11th FIELD ARTILLERY REGIMENT
|[Introduction]||[World War I]||[Schofield Barracks]||[World War II]|
|[Occupation of Japan]||[Korean War]||[Regimental Reorganization]||[Vietnam]|
|[Regimental Realignment]||[War on Terrorism]||[The Regiment Today]||[Coat of Arms and Insignia]|
Constituted on 1 July 1916 and activated on 1 June 1917, the 11th Field Artillery Regiment has served with gallantry and distinction in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and the War On Terrorism. The Dragon Regiment has earned two Presidential Unit Citations, four Valorous Unit Awards, a Meritorious Unit Commendation and thirty one campaign streamers. Four firing batteries of the regiment have each received an additional Presidential Unit Citation.
The 11th Field Artillery Regiment was constituted in the Regular Army on 1 July 1916 and was activated on 1 June 1917 at Camp Harry J. Jones, Douglas, Arizona utilizing personnel of the 6th Field Artillery Regiment. The 11th Field Artillery was originally organized as a horse-drawn heavy artillery regiment equipped with the 4.7 inch howitzer. In November, 1917 the 11th was as assigned to the 6th Field Artillery Brigade of the 6th Division and then reorganized in January, 1918 as a tractor-drawn 155 mm howitzer regiment consisting of three battalions of two batteries each. Each battery was authorized four howitzers. After training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma the regiment arrived in France on 2 August 1918.
Upon arrival, the regiment was issued French 155 mm Schneider Howitzers with a rapid fire capability and a range of seven miles. After intensive training at a French artillery post near the Swiss border, the 11th was attached on 25 October to the 58th Field Artillery Brigade supporting the 89th Division. On 21 October the 58th including the 11th FA was transferred north by train to the Argonne Forest area. There on 26 October 1918 the 11th Field Artillery went into firing positions east of the Argonne Forest near the village of Avocourt and fired its first rounds into German positions in preparation for the last phase of the Meuse Argonne campaign that had begun in September.
At 0330 hours 1 November 1918 the massive Allied assault against German positions began with rolling artillery barrages with the 89th Division’s infantry brigades jumping off at 0530. The artillery fires were so effective in destroying German positions that by November 3rd the infantry had advanced beyond the range of the artillery. The 11th displaced forward as necessary in support of the advancing infantry during the period of 4-10 November, culminating with the 1st and 2nd Battalions firing in general support of the 89th Division’s crossing of the Meuse River at Pouilly during the night of 10 November.
Meanwhile Battery E had gone into position on 6 November near Laneuville where it placed effective interdicting fires on the Metz- Sedan Railway, a critical German transport and supply line. On the morning of 11 November, word was passed to the regiment that a cease fire would go into effect at 11:00. That morning a colonel from GHQ arrived at Battery E and directed that in recognition of the battery’s neutralization of the Metz-Sedan Railway despite heavy German counter-battery fire, Battery E would have the honor of firing the last officially recorded American shot of the war at 10.59.59. The crew for the howitzer named Calamity Jane was chosen to fire the round; the target was not identified but probably was the Metz- Sedan Railway. The regimental motto “On Time” alludes to this action.
On the 14 December the 11th rejoined the 6th Division at Dijon. On 3 June 1919 the 11th Field Artillery left France for the United States arriving at its new duty station at Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois on 19 June 1919. There it was relieved from assignment to the 6th Division 12 November 1920.
In 1921 the Hawaiian Division was activated at Schofield Barracks, Territory of Hawaii. The 11th Field Artillery Regiment was assigned to the Hawaiian Division’s 11th Field Artillery Brigade on 1 March 1921. The 11th Field Artillery Brigade consisted of the 8th Field Artillery Regiment (75mm field gun) in direct support of the division’s 22nd Infantry Brigade; the 13th Field Artillery Regiment (75mm field gun) in direct support of the 21st Infantry Brigade and the 11th Field Artillery Regiment (155mm howitzer) in general support of both brigades.
