355th Infantry Regiment (United States)

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355th Infantry Regiment
355RegimentCOA.png
Coat of arms
Active 1917 – 1918
1921 – 1945
1947 – 1978
(1st Battalion) 1996 –
Country USA
Branch United States Army Reserve
Role Training
Motto Fidem Praestabimus
We will keep the faith
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia 355 Inf Rgt DUI.png
U.S. Infantry Regiments
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The 355th Infantry Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Army. The 1st battalion of the regiment is still an active unit of the United States Army Reserve.

History[edit]

The 355th Infantry was constituted on 5 August 1917 in the National Army (USA) and assigned to the 89th Division,[1] which was organized under the provisions of the draft law of May 1917. The unit was organized 27 August 1917 at Camp Funston, Kansas with the enlisted coming from the state of Nebraska, junior officers generally coming from Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado, and the senior officers coming from the regular army. The soldiers drilled ceaselessly over the next eight months despite a lack of adequate equipment, dreadful living conditions, and outbreaks of disease in the camps.

On 21 May 1918, the regiment left Camp Funston for New York and was encamped at Camp Mills, Long Island on 24 – 25 May. On 3 June the regiment entrained from Camp Mills and boarded the transport RMS Adriatic in Hoboken, New Jersey. They left for England and arrived at Liverpool in the early morning of 16 June. After a brief stay at Camp Woodley they marched to Southampton and boarded a small steamer for La Harve, France on 24 June.

The soldiers conducted final training activities before boarding motor buses, a US Army first, and moved to the front near Beaumont on 4 August. The 1st battalion of the regiment was the first unit from the division to occupy any of the active front and on the night of 7 – 8 August was subjected to a severe gas shell bombardment. The unit continued on the front lines conducting raids, patrolling the enemy wire, capturing prisoners, and gathering information for the upcoming St. Mihiel offensive.

On the morning of 12 September, after a fierce artillery barrage, the regiment advanced 20 kilometers capturing the villages of Euvezin, Boullionville, Beney, and Xammes along with a large number of prisoners and much war material. The unit stayed on the line until 8 October when it was relieved by elements of the 37th Division. They were given a much needed rest, received replacements, and were moved to the Argonne sector in preparation for another push.

On 1 November a new offensive was begun with the regiment held in reserve. After two days of intense fighting the unit took up positions on the front lines to continue the advance taking Barricourt, Beaufort, Laneuville, Luzy, and Cesse before the armistice was signed on 11 November ending hostilities.

On 24 November the regiment crossed the Meuse, Rhine, and Saar rivers to assume occupation duties in the German town of Saarburg. The regiment entered into a strenuous training period and at the final period of training received the highest rating for organizations in the division. On 23 April 1919, General John J. Pershing and Secretary of War Newton D. Baker conducted a final review of the regiment near Trier before the unit was ordered back to the United States.

Movement began on 9 May and the regiment arrived at Brest and embarked on the SS Leviathan, then the largest ship afloat. The SS Leviathan entered New York Harbor on 22 May and the unit headed for Camp Funston where the regiment was demobilized between 1 – 3 June.

During the interwar years the regiment was reconstituted on 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves and assigned to the 89th Division (later redesignated as the 89th Infantry Division). In October 1921 it was organized with its headquarters at Omaha, Nebraska.

On 15 July 1942, the regiment and division were ordered to active military service and reorganized at Camp Carson, Colorado. They conducted basic combat training until May 1943. During this time the Division was redesignated as the 89th Light Division. From May 1943 to May 1944,[2] the regiment conducted maneuvers with the division in Louisiana and Hunter Liggett Military Reservation, California. During these maneuvers it was determined that the "Light Division" concept was unsuitable so they turned in their mules for wheeled vehicles and on 15 June 1944, the division was redesignated as the 89th Infantry Division. The unit began its last stateside training after moving to Camp Butner, North Carolina in May 1944. The division was finally given orders to move to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) and embarked for New York in December 1944.

The original orders had called for the main units of the 89th Infantry Division to disembark in England, and complete further training there. The bloody days of the Battle of the Bulge were not long past and the Allied armies were making slow progress against the German Westwall and before Aachen. So the orders were changed to have the division land directly in France at Le Havre. The regiment left the United States on board the SS Uruguay on 10 January 1945. The convoy in which they were part passed through the English Channel 19 January and anchored near the mouth of the Seine Estuary, within sight of Le Havre. After disembarking, the regiment was sent to Camp Lucky Strike, northwest of Le Havre, where it reorganized for combat operations. A member of Charlie Company, PFC Donald Sutton, was the first man of the division to lose his life to enemy action when he stepped on a mine near the camp. The division was ordered into the line in March and was in position by 11 March near Speicher, Germany.

