17 January 1949. The battalion received its cadre from the 66th & 67th Tank Battalion's and by August was ready for field training. The battalion successfully completed a tactical training test in December 1949, following which it acted as aggressor troops against other units of the division, and again distinguished itself by outstanding display of initiative, enthusiasm, and aggressiveness by all concerned.
The battalion, with elements of Combat Command "B", sailed for its new assignment in the European Theatre of Operations from the port of embarkation at New Orleans, Louisiana , on 4 July 1951, landing at Bremerhaven, Germany, on 17 July 1951. Thus beginning the second tour of duty for the 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion in Germany.
More on the history of the 82nd
Dear Mr. Swonger. 1 have had an opportunity to view your web site and noticed the history of the 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. Perhaps you might be interested in the following which was taken from the ".Army Lineage Series, Armor-Cavalry, Part 1" by Mary Lee Stubbs and Stanley Russell Conner. Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D. C . 1969. It appears that the 82nd was consolidated with the 1st" Battalion, 15th Armor and the battle honors earned by the 82nd are now carried by that unit. I do not know if you are familiar with the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS) If you are not, the following (excerpted from the above listed book) might be helpful
The decade following the Korean armistice was marked by two major reorganizations of U.S. Army divisions, both of which influenced the structure of armor units: First to come was the pentomic plan of 1957-59, then the Reorganization Objective Army Divisions (ROAD) plan of 1962-64 Concurrent with the division reorganizations, another major change having far-reaching effect upon the organization of most combat-type units was the Combat Arms Regimental System, or CARS Arrival of the atomic era with its new weapons and tactical doctrine had rendered the regiment, the traditional fighting unit of the Army obsolete--it was too large. Even during World War II armored regiments, except those of the 2"d and 3" Armored Divisions, were broken up to form separate battalions, and many old cavalry regiments had been dismembered to form new units. With approval of the CARS plan early in 1957, the old cavalry and armored regiments could be revived, at least in name, to continue their regimental histories
The plan provided an average of approximately fifteen battalions that could be organized to perpetuate the lineage and honors of a single regiment. The regimental headquarters was placed under Department of the Army control, and the other regimental elements were used to form separate battalions or squadrons as needed. Within these battalions and squadrons the organic elements were new Parent regiments for use under CARS were carefully selected. Except for the 2nd, 3rd, 6th 11th and 14 Armored Cavalry regiments, the 1st through the 17th Cavalry regiments were included Armor parent regiments were the 32nd through the 35th, the 37th, 40th, 63rd, 64th, the 66th through the 70th, and the 72nd,73rd, 77th and 81 st , A subsequent decision by the Department of the Army that CARS cavalry regiment would contain reconnaissance-type units instead of tank battalions caused the redesignation of three cavalry regiments-the 13th, 15th and 16 th ---as the 13th, 15th and 16th Armor. Not affected by this decision were those elements of the 5th, 7 th and 8th Cavalry, assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, which remained organized as infantry. When the CARS reorganization was completed, cavalry had 9 regiments and armor had 20 Elements of these parent regiments were organized in both the Regular Army and the Army Reserve Army National Guard parent regiments were selected from National Guard units
1st Battalion, . 15"th Armor
LINEAGE Regular Army (Inactive) Constituted 2 February 1901 in the Regular Army as Troop A, 15th Cavalry Organized 1 March 1901 at Presidio of San Francisco California. Inactivated 18 October 1921 at Fort D. A Russell, Wyoming Activated 22 March 1942 at Fort Riley. Kansas, and redesignated as Troop
A 15th Cavalry, Mechanized
Reorganized and redesignated 12 March 1944 as Troop A, 15th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized Converted and redesignated 1 May 1946 as Troop A, 15th Constabulary Squadron Inactivated 20 December 1948 at Fussen, Germany. Activated 20 May 1949 at Weiden, Germany inactivated 15 December 1952 at Weiden, Germany. Redesignated 13 August 1954 as Company A, 15th Reconnaissance Battalion Redesignated 1 July 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop. 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 15th Cavalry concurrently, consolidated with Headquarters and Headquarters and Service Troop, 82d Reconnaissance Battalion (see annex), assigned to 2d Armored Division. and activated in Germany (concurrently, Companies A, B, and C, 82d Reconnaissance Battalion. redesignated as Troops A B, and C, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 15th Cavalry Troop D, 1" Reconnaissance Squadron, 15th Cavalry, concurrently constituted and activated) Redesignated 1 July 1963 as 1st Battalion, 15th Armor concurrently, relieved from assignment to 2 nd Armored Division, transferred (less personnel and equipment) from Fort Hood, Texas, to Korea, assigned to 1 st Cavalry Division and reorganized. Transferred (less personnel and equipment) 1 July 1965 from Korea to Fort Benning. Georgia concurrently, inactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia, and relieved from assignment to 1st Cavalry Division.
