Military


1st Battalion - 148th Infantry Regiment (Mech)
"Voodoo"

The 1-148th Infantry Battalion (Mechanized), the "VooDoo" Battalion of the Ohio Army National Guard has the Federal Mission to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy or capture them or repel their assault by fire, close combat, and counterattack. The State Mission of the Battalion is to provide units trained and equipped for immediate deployment in support of natural disasters and civil disturbances within the state of Ohio and as an aid to civil authorities for domestic disaster preparedness and emergency response, and aid to civil authorities.

The 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Battalion (Mechanized), Ohio Army National Guard, is part of the 37th Armor Brigade, Canton, Ohio, 38th Infantry Division, Indianapolis, Indiana. The 1-148th Infantry Battalion (Mechanized) is comprised of six elements: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Lima, Ohio; Company A, Xenia, Ohio; Company B, Bowling Green, Ohio; Company C, Delaware, Ohio; Company D, North Canton, Ohio; Company E, Urbana, Ohio. Equipment includes HMMWVs (HumVees), M113-Armored Personnel Carrier, M577, 2 -ton trucks and 5-ton trucks.

Present unit strength is approximately 30 officers and 700 soldiers. Most soldiers are on traditional reserve status who serve in the military on a part-time basis, taking time out form their families and civilian jobs to participate one weekend a month as well as two weeks of annual training each year. Augmenting the traditional reserve force is a team of approximately 20 officers and soldiers employed full-time as Active Guard Reserve members and technicians in the Battalion. Since then the 148th Infantry Battalion (Mechanized) has been redesignated, deactivated, and reactivated many times. Each of the units that made up the 148th Infantry left a record of distinguished achievements.

The 1-148th Infantry Battalion (Mechanized) has participated in many military actions including: Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War. World War I and World War II. The 1-148th Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, and cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army. The 148th Infantry also received the Joint Services Meritorious Unit Award for its participation in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Detail. Eight individuals in the 148th have distinguished themselves with the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The 1-148th Infantry Battalion (Mechanized) was designated in June of 1846 at Camp Washington, OH, as the 2nd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The years of the Civil War brought several antecedents of the 148th Infantry, namely the 2nd and the 6th Ohio Volunteer Regiments. The 16th Infantry Regiment was formed in the area of Ohio now being served by the 148th Infantry. 1898 saw the 16th Regiment back on active duty as the 6th Ohio and moving once again to the deep South and within a year was moving by foot, rail and ship to Cienfuegos, Cuba and Trinidad. In the years following, men from the 2nd and 6th Ohio Regiments served in the Philippine insurrection and the Boxer uprising, and in such peacetime service as at Dayton during the catastrophic flood of 1913.

The year 1916 brought Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico. On July 14, 1916, the 3rd Infantry, Ohio National Guard, direct predecessor of the 148th Infantry, was mustered into federal service and rushed to duty on the Mexican border at El Paso, Texas. There, the Guardsmen received the training which was soon to be put to its most severe test to date. Several units were never mustered out of service from border duty but were sent directly to camps for additional training. It was on September 15, 1917 that the 3rd Ohio was redesignated the 148th Infantry, 74th Brigade, 37th Infantry Division.

Durign World War I, in the front lines at Baccarat and the Pannes, in the Meuse-Argonne and Ypres-Lys offenses at Recicourt and Avocourt, men of the 148th fought in the three strenuous months which were to bring victory to the allied troops. It was the Ypres-Lys campaign that saw the crowning achievement of the 148th. There the Regiment, first of all the allied troops, crossed the Escaut River in Belgium on November 2, 1918 and maintained the crossing in spite of heavy losses from devastating machine gun and shell fire. It was there, too, that the regimental motto, "We'll do it," was inspired.

With the signing of the Armistice, the 148th stayed on in Europe for several months before it returned to the United States and was demobilized. July 1, 1921 the 148th Infantry was reorganized as such. It was on September 27, 1923 that the 148th Infantry regimental insignia was approved - the first in the United States to receive official War Department sanction.

