by GILLOTTI, DANIEL DANIEL.GILLOTTI(at)DFAS.MIL

2.2.3 30th Field Artillery Regiment in Alaska 1942-1944
On 4 May 1942, the Regiment moved by train to Camp Murray near Fort Lewis, Washington and arrived on 7 May 1942. On 26 May 1942, the 2nd Bn sailed for Kodiak Island, Alaska, on the USAT Chirikoff and arrived there on 31 May 1942. The Regiment and the 1st Bn loaded on the USAT David W. Branch and headed for Fort Richardson, Alaska, on 7 June 1942. On 11 June 1942, they stopped at Yakutat, Alaska, and at Valdez, Alaska, on 13 June 1942, and disembarked from the ship at Seward, Alaska, on 15 June 1942. The rest of the month was filled with unpacking equipment, digging slit trenches, and setting up a Tent City. The next several months were spent in setting up artillery firing positions to protect the harbors from enemy attack. On 8 August 1942, COL Daugherty was appointed as the Post Executive Officer of Fort Richardson. He assumed command of Fort Richardson on 26 January 1943, and wore two hats - one as Commander of the 30th FA Regiment and the other as the Commander of Fort Richardson, Alaska.

On 22 June 1943, LTC (later COL) George. E. Mitchell assumed command of the Regiment. LTC Mitchell moved the 1st Bn to Amchitka Island near Adak, Alaska, on 24 July 1943,and then returned to command of the Regiment. On 23 November 1943, LTC Mitchell turned command of the Regiment over to LTC Mark E. Mollett. Then by 7 January 1944, command of the Regiment was turned over to COL John M. Hamilton who had previously commanded the 2nd Bn. {Note: While in command of the 2nd Bn, COL Hamilton had SSG Martinson, his Operations Sergeant, draw a Kodiak Bear standing erect with a fierce expression on his face. The bear was holding an artillery shell in his right paw and had it drawn back like he was ready to throw it like a football. In his left paw he was holding another artillery shell. COL Hamilton adopted the Kodiak Bear logo and used it on the stationery and report covers when he took command of the 30th FA Regiment and later the 30th FA Group. "A real Hard Charger bear for sure'!}

During most of the Regiment's stay in Alaska it was charged with the responsibility of guarding and protecting key harbor entrances and providing training to new recruits. By the spring of 1944, the Regiment began preparations for movement back to the lower 48 States. On 24 March 1944, the Regiment departed for Whittier, Alaska, by train and boarded the USAT Otsego. The Regiment arrived at Seattle, Washington, and moved by truck to Fort Lawton arriving the same day. On 5 April 1944, the Regimental Headquarters left for Camp Picket, Virginia, and arrived on 9 April 1944. They were followed by the 1st Bn, who sailed from Amchitka Island on 8 April 1944 and disembarked at Prince Ruppert, British Columbia on 17 April 1944. On 14 April 1944, the 2nd Bn departed Kodiak Island on board the USAT Otsego. They arrived at Seattle Washington on 21 April 1944, and moved on to Camp Picket, VA, arriving there on 30 April 1944.

2.3 30th Field Artillery Regiment is Redesignated as the 30th Field Artillery Group in 1944
In preparation for movement to the European Theater of Operation (ETO), the 30th FA Regiment was re-designated as the 30th FA Group on 11 May 1944. The 1st Bn, 30th FA was re-designated as the 521st FA Battalion, and the 2nd Bn, 30th FA was re-designated as the 550th FA Battalion. The 30th FA Regiment was the last US Army Field Artillery Regiment to convert its Bns to separate Field Artillery Bns.

2.3.1 30th FA Group prepares for overseas movement in 1944
The 30th FA Group remained at Camp Picket, VA, until 17 July 1944, when it moved to Camp Butner, NC. The Group then moved to Camp Kilmer, NJ, on 8 November 1944, and then by train to the New York Port of Embarkation on 20 November 1944, and boarded the Queen Elizabeth which sailed the same day. It wasn't long before the 521st FA Bn and the 550th FA Bn would go their separate ways as well.


Chapter 4: 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery and the 550th Field Artillery Battalion

4.1 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery is organized in 1918
The 30th Field Artillery was constituted on 5 July 1918 in the National Army as the 30th Field Artillery (FA) Regiment at Camp Funston, Kansas. On 10 August 1918, the 10th Division was organized under the command of Major General (MG) Leonard Wood. Assigned to the 10th Division was the 10th FA Brigade under the command of Brigadier General (BG) William H. Burt, and was organized with the 28th, 29th and 30th FA Regiments assigned to it. Major (MAJ) John K. Dorrance was appointed as the first Regimental Commander when the 30th FA Regiment was officially organized on 10 August 1918. The Regiment comprised the Regimental Headquarters and the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 30th FA Regiment. The mission of the 30th FA Regiment was to organize and train for deployment to France to assist the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) toward the defeat of the German Army.

The 2nd Bn was initially commanded by MAJ (later BG) Charles A. French and consisted of Firing Batteries D, E, and F. D Battery was initially commanded by 2LT John K. Laird, E Battery by 1LT James M. House, and F Battery by 2LT Frank E. Johnstone. Each of the Firing Batteries was manned by 4 officers and approximately 200 enlisted men, and consisted of six Gun Sections. The primary weapons of the 2nd Bn were the 4.7-inch/120mm Rifled Gun (Horse Drawn). This was the only American-made artillery piece to be fielded during World War I. All other artillery weapons used by the American Forces were produced by Great Britain or France. The 30th FA Regiment trained in the dust and heat of Kansas and suffered through several episodes of an influenza epidemic that was sweeping across America. The 30th FA Regiment had deployed its Advance Party to France in October 1918 in preparation for movement of the Regiment into combat.

These plans were nullified when the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918. Demobilization of the Regiment began on 22 January 1919 according to telegraphic instructions from the Adjutant General of the Army dated 17 January 1919. For many men, news that they would not be going to war was a welcomed relief. For others, their quest for adventure would not be fulfilled. Although the influenza epidemic continued to escalate, almost 1,400 men were either discharged or transferred out of the Regiment by the end of the month.

4.1.1 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery is Demobilized in 1919
According to the telegraphic instructions received on 17 January 1919, the 30th Field Artillery Regiment was reduced to zero strength and fully demobilized on 5 February 1919. Most of the enlisted men and officers were discharged and sent home to pick up the pieces of their lives. Ironically, the 30th Field Artillery Regiment had lost exactly 30 men preparing for a war they never had the opportunity to participate in.

4.2 2LT Russell M. Anderson & D Battery, 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery
For background, the office of Chief of Field Artillery was established on 10 February 1918, and the first Chief of Field Artillery appointed was MG William J. Snow. One of the first tasks he identified to be accomplished was to organize and formalize the training of Field Artillery Officers by establishing the Field Artillery Central Officers Training School (FACOTS) at Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky. 2LT Russell M. Anderson, Landsdowne, PA, graduated from FACOTS in July 1918, and was assigned to D Battery, 2nd Bn, 30th FA shortly after that. After his discharge in 1919, he went on to have a successful career as an engineer. In the mid-1950s, LTC (later COL) John J. Stranahan was working in Port Arthur, Texas, as an engineer, and was continuing his US Army career in the Army Reserve after serving with the 30th FA Regiment during WW II from 1941-1945. Returning from an Army Reserve meeting one Sunday, he joined his wife at a backyard cookout.

A gentleman named Russ Anderson, whom LTC Stranahan had recently met, asked him about his uniform, ribbons, and Field Artillery branch insignia. LTC Stranahan explained that he had served in the Field Artillery in WW II from 1941 to 1945, and was continuing his Army career in the US Army Reserve. Russ Anderson told LTC Stranahan that he had served in the Field Artillery as a Lieutenant with D Battery, 2nd Bn, 30th FA in 1918-1919. LTC Stranahan chuckled and told Russ Anderson, "you'll be happy to know that I commanded D Battery, 2nd Bn, 30th FA in 1941 and 1942". From that point on until Russ Anderson passed away in the late 1970s, the two families remained great friends. Shortly after his death in the late 1970s, Mrs. Anderson sent COL (R) John J. Stranahan a picture of 2LT Russell M. Anderson in his uniform in 1918. She explained that no one in her family really cared about military things and that COL Stranahan would know what to do with the picture.

Twenty years later when found by the 30th FA Association, COL Stranahan experienced a great feeling of relief as he remembered the picture. The picture was loaned to the 30th FA Association, who had the picture processed and enlarged. Subsequently, during the 80th Anniversary Celebration of the 30th FA Regiment in 1998, a picture of 2LT Russell M. Anderson was hung in the 30th FA Regimental Room, which is in Snow Hall (named after MG William J. Snow) at Fort Sill, OK. Welcome home Lieutenant Anderson. You're among friends and fellow Hard Chargers now!

4.3 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery is Reactivated in 1941
The 30th FA Regiment was reactivated on 4 June 1941, at East Garrison, Camp Roberts, California, by order of the President of the United States, and pursuant to General Order No. 2, 9th Corps Area Headquarters. At the time of reactivation the 30th FA Regiment was under the command of COL (later MG) Ray W. Barker. The 30th Regiment consisted of HHB, 30th FA Regiment and the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 30th FA. The 30th FA Regiment along with the 40th and 85th FA Regiments, made up the 26th FA Brigade, which was Corps Artillery for the III Army Corps, with its Headquarters at the Presidio, Monterey, California. The primary weapons of the 30th FA Regiment were 155mm "Schneider" Howitzers.

4.3.1 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery at Camp Roberts, California in 1941
LTC (later COL) John M. Hamilton was initially assigned as Battalion Commander of the 2nd Bn, 30th FA and provided an early example of the leadership he was to demonstrate frequently on later occasions when he was the first member of the organization to reach the unfinished East Garrison camp site. Also arriving shortly after him was CPT (later COL) John J. Stranahan who, as previously stated, commanded D Battery. CPT Stranahan left D Battery in 1943 when he was promoted to MAJ and took over as the Battalion S-3 Officer. MAJ Stranahan then left the 2nd Bn in 1944 and moved to the 30th FA Group as the Group S-3. When promoted to LTC, he took over as the Group XO. He then completed his 4 years and two months with the 30th FA in August of 1945, when he took command of the 646th FA Bn.