Habitually the 1st Battalion, 11th Field Artillery supported the 22nd Brigade and the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery supported the 21st Brigade. Both Battery B in 1933 and Battery A in 1939, received the Knox Trophy awarded annually to the best field artillery battery in the US Army. In addition to its primary mission, between 1935 and 1940 the 11th Field Artillery was given a secondary mission of reinforcing the island of Oahu’s coast artillery defenses. For this mission the regiment was additionally issued 155 millimeter guns.
On 1 October 1941 the units of the Hawaiian Division formed the 24th Infantry Division and the 25th Infantry Division. The 11th Field Artillery Brigade’s units were used for the Division Artillery of both divisions, with the 11th Field Artillery Regiment furnishing a battalion to each division. The personnel and 155mm howitzers of the 1st Battalion were used to man and equip the newly activated 90th Field Artillery Battalion of the 25th Infantry Division Artillery. The 2nd Battalion was redesignated as the 11th Field Artillery Battalion and was assigned to the 24th Infantry Division Artillery. Both retained the mission of general support for their respective division artillery.
On December 7, 1941 only two months after its reorganization the 11th Field Artillery Battalion came under enemy fire as the Japanese aircraft that had bombed Wheeler Army Airfield, strafed Schofield Barracks inflicting minor casualties and damage. Hardest hit were the Artillery quadrangles with the 11th sustaining several wounded.
After the attack, the two divisions executed well rehearsed operational plans designed to repel an amphibious assault on Oahu. As part of that plan the 11th Field Artillery Battalion moved to its pre-designated defensive firing positions on the north shore of Oahu. Here the battalion would remain until May 1943. Then when replaced by units arriving from the mainland, the 24th underwent offensive combat training followed by departure in August for Australia.
By 8 September 1943 the 24th was encamped at Rockhampton, on the Australian northwest coast where it undertook additional intensive training in amphibious operations and jungle warfare in preparation for an amphibious assault on Japanese airfields located at Tanahmorah Bay on the north coast of New Guinea.
On 22 April 1944 the 19th and 21st Infantry Regiments made a surprise amphibious landing at Tanahmorah Bay. The infantry, supported by fires of the Division Artillery including the 11th FA, moving quickly despite marshy terrain and heavy rains, overran the lightly defended Hollandia airbase complex consisting of three airstrips. After its capture the 24th remained as a defensive force at Hollandia until the fall of 1944.
The American return to the Philippines began with the liberation of the island of Leyte. The 24th Infantry Division landed near the town of Palo on the northwest coast of Leyte on 20 October 1944. Key heights above the beaches were quickly seized by the infantry due in part to the accurate fires of the 11th Field Artillery Battalion. From there the division drove north meeting fierce resistance as it reached the north coast of Leyte. South of the town of Pinamopoan the Japanese were well dug in on a ridge called Breakneck and halted the American advance. In bitter fighting during the period 5-8 November, the 11th FA significantly contributed to turning back a strong Japanese counterattack, then its close fires aided the 21st Infantry in successfully driving the Japanese off the ridge. This victory effectively ended major Japanese resistance in the north of Leyte.
On 18 January 1945 the Dragons were attached to a task force of the 38th Infantry Division that had the mission of blocking Japanese forces from retreating onto the Bataan Peninsula. The task force landed unopposed north of Subic Bay and proceeded south to Olongapo and by 5 February had set up blocking positions on the key highway leading onto Bataan. Moving south on Highway 7 the 38th Infantry Division ran into stiff resistance at the Zigzag Pass. The 155 howitzers of the 11th Field Artillery played a key role in destroying the heavily dug in Japanese positions and opening the road towards Manila Bay on 14 February.
The liberation of Mindanao the second largest and most southern of the Philippines Islands began for the 24th Division with amphibious assaults on the island’s south-central coast on 17 April 1945. The 24th Division Artillery’s mission was to travel 100 miles across the island by road and support the division’s attack into the rear of the Japanese garrison defending the city of Davao and the town of Mintal. Going into firing positions on 29 April the three batteries of the 11th supported the attack of the division’s three infantry regiments by destroying enemy gun emplacements overlooking the two towns. After the towns were liberated the 11th continued to support the infantry clearing operations until a cease fire was ordered upon the surrender of Japan on 15 August 1945.