While in the Rhineland, their first action against the Germans was to secure the north and west banks of the Moselle River, one of the last two major natural obstacles defending the Reich, for follow-on crossing operations. A soldier from the Bravo Company was the first division member to fire his weapon in anger against the enemy. By 14 March the division effected a crossing and by 24 March reached the banks of the Rhine, Germany’s last natural barrier in the west. The division made its crossing at the town of St. Goar and once across the entire 355th Infantry Regiment moved forward to screen the division’s front. German resistance began to crumble once American forces crossed the Rhine and raced into Germany.[3] At Ohrdruf, the regiment and elements of the 4th Armored Division captured the largest concentration camp liberated by American forces up to that time. At this point German resistance became disorganized and sporadic. The regiment moved swiftly to Zwickau, near the old Czechoslovakian frontier where it fought in the last action of the war for the division. It fell by 19 April and the unit ceased forward momentum for the last few weeks of the war. They conducted patrols to mop up small pockets of resistance that remained in the region. The German surrender became official one minute past midnight 9 May, however, this was tempered by the knowledge that occupation duties in Europe or shipment to the Pacific Theater was probable.

On 27 May orders came down for the unit to leave Germany and move back to France in the vicinity of Le Havre. The regiment encamped at Camp Old Gold near Doudeville and started its new mission of processing the veterans of the ETO back to the United States. In total, the division processed 343,733 troops from 5 June to 1 September. That fall the regiment was transported back to the United States and it was finally inactivated 20 December 1945, at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

The regiment was activated 31 January 1947, in the Organized Reserves with Headquarters at Omaha, Nebraska. The Organized Reserve Corps was redesignated as the Army Reserve on 9 July 1952. On 1 October 1959, the 355th Infantry Regiment was reorganized and redesignated the 355th Regiment and it became an element of the 89th Division (Training). On 1 January 1975, the 1st battalion fell under 5th Brigade (Training). The 1st battalion was inactivated 15 October 1978 and was relieved from assignment to the 5th Brigade (Training).

On 17 October 1996, the 4th Battalion 89th Field Artillery was redesignated the 1st Battalion 355th Regiment and it became an element of 1st Brigade, 95th Division (Institutional Training). The 1st Battalion Headquarters is located in Round Rock, Texas. On 1 April 2008, the 1st battalion was ordered to active duty in support of the War on Terrorism and assigned to the 434th Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma.

Lineage[edit]

Constituted 5 August 1917 in the National Army as the 355th Infantry and assigned to the 89th Division

Organized 27 August 1917 at Camp Funston, Kansas

Demobilized 1–3 June 1919 at Camp Funston, Kansas

Reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as the 355th Infantry and assigned to the 89th Division (later redesignated as the 89th Infantry Division)

Organized in October 1921 with Headquarters at Omaha, Nebraska

Ordered into active military service 15 July 1942 and reorganized at Camp Carson, Colorado

Inactivated 20 December 1945 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey

Activated 31 January 1947 in the Organized Reserves with Headquarters at Omaha, Nebraska

(Organized Reserves redesignated 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps; redesignated 9 July 1952 as the Army Reserve)

(Location of Headquarters changed 20 October 1952 to Lincoln, Nebraska)

Reorganized and redesignated 1 October 1959 as the 355th Regiment, an element of the 89th Division (Training), with Headquarters at Lincoln, Nebraska

Reorganized 31 January 1968 to consist of the 1st and 3d Battalions, elements of the 89th Division (Training)

Reorganized 1 January 1975 to consist of the 1st and 3d Battalions, elements of the 5th Brigade (Training)

1st and 3d Battalions inactivated 15 October 1978 and relieved from assignment to the 5th Brigade (Training)

355th Regiment reorganized 17 October 1996 to consist of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Battalions, elements of the 95th Division (Institutional Training)

Coat of arms[edit]

Crest[edit]

That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Army Reserve: On a wreath of the colors or and azure, the Lexington Minute Man proper. The statue of the minute Man, Captain John Parker, stands on the Common in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Shield[edit]

Azure, on a bend or three alerions gules.

Distinctive insignia[edit]

The insignia is the shield and motto of the coat of arms. The sample of the insignia was approved 27 June 1927.

Symbolism[edit]

The shield is blue for infantry. The bend and alerions are taken from the arms of Lorraine and commemorate service in France during World War I. The three alerions allude to the service in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives and the Lorraine sector.

Campaign streamers[edit]

World War I[edit]

St. Mihiel

Meuse-Argonne

Lorraine 1918

World War II[edit]

Rhineland

Central Europe

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]