38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (United States)

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The 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is an inactivated United States Army unit which provided air defense for South Korea. Based at Osan Air Base from 25 May 1961 until 31 July 1981, its last assignment was as a major subordinate command in the Eighth United States Army. It was initially formed as the 38th Artillery Brigade in 1918.

38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
Active 1918–19, 1933–45, 1951–53, 1961–81
Country United States USA
Branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svgUnited States Army
Type Air defense artillery
Size Brigade
Part of Eighth United States Army
Garrison/HQ Osan Air Base
Motto "By Valor and Power"
Surface to air missiles MIM-23 Hawk
MIM-14 Nike-Hercules
Decorations Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Campaign streamers Normandy, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, Northern France, and Central Europe
Distinctive unit insignia 38 ADA Bde DUI.jpg


World War I[edit]

The unit was constituted in June 1918 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 38th Artillery Brigade in Camp Eustis, Virginia (now Fort Eustis).[1] The unit later sailed to Brest, France and was assigned to Services and Supply. It remained there until the end of World War I when it returned to the United States for demobilization at Fort Monroe, Virginia in February 1919.[2]

Fourteen years later, in October 1933, the unit was reconstituted as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 38th Coastal Artillery Brigade.[3]

World War II[edit]

At the time of the United States' entry into World War II, the 38th Coastal Artillery Brigade was located in Camp Stewart, Georgia, (now Fort Stewart)[4] and was deployed in the European Theater.

Normandy campaign streamer

It underwent another reorganization in September 1943, when it became Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 38th Anti-Aircraft Brigade. The 38th Anti-Aircraft Brigade earned campaign streamers for participation in the Normandy,[5] Ardennes-Alsace,[6][7] Rhineland, Northern France[8] and Central Europe[9] Campaigns. At the end of the war (1945), the 38th Anti-Aircraft Brigade was inactivated in Germany.

Cold War[edit]

The brigade was re-activated in March 1951 at Fort Bliss, Texas, where it remained until inactivation in May 1953. At that time, the unit's personnel and equipment were transferred to the new 1st Guided Missile Brigade.[10]

The unit was re-designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 38th Artillery Brigade (Air Defense) on 20 March 1961, and with the assignment of air defense battalions and missile systems was activated in the Pacific area. The brigade was under the operational control of Commander, United States Air Force In South Korea and had operational command and control of U.S. and South Korean air defense forces in Korea.[11]

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[12]

On 15 March 1972, the brigade was re-designated 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade by way of the U.S. Army Combat Arms Regimental System. The brigade headquarters, along with the headquarters of the 314th Air Division and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Air Force were collocated at Osan Air Base.

The 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, along with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment was inactivated in July 1981 and its HAWK missile systems and associated "equipment held by the US units were transferred cost-free to the Republic of Korea Army, who assumed primary responsibility for that air defense mission.”[13]:iii

The only surviving battalion, "2nd Battalion, 71st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, whose sector covered the northern reaches of South Korea, was reassigned on 16 July 1981 to the US Army Elm [sic], Combined Field Army (ROK/US),[14] pending transfer of its weapon/equipment and missions to the Republic of Korea Army in mid-1982. On 31 July 1981, following over 20 years of air defense coverage for the Republic of Korea, the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade's Headquarters was inactivated at Osan Air Base. An enormously important task bearing directly on the security environment of the Korean Peninsula had been successfully completed."[13]:149

Inactivation ceremony brochure[edit]

38th ADA Brigade, Inactivation Ceremony, 15 July 1981, Osan Air Base, Korea
Front cover 
Sequence of events in English/Korean 
Brigade history/battalion insignia 
Brigade commanders and staff 
Biography/farewell remarks 
Farewell remarks con't/from the Commandant 
Nike Hercules Missile 
HAWK Missile 


At the time of its inactivation, the brigade comprised the following units:

38 ADA Bde DUI.jpg
2 ADA Rgt DUI.jpg
Headquarters & Headquarters Battery 1st Battalion (HAWK), 2nd ADA[15]:33
redesignated from
7th Battalion (HAWK), 2nd ADA[15]:47
7th Battalion (HAWK), 5th Artillery
Hawk Missile B-7-5
2nd Battalion (HERC), 44th ADA
redesignated from
4th Battalion (HERC), 44th ADA
Links: Camp Echo Hill
Site C-4-44 Korea
1st Battalion (HAWK), 44th ADA
redesignated from
6th Battalion (HAWK), 44th ADA
Links: B-6-44 ADA
2nd Battalion (HAWK), 71st ADA
Links: Military.com


