327th Infantry Regiment (United States)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from 327th Infantry Regiment)
Jump to: navigation, search
327th Infantry Regiment
327InfRegtCOA.png
327th Infantry coat of arms
Active 1917–1945
1948–1953
1954–
Country USA
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Part of 101st Airborne Division
Garrison/HQ Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Nickname "Bastogne Bulldogs" (BDE)(special designation) [1]
Motto "Honor and Country"
Engagements World War I
World War II
*Battle of Normandy
*Battle of the Bulge
Vietnam War
War in Southwest Asia
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Colonel Joseph H. Harper,Colonel David Hackworth,Colonel Charles A. Beckwith
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia 327InfRegtDUI.jpg
U.S. Infantry Regiments
Previous Next
325th Infantry Regiment 329th Infantry Regiment

During World War II, the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment ("Bastogne Bulldogs"[1]) was a gliderborne regiment of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division. It fought during World War I as part of the U.S. 82nd Division. It has also been deployed to: The Dominican Republic 1965; Vietnam 7/29/65 – 3/10/72; Grenada 1983; Panama 1989; and most recently to Iraq and Afghanistan. The song "Glider Rider" describes (humorously) some of the slights that gliderborne troops felt they received from the Army during WWII; though the regiments public claim to fame came in the 1949 movie Battleground about the Siege of Bastogne in 1944.

History[edit]

Although ostensibly the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment during World War II was a part of the 101st Airborne Division, the majority of this unit landed by sea on Utah Beach the afternoon of D-Day +1, 7 June 1944, due to a shortage of glider tow planes. Some elements did reach shore on 6 June, but due to rough seas, beach traffic, and the fact that the paratroopers of the 101st had already achieved many objectives, the landing was delayed. The 327th suffered a few casualties going ashore by enemy fire and were strafed by enemy aircraft. Near Ste. Come DuMont (southeast of the village), the 327th was camped right next to German paratroopers, separated by thick hedgerows. German speaking soldiers in the 327th engaged in taunting the enemy. The 327th took several casualties by enemy mortars. By 8 June, the 327th had entered the front line, largely in reserve of the 506th until crossing the Douve River near Carentan. First and Second Battalions guarded Utah Beachhead's left flank northeast of Carentan. Company C was hit hard by friendly fire mortars while crossing the Douve. Official findings blamed enemy mines. Company B also suffered casualties in the incident.

The 327th suffered heavy casualties while advancing on Carentan via what is now the city Marina from a northeast direction and other casualties approaching Carentan from the east. G Company led the attack on the west bank of the marina canal. A Company of the attached 401 was on the east bank of the canal. Concealed German machine guns and mortars inflicted the most casualties. Chaplain Gordon Cosby earned a Silver Star for bravery in the face of the enemy for assisting wounded glider men in front of heavily armed German soldiers. The 327th played a pivotal role with the 501st and 506th of the 101st in taking Carentan. The 327th marched through the town and East to be possibly the first unit of the Utah Beachhead to link up with the Omaha Beachhead around the four-villages area of le Fourchette, le Mesnil, le Rocher and Cotz. It was then directed South between the bulk of the 101st and the 75th Infantry Division of the Omaha Beachhead.

The unit was commanded by Col. George S. Wear through 10 June, and then its command was turned over to Col. Joseph H. Harper. Although not official, the men of the 327th understood that Wear was replaced due to friendly fire artillery casualties while crossing the Douve River.[citation needed] Officially, enemy mortars were blamed.

The regiment played a pivotal part in Operation Market Garden battle near Best, in the Netherlands, encircling a large German force which had been pressured from the west by the tank supported 502nd of the 101st. Sgt. Manuel Hidalgo and Lt. Hibbard of G Company risked their lives in a humanitarian effort to get the enemy to surrender before being annihilated by the 327th. In the Market Garden operations, some companies in the 327th suffered two-thirds casualty rates before arriving at Opheusden. 2nd Battalion, especially Company G suffered heavy casualties from a brutal shelling in the churchyard at Veghel. The large artillery shells were launched from the Erp vicinity. Dutch collaborators aided German scouts and were executed by the Dutch underground after the shelling.

