Company C, 52d Infantry Regiment (Anti-Tank)


Company C, 52d Infantry Regiment (Anti-Tank)
Company C, 52d Infantry Regiment
C Company 52d Infantry guidon incomplete streamers.jpg
Active
15 May 1917 – 1 September 1921
15 July 1942 – 13 October 1945
(9 October 1943 – 13 October 1945 as C/60 AIB)
14 September 1950 – 15 August 1972
(25 February 1953 – 1 July 1959 as C/560 AIB)
(1 July 1959 – 23 March 1966 as HHC/3 BG/52 IN)
16 September 2000 – present
Country United States of America
Branch United States Army
Type Stryker
Role Anti-Tank
Size Company
Nickname "Hellcat"
Motto "Fortis et Certus"
(Brave and True)
Engagements World War I
World War II
Vietnam
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Commanders
Current
commander
CPT James D. Beall

C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment (Anti-Tank) is a Stryker Anti-Tank Company task organized[1] under 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team). As a Company of 54 Infantrymen, the Company nicknamed "Hellcat" has conducted primarily Infantry operations during three deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the first deployment of a Stryker Brigade to Iraq (OIF 01-02), soldiers of C-52d IN earned five Bronze Stars, a Meritorious Unit Commendation,[2][3] and a Superior Unit Award.[4] In the most recent deployment (OIF 06-08) which saw C-52d IN operating in many significantly different roles and environments, Avalanche soldiers earned one Silver Star,[5][6][7][8][9][10] 16 Bronze Stars, 17 Purple Hearts[11] and received Honors from the Washington State Senate[12] as a Company of 3–2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team. C-52d IN was again deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF 09-10) in the Diyala province. Soldiers of C-52d IN worked along the eastern border with Iraqi Police and regional Border Control units. Upon returning to the Fort Lewis, the company changed its nickname from "Avalanche" to "Hellcat" as a reference to the World War II Anti-Tank Infantry.

Contents


History

52d Infantry Regiment Crest
    52d Infantry
Regimental Crest

Heraldic Definition: Azure, on a bend or a six-pointed mullet gules; on a sinister canton argent a fusil gules of the third bearing a cross pattee argent charged with an acorn gules. The 52d Infantry crest is blue, with a yellow line from upper left to lower right, occupying one-fifth of the crest. On the yellow line is a six pointed star, red. In the upper right corner is a red diamond on a silver field. In the center of that diamond is a cross whose arms get wider as they move away from the center of the cross. On that cross is a red acorn. Underneath the shield is the Regiment's motto, "Brave and True." The shield is blue for infantry. The charges on the canton represent the 11th Infantry[13] from whose personnel this regiment was organized. Its first combat service was in the Gerardruer Sector in the province of Alsace, a short distance west of Colmar; therefore, a mace taken from the arms of Colmar has been used for the crest. The bend from the arms of Alsace is charged with the 6th Division shoulder sleeve insignia to show that the regiment was with that division in France during World War I.

Lineage, as of January 2002

  • 15 May 1917, constituted in the Regular Army as Company C, 52d Infantry
  • 16 June 1917, organized at Chickamauga Park, Georgia
  • 16 November 1917, 52d Infantry assigned to the 6th Division
  • 1 September 1921, inactivated at Camp Grant, Illinois
  • 15 August 1927, 52d Infantry relieved from assignment to the 6th Division and assigned to the 9th Division
  • 1 October 1933, relieved from assignment to the 9th Division and assigned to the 6th Division
  • 1 October 1940, relieved from assignment to the 6th Division
  • 15 July 1942, redesignated as Company C, 52d Armored Infantry, an element of the 9th Armored Division, and activated at Fort Riley, Kansas
  • 9 October 1943, reorganized and redesignated as Company C, 60th Armored Infantry Battalion, an element of the 9th Armored Division
  • 13 October 1945, inactivated at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia
  • 14 September 1950, redesignated as Company C, 52d Infantry, an element of the 71st Infantry Division
  • 25 February 1953, redesignated as Company C, 560th Armored Infantry Battalion, an element of the 9th Armored Division
  • 1 March 1957, 560th Armored Infantry Battalion relieved from assignment to the 9th Armored Division
  • 1 July 1959, redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Battle Group, 52d Infantry
  • 23 March 1966, redesignated as Company C, 52d Infantry
  • 1 June 1966, activated at Fort Lewis, Washington
  • 15 August 1972, inactivated in Vietnam
  • 16 September 2000, assigned to the 2d Infantry Division and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington

