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111th Engineer Battalion

The 111th Engineer Battalion (Texas Army National Guard) was organized on 4 June 1917 in the Texas National Guard as Company I, 7th Infantry at Abilene, TX, and later drafted into federal service on 5 August 1917. It was consolidated on 15 October 1917 with Headquarters Company, 7th Infantry and re-designated as Headquarters Company, 142nd Infantry as part of the 36th Infantry Division. During W.W.I the battalion served with the 36th Infantry in Meuse-Argonne campaign. Following W.W.I the battalion was demobilized on 17 June 1919 at Camp Bowie, TX.

Following several reorganizations and redesignations, the battalion was formed again on 1 July 1940 as Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 131st Field Artillery. During W.W.II the battalion supported operations in both the Pacific and European theaters of war. Elements of the battalion participated in campaigns such as Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, and Central Europe. As well, elements of the battalion served in the Bismark Archipelago, New Guinea, Luzon, Central Burma, India-Burma, Leyte, and Ryukyus.

Inducted into federal service on 25 November 1946 at Camp Patrick Henry, VA. The battalion underwent several consolidations and re-organizations until 15 January 1968 when it was converted and re-designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 111th Engineer Battalion and relieved from assignment to the 36th Infantry Division.

On 1 November 1973 the battalion was consolidated with the 342nd Engineer Company and re-organized and consolidated with other engineer units to be Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 111th Engineer Battalion, an element of the 49th Armored Division. The battalion earned two presidential unit citations embroidered Siegfried Line and Vosges, the French Croix de Guerre with palm, and the Philippine presidential unit citation.

In 2000, the 111th Engineer Battalion of the Texas National Guard spent 6 months in Bosnia-Herzegovina at Eagle Base. Though originally scheduled to fulfill its a combat engineering mission, because of the lack of need for combat engineering assets, the unit was eventually tasked with guarding the gates and perimeter of Eagle Base, providiong security for the task force headquarters. Its mission was to conduct perimeter and gate security operations, plus plans and coordinates garrison support activities, to protect Eagle Base and enable each tenant unit to effectively conduct and sustain their Peace Support Operations.

While there, personnel from the 111th assisted in the building of a Bailey bridge near a place called Lopare, in the Russian sector. It was a joint effort of the Americans, Russians, and local combat engineers from the Serb Republic half of Bosnia.

The coat of arms was approved on 23 Oct 1975. Shield: Per saltire Argent and Azure on a castle tower Gules between two fleurs-de-lis or a linden leaf of the last between two pheons in pale points to chief of the first. Crest: That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Texas Army National Guard: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Gules a mullet Argent encircled by a garland of live oak and olive Proper. Scarlet and white are the colors used for the Corps of Engineers. The tower is emblematic of engineers and the saltire suggests a strong support. The color blue and white are for Infantry, scarlet and gold for Artillery, and red, white and blue for Texas; together they refer to the origin, service history and allotment of the unit during two World Wars. As an Infantry element of the 36th Division, the organization participated in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign in France during World War I. Later redesignated Artillery, the unit participated in seven campaigns in Europe in World War II, with assault landings in the Naples-Foggia and Southern France Campaigns, denoted by the pheons (arrowheads). The blue areas represent two Presidential Unit Citations; one for the "Siegfried Line," indicated by the linden leaf, a symbol of Siegfried; and the other for the "Vosges," indicated by the fleurs-de-lis for France, where the unit was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre with palm, World War II.

The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 11 Jun 1971. The seven visible spokes of the escarbuncle together with the torteau or red disc, representing an artillery projectile, allude to the seven campaign credits earned in Europe as a Field Artillery organization, while an element of the 36th Infantry Division during World War II. The two pheons (arrowheads) refer to their two assault landings, with the reversed arrowhead, simulating the letter "V," alluding to Vosges and to the Croix de Guerre with palm awarded during that period. The tower, traditional symbol used by the Corps of Engineers, refers to the present basic mission of the 111th Engineer Battalion.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:20:08 ZULU