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143rd Infantry Regiment (United States)
143d Infantry Unit Crest
143rd Infantry Regiment coat of arms
Country USA
Branch Army National Guard
Allegiance Texas
Service history
Active Constituted October 15, 1917
Restructured March 16, 1959
Reorganized March 1, 1963
Inactivated August 12, 2001
Reactivated September 1, 2010–Present.
Role Airborne Infantry
Nickname Third Texas
Motto Arms Secure Peace
Battles Spanish-American War
Mexican Border Service
World War I
World War II
Global War on Terror
Commanders
Insignia

The 143rd Infantry Regiment is a Texas Army National Guard unit assigned to the 36th Infantry Division. Currently, only one battalion of the regiment is active.

  • 1st Battalion (Airborne), 143rd Infantry Regiment.

Heraldic InformationEdit

Coat of ArmsEdit

BlazonEdit

  • Shield: Azure, a bend wavy argent between an oak tree eradicated and a key fesswise or.
  • Crest: On a wreath of the colors argent and azure a mullet argent encircled by a garland of live oak and olive proper.
  • Motto: Arms Secure Peace

SymbolismEdit

  1. The shield is blue for infantry.
  2. The bend wavy represents the regiment's service on the Mexican boarder, along the Rio Grande.
  3. It also represents the Aisne River in France, where the unit served in World War I.
  4. The oak tree symbolizes the Meuse-Argonne operation, also in World War I.
  5. The gold key represents service in the Spanish-American War.

BackgroundEdit

  • The coat of arms was approved on June 30, 1926.

Lineage and HonorsEdit

LineageEdit

  • Organized October 15, 1917 in Camp Bowie, Texas from the Third Texas Infantry and the Fifth Texas Infantry and assigned to the 72d Infantry Brigade, 36th Infantry Division
  • Called to federal service, October 1917
  • Returned to state control, June 1919
  • Activated (state) for hurricane disaster relief, Nueces, San Patricio and Aransas Counties, September 1919
  • Activated (state) for the New London School explosion, March 1937
  • Mobilized (federal) at Brownwood, Texas, November 25, 1940
  • Inactivated at Camp Patrick Henry, Virgina, December 22, 1945
  • Reactivated under state control and assigned to the 36th Infantry Division, October 23, 1946
  • Reorganized as 1st and 2d Battle Groups, 143d Infantry (under the Pentomic Division system), 1959
  • Reorganized as the 143d Infantry, March 1, 1963, with the 2d and 3d Battalions assigned to the 3d Brigade, 36th Division; and the 1st Battalion inactivated
  • 3d Battalion relieved of assignment to the 36th Division and assigned to the 36th Infantry Brigade (Separate), November 1, 1965
  • 1st Battalion reactivated, 2d battalion relieved of assignment to the 36th Division, 3d Battalion relieved of assignment to 36th Infantry Brigade (Separate); all battalions assigned to 71st Infantry Brigade (Airborne), July 30, 1968
  • 3d Battalion inactivated, 1st and 2d Battalions assigned to 36th Airborne Brigade (redesignated from 71st), 1973
  • 1st Battalion inactivated, 2d Battalion inactivated (less company A); assets from Company A, 2-143d INF used to form Company G (Ranger), 143d Infantry, 1980 ("Ranger" changed to "Long Range Surveillance" in the late 1980s)
  • Company G, 143d Infantry inactivated, 2001
  • 1st Battalion reactivated as an airborne infantry unit, 2010

The lineage of subordinate units is as follows:

  • Company A (Rusk) – Originally formed as Company A, Seventh Cavalry (Confederate Army); Rusk Militia 1883–1895; Company F, Third Texas Infantry 1903–1914; World War II. "ALSACE" Distinguished Unit Streamer.
  • Company B (Mexia) – Originally formed as Company B, Third Infantry, Texas Volunteer Guard, 1879; Company C, Second Texas, United States Volunteers (Spanish-American War); Mexican Border Service, 1916–1917; World War II. "ALSACE" Streamer.
  • Company C (Beaumont) – Organized in 1926; World War II. "ALSACE" Streamer. Stationed in Palestine, Texas 1947.
  • Company D – Independent Blues Militia, 1859; Company K, First Texas Cavalry (Confederate Army); Company A, First Texas, United States Volunteers (Spanish-American War); World War II. "ALSACE" Streamer.
  • Company E (Caldwell) – Organized in 1939; assault unit at Salerno, Rapido River. "COLMAR POCKET" Streamer. Reorganized in Baytown, 1947.
  • Company F (Huntsville) – Formed from volunteers in Hood's Brigade (Confederate Army) and the Tom Hamilton Guards of the 1870s. Company F, First Texas, United States Volunteers (Spanish-American War). World War II. "COLMAR POCKET" Distinguished Unit Streamer.
  • Company G (Houston) – Formed from the Houston Light Guards. World War II. "COLMAR POCKET" Streamer. Reorganized into Company G, 2-143d (LRS) in 1980.
  • Company I (Belton) – Formed from the Tom Campbell Rifles, 1893.
  • Company K (Waco) – Formed as the Waco Greys, 1876. Company K, Second Texas Infantry, 1898.
  • Company L – Originally Company M, Second Texas Infantry, 1900.