At Opheusden, the 327th withstood repeated assaults by the enemy and heavy artillery barrages. In Rendezvous with Destiny, Rapport and Arthur cite British officers that indicated that the barrage suffered by the 327 was as intense as anything they had seen, and rivaled what the British pummeled the Germans with at El Alamein in North Africa. The fighting along the west and northwest perimeter in the Ophuesden (the Island) area was as intense as any fighting in the area. E Company engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy near the railroad track switch house south of Opheusden. The enemy repeatedly hurled their units unsuccessfully at the glider men and suffered high casualties.[citation needed]

At Bastogne, Belgium, the 327 held half of the perimeter (including the 401, which was acting as the Regiment's 3rd Battalion and later officially became a part of the 327). Numerous intense fights erupted along the 327 sector including two brutal fights at Marvie and more to the west in the 401 section. The Germans attacking were of the Volksgrenadiers and the elite tank-based Panzer Lehr. At Marvie the 327 was outnumbered by 15 to 1. Facing only two US companies, G Company, supported by several tanks from the 10th Armored Division and E Company in reserve, the German commander took his whole division further west. At Marvie, the Germans lost six tanks and several half tracks. One tank did break into Marvie, but was destroyed trying to make a run towards Bastogne. Several days later, during the night of 23 December, the enemy attacked in force with tanks. The road through Marvie was blocked when G Company mistook a US tank destroyer for a German tank and destroyed it on the village bridge. The Germans overran Hill 500 just to the west of Marvie and broke through the gap between F and G Company. The enemy then put rear pressure on the F Company Command Post. A platoon sized paratrooper element came to support F Company. The German forces managed to place tanks behind US lines between Marvie and Bastogne. The glider men of Company G and Company F were pushed back from 500 to 1000 yards during the intense fighting, but did not break. Unable to make quick progress, the Germans pressed the attack until morning, but withdrew when the German Command Center was destroyed by US artillery. Again, the 327 was badly outnumbered by the enemy.

After the break through by General Patton's tanks, the 327tg proceeded to the north sector of the Bastogne theater of operations. There, 2nd Battalion was involved in clearing Champs after a German armored element broke through paratrooper lines. Companies A and C suffered intense casualties and were consolidated into one company call ACE. Later, the 327 made an open field maneuver against armored enemy troops east of Foy, which helped secure that village. The fierceness and speed of the open field attack surprised the Germans and the paratrooper regiments on the flanks of the attack. German forces attacked the flank and surrounded ACE Company in Bois Jacques. After that, the enemy was primarily in withdrawal mode back to Germany.

The 327 often is slighted by fans of the 101st Airborne Division as riding in a glider is not deemed as perilous as parachuting in battle. Several companies of the 327 suffered casualty rates as high or higher than many paratrooper regiments. Some companies, such as A,C,G, and the 401 took casualties as severe as the most engaged paratrooper regiments. On D+2, glider flights into Market Garden suffered a 30% loss of gliders. Later, the 327 was involved in action near Hagenau, France in Alsace.

Inactivated on 30 November 1945 in France, the regiment was redesignated as the 516th Airborne Infantry Regiment on 18 June 1948 and active from 6 July 1948 to 1 April 1949 and from 25 August 1950 to 1 December 1953 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. As was the case with many combat divisions of World War II fame, the colours of the 101st Airborne Division and its subordinate elements were active only as training units and were not organized as parachute or glider units.

On 27 April 1954 the 516th was relieved from assignment to the 101st Airborne Division and activated at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on 15 May 1954, again as a training unit. On 1 July 1956 it was reorganized and redesignated as the 327th Airborne Infantry Regiment, an element of the 101st.

Paratroopers from the 327th escorting black students into Little Rock Central High during the 1957 integration crisis

On 25 April 1957 the colors of Company A, 327AIR were reorganized and redesignated as HHC, 1st Airborne Battle Group, 327th Infantry, and remained assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated). This was the only active element of the 327th Infantry during the Pentomic era. When the Army abandoned battle groups for brigades and battalions, the unit was reorganized and redesignated on 3 February 1963 as the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, an element of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.

On 21 January 1964 the lineage of the former Company B, 327AIR was redesignated as HHC, 2d Battalion, 327th Infantry, assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (organic elements concurrently constituted) and activated on 3 February 1963, also as an element of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.

As elements of the 1st Brigade, the two battalions of 327th Infantry deployed to Vietnam in 1965, where they were joined by the rest of the division in late 1967. The 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry was the last unit of the 101st Airborne to leave Viet Nam, departing in April 1972, making it the longest serving unit in combat during the Viet Nam war. While still at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the remaining elements of the 101st were severely stripped of personnel to support the war effort. When ordered to deploy, it was necessary to fill empty manning slots with non-Airborne-qualified soldiers, effectively making these units of the division Airborne in name only. In mid-1968, the Army created a second Airmobile division (the other being the 1st Cavalry Division) by reorganizing the 101st and its subordinate elements, to include the battalions of the 327th Infantry. The division has remained a helicopter-landed unit to the present day.