Honors, as of June 2006

Campaign Participation Credit
  • World War I: Meuse-Argonne; Alsace 1918
  • World War II – EAME: Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
  • Vietnam: Counteroffensive, Phase II; Counteroffensive, Phase III; Tet Counteroffensive; Counteroffensive, Phase IV; Counteroffensive, *Phase V; Counteroffensive, Phase VI; Tet 69/Counteroffensive; Summer-Fall 1969; Winter-Spring 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; *Counteroffensive, Phase VII; Consolidation I; Consolidation II; Cease-Fire
  • War on Terrorism: Campaigns to be determined
Decorations
  • Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered LUXEMBOURG
  • Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered SAIGON – TET OFFENSIVE
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1968
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1968–1969
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered IRAQ 2003–2004
  • Army Superior Unit Award, Streamer embroidered 2000
  • Army Superior Unit Award, Streamer embroidered 2002–2003[14][15][16]
Regimental Awards worn by C-52d IN
  • Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered BASTOGNE
  • Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered REMAGEN BRIDGEHEAD
  • Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered ST. VITH
  • Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered NINEVAH PROVINCE 2005
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967
  • Army Superior Unit Award, Streamer embroidered 1988
  • Army Superior Unit Award, Streamer embroidered 1991
  • Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm, Streamer embroidered BASTOGNE; cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at BASTOGNE

World War I

6th Infantry Division
Should Sleeve Insignia
6th Infantry Division soldiers hiking in France, 1944

After the 52nd Infantry Regiment's activation in 1917, the Regiment was assigned to the Sixth Infantry Division. The Sixth Division was organized in November 1917 as a square division consisting of the 51st, 52nd, 53rd, and the 54th Infantry Regiments, the 16th, 17th and 18th Machine-Gun Battalions and the 3rd, 11th and 78th Field Artillery Regiments. The units of the division gathered in New York and left for France in July 1918. After marching and training all over western France, the Sixth was assigned on 31 August to the Vosges sector. There, a chain of lofty wooded peaks had stalemated both the French and German armies. Their mission was the defense of a 21-mile front. The Division engaged in active patrols in no man's land and behind the Boche lines. Daily German artillery concentrations of high explosives and gas shells kept the 6th supporting artillery busy with counterbattery fire. In addition infantry platoon strongpoints defended against German raiding parties which launched their attacks using liquid fire and grenades.

The Division developed its reputation for hiking when, prior to the Argonne Offensive, it engaged in extensive fake marches, often under enemy artillery and air bombardment, to deceive the Boche into thinking a major attack was to take place in the Vosges sector. Relieved and reassigned on 10 October 1918, the 6th Division hiked to an assembly area, marching over mountains and broken trails, usually in the dead of night.

After another short period of training, consisting primarily of forced marches, the Division hiked itself into the closing campaign of the war, the Meuse-Argonne offensive. In Corps reserve, the 6th was used in place of an unavailable cavalry division to try to maintain contact with the rapidly retreating Germans. Pulling machine-gun carts and ammo carts by hand, the best hiking outfit in the AEF marched from one front to another, usually on muddy bypaths and rain-soaked fields, to establish and incredible record of forty hiking days in a sixty-day campaign. Finally moved to another part of the front to maintain the brunt of the attack, the 6th reached the assigned area on the scheduled date, 12 November 1918, to find the war at an end, its reputation as the “Sightseeing Sixth” assured.

During its three months at the front, the 6th Division lost 227 men killed in action or died of wounds. It maintained an active defense in one important sector and played a major role in the tactical plan in another. The men of the 6th had distinguished themselves in combat, many earning the Distinguished Service Cross and Croix de Guerre. The Division was highly commended by General Pershing for its contribution to the final victory.

After the Armistice, the 6th continued its hikes through France and Germany to spread the fame of the six-point Red Star, adopted as the Division insignia on 19 November 1918. This six-point Red Star would become a part of the 52d's Crest to mark the Regiment's first Combat with the 6th Division. The bulk of the Division returned to the States in June 1919 aboard the USS Leviathan. The Division continued its service at Camp Grant, Illinois and was deactivated on 30 September 1921.[17]

World War II

World War II
Tank Destroyer Image
Ludendorff Bridge
Key terrain across the Rhine River seized by the 9th Armored Division allowed freedom of movement for Allied Forces in Germany, 1945.
U.S. Military crosses the Ludendorff Bridge

After a period of inactivation, C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment was redesignated and activated as C Company, 52d Armored Infantry on 15 July 1942 as an element of the 9th Armored Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. They would deploy with the 9th Armored Division to France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany after a two month train up in England. The company served in Europe with the 9th Division from 31 JUL 1944 to 6 MAY 1945, including a weeklong attachment to the 8th Infantry Division from 23 OCT 1944 to 30 OCT 1944.[18]

The 9th Division was one of several real US Army divisions that participated in Operation Fortitude, the deception operation mounted by the US-British to deceive the Germans about the real landing site for Operation Neptune, the amphibious invasion of Northern France. The 9th was assigned to a camp on the British coastline opposite of the German defenses in Pas-de-Calais, ostensibly as part of the "First US Army Group" (FUSAG) under General Patton. While its members undertook training for the real invasion of the Normandy coast, the divisional headquarters was used to convey phony radio messages with the fake FUSAG HQ to make the Germans believe that an invasion of Pas-de-Calais by a massive army was the real intent of the Allies. The ruse was so successful that the German high command was completely fooled, and concentrated their reserves away from the Normandy Coast. In honor of their participation in this deception, the 9th was officially nicknamed the "Phantom Division."