In October 1945 the 11th FA Battalion along with the rest of the 24th Infantry Division sailed for Japan to serve in the occupation forces. The 11th initially was stationed on the island of Shikoku. In May 1946 it was transferred to Camp Hakata on Kyushu Island. Here the battalion was reduced to two firing batteries and primarily carried out occupation duties with little unit training. By February 1949 only the Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Battery were active. But by May 1950 both A and B Batteries had been brought up to strength, trained and had successfully passed fire mission tests.
On 25 June 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea. The 24th Infantry Division was selected to be the first US Army division to respond to the invasion. On 6 July the 11th FA Battalion arrived by ship at the port of Pusan. The battalion participated in the defense of Taejon with its batteries attached to the Division Artillery’s direct support battalions. On 20 July after a gallant stand in which it inflicted heavy casualties on the attacking enemy, Battery A was overrun and all six howitzers were destroyed. Battery A was soon reconstituted and the battalion continued to furnish effective fire support for the infantry regiments as they conducted delaying actions back across the Naktong River into the Pusan Perimeter.
Heavy fighting persisted along the Naktong River until mid-September. By then the superiority of the UN and South Korean forces within the Pusan Perimeter combined with General MacArthur’s amphibious assault at Inchon on 15 September, sent the North Korean forces into headlong retreat. The 24th Division broke out in pursuit on 19 September liberating towns that the division had defended in July and August. In Taejon the 11th FA recovered the destroyed howitzers that were lost when Battery A was overrun. Fire missions were executed against varying degrees of resistance as the North Koreans fled north. By 18 October the 11th FA had crossed the 38th Parallel and by 1 November the 11th was only 35 miles from the Chinese border.
On 3 November Chinese forces entered the war, attacking in mass the UN and South Korean units forcing them into a series of delaying actions back south across the 38th Parallel to defensive positions south of the Han River by 3 January 1951.
Beginning in January 1951 and extending through November 1951 three major campaigns were fought on the Korean peninsula The First UN Counteroffensive, followed by the CCF Spring Offensive and then the UN Summer-Fall Offensive, all of which ultimately resulted in bringing the war to a stalemate in the general vicinity of the 38th Parallel. The 11th Field Artillery Battalion participated in all of these campaigns compiling a record of highly effective fire support to the infantry regiments. In January 1952 the 24th Infantry Division was withdrawn to Japan to serve as part of the Far East strategic reserve.
On 25 July 1953 two days before the signing of the armistice on 27 July, the 24th returned to Korea to police the POW camps. In February 1954 after restoring order and supervising the POW exchange the 24th served as a reserve force for units stationed on the Armistice Demarcation Line. In March 1955 the division took up positions on the Demarcation Line in full combat readiness to deter the North Koreans from breaking the armistice On 15 October 1957, the 24th Infantry Division was reduced to zero strength and replaced by the 1st Cavalry Division.
Beginning in 1957, the Army instituted the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS) to preserve the historic regiments that had been lost to reorganization. This was particularly the case in the Artillery whereby all of the historic regiments had been reorganized as separate battalions during WWII. On 31 March 1958, with its selection as one of the CARS historic regiments, the 11th Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from assignment to the 24th Infantry Division. With the combining of the Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery branches into the Artillery branch, the regiment was redesignated as the 11th Artillery Regiment.
From 1958 to 1960 seven battalions were activated in the 11th Artillery. Four battalions were activated in the Regular Army; the 1st Battalion (9th ID), the 2nd Battalion (Sep), the 3rd Battalion (24th ID) and the 7th Battalion (25th ID). Three battalions were initially assigned to Army Reserve infantry divisions, then were withdrawn from the Army Reserve, allotted to the Regular Army and subsequently activated; the 4th Battalion (94th ID/6th ID), the 5th Battalion (63rd ID/6th ID), and the 6th Battalion (94th ID/ 11th Inf Bde).
