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181st Engineer Battalion

The 181st Engineer Battalion was orignally organized in 1922 as the 2d Battalion, 181st Infantry, an element of the 26th Division, Massachusetts National Guard. Its Headquarters was Federally recognized on 27 March 1922 at Natick. It was redesignated on 1 April 1923 as the 3rd Battalion, 181st Infantry.

The unit was inducted into Federal service on 16 January 1941 at Natick before being relieved on 27 January 1943 from assignment to the 26th Infantry Division. It inactivated on 8 February 1944 at Fort Dix, NJ.

It consolidated on 8 July 1946 with the 3d Battalion, 328th Infantry, which was itself constituted on 5 August 1917 in the National Army as the 3d Battalion, 328th Infantry and assigned to the 82d Division. That unit was organized in September 1917 at Camp Gordon, GA, and demobilized on 27-29 May 1919 at Camp Upton, NY. It was reconstituted on 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves and assigned to the 82d Division, and subsequently organized on January 1922 in Florida. It was withdrawn from the organized Reserves, relieved from assignment to 82d Division and allotted to the Army of the United States 30 January 1942. It activated on 12 February 1943 at Fort Jackson, SC and assigned to the 26th Infantry Division and then relieved from assignment to the 26th Infantry Division on 29 December 1945. It inactivated on 31 December 1945 at Camp Patrick Henry, VA.

The consolidated unit retained the designation of the 3d Battalion, 181st Infantry, and was assigned as an element of the 26th Infantry Division. It was reorganized and Federally recognized on 19 March 1947 with Headquarters at Natick (Headquarters location changed pm 1 March 1956 to Whitinsville).

The unit converted and was redesignated on 1 May 1959 as the 181st Engineer Battalion and relieved from assignment to the 26th Infantry Division. It was broken up on 1 April 1975; its Headquarters and Headquarters Company was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 181st Infantry; Company D was reorganized and redesignated as Company B, 2d Battalion, 181st Infantry; Company A was reorganized and redesignated as Company C, 101st Engineer Battalion; Company B was reorganized and redesignated as Company A, 2d Battalion, 181st Infantry; Company C was reorganized and redesignated as Detachment 1, Company A, 2d Battalion, 181st Infantry hereafter separate lineages.

The unit was reorganized on 1 September 1996 from former and new elements. In 1998, as part of Operation Alaskan Road, Bravo Company, 181st Engineer Battalion, traveled to a small island on the southern tip of Alaska in support of a Joint Forces Engineering Component Command (JFECC) project. The purpose of the project was the construction of a road to connect the Metlakatlan Indian Community to a ferry terminal on the opposite side of the island. While there, the unit was tasked with:

  • Clearing the dense forest terrain and removing debris from the limits of the roadway;
  • Drilling, priming and blasting the ledge with explosive to lower the rock to grade;
  • Excavating the shot rock and hauling it to a fill area; And
  • grading the fill area with the shot rock from the haul mission.

Charlie Company deployed to San Diego in the summer of 1998, as part of Operation Grizzly. Their mission was to support the counter-drug effort by building a secondary wall along the US-Mexico border. This was done in conjunction with the border patrol, DEA, and California National Guard. Their efforts included building an approximately 20 foot tall barrier over several hundred meters long, and initiating the construction of a road between the new and original barriers so that Border Patrol agents can safely negotiate the terrain between.



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