2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized)
The mission of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized) is to transition to war and deploys to initial positions to prepare for combat operations.
The 9th Infantry Regiment had the distinction of being authorized a unique belt buckle, as well as a distinctive insignia pin. "Manchus" had to earn the right to wear the buckle. To earn this right a Manchu had to complete the Manchu Mile, an overnight 25 mile tactical march, with full gear and weapon. The Manchu Mile commemorates the 85 mile march the 9th regiment completed in early July 1900, from Taku Bar to Tientsin for their assault on Tientsin on 13 July 1900.
The 9th United States Infantry Regiment was one of the oldest active units in the army. The original authority permitting organization was an act of congress on 16 July 1798 authorizing the creation of 12 new regiments. Tension had arisen between the United States and France and the creation of these additional units was deemed essential to the safety and preservation of the union. The regiment itself came into physical existence in January 1799, in Maryland, and was composed primarily of Maryland volunteers. The Regiment's first commander was recorded as having been Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Carville Hall. In early June 1800, the 9th Infantry was disbanded.
The Fighting Ninth was called upon to engage in the War of 1812 and was organized for the second time in March 1812, under the command of Colonel Simon Learned. The main body of the Regiment was composed of New England volunteers. In December 1812 it joined the Army of the North at Burlington, Vermont and participated in engagements at York, Fort George, Sacketts Harbor, Chrystler's Field, Fort Erie and the Chippewa River. Upon termination of the hostilities, all units of the army with the numerical designation of 9 and above were disbanded. The 9th Infantry was disbanded on 13 March 1815.
By April 1847 the Mexican War had stretched existing forces to the breaking point. At that time, 32 years after it had disbanded, the 9th Infantry began its third organization. Volunteers from Rhode Island and Massachusetts formed the nucleus of the unit. Upon arrival in Mexico, having been immediately dispatched to the center of the conflict, the 9th Infantry was active in the battles of Padiema, Churubusco, the Valley of Mexico and the bloody battle of Chapultepec. During the battle of Chapultepec, the Regimental Commander, Colonel Truman Ransom, was killed while leading an assault upon the Citadel. During the short time remaining before the end of the war, the Regiment marched to the outskirts of Mexico City. The 9th Infantry was disbanded for the last time in 1848.
The 9th Infantry Regiment was officially constituted in the Regular Army on 3 March 1855. On 26 March 1855 its headquarters was established at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Immediately after this, its fourth organization, the unit was transferred to the western frontier on 15 December 1855 and began to revive the glory known to units that had previously known that designation. The vastness of the western territory required the Regiment to be decentralized. As a result, various elements of the 9th Infantry were stationed at Fort Vancouver, Fort Steilacoom and Fort Walla Walla, all in the Washington Territory. The unit was subsequently awarded battle honors for Washington 1856 and Washington 1858.
In April 1861, the Civil War broke out and elements of the Infantry were returned from the western frontier. Its integrated elements were established as a portion of the 18th US Infantry Regiment. The actual history of the 9th Infantry during the Civil War is hazy and the specific accomplishments were not as definite as other portions of the unit's past. Nevertheless, their effectiveness may be visualized by referring to battle honors awarded for Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Atlanta.
After the Confederate forces surrendered on 9 April 1865 and the Civil War ended, the 9h Infantry was again posted to the western frontier. Intermittent service was rendered on various portions of the frontier to include Nevada, Nebraska, California, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, the Dakotas and Oregon. No less than 400 skirmishes were fought with numerous Indian tribes led by great war chiefs such as Geronimo, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. During one of these skirmishes, a small 30-man element of the Fighting Ninth was suddenly attacked by approximately 2,000 Sioux warriors near Fort Phil Kearney, Nebraska on 2 August 1867. This small band of soldiers was led by Major James Powell. Choosing to stand and fight, these soldiers hastily erected a barricade of wagon boxes, and during the entire morning stood off charge after charge. The Sioux finally withdrew, leaving behind several hundred killed and wounded. The defending forces suffered only 3 casualties. This action was recorded in history as the famous "Wagon Box Fight." Elements of the Ninth also participated in the infamous Little Big Horn Campaign. Attached to the southern force under the command of General Crook, the 9th Infantry participated in the engagement at Rose Bud Creek, and never arrived to support General Custer during his ill-fated assault on the Indian village at the Little Big Horn. Elements of the 9th Infantry also participated in the famous "Starvation March," which General Crook led in pursuit of the Indian tribes, which had massacred Custer and elements of the 7th Cavalry. As a result of those actions, battle honors were awarded for Wyoming and the Little Big Horn campaigns.
