143rd Infantry Regiment (United States)

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143rd Infantry Regiment
143 Inf Rgt DUI.png
143rd Infantry Regiment distinctive unit insignia
Active Constituted 15 October 1917
Restructured 16 March 1959
Reorganized 1 March 1963
Inactivated 12 August 2001
Reactivated 1 September 2010–present
Country USA
Branch United States Army
Type Infantry
Role Airborne Infantry
Garrison/HQ 1st Battalion – Texas
Nickname(s) Third Texas
Motto(s) Arms Secure Peace
Engagements Spanish–American War
Mexican Border Service
World War I
World War II
Global War on Terror
Insignia
Beret flash of 1st Battalion
US Army 143rd ABN INF BN Flash.png
U.S. Infantry Regiments
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142nd Infantry Regiment 144th Infantry Regiment

The 143rd Infantry Regiment is an airborne infantry formation in the Army National Guard and has one battalion active under the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team as part of the Associated Unit Program, aligning active and reserve units with one another for training and deployment.

Heraldic Information[edit]

Coat of Arms[edit]

Blazon[edit]

  • Shield: Azure, a bend wavy argent between an oak tree eradicated and a key fesswise or.
  • Crest: On a wreath of the colors argent and azure a mullet argent encircled by a garland of live oak and olive proper.
  • Motto: Arms Secure Peace

Symbolism[edit]

  1. The shield is blue for infantry.
  2. The bend wavy represents the regiment's service on the Mexican border, along the Rio Grande.
  3. It also represents the Aisne River in France, where the unit served in World War I.
  4. The oak tree symbolizes the Meuse-Argonne operation, also in World War I.
  5. The gold key represents service in the Spanish–American War.

Background[edit]

  • The coat of arms was approved on 30 June 1926.

Lineage and Honors[edit]

Lineage[edit]

  • Organized 15 October 1917 in Camp Bowie, Texas, from the Third Texas Infantry and the Fifth Texas Infantry and assigned to the 72d Infantry Brigade, 36th Infantry Division
  • Called to federal service, October 1917
  • Returned to state control, June 1919
  • Activated (state) for hurricane disaster relief, Nueces, San Patricio and Aransas Counties, September 1919
  • Activated (state) for the New London School explosion, March 1937
  • Mobilized (federal) at Brownwood, Texas, 25 November 1940
  • Inactivated at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia, 22 December 1945
  • Reactivated under state control and assigned to the 36th Infantry Division, 23 October 1946
  • Reorganized as 1st and 2d Battle Groups, 143d Infantry (under the Pentomic Division system), 1959
  • Reorganized as the 143d Infantry, 1 March 1963, with the 2d and 3d Battalions assigned to the 3d Brigade, 36th Division; and the 1st Battalion inactivated
  • 3d Battalion relieved from assignment to the 36th Division and assigned to the 36th Infantry Brigade (Separate), 1 November 1965
  • 1st Battalion reactivated, 2d Battalion relieved from assignment to the 36th Division, 3d Battalion relieved from assignment to 36th Infantry Brigade (Separate); all battalions assigned to the 71st Airborne Brigade (Separate), 30 July 1968
  • 1st and 2d Battalions assigned to the 36th Airborne Brigade (redesignated from the 71st); 3d Battalion inactivated and its personnel and equipment used to form the 1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment in 1973
  • 1st Battalion inactivated, 2d Battalion inactivated (less company A); assets from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 143d Infantry used to form Company G (Ranger) 143d Infantry, 21 April 1980.
  • Company G (Ranger) 143d Infantry was redesignated as Company G (Long Range Surveillance), 143d Infantry in 1988.
  • Company G (Long Range Surveillance), 143d Infantry, a corps-level unit, was inactivated in September 2001; the division-level 143d Infantry Detachment (Long Range Surveillance), a separate unit with no lineage connection to the 143d Infantry Regiment, remained active.
  • 143d Infantry Detachment (LRS) was inactivated in 2008; personnel and equipment were used to form Troop C (LRS), 3d Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment of the 71st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade.
  • 1st Battalion activated as 1st Battalion (Airborne), 143d Infantry Regiment, 2010. HHC, Company A, Company D, and Forward Support Company (FSC) activated in Texas; Company B activated in the Alaska Army National Guard; Company C activated in the Rhode Island Army National Guard from the personnel and equipment of the 173d Infantry Detachment (LRS).
  • Previous Battalion Commanders include Lieutenant Colonel Douglas O'Connell (2009-2011), Lieutenant Colonel Sean McGrath (2011-2013), and Lieutenant Colonel Max Krupp (2013-2015)
  • Current Battalion Commander is Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Cyr (2015-present)

