6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment
The 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment was first organized on 1 June 1917 as the 3rd Company, Fort Washington, Maryland. Following America's entry into World War I, the Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, sent an Advisory Board of Officers to France to determine how best to employ American Forces in Europe. Colonel Chauncey B. Baker recommended the creation of an anti-aircraft Artillery Service (AAA). Baker based his recommendation on the significant threat that air power posed to Allied Forces. The Coast Artillery Corps was able to assume the anti-aircraft artillery mission because it was the only artillery with experience in firing at moving targets. Three coast artillery officers were sent to France with orders to assemble the anti-aircraft artillery units. Brigadier General James A. Shipton was one of these officers.
During World War I, The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 17 July 1917 as Battery K, 8th Provisional Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps and on 5 February 1918 as Battery K, 53d Artillery (Coast Artillery Corps). It was redesignated on 15 July 1918 as Battery F, 52d Artillery (Coast Artillery Corps).
In the interwar period, the unit was inactivated on 16 May 1921 at Fort Eustis, Virginia before being reactivated on 18 August 1921 at Fort Eustis, Virginia. It was additionally designated on 1 June 1922 as the 229th Company, Coast Artillery Corps. The additional designation was abolished on 1 July 1924, when it was redesignated as Battery F, 52d Coast Artillery. The unit was inactivated on 1 February 1940 at Fort Monroe, Virginia.
The unit was reactivated 8 January 1941 at Fort Hancock, New Jersey. It was reorganized and redesignated on 1 May 1943 as Battery A, 288th Coast Artillery Battalion. During World War II, advances in technology made air power an ever increasing threat to friendly forces. In the Pacific the need for anti-aircraft artillery became apparent as Allied Leaders realized they had vastly underestimated Japan's air power. The unit fought gallantly in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1944. For its service, the 288th Coast Artillery Battalion was awarded the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for gallantry in the Philippines. The unit was inactivated on 18 April 1944 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and completely disbanded on 14 June 1944.
The unit was reconstituted on 28 June 1950 in the Regular Army. It was concurrently consolidated with Battery B, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion (active), and the consolidated unit was designated as Battery B, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion, an element of the 24th Infantry Division. The active Battery B, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion had been first constituted on 1 October 1933 in the Regular Army as Battery B, 52nd Field Artillery. It was redesignated on 26 August 1941 as Battery B, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion, an element of the 24th Infantry Division and activated on 1 October 1941 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
B Battery, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion remained assigned to the 24th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. During the Korean Conflict, the 90mm gun battalion and automatic weapons battalions served effectively in the ground support role. For its courage under fire in Korea, the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and 2 Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations.
The unit was inactivated on 5 June 1958 and relieved from assignment to the 24th Infantry Division. It was redesignated on 1 November 1960 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 6th Missile Battalion, 52nd Artillery Regiment with its organic elements concurrently constituted. The Battalion was activated on 17 November 1960 at Fort Bliss, Texas. It was redesignated on 20 August 1965 as the 6th Battalion, 52nd Artillery Regiment.
The unit was redesignated as the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery (HAWK) Regiment on 1 September 1971. From December 1990 until June 1992, A and B Batteries, 6-52nd Air Defense Artillery deployed and participated as part of Task Force 8-43rd Air Defense Artillery, VII Corps during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Upon return, the Battalion continued to serve proudly under NATO until its deactivation as the last forward-deployed HAWK unit deployed overseas. On 5 October 1993, the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery (Patriiot) was inactivated in Germany.
The unit was reactivated on 16 February 1996 at Shipton Kaserne, Ansbach, Germany. On 2 March 1998, the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery was task organized as Task Force 6-52 Air Defense Artillery. The Battalion was subsequently awarded the Superior Unit Award for distinguished performance during its 1996 Southwest Asia Rotation.
The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade fired a live Patriot missile for the first time ever in Europe. Souda Bay, Crete, an island of Greece, is where history was made 21 October 1999 when D Battery, 6-52 Air Defense Artillery from Ansbach, Germany, part of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, fired the Patriot missile. The reason the team fired its first live Patriot missile in Europe was because Germany offered logistical support and ran the NATO range in Crete. The Germans were fine hosts and allowed the unit to fire one of their missiles there. It truly became a combined NATO team atmosphere. Troops from Greece, Belgium, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands were involved in the exercise. The Patriot missile destroyed its drone target approximately 25 miles from the shores of Crete.
With the drawdown of US forces in Germany, 6-52nd Air Defense Artillery was inactivated and reactivated at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In 2004, the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade had become fully operational in the Republic of Korea. Beginning in 2007, Air Defense Artillery Battalions began to make one year temporary change of stations to Korea. In mid-2009, the decision was made to end these rotations. In May 2009, the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery conducted a transfer of authority with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery, with the deployment to Suwon Air Base becoming a permenant change of station. 6-52nd Air Defense Artillery became headquartered at Suwon Air Base in the Republic of Korea as part of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
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