2d Reconnaissance Battalion (Armored) constituted 15 July 1940 in the Regular Army. assigned to 2d Armored Division and activated at Fort Benning, Georgia. Redesignated 8 May 1941 as 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion (Armored), Redesignated 1 January 1942 as 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Converted and redesignated 25 March 1946 as 82nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized. Redesignated 17 January 1949 as 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion.
The Benjamin Duke House - 1009 Fifth Avenue
At the turn of the 20th Century, Manhattan’s wealthy were fleeing northward from “Millionaire’s Row” as retail concerns crept ever closer to their mansions along Fifth Avenue below 57th Street. Recognizing the potential, brothers William and Thomas Hall purchased property on 5th Avenue between 81st and 82nd Streets where they would build four adjoining mansions as a speculative investment.
Architect Alexander Welch of Welch, Smith and Provot was commissioned to design the grand residences which were completed in 1901. Northern-most of these was No. 1009, a dignified red-brick townhouse in the Beaux-Arts style. While the entrance was squarely on 82nd Street, the Fifth Avenue address added a note of affluence.
Sitting on a rusticated limestone base, the house rose six stories to an elegant mansard roof with copper cresting. Both the 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue facades bowed, adding visual interest to the house added to by balustraded balconies, a petaled glass hood over the entrance and a handsome sidewalk moat. Despite its grand and imposing appearance, contemporary architecture critic Montgomery Schuyler, never one to rein in his negativity, deemed the house vulgar.
Benjamin N. Duke and his wife Sarah, who were living in the Hoffman House hotel, purchased the new 12-bedroom home. Inside, white-and-gold French paneling adorned the public rooms while elaborate carved fireplaces and a glass-covered grand staircase reminded visitors of the owners’ wealth. Duke had amassed a personal fortune of approximately $60 million with the founding of the American Tobacco Company with his brother.
Here, in December of 1906, the couple gave a reception at which Duke's recently-divorced brother, James, met the Southern-born widow, Mrs. Nanaline Holt Inman.
|No. 1009 Fifth Avenue with its neighboring mansions still standing - NYPL Collection|
James Duke set about demolishing the Cook house and having a new mansion built on the site. In the meantime, Benjamin Duke and his family left No. 1009 Fifth Avenue and moved to the Plaza Hotel in 1909. While construction on their new residence dragged on, James, Nanaline and her son moved into No. 1009 5th Avenue, along with nine servants. The new house at No. 1 East 78th Street was completed in 1912 and, when the Dukes moved in, they rented No. 1009 to Moses Taylor of the banking firm Kean, Taylor & Co., for $30,000 a year.
By 1922 the house was again occupied by Dukes – this time Benjamin’s daughter Mary Biddle and her husband Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr. As the decades passed, Mary would have designer Karl Bock update non-public rooms, creating a royal-blue glass tiled bathroom and an oval black-marble and mirrored bath.
