|182nd Infantry Regiment-Massachusetts National Guard|
The 182nd Infantry Regiment is the oldest combat regiment in the United States Army. The regiment traces its history more than 370 years, when it was a colonial regiment of foot of the British Crown in Massachusetts. It later served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, with Union forces in the American Civil War, and as a federalized Massachusetts National Guard regiment with the U.S. Army during World War I and World War II. For many years the regiment was a mechanized unit, and in 2006 the regiment was converted into the 182nd Cavalry Regiment, headquartered at Melrose Armory in Melrose, Massachusetts. The only active element of the regiment is the 1st Squadron, 182nd Cavalry Regiment.
The unit reorganized on July 12th, 1920 as the 5th Infantry Massachusetts National Guard. It was redesignated as the 182nd Infantry and assigned to the 26th Division on March 21st, 1923. It was subsequently reorganized and federally recognized on April 11th, 1923 with headquarters at Charlestown, Massachusetts.
The unit was inducted into federal service on January 16th, 1941 at Charlestown. It was relieved from the 26th Division and assigned to the Task Force 6814, on January 14th, 1942, which was sent to Melbourne, Australia. On March 6th, 1942 the men of the 182nd broke camp outside Melbourne and boarded troop trains for the docks in Melbourne. With the rest of the Task Force, the 182nd traveled to a classified destination which turned out to be New Caledonia, where they arrived on March 12th, 1942. On May 27th, 1942, Task Force 6814 was redesignated the Americal Division, one of only two American infantry divisions to be assigned a name instead of a number (Americal is a combination of the words American and Caledonia).
As part of a piecemeal transfer of the Americal Division, the 182nd was deployed to combat in the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 12th, 1942, where the Regiment's 3d Battalion participated in an operation to capture the Japanese defensive works atop the Sea Horse Ridge, a prominent terrain feature on the island. Maintaining contact with elements of other U.S. Army regiments in the assault, the 3rd Battalion began its ascent, and by December 30th, was in action against Japanese forces atop the Sea Horse Ridge. The fighting was so intense that some of the Americans could not be removed after being killed, and were buried where they fell. (See: Guadalcanal Order of Battle) The 182nd later fought in the Bougainville campaign, the Northern Solomons, and later in the Battle of Leyte.
On 26 March 1945, during Operation Victor II, the 182nd landed at Talisay Beach, four miles (6.5 km) west of Cebu City, taking Cebu City the next day. Moving into the jungled hills of the interior, the 182nd fought the Battle of Go Chan Hill 28–29 March 28th 1945 and then battled to clear the other hills in the area. They were heavily counterattacked by fanatical Japanese defenders on Bolo Ridge. After eliminating Japanese resistance on Cebu, the 182nd rested and reequipped, later boarding ship from Cebu for occupation duty in Japan. Near the end of the war, the Americal Division was renamed the 23rd Infantry Division, though it retained its original designation in both official documents and informal usage throughout the war.
The regiment (less 2nd Battalion which was inactivated on December 2nd, 1945 at Fort Lawton, WA) was relieved from the Americal Division and assigned to the 182nd Regimental Combat Team on July 8th, 1946. It reorganized and was federally recognized on December 5th, 1946 with headquarters at Charlestown. Its Headquarters relocated to Melrose on September 30th, 1955. The unit was relieved from the 182nd Regimental Combat Team on May 1st, 1959 and reorganized as the 182nd Infantry (Mechanized) under the Combat Arms Regimental System.
In 2006, the Regiment was reorganized and redesignated the 182nd Cavalry Regiment, ending 370 years of history as an infantry regiment. As part of the RSTA force (for Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition), the 1st Squadron, 182nd Cavalry Regiment today serves as a fast-moving armored reconnaissance unit of the U.S. Army. As of 2007, the squadron had detached elements serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008, the squadron completed a 15-month tour of active duty in Kosovo supporting the NATO efforts there as part of Task Force Patriot. One notable contribution of the Task Force was the collection of school supplies and textbooks for children in remote areas of the country through its civil affairs program. Effective 13 December 2010, the 182nd Cav was yet again redesignated to the 182nd Infantry Regiment.
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