On 26 September 1867, Company F, 9th Infantry Regiment was dispatched from San Francisco to Sitka, Alaska to assist in operating the newly acquired Alaska Territory. Company F arrived in Sitka on 1O October 1867 and participated in the ceremony in which the sovereignty of the Alaska territory was passed from Russia to the United States. Company F remained in Alaska for approximately 2 years before being relieved.
In 1892, after 37 years of service in the Civil War and Indian Wars, the Regiment was transferred to routine garrison duty in Madison Barracks, New York. The rest did not last long, however, as the Regiment was ordered to duty in 1898 in the war with Spain. The 9th Infantry landed in Siboney, Cuba on 24 June 1898. During the ensuing campaign, the 9th Infantry again distinguished itself. The Regiment earned a battle streamer for its participation in the Battle of Santiago on 1 July 1898. It was during this battle that the Regiment crossed the San Juan River at the "Bloody Angle" and participated in the assault and seizure of San Juan Hill. On 14 August 1898, after the Cuban fighting had ended, the 9th Infantry returned to the United States and resumed garrison duties at Madison Barracks, New York.
Six months later, on 28 February 1899, the Regiment was dispatched to the Philippine Islands to help quell the Philippine Insurrection. Immediately upon arrival in Manila, the Regiment moved on line. It was detailed responsibility for the elimination of insurgents on Luzon Island. After many small, fierce engagements the area was declared clear when General Macabulos, the most powerful enemy then at large, surrendered on 15 June 1900.
In 1900, the Regiment deployed to China as the Boxer Rebellion threatened American lives and interests. Within a month of its arrival, the 9th Infantry Regiment found itself in combat in Manchuria. As a result of the actions in China, the 9th Infantry Regiment acquired its nickname as the "Manchu Regiment," earned its motto, "Keep Up The Fire," and claimed its foremost trophy, the Liscum Bowl, which was crafted from a large mass of molten silver. Shortly after the 9th Infantry landed in China with the American Relief Expedition to China in 1900, the Regiment engaged in the relief of Tientsin. While assaulting the fortress walls, the regimental commander, Colonel Emerson H. Liscum was mortally wounded while in possession of the regiment's colors. While falling, Colonel Liscum passed the colors to another soldier and directed his regiment to: "KEEP UP THE FIRE!" on the seemingly impregnable walls. Tientsin did fall, and 2 days later the Regiment discovered a storehouse of silver bars. The silver was put under guard and turned over to the Chinese government. As a token of their appreciation, the Chinese government gave the regiment the silver, which was later used to fabricate the Liscum Bowl, named in honor of their fallen commander.
After withdrawal from China, the Regiment was returned to the Philippines, and upon arrival in Mani Ila in June 1901, it was assigned to Calbayog, Sainar, to quell a rebellion. The rebel commander was Emilio Aguinaldo. Their duty on this island produced many encounters with the rebels. In one of these battles, 74 men of Company C, under the command of Captain Thomas Connell, were ambushed at the town of Balangiga. The Manchus fought fiercely and killed hundreds of natives, but of the 74 men in the company, all except 4 were either killed or wounded. Nevertheless, by May 1902, the island was cleared and the Regiment returned home.
Upon the entry of the United States into World War I in April 1917, the Regiment was again called to battle on foreign soil. It arrived in France in 1917 as part of the famous "Indianhead" Second Infantry Division. In early October 1917, the Manchus moved to the front. The Regiment first became involved in the then static warfare in the Sous Reuvrois Sector. When subsequently moved to Chateau-Thierry, it met and stalled the Boche Purge on Paris. Later during the involved campaign in the Meuse-Argonne Sector, and in one of the final campaigns of the war, the 9th Infantry successfully spearheaded one of the most reckless and daring moves in the history of modern warfare.