The original officer assignments within the 2nd Bn were as follows:
Bn Headquarters: LTC J. M. Hamilton, MAJ S. E. Bullock, MAJ W. R. Pierce, CPT T. M. Eubanks,
CPT Kenneth W. Gardner, 1LT R. D. Trautman;
Headquarters Battery: CPT Dan Parker Jr., 1LT H. C. Nachand, 2LT R. G. Acuff;
D Battery: CPT John J. Stranahan, 1LT Olney Long, 1LT A. A. Lundin, 1LT J. I. Ferguson;
E Battery: CPT Melvin W. Ager, 1LT A. C. Kornshrene, 2LT E. L. Krummel;
F Battery: 1LT Neal G. Smith, 1LT Carlton Richter, 2LT R. M. Wales;
H Battery: 1LT A. C. Clark, 2LT W. D. Toomey, 2LT L. R. Jorgensen;
Service Battery: CPT W. E. Druebert, 1LT H. C. Cottier, 1LT Howard A. Edwards;
2nd Battalion Medical Detachment: 1LT R. A. Whitney.

When these officers arrived, they found the 2nd Bn's area far from ready for occupancy. Led by LTC Hamilton, the officers pitched in to get their area prepared for the troops who were soon to arrive. They removed their shirts in the hot California sunshine and started unpacking the mountains of equipment waiting for them in the warehouses. They also started clearing the plaster, paint, and discarded lumber out of the buildings they were to use as offices, orderly rooms, mess halls, supply rooms, and barracks. None of the streets in the camp were paved, and everyone waded through ankle-deep dust that choked everyone and made them sneeze. With the exception of LTC Hamilton, MAJ Pierce and CPT Parker who were Regular Army men, the 2nd Bn's commissioned cadre was composed entirely of Reserve Officers. The Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) began arriving at Camp Roberts on 13 June 1941, and were veteran soldiers who came to the 30th FA Regiment from the 8th and 11th FA Regiments, Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii.

First Sergeant assignments were 1SG Harold M. Swap of Headquarters Battery; Alva Latimer of D Battery; Robert L. Douglas of E Battery; Joseph P. Kechane of F Battery; John P. Proctor of H Battery; and Dilard Stevens of Service Battery. MSG Verne Houston was the first Bn Motor Sergeant for the 2nd Bn while its first Sergeant Major was MSG Walter J. O'Neil, who joined the organization later. The officers and NCOs had the situation well in hand for the arrival of the main bulk of the 2nd Bn's personnel on 20 June 1941. These men, most of whom had entered the Army by way of selective service, came to the 30th FA Regiment from across the road at the Field Artillery Replacement Training Center (FARTC), West Garrison, Camp Roberts. Many were among the first groups to receive basic training at the West Garrison, FARTC. They were pre-assigned to specific Batteries before leaving West Garrison and came directly to their respective organizations by truck.

Although all sections of the country were represented by the new group, it contained a preponderance of men from the Pacific coast. With its personnel fill complete, the 2nd Bn immediately plunged into an intensive training program with their 155mm "Schneider" Howitzers. This program included the usual garrison training grind - - cannoneer's hop, command post exercises, hikes, survey problems and long hours of classes and instructions. This grueling training regimen was punctuated by field trips and Service Practices on the Hunter Liggett Reservation north of Camp Roberts and Jolon, California. A welcome break in the training routine was a five-day motor march to Yosemite National Park, California. The 2nd Bn was in the midst of its training activity on 7 December 1941, when they received word of the treacherous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. LTC Hamilton was serving as the Field Officer of the Day (FOD) for East Garrison that day and had the job of repeating the bad news to all the subordinate commands. The 2nd Bn was well scattered over California when word of the attack came, but within a few hours all but a handful of men returned to their organizations. Christmas leaves and furloughs, which had been arranged for everyone on a staggered basis, were canceled immediately.

4.3.2 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery in San Jose, California in 1941
The day following the attack on Pearl Harbor orders were received from the Northern California sector of the Western Defense Command attaching the 30th FA Regiment as supporting artillery to the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, CA. The orders stated the 30th FA Regiment was to be ready to move immediately upon receipt of further orders. Rifles were drawn from every available source in preparation for the move, field equipment was packed, and a 24-hour guard was placed around all vehicles and guns. Infantry drill and maneuvers were being practiced when word was received that the Regiment was to be prepared to fight either as artillerymen or doughboys. Many thoughts were occupying the minds of the members of the 30th FA Regiment on 11 December 1941, when Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. At 1435 hrs that day, the expected orders from the 7th Infantry Division were received and the 30th FA Regiment was directed to move at once to San Jose, CA, with full equipment. The first elements of the column passed the initial point (IP) at 1600 hrs and all vehicles in the 2nd Bn had cleared the IP by 1750 hrs. The blackout march to San Jose, a tense one for soldiers who had no idea of what was ahead of them, ended shortly after midnight when the last trucks pulled into the old Santa Clara County fairgrounds at San Jose. More permanent billets were set up by the 2nd Bn the following day at Lost Gatos, CA. Less than a week later, on 18 December 1941, the 2nd Bn lost H Battery which was its Anti-Tank Battery. H Battery along with G Battery, the Anti-Tank Battery from the 1st Bn, and the Anti-Tank Platoon from the Regimental Headquarters left for Camp Roberts to form the new 826th Tank Destroyer Battalion. On Christmas Day, conditions were still tense, with the 2nd Bn alerted and the men restricted to their Battery Areas most of the time, but this did not prevent the men from enjoying good holiday dinners. Headquarters and Service Batteries ate their meals in the Los Gatos grammar school, while D Battery ate in the Catholic Church, E Battery in the Methodist Church, and F Battery in the Baptist Church. All men carried small arms and full field equipment into their dining places with them. During most of the 2nd Bn's stay in Los Gatos it was under the temporary command of MAJ Ross of the 1st Bn, as they confined LTC Hamilton to the hospital at Camp Roberts.

4.3.3 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery in Orange, California in 1942
LTC Hamilton recovered his health and was acting as the Regimental Commander on 2 January 1942, when orders were received transferring the 30th FA Regiment to the Southern California sector of the Western Defense Command and assigning it to Orange, CA. This community had no installations conforming to the traditional pattern of an Army Camp, but its willing and cooperative citizens provided quarters for the 30th FA Regiment's troops nevertheless. HHB of the 2nd Bn established itself in the Woman's Club building, D Battery in the First Christian Church, E Battery in the Presbyterian Church, F Battery in the Lutheran Church, and Service Battery in a downtown store building. During its stay in southern California, the 2nd Bn, with the remainder of the Western Defense Command, was poised to meet a Japanese invasion attempt, considered not unlikely during those months. Six to ten Howitzer positions for each Firing Battery were reconnoitered, surveyed, and staked out at various points along the Southern California coast.

Other necessary preparations were made so that all primary weapons could be moved quickly anytime to fire on the invaders. At the same time vigorous training was continued. The hard work performed by the 2nd Bn's artillerymen and the generally nervous feeling prevailing did not prevent this part of the Battalion's history from being a pleasant one. Townspeople adopted the soldiers of the 2nd Bn in no halfhearted manner - entertainment and dances were frequent, and any soldier was a welcome guest at any meal in any home in Orange, CA. At dances young women often out numbered soldiers which were a rare thing at Army functions. On 9 February 1942, the 30th FA Regiment said goodbye to its first Regimental Commander, COL Ray W. Barker. The command of the 30th FA Regiment was assumed by COL (later BG) Lester A. Daugherty who had been serving as the Battalion Commander of the 1st Bn since its reactivation.

Field trips and tests in the Borego Desert, about 150 miles from Orange, CA, occupied the 2nd Bn during most of March and April of 1942. CPT John J. Stranahan who was commanding D Battery, 2nd Bn, 30th FA in 1941-42, writes, "We were firing Battalion Tests in the Borego Desert (CA). The weather was terrible, and the wind was blowing 40 MPH or higher. During the day, the temperature caused heat waves in the survey instruments and the survey crew was green and the data was terrible. When we had made the best we could of it, LTC Hamilton, our Bn CO, told us that "we could do the rest of it, as he was going to bed RHIP!" By 0400 hrs it had turned as cold as hell. I stepped out of the 2-1/2 Ton Truck we were using for the FDC to look for some coffee. I found cold coffee in the GI coffee urn and no fire under it. So I lit the burner and got it boiling. I filled my canteen cup after it was good and hot. Just then LTC Hamilton came up. I offered him my cup, and drew another. Then the Colonel who was the Test Director walked up, and I repeated the procedure. Both took a sip of the coffee and began to swear. I quickly tasted my cup and it was the worst cup of coffee I had ever tasted. For the next year I had to deny making "Borego Coffee!" Later as I was leaving Kodiak Island in Alaska, I found out that the cooks had kept that urn of coffee hot until midnight, turned out the fire, and went to bed. The trouble was, they forgot to take out the grounds, which were still in the coffee urn when I heated it up. The story goes on - - - By 1945, COL Hamilton was commanding the 30th FA Group in Germany, and I was the Group XO. Just after the war ended, they transferred the 30th FA Group to control of the 15th FA Brigade. When COL Hamilton reported into the Brigadier General who was commanding the 15th FA Brigade, it turned out to be the former Colonel (now BG) who had been the Test Director in the Borego Desert way back in 1942. When he saw COL Hamilton, the first thing he asked was, "do you still have that Son of a Bitch that made that terrible "Borego Coffee?" Another incident that was a much talked about subject and a mystery among the members of the 2nd Bn occurred on the night of 4 April 1942. PVT Patton of D Battery was walking post as a sentry when he was shot in the ankle by an assailant in civilian clothes. Although PVT Patton saw the man who fired at him with a .22 caliber rifle, they never caught the man and no satisfactory explanation of the incident was ever made.

4.3.4 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery deploys to Kodiak Island, Alaska in 1942
The 2nd Bn was alerted to begin preparations for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to Alaska. Packing for departure from Orange, CA, was begun on 1 May 1942. Then on 4 May 1942, the citizens of the town were out almost en masse to give the 2nd Bn a royal send off as it boarded the trains for Camp Murray, Washington. Reaching Camp Murray late in the afternoon of 7 May 1942, the 2nd Bn moved into a tent camp only recently vacated by the 41st Infantry Division, and almost immediately began final preparations for overseas movement. During this period at Camp Murray, the 2nd Bn received its first graduate of the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Ft Sill, Oklahoma, in the person of 2LT Jack D. Nagel, who was to distinguish himself later as Captain Nagel, Commo Officer and CO of HHB. He was among the first men taken into the US Army under the Selective Service Draft and was graduated with the third OCS class at Ft. Sill.

