1st Infantry Division
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16th Infantry Regiment - 2nd Bn - Company E (Easy)


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 The 16th Infantry Regimental History

                The 16th Infantry Regiment has performed 130 years of service to the nation a tradition of honor, devotion to duty and patriotic. Solders of today’s 16th Inf. Reg. follow in the footsteps of thousands of your countrymen whoth Inf. Colors since its organization on the 6th of April 1869.  Company C of the battalion has the distinction of being the most decorated unit in the United States Army.

                In July 1861, as the Civil War swept across the land, the 11th Inf. was organized at Fort Independence, Boston, MA, as part of the Army of the Potomac. During the four bloody years that followed, the regiment took part in some of the hardest fought battles of the war while being assigned to V Corp, including Manassas, Antietam, Fredricksburg, Chancellorville, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Wilderness, Gettysburg and Petersburg. While assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Div., 5th Corps the regiment fought one of its most celebrated battles at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On 3 July 1863, during fighting in a wheat field, and a battle scarred rock outcropping known as the “Devil’s Den”, the regiment lost 50 percent of its effective strength attempting to hold back Longstreet’s Confederates. There  were few of those sworn in at Fort Independence left to make the regiment’s last charge when it closed the ring around Lee’s weary confederates at Petersburg. Three of the regiments’ members, Sgt. Maj. Augustus Barry, 1Lt. John Patterson and Cpt. James M. Cutts earned the regiment’s first three Medals of Honor during Civil War actions.

                After the Civil War, the 11th Infantry served with the Army of Occupation in the South until 6 April 1869 when it merged with the 34th Inf. to form the 16th Inf. Reg. Sgt. Maj. Augustus Barry became the 16th Inf.’s first sergeant major with Col. G. Pennypacker as the first commander of the 16thth remained in the South as part of the Army of Occupation until 1877, when it was recalled to combat. The westward expansion had caused conflict with the Indians so the 16th went West, serving briefly at Fort Riley between campaigns against the Ute and Cheyenne Indians. At Pine Ridge,  the regiment fought its most significant action in the long and arduous task of keeping the westward road of America’s expansion open.

Cuba

                In 1898, the regiment was transported across half a continent to board ships at Tampa, Florida, for service against the Spanish in Cuba. During the advance on Santiago, 1 July 1898, the lead element panicked and refused to advance past a well-placed Spanish ambush. The soldiers of the 16th had to surge through and establish the forward lines. After his troops deployed for the assault, B.Gen. Hawkins rode out front and announced, “Boys, the time has come. Every man who loves his country, forward and follow me!”

                A lieutenant ordered Sgt. Henry Schroeder, the regimental bugler, to sound the charge to attack the fort atop the hill. With fixed bayonets, the troopers pushed the Spaniards off the hilltop. A new chapter of honor was added when Sgt. Diehl and Cpl. Van Horne raised our flag on the fort’s block-house. The 16th lost seven officers and 112 enlisted men to the Spanish artillery while crossing the San Juan River. The 16th applied pressure and continued forward, after capturing the San Juan Hill, toward the Spanish garrison which surrendered at Santiago on 14 July 1898. When the regiment returned with the rest of 5th Corps to the U.S. shores \, less than a month later, less than half of the original strength remained, due to combat casualties, increased sickness, and the danger of a yellow fever epidemic.

                The 16th sailed to the Philippines in 1899 to help quell the Filipino Insurgents. PSgt. Henry Schroeder, the regimental bugler in Cuba, won the Medal of Honor for his actions at Carig, Philippine Islands on 14 Sep 1900, in he lead 22 soldiers in the defeat of 400 insurgents, killing 36 and wounding 90. Schroeder later received a commission and commanded the 2nd Battalion after WWI.

Pershing

                In 1901, the 16th returned to the U.S., serving in South Dakota until 1906 when it was again dispatched to the Philippines. After quelling unrest on the island of Leyte, the regiment returned to the U.S. in 1907. In 1910, the 16th was sent to Alaska to assist in keeping public order in Alaskan gold fields. In 1912, the regiment was assigned to the Presidio of San Francisco where it remained until trouble broke out along the Mexican border. From March 1916 to January 1917,  the 16th campaigned with Bgen. John J. Purshing as part of the Punitive Expedition into Mexico against Pancho Villa. The campaign was unsuccessful in its efforts to capture and punish Pancho Villa for his lawless activities, specifically his provocative raid on Columbus, New Mexico, on 9 March 1916. This campaign, however, allowed the regiment to test its new infantry weapons and use of motorized transport.

