1st Battalion - 107th Field Artillery Regiment
The Primary Federal Mission of the 1-107th FA is to provide indirect fire support for the 2nd Brigade of the 28th Infantry Division. Unit members have served in a variety of positions including as military policemen in support of various Federal Missions. The state mission is to assist local authorities during times of natural emergencies or other crises.
The history of the 1st Battalion, 107th Field Artillery dates back to President Abraham Lincoln's October 1861 Call To Arms for the Civil War. The first Battery Commander was Captain Robert B. Hampton. Captain Hampton was a Pittsburgh native, but had made his fortune in the oil fields along Oil Creek in Venango County. After President Lincoln's Call To Arms, Captain Hampton utilized his personal wealth to recruit a Battery of men from throughout Western Pennsylvania. The Battery was officially designated as Battery F, Independent Pennsylvania Light Artillery; it was more commonly known as Hampton's Battery.
Throughout the Civil War, Hampton's Battery fought in 62 engagements. These battles included Chancellorsville in late April/early May 1863, where Captain Hampton was mortally wounded after being struck in the leg by an artillery round. Shortly thereafter in July 1863, Hampton's Battery fought in the decisive battle of Gettysburg. On July 2nd, 1863, they went into action in the Peach Orchard. There they helped repel the attack of General Longstreet's Corps on the Union's left flank. Private Casper Carlisle of Hampton's Battery was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courageous action after the Confederates captured one of the Battery's cannons and were proceeding to return it to their lines. Private Carlisle single-handedly defeated the Confederates and safely returned the cannon section to Union lines. After the action on July 2nd in the Peach Orchard, Hampton's Battery was reassigned to what was believed to be a quiet sector in the center of Cemetery Ridge. The next day, July 3rd, 1863, Hampton's Battery was forced to be part of the gallant Union effort to repel Pickett's Charge. Over the course of two days of desperate fighting at Gettysburg, Battery F, Independent Pennsylvania Light Artillery had seven men killed, including the Acting Battery Commander, 1LT Joseph Miller. Three of those fallen warriors from Hampton's Battery are buried in the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.
The proud veterans of Hampton's Battery continued to meet as an organization for over 60 years after the Civil War. In the 1880's, they appointed a committee to write a first-hand account of their actions, engagements, and battles during the Civil War from their swearing in October 8, 1861 to their mustering out on June 26, 1865. The 1st Battalion, 107th Field Artillery proudly possesses copies of that first-hand account of the Civil War.
Before the turn of the century, the Battery continued to drill in Pittsburgh and proudly continued to be known as Hampton's Battery. During the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Battery was commanded by Captain Alfred E. Hunt. Captain Hunt is best known for inventing the process of refining bauxite into aluminum. Captain Hunt went on to found the Aluminum Company of America, better known today as ALCOA. During the Spanish-American War, the Battery was deployed to Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, Captain Hunt acquired malaria while in Puerto Rico and later, after returning stateside, died from complications at only 44.
The 107th Field Artillery was again mobilized for Federal service on June 22, 1916 during the Mexican Insurrection. The Regiment supported General Pershing along the Mexican border throughout 1916 in the pursuit of Pancho Villa before returning to Western Pennsylvania. While the mobilization proved uneventful, it was a precursor for the future of the Regiment.
As the country prepared for the Great War, General Pershing was named as the Commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). As General Pershing was organizing his forces for deployment, he looked to the units previously under his command along the Mexican Border to form the core of his forces, including the 107th Field Artillery Regiment. The Regiment was mobilized in July of 1917 and began training in Georgia in August of that year. The 107th Field Artillery Regiment was part of the 53rd Artillery Brigade, directly supporting the 28th Division. The Regiment remained in Georgia until May 1918 when it departed for France.
The Regiment arrived in its French training bases in early June 1918 to begin final training and equipping before deploying to the front. The 107th FA entered combat at 4:40pm August 14, 1918 during the Oise-Aisne Offensive. The Regiment remained in contact with the enemy until September 8, 1918. After repositioning, the 107th FA participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive from September 26th until October 9th. After the battle in the Argonne Forest, many of the units in the 28th Division were withdrawn form the line to reorganize and receive replacements. The 107th FA and much of the 28 Division Artillery moved north into Belgium to support the 91st Division consisting of units from California, Washington, and Idaho. The 107th FA remained in Belgium until the Armistice on November 11th. The Regiment returned from France in May 1919 taking part in parades in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh before demobilizing on May 22, 1919.
The Artillerymen of Western Pennsylvania were called upon again in February 1941, nine months before Pearl Harbor, to again be part of the 28th Division. Moving throughout the United States for training and exercises, the 107th Field Artillery did not depart for Europe until October 1943. Training continued in Wales and England until the Regiment arrived in France in late July 1944. The unit fought through the hedgerows of Normandy and helped seize the town of Le Neubourg, a key to closing the Falaise pocket. By the end of August, the 107th Field Artillery Regiment was parading along the Champs Elysees in Paris. The 107th FA entered Germany in early September 1944, remaining in continuous contact with the enemy throughout the battles of the Hurtgen Forest until late November. Units of the 28th Division were relocated to what was supposedly a quiet sector in the Ardennes Forrest to rest and recoup. There, the men of the 107th Field Artillery Regiment participated with valor in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Taking heavy losses, the 28th Division was briefly pulled from the front before the final drive of the war. After V-E Day, the unit participated in occupation duties until being demobilized.
During the Korean Conflict, the 107th Field Artillery returned to Germany. Activated in September 1950, the Regiment trained at Camp Atterbury, Indiana before departing for Europe. The Regiment was stationed in the German city of Ulm for over a year. The unit conducted numerous training exercises and duties in post war Germany.
The soldiers of the regiment were not called upon again for Federal service until the mid 1990's. Select individuals participated in the NATO operations in Bosnia and later Kosovo. After September 11, 2001, 1st Battalion, 107th Field Artillery Soldiers performed security missions at local airports and facilities as part of Homeland Security. Battery D / 229th Field Artillery deployed to Belgium for nine months in 2002 / 2003 to provide security for U.S. Installations.
The 1st Battalion, 107th Field Artillery traditionally provides direct support Field Artillery fires for Armor and Mechanized Infantry Battalions of the 2nd Brigade, 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized) , Pennsylvania Army National Guard. For their Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 Mission, the 1-107th FA Soldiers were mobilized on 18 December 2003 and departed Western Pennsylvania on 29 December 2003 for six weeks of intense Military Police training at Fort Dix, NJ. The 1-107th Field Artillery had the distinction of being the first Field Artillery Battalion in the nation selected to perform the demanding In Lieu Of Military Police Mission in Iraq. After arriving in the theater of operations in February 2004, the units moved north and began Military Police operations.
Battery A (Forward) was assigned to the Mosul area in northern Iraq. Battery B (Forward) was assigned to Camp Bucca in Umm Qasr in southern Iraq. While Battery C (Forward) was assigned to the Baghdad area in central Iraq. Throughout their deployment, the Artillerymen performed a wide verity of Military Police Missions including detainee facility operations, personal security detachments for senior officers / government officials, base camp security, check points, and security patrols along the Main Supply Routes (MSR's).
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