The lineage of subordinate units is as follows:

  • Headquarters Company, 143d Infantry Regiment (Waco)
  • Heavy Mortar Company (Clifton)
  • Medical Company (Houston)
  • Service Company (Houston)
  • Tank Company (Marlin)
  • Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (College Station) – First formed in Clifton 6 June 1922 as part of the 141st Infantry. Transferred to the 143rd Infantry 1924. World War II. "ALSACE" Distinguished Unit Streamer. Reformed in Palestine, Texas, on 12 May 1947; moved to College Station 10 January 1954.
  • Company A (Rusk) – Originally formed as Company A, Seventh Cavalry (Confederate Army); Rusk Militia 1883–1895; Company F, Third Texas Infantry 1903–1914; World War II. "ALSACE" Distinguished Unit Streamer.
  • Company B (Mexia) – Originally formed as Company B, Third Infantry, Texas Volunteer Guard, 1879; Company C, Second Texas, United States Volunteers (Spanish–American War); Mexican Border Service, 1916–1917; World War II. "ALSACE" Streamer.
  • Company C (Beaumont) – Organized in 1926; World War II. "ALSACE" Streamer. Stationed in Palestine, Texas 1947.
  • Company D (Corsicana) – Independent Blues Militia, 1859; Company K, First Texas Cavalry (Confederate Army); Company A, First Texas, United States Volunteers (Spanish–American War); World War II. "ALSACE" Distinguished Unit Streamer.
  • Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion (Houston) – Originally formed in Moody, then moved to Hillsboro 18 February 1930. World War II. "COLMAR POCKET" Distinguished Unit Streamer. Reorganized in Houston, 2 December 1946.
  • Company E (Caldwell) – Organized in 1939; assault unit at Salerno, Rapido River. "COLMAR POCKET" Streamer. Reorganized in Baytown, 1947.
  • Company F (Huntsville) – Formed from volunteers in Hood's Brigade (Confederate Army) and the Tom Hamilton Guards of the 1870s. Company F, First Texas, United States Volunteers (Spanish–American War). World War II. "COLMAR POCKET" Distinguished Unit Streamer.
  • Company G (Houston) – Formed from the Houston Light Guard. World War II. "COLMAR POCKET" Streamer. Reorganized into Company G (Ranger — later LRS), 143d Infantry in 1980.
  • Company H (Beaumont) – First formed 22 February 1922 in Somerville. World War II. "COLMAR POCKET" Streamer. Reorganized and activated 3 October 1947 in Beaumont.
  • Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion (Waco) – First formed in Itasca as Company K, 143d Infantry in 1922. Redesignated as Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion in 1924. World War II. "MAGRANON RIDGE," and "RIBBEAUVILLE" Distinguished Unit Streamers. Reformed in Waco on 5 February 1947.
  • Company I (Belton) – Formed from the Tom Campbell Rifles, 1893.
  • Company K (Waco) – Formed as the Waco Greys, 1876. Company K, Second Texas Infantry, 1898. World War II. "MAGRANON RIDGE," "RIBBEAUVILLE," and "BITSCHOFFEN" Distinguished Unit Streamers. Pfc. Donald K. Kimbrough was awarded a Presidential Citation for Heroism, Gallantry in Action and Outstanding Achievement in Company K on March 15, 1945. Company K was assigned the mission of attacking at night over exposed terrain, to capture the town of Bitschoffen, France, the town was well defended and surrounded by extensive minefields. Company K attacked twice, each time suffering heavy losses from mines and defensive fires, though each time, reorganized for another assault, on the third assault, elements of the company attacking up and through a mine field succeeded in entering the town, overwhelming the German troops in the village. They then attacked from the rear, and engaged those enemy forces with the remainder of Company K. By dawn, Bittschoffen, France had fallen, an undetermined number of the enemy was killed and 66 prisoners were captured. Pfc. Donald K. Kimbrough retired from the Armed Forces as Master Sgt. in 1946.
  • Company L (Hillsboro) – Originally Company M, Second Texas Infantry, 1900. World War II. "RIBBEAUVILLE" and "MAGRANON RIDGE" Distinguished Unit Streamers.
  • Company M (Waco) – First formed in Killeen 1922, moved to Waco 1 July 1931. World War II. "RIBBEAUVILLE" and "MAGRANON RIDGE" Distinguished Unit Streamers.