                The regiment made such a strong impression on B.Gen. Purshing that he ordered it to be the first American unit sent to France the following year. Having sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey, the 16th Inf. landed at St. Nazarine, France, at the end of June 1917, as part of the 1st Expeditionary Forces, later redesignated as the 1st Inf. Div. Prior to being committed to battle, the 16th Inf. Reg. Was trained by the 47th French Division of the Chasseurs Alpines, the “Blue Devils”, in the Gondrecourt area in July 1917. The 2nd Battalion subsequently served as B.Gen. Purshing’s “Guard of Honor” when he entered Paris, the occasion on which he remarked, “Lafayette, we are here.” Later, while occupying a section of trenches near Barthelment, the 16th became the first U.S. regiment to fight in World War I when it repelled a German night raid on 3 November 1917. In the months that followed, the 16th twice earned the Croix de Guerre, France’s highest military honor,  for actions at Soissons and Fleville. The regiment’s gallant action at Fleville in the Argonne Forest region on 4 October 1918 was its finest hour, causing the 4th of October to be celebrated annually as the 16th Infantry’s Organization Day. The French government later erected a monument at Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, honoring the first three 16th Inf. Reg. soldiers killed during the German night raid, with the inscription: “Here lie the first soldiers of the Great American Republic fallen on French soil for Justice and Liberty..”

 WWII

                In August 1919, the 16th returned to the U.S., serving at Fort Jay, Governor’s Island, New York. In the 20 years that followed, the regiment remained at Fort Jay where it became known as “New York’s own” and adopted the popular “Sidewalks of New York” as its regimental song. The 16th moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, from New York on 19 November 1939. As war clouds gathered once again in Europe, the 16th moved back to its state of origin, joining the rest of the 1st Inf. Div. at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

                In August 1942, the 16th Inf. Reg. sailed from New York City abroad the Queen Mary for Gourok, Scotland. By 9 August 1942 the regiment had moved into Tidworth Barracks in southern England. The 16th Inf. combat record in World War II is exceeded by no other U.S. unit. It was among the first American units to engage Hitler’s “Africa Corps” in Northern Africa, during Operation Torch, the first combat operation of the 16th Inf. in World War II. During the bitter fighting in the Kasserine Pass the 16th earned its third French ‘Croix de Guerre’ for its role in stopping the German counterattack which nearly destroyed the U.S. II Corps. At Matuer, Tunisia, the 16th again distinguished itself, earning its first Presidential Unit Citation. On 10 July 1943, at Gela, Sicily, the regiment earned its second Presidential Unit Citation by stopping a German Panzer Division and spearheading a subsequent assault deep into the Sicilian heartland during Operation Husky. On Omaha Beach, Normandy, 6 June 1944, the 16th earned its third Presidential Unit Citation during Operation Overlord. That same day, Technician Fifth Grade John Pinder and 1stLt. Jimmie Montieth each earned and received the Medal of Honor at Colleville-sur-Mer for their roles in getting American troops across the fire swept beaches. For its exceptional valor in the Normandy Campaign, the 16th was awarded its forth French Croix de Guerre Fourragere,  thus being awarded the French Medaille Militaire Fourragere, the highest honor ever bestowed on a foreign unit by the government of France.

                In September 1944, the 16th entered Belgium, earning the Belgium Fourragere and two citations of the Belgium Army for exceptional gallantry at Mons and Malmedy. The following month the 16th entered Germany, taking part in the capture of Aachen, the first German city to be captured by American forces during World War II. In the Hurtgen Forest of Hamich, T.Sgt. Jake Lindsey earned the regiment’s seventh Medal of Honor and the 16th was awarded its forth Presidential Unit Citation. Only two weeks later, during the “Battle of the Bulge” Pvt. Robert Henry gave his life to earn the Medal of Honor as his regiment was awarded its fifth Presidential Unit Citation. ‘Never before or since has a U.S. unit been more decorated for valor.

Rangers

                In each of the 16th’s assault landings during World War II, at Algeria, Sicily, and Normandy the regiment stormed the beaches alongside the 2ndth were constantly mistaken by observers and newsmen as Ranger units. After the war, the name stuck and to this day, men of the 16th are referred to as “RANGERS”, the only non-Ranger unit in the U.S Army to carry such a distinction. Ranger Battalion. In each case it took its objective with such speed and dash that the soldiers of the 16

                After the war, the 16th remained in Germany for 10 years, returning in 1955 to Fort Riley as part of Operation Gyroscope, a post it had not seen since its Indian campaigns nearly a century before. A change took place within the Army and the 16th Inf. on 15 February 1957 with the advent of the Army’s “Pentomic” concept being emplaced. The 1st Inf. Div. three regiments, the 16th Inf. being one of those, was reorganized into five “combat groups”, meaning the 16th was relieved from assignment to the 1st Inf. Div. and reorganized as a parent regiment. Shortly thereafter the name “combat group” was changed to “battle group”. With this new concept being emplaced, the 4th Bn., 16th Inf. was established and inactivated on 15 February 1957. Other units of the 16th served in the Army Reserve.

                The 16th Inf. served in Viet-Nam and was deployed to Saudi Arabia in Support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The 16th continues to serve our country in the proud tradition of its predecessors of years gone by. Our colors, heavy with battle streamers and citations, wave proudly in testimony to our continued dedication to the defense of our nation.

Our motto is:

Semper Paratus


“Always ready”

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