1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment
The 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment is a rapid deployment Parachute Infantry Battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division "America's Guard of Honor." Its mission is to, within 18 hours of notification, strategically deploy, conduct forcible entry parachute assault and secure key objectives for follow-on combat operations in support of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the 82nd Airborne Division, and US National interests.
The 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was first constituted on 24 June 1942. After training in Georgia and Alabama, it was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and arrived at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in February 1943. In April 1942, the Battalion moved to North Africa in preparation for the invasion of Sicily. At the completion of the invasion of Sicily, the unit was airlifted back to North Africa to await further orders.
The unit made its second combat jump at Salerno, Italy, in September 1943 after the Allied amphibious landings at Salerno got bogged down. After assisting in the liberation of Naples, the unit was moved by ship to Ireland in November 1943 to train for the invasion of Europe. In February 1944, the unit moved to England and stood ready for its third combat jump.
On 6 June 1944, the Battalion jumped into the Normandy area of France in the vicinity of Ste. Mere-Eglise as part of the D-Day invasion, Operation Overlord. Although the Battalion was scattered on the jump, troopers assembled and accomplished all assigned tasks. After clearing German troops from the area, the Battalion moved to England in July 1944 to await its next mission.
The fourth combat jump came in September 1944 at Groesbeek, Holland, as part of Operation Market Garden to capture bridges over the Maas River and the Waal Canal. After serving 2 months in the Dutch countryside, the unit was moved back to France in November 1944.
The rest was short-lived, because in December 1944, the 82nd was thrown into the Ardennes region of Belgium to help defeat the German counter-offensive of the now famous Battle of the Bulge. In February 1945, the Battalion returned to France, but in April 1945 was called back to action as the German war machine was close to complete collapse. V-E Day was 8 May 1945. In July 1945, the 82nd moved to Berlin for occupation duty, and in January 1946 returned home to a ticker tape parade in New York City.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 15 December 1947 as Company A, 505th Airborne Infantry and allotted 15 November 1948 to the Regular Army. It was again reorganized and redesignated on 1 September 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Airborne Battle Group, 505th Infantry, and remained assigned to the 82d Airborne Division, with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated. On 15 January 1959, the Battalion was assigned to the 8th Infantry Division in Europe.
In 1963, the Battalion retuned home to Fort Bragg and the 82d Airborne Division. It was reorganized and redesignated on 25 May 1964 as the 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry. In 1965, the Battalion deployed to the Dominican Republic to evacuate US personnel and restore order after a leftist insurrection.
In February 1968, the Battalion deployed as part of the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division to Vietnam to help counter the Tet Offensive. In December 1969, the battalion once again returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The 3rd Brigade deployed to Washington, DC in May 1971 to help local and federal officials in their efforts to keep demonstrators from disrupting the daily operation of the Government.Nine years later in August 1980, the lst Battalion (Airborne), 505th Infantry was alerted and deployed to conduct civil disturbance duty at Fort Indian Gap, Pennsylvania during the Cuban refugee internment.
The 3rd Brigade deployed the lst Battalion (Airborne), 505th Infantry to the Middle East in March 1982 as the first United States member of the multi-National Forces and Observers (MFO) rotation in the Sinai. 1-505th returned home in August 1982 from the most important peacekeeping mission in history.
In October 1983, the 3rd Brigade deployed to the country of Grenada to evacuate US citizens and restore free government during operation Urgent Fury. The Brigade remained in Grenada for the duration of the campaign serving first in combat, then in peacekeeping operations until December 1983.
On 15 August 1990, the Battalion was sent to "draw the line in the sand" in Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield. Operation Desert Storm began on 24 February 1991 as the Battalion seized Tallil Airfield in Iraq. The Battalion returned to Fort Bragg in April 1991.
The 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment stood ready for another combat jump on 18 September 1994 as part of Operation Restore Democracy in Haiti. Aboard the aircraft and poised to fly to Haiti, the airborne assault was aborted when the civilian leaders of Haiti chose a peaceful transition to democracy rather than face the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division.
The Battalion deployed in January 1997 to the Republic of Panama for Operation Jungle Warrior and returned to Fort Bragg in May 1997. Their mission in Panama was to defend the Panama Canal and be prepared to respond to other regional contingencies.
In early July 2002, elements of the 3rd Brigade were deployed to Kandahar Afghanistan to replace air assault troops of the 101st Airborne. 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment departed Fort Bragg to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 3rd Brigade headquarters assumed command in July of 2002 of a Brigade Combat Team that was comprised of 1-505th Parachute Infantry, 3-505th Parachute Infantry, and 1-504th Parachute Infantry. All 3 battalions executed many different combat operations throughout the country to prevent the re-emergence of any Al Qaeda operatives and Taliban forces, in order to deny sanctuary to terrorist groups operating in the region.
As of October 2004 the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was in Afghanistan helping provide security for the country's first presidential elections.
On 15 January 2006, the 82nd Airborne Division became part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force. While other elements of the Division and Brigade were reorganized more dramatically, 1-505th Parachute Infantry was reorganized, but remained with the reorganized 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
In July 2006, elements of the 1-505th Parachue Infantry deployed with other elements of the reorganized 3rd Brigade Combat Team to Iraq for a 15 month tour of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In May 2008 the Department of Defense announced 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division as one of a number of units scheduled to rotate to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom starting in fall 2008.
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