The crest has seventeen (17) silver arrows, banded by a sprig of buckeye on a wreath of blue and gold, which are the regimental colors. The seventeen arrows signify Ohio, which was the seventeenth state to be admitted to the Union. The shield is azure, for infantry, divided by a red fess, bordered by two gold bands with two fleurs-de-lis representing the offensive and defensive actions in which the Regiment participated in France. The lion represents Belgium, where the Regiment engaged in the Ypres-Lys offensive. The red fess, wavy and bordered by the two gold bands, represents the Escaut River which, of all the allied troops, was crossed first by the 148th Infantry on November 2, 1918. The regimental motto, "We'll Do It," inscribed below the shield was inspired during this crossing and became a battle cry that inspired the members of this Regiment to rise above the normal call of duty and to go on to soundly defeat an enemy of superior numbers and to bring about a great victory for the allies.

The years 1921 to 1940 constituted a period of rebuilding and peacetime service. The 148th was called to duty at Sandusky following a destructive tornado in 1924 and at Cincinnati during the disastrous flood of 1937. The Guard of Honor at the funeral for President Warren G. Harding included men of the 148th. When strikes taxed the efforts of civilian authorities, the 148th was called to help maintain peace and protect property.

October 15, 1940 found the 148th Infantry, as part of the 37th Division, back in active federal service and training in the deep South at Camp Shelby. Shortly after its arrival at its training station, the 148th received a large number of selective service personnel and started a long training program designed to make it one of the finest fighting units in the U.S. Army. After 16 months of rigorous training, the unit moved to Indiantown Gap and finished off its pre-embarkation training designed for European service. With the Japanese sweeping to seemingly easy victories against our undermanned Pacific defenses, the 37th was rushed to the Islands to set up a series of island defenses designed to stop the advances and island hopping of the Sons of Nippon. The 148th landed at Suva, Fiji Islands, in early June 1942 and immediately set up a long coastal defense on the western part of Viti Levu. This program, coupled with vigorous jungle training, fitted the 148th for its baptism of fire on New Georgia. July 1943 found the 148th under command of Col. Stuart A. Baxter fighting the best Nips had to offer in the battle for Munda airstrip. It took only one campaign and the veterans of the 148th could be proud of this new fighting unit. Lt. Col. (now Brig. Gen.) Delbert Schultz took the 3rd Battalion on a special mission with a Marine raider force and hit the Japs at Bairoko Harbor and fought their way through some of the toughest terrain in the Solomon Islands to tie up with the remainder of the 148th in the final push for the airstrip.

After but a brief rest unloading ships at Guadacanal, the 148th was again to lead the way for the 37th and follow the 3rd Marine Division into Bougainville. Once the perimeter defenses were set, it was a matter of marking time until the Jap 6th Division hit. Early March 1944 found them doing just that, making a penetration of the 145th lines near Hill 700. The 2nd Battalion, under the command of Lt. Col. (now Col.) Herbert W. Radcliffe, was ordered to counter-attack and drive the Japs from the Hill. After a brief but bloody battle, the 2nd Battalion restored the lines. Within a week the 2nd Battalion again was called upon to back up the 129th Infantry in its sector. For their heroic and courageous efforts, three units of the 148th Infantry received the Presidential Unit Citation.

January 1945 saw the 148th pushing ashore at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon Island, and heading toward Manila. To the veterans of the 148th, there can be no doubt as to which unit reached Manila first. Along the way such strongholds as Clark Field, Fort Stotensburg and Santa Tomas had to be neutralized. Following the fall of Manila, the 148th pushed on toward Balete Pass and thence onward to Baguio and the fall of the summer capital. Before the 148th could catch their breath they were on the move again, this time up through the Cagayen Valley and moving toward Aparri before the Japs finally surrendered.

From September to December, the 148th permed occupational tasks in Luzon before they returned to the United States. Once more a job of reorganization followed the deactivation of the 37th Division back in Ohio. January 15, 1952 found the 148th back in the deep South, this time at Camp Polk, LA.

After September 11, 2001, A-D Companies of the 1-148 Infantry activated to federal active duty on October 6, 2001 and shipped to FT Knox, KY, for mobilization training and validation. HHC and E Companies soon followed, and activated to federal active duty on 15 October 2001. Prior to moving to Ft. Knox, KY, the BN headquarters set up shop at Rickenbacker National Guard Base in Columbus, Ohio, from 24 September thru 8 October 2001, in order to provide command and control over the mobilization. As of early 2002, the 148 Infantry was standing guard over American Federal Installations on its home soil, across the Mid-West region of the United States, in support of Operation Noble Eagle.



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