The 9th Armored Division landed in Normandy late in September 1944, and first went into line, 23 October, on patrol duty in a quiet sector along the Luxembourg-German frontier. When the Germans launched their winter offensive, the 9th, with no real combat experience, suddenly found itself engaged in heavy fighting. The Division saw its severest action at St. Vith, Echternach, and Bastogne, its units fighting in widely separated areas.

Its stand at Bastogne held off the Germans long enough to enable the 101st Airborne to dig in for a defense of the city. After a rest period in January 1945, the Division made preparations for a drive across the Rur river. The offensive was launched, 28 February, and the 9th smashed across the Rur to Rheinbach, sending patrols into Remagen. The Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen was found intact, and was seized by elements of the 9th Armored minutes before demolition charges were set to explode on 7 March 1945. The Division exploited the bridgehead, moving south and east across the river Lahn toward Limburg an der Lahn, where thousands of Allied prisoners were liberated. A small booklet covering the history of the 9th Armored Division, "The 9th: The Story of the 9th Armored Division," is one of a series of G.I. Stories published by the Stars & Stripes in Paris in 1944–1945.[19] Here is a quote that depicts an event where the 52d Armored Infantry Battalion receives information about the Nazi's plans to destroy the Ludendorff Bridge:

...But even if the Germans had waited too long, there was no assurance they would make the capital mistake of failing to blow the bridge. Col. Engeman reasoned the enemy probably would wait until his tanks roared into Remagen and then would cheat them of the prize by setting off the charges.
     He acted quickly. After summoning a platoon of the 14th's Pershing tanks—new tanks with 90mm guns that could handle anything the Germans had—Col. Engeman gave instructions to Co. A, 27th Armd. Inf. Bn.:
     Go down into the town. Get through it as quickly as possible and reach the bridge. The tanks will lead. The infantry will follow on foot. Their half-tracks will bring up the rear. Let's make it snappy.
     With their long-barreled 90s pointed down into the valley, the Pershings clattered over the winding road toward Remagen. Infantrymen, accustomed to working with tanks, trotted along behind.
     Tanks and doughs moved swiftly against spotty resistance, mostly from snipers. Prisoners were taken from houses on the outskirts of the town. Quizzed about the defenses in the town and at the bridge, one PW volunteered the information that the bridge was scheduled to be blown at 1600.
     Early that afternoon, similar information was obtained by the 52nd Armd. Inf. Bn. at Sinzig, several miles away. Civilians there corroborated the report that the Germans were to set off the blasts at 1600.
     These reports were relayed to Brig. Gen. William M. Hoge, Lexington, Mo., CC B commander, who sent the following message to Col. Engeman at 1515:
     You've got 45 minutes to take the bridge.

The 52d Armored Infantry Battalion holds back an advancing Nazi armor and infantry force while the 101st Airborne sets up defenses in Bastogne, resulting in successful retention of the city:

...The third combat command, CC R, commanded by Col. Joseph Gilbreth, Columbus, Ga., perhaps had the roughest assignment of any outfit in the Ardennes. It was CC R that stood and slugged it out against the overwhelming might of the German panzers smashing toward Bastogne. Had it not been for CC R, Nazis would have taken the town before the 101st Airborne Div. arrived there to make its historic stand.
     Small CC R task forces of tanks from the 2nd Tank Bn. and doughs of the 52nd Armd. Inf. Bn. took up positions along the roads leading to Bastogne from the east. Their mission was to block the roads at all costs. They clung to their positions even when surrounded. Masses of German tanks rolled around them; enemy infantry infiltrated in the darkness.
     There were no front lines in this melee. Artillerymen, tankers and engineers fought as doughs. The 2nd Tank Bn, encountered elements of nine German divisions. The 73rd Armd. FA Bn. fought its way out of a trap, kept its guns in action.
     Although casualties were heavy and all three of its battalion commanders lost, CC R was officially credited with delaying the enemy for 36 to 48 hours east of Bastogne. When its surviving forces fell back into Bastogne, CC R was assigned to maintain a mobile reserve known as Task Force Snafu.

