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3rd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Unit History


          The 3rd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery was constituted July 1, 1916 in the Regular Army as Battery C, 18th Field Artillery and organized June 1, 1917 at Fort Bliss, Texas.  On November 12, 1917, the Battalion was attached to the 3rd Division and deployed to France to fight along-side the Allied Forces against the Germans.  The Battalion distinguished itself during World War I earning the French Croix De Guerre with Gilt Star on the battle streamers for the Champagne Marne and Aisne-Marne campaigns and was instrumental in helping to defeat the Germans during the all out frontal assault known as the "Ludendorff Offensive."  After the German surrender, the Battalion served a short tour of occupation duty and redeployed the the United States.


          During World War II, the 18th Field Artillery sailed to Europe and Fought in the Ardennes, Northern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe.  The Battalion served as a  part of General George S. Patton's 3rd Army as he marched across France and toward the German border.  In December 1944 the Battalion provided crucial close fires in support of the relief effort of III Corps as it fought to Liberate the surrounded 101th Airborne Division at Bastogne, Belgium in the Battle of the Bulge.  After shattering the 5th Panzer Army's tanks and troops, the Battalion followed the 3rd Army's dash through the German Westwall, over the Rhine, past Frankfurt and to the Czechoslovakian border.  At the end of World War II, the Battalion served a brief tour as part of the Army of Occupation and returned to the United States where it was inactivated on March 3, 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.  The Battalion was then reactivated August 1, 1946 here at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.


          After 22 years of re-designations, reorganizations, and reassignments, the Battalion again answered to the Nation's call in 1965 when it deployed to Vietnam.  The Battalion served in Vietnam from 1965 until 1971, and earned several unit citations and commendations for its action in Chu Lai and Quang Ngai provinces, as well as during the TET Offensive in 1968 and the counteroffensive in 1969.  After supporting many different units and operation, the Battalion again stood down and returned to the United States in 1971 to begin a 20 year rest from the rigors of combat.


          The Battalion was ordered to deactivate in April 1989.  However, in August of 1990, as the Battalion was preparing for drawdown and deactivation, Saddam Hussain of Iraq invaded neighboring Kuwait.  The 3rd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery, once again answered the call to arms as they were deployed to Saudi Arabia in November 1990.  The Battalion was attached to the 3rd Armored Cavalry regiment and in February 1991, when the Desert Shield transitioned to Desert Storm, the Battalion provided direct support in support of 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiments flanking attack toward Al-Basrah.  When the Gulf War ended, the Battalion returned to Fort Sill where it has remained since.


          In February of 1997, the Battalion received the M109A6 Paladin Howitzer, and was certified as a Paladin Battalion after successfully completing the New Equipment Training and conducting a successful Battalion Annual External Evaluation in June 1997.  The 3rd Battalion, 19th Field Artillery stands before you today ready to deploy, fight and win on any battlefield if the call of arms is once again sounded.


Source:  The Fort Sill Historical Archives

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