A Brief History of the Regiment

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The 30th Field Artillery was constituted during World War I on 5 July 1918, assigned to the 10th Division and organized at Camp Funston, Kansas (now a part of Fort Riley), along with the 28th Field Artillery and the 29th Field Artillery to form the 10th Field Artillery Brigade. The 30th had two battalions of three batteries, each battery consisting of four officers and 200 men and was armed primarily with the horse-drawn 4.7inch/120mm rifled guns. An epidemic of influenza delayed the division's training and caused several deaths within the Regiment. While an advanced party departed for Europe on October 27, 1918, before the rest of the Regiment could complete training and embark, the armistice ending World War I was signed and the 30th was demobilized on February 5, 1919.

World War II

The Regiment was reactivated at Camp Roberts, California on 4 June 1941 as part of the Regular Army. For a short time after Pearl Harbor and the commencement of US involvement in World War II, the unit's 155mm truck-drawn howitzers provided artillery defense for the California Coast. In May, 1942, both battalions were moved into positions guarding key harbor entrances on Kodiak Island and near Seward, Alaska. In July, 1943, the 1st Battalion was transported via ship to Adak Harbor, but two days later was rerouted several hundred miles away to Amchitka Island ready to help repel the Japanese from the Aleutians.

After nearly two years in Alaska, the Regiment was ordered to Seattle, transported cross-country to Camp Pickett, Virginia, and in May, 1944, redesignated the 30th Field Artillery Group. They departed for Europe in November, 1944. The 30th entered the European combat zone at Villers, France, in February, 1945, in support of a variety of infantry divisions. From then until the end of World War II in May, the Group was composed of five battalions equipped with everything from 4.5" guns to 155mm, 8", and 240mm howitzers and had numerous battalions temporarily attached to it. The unit fired over 1,900 fire missions as it moved steadily forward into Germany to a point near Neuberg along the Danube River. The 30th closed its World War II service as one of only six artillery units to have served in both the European and Pacific Theaters.

The Cold War Years

Throughout the Cold War years that followed, the Regiment was reorganized, reconstituted, changed primary weapons and relocated numerous times. The five World War II battalions at various times became the 521st FA Battalion, 550th FA Battalion, 30th FA Battalion, 550th Rocket Battalion, 2nd Missile Battalion, 30th Artillery, etc. Weapons ranged from the tractor-drawn 155mm and self-propelled 8" howitzers to Sergeant and Honest John missiles. Posts included Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Benning, Georgia, among numerous others in the Continental United States plus various locales from Augsburg and Erlangen in Germany to the missile sites in Italy.

Viet Nam

When the Vietnam conflict heated up, the 1st Battalion was called upon to face the toughest series of challenges in the Regiment's history. Deploying as a 155mm towed howitzer unit of the 1st Field Force in the I and II Corps area in 1965, the "First of the Thirtieth" supported the 1st and 3rd Marine Divisions, 101st Airborne Division, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), and numerous Allied units. After being attached to the 1st Cavalry Division, the 1st Battalion became an organic unit of the 1st Cav in 1968 shortly before moving south with it into the Tay Ninh region of War Zone C.

In 1966 the Battalion was the first ever to move 155mm howitzers into combat by helicopter, melding the 1st Cavalry Division's air mobility concept with the unit's heavy firepower. It was one of the first to employ the FADAC computer in combat. In over five years of combat, 1st Battalion expended over 1,260,000 rounds of timely, accurate, and deadly firepower in support of its infantry brothers and in direct fire defending its remote firebase positions against ground assaults and sapper, rocket, and mortar attacks.

These courageous actions cost the lives of 37 known Battalion members and resulted in hundreds of wounded in action. Departing Vietnam in 1971, the Battalion and its batteries had earned two Presidential Unit Citations, four Valorous Unit Awards, three Meritorious Unit Commendations, five Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry with Palm, and innumerable individual medals for valor. It had become the second most decorated of over 70 Army and Marine artillery battalions in the Vietnam war. Its other Vietnam legacy was the adoption of the "Hard Charger" radio call sign as the Battalion's (and later the Regiment's) nickname.

[ World War II ] | [ Erlangen, FRG ] | [ Fort Lewis, WA ] [ World War II ] [ RVN 65-66 ] [ RVN 67 ] [ RVN 68 ] [ RVN 69 ]

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