Soldiers of C Company, 52d Armored Infantry Battalion rescue four American tanks caught in a Nazi complex attack:

...Racing over rugged terrain, CC B's tanks hit the autobahn leading toward Limburg, hooking up with 7th Armd. Div. tanks. Armor of both divisions sped abreast down the wide highway until the 7th was ordered to shift directly east. When tanks of CC B's 19th Bn. reached Limburg, the armor immediately darted across the bridge over the Lahn River. Three tanks got across. A fourth was on the span when the Germans set off Charges. The tank teetered on the far brink, then slowly pulled onto the far side. However, these tanks now were cut off and the Nazis attacked savagely with bazookas.
     The tankmen were rescued when Co. C, 52nd Armd. Inf. Bn., threw a makeshift bridge across the river and infantrymen fought their way into Limburg.
     Capture of the city was highly significant. Not only did it mark the complete breakout of the Remagen bridgehead, but it was the forerunner of swift armored advances across Central Germany that put American forces in position to help seal the industrial Ruhr.
     The first German prison camp was captured at Limburg and its occupants liberated. Gen. Leonard visited a Limburg hospital and met patients who had been former members of the division. "You are in good hands now," he encouraged them.

Following operations at the Remagen Bridgehead, the Division drove on to Frankfurt and then turned to assist in the closing of the Ruhr Pocket. In April it continued east, encircled Leipzig and secured a line along the Mulde river. The Division was shifting south to Czechoslovakia when the war in Europe ended.[20]

Vietnam

Jimmy Stewart C-52d IN, 716th MP BN mans a 50 caliber machine gun. He has taken up position atop the American Embassy.

C Company, 52d Infantry served in Vietnam from 1 December 1966 to 15 August 1972. In 1971, the company had an authorized strength of 137 Infantrymen. Three years earlier in 1968, C Company, 52d Infantry had an authorized strength of 151 Infantrymen. The company was a rifle security company assigned to bolster the Infantry capabilities of the 716th MP Battalion (89th Military Police Group, 18th Military Police Brigade), which was responsible for providing security to the US facilities in the Saigon area. The Status of Forces agreement between the US and the South Vietnamese government prohibited stationing US combat forces in Saigon. As a result, the only forces within Saigon, C Company, 52d Infantry, with the 716th Military Police Battalion, the 527th Military Police Company, and the 90th Military Police Detachment, were equipped only with hand-held light arms.

They were on alert and expected isolated terrorists attacks. However, they would soon face the Tet offensive, an all out communist attack throughout the whole of Vietnam. The North Vietnamese violated the Tet holiday cease-fire in order to gain surprise against U.S. and South Vietnamese forces. Although U.S. intelligence anticipated the cease-fire would be violated, no one expected an all out attack within the city of Saigon. Instead, they would face some 4000 Viet Cong guerillas, many of whom had infiltrated Saigon during holiday festivities and were nearly indistinguishable from the local populace. In the early morning hours of 31 January 1968, these forces attacked facilities throughout Saigon almost simultaneously. C Company, 52d Infantry, along with the 716th MP and attached forces, would find themselves defending the US Embassy, Saigon[21] against not only superior numbers but superior armament as well.

The security policemen on the perimeter could hear muffled gunfire as the VC shot up some of the bachelor officers' quarters and bachelor enlisted quarters along Plantation Road, which ran south through Cholon from the main gate of Tan Son Nhut. Five troops were killed, including a young enlisted man passing through on a Honda motorcycle on his way to his duty station. An MP jeep patrol was pinned down upon responding to the attack. The reaction team that arrived to reinforce the situation was headed by Staff Sergeant Jimmy Bedgood of C Company, 52d Infantry, a security-guard company made up of combat infantry veterans that was attached to the 716th Military Police Battalion. The reaction team provided the cover fire that allowed the jeep patrol to get out of harm's way. In the process, an RPG slammed into the reaction team's jeep, wounding several GIs and killing Bedgood, a twenty-one-year-old wild Georgia boy who was already on his third tour in Vietnam, having previously humped the bush as a grunt with the Big Red One and the 9th Infantry Division.[22] An article in a Military Police publication described the actions of SSG Herman Holness that day.

SPC Troy Hirni, II

Awarded a Bronze Star Medal with V Device for actions during the Tet Offensive that resulted in his death, 31 January 1968

Staff Sergeant Herman Holness served in Company C, 52d Infantry, 716th Military Police Battalion. Company C, along with other infantry rifle companies, was assigned to the 716th Military Police Battalion and the 18th Military Police Brigade to reinforce security forces. These Soldiers performed numerous tasks and duties alongside their military police counterparts. Security guard duty and work with the military police led to “SG” markings on their helmet liners and brassards. On 31 January 1968, Staff Sergeant Holness was part of a reaction force sent to relieve a fellow unit that was under attack in the vicinity of the Phu Tho racetrack. While moving through the city, the lead vehicle of his unit was attacked by Viet Cong forces using mines and machine guns. The men in the vehicle were seriously wounded and trapped out in the open. Staff Sergeant Holness advanced to the disabled vehicle and caught the attention of the enemy, who diverted fire to his location, allowing the wounded men to exit the vehicle. When Staff Sergeant Holness reached cover behind the vehicle, he returned fire on the enemy position with devastating effect. While still under enemy fire, he began pulling the wounded Soldiers to safety. Although badly injured himself, Staff Sergeant Holness refused medical aid until his fellow Soldiers had been evacuated. In recognition of his selfless service, Staff Sergeant Holness was awarded the Silver Star.[23]