Honors[edit]

Campaign Participation Credit[edit]

  • Mexican Border Service:
  • World War I:
  1. Meuse-Argonne
  • World War II:
  1. Naples-Foggia with Arrowhead;
  2. Anzio;
  3. Rome-Arno;
  4. Southern France with Arrowhead (Liberation of Alps, Grenoble)
  5. Rhineland;
  6. Ardennes-Alsace;
  7. Central Europe
  • Global War on Terror:
  1. Afghanistan

Unit Decorations[edit]

  1. 2–6 December 1944 (3d Battalion and Cannon Company) – COLMAR POCKET
  2. 6–9 December 1944 (2d Battalion) – COLMAR POCKET
  3. 26–29 August 1944 (3d Battalion) – SOUTHERN FRANCE
  4. 15 March 1945 (Company K, 2d Battalion) – CENTRAL EUROPE
  5. 15–17 March 1945 (1st Battalion) – CENTRAL EUROPE
  1. VOSGES
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation for:
  1. 8 December 2011 - 1 October 2012 (Detachment, 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment) - AFGHANISTAN

Service[edit]

Mexican Border Service[edit]

In February 1913, Mexico was in a state of turmoil between two rival factions for power and this prevented commanders in Mexican border towns from paying their soldiers. Concern over this caused County Judge and Sheriff of Cameron County, Texas, to appeal to the governor for assistance; in response, Governor Oscar Colquitt sent Texas militia, consisting of two companies of the Third Texas Infantry from Corpus Christi and Houston and two companies of cavalry. They remained until June 1913,[1] the situation got worse, with American citizens being executed in Mexico and various factions conducting cross-border raids into Texas. Some Federal troops were stationed on the border and in August 1913, Colquitt sent the entire Third Texas Infantry to Fort Brown along with a battery of light artillery from Dallas, these were relieved by Federal troops in 1914.[2] By 1916, the Third Texas was stationed at Harlingen while in Federal service.[3][4]

World War I[edit]

In 1917, the 36th Infantry Division was formed from units in Texas and Oklahoma, the Third Texas and part of the Fifth Texas infantry regiments were organized as the 143d Infantry Regiment at Camp Bowie, Texas.[5] The 143d was assigned to the 72d Infantry Brigade of the division,[6] the 143d was then shipped to France in 1918 with the rest of the division for final combat training and then to the front. In September 1918, the 36th Division was attached to the French Fifth Army,[7] the regiment participated in Meuse-Argonne Offensive from 7–28 October 1918.[5][8]

World War II[edit]

The 36th Infantry Division was mobilized on 25 November 1940 at Camp Bowie, including the 143d Infantry, it was shipped to Algeria in early 1943.

Salerno & Liri Valley, Italy[edit]

The 143d participated in the landing at Salerno, Italy and continued to fight in Italy during the campaign in the Liri Valley from September 1943 to early 1944. Significant engagements included the Battle of San Pietro and the Rapido River crossing.

Anzio[edit]

The regiment was landed to reinforce the Fifth Army on 19 May 1944, it then participated in the breakout and movement to Rome where they were halted by orders to allow other units to catch up.

Southern France[edit]

As part of the 36th Division, the 143d landed in Southern France. Moving forward with the 141st Infantry, the regiment was part of the bottleneck that formed the Colmar Pocket, this resulted in the destruction of the German 19th Army.

Vosges, France and Germany[edit]

The 143d concluded its combat with actions in Vosges, France and southern Germany. There was a significant battle near Weikersheim, Germany, the regiment then breached the Siegfried Line and moved forward as far as the Rhine river.

War On Drugs / Southern Border Operations[edit]

The 143rd's LRS teams participated in southern border operations on active duty as part of Texas Task Force 1, Operation Unity, and Operation Plus-Up.

Global War on Terror[edit]

Afghanistan[edit]

The 143rd was mobilized the day after Thanksgiving in 2011, it conducted mobilization training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, and deployed to Afghanistan in February 2012 to conduct missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The primary mission of the 143rd was service as security forces (SECFOR) for Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) throughout the country. Headquarters and Headquarters Company was assigned to the capital city, Kabul helping to secure and manage the operation of multiple bases in the area.

