1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment
The 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment was first constituted on 13 January 1941, as a company of the 5th Armored Regiment and assigned to the 4th Armored Division. On 15 April 1941, the 4th Armored Division was activated at Pine Camp, New York. On 8 May 1941, the 5th Armored Regiment as a whole was redesignated as the 35th Armored Regiment. The Regiment spent most of 1942 in Tennessee performing training maneuvers and in California conducting desert training. In 1943, the 35th Armored Regiment continued training in California and later moved to Massachusetts. On 10 September 1943, the Regiment was broken up, reorganized, and its component units redesignated. The unit was redesignated as a company of the 771st Tank Battalion and was relieved from assignment to the 4th Armored Division.
The 771st Tank Battalion was deployed as a corps-level asset, an independent tank battalion providing armor support to infantry divisions, which at the time had no organic tank support. The 771st moved to the United Kingdom in 1944 in preparation for the Normandy invasion. The Battalion landed at Utah beach on 11 July 1944. From there the unit started its long and proud tradition as one of Americas foremost tank battalions in the European theater. The 771st Tank Battalion swept across Europe, fighting in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe campaigns, including the famous Battle of the Bulge.
After World War II, on 1 May 1946, the 771st Tank Battalion was converted and redesignated as Troop A, 71st Constabulary Squadron. On 20 September 1947, Troop A, 71st Constabulary Squadron was inactivated at Augsburg, Germany. On 11 December 1951, the unit was reactivated and redesignated as Company A, 771st Tank Battalion.
On April 1, 1957, Company A, 771st was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Medium Tank Battalion (Patton), 35th Armor under the Combat Arms Regimental System. It was concurrently assigned to 4th Armored Division and activated at Fort Hood, Texas, along with its subordinate units, which were also activated. Later that year it moved as part of the 4th Armored Division to Erlangen, Germany. In 1963 the unit was redesignated as 1st Battalion, 35th Armor. 1-35th Armor joined the 1st Armored Division after the 4th Armored Division was inactivated on 10 May 1971.
1-35th Armor served with distinction in 1990 and 1991 as part of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. 1-35th Armor was deactivated shortly after Desert Storm and remained inactive until 1997, when 2-68th Armor at Baumholder, Germany was deactivated and reflagged as the 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment.
From February 1998 to September 1998, 1-35th Armor participated in SFOR, the Stabilization force in Bosnia-Herzegovenia, enforcing the Dayton Peace Accords. In May 1999, C Company became the first airlifted heavy tank company in US Army history when they deployed as part of Task Force Hawk to Tirane, Albania. As 1-35th Armor prepared for its deployment to Kosovo as part of KFOR, it remained the only active battalion of the 35th Armored Regiment and as such was the home unit for the Regiment.
C Company, the Comanches, was the first American ground force to enter Kosovo in June 1999. In addition to leading the way into Kosovo, Comanche tanks were responsible for clearing mines from the land that became Camp Bondsteel. Between 1999 and 2001, the Comanches have participated in the Bosnia and Kosovo peacekeeping missions, 3 tank gunnery rotations, 2 CMTC rotations, and a 6 month training cycle in preparation for another peacekeeping mission to Kosovo in 2001. The company held honors for the highest average Tank Table VIII and XII scores, and the high individual tank score for Tank Table VIII.
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