Later practically all of the 30th FA Regiment's junior officers would be OCS graduates. Fully equipped and prepared for anything, the 2nd Bn loaded into trucks at Camp Murray on 24 May 1942 and was transported to the loading docks. They sailed from Seattle aboard the veteran transport ship USAT Cherikoff for Kodiak, Alaska, two days later. With this movement, the 2nd Bn separated from other elements of the 30th FA Regiment and became a detached Battalion. After a rough voyage that gave many members of the 2nd Bn their first experience with seasickness, the Cherikoff pulled into St. Paul Harbor at Kodiak Island on the afternoon of 31 May 1942. At the time, knowledge of the Japanese planned attack against the Alaskan area was known among higher Army Officers, and the arrival of the 2nd Bn, with its medium howitzers and lighter weapons was welcomed warmly by BG Charles Corlett, CO at Ft. Greeley on Kodiak. No blaring band nor cheering crowds were on the docks as the artillerymen arrived.

As the ship docked, LTC Hamilton and the Firing Battery COs -- CPT Frederick G. Bull of D Battery, CPT Robert W. Maxwell, Jr. of E Battery, and CPT Donald M. Platt of F Battery hurried ashore to reconnoiter and select positions from which the Batteries could fire on the expected invaders. At the same time, other officers and enlisted men of the 2nd Bn changed themselves into longshoremen and began the task of unloading equipment from the Cherikoff and transporting it to Fort Greeley's Tent City, their new home. The 201st Infantry Regiment had completed evacuation from the Tent City only that day. The weather did nothing to make the new arrivals feel welcome. Showers fell intermittently throughout the day and CPL Dorian Kirk of HHB made a mark on his tent wall every time a new rain started that day, and by night could count 16 tallies on the canvas. The 2nd Bn was being well introduced to the type of weather with which it was to live for almost two years. As soon as they moved the howitzers to Tent City, the cannoneers who served them began the task of removing the cosmoline applied for the sea voyage, and later the following day, most of the weapons were in position and ready to fire. The Japanese bombing attack on Dutch Harbor on 3 June 1942, came as the 2nd Bn was working around the clock improving their positions, digging in and camouflaging the howitzers, setting up the .50 caliber machine guns, improving communications, establishing munitions dumps and building convenient sleeping quarters and shelter. Men worked until they were ready to drop, knocked off for few hours of sleep and then returned to the job. The Battery Executive Officers (XOs); 1LT (later MAJ) Jake Easton, Jr., of D Battery, 1LT Howard A. Edwards of E Battery, and 1LT Roy Atterbury of F Battery all worked at least 20 hour days. With their positions complete and the Japanese attack on Kodiak failing to materialize, the 2nd Bn had the satisfaction of knowing it was ready to blast the hell out of the Japanese invaders had they chose Kodiak as the scene of attack.

Immediately after the 2nd Bn's arrival on the island the Headquarters Battery Anti-Tank Platoon, commanded by 1LT Floyd Davis, was detached and placed on special duty with the 201st Infantry Regiment to help form the beach defenses of Kodiak Island. C Battery, 260th Coast Artillery (CA) accompanied the 2nd Bn on the Cherikoff and A & B Batteries of the 260th CA, along with C Battery, 96th FA joined it there a short time later. With these additions, LTC Hamilton's command became the 2nd Bn, 30th FA (Reinforced). C Battery, 96th FA left Kodiak for the Aleutians in August 1942, B Battery, 96th FA started west in October 1942 and A Battery, 96th FA followed in April 1943. C Battery, 260th CA was transferred to the 40th CA Regiment at Kodiak on January 1943, and still later to the 250th CA. Conditions on Kodiak, largest of the islands off the Alaskan Peninsula, were very different from those they had recently found in the California desert, but the men of the 2nd Bn went about their duties nonetheless. These duties were varied to an extreme. In the absence of a Port Company, the artillerymen were frequently called upon for ship unloading details. All ship unloading details were performed in such a manner as to elicit praise from the post's CO. These hard working soldiers also performed as infantrymen on field maneuvers, as engineers, as ordnance men, and in many other roles. A number of the men from the 2nd Bn helped make up a Tank Company and SSG Donald P. Nevins, Senior Section Chief of F Battery acted as the Company First Sergeant. At the same time 24-hour guard was maintained at the howitzer positions and for months enough men remained on call to fire the weapons at any hour.

4.3.5 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery on Kodiak Island, Alaska in 1943
Tent City remained home for the 2nd Bn until January 1943, when a movement to wooden barracks in the Swampy Acres section of the post was begun. This move was not complete until April 1943, when F Battery was the last to leave Tent City and occupy its new quarters. Again the artillerymen were moving into an area vacated by the 201st Infantry Regiment. The Headquarters Battery Anti-Tank Platoon that had been attached to the 201st Infantry Regiment rejoined the 2nd Bn and took up semi-permanent positions on Pasagshak Bay in April 1943. The Anti-Tank Platoon remained at Pasagshak until August 1943, when it came back to Ft. Greeley and joined HHB in garrison. Not long after the move from Tent City, the 2nd Bn's primary weapon was changed to the 155mm Gun, M1A1 (Long Tom). Cannoneers, Gunners, Section Chiefs, and XOs soon were familiar with the new armament. At the first Service Practice held on Kalsin Bay on 22 June 1942, both D and F Batteries, with 1LT Russell B. Morris and 1LT Morris H. Yowell as XOs, fired the guns as though they had received all their training on them.

E Battery, firing for the first time two days later, also made a record of which to be proud. Other Service Practices and field problems conducted under all kinds of weather conditions, mostly cold and wet, increased the cannoneers' familiarity with their new primary weapons. They learned to prepare positions and fire in the boggy Kodiak tundra while Prime Mover Drivers learned to snake the heavy weapons over winding, ice-covered roads. Each Battery was issued two 81mm mortars and trained enough men to provide expert crews for them. The 2nd Bn also had practice on the 37mm and 75mm guns of its Anti-Tank Platoon. All men of the unit became familiar with various types of small arms, at various times being issued the 1903 model .30 caliber rifles, .30 caliber carbines, .45 caliber pistols and both .30 and .50 caliber machine guns. Those who served on special duty with the Tank Company fired an even wider variety of automatic weapons. In the summer of 1943, the 2nd Bn began an entirely new phase of training, that of firing on water borne targets using Coast Artillery (CA) methods. Battery Fire Direction Centers (FDCs) became plotting rooms, Gunners became Gun Pointers and Section Chiefs became Gun Commanders for this training. Although FA and CA methods differ in almost every respect, the 2nd Bn, coached by officers of the 250th CA Regiment, soon became proficient in the new procedures. Two months after starting training on the unfamiliar CA methods, the 2nd Bn fired with service ammunition at water borne targets. As a result, its Batteries made scores which astounded official observers. Service Battery, whose ordinary duties dealt with handling ammunition and other phases of supply, joined the Firing Batteries in learning a new type of firing. Service Battery, commanded by CPT Frederick A. Smith, was placed under orders to divide into two detachments and man 6-inch naval guns as part of the coastal defenses at Yakitat and Annette Landing, Alaska.

CPT Smith was to command the Yakitat detachment and CPT Robert L. Dixon the group at Annette Landing. However, these orders were canceled and Service Battery remained with the 2nd Bn. LTC Hamilton was promoted to full Colonel while Post XO at Fort Greely. They then transferred him to Ft. Richardson, Alaska, in a similar capacity in September 1943. {Note: While in command of the 2nd Bn, COL Hamilton had his Operations Sergeant, SSG Martinson, draw a Kodiak Bear standing erect with a fierce expression on his face. The bear was holding an artillery shell in his right paw and had it drawn back as if to throw it like a football. In his left paw he was holding another artillery shell. COL Hamilton adopted the Kodiak Bear logo when he took command of the 30th FA Regiment and also it was used later on the stationery and report covers for the 30th FA Group. "A real Hard Charger bear for sure'!} When COL Hamilton left the 2nd Bn to become Fort Greeley's Post XO, he was succeeded by MAJ (later LTC) Kenneth W. Gardner as the new Bn Commander. LTC Gardner had been a member of the 2nd Bn since its reactivation and had filled all Bn staff positions before his promotion, with his most recent being that of Bn XO. Coast Artillery training continued throughout the summer and into early fall, until in October 1943, when the 2nd Bn received orders to concentrate once again on FA methods. During October 1943, they ordered CPT Lundin, the Adjutant, to Amchitka to be Post Adjutant. At the same time they informed the 2nd Bn that they had declared as surplus troops in Alaska and that its return to the Continental United States would be arranged as soon as transportation was available.

4.3.6 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery moves to Camp Picket, Virginia in 1944
Although anticipating their departure from Kodiak Island, men of the 2nd Bn continued normal training duties until 8 March 1944 when the 2nd Bn, then in a field bivouac where it had been snowed-in for two days, received word that it had been placed on a Class B alert for a PCS movement. From that time until 13 April 1944, when the 2nd Bn finally sailed from Kodiak Island aboard the ancient transport ship, the USAT Otsego, most of the time was taken up by preparations for the sea voyage. The departure was a striking contrast with the arrival in Kodiak. Friends the men of the 2nd Bn had made during their 22 months and 13 days on the island were on the dock to say goodbye, and the Fort Greely station band added its voice to the festivities. And it wasn't even raining! The 2nd Bn was welcomed at the docks of Seattle at 0900 hrs on 20 April 1944. From there they moved by truck convoy immediately to Fort Lawton, on the other side of the city. Trucks in the convoy were driven by members of the Women's Army Corps ( WACs), the first that most of the men in the 2nd Bn had ever seen. At Fort Lawton, the 2nd Bn received orders to report for duty at Camp Pickett, VA. Enlisted men and officers living west of the Mississippi River were given orders at Fort Lawton, with provisions for 20-day delay en route to Camp Pickett. This was the nearest thing to leaves or furloughs for most of the men since they entered the service three years earlier. Residents of states east of the Mississippi River crossed the continent by train and reached Camp Pickett on 28 April 1944, and were granted leaves and furloughs shortly after that.