During the early 1980s the Army adopted a battalion rotation program that paired combat battalions based in the continental United States with those stationed overseas. As part of this program, the lineage of the former Company C, 327AIR was redesignated on 21 January 1983 as HHC, 3d Battalion, 327th Infantry, and assigned to the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). This was accomplished by reflagging the existing 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry. In Alaska the existing infantry battalions of the 172nd Infantry Brigade were reflagged as the 4th, 5th and 6th Battalions, 327th Infantry, with the 3 'C' Companies' back on Airborne status, thus reactivating the lineages of the former Companies D, E, and F, 327AIR. The rotational program was later abandoned and the Alaska-based battalions were reflagged again, leaving only the Fort Campbell-based battalions with 327th designations.

When the 172nd Infantry Brigade (Separate) was deactivated and replaced by the newly re-activated 6th Infantry Division (Light) in 1986; the 4th, 5th and 6th Battalions, 327th Infantry were also deactivated and replaced by the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry (Fort Richardson, AK); and the 4th and 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry (Fort Wainwright, AK).

With the recent Army-wide reorganization adding one brigade to each division and eliminating one infantry or armor battalion from each brigade, 3-327th was inactivated and replaced by the 1st Squadron (RSTA), 32nd Cavalry Regiment. The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) also includes the 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment; the 426th Brigade Support Battalion; and the Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. [2][3][4]

Operation Desert Storm[edit]

In 1990 the 1st BCT was deployed to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. The 1st BCT established defensive positions north of Tap Line Road approximately 60 miles (97 km) south of the Iraq border. On 17 January the 327th Infantry Regiment conducted a ground movement to Camp Eagle II in preparation for deployment into Iraq. Over the course of the next week the regiment regrouped and by C-130 and ground convey repositioned to RaFa in northern Saudi Arabia and further into TAA Campbell where it remained for approximately 30 days. With the commencement of ground operations, under the command of Colonel Tom Hill the 327th conducted the deepest and largest air assault operation in history establishing FOB Cobra approximately 85 miles (137 km) inside Iraq. Subordinate elements were 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Battalion commanded by LTC Hancock, 2nd Battalion, 327th commanded by LTC Gary Thomas, 3rd Battalion 327th commanded by LTC (P) Gary J. Bridges and 1st Battalion 502nd commanded by LTC Jim Donald. 2nd Battalion 320 FA artillery was commanded by LTC Lynn Hartsell. The 3rd Battalion, 327the Infantry Regiment conducted a second air assault operation to seize FOB White under the command of 2nd Brigade 101st Airborne Division for further seal the defeat of Iraqi forces. Not a single 101st Airborne Division soldier was lost.

Operation Iraqi Freedom[edit]

In early 2003 the entire 101st Airborne Division deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where the 1st Brigade Combat Team made up of the 327th Infantry Regiment under the command of Colonel Ben Hodges and its support elements prepared for battle at Camp Pennsylvania. The majority of the 327th Infantry Regiment later shifted to Camp Udairi, Kuwait and from there, conducted a massive air assault into southern Iraq while other soldiers crossed the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border in a massive maneuver known as a GAC, or Ground Assault Convoy. Once in Iraq, the 327th encountered heavy to light resistance from both fleeing Iraqi soldiers as well as the Fedayeen Saddam and other less organized fighters. The 327th fought through An Najaf, Al Kufa, Karbala, Baghdad, and then headed north to conduct Stability and Security Operations in Qayyarah West and Mosul or Al Mawsil.

They returned to the U.S. in early 2004 and were re-deployed to Iraq again in the fall of 2005. During their second tour in Iraq, they were stationed in the Kirkuk province and under the command of COL David Gray and CSM Rory Malloy. The majority of the 1st Brigade Combat Team were positioned on FOB Warrior at the Kirkuk Regional Air Base while 1st Battalion and other attachments were spread out amongst FOB McHenry outside of Hawijah, FOB Caldwell just south of Kirkuk, and FOB Bernstien southwest of Kirkuk.

For their third OIF deployment, the Bastogne Bulldogs were split up, with the 1st Battalion deployed near Baiji, Iraq, and the 2nd Battalion deployed in the vicinity of Samarra, Iraq. Both battalions served 15 month deployments beginning in September 2007, and ending in late November 2008.

