Thursday, April 14, 2022

Company B 148th Brigade Support Battalion Turns 75

 By Major William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard

 

Then and Now: Left:1st Lt. Walter Pope, Capt. Henry D. Russell and 2nd Lt. Ezra Settle, Company A, 2nd Georgia Infantry Regiment at Camp Cotton,
El Paso, Texas in 1916. Right: Soldiers of Company B, 148th Brigade Support Battalion Dec. 7, 2019. Photo by Maj. William Carraway.

Company B, 148th Brigade Support Battalion carries on the tradition of Georgia Army National Guard service in Jackson, Ga. that began with the establishment of the Jackson Rifles in 1902.[1] The Jackson Rifles, Company A, 2nd Georgia Infantry Regiment, were called into active federal service July 20, 1916 under the command of Capt. Henry Dozier Russell and mobilized to the Mexican Border.[2] The unit was stationed at Camp Cotton, El Paso, Texas patrolling the Rio Grande and protecting citizens from cross border raids before returning to Georgia in March 1917. Remaining in federal service due to declaration of war against Germany, the unit was redesignated Company A, 121st Infantry Regiment Oct. 1, 1917 while training for European mobilization at Camp Wheeler, Ga. The 121st deployed to France in October 1918 but arrived too late to participate in combat operations. Returning to the United States in 1919 the unit was inactivated January 14, 1919 at Camp Gordon, Ga.[3]

Poster commemorating Company A, 2nd Infantry Regiment’s mobilization to the Mexican Border in 1916.
Georgia National Guard Archives.

The Jackson Rifles were reorganized September 21, 1920 as Company A, 121st Infantry.[4] 

Company A, 121st Infantry Regiment at annual training, St. Simons, Island, Ga. July 1927. Georgia National Guard Archives.
On Sept. 16, 1940 the unit was once again called to active duty and mobilized to Fort Jackson, S.C. as part of the 30th Infantry Division. With the reorganization of Army divisions in November 1941, the 121st was reassigned to the 8th Infantry Division.

On July 4, 1944 the121st splashed ashore on Utah Beach and entered the Normandy Campaign. Within a week of landing, the regiment would suffer its first casualties and in less than 10 months, the casualty list of the 121st would grow to 70 pages as the regiment fought its way from La Haye du Puits France to Schwerin Germany and the liberation of concentration camps near Wobbelin.[5] Returning to the United States the 121st was inactivated October 20, 1945 at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.[6]

Georgia National Guard Soldiers of the Jackson-based Company A, 121st Infantry Regiment in formation before the start of annual training
July 24, 1949. Georgia National Guard Archives.

Company A was reorganized and federally recognized April 14, 1947 as part of the newly established 48th Infantry Division commanded by Maj. Gen. Henry Dozier Russell.[7] When the 48th was converted to an armor division in November 1955 Company A was redesignated Headquarters and Service Company, 48th Reconnaissance Battalion.[8] In 1959 the unit was reorganized as Troop A, Reconnaissance Squadron, 108th Armor Regiment.[9]

Troop A, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 108th Armor Regiment at Fort Stewart, Ga. in August 1959. Georgia National Guard Archives.

In 1963, Georgia was allocated all units of the 48th Armor Division Troop A was redesignated Troop A, 748th Cavalry Regiment.[10]

Troop A, 1st Squadron 748th Cavalry Regiment at the Jackson Armory Nov. 21, 1965. Georgia National Guard Archives.

On January 1, 1968, the 48th Armor Division was inactivated, and the Jackson unit was redesignated Company D, 878th Engineer Battalion.[11] The unit was redesignated Company A, 878th in 1976.[12]

Company D, 878th Engineer Battalion on parade at Fort Stewart, Ga. circa 1968. Georgia National Guard Archives.

On Sept. 16, 1980, The Jackson began its modern history as a maintenance unit as it was redesignated the 648th Maintenance Company.[13] On August 12, 1985, the company was redesignated Company D, 148th Support Battalion.[14] In 1987, the unit was redesignated Company B, 148th Support Battalion.[15] In August 1993, the unit was redesignated the 166th Maintenance Company[16] before reverting to Company B 48th Support Battalion in 2008.[17]

 

FORT GILLEM, Ga. September 2, 2005  - Vehicles of the Georgia Army National Guard's 166th Maintenance Co. are lined up at Fort Gillem
prepared to convoy to the Gulf Coast. Georgia National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Gail Parnelle.



[1] Adjutant General of the State of Georgia. Register of the National Guard of Georgia for the year 1917. Atlanta, January 1, 1917

[2] “Muster-in Roll of Company A, 2nd Regt. Inf. Ga. N.G. Called into Service 20 July 1916” 180.

[3] Center for Military History. “Lineage and Honors of the 121st Infantry Regiment.”

[4] “30th Infantry Division (States of Georgia Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.) Division Troops, Georgia.”

[5] “Historical Data 121st Infantry Regiment (Old Gray Bonnet) 8th Infantry Division European Theater of Operations (ETOUSA) World War II.” Command Historian, Georgia Army National Guard Aug. 17, 1988.

[6] Center for Military History. “Lineage and Honors of the 121st Infantry Regiment.”

[7] NGAROTO 325.4 Nov 1, 1955.

[8] NGAROTO 325.4 Nov 1, 1955.

[9] RA 73-59 June 10, 1959.

[10] RA 57-63 March 21, 1963.

[11] RA 71-67 Dec. 14, 1967.

[12] RA 229-76 Oct. 14, 1976.

[13] OA 182-80 Sept. 16, 1980.

[14] OA 111-85August 12, 1985.

[15] OA 7-87 Feb. 12, 1987.

[16] OA 169-93 August 9, 1993.

[17] OA 112-08  May 21, 2008.

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