When Mary Biddle died in 1960, the 5th Avenue blocks facing Central Park were being built up with high-rise, sleek luxury apartment buildings and one-by-one the grand mansions were torn down. Concerned that the family mansion would suffer the same fate, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans and her husband purchased the house from her mother’s estate.
“I had a very wonderful childhood there. We had wonderful Christmas trees. My mother was an opera singer. She had music going all the time. She had concerts in that middle hall,” she told Forbes Magazine in 1960. “We both decided we mustn’t let that go. We didn’t want the neighborhood to be destroyed, and we were sure that some high-rise would replace it.”
Although the family never again took up residence, she reserved several important floors including the parlor level for family stays dividing the rest of the house into distinguished apartments and offices. In the 1970s, as she was approached by developers who eyed the site for an apartment house, Mary Semans and her husband worked to get the house recognized by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and, in 1974, it was given landmark protection. Subsequently No. 1009 stands alone, the last survivor of the row of four houses built by the Hall Brothers.
Ten years after landmark designation, architects Gerland Allen & Associates spearheaded an exterior restoration of the structure.
In 2006 the house was sold for $40 million to Tamir Sapir – a Russian immigrant who started life in New York as a taxi cab driver and became a billionaire investing in real estate. Sapir intended to use the house as a showplace for his collection of ivory, however when the government found he was illegally importing the ivory carvings and endangered species pelts into the country on his yacht, the plan died.
Benjamin Duke’s 20,000 square-foot mansion sold in July 2010 for $44 million -- $6 million less than Sapir was asking – to Carlos Slim, sometimes called the world’s richest man who made billions in the Mexican telecom industry. It is an architectural and historic treasure a reminder of what life was like for the extremely wealthy on Fifth Avenue at the turn of the last century.
Stroll Bay Ridge’s ‘Blue Bloods’ street where Tom Selleck ‘lives’
For all us “Blue Bloods” fans, 82nd Street in Bay Ridge will first, foremost and forever be the place where New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan lives.
The high-profile Gingerbread House, which is right down the block, is pretty great, too.
But the 1920s Colonial-style brick house on the corner of 82nd Street and Harbor View Terrace is the fictional home of the head of the “Blue Bloods” clan, played by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Tom Selleck.
As the CBS TV series’ 9 million viewers know, the exterior of 8070 Harbor View Terrace serves as an establishing shot for a scene where the Reagans sit down for Sunday dinner.
Commissioner Reagan’s adult children, played by Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan and Will Estes, and their kids join him and his dad for dinner. Every episode of the show has a fresh version of the dinner scene.
CBS recently renewed “Blue Bloods” for a ninth season, so it will be part of the network’s fall lineup.
A variety of housing stock
For “Blue Bloods” fans who feel that Autumn is a looong ways away, we suggest a stroll along Bay Ridge’s scenic, tree-lined 82nd Street. It’s an excellent place for a late-spring walk.
As the street progresses from Shore Road to Seventh Avenue, there’s a representative sampling of the different types of housing stock that can be found in the waterfront southwest Brooklyn neighborhood.
Near Tom Selleck’s TV home there are mansions, some nearly a century old, others built in recent years. As you keep walking, there are somewhat smaller Victorian houses with porches, then smaller detached homes with driveways — and garages on the back of their lots.
Several blocks away from the “Blue Bloods” house, there are semi-detached houses that are typical in many neighborhoods outside Brooklyn’s patrician Brownstone Belt. Some have nifty second-floor porches.
The Bay Ridge stretch of 82nd Street ends at the fenced-in trench where the Gowanus Expressway runs.
It’s really a bishop’s house
Here’s a final word about Tom Selleck’s TV house.
As “Blue Bloods” fans know, the house interior shown in the Sunday dinner scenes is actually a film-studio set.
But the notion that Police Commissioner Reagan hosts Sunday dinner on 82nd Street and Harbor View Terrace seems so real to us that we tried to wangle an invite to see the inside of the house.
