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2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment
"Black Lions"

The 28th Infantry Regiment as a whole was first constituted under the Act of Congress of February 1901 and organized in March 1901 at Vancouver Barracks, Washington. The 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment was first constituted on 2 February 1901 in the Regular Army as Company B, 28th Infantry and organized on 17 June 1901 at Vancouver Barracks, Washington.

The Regiment first saw combat from December 1901 to January 1904 during the Philippine Insurrection where the Regiment was heavily involved. Elements of the Regiment were first deployed into the rebellious provinces on Luzon Island, but most of the 28th Infantry's action was seen later, on the island on Mindanao. The Regiment subdued the Moro guerillas at Pantar, then at the walled city of Jolo, and most notably led the American assault during the savage battle of Suliman Mountain. Between 1906 and 1908, the Regiment, minus one Battalion, performed guard and police duty as part of the American forces of Cuban Occupation.

In 1913, the 28th Infantry was ordered to Texas to assist in guarding the Mexican border against raids by Pancho Villa. In April 1914, the Regiment was part of the expedition that occupied the captured the Mexican city of Vera Cruz. The Regiment remained there until November 1914.

Following the entry of the United States in World War I, the Regiment was assigned on 8 June 1917 to the 1st Expeditionary Division, which later became the 1st Division. The Regiment distinguished itself by conducting the first offensive operations by US troops in World War I at Cantigny, where, in a viciously fought 3-day battle, the 28th Infantry captured the town of Cantigny and then withstood 5 determined German counterattacks. There the 'Lions of Cantigny' were born. The Regiment also fought in the battles of Soissons, the Argonne and Sedan. It suffered more than 5000 casualties in this war. Three of its members were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroism including Sergeant Michael B. Ellis of Company B.

The 2nd Infantry was relieved from assignment to the 1st Division on 16 October 1939, and was assigned to the 8th Division (later redesignated as the 8th Infantry Division) on 22 June 1940. Company B, 2nd Infantry was reactivated on 10 October 1940 at Fort Niagara, New York. With the 8th Infantry Division, the 28th Infantry distinguished itself in combat during World War II. After landing on Utah Beach on 4 July 1944, its first action was an attack to the south to establish a critical bridgehead over the Ay River so that armored divisions could launch a breakout and then attack into Brittany and Northern France. The Regiment then advanced south through Avrances and Rennes and turned west into Brittany. It participated in the savage battle for Brest and then fought on the Crozon Peninsula.

In late September 1944, the 28th Infantry was moved to Luxembourg and assigned to defend its sector of the 8th Infantry Division front, which stretched along the Our River. In mid-November 1944, the Regiment relieved elements of the 109th Infantry in the area southeast of Aachen. The next several weeks were spent attacking through the dense, forbidding Hurtgen Forest, where enemy artillery and mines presented a fierce enemy resistance causing numerous casualties in the worst fighting the Regiment was to experience.

The Regiment successfully conducted an assault crossing of the flood swollen Roer in late February 1945. It then seized the town of Stockheim and continued the attack, seizing dozens of strongly defended enemy towns, until it reached the Rhine River. In mid-April 1945, the 28th Infantry drove north as part of the campaign to destroy or capture all enemy forces trapped in the Ruhr-Seig pocket. After a brief period of occupation duty in the Ruhr-Rhine area, the Regiment was ordered to cross the Elbe and advance toward the Baltic Sea. The final days of the war for the Regiment were spent managing huge numbers of Wehrmacht POWs, refugees, and former prisoners of the Germans. During its 10 months of combat, the Regiment played a major part in 4 allied campaigns, winning 3 Presidential Unit Citations, with streamers embroidered Normandy, Bergstein and Stockheim. It captured over 115,000 prisoners of war and vast stores of enemy material. After the end of the Second World War, the Regiment, including Company B, were inactivated on 1 November 1945 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

The 28th Infantry was reactivated on 17 August 1950, again as part of the 8th Division, and served as a training regiment at Fort Jackson. In 1957, the Regiment was reorganized as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. Company B, 2nd Infantry was reorganized and redesignated on 15 February 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battle Group, 28th Infantry. It was concurrently relieved from assignment to the 8th Infantry Division and assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, with its organic elements constituted and activated.

On 26 December 1958, the 2nd Battle Group, 28th Infantry was relieved from assignment to the 1st Infantry Division and assigned to the 24th Infantry Division in Germany. The 2nd Battle Group was inactivated on 1 February 1963 and relieved from assignment to the 24th Infantry Division. The Battle Group was redesignated on 23 October 1963 as the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry, and assigned to the 1st Infantry Division. It was activated on 13 January 1964 at Fort Riley, Kansas, joining the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry.

In 1965, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 28th Infantry were deployed to Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division. The 1st and 2nd Battalions fought in many of the 1st Infantry Division's major engagements. The 2nd Battalion was awarded a Valorous Unit Award for the battle for Lo Ke during Operations Cedar Falls, Yuscon, Junction City and Shenandoah. In October 1967, an ambush of elements of the 2nd Battalion during Operation Shenandoah II and the ensuring violent engagement with a reinforced Viet Cong Battalion, known as the battle of Ong Thanh, caused many casualties. Both the 1st and the 2nd Battalions were used to seal enemy movement towards Saigon during the enemy's May 5th offensive in 1968. The 2nd Battalion repelled the suicide attack of an estimated 4 Battalions of North Vietnamese Army regulars during the battle of Fire Support Base Julie in October 1968. In November 1968, it had another 2 major clashes with the North Vietnamese Army in the area known as the "Trapezoid."

During much of 1969, both Battalions were involved in the Dong Tien (Progress Together) program, training Army of the Republic of Vietnam units through combined operations, and other forms of mutual support, in order for them to be able to successfully fight on their own. In August and again in November 1969, elements of the 2nd Battalion had major engagements in the Trapezoid. Early 1970 saw the end of the participation of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 28th Infantry in the conflict in Vietnam. After almost 5 years of combat in South Vietnam, the colors of both Battalions were redeployed to Fort Riley, Kansas. During the conflict, Sergeant Paul L. Fitzgerald, Jr. and Private First Class Olin Hargrove of Company A, 2nd Battalion, were officially listed as Missing In Action. Subsequently the Army issued a presumptive finding of death, in both cases. 2nd Lieutenant Robert J. Hibbs of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for heroism during the conflict.

After returning from Vietnam, 2-28th Infantry was inactivated on 15 April 1970 at Fort Riley, Kansas, and relieved from assignment to the 1st Infantry Division. The unit was assigned on 21 February 1973 to the 8th Infantry Division and reactivated on 31 August 1973 in Germany. The Battalion was inactivated on 1 August 1984 in Germany and relieved from assignment to the 8th Infantry Division.

On 27 February 1987, the Headquarters of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions of the 28th Infantry Regiment transferred to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and activated at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. 2-28th Infantry was inactivated on 30 September 1994 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and reactivated there on 16 September 1996. The Battalion was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 2d Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment.

The Battalion Headquarters was inactivated on 16 November 2005 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and withdrawn from the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. The Battalion was reactivated 16 March 2008 in Germany as part of the 172nd Infantry Brigade (Separate). 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry was concurrently inactivated and reflagged as 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry, as part of the reflagging of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division as the 172nd Infanty Brigade (Separate).

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Page last modified: 13-01-2012 13:07:04 ZULU