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2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment
"Proud Americans"

The 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, the "Proud Americans," was organized at Camp Meade, Maryland, in 1918, and assigned to the 11th Division. The 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment was first constituted on 5 July 1918 in the National Army as Battery B, 32nd Field Artillery. The World War ended before the Regiment could enter the fray, and it was demobilized before the year was out on 13 December 1918.

The unit was reconstituted on 22 July 1929 in the Regular Army as Battery B, 32nd Field Artillery, an element of the 3d Division. The 32nd Field Artillery was relieved on 1 January 1930 from assignment to the 3rd Division, again assigned on 23 September 1932 to the 3rd Division, and relieved again on 1 October 1933.

On 1 October 1940, the unit was redesignated as Battery B, 32nd Field Artillery Battalion, and activated at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, as an element of the 1st Division (later redesignated as the 1st Infantry Division). At the time the 2nd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery was reflagged ase 32nd Field Artillery Battalion. Though they had no history or honors then, by the end of World War II the Proud Americans were found wanting neither honors nor history.

At 0120 Hours on 8 November 1942, as part of Operation Torch, the 32nd Field Artillery landed in Algeria and had the first artillery piece in position and ready to fire within 2 hours of landing. At 1020 Hours, the "Proud Americans" claimed the first artillery round fired by US Artillery against an enemy in the European-African, Middle Eastern Theater in World War II.

The 32nd Field Artillery Battalion saw action in 1943 in the Tunisian Campaign, and in the Battle for Kasserine Pass, where the "Proud Americans" earned the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. At the Battle of El Guettar, the Battalion, along with the rest of the 1st Infantry Division, was overrun by the entire 10th German SS Panzer Division. Forced to destroy their guns and withdraw fighting, the "Proud Americans" nevertheless were back in action again within hours and in time to repulse a second assault. For its gallant stand and determined combat spirit at El Guettar, the Battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

During the invasion of Europe, the 1st Infantry Division and the 32nd Field Artillery Battalion spearheaded the attack at the most difficult point: Omaha Beach. In the bloodiest and most chaotic of the D-Day landings, the 32nd Field Artillery Battalion was the first complete artillery unit in action on Omaha Beach, and is credited with the first Allied Field Artillery round fired in the invasion. The unequaled support rendered by the "Proud Americans" to their supported infantry resulted in the award of a second Criox de Guerre and the forwarding of a recommendation for a second Presidential Unit Citation.

The 32nd Field Artillery drove eastward with the 18th Combat Team, and on 11 Setember 1944, Battery C, claimed the first round fired onto German soil by an Allied unit in World War II.

On 15 February 1957 the 32nd Field Artillery Battalion colors were folded at Fort Riley, Kansas. Concurrently, Battery B was redesignated Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Artillery. The unit was redesignated on 2 June 1958 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Missile Battalion (Honest John), 32nd Artillery and activated on 26 June 1958 at Fort Hood, Texas. The Battalion was inactivated on 1 March 1962 at Fort Hood, Texas.

The unit was redesignated on 10 December 1962 as the 2d Battalion, 32d Artillery. On 4 January 1963, the Battalion was reactivated as 2nd Battalion (175mm) (Self-Propelled), 32nd Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In July 1965, the Battalion was alerted for deployment to Vietnam where it would serve until 1971. During the Vietnam era, the unit again saw considerable battle in the Counteroffensive Phases II through VII, Tet 69/Counteroffensive and the Consolidation I and II campaigns, earning credit for 12 campaigns and was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Army) streamer.

While in Vietnam the Battalion was assigned to the 23rd Field Artillery Group, which supported the 1st Infantry Division, the 25th Infantry Division, the 25th ARVN Division, the 10th ARVN Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

By October 1967, the Battalion had fired 150,000 rounds in support of operations throughout the Republic of Vietnam. In 1969, the Battalion retubed C Battery's guns as 8-inch howitzers making it a mixture of 175mm and 8-inch artillery, which contributed to the Battalion firing a cumulative total of over 380,000 rounds in Vietnam by the end of 1969.

On 1 September 1971 the unit was redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field ArtilleryIn December 1971 the Battalion began turning in their equipment in preparation for deactivation. On 31 July 1972, the Battalion inactivated at Fort Lewis, Washington.

The unit was reactivated 16 August 1987 in Germany and inactivated on 15 December 1993 in Germany.

The unit was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment and activated on 16 January 2006 at Fort Riley, Kansas as part of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized).

As part of the modular transformation the US Army would add a fourth brigade to its active divisions. All modular brigade combat teams would have an organic field artillery battalion, instead of having habitually assigned battalions from a division-level division artillery (DIVARTY) as had been done previously.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:23:25 ZULU