Shoulder sleeve insignia[edit]

  • Description

Centered vertically on a shield 2 inches (5.08 cm) in width and 2 3/4 inches (6.99 cm) in height divided from upper left to lower right the upper portion red and the lower yellow with a 1/8 inch (.32 cm) border, a white gauntleted fist grasping a lightning bolt yellow above and red below.

  • Symbolism

The partition line represents the division of the Korean Peninsula by the DMZ. The gauntlet represents the protection offered by the Brigade, the lightning bolt the swift retaliation against any hostile air attack. The colors, red and yellow, are for the Air Defense Artillery.

  • Background

The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for the 38th Artillery Brigade on 2 June 1961. It was redesignated for the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade on 3 April 1972. (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-281)

Distinctive unit insignia[edit]

  • Description

A gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height consisting of Yang Ying symbol in the colors of the Republic of Korea surmounted by a gold fleur-de-lis with the center stem extending over the top and behind a gold scroll at base inscribed in black “BY VALOR AND POWER.”

  • Symbolism

Scarlet and gold are for Air Defense Artillery and the fleur-de-lis and blue are used to represent France and denote the unit’s service there during World War I. The Yang Ying symbol or Taeguk is from the Korean flag and refers to the organization’s service during that war, while the silhouette of the device simulates a helmet and alludes to the unit’s origin and descent from the 38th Coast Artillery which had a helmet on its badge.

  • Background

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 38th Artillery Brigade on 7 February 1967. It was redesignated for the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade on 3 April 1972.[16]

Notable members[edit]

Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell
Lt. Gen. Larry J. Dodgen
Laurie York Erskine
Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer[17]
Lt. Gen. John Taylor Lewis[10]:113

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For a list of Coast Artillery Corps units serving in World War One, see "History of United States Army Coast Artillery Corps During World War I". Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "49th Artillery, C.A.C.". Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "US Army Order of Battle 1919–1941 Volume 2 The Arms: Cavalry, Field Artillery, and Coast Artillery, 1919–41". Combat Studies Institute Press US Army Combined Arms Center Fort Leavenworth, KS. Retrieved 14 May 2014 pages 1043.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ "Locations Of The United States Army December 7, 1941". NavSource Naval History. 7 December 1941. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  5. ^ For general information on this campaign, see "Normandy". U.S. Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Department of the Army General Order No. 63: Units Entitled to Battle Credits". U.S. Army. September 20, 1948. p. 8. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ For general information on this campaign, see "Ardennes-Alsace". U.S. Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  8. ^ For general information on this campaign, see "Northern France". U.S. Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  9. ^ For general information on this campaign, see "Central Europe". U.S. Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Hamilton, John A. (13 May 2009). Blazing Skies: Air Defense Artillery on Fort Bliss, Texas, 1940–2009. Government Printing Office. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-16-086949-5. 
  11. ^ "Lessons Learned, Headquarters, 38th Artillery Brigade". Adjutant General's Office (U.S. Army). 15 August 1970. 
  12. ^ "Department of the Army General Order No. 8". U.S. Army. March 18, 1982. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "USFK/EUSA Annual Historical Report". History Branch, Secretary of the Joint Staff, USFK. 1981. pp. 147–148. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  14. ^ The United States- Republic of Korea Combined Field Army was disbanded in 1990. Savada, Andrea Matles; William Shaw (1997). South Korea: A Country Study. DIANE Publishing. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-0-7881-4619-0.  The website of Combined Forces Command, a successor to Combined Field Army, is "Combined Forces Command". United States Forces Korea. USFK Public Affairs Office. 
  15. ^ a b McKenney, Janice E. (1985). Air Defense Artillery. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, U.S. Army. 
  16. ^ "38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade". The Institute of Heraldry (U.S. Army). 
  17. ^ Cole, Ronald H., Lorna S. Jaffe, Walter S. Poole, Willard J. Webb. (1995). "The Chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff". Joint History Office, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. p. 73. 

External links[edit]