4.4 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery is Redesignated as the 550th Field Artillery Battalion in 1944
On 12 May 1944, the 2nd Bn was redesignated as the 550th Field Artillery Battalion, a member of the 30th FA Group. In the reorganization D Battery became A Battery; E Battery became B Battery; and F Battery became C Battery, while Headquarters and Service Batteries retained their traditional Battery designations. The 1st Bn, 30th FA became the 521st Field Artillery Battalion, and HHB, 30th FA Regiment was redesignated as HHB, 30th FA Group. Many of the officer assignments within the Batteries were changed following the arrival at Camp Pickett. The officer assignments after the transfer follows:
Bn Headquarters: LTC Kenneth W. Gardner, MAJ Melvin W. Ager, CPT Robert L. Dixon,
CPT Howard A. Edwards, CPT Olney Long, CPT Randall D. Trautman, 1LT Robert A. MacDonald, and 2LT James A. Maidonos;
Headquarters Battery: CPT Jack D. Nagel, 1LT Rudolph R. Kosek, 2LT John J. Flynn, 2LT Andrew Lippman, 2LT Ralph O. Meister, 2LT Henry M. Hanson, CWO Samuel W. Wolf;
A Battery: CPT Frederick A. Smith, 1LT Raymond F. Heber, 1LT Russell B. Morris, and 2LT Glenn H. Bockstanz;
B Battery: 1LT Calvin Manning, 1LT Hollis E. Godwin, 2LT Henry Brinsmead, 2LT Richard W. Donley;
C Battery: CPT Jake Easton Jr., 1LT Robert G. Rhodes, 1LT Robert H. Yowell, 2LT Frank M. Culwell; Service Battery: CPT Henry G. Beers, 1LT Paul T. Hughes, 1LT Ernest E. Kennedy, 2LT John E. Hays, and CWO Robert A. Reid.
First Sergeants at this time were 1SG Harold M. Swap of Headquarters Battery, Abel Myers of A Battery; Robert Douglas of B Battery; John R. Nichols of C Battery; and Tate Baldwin of Service Battery.
At the time of its redesignation, the 550th FA Bn's primary weapons were changed again, this time to the 155mm Howitzer M1. Another addition for the 550th FA Bn was the receipt of two liaison type airplanes. 2LT Flynn and 2LT Kosek were assigned to the 550th FA Bn as Liaison Pilots for the two planes. With the 550th FA Bn complete again at Camp Pickett, refresher training programs were started on 31 May 1944. These training programs were very similar to the training programs initiated when the Battalion had been reactivated three years earlier. The 550th FA Bn received a letter of appreciation from HQ Alaskan Department and it was read to the troops at a Battalion Formation on 20 June 1944. On 24 June 1944, LTC Gardner relinquished command of the 550th FA Bn to LTC Mollett. The ITP test was taken on 13 July 1944, with a march to a bivouac area within the limits of Camp Pickett, VA, covering a distance of 22 miles.

4.4.1 550th Field Artillery Battalion moves to Camp Butner, North Carolina in 1944
A PCS move from Camp Pickett to Camp Butner, NC, was made by the 550th FA Bn on 17 July 1944. The distance traveled was 106 miles on a particularly hot day. This move relieved the 550th FA Bn from assignment to XVIII Corps Artillery and assigned it to XXII Corps Artillery on 5 August 1944. LTC Mollett relinquished command of the 550th FA Bn on 10 August 1944, and LTC Dabney W. Townsend assumed command.

4.4.2 550th Field Artillery Battalion moves to Fort Benning, Georgia in 1944
On 30 August 1944, the 550th FA Bn left Camp Butner, NC by motor vehicles for a PCS move to Fort Benning, GA, arriving there on 2 September 1944. Following this move the 550th FA Bn was relieved of assignment to XXII Corps and assigned to the Replacement and School Command, as School Troops.

4.4.3 550th Field Artillery Battalion moves to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1944
On 13 December 1944, another PCS was made by the 550th FA Bn from Fort Benning, GA, to Fort Bragg, NC. Soon after arriving at Fort Bragg, a letter of appreciation was received from Headquarters, The Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA, dated 11 December 1944. On 18 December 1944, the 550th FA Bn was attached to the 209th Field Artillery Group, Fort Bragg, NC.

4.4.4 550th Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1945
The year 1945 opened with the 550th FA Bn busy preparing for Army Ground Forces (AGF) Tests, and on 2 January 1945, the Battalion left for the Yadkin area on the Fort Bragg range. It was here that the Battalion bivouacked for four days while undergoing AGF Tests which were completed successfully on 5 January 1945. The 550th FA Bn took another AGF Test and completed the test satisfactorily despite inclement weather conditions on 13 January 1945. The rest of the month was spent in preparing for a PCS overseas movement. The Personnel Strength of the 550th FA Bn at the time was as follows: 41 officers; 2 warrant officers; 547 enlisted men; net loss of 2 officers; and a net gain of 7 enlisted men.

4.4.5 550th Field Artillery Battalion deploys to France in 1945
On 6 February 1945, the Advance Party headed by MAJ Melvin Ager left Fort Bragg for departure overseas to France. Another advance party consisting of the billeting party left Ft. Bragg for Camp Kilmer, NJ, on 9 February 1945. At 1300 hrs on the 20 February 1945, the 550th FA Bn left Fort Bragg for Camp Kilmer, NJ, by rail. The 550th FA Bn arrived at Camp Kilmer at 1430 hrs on 21 February 1945, departed by rail again on 26 February 1945, and arrived at the New York Port of Embarkation three hours later. Here the personnel of the 550th FA Bn boarded the ship NY 484 Uruguay, and sailed on the morning of 27 February 1945, at 0800 hrs. Personnel Strength of the 550th FA Bn then was as follows: 20 officers; 2 warrant officers; 484 enlisted men; net loss of 12 officers and 63 enlisted men.

4.4.6 550th Field Artillery Battalion arrives in France in March 1945
At 1000 hrs on the morning of 11 March 1945, the 550th FA Bn arrived at Le Harve, France, and was rejoined by the Advance Party. The 550th FA Bn then departed for Camp Lucky Strike by motor vehicle convoy. The distance traveled was 42 miles. On 16 March 1945, the 550th FA Bn moved again, this time to Dieppe, France, a distance of 22 miles. A few days later the 550th FA Bn was notified that it was now a member of the 15th Army. Strength: 29 officers; 2 warrant officers; 484 enlisted men.

4.4.7 550th Field Artillery Battalion in France April 1945
On 1 April 1945, the 550th FA Bn was still located in Dieppe, France, in billets as follows: HHB was in a private residence on Boulevard de Liberation; the Firing Batteries were in battle damaged hotels along Boulevard Verdun, and Service Battery was in a school near the old prison. Activities were confined to completing staging to be able to perform primary duty as Field Artillery. On 12 April 1945, word was received that the 550th FA Bn should be prepared to furnish 4 POW Teams of one officer and thirty enlisted men each. Orders soon followed that some POW Teams would be leaving St. Vallery ex Croix in the early morning of 13 April 1945, and that the remainder of the POW Teams would be transported from Dieppe to St. Vallery in transportation furnished by higher headquarters.

4.4.8 550th Field Artillery Battalion in Germany April 1945
Then at 1600 hrs, warning orders were received that the 550th FA Bn would leave Dieppe, France, before 2400 hrs that day. An Advance Party consisting of five vehicles left Dieppe 2315 hrs on 12 April 1945, traveling via Amiens, Sedan, Luxembourg City, and Trier to Simmern, Germany. The Advance Party consisted of the Battalion Commander, the Bn S-3, the Battery Commanders and small quartering parties from each Battery. The main body of the 550th FA Bn, marching in three columns, left Dieppe, France, on schedule at 2345 hrs, 12 April 1945, traveling via Amiens, and Sedan, France through Luxembourg City, through Trier, Germany, and into Simmern, Germany, arriving at 1430 hrs on 14 April 1945. The distance traveled was 373 miles. The movement from Dieppe, France, to Simmern, Germany, had all of the aspects of a forced march and afforded an opportunity to observe the operation of the 550th FA Bn under such conditions. No bivouacs were permitted by the road clearance and no hot meals were intended en route. Overall the road march proved that the 550th FA Bn personnel were equal to any like emergencies that they were called upon to face.

Depletion of the 550th FA Bn by sending out 4 POW Teams was very evident in that no adequate relief could be provided for convoy drivers. In spite of this, morale overall was very orderly and drivers throughout did an excellent job. Shortages of manpower also prevented adequate route marking, but thorough briefing of drivers paid dividends. Individual drivers of vehicles which had dropped out for repairs had little difficulty in rejoining their columns at the halts. The only accident of the march involved the idler of an M-5 high speed tractor which was bent while rounding a curve on a cobblestone street. The tractor, sliding sideways, struck the curb. The chief maintenance problem involved on the march was "bogie wheel trouble.@ Bogie wheels on M-5 tractors burned out or wore out at a rapid rate. A check of the columns at Simmern showed M-5 six tractors missing. Three tractors were recovered using various field expedients and driving very slowly. The remainders were repaired on the road by the Bn Motor Maintenance Section. One tractor was left at St. Quentin, France, and a replacement was obtained from Depot-654 at Hofstad, Belgium, and driven to Simmern.

Upon arrival at Simmern the 550th FA Bn was attached to the 54th AAA Brigade of the XXIII Corps and advised that it would act as Security Troops for an area along the Rhine River. The primary mission of the 550th FA Bn was to impress the local populace with the presence of American troops and doing general police and security work. The area was completely occupied on 19 April 1945, and operations which had already begun from a bivouac at Simmern were conducted from the billets. Original operational boundaries corresponded to old tactical boundaries, but this proved impractical since duties necessitated close cooperation with the Military Government Officers (MGOs). The MGOs were responsible for areas called "Kreises" (based on old political divisions) whereas tactical boundaries had been drawn up without regard to political boundaries.

A shift to boundaries corresponding to political boundaries was completed on 25 April 1945, at 1700 hrs by all units with the exception of C Battery. B Battery operated exclusively in St. Goar Kries until the arrival of the 539th FA Bn. On 29 April 1945, C Battery opened its Command Post (CP) at Bad Kreuznach, Germany. B Battery had been given responsibility for C Battery's area prior to the arrival of C Battery. On 28 April 1945, the 550th FA Bn was attached to the 111th AAA Group under the 54th AAA Brigade. Chain of Command at the end of month became the 111th AAA Group, 54th AAA Brigade, XXIII Corps, 15th US Army, 12th Army Group, ETOUSA. On 28 April 1945, the 10th Belgian Fusilier Bn was attached to the 550th FA Bn. The mission of the Belgian troops was to guard the 6-inch gasoline pipeline extending through two Landkreises. Additionally, the 10th Fusiliers were responsible for guarding certain key points on the main rail line from Saarbrucken to Mainz where this rail line passed through their area. The 3rd Company, 10th Belgian Fusilier Bn was put on this job. On 30 April 1945, approximately 150 reinforcements augmented the 10th Belgian Fusilier Bn. The 10th Belgian Fusilier Bn (attached) was given the responsibility for the military government policing of Kreises Kreuznach and Birkenfeld, 52 miles of pipeline, 15 miles of railroad, and guarding five bridges on highways in the area.

