1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment
The 24th Infantry Regiment was first constituted on 28 July 1866 in the Regular Army as the 38th Infantry. 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment was first constituted on 28 July 1866 in the Regular Army as Company A, 38th Infantry and organized on 1 October 1866 at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.
The 38th Infantry was consolidated on 15 March 1869 with the 41st Infantry and consolidated unit was redesignated as the 24th Infantry. Company A, 38th Infantry was consolidated on 15 March 1869 with Company A, 41st Infantry. That unit was first constituted on 28 July 1866 in the Regular Army as Company A, 41st Infantry and organized 25 December 1866 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The consolidated unit was redesignated as Company A, 24th Infantry. All of the enlisted soldiers were black, either veterans of the US Colored Troops or freed slaves. The 24th Infantry served throughout the Western United States. Its missions included guarding posts, battling Indians, and protecting roadways against bandits.
1898 saw the 24th Infantry deploy to Cuba as part of the US Expeditionary Force in the Spanish-American War. At the climactic battle of San Juan Hill, the 24th Infantry assaulted and seized the Spanish-held blockhouse and trench system on the hill.
In 1899 the Regiment deployed to the Philippine Islands to help suppress a guerilla movement. The Regiment would return to the Islands again in 1905 and 1911. Though the 24th Infantry fought a number of battles in the Philippines, one of the most notable occurred on 7 December 1899, when 9 soldiers from the Regiment routed 100 guerillas from their trenches.
In 1916, the 24th Infantry guarded the US-Mexico border to keep the Mexican Civil War from spilling onto US soil. When it did, the 24th Infantry joined the "Punitive Expedition" under General Pershing and entered Mexico to fight Pancho Villa's forces. In 1919, rebels and troops of the Mexican government fought in Juarez, Mexico, which borders the US City of El Paso, Texas. The 24th Infantry crossed over again to engage the rebels, ensuring that no violence erupted across the US border.
During World War II, the 24th Infantry fought in the South Pacific Theater as a separate regiment. Deploying in April 1942, the Regiment assumed defensive positions in the New Hebrides Islands. The 24th Infantry moved to the Solomon Islands, including the eventual hotbed, Guadalcanal, and secured airfields for the protection of incoming personnel and supplies. In the spring of 1944, Company A, 24th Infantry was attached to the 37th Infantry Division and fought on Bougainville Island. Later the Company was attached to the 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL). The entire 24th Infantry, when reunited, occupied Saipan and Tinian Islands from December 1944 to July 1945. At the end of the war, the 24th Infantry took the surrender of forces on Aka Shima Island, the first formal surrender of a Japanese Imperial Army Garrison.
From the end of World War II through 1947, the 24th Infantry occupied Okinawa, Japan, after which it relocated to Gifu, Japan. On 1 February, 1947, the Regiment was reassigned to the 25th Infantry Division. In late June 1950, soon after North Korea invaded South Korea, the 24th Infantry deployed to Korea to assist in what was initially termed a "minor police action." The US Armed Forces severely underestimated the tenacity of the forces it would later face.
The 24th Infantry fought throughout the entire Korean peninsula, from the defense of the Pusan Perimeter to its breakout and the pursuit of communist forces well into North Korea, to the Chinese counteroffensives, and finally to UN counteroffensives that stabilized near what became the Demilitarized Zone. The Regiment received the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for its defense of the Pusan perimeter.
The 24th Infantry was relieved on 1 August 1951 from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division and inactivated on 1 October, 1951. The soldiers of the 24th Infantry were dispersed to other units as the Army's segregation policy disintegrated. These soldiers continued to serve proudly on active duty through the 1980s, but would have to wait until 1995 to witness the reactivation of an element of the 24th Infantry Regiment. The unit was redesignated on 16 August 1995 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington, with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated.
The unit was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment. It was inactivated on 1 June 2006 at Fort Lewis, Washington, and relieved from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division. It was assigned on 16 December 2006 to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
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