As both Military Police and marine reaction forces responded to the embassy, a stalemate ensued. Military Police surrounded the compound and exchanged fire with the guerillas on the grounds, but could not enter the compound due to the volume of fire and uncertainty as to the enemy's disposition. The Viet Cong could not enter the embassy building and could not exit the compound. Additionally, an infantry reaction force that attempted to land by helicopter on the roof of the embassy was repulsed by enemy fire. At dawn, the order was given to retake the compound. Military Police rammed the embassy's main gate and stormed the compound led by PFC Paul Healy of B Company, 716th Military Police Battalion. When the embassy was resecured, 19 dead Viet Cong were found and one was captured.

Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, C-52d Infantry and the 716th MP Battalion defended its ground very well indeed – none of the facilities in their charge were captured during the VC assault. The Company's performance during Tet was recognized by the Presidential Unit Citation, but the award came at a high price. Along with 27 soldiers of the 716th MP, nine C-52d soldiers gave their lives during the first day's fighting in defense of the U.S. Embassy.

C Co, 52d Infantry, 716th MP Bn:[24]

  • 2LT Stephen L. Braddock, Abilene, TX
  • SSG Rafael A. Ruiz-del Pilar, Quebradillas, PR
  • SSG Jimmy Bedgood, Milledgeville, GA
  • SGT Robert B. Stafford, Kingsport, TN
  • SP4 Frank E. Faught, Coweta, OK
  • SP4 Troy E. Hirni, Warrensburg, MO (Bronze Star "V")
  • CPL Randall K. Schutt, Sioux Center, IA
  • CPL James E. Walsh, Dayton, OH
  • PFC Lester G. Yarbrough, Kingsland, GA

For their actions in Saigon and in defense of the U.S. Embassy, four soldiers of C-52d IN would receive the military's third highest award, the Silver Star: SFC James R. Lobato, SSG Herman Holness, SPC Bruce McCartney, and SPC Vincent R. Giovanelli. A 20-year-old native of Perryopolis, Pennsylvania, SPC Giovanelli also was awarded "the Combat Infantryman Badge, Purple Heart, and Bronze Star Medal for heroism." The "presentation [of his Silver Star] was made 12 April [1968] near Saigon by Gen. Creighton W. Abrams, [then] deputy commanding general, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam."

SPC VINCENT GIOVANELLI, SILVER STAR
CITATION:
FOR GALLANTRY IN ACTION WHILE ENGAGED IN MILITARY OPERATIONS INVOLVING CONFLICT WITH AN ARMED HOSTILE FORCE IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM.
 
NARRATIVE SUMMARY:
Spec. 4 Giovanelli distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 31 Jan. 1968 while serving with a military police alert force during a combined Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army offensive against Saigon.

The enemy had launched concerted attacks throughout the city and his unit was called to assist friendly forces engaged in a firefight near the Phy Tho race track. While en route to the location, the alert force was savagely ambushed by insurgents firing Claymore mines, rockets and automatic weapons.

Spec. Giovanelli leaped from his vehicle and immediately returned fire on the enemy. Observing several wounded comrades in the ambush killing zone 50 meters to his front, he moved forward through a withering hail of bullets to aid them.

This action drew the enemy fire toward him and enabled the casualties to seek cover behind their burning vehicle. When he reached their position, Spec. Giovanelli laid down a fierce base of fire on the insurgents and assisted in moving the wounded to a secure area.

His fearless and determined efforts in the face of grave danger saved the lives of several fellow soldiers. Spec. 4 Giovanelli's gallantry in action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team Activation

M1134 Stryker ATGM

In May 2000, the Army stood up its first Stryker Brigade Combat Team (3d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, Stryker Brigade Combat Team, stationed at Fort Lewis, WA) under former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki's Stryker Interim-Force Brigade Combat Team initiative. In September 2000, A-D Companies of 1–32 AR were reflagged as 1–14 CAV (RSTA) while E Company, 1–32 AR was reflagged as C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment.[25] The Company is commonly referred to as C-52, "Charlie, 52nd" and is nicknamed "Hellcat". As the Army stood up a total of six Stryker Brigades by 2008, each Anti-Tank Company was flagged as a separate Company of the 52d Infantry Regiment. The Commander of C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment, as the first Company reactivated under the 52d Infantry, holds the Regimental Colors and is the Regimental Commander.

Since the reflagging of E Company, 1–32 AR, C-52d IN has served as the Anti-Tank Company in support of 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (3-2 SBCT). The Company holds a strength of 54 soldiers and 11 Stryker vehicles and has been most notably utilized to provide auxiliary Infantry support to the Brigade's three Infantry Battalions (1–23 IN, 2–3 IN, 5–20 IN) and other Task Forces operating in or near the Brigade's Area of Operations.