According to city Finance Department records, it has belonged to the Diocese of Saint Maron-USA since 1978.
The cathedral for the Eparchy — that’s a synonym for “diocese” — of Saint Maron of Brooklyn is Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Brooklyn Heights. Its bishop lives in the Bay Ridge house.
We left a message for the bishop. He didn’t return our call by deadline. If he does reach out to us, we’ll post a follow-up story ASAP.
What’s up with the modern house across the street?
Across 82nd Street from Tom Selleck’s TV home, there’s a walled-in modern house made of stone. It’s half-hidden by exuberantly overgrown foliage, which gives it an air of mystery.
Finance Department records show that John and Helen Psaras bought the single-story house at 8205 Shore Road for $4.4 million in 2015 from co-executors of the late Josephine Calcagno’s last will and testament.
Renovation might be getting underway soon. In early May, the city Buildings Department approved SHV Designs’ plans for minor interior, exterior and plumbing work and fix-ups to address past city Environmental Control Board violations at 8205 Shore Road.
The Gingerbread House and other eye-catching mansions
In the opposite direction, there’s a stately brick house with a perimeter wall on the corner of 82nd Street and Narrows Avenue. Robert Palmese recently finished building it.
Buildings Department and Finance Department filings describe 8070 Narrows Ave. as a 4,994-square-foot single-family home on a 100-foot-wide by 100-foot-long site.
The Gingerbread House, a century-old Arts and Crafts-style city landmark, is on another corner of 82nd Street and Narrows Avenue. It’s built of uncut stone and looks like a gigantic fairy-tale cottage — on a 20,000-square-foot parcel of land that’s one of the largest residential lots in the entire city.
Jerry and Diane Fishman, who’ve owned the eye-catching mansion at 8220 Narrows Ave. since 1985, have put it onto the sale market several times since 2009. Asking prices have ranged from $12 million to $9 million.
As far as we can tell, it’s not currently for sale. We phoned the Fishmans but haven’t heard back from them.
The next block of 82nd Street, which is between Narrows Avenue and Colonial Road, is lined with charming mansions and big single-family houses. Tall trees form a lush canopy in many spots.
On the north side of the street, front lawns slope upwards so the houses sit on miniature hilltops. One of the especially lovely houses on this side of the block is 73 82nd St., a stucco home with green awnings and a barrel-tile roof.
One of the many stellar houses on the south side of the block is 96 82nd St., which has a fountain with lovely statues on its front lawn.
We miss you, Kleinfeld Bridal
Houses on 82nd Street between Colonial Road and Third Avenue are an eye-pleasing mixture of sizes and architectural styles.
One standout is 149 82nd St., which is a shingle house with a front porch. Mammoth 247 82nd St. has a curved front porch and looks like a beach house in Maine.
On the 82nd Street block between Third and Fourth avenues, which is lined with small homes, you can hear bells at nearby St. Anselm Roman Catholic Church chiming at 6 p.m.
The 82nd Street block between Fourth and Fifth avenues is where you find semi-detached houses with picturesque porches on their second floors.
And on a corner of 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue, you’ll notice a TD Bank branch in an old-fashioned stone building. Until 2005, 8206 Fifth Ave. was the home of Kleinfeld Bridal — which moved to Manhattan, where it became the subject of the popular reality-TV show called “Say Yes to the Dress.”
Carlo Scissura’s renovation project
You’ll notice renovation projects here and there along 82nd Street.
* Sergey Sharabura is doing an interior renovation of 102 82nd St. near the corner of Colonial Road and cladding the exterior with brick veneer, Buildings Department records indicate. He bought the house for $1.35 million in a 2015 estate sale, Finance Department records indicate.
* On a nearby corner of 82nd Street and Colonial Road, renovation is underway on a house George Arsoff and Chyrine Haggear bought for $2.15 million in 2015.