After capturing the edge of the Belval forest on the afternoon of 3 November 1918, the Regiment immediately prepared to continue the surge into the enemy lines. At 1630 hours, during an intense rainstorm and under cover of darkness, the forward movement was begun with columns on either side of the only passable road through the wooded terrain. The movement necessitated passage through the main line of enemy resistance, carried within 100 yards of artillery engaged in firing upon their recently abandoned positions. Without disturbing those units, the Regiment proceeded silently, intercepting and capturing enemy patrols and outposts, as well as defensive positions without firing a shot. At 2330 hours the movement was completed and a perimeter was established more than 5 miles to the rear of the defending Germans.
The German's attempt to make the Beival Forest one of the fierce, slow defensive maneuvers was thwarted and their lines became utterly disorganized. This was one of 3 successful night moves or raids made by the Manchu Regiment within a period of days that aided considerably in dealing a deathblow to the bewildered Germans.
After the armistice was signed on 11 November 1918, Manchu troops marched into Germany to serve as an occupation force. Occupation was terminated and the Regiment returned to the United States in July and August 1919. This was the fourth such return of the "Manchu" Regiment since the turn of the century. The Regiment was awarded battle streamers for Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, Lorraine, Ile de France, St. Mihiel and Aisne-Mame campaigns. In 1918, the Manchus were awarded the French Fourragere for gallantry during the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
During twenty-six years of peace, the longest non-combat period in its history, the first battalion was stationed at Camp Bullis, Camp Stanley and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. It was rotated among those posts until the start of World War II.
In October 1942, extensive training and winter maneuvers were begun at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. A year later on 8 October 1943, the Regiment sailed for Northern Ireland aboard the S.B. Anthony and arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 19 October 1943. Training became more intensive in preparation for the impending invasion of the European continent. On 7 June 1944 (D-Day +1) the Manchu Regiment set foot on the hostile soil of Omaha Beach, Normandy and immediately moved forward to capture Rubercy. Within 3 days they had intercepted the main rail line between Cherbourg and Paris and had driven through the Carisy Forest. After momentary reserve activity, the 9th Infantry was called forward again and captured the town of St. Germaine d' Elle. A short time later it was spearheading a three-day drive south to enter Tinchebray.
The 9th Infantry moved from Normandy to the Brittany peninsula on 19 August 1944. It was on this peninsula, during the Battle of Brest that some of the most courageous acts of the war were recorded. The city of Brest contained a key Fort located in a comer of the Brittany peninsula that governed a large inlet. The city was to be held at all costs. The Indianhead Division and other Allied units maintained constant pressure on the defenses. On 4 September 1944, the outer defensive ring was broken, and the 9th Infantry was responsible for the capture of 2 of the strongholds in that defensive line.
The Manchu warriors became the first Allied force to burst into the city, and the north sector of the city surrendered to the commanding officer of the 9th Infantry Regiment.
After the capture of Brest, the 9th Infantry Regiment fought through France to the Siegfried Line in the Ardennes Forest Sector. After a bitter battle, the Regiment pierced the Siegfried Line at the Wahlersheid crossroads on 15 December 1944. That spot was later named "Heartbreak Crossroads."
When the German counteroffensive broke the Allied lines in the Ardennes Sector on 16 December 1944 (later known as the Battle of the Bulge), the 9th Infantry was withdrawn from its hard won crossroads and moved back five miles to another crossroads known as the Rocherather Baracken. It was at this crossroads that the Regiment performed one of the most outstanding defensive stands in history.
The Manchus were operating as a hinge on the "Bulge" at the Rocherather Baracken crossroads. The Manchus fought for 18 hours against overwhelming odds, destroying 17 German tanks, and repulsing a key drive in the German thrust. This stand enabled 2 battalions of the 38th Infantry Regiment to escape encirclement, and coupled with similar stands by other allied units, caused the German counteroffensive to falter, thereby providing time to regroup and defeat this last great German effort.
After Allied lines had been re-established in January 1945, the Manchu Regiment once again spearheaded a drive through the Siegfried Line to begin a dash across Germany. The Rhine River was crossed on 21 March 1945. The Manchu Regiment then continued its drive across Germany and into Czechoslovakia to the outskirts of Pilsen where it was engaged in combat until the last days of the war. The Manchu Regiment remained in that sector on occupation duty until July 1945, when it embarked for the United States with many decorations, including three Presidential Citations.