HonorsEdit

Campaign Participation CreditEdit

  • Mexican Border Service:
  • World War I:
  1. Meuse-Argonne
  • World War II:
  1. Naples-Foggia with Arrowhead;
  2. Anzio;
  3. Rome-Arno;
  4. Southern France with Arrowhead;
  5. Rhineland;
  6. Ardennes-Alsace;
  7. Central Europe
  • Global War on Terror:
  1. Afghanistan

Unit DecorationsEdit

  1. December 2–6, 1944 (3d Battalion and Cannon Company) – COLMAR POCKET
  2. December 6–9, 1944 (2d Battalion) – COLMAR POCKET
  3. August 26–29, 1944 (3d Battalion) – SOUTHERN FRANCE
  4. March 15, 1945 (Company K, 2d Battalion) – CENTRAL EUROPE
  5. March 15–17, 1945 (1st Battalion) – CENTRAL EUROPE
  1. VOSGES

ServiceEdit

Mexican Border ServiceEdit

In February 1913, Mexico was in a state of turmoil between two rival factions for power and this prevented commanders in Mexican border towns from paying their soldiers. Concern over this caused County Judge and Sheriff of Cameron County, Texas to appeal to the governor for assistance. In response, Governor Oscar Colquitt sent Texas militia, consisting of two companies of the Third Texas Infantry from Corpus Christi and Houston and two companies of cavalry. They remained until June 1913.[1] The situation got worse, with American citizens being executed in Mexico and various factions conducting cross-border raids into Texas. Some Federal troops were stationed on the boarder and in August 1913, Colquitt sent the entire Third Texas Infantry to Fort Brown along with a battery of light artillery from Dallas. These were relieved by Federal troops in 1914.[2] By 1916, the Third Texas was stationed at Harlingen while in Federal service.[3][4]

World War IEdit

In 1917, the 36th Infantry Division was formed from units in Texas and Oklahoma. The Third Texas and part of the Fifth Texas infantry regiments were organized as the 143d Infantry Regiment at Camp Bowie, Texas.[5] The 143d was assigned to the 72d Infantry Brigade of the division.[6] The 143d was then shipped to France in 1918 with the rest of the division for final combat training and then to the front. In September 1918, the 36th Division was attached to the French Fifth Army.[7] The regiment participated in Meuse-Argonne Offensive from October 7–28, 1918.[5][8]

World War IIEdit

The 36th Infantry Division was mobilized on November 25, 1940 at Camp Bowie, including the 143d Infantry. It was shipped to Algeria in early 1943.

Salerno & Liri Valley, ItalyEdit

The 143d participated in the landing at Salerno, Italy and continued to fight in Italy during the campaign in the Liri Valley from September 1943 to early 1944. Significant engagements included the Battle of San Pietro and the Rapido River crossing.

AnzioEdit

The regiment was landed to reinforce the Fifth Army on May 19, 1944. It then participated in the breakout and movement to Rome where they were halted by orders to allow other units to catch up.

Southern FranceEdit

As part of the 36th Division, the 143d landed in Southern France. Moving forward with the 141st Infantry, the regiment was part of the bottleneck that formed the Colmar Pocket. This resulted in the destruction of the German 19th Army.

Vosges, France and GermanyEdit

The 143d concluded its combat with actions in Vosges, France and southern Germany. There was a significant battle near Weikersheim, Germany. The regiment then breached the Siegfried Line and moved forward as far as the Rhine river.

