A Brief History of the 1st BN, 30th FA Regiment
A Brief History of the Regiment
The 30th Field Artillery was constituted during World War I and assigned to the 10th Division 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. 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.
World War II
The Regiment was reactivated at Camp Roberts, California as part of the Regular Army. In May, 1942, both battalions were moved into positions guarding key harbor entrances on Kodiak Island and near Seward, Alaska. After nearly two years in Alaska, the Regiment was ordered to Camp Pickett, Virginia, and in May, 1944, redesignated the 30th Field Artillery Group. 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,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.
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.
May 04 2000 12:32:06:000AM