In addition to the six active duty Stryker Anti-Tank Companies, there is a National Guard Stryker Anti-Tank Company stationed in Pennsylvania under the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team. This Company, D Company, 112th Infantry Regiment, traces its lineage through the Pennsylvania National Guard's history. The alignment of Companies under the 52d Infantry Regiment is as follows:

Stryker Brigade Company Nickname Deployments
3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team C Co., 52d IN Hellcat 3 NOV – 4 NOV; 6 JUL – 7 SEP; 9 AUG – 10 AUG
2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment K Trp, 52d IN Killer 4 NOV – 5 NOV; 7 AUG – 8 NOV
1–25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (formerly 172nd) D Co., 52d IN Demon 5 SEP – 6 DEC; 8 SEP – 9 SEP
4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team F Co., 52d IN[26] Fierce 7 MAR – 8 JUN; 9 SEP – 10 SEP
2–25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team B Co., 52d IN Hammer 7 DEC – 8 DEC
5-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team A Co., 52d IN [unknown] 9 JUL – 10 JUL

Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom 01-02)

C-52 Patrols with Iraqi National Guard, 2004.

C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment was assigned to 3d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division during its deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 01-02 from November 2003 – November 2004. From December 2003 – January 2004, it supported 4th ID and 3-2 SBCT, the Army’s first Stryker Brigade, during Operations Arrowhead Blizzard and Arrowhead Polaris, the Brigade’s successful attack of insurgents in and around Samarra, Iraq[27] During twenty seven days of continuous combat operations in Samarra, the Company contributed to significant losses to the enemy in terms of personnel and equipment and neutralized enemy activity throughout their Battalion’s Area of Operations.

Upon completion, the Company followed the Brigade’s movement north in order to conduct a Relief in Place with 101st Airborne Division in Mosul, Iraq, where they operated out of Forward Operating Base Marez. Avalanche Company was assigned to Task Force Minute,[28] 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery under command of LTC Sliwa. During combat and stability operations in the Upper Tigris River Valley south of Mosul, the Company conducted over 150 full spectrum missions totaling over 18,000 Stryker miles. The Company regularly served as the Task Force Main Effort on many Cordon and Searches, Convoy Security, Area and Route Reconnaissance, Counter Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) Sweeps, and Counter Mortar / Area Security Operations, which resulted in significant losses to the enemy in terms of personnel and equipment, as well as neutralizing enemy activity in the Company’s Area of Operations. Such areas as Hammam Al Alil, Ash Sharuh, Qayyarah, Hatra, Makhmur, and Tal Abjah were frequently patrolled.

Some of the Operations the Company conducted which led to the successful capture of both Battalion or Brigade High Value Targets, as well as a multitude of caches, included Operations Decimation, H3, Thunderbolt, King’s Gambit, Warrior Strike, Avalanche Fury, and Operation Rude Awakening. In 4 JUN, C-52d IN was also responsible for the training and equipping of the new “Iraqi National Guard,” in which the Company trained an astonishing 30 Platoons comprising over 1,500 new Iraqi Soldiers.[29]

The Company successfully redeployed to Fort Lewis in November, 2004 with no loss of equipment or life and was subsequently awarded with a Meritorious Unit Commendation and Superior Unit Award for their operations in theater. Avalanche was reassigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment under the Command of LTC Flowers and LTC Huggins. The Company successfully completed Reset in record time and deployed twice to the Yakima Training Center, successfully completing Operations Arrowhead Quiver and Arrowhead Warpath which included both Platoon and Company Maneuver Live Fires, Stryker gunnery, ATGM Gunner’s Skills Testing and TOW Tables 1–12.

Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08)

During an extended 15 month deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08 from July 2006 – September 2008, the Avalanche Company operated under the command of over eight different higher headquarters. Its operations spanned much of northern and central Iraq. In July and August 2006, C-52d manned a Combat Outpost in Rabiyah, Iraq in support of 200 personnel for over 30 days, overseeing various military transition teams and all life support operations. In the months of September and October, C-52d operated under Task Force Red Lion in Q-West, conducting assessments of essential services and other security and support operations. Additionally, C-52d conducted clearance operations of Route Tampa resulting in a 75% reduction of IEDs. During late October and November, C-52d operated under 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment in Mosul, Iraq. The Avalanche Company supported clearing operations and performed assessments of essential services that were valuable to restoring stability.

December marked The Avalanche Company’s move to Baghdad as they operated under Task Force Tomahawk. The soldiers of C-52d provided security and conducted several raids during major clearing operations in support of Multi-National Division Baghdad. In late December 2006, C-52d would move to Taji, Iraq, where they would remain through May 2007 in support of 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment. In the Company’s most notable event, Third Platoon of C-52d distinguished itself while responding to a complex attack on a Joint Security Station in Tarmiya, Iraq, enabling the successful evacuation of 21 wounded American soldiers and security of the site. Several members of Third Platoon were awarded Bronze Star Medals for their actions on 19 February 2007. Third Platoon's Platoon Leader, SFC Ismael Iban,[5] was awarded a Silver Star for Gallantry in Action.