According to a restrictive declaration in Finance Department records, the couple is allowed to construct what’s called a “three-fixture bathroom” in the cellar of 8120 Colonial Road. But nobody can cook, sleep or live in the cellar. And it can’t be rented out separately from the rest of the house.
This document defines a three-fixture bathroom as “a full bathroom with lavatory, a water closet and a shower or bathtub.”
* Carlo Scissura is renovating a house at 242 82nd St., on the block between Ridge Boulevard and Third Avenue. He was president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce before he became the president and CEO of the New York Building Congress in 2017.
The Real Deal was the first to report Scissura’s $2.2 million home purchase. The deal closed in January, Finance Department records indicate.
82nd Fighter Group (Second World War)
The 82nd Fighter Group (USAAF) served in the Mediterranean theatre, first as a mainly ground attack unit with the Twelfth Air Force, and later as a bomber escort group in the Fifteenth Air Force.
The group was activated in the United States in February 1942 and trained with the P-38 Lightning. It moved to Northern Ireland in September-October 1942, partly for further training and partly as a reserve unit for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. The group moved to North Africa late in December 1942, and took part in the unexpectedly difficult campaign in Tunisia.
From December 1942 until November 1943 the group served with the Twelfth Air Force. Although it did provide some bomber escorts, it was also used for dive bombing and strafing attacks on ground targets and to use the Axis aircraft being used to fly supplies to North Africa.
One of the main problems in North Africa was a shortage of aircraft. On 28 January 1943 the 14th Fighter Group ceased operations and passed its aircraft to the 82nd.
The group escorted a B-25 and B-26 raid on Gabes on 8 February 1943. The Luftwaffe intercepted the attack and shot down four bombers. The US fighters claimed eight victories for the loss of a single P-38.
In May-June 1943 the group took part in the air bombardment of Pantelleria. In July-August 1943 it supported the Allied invasion of Sicily.
The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for an attack on Axis aircraft around Foggia on 25 August 1943. A second DUC was won on 2 September 1943 when the group defended a bomber formation attacking rail marshalling yards near Naples.
The group was still part of the Twelfth Air Force at the start of the invasion of Mainland Italy (3 September 1943), and moved to the Italian mainland at the start of October 1943.
On 16 October 1943 the group dive-bombed merchant ships in the Levkas Channel, on the west coast of Greece.
In November 1943 the group was one of the first to join the Fifteenth Air Force, and the only group to have already moved to the Italian mainland. From then until the end of the war the group's main role was to provide long range fighter escorts for the Fifteenth Air Force's heavy bombers. However it was also sometimes used as a fighter-bomber unit, supported the Allied troops fighting in Italy or attacking strategic targets further afield.
The group took part in an unusual raid on 30 January 1944, designed to lift pressure on the Anzio bridgehead. It was part of a large force that made a conventional attack on the Luftwaffe airfields around Udine in Austria, but the most important part of the attack was carried out by the 315th Fighter Group, which arrived fifteen minutes ahead of the main attack and caught the Germans as they were preparing to take off. The group claimed 36 enemy aircraft destroyed and another eight probables, and the total claims for the day reached 140!
The group was awarded a third DUC for a strategic mission on 10 June 1944 - a dive-bomb attack on one of the oil refineries at Ploesti carried out in the face of German fighter opposition. After attacking the refinery the group carried out a series of attacks on targets of opportunity on its way back to base.
On 13 August 1944 the group attacked Montelimar airfield, hitting a force of Ju-88s based there, then attacked a three-gun coast watcher station, all part of the preparations for Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the South of France.
