1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment
Originally the missino of the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment of the Division Artillery Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) was to deploy worldwide to synchronize fire support and provide direct supporting fires for 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). On order, 1-320th Field Artillery conducts Air Assault operations in support of the 2nd Brigade scheme of maneuver. After the transition to the modular force and reassignment of the 1-320th to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, its mission became to destroy, neutralize, or suppress the enemy by cannon, rocket and missile fire and to help integrate all fire support assets into combined arms operations.
The 1-320th Field Artillery Regiment can trace its beginnings with America's entry into the First World War. As part of the nation's mobilization, the unit was first formed and organized in August 1917 as Battery A, 320th Field Artillery. As part of the 82nd Infantry Division, the original Top Guns played a key role at Lorraine, St Mihiel, and the Meuse Argonne region. Following the Armistice, the 320th demobilized, only to be reconstituted in June of 1921 as part of the Organized Reserves.
Once the United States entered the Second World War, the unit was eventually reorganized and redesignated as the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion. As part of the 82nd Airborne Division, the 320th fought in a number of hot spots. First, the 320th was part of the campaign in Sicily, acting in reserve. The unit first saw action at the Volturino River on the Italian mainland. The crucial Normandy invasion was the next stop for the 320th. Under difficult conditions, the unit helped make the invasion a success. As a result of the 320th's actions during Operation Overlord, the unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. The 320th next fought in Operation Market Garden and then went on to further distinguish itself in the Ardennes when the German's attempted their last ditch offensive. The 320th then fought and played a role in the final push through the Rhineland to defeat the Nazis. Upon the war's end, the unit completed its duties in Europe as part of the post war occupation in Berlin.
After the war, the 320th went through a number of transitions. In 1957, the 320th became a part of the 11th Airborne Division, only to be deactivated a year later. In 1962, the unit was again reactivated and reorganized as 1-320th Artillery, once again being apart of the 82nd Airborne Division. The unit remained a part of the 82nd until 1986, during which time 1-320th participated in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada.
Top Guns next saw action in the Middle East from 1990 until 1991. As a part of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the Battalion played a key role in both defending Saudi Arabia and liberating Kuwait.
As part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, the 1-320th Field Artillery was relieved from assignment to the 101st DIVARTY, which was susbequently stood down, and reassigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. The Battalion was also reduced one Company, with personnel from C Company being reassigned to the newly reformed 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|