On 21 June 1958 the 2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery was activated at Fort Campbell, KY as an air transportable towed 155 howitzer battalion attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps. The battalion remained stationed at Fort Campbell until departing for Vietnam in late November 1966.
Due to an expansion of the 25th Division Artillery, the 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery was activated as a 105mm howitzer battalion and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division on 1 April 1960; returning the 11th to Hawaii after an absence of seventeen years. From 1960-1963 the battalion served as the direct support battalion for the 1st Battle Group, 14th Infantry. In 1963 the battalion became the direct support battalion for the 1st Brigade when Tropic Lightning infantry elements were reorganized from five battle groups into three brigades.
Four battalions of the 11th Artillery Regiment served in Vietnam.
The 1st Battalion arrived in Vietnam 1 January 1967. It served in the Mekong Delta as a direct support 105mm howitzer battalion for the 9th Infantry Division. The 1st Battalion received a Presidential Unit Citation for participating with the 1st Brigade in operations in Binh Toung Province during the period 7 March-22 June 1968. The battalion furnished supporting fires that contributed significantly to the brigade’s reopening of the main highway between Saigon and the Mekong Delta and the annihilation of three Viet Cong main force battalions. The 1st Battalion participated in eight Vietnam campaigns and also received two awards of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and one award of the Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal First Class. The 1st Battalion departed Vietnam 14 August 1969.
The 2nd Battalion arrived in Vietnam on 13 December 1966 and was initially assigned to II Field Forces and based at Dau Tieng. The battalion also served with Task Force Oregon and with the 23rd Artillery Group. In 1968 it was attached to the 101st Airborne Division. The 2nd Battalion participated in thirteen Vietnam campaigns receiving a Valorous Unit Award for Quang Ngai Province for the period 8 May-20 August 1967, two awards of the of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and one award of the Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal First Class. Battery B and Battery C each received a Presidential Unit Citation for the period 10-21 May 1969 in support of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division’s successful assault on Dong Ap Bia Mountain (Hamburger Hill). Battery C also received a Valorous Unit Award in support of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division for the period 17 April-7 May 1969. The 2nd Battalion departed Vietnam on 1 January 1972 and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division on 13 September 1972.
The 6th Battalion arrived in Vietnam on 20 December 1967 as the 105mm direct support battalion for the 11th Light Infantry Brigade. The 6th Battalion was based at Duc Pho in Quang Ngai Province. For the next three plus years the battalion’s supporting fires greatly contributed to preventing North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces from seizing this vital rice growing area. While remaining as the direct support battalion for the 11th Brigade, the 6th Battalion was assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division (Americal) on 15 February 1969. The battalion participated in eleven Vietnam campaigns and received two awards of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. The 6th Battalion departed Vietnam on 19 September 1971.
The 7th Battalion arrived in Vietnam on 29 April 1966. Initially based at Cu Chi, the battalion continued to serve as the direct support battalion for the 1st Brigade through twelve Vietnam campaigns. The 7th Battalion received a Valorous Unit Award for Tay Ninh Province for the period 27 August-31 October 1968 for participating with the 1st Brigade in successfully engaging and destroying two enemy divisions attempting to attack Saigon. The battalion also received two awards of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and one award of the Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal First Class. Battery A was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation at Ben Cui rubber plantation for the period of 18 August-20 September 1969. The fires of the battery during that period significantly contributed to the annihilation of an attacking enemy regiment. Battery B was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for Tay Ninh Province for the period 24 April -26 April 1969. The battery located at Patrol Base Frontier City on the Cambodian border was attacked by two enemy battalions. In two days of fierce action the direct fires of Battery B were instrumental in repulsing the attack and inflicting heavy casualties on the Viet Cong. The battalion departed Vietnam for Schofield Barracks on 8 December 1970 and was inactivated on 13 September 1972.