Five years of peace were spent at Camp Shanks, New York; Camp Swift, Texas; and Fort Lewis, Washington. With the entry of the United Nations into the Korean conflict and the commitment of the 2nd Infantry Division to the Korean peninsula, the 9th Infantry once again readied for war. Manchu troops were the first element of the Indianhead Division to touch Korean soil when they arrived at the Korean port city of Pusan on 31 July 1950. The Manchus were immediately placed on line in defense of the Pusan Perimeter and it received its baptism of fire in the battle of the Naktong Bulge. Later they broke out from that defensive position, and began the attack northward, when they assaulted and seized Cloverleaf and Obong-Ni Ridge on 1 August 1950. The Regiment remained there until 1 September 1950, when the last North Korean attempt to annihilate the Pusan Perimeter defenders shattered the Regiment, thereby causing them to retreat momentarily. The Regimental Commander, Colonel Hill, reorganized approximately 800 Manchus, and together with the 5th Marine Regiment, counterattacked and regained Cloverleaf and Obong-Ni Ridge.
The Manchu Regiment participated in the breakout from the Pusan perimeter and began the advance north with the rest of the Eighth US Army towards the Yalu River. On 25 November 1950 several Red Chinese Armies attacked the Eighth US Army in the vicinity of the Chongehon River. The 9th Infantry Regiment was one of the hardest hit units and could only account for approximately one-half of its assigned members at daylight on 26 November 1950. On 30 November 1950, the majority of the Manchu Regiment began to run the "Gauntlet" to Kunu-Ri with the rest of the 2nd Infantry Division.
After running the gauntlet to Kunu-Ri, the remnants of the Regiment were withdrawn to an area south of the Korean capital of Seoul to refit. Manchus then spent the month of December 1950 on the monumental task of reorganizing, re-equipping, re-supplying and training, while patrolling the roads east of Seoul to Hongchon, Hoengsong and Wonju. Early January 1951 found the 9th Infantry patrolling to the northeast and northwest from defensive positions in Wonju, many times encountering enemy groups attempting to enter Wonju. The push northward by the Manchu Regiment began in early February l951, and continued until-near the middle of 1951, when they became involved in the bloody fighting that occurred along the present DMZ. In late July 1951 the Manchu Regiment participated in the capture of Hill II 79 (Taeu-San), one of the highest peaks in that area. In late August 1951, the Manchus, under the command of Lieutenant Gaylord M. Bishop, led the assault on the 3-hill mass (773, 940 and 983), which later became known as "Bloody Ridge."
On 18 September 1951 the Regiment was ordered to attack the ridgelines southwest of Heartbreak Ridge in an attempt to relieve pressure on the 23rd Infantry Regiment, which was attacking up the east-west spur of the ridge. After heavy fighting the Manchus secured their objective on 23 September. The North Koreans did not relinquish Heartbreak Ridge and in late September 1951 the Manchus were ordered to attack the west side of the Mundung-Ni Valley in a final attempt to capture the ridge. The attack was successful and Heartbreak Ridge fell on 13 October 1951.
The Regiment also participated in an engagement at Old Baldy, and on 28 December 1952 the Manchus were relieved from Pork Chop Hill and Old Baldy. On 29 January 1953 they returned to the front in the Little Gibralter sector and conducted extensive patrolling. Special Ranger platoons previously developed and used by each battalion while in the T-Bone battles, bore the brunt of this duty. After leaving Little Gibralter, the Regiment moved to the sector of the line known as the Boomerang. It was located in that sector during the signing of the cease-fire pact on 27 July 1953. While the cease-fire negotiations were going on, however, the Chinese forces executed a mass attack on 18 July 1953, but they were again repulsed. The Regiment earned an additional Presidential Unit Citation for its gallant service in Hongchon, and the Manchus received streamers for the following campaigns while serving in Korea: UN Defensive, UN Offensive, CCF Intervention, First UN Counteroffensive, CCF Spring Offensive, UN Summer-Fall Offensive, Second Korean Winter, Korea Summer-Fall 1952 Third Korean Winter Korea, Summer 1953.