4.4.9 550th Field Artillery Battalion in Germany May 1945
May 1945 opened with the 550th FA Bn doing its usual organizational duties within the area given it. Considerable trouble developed with Displaced Persons (DPs) molesting the German residents in outlying areas away from the regular posts or routes of the US Army Military Police guards. The molested Germans reported the incidents and they were given Special Guards for a few days until the scare wore off. Considerable time was spent in investigating reports from higher headquarters on German ammunition dumps, arms dumps, food dumps, supply dumps, unregistered graves and taking the necessary action on the findings. The one and only death in the 550th FA Bn, occurred on 8 May 1945, when CPL Edward Wardynski was seriously injured by the explosion of a fragmentary hand grenade and died a few hours later. Ironically, his death occurred on the very day the war against the Nazis officially ended.

The 550th FA Bn was reorganized on 15 May 1945, under a new TO & E. No personnel changes resulted since the 550th FA Bn was already over strength in NCOs. No major changes in material resulted, and only minor changes in material were made as adequate supplies were available. C Battery moved from Bad Kreuznach to Baumholder, Germany, on 17 May 1945, before taking over the Displaced Persons Camp placed there. On 25 May 1945, Service Battery departed from Kirn, Germany, and moved to St. Wendel, Germany. The next day the rest of the 550th FA Bn moved to St. Wendel, and was completely relieved of its mission of Military Government Police and came directly under the XXIII Corps Hqs for training.

4.4.10 550th Field Artillery Battalion in Germany June 1945
June 1945 opened with the 550th FA Bn being attached to the 209th FA Group and continued an active training schedule until 9 June 1945. Service Battery left St. Wendel on 11 June 1945, and moved to Neuerburg, Germany. The rest of the Batteries followed on 12 June 1945. A Battery took up a new permanent station at Mettendorf, Germany; B Battery at Daleiden, Germany; and C Battery at Steinbruck, Germany. In this area the 550th FA Bn took up duties as Frontier Security Guards. They organized mobile patrols for the area and they maintained Stationary Frontier Posts on roads at the borders between Germany and Luxembourg, and Germany and Belgium. The month ended with the net loss of 50 enlisted men and no change in officer personnel. Strength: 29 officers; 2 warrant officers; 609 enlisted men.

4.4.11 550th Field Artillery Battalion in Germany July 1945
On 1 July 1945, the 550th FA Bn was relieved from attachment to the 54th AAA Brigade and the 111th AAA Group and attached to the XXIII Corps Artillery, at APO 103. All units of the 550th FA Bn departed from their locations on 3 July 1945, and moved by motor convoy to Bitburg, Germany. All Batteries were there by 1000 hrs. It was the first time the 550th FA Bn had been together as a unit in several months. On 8 July 1945, the 550th FA Bn again moved, this time from Bitburg, Germany, to Camp Miami, Mially Sub area. At this location most of the TO&E equipment was turned in. The next ten days were spent in preparing for movement back to the States.

4.4.12 550th Field Artillery Battalion departs Germany in July 1945
The 21st of July 1945, found the 550th FA Bn again loading up on trains (3rd class coach) at Mially, France. This time the destination was Camp Phillip Morris, a distance of 175 miles. The itinerary passed the 550th FA Bn through the following towns: Harfleur, Chalone, Chaulnes, Amiens and Serquoux. After spending two weeks in Camp Phillip Morris, they moved the 550th FA Bn to Le Harve, France, on 28 July 1945, and boarded the troop ship "Santa Paula.@ The ship pulled out at 1200 hrs and then docked again at Cherbourg at 1700 hrs to pick up more troops. At 1200 hrs on 29 July 1945, the Santa Paula again hoisted the anchor and the trip for the United States was finally underway. The rest of the month was spent aboard ship en route to the USA. Net loss was 125 enlisted men and the strength was 29 officers, 2 warrant officers; 484 enlisted men. August 1945 found the 550th FA Bn on the high seas on the ship the Santa Paula.

4.4.13 550th Field Artillery Battalion arrives in the US in August 1945
The trip was very gentle and ended uneventfully with the arrival at New York Harbor in a rain storm on 6 August 1945. An hour after docking, the troops of the 550th FA Bn were on a train en route to Camp Kilmer, NJ, and arrived there at 1930 hours. Two days later, 8 August 1945, all of the troops of the 550th FA Bn departed for recuperation leaves and furloughs of 30 days duration.

4.4.14 550th Field Artillery Battalion moves to Camp Swift, Texas August 1945
While most of the men were on 30-day, Temporary Duty (TDY) for rest and recuperation, a skeleton staff moved the 550th FA Bn to Camp Swift, Texas. Upon reaching this new permanent station the 550th FA Bn was relieved from attachment to PCS Camp Kilmer, NJ, and assigned to the 4th Army and attached to 5th Hq and Hq Special Troops, Camp Swift, Texas. No changes in strength: 29 officers; 2 warrant officers; 484 enlisted men. On the 6 September 1945, a number of the officers and enlisted men returned from their recuperation leaves and furloughs to the 550th FA Bn's new permanent station, Camp Swift, Texas. By 20 September 1945, the larger portion of the men had returned. However, part of the enlisted men had been discharged at the Reception Centers at the end of their furloughs. They held others at their respective centers to be discharged in the future. The end of September 1945, found the 550th FA Bn carrying out the Redeployment Training Schedule with a net strength of 29 officers; 1 warrant officer; 453 enlisted men and a net loss of 1 officer; 1 warrant officer and 31 enlisted men.

The month of October 1945, was spent by preparing some of the enlisted men and officers for out processing at the Separation Center at Camp Swift. The rest of the troops underwent a training schedule preparing them for civilian life as it was believed that most of them would be discharged in the near future. With the end of the war with Japan coming so suddenly, redeployment was no longer in the plans for the 550th FA Bn. The strength for October 1945, was 14 officers; 0 warrant officers; 324 enlisted men and net losses being 14 officers; 1 warrant officer and 129 enlisted men. No change was made initially in the actions of the 550th FA Bn. The rate of separation of its troops increased and the training decreased due to shortage of personnel. One of those separated during this period was the Battalion Commander, LTC Townsend, who had been in command of the 550th FA Bn since 8 August 1944. He was followed in command by the Battalion XO, MAJ Edwin O. Carlson, on 31 October 1945.

The strength at the end of the month had dropped to 12 officers; 0 warrant officers; 155 enlisted men, and net losses were 2 officers and 169 enlisted men. Due to the decrease in the number of personnel, C Battery was depleted of its officers and enlisted men and placed on an inactive status as of 15 November 1945. More men and officers were separated during the month of December 1945. Starting about the middle of the month, part of the men left for Christmas furloughs and leaves. Starting on the 24th of December 1945, only necessary duties were performed during the Christmas holiday schedule through the 3rd of January 1946. In January 1946, the 550th FA Bn again changed its training program. This time the object was to train men to become members of a cadre. This program was initiated on 7 January 1946, and was augmented by the addition of several new officers who reported from Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. It was hoped that the fillers would reach here in early March 1946.

4.4.15 550th Field Artillery Battalion is Inactivated in February 1946
On the 4 February 1946 inactivation orders were received and the 550th FA Bn was inactivated effective 8 February 1946. The strength at this time was 82 enlisted men, 2 warrant officers and 19 officers. The enlisted men were transferred to the 717th Tank Battalion and the officers to the 5th Hqs & Hqs Detachment. Both of these units were at Camp Swift, Texas. This closed an important chapter in the history of the 550th FA Bn and the 2nd Bn, 30th FA that extended back to its reactivation on 4 June 1941, and serves to document its WW II history.

4.5 550th Field Artillery Battery is Activated in August 1946
Effective on 1 August 1946, HHB, 550th Field Artillery Battalion was redesignated as the 550th Field Artillery (FA) Battery (Battery), and was assigned to the Replacement and School Command, Fort Benning, Georgia. Also effective 1 August 1946, A, B, C, and SVC Batteries, along with the Medical Detachment of the 550th FA Bn were disbanded. Then on 1 November 1946, the 550th FA Battery was relieved from assignment to the Replacement and School Command, and was reassigned to the Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA. On 5 June 1948, the 550th FA Battery was relieved from assignment to the Army Field Forces and was reassigned to the Third Army. No other documents have been found that describe the activities of the 550th FA Battery for this time period.

4.5.1 550th Field Artillery Battery is Inactivated in November 1948
The 550th FA Battery was inactivated effective on 23 November 1948. No Unit Histories, lists of commanders, or other documents have been found that describe the activities of the 550th FA Battery for the period 1 August 1946 to 23 November 1948.

4.5.2 550th Field Artillery Battery is Reactivated in February 1952
On 1 February 1952, the 550th FA Battery was reactivated at Fort Bragg, NC, and attached to a 280mm FA Battalion as a 4th Battery. CPT Wesley Barton was recorded as the Battery Commander at the time the unit was reactivated. On 25 October 1952, the 550th FA Battery was redesignated as the 550th FA Rocket (Rkt) Battery (Battery) and was armed with the 762mm Honest John Rocket.

4.5.3 550th Field Artillery Rocket Battery moves to Fort Bliss, Texas in 1953
The 550th FA Rkt Battery was transferred to Fort Bliss, TX, on 1 February 1953, for 20 weeks of intensive training before returning to Fort Bragg, NC. On 22 October 1953, the 550th FA Rkt Battery completed a PCS move to Fort Bliss, Texas, and was assigned to 2nd Group to support Board No. 1. Effective 1 December 1953, it was redesignated once again as the 550th FA Battery. In February 1954, CPT Wesley Barton was discharged from the service and was replaced by CPT Claude H. Rawlins. In April 1954, the 550th FA Battery trained Honest John cadre of other Honest John units. Several rounds were fired throughout the remainder of 1954, including firing for the Chief of Staff of the Canadian Army and the Secretary of the US Army, Robert T. Stevens. On 14 March 1955, 1LT Frank H. Halley replaced CPT Rawlins as the Battery Commander. In April 1955, the 550th FA Battery sent a well-trained Launcher Section to Fort Benning, Georgia, to fire in a demonstration.