SFC Iban with Iraqi 10MAR07.png
SFC Iban Silver Star Award.png
SFC ISMAEL IBAN, SILVER STAR
CITATION:
FOR EXCEPTIONALLY MERITORIOUS ACTIONS WHILE PARTICIPATING IN A COMBAT RESCUE MISSION ON 19 FEBRUARY 2007 IN TARMIYA, IRAQ. SFC IBAN’S LEADERSHIP, INITIATIVE, AND COURAGE WHILE SURROUNDED AND UNDER ATTACK BY AN ARMED AND DETERMINED ENEMY ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE FINEST TRADITIONS OF MILITARY SERVICE AND REFLECT GREAT CREDIT UPON HIMSELF, C COMPANY, 52D INFANTRY REGIMENT, THE ARROWHEAD BRIGADE, AND THE UNITED STATES ARMY.
 
NARRATIVE SUMMARY:
For extraordinary performance and dedication to duty while serving as the Platoon Leader of 3rd Platoon, C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment. Sergeant First Class Ismael Iban distinguished himself during combat operations by displaying courage, loyalty, and selfless service amidst a determined and lethal enemy. On 19 February 2007, the Tarmiya JSS, located near Taji, Iraq, was destroyed by an S/VBIED that penetrated the perimeter. 3rd Platoon, C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment was in sector approximately 10 km away when a radio transmission from D/2-8 CAV requested immediate support. Without fully comprehending the complexity of the situation, SFC Iban ordered his platoon to respond to the Tarmiya JSS. As the platoon entered the outskirts of Tarmiya, they were immediately engaged with enemy small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from nearby alleys and rooftops. Recognizing that his platoon was the first to respond and the only element in proximity, SFC Iban made the decision to lead his platoon through the initial enemy contact and continue movement to the JSS. Observing the chaos in the distance created by a nearly rubbled JSS, engulfed in flames and smoke, the platoon continued movement until they encountered significant debris in the road created by the explosion. Unable to continue mounted, SFC Iban with four platoon members dismounted their Strykers and rapidly moved over 75 meters under constant enemy automatic fire impacting around them. Upon arrival at the JSS, SFC Iban quickly assessed the situation and established command and control. Conducting initial triage, SFC Iban and his men began the necessary prep work that would result in the successful MEDEVAC of over 21 American WIA. Simultaneous to the triage of casualties at the JSS, 3rd Platoon Stryker Crews worked under enemy fire to create a lane in the road, clearing debris to allow them to establish a defensive perimeter around the JSS. Upon arrival at the JSS, SFC Iban loaded the worst of the casualties onto his vehicle and began the 500 meter movement with his platoon to a nearby HLZ. Upon arrival at the HLZ, the platoon was hit by a complex attack, simultaneously engaged by seven RPG’s and multiple enemy machine gun positions from multiple buildings and the woodline approximately 300 meters away. Immediately ordering his platoon to establish a perimeter to secure the HLZ and engage enemy targets of opportunity, SFC Iban, without regard for his own life or safety, dismounted his vehicle with his air guard to provide additional suppressive fire as four MEDEVAC helicopters approached. Maneuvering dismounted with nine critically wounded Soldiers under constant enemy fire, the litter teams bounded 100 meters from the cover of Strykers into the open area to the helicopters as rounds impacted within feet of their position. SFC Iban and his litter teams successfully loaded the nine casualties onto the helicopters and moved back to the cover of the Strykers. 3rd Platoon, under the leadership of SFC Iban, repeated this process several times under intense enemy fire until all 21 American WIA were successfully evacuated from the Tarmiyah JSS.


SFC Iban’s steadfast leadership and dauntless presence was instrumental in leading his 12 man platoon to overcome incredible odds presented by the enemy. With absolute decisiveness, calmness under pressure, and personal courage, SFC Iban’s performance on 19 February 2007 directly contributed to the saving of his fellow Soldiers’ lives in Tarmiya, Iraq.

In Sheik Hamed Village, Avalanche Company conducted bilateral clearing operations with the Iraqi Army, executed several missions against time-sensitive targets, and trained basic soldier skills to an Iraqi Army Battalion, enhancing their ability to secure their area of operations. C-52d also secured key infrastructure, specifically the Khark Water Treatment Plant, which supplies 75% of Iraq’s drinkable water.

In the Brigade’s culminating mission to expel al Qaeda from Baqubah, their self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State of Iraq, C-52d conducted a 50 km attack from the march into battle in support of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. The soldiers of Avalanche Company screened over 2,500 displaced Iraqis attempting to flee Baqubah, resulting in the capture of over 30 Armed Insurgents. Additionally, C-52d conducted an air assault operation that resulted in the discovery and capture of numerous enemy caches including anti-aircraft artillery, indirect fire weapons, IED making materials and various small arms. This operation would severely hamper the enemy’s ability to use indirect fire to inflict casualties and instill terror upon the civilian population.