In the latter part of 1955, the Manchu Regiment was designated a gyroscoping unit within the 2nd Infantry Division. Destination: Alaska. During June 1956, advance parties of the 2nd and 71st Infantry Divisions began changing places and by 15 August 1956, the major portions of the divisions were reversed. The 9th Infantry took over the Ladd-Eielson Area, near Fairbanks, from the 4th Infantry Regiment.
During the spring of 1957, the entire 2nd Infantry Division began a change to the new "Pentomic" type of organization. 9th Infantry headquarters, until this time, had been at Ladd Air Force Base. Under the pentomic reorganization, the 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry was inactivated on 20 June 1957 at Ladd Air Force Base, Alaska, and relieved from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division. It was concurrently redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battle Group, 9th Infantry.
On 16 December 1957, the 2nd Infantry Division, the unit to which the 9th Regiment had been assigned since World War 1, was inactivated in ceremonies at Fort Richardson, Alaska. Non-divisional support units were assigned to the Yukon command, United States Army, Alaska. The 2nd Battle Group, 9th Infantry, which had no actually been reactivated, was assigned on 17 March 1958 to the 2nd Infantry Division and activated on 14 June 1958 at Fort Benning, Georgia, with its organic elements, which were constituted on 4 March 1958 and concurrently activated.
In conjunction with the reorganization of the United States Army to the ROAD concept, all Battle Groups of the 9th Infantry were inactivated on 1 February 1963. Simultaneously, 5 battalions of the 9th Infantry were organized. The 1st and 2nd Battalions were organized and assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia.
During 1963, the 1st and 2nd Battalions participated in the Army's ROTA-PLAN operation. The 1st Battalion departed CONUS in April 1963 and relieved the 1st Battle Group, 38th Infantry in Baumholder, Germany. A week after arrival, the unit moved to Mannheim, Germany and came under the control of the 3rd Brigade, 8th Infantry Division. The 1st Battalion returned to CONUS on 15 July 1963 having been relieved by the 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry. However, with the discontinuance of the ROTA-PLAN only the colors of the 2nd Battalion returned to the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia. In exchange, the colors of the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry replaced those of 2-9th Infantry in Germany. The newly designated 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry returned to Germany in January 1964 as part of "Long Thrust" for approximately 90 days.
The 9th Regiment was reorganized under the Army Regimental System in April 1983 with 2nd and 4th Battalions in the 7th Infantry Division, at Fort Ord, California. In May 1987, the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry was reassigned to the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord. It was at this time that the Regimental Colors were brought to Fort Ord, and 1st Brigade, 7th Infantry Division headquarters became 9th Regimental Headquarters.
The Manchus remained at Fort Ord until they were, once again, called upon by the President to deploy. On 22 December 1989, the Regiment landed on Panamanian soil for combat operations, having previously been deployed earlier in 1989 in a non-combat role. Their mission was to enter and clear Panama City of Panamanian Defense Force members and "Dignity Battalion" militia. Although the Regiment killed or captured numerous Panamanian villains, captured hundreds of weapons and a variety of explosives, and seized tons of documents, some related to drug activity, they sustained no combat losses or injuries. In late January 1990, the Regiment once again re-deployed to Fort Ord, California after successfully clearing Panama City. It was in Panama that the 9th Infantry Regiment earned its 70th Campaign streamer.
Early in 1993, the 9th Infantry Regiment relocated from Fort Ord, California to Fort Lewis, Washington. In January 1995, the 9th Infantry Regiment was called upon to deploy to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to support the humanitarian mission "Operation Sea Signal." The Manchus once again displayed their discipline and professionalism in Cuba, this time providing the security and humanitarian assistance required by over 25,000 Cuban and Haitian migrants who fled their countries.
The 9th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light), was reflagged on 24 August 1995 as the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light). As a result of that reflagging. the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 9th Infantry Regiment exchanged colors and missions with 1st Battalion 5th Infantry, and 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry, respectively. Reunited with the 2nd Infantry Division, the 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry deployed to Korea as part of the Division's 1st Brigade.
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