After successfully participating in support of this demonstration, the 550th FA Battery received many favorable commendations. Effective 1 July 1955, the designation was changed once again to the 550th FA Rkt Battery. In September 1955, the 550th FA Rkt Battery sent approximately 50 enlisted men to Fort Greeley, Alaska, for Arctic Testing which included the firing of 23 Rockets. Also in September 1955, the 550th FA Rkt Battery sent approximately 22 enlisted men to Stallion Site Camp, NM, for testing warheads. A Support Detachment of the 550th FA Rkt Battery was located at White Sands Proving Grounds, NM, for the purpose of supporting the 550th FA Rkt Battery Launcher Detachment at Stallion Site Camp, NM. In April 1956, all the Sections and Detachments of the 550th FA Rkt Battery joined for the first time in years at Fort Bliss, Texas. 1LT Paul A. Coughlin assumed command of the Battery in June 1956. In September 1956, the 550th Rkt Battery went to Fort Campbell, KY, for the reorganization of the 101st Airborne Division. There the 550th FA Rkt Battery shot a live fire demonstration and received many favorable comments on it. In October 1956, the 550th FA Rkt Battery went to Fort Stewart, GA, for the purpose of firing rockets under climatic and terrain conditions. Then in November 1956, the unit went to Fort Benning, GA, and gave a demonstration for the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference there. In January 1957, the 550th FA Rkt Battery sent a detachment of men to Fort Carson, CO, to fire Honest John rockets under the cold prevalent conditions there. In May 1957, a detachment was sent to Fort Sherman, Panama Canal Zone, to fire under hot weather conditions and jungle terrain.

4.5.4 550th Field Artillery Rocket Battalion is Reactivated in 1957
To set the Historical Records straight, Department of the Army AGAO-O (M) 322 (12 Feb 57) DCSPER, dated 5 March 1957, reconstituted and redesignated the 550th FA Rkt Battery as the 521st Field Artillery (FA) Rocket (Rkt) Battalion (Bn). It took the US Army about two weeks to realize that this was not the correct unit lineage to follow, but not before all the unit signs and bumper markings on the Bn's vehicles were changed over to read 521st FA Rkt Bn. They appropriately amended the orders to reflect the correct redesignation as the 550th Field Artillery (FA) Rocket (Rkt) Battalion (Bn), and all the signs and bumper markings had to be changed to the 550th FA Rkt Bn. At the time the orders reorganizing the 550th FA Rkt Battery were received, a joint inventory was being conducted between 1LT Marcel Soucy who was assuming command of the 550th FA Rkt Battery and CPT Charles K. Shubel. CPT Shubel was acting as the disinterested officer from the 46th FA Group, and was acting in place of CPT Paul Coughlin, the Battery Commander who was on extended TDY.

MAJ (later COL) Ray H. Smith, S-3 of the 46th FA Group, was designated to assume command of the 550th FA Rkt Bn. However, he was on extended TDY in Europe, and not scheduled to return until sometime in April 1957. Consequently, 1LT Marcel Soucy assumed command of the 550th FA Rkt Bn in his absence. {Note: MAJ Smith had served in the 30th FA Bn at Fort Bragg, NC, in 1945-46 as a First Lieutenant.} During the period the 550th FA Rkt Battery was active from 1952-1957, it had successfully fired a total of 109 Honest John Rockets at the time of the reorganization. Finally, the 550th FA Rkt Bn was organized on 15 March 1957, pursuant to G.O. # 35, the USAAA & GMC, Fort Bliss, Texas. They initially formed the 550th FA Rkt Bn from the members of the former 550th FA RKT Battery until filler personnel arrived. 1LT Thomas D. Hoffstatter returned from Camp Carson, CO, on 26 March 1957, with his Honest John Rocket Detachment. The detachment had fired a rocket in the snow and received publicity all over Colorado as the "First in Colorado.@ Operation of the 550th FA Rkt Bn continued until 11 April 1957, when MAJ Ray H. Smith returned from Europe and assumed command. The officers transferred from the 550th FA Rkt Battery to become original members of the 550th FA Rkt Bn were assigned as follows: 1LT Marcel L. Soucy (Adjutant); 1LT Archie D. Parker, Jr. (S-4); 1LT Richard M. Holl (Firing Battery CO); 1LT John A. Cheney (WSPG-Det. CO); 1LT Thomas D. Hoffstatter (Ft. Carson Project CO); 2LT Andrew R. Uivary (Ft. Carson Project); 2LT Thomas C. Johnson (S-2); 2LT Charles W. Solley (H&S, Chopper John Project); 2LT Arthur B. Wills (WSPG); 2LT William F. Grubbs, III (WSPG); CWO Howard C. Grapes (Survey Officer); CPT Charles K Shubel (Bn XO and S-3). The White Sands Proving Ground (WSPG) Detachment composed of approximately 30 men continued to support the Artillery Board in test projects. 1LT John A. Cheney took a Detachment of 10 men to Fort Benning, GA, in March 1957 and returned in April 1957.

This Detachment provided assistance in firing both Honest John and Little John Rockets. They released 1LT Thomas D. Hoffstatter from active duty on 25 April 1957. On 26 April the 550th FA Rkt Bn supported a static display for the Association of the U.S. Army Symposium. 2LT Daniel S. Michola returned from Korea, reported for duty on 27 April 1957, and was assigned as H&S Battery Commander. He was a veteran solder, and was promoted to First Lieutenant on 10 May 1957. Support of the White Sands Proving Grounds continued as the 550th FA Rkt Bn Detachment fired 12 rockets from a new type launcher. Also, a detachment of 31 men under command of 2LT Andrew Uivary was sent to Panama on 23 May 1957, to perform tests at Camp Sherman, Canal Zone. Personnel turmoil continued as 1LT John A. Cheney was discharged on 27 May 1957. 2LT Billy A. Beck, newly commissioned as a 2LT from the grade of Master Sergeant, reported to the 550th FA Rkt Bn on 28 May 1957, and was assigned to H&S Battery. 1LT Grayden Ballard reported on 29 May 1957, but was reassigned two days later to Headquarters 46th FA Group. During the week of 13-18 May 1957, the 550th FA Rkt Bn went through a Fourth US Army Training and Chemical Inspection. Again personnel turmoil was experienced by the 550th FA Rkt Bn during June 1957, when the following officers were assigned as follows: CPT Elmer C.J. Christiansen (S-3); 1LT Dale T. Davis (H&S, CO); 1LT William D. Fairchild (Bn Commo); 1LT Raymond K. Casteel (H&S); 2LT Edgar W. Brookhart (Bn Survey). The 550th FA Rkt Bn participated in the Center Organization Day Celebration on 6 July 1957, at McGregor Range Camp, NM, with 2LT Beck in charge of the Bn's Exhibition.

CPT Paul A. Coughlin, who had been the old Commander of the 550th FA Rkt Battery, was on extended TDY to attend the Redstone Missile School at the time of the changeover to the 550th FA Rkt Bn. He returned from 6 July 1957 to 17 July 1957, and then returned to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, for further assignment to a Redstone Missile Battalion. CW2 Louis C. Welms reported in on 20 July 1957, and was assigned as Supply Officer. During the later part of July and all of August 1957, the White Sands Proving Ground Detachment supported the Artillery Board in Little John Rocket Tests. 32 Little Johns were fired at Hucco, Donna Anna, and White Sands Ranges. 2LT Daniel Michola was in charge of the project. The tests included an emplacement by Helicopter Airlift. During the third quarter of 1957, the 550th FA Rkt Bn was occupied with preparation for supporting an elaborate set of test firings for the Test Board scheduled for October 1957. Also during this time period the 550th FA Rkt Bn began receiving new vehicles and equipment to fill the new TO&E allocations. On 1 August 1957, MAJ (later LTC) Bernard J. Kulhanek was assigned as the Bn Commander to replace MAJ Ray Smith who was leaving to attend the Command and General Staff School.

Additionally, CWO John E. Slater reported for duty as Bn Motor Maintenance Officer on 23 August 1957. Also, from 7 August to 7 September 1957, 2LT Charles Solly and 2LT William Grubbs went to Fort Bragg, NC, with a small detachment to test the Chopper John System, which consisted of actual Helicopter lift tests. On 11 September 1957, CPT Elmer C.J. Christiansen was transferred to Headquarters of the 1st Guided Missile Brigade where he was assigned as the Commander of HHB. CPT Raymond C. Hutson was transferred from the 46th FA Group to fill his vacancy as S-3. On 12 September 1957, CPT Robert J. Lynch reported for duty and replaced CPT Charles K. Shubel as Bn XO. CPT Shubel transferred to the 90th AAA Gun Bn. 1LT Marcel L. Soucy departed for Europe on a PCS move on 30 September 1957. Between 5 and 10 October 1957, the 550th FA Rkt Bn fired 20 Honest John Rockets at Donna Anna Range as part of a test exercise. Most of the 550th FA Rkt Bn was in the field for the entire week to support this operation, and on one of those days, the Bn fired 10 Rockets. Additionally, the tests also included a four round shoot at night.

The 550th FA Rkt Bn then proceeded to receive an excellent rating in the 1st Guided Missile Brigade Command Inspection later in October 1957. Again personnel turmoil hit the 550th FA Rkt Bn when CW2 Louis C. Welms was separated from the service on 24 October 1957, and CWO Howard E. Grapes was separated on 1 November 1957. Also, during the first week of November 1957, they hit the 550th FA Rkt Bn with a Technical Proficiency Inspection (TPI) and an IG inspection. On 14 November 1957, CPT Charles Martin and CWO Charles Kodis reported for duty. CPT Martin was assigned as the Firing Battery Commander and CWO Kodis as the Supply Officer. CWO Joe Garza then reported for duty and was assigned as Personnel Officer. The White Sands Proving Ground Detachment returned to Fort Bliss on 27 November 1957.

Although the 550th FA Rkt Bn continued to support the Artillery Board at White Sands, the troops were no longer billeted there. On 19 November 1957 and 3 December 1957, a detachment from the 550th FA Rkt Bn fired Honest John rockets at White Sands Range as part of Warhead Testing. During early December 1957, the 550th FA Rkt Bn fired small arms for qualification and record. On 16 December, 1LT William D. Fairchild transferred to the 259th Missile Bn and became the assistant S-3. The 550th FA Rkt Bn performed required maintenance during the Christmas Holidays, but large portions of the men were on leave. LTC Kulhanek acted as Santa Claus at a celebration in the Bn's Mess Hall on Christmas Day. Practically all of the men and their families ate Christmas and New Years Dinner in the Bn's Mess Hall.

