Wednesday, February 9, 2022

From Normandy to Afghanistan: A history of the 1230th Transportation Company

By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard



Soldiers of the 1230th Transportation Company conduct a departure ceremony in Thomasville, Ga. Oct. 5, 2020 prior to mobilizing to the Southwest border.
Photo by Desiree Bamba

The predecessor unit of the 1230th TC was organized and federally recognized Oct. 1, 1939 in the Georgia National Guard in Bainbridge, Ga. as the Antitank Platoon, Headquarters Company, 121st Infantry, an element of the 30th Division.[1] The unit was inducted into federal service with the 30th Division Sept. 16, 1940.

Staff Sgt. Joseph D. Smith Jr.

On Nov. 2, 1941, the 121st Infantry was assigned to the 8th Division which mobilized to the European Theater of Operations and landed at Utah Beach July 4, 1944. The 121st participated in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. Staff Sgt. Joseph D. Smith was killed July 17, 1944 during fighting in the vicinity of La Haye-du-Puits, Normandy, France. Smith had enlisted in the Anti-Tank Platoon in 1941. He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart.

Returning to the United States, the 121st was inactivated Oct. 20 1945 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

The Bainbridge unit was reorganized and federally recognized Feb 9, 1948. On Nov. 1, 1948, the company was redesignated the Tank Company, 121st Infantry and assigned to the 48th Infantry Division.[2]

With the inactivation of the 48th ID Nov. 1, 1955 the company was reorganized and redesignated Company D, 121st Armored Infantry Battalion, an element of the 48th Armored Division.[3] A major reorganization of the Ga. ARNG on July 1, 1959 saw the unit redesignated Company D, 2d Armored Rifle Battalion, 121st Infantry, an element of the 48th Armored Division.[4]

As part of the Army-wide Reorganization of Army Divisions (ROAD) April 16, 1963, the unit was converted and redesignated Company A, 4th Battalion, 108th Armor.[5] The January 1, 1968 inactivation of the 48th AD prompted the unit to reorganize as the 2d and 3d Engineer Platoons, Company D, 560th Engineer Battalion.[6] The unit continued to serve as elements of Company D, 560th EN BN until April 1, 1996 when it was converted to form Detachment 1, 1148th Transportation Company.[7] The unit received its current designation as 1230th TC Sept. 1, 1999.[8] That year, the company supported Golden Cargo 99, transporting multiple launch rocket system pods from Illinois to Texas.[9]


The 1230th was ordered into active federal service Jan. 30, 2003 and served state-side in support of Operation Noble Eagle. On April 4, 2007, the 1230th was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While deployed, the unit’s home station was changed to Thomasville.[10] The 1230th returned home from Iraq in May 2008. For its actions in Afghanistan the 1230th was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation.[11]


On July 5, 2013, the 1230th was ordered into active federal service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In their 11 months overseas, the Soldiers of the 1230th drove more than 220,000 miles while the maintenance platoon supported more than 450 job orders to keep the vehicles rolling. The unit returned to a warm welcome home ceremony at the Thomasville High School football field May 31, 2014.[12]


First Lieutenant Monicia Porter, a native of Thomasville, Ga., with the 1230th Transportation Company in support of the 524th Combat Sustainment Support
Battalion, Task Force Lifeliner, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), at Camp Marmal, Afghanistan, ground guides one of her platoon’s vehicles out of
their motor pool in preparation to conduct a sustainment and retrograde support mission to a remote location in Northern Afghanistan on Nov. 4, 2013.
Porter is a platoon leader and convoy commander for the Georgia Army National Guard and is a high school teacher at Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, Ga.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Sinclair

From March to May 2015, Soldiers and trucks of the 1230th participated in Operation Patriot Bandoleer, a U.S. Sustainment Command operation that moved munitions from the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point, N.C. to six destinations across the United States. [13]


Soldiers of the 1230th supported the Southwest border mission from October 2020 to September 2021.


As a transportation company, the 1230th is in high demand during emergency response operations. The 1230th mobilized to Mississippi in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina[14] and has had an active role in Georgia’s coordinated response to COVID-19.


Georgia Army National Guardsman, Staff Sgt. Marquis McBride, a motor transportation sergeant with the  1230th Transportation Company, loads milk
for the Atlanta Public Schools food distribution at Douglass High School, Atlanta, April 20, 2020. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class R.J. Lannom Jr.

[1] Center for Military History. Survey of the Georgia National Guard. (Fort McNair: N.P. Compiled October 1949).

[2] AGAO-I 325 (26 Oct 50) HIS-M, 23 January 1951.

 [3] NG-AROTO 325.4 (30 Sep 55) – Ga, 17 October 1955.

 [4] OA 73-59, 10 June 1959.

 [5] OA 57-63, 21 March 1963.

 [6] OA 71-67, 14 December 1967.

 [7] OA 57-96, 2 April 1996.

         [8] OA 78-98, 8 June 1999.

 [9] “Georgia Units Haul MLRS Pods During ‘Golden Cargo.’” The Georgia Guardsman. Summer 1999, 22.

[10] OA 112-08, 21 May 2008.

[11] Mike Thompson. “1230th Transportation Company Deploying to Afghanistan.” The Georgia Guardsman. July 2013, 15.

[12] Will Cox. “Lifelong Friendships.” The Georgia Guardsman. May 2015, 11.

[13] Shannon Wright. “Operation Patriot Bandoleer.” The Georgia Guardsman. June 2014, 5.

[14] Mike Thompson. “1230th Transportation Company Deploying to Afghanistan.” The Georgia Guardsman. July 2013, 15.

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