The group flew its last combat operations in May 1945 and was inactivated in Italy on 9 September 1945.
|13 January 1942||Constituted as 82nd Pursuit Group (Interceptor)|
|9 February 1942||Activated|
|May 1942||Redesignated 82nd Fighter Group|
|Sept-Oct 1942||To Northern Ireland|
|December 1942||To North Africa and Twelfth Air Force|
|October 1943||To Italy|
|November 1943||To Fifteenth Air Force|
|9 September 1945||Inactivated|
Commanders (with date of appointment)
1st Lt Charles T Duke: Feb 1942
Col Robert Israel Jr: May 1942
Lt Col William E Covington Jr: 17 Jun 1942
Col John W Weltman: 4 May 1943
Lt Col Ernest C Young: 2 Aug 1943
Lt Col George M MacNicol: 26 Aug 1943
Col William P Litton: Jan 1944
Lt Col Ben A Mason Jr: 4 Aug 1944
Col Clarence T Edwinson: 28 Aug 1944
Col Richard A Legg: 22 Nov 1944
Col Joseph S Holtoner: 4 Jun 1945
Lt Col Robert M Wray: 16 Jul 1945-unkn.
Harding Field, La: 9 Feb 1942
Muroc, Calif: 30 Apr 1942
Los Angeles, Calif: May 1942
Glendale, Calif: c. 16 Aug-16 Sep 1942
Northern Ireland: Oct 1942
Telergma, Algeria: Jan 1943
Berteaux, Algeria: 28 Mar 1943
Souk-el- Arba, Algeria: 13 Jun 1943
Grombalia, Tunisia: 3 Aug 1943
San Pancrazio, Italy: c. 3 Oct 1943
Lecce, Italy: 10 Oct 1943
Vincenzo Airfield, Italy: 11 Jan 1944
Lesina, Italy: c. 30 Aug-9 Sep 1945
95th Fighter Squadron: 1942-45
96th Fighter Squadron: 1942-45
97th Fighter Squadron: 1942-45
January-November 1943: 47th Bombardment Wing XII Bomber Command Twelfth Air Force
November 1943-1944: 47th Bombardment Wing Fifteenth Air Force
1944: 5th Bombardment Wing Fifteenth Air Force
1944: 306th Fighter Wing Fifteenth Air Force
Summer 1945: 305th Bombardment Wing Fifteenth Air Force
Music and Image in Classical Athens
Bundrick (henceforth B.) presents a thorough discussion of the iconographical evidence for the role of music in Athens in the fifth century, during which the rise of democracy coincided with rapid advances in musical performance and a flourishing of musical imagery in the visual arts. The author notes that pictorial evidence for many aspects of musical activity in the fifth century is more plentiful than literary evidence, much of which dates from the fourth century or later. This gives us the opportunity to expand our understanding of the classical perception of music from that which can be drawn from literary sources alone. The book produces some measured conclusions about how and why the presentation by Athenian artists of various aspects of music-making changes through the course of the fifth century.
The introductory Chapter 1, “Music and Image in Fifth Century Athens” sets out B.’s premise. Athens, arriving on the musical scene after some other Greek states, in the sixth century laid the foundations for the rapid development of musical activity and discussion in the fifth. Musical imagery on vases in the sixth century had a limited number of contexts and subjects — mainly Apollo and a few other musicians, Panathenaic contests, and symposia. As Athens becomes a centre for musical innovation in the fifth century (witnessing the rise of the technically challenging “New Music”), the iconography of music also changes. B. argues that this alteration of subjects and scenes is not coincidental, and presents three concepts central to the change: first, the discipline of mousike and its social role in the increasingly institutionalised education amongst the elite in Athens second, the theory of ethos and its context in the Athenian perception of character and third, the idea of harmonia, reflected in the tuning of a musical instrument and used as a metaphor for the stability of the polis. While none of these concepts works entirely independently from the literary evidence, B. shows how our understanding of the attitudes to music in fifth-century Athens can by dramatically expanded by the visual material.