4.5.5 550th Field Artillery Rocket Battalion at Fort Bliss, Texas in 1958
During January 1958, the 550th FA Rkt Bn concentrated on getting its equipment in shape for an U.S.Army Air Defense Center Command Maintenance Inspection scheduled for 28 February 1958. 1LT Randall Cox reported for duty on 4 January 1958, following a tour in Korea. CPT Donald F. Meinzen reported for duty on 21 February 1958, and was assigned as the S-4. On 26 February 1958, CWO Joe Garza departed to attend the Nike Missile School. On 31 March 1958, the entire 550th FA Rkt Bn, except a small detachment at Fort Bliss under the command of 1LT Brookhart, moved into the field at Hucco Range, NM. During April 1958, the 550th FA Rkt Bn tested the lightweight air transportable Chopper John System. H-37 Helicopters were used in actual air transportability tests. 21 Honest John Rockets were fired from the Chopper John Launcher. Consequently, the Firing Section commanded by 1LT Uivary and 1LT Grubbs became increasingly proficient during the month.

On 17 April 1958, the 550th FA Rkt Bn fired a Four Round Simultaneous Shoot believed to be the first four round Honest John launching recorded for the US Army Field Artillery. During the Hucco Tests, an H-37 Helicopter accidentally dropped a Chopper John Launcher from an altitude of 90 feet. They damaged the Chopper John Launcher beyond further use. The pilot of the helicopter was compelled to drop the launcher to prevent the crash of the helicopter. The warhead was damaged during the test and had to be exploded on the ground. The rest of the month of April 1958, continued to be busy for the 550th FA Rkt Bn as they participated in several warhead tests, Chopper John Launcher and air transportability tests, and air drop tests being conducted simultaneously. High winds and blowing sand harassed operations and increased vehicular and maintenance problems. In spite of these conditions, the tests were completed successfully, and the 550th FA Rkt Bn returned to Fort Bliss on 25 April 1958.

CPT Camellus W. Buck reported for duty on 7 April 1958, and was assigned as Bn XO. CPT Lonnie L. Moseley reported on 8 April 1958, and was assigned as the H&S Battery Commander, and CPT Robert J. Lynch transferred to Hqs 3rd Guided Missile Group as the S-4. During May 1958, the 550th FA Rkt Bn prepared for a Command Inspection to be held in June 1958. Two Firing Sections of the Firing Battery were detailed to White Sands Proving Ground, NM, for Artillery Board Tests. The two Firing Sections worked at Fort Bliss with the Artillery Board to make films on the Chopper John. On 9 May 1958, 2LT (later LTC) Richard Holl departed for San Marcus, Texas, for Flight School. The 550th FA Rkt Bn successfully completed a Command Inspection by the 3rd Guided Missile Group on 13 June 1958, and by the 1st Guided Missile Brigade on 21 June 1958.

Also, during the later part of May and all of June 1958, a Firing Section commanded by 1LT Dale T. Davis rehearsed for Project Ammo. This project was a demonstration of all rockets and missiles available at Fort Bliss and White Sands. The demonstration was prepared for some 400 dignitaries including the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, and high civilian officials from many government and major industries.

4.5.6 550th Field Artillery Rocket Battalion is Inactivated in 1958
Preparations for the combined firing demonstration and the Chopper John Launcher demonstration was practically complete when the 550th FA Rkt Bn was inactivated. Inactivation of the 550th FA Rkt Bn (762mm) (Self Propelled) in pursuance to G.O. # 63 the US Army Air Defense Center took place on 25 June 1958. At the time of its deactivation, the 550th FA Rkt Bn had fired 203 Honest John and Little John Rockets and had assisted in the firing of many more. The total of rockets fired include those fired by the 550th FA Rkt Battery. At the time of deactivation there were four officers remaining who where original members of the 550th FA Rkt Bn: 1LT (later LTC) Archie D. Parker, Jr.; 1LT Andrew R. Uivary; 1LT Arthur B. Wills; and 1LT (later LTC) William F. Grubbs.

4.6 2nd Missile Battalion, 30th Artillery is Reactivated in 1958
Effective 25 June 1958, the 2nd Missile (Msl) Battalion (Bn), 30th Artillery was activated. All the officers and men of the 550th FA Rkt Bn were transferred to the 2nd Msl Bn, 30th Artillery along with all equipment. No other documents detailing the activities of the 2nd Msl Bn, 30th Artillery were found for the time period July to December 1958.

4.6.1 2nd Missile Battalion, 30th Artillery in 1959
Command of the 2nd Msl Bn, 30th Artillery was passed from LTC Bernard J. Kulhanek to LTC (later COL) Paul B. McCain in August 1959. LTC McCain's nephew, John McCain, was a Naval Aviator who was shot down while flying a combat mission over North Vietnam. John McCain spent more than six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. John McCain currently serves as a United States Senator. No other documents detailing the activities of the 2nd Msl Bn, 30th Artillery were found for the year 1959.

4.6.2 2nd Missile Battalion, 30th Artillery in 1960
The mission of the 2nd Msl Bn in 1960 was twofold. The 2nd Msl Bn was a STRAC Unit, a rare mission for a member of the 1st Guided Missile Brigade, and one of the few STRAC Units at Fort Bliss. The primary mission however, was to provide support for the Artillery Board of the Continental Army Command. Being a unit with two missions not only made the 2nd Msl Bn unique within the Brigade, but it was the only unit to provide support for the Continental Army Command and still maintain STRAC readiness. The 2nd Msl Bn was the first US Army unit to be designated as a Rocket Battalion. It was also the first "All Army" Team to fire the Honest John Rocket. Additionally, it was the only unit to execute "Air Mobile Rocket Artillery" operations with "Live" rounds that culminated in live-fire exercises. It was also the first unit to fire Honest John Rockets in Alaska; the Panama Canal Zone; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Chaffed, AR; Fort Benning, GA, and White Sands, NM. And finally, it was the first unit to fire 4 Honest John Rockets simultaneously.

Under the command of LTC McCain, the 2nd Msl Bn, 30th Artillery was one of only two FA Bns assigned to a Brigade consisting mostly of Air Defense Missile units. Because the 2nd Msl Bn was a fully equipped, combat-ready unit, it was able to assist many of the NIKE Missile Units and other surface-to-air missile units in work in which they were thoroughly experienced and trained. No other documents detailing the activities of the 2nd Msl Bn, 30th Artillery were found for the year 1960.

4.6.3 2nd Missile Battalion, 30th Artillery in 1961
LTC Paul B. McCain turned command of the 2nd Msl Bn over to MAJ George F. Ammon on 7 February 1961. During April 1961, a Firing Detachment was sent to Fort Bragg, NC, for a Little John Rocket Firing Demonstration. This was followed by another Honest John Rocket Firing Demonstration conducted at Fort Bliss for the National Security Industrial Association in April 1961. Then on 17 May 1961, the 2nd Msl Bn held a Little John Rocket demonstration for the United States Army Nuclear Weapons Safety Committee. During September, October, and November 1961, tests of the Honest John and Little John Rockets were conducted in Yuma, AZ, at Dugaway Proving Grounds, UT, and Natick, MA. No other documents have been found that describe the activities of this unit for this time period.

4.6.4 2nd Missile Battalion, 30th Artillery in 1962
MAJ Wesley M. Strand assumed command of the 2nd Msl Bn on 7 February 1962, Routine training and support to the Artillery Board continued through July 1962. On 27 July 1962, a message was received alerting the unit for PCS movement to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

4.6.5 2nd Missile Battalion, 30th Artillery moves to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas in 1962
On 20 August 1962, the 2nd Msl Bn closed into Fort Chaffee, AR. MAJ Edward D. Larsen assumed command of the 2nd Msl Bn on 24 August 1962. At Fort Chaffee, AR, the 2nd Msl Bn came under command of the 52nd FA Group and III Corps Artillery. On 15 December 1962, the 2nd Msl Bn fired an Honest John Rocket in conjunction with an artillery fire power demonstration, thus becoming the first unit to fire an Honest John rocket in Arkansas. No other documents have been found that describe the activities of the 2nd Msl Bn for this time period.

4.6.6 2nd Missile Battalion, 30th Artillery at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas in 1963
The year 1963 was very active as the 2nd Msl Bn held a Battalion FTX and fired another rocket. Additionally, they conducted Special Weapons training in preparation for a Fourth Army Technical Proficiency Inspection (TPI). During February 1963, TPI training continued until the Fourth Army TPI was conducted on 13-14 February 1963. A satisfactory rating was received. The 2nd Msl Bn first familiarized then fired for record with their newly issued M-60 Machine-guns. SP5 James E. Young was selected as the Battalion Soldier of the Quarter. March 1963 began with a Pre-AGI-CMRI inspection by III Corps Artillery followed by an FTX. On 21-22 March 1963, the 2nd Msl Bn underwent an AGI Inspection given by III Corps Artillery. On 17-19 April 1963, the 2nd Msl Bn began practicing for the Army Training Test (ATT) by firing one round during an FTX. May 1963 was filled with crew-served weapons training, CMRI inspections, and a Fourth Army ATT.

The 2nd Msl Bn successfully fired more Honest John Rockets during their ATT on 14-16 May 1963, and received a Superior Rating and a numerical score of 97.5. To celebrate Armed Forces Day on 18 May 1963, the 2nd Msl Bn fired a round during a Fire Power Demonstration. On 7 June 1963, the 2nd Msl Bn was presented with the STRAC Superior Award. LTC Herbert D. Jones assumed command of the 2nd Msl Bn on 7 September 1963. During 3-4 October 1963, the 2nd Msl Bn held qualification training with the new M-14 rifles that they had received. TPI training continued and a Field Artillery Missile Systems Evaluation Group (FAMSEG) TPI was conducted on 21-23 October 1963. This was followed by a US Continental Army Command (USCONARC) TPI on 31 October to 1 November 1963, which resulted in a Satisfactory Rating. An FTX was held on 20-22 November 1963, and another was held on 13 December, culminating in a live fire shoot. On 21 December 1963, BG Melville B. Coburn presented the Fourth Army Maintenance Award to CPT John W. Carson of A Battery and SSG David Q. Strange was chosen as the Fort Chaffee Soldier of the Quarter. Through the end of 1963, the 2nd Msl Bn, 30th Artillery had fired 254 Honest John Rockets and 61 Little John Rockets.

