2nd Battalion - 263rd Air Defense Artillery

In May 1998 this National Guard unit received one of the U.S. Army's high-tech weapons that was first used during Operation Desert Storm. The 2nd Battalion 263rd Air Defense Artillery, which covers Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties, recently was awarded $72 million worth of Avenger units. It's the first group in South Carolina to get the system and only one of nine nationally. The battalion has gotten 12 units and expected 24 others within the year. The equipment lets soldiers shoot aircraft out of the sky from a moving vehicle whether it's day or night during any weather.

Organized in 1756 at Charles town as the Artillery Company of Charles Town, commanded by Captain Christopher Gadsden. Chartered 31 July 1760 by the colony of south Carolina. Expanded, reorganized and redesignated in 1775 as the Charles Town Battalion of Artillery. Surrendered 12 May 1780 to the British forces at Charles Town. Reconstituted in 1`783 as the Charleston Battalion of Artillery and organized at Charleston. Attached 17 December 1794 to the 7th Brigade, 2nd Division, South Carolina Militia. Expanded, reorganized and redesignated 16 December 1797 as the 1st Regiment of Artillery. Provisional battalion from the 1st Regiment of Artillery, commanded by Major John P. Felder, mustered into federal service 6 November 1814 at Charleston; mustered out of federal service 3 March 1815 at Charleston. Elements of the 1st Regiment of Artillery mustered into federal service 6-7 April 1836 at Charleston. While remaining in state of service during the civil war, the 1st Regiment of Artillery furnished personnel for the German Artillery battery and the Washington Artillery, volunteer units in the confederate States Army. The German Artillery Battalion disbanded in April 1865 at Camden, South Carolina; remaining artillery units surrendered 26 April 1865 with the Army of the Tennessee at Greensboro, North Carolina.

Reorganized in 1878 in the South Carolina Volunteer Troops at Charleston as the 1st Regiment of Artillery. Reorganized in 1883 as the German Artillery and Lafayette Artillery. Lafayette Artillery consolidated 1 May 1892 with the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery and the Chicora Rifles (organized February 1890 at Mount Pleasant, as Company F, 1st battalion of Infantry) to form the Naval battalion; concurrently withdrawn from the South Carolina Volunteer Troops and allotted to the South Carolina Naval Militia. South Carolina Naval Militia called into active federal service 8 April 1917 at home stations to serve on patrol duty with the United States Navy off the coast of south Carolina; personnel demobilized in 1919.

Reorganized 21 July 1923 in the South Carolina National Guard as the 1st Coast Defense Command, Coast Artillery Corps. Redesignated 31 July 1925 as the 263rd Coast Artillery Battalion. Expanded, reorganized and redesignated 10 June 1930 as the 263rd Coast Artillery. Headquarters federally recognized 14 June 1930 at Beaufort. (3rd Battalion, 263rd Coast Artillery, reorganized and redesignated 10 December 194 as the 107th Separate Battalion, Coast Artillery.

263rd Coast Artillery inducted into federal service 13 January 1941 at home stations. Regiment broken up 1 October 1944 and its elements reorganized and redesignated as follows: Headquarters and Headquarters Battery and Batteries C, D and E as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery A, B and C respectively, Harbor Defense of Charleston; Headquarters and Headquarters Batteries, 1st and 2nd Battalions; Battery F and Searchlight Battery disbanded (Batteries A and B as the 248th and 249th Coast Artillery batteries, respectively; hereafter, separate lineages).

Harbor Defense of Charleston redesignated 30 June 1945 as the 263rd Coast Artillery and inactivated at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. 1st Battalion, 263rd Coast Artillery, reorganized and federally recognized 4 April 1947 as the 713th Antiaircraft Artillery gun Battalion with Headquarters at Lancaster. Ordered into active federal service 15 August 1950 at home stations; released 14 June 1952 from active federal service and reverted to state control. Redesignated 1 October 1953 as the 713th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion. 2nd Battalion, 263rd Coast Artillery, reorganized and federally recognized 15 April 1947 as the 678th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion with Headquarters at Anderson. Redesignated 1 October 1953 as the 678th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion.

107th Separate Battalion, Coast Artillery, inducted into federal service 10 February 1941 at home stations. Reorganized and redesignated 13 November 1943 as the 107th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion. Inactivated 5 December 1944 in Italy. Reorganized and federally recognized 10 February 1947 with Headquarters at Newberry. Redesignated 1 October 1953 as the 10th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion.

Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 263d Coast Artillery, and the 713th, 678th and 107th Antiaircraft Artillery battalions consolidated 1 April 1959 and consolidated unit reorganized and redesignated as the 263rd Artillery, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System, to consist of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Automatic Weapons Battalions and the 4th Detachment. Reorganized 1 January 1968 to consist of the 2nd Battalion. Redesignated 1 November 1972 as the 263rd Air Defense Artillery. Reorganized 1 August 1975 to consist of the 2nd Battalion, an element of the 26th Infantry Division. On 7 April 1987 from the Combat Arms Regimental system and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System with Headquarters at Anderson. Reorganized 1 October 1988 to consist of the 1st and 2nd Battalions.

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