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted 5 August 1917 in the National Army as the 327th Infantry and assigned to the 82d Division
  • Organized 17 September 1917 at Camp Gordon, at Augusta, Georgia.
  • Demobilized 26 May 1919 at Camp Upton, at Yaphank, New York.
  • Reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as the 327th Infantry and assigned to the 82d Division
  • Organized in December 1921 with Headquarters at Greenville, South Carolina.
  • Ordered into active military service 25 March 1942 and reorganized at Camp Claiborne, at Forest Hill, Louisiana.
  • Reorganized and redesignated 15 August 1942 as the 327th Glider Infantry; concurrently relieved from assignment to the 82d Division and assigned to the 101st Airborne Division
  • (3d Battalion consolidated 6 April 1945 with the 1st Battalion, 401st Glider Infantry [see ANNEX], and consolidated unit designated as the 3d Battalion, 327th Glider Infantry)
  • Inactivated 30 November 1945 in France
  • (Organized Reserves redesignated 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps)
  • Redesignated 18 June 1948 as the 516th Airborne Infantry
  • Withdrawn 25 June 1948 from the Organized Reserve Corps and allotted to the Regular Army
  • (1st Battalion inactivated 1 April 1949 at Camp Breckinridge, at Morganfield, Kentucky)
  • Regiment (less 1st Battalion) inactivated 22 April 1949 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky
  • Regiment activated 25 August 1950 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky
  • Inactivated 1 December 1953 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky
  • Relieved 27 April 1954 from assignment to the 101st Airborne Division
  • Activated 15 May 1954 at Fort Jackson, at Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Reorganized and redesignated 1 July 1956 as the 327th Airborne Infantry and assigned to the 101st Airborne Division
  • Relieved 25 April 1957 from assignment to the 101st Airborne Division; concurrently reorganized and redesignated as the 327th Infantry, a parent regiment under the U.S. Army Combat Arms Regimental System
  • Withdrawn 21 January 1983 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System

401st Infantry[edit]

During the early part of World War II, after the formation of the division, the 101st had two two-battalion glider regiments, one of which was the 401st. When the TO&E for airborne divisions was changed to encompass a single three-battalion glider regiment, the 2nd Battalion of the 401st was transferred to the 82nd Airborne Division and the 1st Battalion of the 401st Glider Infantry Regiment served as the third battalion of the 327th GIR. This battalion was sea-landed in the Normandy invasion, glider-landed during Operation Market Garden and moved by truck to participate in the Battle of the Bulge.

  • Constituted 23 July 1918 in the National Army as the 1st Battalion, 401st Infantry, an element of the 101st Division
  • Demobilized 30 November 1918
  • Reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as the 1st Battalion, 401st Infantry, an element of the 101st Division
  • Organized in November 1921 with Headquarters at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Disbanded 15 August 1942; concurrently reconstituted in the Army of the United States as the 1st Battalion, 401st Glider Infantry, an element of the 101st Airborne Division, and activated at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana
  • Disbanded 1 March 1945 in France and the personnel and equipment designated and constituted as the 3rd Battalion, 327th Glider Infantry.
  • Reconstituted 6 April 1945 in the Army of the United States as the 1st Battalion, 401st Glider Infantry; concurrently consolidated with the 3d Battalion, 327th Glider Infantry, and consolidated unit designated as the 3d Battalion, 327th Glider Infantry, an element of the 101st Airborne Division

Honors[edit]

Campaign participation credit[edit]

  1. St. Mihiel;
  2. Meuse-Argonne;
  3. Lorraine 1918
  1. Normandy (with arrowhead);
  2. Rhineland (with arrowhead);
  3. Ardennes-Alsace;
  4. Central Europe
  • Vietnam:
  1. Defense;
  2. Counteroffensive;
  3. Counteroffensive, Phase II;
  4. Counteroffensive, Phase III;
  5. Tet Counteroffensive;
  6. Counteroffensive, Phase IV;
  7. Counteroffensive, Phase V;
  8. Counteroffensive, Phase VI;
  9. Tet 69/Counteroffensive;
  10. Summer-Fall 1969;
  11. Winter-Spring 1970;
  12. Sanctuary Counteroffensive;
  13. Counteroffensive, Phase VII;
  14. Consolidation I;
  15. Consolidation II;
  16. Cease-Fire
  • Southwest Asia:
  1. Defense of Saudi Arabia;
  2. Liberation and Defense of Kuwait

Decorations[edit]

  1. Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for BASTOGNE
  2. Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for DAK TO, VIETNAM 1966
  3. Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for TRUNG LUONG
  4. Valorous Unit Award for TUY HOA
  5. Valorous Unit Award for IRAQ (An Najaf 2003)
  6. Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1965-1966
  7. Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for SOUTHWEST ASIA
  8. Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for IRAQ (OIF I)
  9. Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for IRAQ (OIF VI October 2008 - November 2009)
  10. Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for AFGHANISTAN (OEF 10-11)
  11. French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II for NORMANDY
  12. Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm for BASTOGNE; cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at BASTOGNE
  13. Belgian Fourragere 1940; Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in FRANCE AND BELGIUM

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Army Center of Military History document "327th Infantry Lineage and Honors".

External links[edit]