Notable Awards / CommendationsEdit

Medal of HonorEdit

Distinguished Service CrossEdit

The following unit members were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross:

  • Sergeant Jack G. Berry, September, 1943.
  • Private First Class Charles E. Wheeler, September, 1943.
  • Private First Class Chester M. Dotson, Company I, 2d Battalion, December 9, 1943.
  • Sergeant Robert L. Chudej, Company D, 1st Battalion, December 13, 1943.
  • Private First Class Romeo A. Leclair, January 21, 1944.
  • Second Lieutenant Thomas E. Vierheller, January 22, 1944.
  • Major James Frank Skells, 3d Battalion, February 12, 1944.
  • Private First Class Morgan R. Tompkins, Company F, 2d Battalion, May 28, 1944.
  • First Lieutenant Melvin Richard Clemens, August 29, 1944.
  • Private First Class Elmer E. Kopp, Company F, 2d Battalion, September 29, 1944.
  • Sergeant Edwin G. Masching, October 4, 1944.
  • Staff Sergeant Charley A. Holm, Company I, 2d Battalion, November 20, 1944.
  • Captain Eric C. Anderson, Company G, 2d Battalion, November 22, 1944.
  • First Lieutenant Richard J. Grousset, Company G, 2d Battalion, November 22, 1944.
  • First Sergeant Charles W. Holecek, Company C, 1st Battalion, December 6, 1944.
  • Sergeant Charles E. Hickman, Company M, 3d Battalion, December 7, 1944.
  • Technical Sergeant John J. Wehling, Cannon Company, December 8, 1944.
  • Corporal John Kotkovetz, Anti-Tank Company, December 12, 1944.
  • Private First Class Charles Sciortino, Anti-Tank Company, December 12, 1944.
  • Private First Class Wayne H. Brooks, Company L, 3d Battalion, December 13–14, 1944.
  • Private First Class Gerald S. Gordon, Company L, 3d Battalion, December 13–14, 1944.
  • Staff Sergeant David G. Blewett, Company A, 1st Battalion, December 14, 1944.
  • Private First Class Rudolph J. Szafraniec, Company M, 3d Battalion, December 15, 1944.
  • Private Donald N. Winters, Company M, 3d Battalion, December 15, 1945.
  • Sergeant Gurney R. Shields, Company G, 2d Battalion, December 17, 1944.
  • Sergeant Thomas A. Voltero, Company G, 2d Battalion, December 17–18, 1944.
  • Private First Class Santo J. DiSalvo, Company G, 2d Battalion, December 18, 1944.
  • Sergeant Paul W. Oligny, Company C, 1st Battalion, December 18, 1944.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Marion P. Bowden, 2d Battalion, January 19–21, 1945.
  • First Lieutenant Elmer S. Ward, February 2–3, 1945.
  • Staff Sergeant Albert V. Martinez, Company F, 2d Battalion, February 10, 1945.
  • Private Theodore F. Reynolds, Company C, 1st Battalion, February 10–11, 1945.
  • Sergeant Michael Antosky, Company K, 2d Battalion, March 15, 1945.
  • Private First Class Charles H. Sinclair, Company L, 3d Battalion, March 15, 1945.
  • First Lieutenant Malcolm G. Smith, Jr., March 15, 1945.
  • Private First Class Charles E. Hooker, Company F, 2d Battalion, March 16, 1945.
  • Captain Kermit H. Selvig, Company C, 1st Battalion, March 22, 1945.
  • First Lieutenant Garland B. Taylor, March 23, 1945.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Pierce, Frank Cushman (1917). A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Menasha, Wisconsin: George Banta Publishing Company,. pp. 78–79. 
  2. Pierce, Frank Cushman (1917). A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Menasha, Wisconsin: George Banta Publishing Company,. p. 82. 
  3. Pierce, Frank Cushman (1917). A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Menasha, Wisconsin: George Banta Publishing Company,. p. 106. 
  4. Texas Adjutant General (1916). Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of Texas. Austin, Texas: State of Texas. p. 136. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Garey, Enoch Barton; Ellis, Olin Oglesby; & Magoffin, Ralph Van Deman (1920). American Guide Book to France and Its Battlefields. New York: Macmillan. pp. 247–49. 
  6. Chastaine, Ben-Hur (1920). Story of the 36th: the experiences of the 36th division in the world war. Oklahoma City: Harlow Publishing Co.. pp. 1–14. 
  7. Chastaine, Ben-Hur (1920). Story of the 36th: the experiences of the 36th division in the world war. Oklahoma City: Harlow Publishing Co.. p. 61. 
  8. War Department (1920). Battle participation of organizations of the American expeditionary forces in France, Belgium, and Italy. 1917–1918. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. p. 24. 
  9. Brokaw, Tom; Williams, Brian; Hanson, Victor Davis (2011). Medal of Honor. New York: Artisan Books. p. 82. ISBN 9781579654627. 
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