184th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
The 184th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) is assigned to the 52nd Ordnance Group at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The Battalion is also based at Fort Campbell.
The parent unit of the 184th Ordnance Battalion (EOD) was first constituted on 18 October 1927 in the Regular Army as the 6th Motor Repair Battalion. This unit was redesignated on 1 May 1936 as the 53rd Quartermaster Regiment (less 1st Battalion).
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 3rd Battalion, 53rd Quartermaster Regiment was activated on 10 February 1941 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It was converted and redesignated on 18 August 1942 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 3rd Battalion, 53rd Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Regiment. It was reorganized and redesignated on 7 October 1942 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 184th Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Battalion and redesignated on 31 May 1943 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 184th Ordnance Battalion. During the Second World War, the Battalion participated in 5 campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. After the end of the Second World War, the unit was inactivated on 11 March 1946 in Germany.
The Battalion was reactivated on 1 June 1954 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. It was reorganized and redesignated on 12 August 1965 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 184th Ordnance Battalion and subsequently deployed to Vietnam. There it participated in 5 campaigns: Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase VII, Consolidation I, Consolidation II, and Cease-Fire. After the end of the Vietnam War, the Battalion was inactivated on 2 April 1972 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
29 years after the Battalion's Vietnam deployment, the Army finally honored Doug Rhodes for his actions of bravery during the war in Vietnam. Doug Rhodes, known by friends and family as Dusty, received the Bronze Star with "V" Device for valor in a ceremony during March 1997. The official award citation read: "Specialist Five Rhodes displayed heroic actions by placing himself at risk by exposing himself to enemy fire to make possible the successful completion of a very dangerous mission." The "mission" in this case was to place a pin in a land mine so it would not explode. Easy enough except that another young soldier was standing on the mine and if he lifted his foot the mine would detonate. Enemy snipers were also firing on Rhodes, who served as an ordnance and explosives specialist, and his team leader as they made their way to the young soldier. To draw the enemy snipers' fire, Rhodes moved to an open area away from the soldier on the land mine while his team leader finished the procedure to render the mine safe. Once the soldier could safely lift his foot off the mine, the 3 soldiers ran for cover and escaped the site via helicopter. Rhodes had been assigned to the 184th Ordnance Battalion, Qui Nhon, for only 6 weeks before this incident.
It's a long way from the jungles of Vietnam to the Pentagon's "Hall of Heroes." And it was almost 30 years since events led Roy Judkins from one to the other. The former Army specialist made the journey to receive long overdue recognition. During a 2 February 1998 Pentagon ceremony, Judkins received the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in Vietnam from Army General Henry H. Shelton, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman. The decoration was the nation's second highest award. The transient nature his duties, combined with the confusion that often exists in a combat zone, meant that Judkins' paperwork for the award had initially been lost, if it even got submitted at all.
Judkins was credited with "extraordinary heroism" for actions in early December 1968 while serving as an ordnance expert with the 184th Ordnance Battalion. During that month, he was called to the operating room of an Army field hospital to assist in some unusual surgery. His mission: remove a live 40mm grenade embedded in the body of a badly wounded soldier. In what Shelton described as a "shining example of America at its best," not only did Judkins successfully complete that mission, he repeated it a few days later, removing a grenade from the body of yet another soldier. During this same time period, he was credited with extracting a fellow soldier from a minefield while under enemy fire.
The unit was reactivated on 16 June 1998 at Fort Gillem, Georgia as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 184th Ordnance Battalion and assigned to the 52nd Ordnance Group as a continental United States EOD battalion. The Battalion's mission was to accomplish the EOD support activity function. The 184th Ordnance Battalion (EOD) commanded and controlled several EOD companies strategically located within its assigned control area. Installations and Major Commands (MACOMs) did not have a direct area support EOD responsibility.
With the activation of the 20th Support Command (CBRNE) in 2004, Active and Reserve EOD units were restructured. The 184th Ordnance Battalion (EOD remained assigned to the 52nd Ordnance Group (EOD). As part of the 2005 BRAC recommendations, the 184th Ordnance Battalion was also relocated to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, along with the 52nd Ordnance Group headquarters.
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