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109th Medical Battalion

The Headquarters Support Company (HSC) provides Eschelon I and II medical support to units located in the assigned area of operations. This means that it provides treatment, ground evacuation, preventative medicine, laboratory and dental support with highly mobile medical teams to whatever units in the corps area need support.

Unit clerks do the paperwork that is so important to the smooth running of a large organization that has to communicate with an even larger organization. Their hard work keeps paychecks on time, student loans paid off and insurance up to date. The medics of ambulance platoon are the wounded soldier's crucial first contact with the Army Health Service System. When self-aid and buddy aid aren't enough, the ambulance medics are there to get troops through. One of the highlights of a soldier's day is mealtime. And it's the food service section that adds fresh variety to a menu that would otherwise consist entirely of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). The medics of jump platoon, whether in the ambulances or in the treatment ten, are often the wounded soldier's crucial first contact with the Army Health Service System. The supply section provides equipment, parts and maintenance support for just about everything a unit needs from uniforms to radios to tents. Treatment picks up where jump platoon leaves off. Placed back inn the company area, base treatment provides a place to rest and heal, if only for a little while.

HSC 109th Med has a relatively complicated history combining cavalry and medical lineages. The unit's history as a cavalry unit is reflected in the fact that part of the armory in Iowa City is still referred to as "the riding hall."

In 1864, a cavalry unit in Iowa City was organized as the 10th and 22nd Iowa. Then in 1920 (?), it was reorganized as the 1st Regiment Iowa Cavalry with subordinate units in Iowa City, Marengo/North English, Lone Tree, Oxford and Grinnell.

The unit went into Federal service on 19 July 1916 for Mexican Border Duty and was mustered out 28 February 1917. It was recalled 15 July 1917, drafted 5 August 1917 and broken up 1 October 1917 as follows: Troop A became Headquarters Troop 34th Division. Troop B became Company A 125th Machine Gun Battalion. Troop C consolidated with the 133rd Infantry. Troop D consolidated with the 109th Ammunition Train. The unit was demobilized 18 February 1917.

The 2nd Squadron was organized 21 May 1921 with subordinate Troops in Washington, Sigourney and Oskaloosa. Then that same year (or in 1929) it was expanded to three Squadrons with the 1st Squadron Headquarters in Iowa City along with Troop I of 3rd Squadron. The unit was inducted into Federal service 13 January 1941 at home station, mechanized 30 March 1942 and reorganized as a two-squadron regiment. It was broken up 2 January 1944 as follows: HHT (Headquarters Troop?) became HHT 113th Cavalry Group, Mechanized. 1st Squadron became 113th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Troop B returned to Iowa City). 2nd Squadron became 125th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized.

The unit served in Normandy, northern France, Rhineland and central Europe, and was awarded the Belgium Fourragere, and the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army (twice). On 21 March 1947, the unit became the 34th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troup, Mechanized, 34th Division. 1 December 1948 it became the 34th Reconnaisance Company. Then 1 May 1959 it was relieved from the 34th Division and became HHD 109th Medical Battalion.

But HHD 109th Med already had its own history. It began in 1911 as the Field Hospital, Iowa National Guard. In World War I, it served in France as the 109th Sanitary Trains, 34th Division. In 1936, the unit expanded to include all Iowa medical assets, including Company A which was then the State Lab Unit, and the 186th Hospital Company. The battalion was designated the 136th Medical Regiment with Company G in Iowa City. Its unit crest is still on the wall of the drill floor.

With the outbreak of World War II, the battalion was redesignated the 109th Medical Battalion, 34th Infantry Division, and the Iowa City unit became Company C. It saw service in Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Naples-Fogia, Anzio, Rome Arno, north Apennines, and the Po Valley. It was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the French Croix de Guerre with Palm, and 125 Purple Hearts. 87 became prisoners of war (all returned) at the Battle of Kaserine Pass. 13 made the ultimate sacrifice. The unit returned to the U.S. as the 310th Medical Battalion, 85th Division and was deactivated.

In 1947, the 109th was reorganized with HHD in Ft. Dodge and Company D in Iowa City. The Iowa City unit was a Clearing Company from 1949-1959, then became Company B from 1959-1963. In 1959, HHD was moved to Iowa City to replace Troop B 113th Cavalry. And in 1963, Company B became the 209th (Clearing).

In 1990, the 209th was mobilized for duty in Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iraq for operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Then in 1995, the unit was reorganized as an Area Support Medical Battalion with HSC in Iowa City and other subordinate companies in South Dakota, Colorado, and Iowa.

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