On 1 September 1971 the FA and ADA branches were reestablished and the 11th was redesignated as the 11th Field Artillery. With the end of the Cold War, the US Army began a major reduction of the number of European based conventional and nuclear capable artillery battalions that resulted in the downsizing of the majority of field artillery regiments, with some having all of their elements inactivated. The War on Terrorism required a major change of ground force structure from a conventional war posture to a counter-insurgency configuration that further reduced the need for field artillery.
Beginning in 2004 the Army reorganized from a division-centric to a brigade-centric organization that resulted in the elimination of the Division Artillery and the assignment of a field artillery battalion to each brigade combat team. As a result, the 11th Field Artillery Regiment went from its initial total of seven active battalions in the Vietnam era to just two active battalions by 2004. The 2nd Battalion was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii and the 4th Battalion was assigned to the 172nd Infantry Brigade (Stryker) in Alaska.
The 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery initially served in Iraq from January 2004 to February 2005 as the direct support battalion for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. The battalion’s counter-fire capability significantly disrupted insurgent rocket attacks. In addition to providing fire support for combat operations, the battalion organized as a task force, conducted security and stability operations in and around the city of Kirkuk. The 2nd Battalion received a Valorous Unit Award and participation credit for the Transition of Iraq and the Iraqi Governance campaigns. From December 2007 to March 2009 the 2nd Battalion, served a fifteen-month tour of duty in Iraq with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. The brigade was based at Camp Taji northwest of Baghdad. The brigade was responsible for the rural areas northwest and west of Baghdad where it successfully operated with Iraqi security forces in eliminating terrorist cells and locating and destroying numerous weapons caches. The 2nd Battalion received participation credit for the National Resolution campaign. The 2nd Battalion as part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team began its third deployment to Iraq in the summer of 2010.
The 4th Battalion, 11th Field Artillery was originally activated in 1959 and assigned to the Army Reserve as a rocket howitzer battalion and then a 105 mm howitzer battalion. It was allotted to the Regular Army on 2 October 1986 and assigned to the 6th Infantry Division in Alaska. Upon the inactivation of the 6th Infantry Division, the 4th Battalion was assigned to the 172nd Infantry Brigade on 17 April 1998 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska as the direct support howitzer battalion. The 172nd was reorganized as a Stryker brigade in 2003 and in August 2005 deployed to Iraq where the 4th Battalion supported the brigade’s combat operations and stability initiatives in the Mosul area. Originally scheduled to depart Iraq in July 2006, the brigade’s deployment was extended six months and it was transferred to Baghdad. For its significant contributions in reducing the sectarian violence in Ninewah Province and in the Baghdad area, the brigade, including the 4th Battalion, received a Valorous Unit Award and participation credit for the Iraqi Governance and the National Resolution campaigns. On 16 December 2006 the 172nd including the 4th Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, was inactivated with its personnel and equipment used to activate the 1st Brigade Combat Team (Stryker), 25th Infantry Division at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
Currently, the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment is the regiment’s only active battalion. Thus, on the members of the 2nd Battalion falls the duty to perpetuate the traditions, honors and past accomplishments of the Dragon Regiment. As the previous two deployments in the Iraq campaigns have clearly demonstrated, today’s 2nd Battalion has and will continue in the future to being “On Time” in adding to the distinguished history of the 11th Field Artillery Regiment.
|DISTINCTIVE UNIT INSIGNIA||COAT OF ARMS|
Shield: The 11th Field Artillery was formed by the transfer of personnel from the 6th Field Artillery and served in France in the 6th Division, its battle service being in the province of Lorraine. The arms of Lorraine have three alerions on the red band, the field being gold. To this is added the insignia of the 6th Division and, on a canton, the crest of the 6th Field Artillery.
Crest: The crest is a black lion rampant taken from the arms of Stenay in commemoration of the principal action of the regiment, which was in support of the 89th Division during the crossing of the Meuse near Stenay. The insignia of the 6th Division is in the lion’s paw.