1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment
"Above the Rest"
The 1-327th Infantry's mission is to deploy within 36 hours worldwide to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver to destroy or capture him, or to repel his assault by fire, close combat and counterattack.
The 327th Infantry Regiment of the 164th Infantry Brigade was organized in the Regular Army as part of the 82nd Infantry Division on 17 September 1917 at Fort Gordon, Georgia. After training rapidly, the Division embarked to northern France, arriving in early spring, 1918. The 327th Infantry moved on line at the end of summer making it one of the first American units to see combat at St. Mihiel. This was the first operation in World War I conducted entirely by American forces. The Regiment then occupied defensive positions on the Lorraine Front in eastern France.
The final allied offensive, in November, found the 327th Infantry engaging in the great Meuse-Argonne offensive before any other unit in the Division. The 327th Infantry Regiment took a prominent part in the operation leading the flank attack on the Foret de Argonne and the attack north of Sommerance.
The 327th was the first unit of the American Expeditionary Force to reach and pierce the formidable Kriemhilde Stellung (the German's third and final defensive line on the Western Front). With the termination of the "war to end all wars" the Regiment was demobilized on 25 May 1919, and the reconstituted in the organize reserves in December 1921. It remained in this status until the outbreak of World War II.
The 1-327th served with other elements of the 101st Airborne Division during World War II, and on 6 June 1944, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for the largest amphibious military operation in history: Operation Overlord, code named D-Day, the Allied invasion of northern France. The 101st Airborne Division led the way on D-Day in the night drop prior to the invasion. By daybreak, 18,000 British and American parachutists were on the ground. Among them were members of the 1-327th Infantry.
The 1-327th Infantry was alerted to deploy to Saudi Arabia along with the rest of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) on 10 August 1990. The Battalion deployed on 14 September 1990 and arrived in Saudi Arabia on 15 September 1990. The Battalion's initial location was at Camp Eagle II, near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. During the Defense of Saudi Arabia, 1-327th Infantry was part of the Corps covering force occupying a sector 25 KMs wide and 20 KMs deep.
When the Air Campaign began on 18 January 1991, the Battalion was withdrawn from the covering force mission and returned to Camp Eagle II. Once Iraqi forces were blinded by the relentless air campaign, the entire Division was airlifted approximately 300 miles West by C-130's to Rafha, Saudi Arabia to establish a Division Tactical Assembly Area in preparation for the ground war.
The Battalion's mission was to be the lead unit of the 101st in the initial air assault into Iraq to secure Forward Operating Base (FOB) Cobra. FOB Cobra was approximately 60 miles inside Iraq and was to become the "Gas Station" for the remainder of the Division as the 3rd Brigade air assaulted into the Euphrates Valley on day two of the ground war to cut Highway 8.
On 24 February 1991 the Battalion, as part of the 1st Brigade TF, was air assaulted along with 2-327th Infantry, 3-327th Infantry, 1-502nd Infantry and 2-320th Field Artillery into Iraq. Two lifts of 22 UH-60 Blackhawks and 7 CH-47 Chinooks carried the battalion into Iraq. The initial lift took off at 0720 hours.
Upon landing in FOB Cobra, the Battalion came into contact with an Iraqi Battalion from the 45th Division. The Iraqi unit's mission was to ambush what they thought would be a French armor column moving along the highway to their north. The Iraqi unit was dug in on the reverse side of hill about 2 Kilometers from A Company, which was the battalion's most northern unit. While the 1-327th Infantry believed there were enemy forces in the area (it had moved A Co's landing zone two kilometers to the south because of this belief), it did not know that the enemy would be in such large numbers.
On making contact, the Battalion started to organize fires on the enemy position. The A Company Commander and Battalion Operations Officer provided target information and the Battalion Commander, Fire Support Officer and Air Force Liaison Officer synchronized artillery, attack helicopters and close air support, which soon overwhelmed the enemy. After approximately 2 hours of fires which included 2 F-16 strikes, 2 A-10 strikes, Apache and Cobra gunship runs, and 105mm artillery fire the Iraqi unit surrendered.
A total of 339 Iraqis surrendered and over 8 tons of weapons, ammunition and equipment were captured. For its action at FOB Cobra 1-327th Infantry was awarded the Valorous Unit Award. And proved once again, that we are Above the Rest. The Battalion remained in Iraq until the end of March 1991 and then returned to Camp Eagle II. On 10 April 1991, the Battalion redeployed to FT Campbell
The 1-327th deployed with the rest of the 1st Brigade to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, returning to Fort Campbell in 2004 as part of the Brigade's transition to the US Army's new modular system, and returned to Iraq in 2005, where it remained deployed through 2008.
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