Chapter 2, “Representing Musical Instruments” systematically covers images and the significance of stringed instruments (chelys lyre, kithara, barbitos, phorminx, Thracian kithara, and harp), wind instruments (aulos, syrinx, and salpinx), and percussion. In relation to stringed instruments, the author notes that while the terminology in literary sources can be imprecise, the visual evidence is consistent and clear in the associations of particular instruments. For example, the chelys lyre has connotations of the elite and the amateur, the kithara of competitions and virtuosi. Further, the semantic value of particular instruments in literature can be expanded by the visual sources. In particular, the aulos’ negative image in some fourth-century literature (especially in Plato Republic 399d and Aristotle Politics 1341a) is contrasted with its appearance in vase paintings in a wide variety of contexts in the fifth century. It occurs in scenes depicting the respectable education of boys of the elite, but it is present also in raucous and erotic scenes. Where our literary evidence for the fifth century is limited, B. argues that there is significant visual material. By the fourth century the aulos is strongly associated with New Music and the increasing professionalism of music, which possibly explains Plato and Aristotle’s lack of enthusiasm for it.
With the significance of each instrument established, the third chapter ” Mousike : The Art of the Muses” turns to the first of the three concepts anticipated in the introduction. It outlines how mousike formed the backbone, along with athletics ( gymnastike), of the traditional education ( archaia paideia) associated with the elite classes, and then uses visual imagery to interpret changing attitudes to music in education. B. arranges her discussion for this and the following two chapters into scene types. The discussion first focuses on the art of the Muses (instrumental music, dance and the singing of poetry), and the introduction of new iconography representing the Muses not just as companions for Apollo, but as musical virtuosi. They promote the benefits of music as a cultural and educational good, but they appear less frequently on vases by the end of the fifth century. The role of music as a social good is supported by images representing the idea of a mousikos aner (a phrase used by Plato in the Laws), suggesting one who is in possession of an elite education and, among other things, is capable of contributing an appropriate performance at a symposion. Presentations of this idea become less frequent during the fifth century with the rise of the power of the demos and the refocusing of education on rhetoric and literacy. Other types of scene include those depicting Herakles and Linos, the music teacher he murdered. These scenes further emphasise the civilising nature of mousike in contrast with Herakles’ behaviour. Representations of mousike and gymnastike together on the same vase reflect the combined role they play in Athenian education. B. discusses the changing attitude to music in the fifth century in her discussion of music and the symposion. During the course of the fifth century, B. argues, the symposion becomes more democratic, and the elite education required to participate musically as a guest is considered old fashioned compared with a new style of symposion which increasingly employs professional, often female, entertainers. The chapter closes with a discussion of citizen women and their relationship to mousike. Although the literary sources make no reference to women receiving musical education, we do find images of them making music in domestic settings amid the general increase of images of women during the fifth century. B. argues that although these women may represent hetairai, Muses or other mythological figures, the domestic setting of many of these images suggests that these are respectable citizens, and she effectively examines this evidence in the light of what we can know about the lives of Athenian women.
Chapter 4, ” Ethos and the Character of Musical Imagery” opens with a discussion of the idea of ethos, which considers how music affects character or behaviour. Although the concept occurs early in Greek literature (B. uses the example of the Sirens in the Odyssey), there is little literary material until theoretical discussion in the fourth century. Again, the lack of fifth-century literary sources is contrasted with the range of visual evidence. The chapter focuses on the musical iconography of four mythological figures: Dionysos, Orpheus, Thamyris, and Marsyas. In the discussion of images of Dionysos, B. recalls the opposing associations of Dionysos with the aulos and Apollo with the lyre and argues that modern scholars have exaggerated the Greeks’ view that the aulos is something wild to be rejected by the polis. She argues, as she does in Chapter 2, that the aulos had a legitimate place in Athenian society and that music (and drinking) in the context of the symposion are seen to have kathartic function and are therefore beneficial in moderation. The images of Orpheus demonstrate again the issue of the effect of music on listeners: they primarily focus on Orpheus’ death at the hands of the Thracian women and, later in the fifth century, on Orpheus with the Thracian men. B. suggests that both scene types refer to music’s