Notable Awards / Commendations[edit]

Medal of Honor[edit]

Distinguished Service Cross[edit]

The following unit members were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross:

  • Sergeant Jack G. Berry, September, 1943.
  • Private First Class Charles E. Wheeler, September, 1943.
  • Private First Class Chester M. Dotson, Company I, 2d Battalion, 9 December 1943.
  • Sergeant Robert L. Chudej, Company D, 1st Battalion, 13 December 1943.
  • Private First Class Romeo A. Leclair, 21 January 1944.
  • Second Lieutenant Thomas E. Vierheller, 22 January 1944.
  • Major James Frank Skells, 3d Battalion, 12 February 1944.
  • Private First Class Morgan R. Tompkins, Company F, 2d Battalion, 28 May 1944.
  • First Lieutenant Melvin Richard Clemens, 29 August 1944.
  • Private First Class Elmer E. Kopp, Company F, 2d Battalion, 29 September 1944.
  • Sergeant Edwin G. Masching, 4 October 1944.
  • Staff Sergeant Charley A. Holm, Company I, 2d Battalion, 20 November 1944.
  • Captain Eric C. Anderson, Company G, 2d Battalion, 22 November 1944.
  • First Lieutenant Richard J. Grousset, Company G, 2d Battalion, 22 November 1944.
  • First Sergeant Charles W. Holecek, Company C, 1st Battalion, 6 December 1944.
  • Sergeant Charles E. Hickman, Company M, 3d Battalion, 7 December 1944.
  • Technical Sergeant John J. Wehling, Cannon Company, 8 December 1944.
  • Corporal John Kotkovetz, Anti-Tank Company, 12 December 1944.
  • Private First Class Charles Sciortino, Anti-Tank Company, 12 December 1944.
  • Private First Class Wayne H. Brooks, Company L, 3d Battalion, 13–14 December 1944.
  • Private First Class Gerald S. Gordon, Company L, 3d Battalion, 13–14 December 1944.
  • Staff Sergeant David G. Blewett, Company A, 1st Battalion, 14 December 1944.
  • Private First Class Rudolph J. Szafraniec, Company M, 3d Battalion, 15 December 1944.
  • Private Donald N. Winters, Company M, 3d Battalion, 15 December 1945.
  • Sergeant Gurney R. Shields, Company G, 2d Battalion, 17 December 1944.
  • Sergeant Thomas A. Voltero, Company G, 2d Battalion, 17–18 December 1944.
  • Private First Class Santo J. DiSalvo, Company G, 2d Battalion, 18 December 1944.
  • Sergeant Paul W. Oligny, Company C, 1st Battalion, 18 December 1944.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Marion P. Bowden, 2d Battalion, 19–21 January 1945.
  • First Lieutenant Elmer S. Ward, 2–3 February 1945.
  • Staff Sergeant Albert V. Martinez, Company F, 2d Battalion, 10 February 1945.
  • Private Theodore F. Reynolds, Company C, 1st Battalion, 10–11 February 1945.
  • Sergeant Michael Antosky, Company K, 2d Battalion, 15 March 1945.
  • Private First Class Charles H. Sinclair, Company L, 3d Battalion, 15 March 1945.
  • First Lieutenant Malcolm G. Smith, Jr., 15 March 1945.
  • Private First Class Charles E. Hooker, Company F, 2d Battalion, 16 March 1945.
  • Captain Kermit H. Selvig, Company C, 1st Battalion, 22 March 1945.
  • First Lieutenant Garland B. Taylor, 23 March 1945.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pierce, Frank Cushman (1917). A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Menasha, Wisconsin: George Banta Publishing Company,. pp. 78–79. 
  2. ^ Pierce, Frank Cushman (1917). A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Menasha, Wisconsin: George Banta Publishing Company,. p. 82. 
  3. ^ Pierce, Frank Cushman (1917). A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Menasha, Wisconsin: George Banta Publishing Company,. p. 106. 
  4. ^ Texas Adjutant General (1916). Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of Texas. Austin, Texas: State of Texas. p. 136. 
  5. ^ a b Garey, Enoch Barton; Ellis, Olin Oglesby & Magoffin, Ralph Van Deman (1920). American Guide Book to France and Its Battlefields. New York: Macmillan. pp. 247–49. 
  6. ^ Chastaine, Ben-Hur (1920). Story of the 36th: the experiences of the 36th division in the world war. Oklahoma City: Harlow Publishing Co. pp. 1–14. 
  7. ^ Chastaine, Ben-Hur (1920). Story of the 36th: the experiences of the 36th division in the world war. Oklahoma City: Harlow Publishing Co. p. 61. 
  8. ^ War Department (1920). Battle participation of organizations of the American expeditionary forces in France, Belgium, and Italy. 1917–1918. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. p. 24. 
  9. ^ Brokaw, Tom; Williams, Brian; Hanson, Victor Davis (2011). Medal of Honor. New York: Artisan Books. p. 82. ISBN 9781579654627. 
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.