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1st Battalion - 109th Infantry Regiment

"The soldiers of the 109th Infantry Regiment, the element from which the 55th was born, earned the nickname "Men of Iron" for their three-day defense against overwhelming odds during the Champagne-Marne Offensive in World War I.

The 55th Brigade traces its origins to the Scranton City Guards Battalion, Pennsylvania National Guard, which was constituted and organized on 14 August 1877. It was redesignated on 23 September 1878 as 13th Infantry Regiment. The unit was mustered into Federal service on 12-13 May 1898 at Mount Gretna as 13th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment; and mustered out on 11 March 1899 at Augusta, GA (The unit did not serve outside continental United States).

It was mustered into Federal service on 26 September 1916 at Mount Gretna for service on the Mexican Border, and drafted into Federal service on 5 August 1917. The unit consolidated with the 1st Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment and was redesigned on 11 October 1917 as 109th Infantry Regiment, an element of the 28th Division. It was demobilized on 20 May at Camp Dix, NJ. The unit was reorganized in 1919-1920 as the 13th Infantry, Pennsylvania National Guard.

Ten months before Pearl Harbor, the 28th Division was ordered into federal service. After America entered World War II, the division trained extensively, in Pennsylvania and in England and Wales. Landing in France after D-Day, the division fought through Normandy, helped liberate Paris, and ended up bitterly engaged along the "West Wall" of Germany in November 1944. One month later, during the Battle of the Bulge, the division was instrumental in stalling the last German offensive of the war. Its exploits earned it the nickname "Bloody Bucket" division -- but 2,000 of its soldiers paid for that honor with their lives.

In 1950, the 28th Division was mobilized to reinforce NATO in Germany. Several Pennsylvania units saw active service in Korea.

In 1996, the battalion was called to State active duty to protect flooded homes and property along the Susquehanna River and Tunkhannock Creek in and around the town of Tunkhannock. In 1998, the unit was called to State active duty in the wake of tornado damage in the Lake Carey area.

From September 2002 until March 2003, the unit was mobilized in support of Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina. On January 4th, 2005, the battalion was mobilized and assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team which deployed in June 2005 to Al Anbar Province, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:16:45 ZULU