Led by CPT Erich B. Schneider for the totality of the deployment, the Company successfully redeployed to Fort Lewis in September, 2007 with no loss of life.

Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-10)

MTF

Commanders and First Sergeants (since reactivation)

Commanders
CPT Cyle J. Fena, AR [date needed] – JUN 2001
CPT Jonathan C. Muenchow, AR JUN 2001 – FEB 2003
CPT Eric A. Molfino, IN FEB 2003 – AUG 2004[30]
CPT Arieyeh J. Austin, IN AUG 2004 – DEC 2005
CPT Erich B. Schneider, IN DEC 2005 – JAN 2008
CPT Dan J. Futrell, IN JAN 2008 – NOV 2008
CPT Ryan M. Case, IN NOV 2008 – SEP 2009
CPT Andrew W. Marsh, AR SEP 2009 – JUN 2010
CPT James D. Beall, AR JUN 2010 – present
First Sergeants
1SG Eric Eichenlaub, AR AUG/SEP 2000 – OCT 2000
1SG Charles R. Geiseweite, IN OCT 2000 – JUL 2003
1SG Timothy W. Coulter, IN JUL 2003 – FEB 2005
1SG Stephen Kessler, IN FEB 2005 – JUN 2006
1SG David M. Corbin, IN JUN 2006 – JAN 2008
SFC Stephen J. Dotson, AR JAN 2008 – AUG 2008
1SG T. Michael Pickerel, IN AUG 2008 – SEP 2009
1SG Joseph C. Martinez, IN SEP 2009 – SEP 2010
1SG Thomas J. Trott, IN DEC 2010 – PRESENT

Depictions

– In the movie The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Maj. Bennet Marco's patrol belongs to the 52nd Regiment of the Charlie Company. Of course, the Charlie Company never served in Korea, as it was an anti-tank unit. Yet another Hollywood goof.

– In the movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989), the character Ron (played by Jared Rushton) wears a vest with the Battlecat emblem on the back.

– In the computer strategy game "Company of Heroes", the Allied M-10 Tank Destroyer features the Battlecat on its left and right, furthest rear panels.

References

  1. ^ StykerNews.com: Stryker Brigade 101 October 2004
  2. ^ C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment Meritorious Unit Commendation Memorandum, November 2003 – November 2004
  3. ^ C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment Meritorious Unit Commendation Certificate, November 2003 – November 2004
  4. ^ 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Superior Unit Award, November 2003 – November 2004
  5. ^ a b SFC Iban Silver Star Award 21 October 2007
  6. ^ Northwest Guardian: ‘We are proud of you’[dead link] 7 February 2008
  7. ^ WA State Senate Resolution 8709, 2 February 2008
  8. ^ Winlock Grad Awarded Silver Star[dead link] 31 January 2008
  9. ^ 2 Fort Lewis soldiers earn Silver Star 29 January 2008
  10. ^ FOB Tacoma – Two more Silver Stars for 3rd Brigade soldiers 29 January 2008
  11. ^ Northwest Guardian: Wounded Soldiers earn Purple Hearts 28 June 2007
  12. ^ State Senate honors Stryker brigade[dead link] 2 February 2008
  13. ^ The Institute of Heraldry: 11th Infantry Regiment
  14. ^ C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment, Army Superior Unit Award 2002–2003 Certificate
  15. ^ C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment, Army Superior Unit Award 2002–2003 Memo
  16. ^ C Company, 52d Infantry Regiment, Army Superior Unit Award 2002–2003 Orders
  17. ^ A Brief History of the U.S. Army 6th Infantry Division, by Thomas E. Price 29 February 2004
  18. ^ 9th Armored Division 30 May 2005
  19. ^ Lone Sentry: The 9th: The Story of the 9th Armored Division, WWII G.I. Stories Booklet 2004
  20. ^ The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510–592. 3 October 2003
  21. ^ Tet Offensive of 1968
  22. ^ House to House: Playing the Enemy's Game in Saigon, May 1968 2006
  23. ^ Military Police 19-08-1: Military Police Heroism
  24. ^ The Virtual Wall: Vietnam Veterans Memorial 15 November 2007
  25. ^ 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division History November 2004
  26. ^ Northwest Guardian: M (Anti-Armor) Troop, 2CR reflagged as F Company, 52d Infantry 1 June 2006
  27. ^ Stryker: Going 'Up North', The March 2004.
  28. ^ Field artillery Soldiers happy to make noise once again 30 September 2004
  29. ^ The Arrowhead: Family Readiness Group Newsletter, Vol. 7 22 February, 20 04
  30. ^ The Arrowhead: Family Readiness Group Newsletter, Vol. 17 8 August 2004

Sources


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