ability to arouse the emotions. Two further figures which appear regularly in the iconography, Thamyris and Marsyas, are depicted as examples of how a lack of moderation in musical matters is devastating. The third and final of B.’s essential concepts is the subject of Chapter 5, ” Harmonia and the Life of the City”, in which she argues that harmonia, an idea connected primarily with music in the sixth century, develops social and political connotations in the fifth. Visual images of instruments and performance in scenes of sacrifice, musical contests, and weddings represent a broader idea of harmonia of the household and the polis. B. highlights the role of Apollo as a musician, who appears profusely on vases in the fifth century and embodies ideas of harmonia and eunomia, and suggests how images of Apollo can be seen to promote and support democratic values. Further, the rise in representations of cult ritual — including images of musicians, for example in processions and in the rituals associated with sacrifice — exemplify the civic associations of music and harmonia. Similarly, changes during the fifth century to representations of musical contests show a shift from elitist to democratic priorities. They coincide with and confirm the rise and popularity of professional musicians and virtuosi, reflected in the emphasis on the individuality of performers on some vase scenes. B. argues that these and other changes to the iconography (representations of Nike, judges of musical competitions, aulodic contests, and changes in vase shapes), reflect changes that Perikles made to the musical competitions of the Panathenaia. Continuing her discussion of representations of music in institutional performance, B. examines depictions of music in the theatre (with due caution about the possibilities of identifying theatre productions with certainty), in which the aulos was the principal instrument. Similarly, B. emphasises the civic and social function of harmonia in her discussion of representations of music as part of different stages of the wedding ritual. The final type of scene examined is that of Harmonia personified, as a bride (of Kadmos), with Aphrodite or the Muses, with Eunomia, and in domestic scenes. The brief, concluding chapter 6, “Musical Revolution in Classical Athens”, suggests that the sudden fall in the representation of certain types of musical scene on vases at the end of the fifth century reflects again a change in social attitudes.
The book is beautifully presented and richly illustrated with over 100 black and white photographs, mostly of vases (which have been well reproduced), and is practically free from typographical errors (I noticed only one, “annd” on p. 51). There is a brief but useful glossary which includes both musical and Greek cultural terms — it might also have been helpful to include further terms relevant to material culture for those more familiar with literary and philosophical evidence. There is an extensive bibliography.
Music and Image in Classical Athens provides a valuable contribution to the discussion of the social significance of music in Ancient Greece. With a thorough examination of a wide range of visual evidence, B. constructs a coherent narrative about the significance of musical images. While some sections are more compelling than others — the chapter on harmonia as metaphor for the stability of the democratic polis is less consistently convincing than the sections on mousike and ethos — each chapter contains stimulating discussion about the semantic value of each type scene. B. demonstrates clearly the dangers of overlooking the visual evidence in favour of literary sources, and thereby encourages a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of ancient music.
Theatre of Dionysus
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Theatre of Dionysus, prototype of Greek theatres, situated on the south side of the Acropolis in Athens, in which all extant classical Greek plays were first presented. Development on the site began with the creation of the orchestra, a circular floor of earth 60 feet in diameter with an altar at the centre. Placed adjacent to temples of nature and of the fertility god Dionysus, the orchestra was used for dramatic performances, which, together with a procession and sacrifice, composed the annual spring festival of the god. During the 5th century bc , the theatre served as the locus of the contests in which the plays of Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, and Aristophanes (which developed from the Dionysian tradition) were first performed. At the time, the auditorium, perhaps with wooden benches, was set into the hillside, and the skene, or building serving as the background of the play, was built on the opposite side of the orchestra.
In the mid-4th century bc , raked tiers of stone seats capable of accommodating as many as 17,000 spectators were constructed, as well as an enhanced stone skene. Major revisions, probably including the introduction of a raised stage, were carried out in c. ad 61 under the Roman emperor Nero. After the 4th century the theatre fell into disuse and decay. It was rediscovered in 1765, and major archaeological restoration was undertaken in the late 1800s under archaeologist and Greek architectural authority Wilhelm Dörpfeld.
This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.