4.6.7 2nd Missile Bn, 30th Artillery at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas in 1964
1964 opened with a Material Readiness Inspection on 20-24 January 1964. The 2nd Msl Bn also started an Advance Individual Training (AIT) Program with 40 new trainees. February 1964 was filled with special weapons training, a live fire shoot, and a Fourth Army Command Training Inspection. This was followed by an AGI for which the 2nd Msl Bn was awarded a Superior Rating. March was occupied with a series of FTXs, the semiannual PT Tests, live fire shoots, and a Fourth Army Training Test. Because of an injury suffered by LTC Jones, command of the 2nd Msl Bn was passed to MAJ Luis R. Rios-Matta on 31 March 1964. April 1964, was occupied with preparations for movement to the Mojave Desert to participate in a Joint Exercise Desert Strike. May of 1964 was used for the actual movement of the men and equipment to Danby, CA, and participation in the exercise. The 2nd Msl Bn returned in June 1964, and LTC Jones resumed command of the unit.

4.6.8 2nd Missile Battalion, 30th Artillery moves to Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1964
In July 1964, the 2nd Msl Bn was notified that it would exercise a PCS move to Fort Sill, OK, due to the pending closure of Fort Chaffee, AR. The 2nd Msl Bn completed the move to Fort Sill, OK, on 17 July 1964, with 9 officers and 170 enlisted men. Command of the 2nd Msl Bn was passed from LTC Jones to CPT Robert J. Engle. A Welcome Briefing was given to the officers and NCOs on 28 July 1964, by MG Harry Critz. On 10 August 1964, the 2nd Msl Bn celebrated Organization Day. Then on 11 August 1964, began its additional requirements of School Troop Support for the US Army Artillery and Missile School. A Change of Command Ceremony was conducted on 27 August 1964, when LTC B.J. McFarland took command of the 2nd Msl Bn from CPT Engle. The remainder of the year was occupied by Command and Training Inspections, Special Weapons training, FTXs, and live-fire shoots. At the close of 1964, the 2nd Msl Bn had fired a total of 265 Honest John Rockets and 61 Little John Rockets.

4.6.9 2nd Battalion (HJ), 30th Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1965
During the month of January 1965, the 2nd Bn was undergoing intensive School Troop Requirements (STRs). February 1965, saw the 2nd Bn participating in an FTX and a live fire shoot. At the end of February 1965, all Batteries successfully passed a CMMI inspection. The 2nd Bn was reorganized on 17 March 1965, and two additional Firing Batteries were added. On 30 March 1965, CPT Richard J. Engle, the former Battalion Commander and Bn XO retired at a retirement review at Lucas Field. April 1965, found the 2nd Bn preparing for an Operational Readiness Test (ORT) by way of an FTX. Two Rockets were fired on 10 April 1965, and night firings were conducted on 16 and 29 April 1965, to complete this training period. On 3 May 1965, an Assembly Test developed into the awaited ORT. Three of four Rockets were fired with the fourth rejected because of an ordnance failure. In June 1965, C Battery was declared active without personnel and equipment as the rest of the 2nd Bn organized under reduced strength.

Also during June 1965, A Battery was selected to make a Training Movie on the Honest John System. July and August were occupied with most the Bn=s personnel committed to support of Active Duty for Training of reserve units at Fort Sill and Fort Chaffee. On 10 August 1965, the 2nd Bn celebrated Organization Day at Rucker Park. Nuclear Weapons training and two technical assistance visits by FAMSEG provided training for an upcoming TPI. On 20-21 September 1965, the Defense Atomic Support Agency (DASA) administered a TPI. The 2nd Bn received the highest rating possible as Satisfactory. October 1965, was occupied with preparation for the Fourth Army Training Inspection. The first week of November 1965, was devoted to Air Movement training with two C-124s provided by the US Air Forces= 67th TAC MATS from Hunter Air Force Base, GA. By 20 November 1965, the 2nd Bn was supporting another live fire shoot from Moway House for an Artillery Fire Power Demonstration (AFPD). On 9 December 1965, the 2nd Bn exercised a reduced distance FTX as a demonstration for the Army Vice Chief of Staff, General Creighton W. Abrams. Through the end of December 1965, the 2nd Bn had successfully fired 277 Honest John Rockets and 61 Little John Rockets.

4.6.10 2nd Battalion (HJ), 30th Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1966
January 1966, was spent preparing for the AGI which was administered on 21 January 1966, with the 2nd Bn achieving a Satisfactory rating. At a Change of Command ceremony held on 24 February 1966, LTC B.J. McFarland relinquished command of the 2nd Bn to MAJ John C. Holler. March 1966, started with the 2nd Bn departing on an FTX which concluded on 4 March 1966, with the live firing of an Honest John Rocket. On 7 March 1966, while the 2nd Bn was still cleaning its equipment, an alert for its annual MTEX was received. The MTEX was successfully completed on 9 March 1966. On 22 April 1966, the 2nd Bn engaged in an FTX. The FTX was concluded on 23 April 1966 with the live firing on an Honest John Rocket. The month of April 1966, concluded with the live-firing of another Honest John Rocket in support of a USAAMS Artillery Firepower Demonstration. Besides the many STRs, the 2nd Bn supported during May 1966, a live firing exercise was conducted on 1 May 1966. The annual Gas Chamber exercise was conducted on 11 May 1966, and the semiannual PCPT was held on 17 May 1966. FTXs occupied most of the month of June 1966, in preparation for the annual ORT. An AFPD was supported on 14 May 1966, by the live firing of an Honest John Rocket. Two more rockets were fired on 18 June 1966, as the Batteries intensified their training. The PRT was held on 23-25 June 1966, and concluded with the live-firing of two more Honest John Rockets.

The 2nd Bn was given a Combat Ready Rating by higher headquarters. 10 August 1966, saw the 2nd Bn relaxing after a CMMI which was administered on 5 August 1966. The 2nd Bn was back to the field on 21-22 August 1966. The conclusion of this training was the firing of two more Honest John Rockets at the end of the FTX. LTC William S. Price assumed command of the 2nd Bn on 2 September 1966. MAJ John C. Holler moved to the 9th FA Msl Group as the S-3. On 17 September 1966, the 2nd Bn fired another rocket, this time in support of an AFPD. The 2nd Bn participated in another FTX on 13-14 October 1966, and concluded with the live firing of another Honest John Rocket. Still another FTX was conducted on 1-2 November 1966, and concluded with the live-firing of another Honest John Rocket. On 7-8 November 1966, the 2nd Bn underwent a DA TPI and achieved a Satisfactory rating. 3 December 1966, saw the 2nd Bn again supporting an AFPD with the firing of another rocket. This was followed by an FTX on 5-6 December 1966, and was the last live firing exercise of the year, a night shoot of one rocket. The 2nd Bn again changed hands as LTC William S. Price assumed command of the 7th Bn, 8th FA, while LTC Alfred J. Grigsby left the 7th Bn, 8th FA, and assumed command of the 2nd Bn. During the year 1966, the 2nd Bn conducted eight FTXs, took part in 4 AFPDs, and fired a total of 15 Honest John Rockets. Through the end of December 1966, the 2nd Bn had successfully fired 292 Honest John Rockets and 61 Little John Rockets.

4.6.11 2nd Battalion (HJ), 30th Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1967
January 1967 was spent preparing for the Annual General Inspection (AGI). The 2nd Bn achieved a rating of Excellent on the AGI. During February 1967, the 2nd Bn completed a TPE, Riot Control Operations, and a Gas Chamber exercise. This was followed on 7 March 1967, with another Gas Chamber exercise and a CBR Proficiency Test. A Battery conducted an FTX from 13 to 16 March 1967, followed by a Bn FTX on 23 March 1967. On 4 to 6 April 1967, A Battery conducted another FTX. B Battery conducted an FTX from 11 to 14 April 1967. On 18-19 and 26-27 April 1967, the 2nd Bn conducted FTXs. The 2nd Bn participated in another FTX on 1-3 May 1967 which was completed with the live firing of an Honest John Rocket. On 16 May 1967, the 2nd Bn conducted an ORT that ended with a Satisfactory rating. Two practice TPEs were conducted, one on 25 May 1967, and the other on 31 May to 2 June 1967. Then again on 5-6 June 1967, another TPE was conducted and was followed by yet another FTX on 9 June 1967.

The 2nd Bn then conducted another TPE on 14-16 June 1967. The last event of the month was an FTX on 19 June 1967. During the month of July 1967, the 2nd Bn conducted Riot Control Training and CBR Training, and finally, a ceremonial review was held on 28 July 1967. August 1967, was spent in Unit Training and supporting STRs. September 1967, saw the 2nd Bn conducting a TAV with A and B Batteries on 11-12 September. An FTX took place on 18-22 September 1967, and culminated in the live firing of another Honest John Rocket. In October 1967, the 2nd Bn participated in a CONARC TPI and received a Highly Satisfactory rating. In November 1967, the 2nd Bn conducted a three-day FTX that ended with the firing of two Honest John Rockets. And finally, a Pre-AGI was conducted on 28 November 1967. The month of December was spent preparing for the AGI which was held on 13-14 December 1967. The remainder of the month was spent in recovering from the AGI. Through the end of December 1967, the 2nd Bn had successfully fired 296 Honest John Rockets and 61 Little John Rockets.

4.6.12 2nd Battalion (HJ), 30th Artillery is Inactivated in 1968
The 2nd Battalion (HJ), 30th Artillery was inactivated on 25 October 1968. No other documents have been found that describe the activities of the 2nd Bn for this time period.

4.7 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery is Reactivated in Vicenza, Italy in 1972
In Italy on 18 September 1972, the 5th Battalion (Sergeant Missile), 30th Field Artillery was inactivated and the 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery was reactivated simultaneously. All personnel and equipment were transferred in place to the 2nd Bn. On 20 October 1972, LTC Ronald L. Little assumed command of the 2nd Bn. No other documents have been found that describe the activities of the 2nd Bn for this time period.
4.8 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery is Inactivated in Italy in 1975
The 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery was Inactivated in Vicenza, Italy, on 15 December 1975. No other documents have been found that describe the activities of the 2nd Bn for the time period 1973 to 1975.

4.9 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery is Reactivated at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1987
The 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery was Organized at Fort Sill, OK, and transferred to TRADOC with an authorized Strength of 12 Officers, 77 Enlisted Men, and 1 Civilian on 28 February 1987. The command of the 2nd Bn was assumed by LTC J. C. Miriam. The 2nd Bn was assigned to replace what had been the 7th Training Battalion of the Field Artillery Training Center for conducting both Basic and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) under the One Station Unit Training (OSUT) concept. No other documents have been found that describe the activities of the 2nd Bn for this time period.

4.9.1 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1988 to 1991
Command of the 2nd Bn was passed to LTC Alvin D. Cantrell in 1988. No other documents have been found that describe the activities of the 2nd Bn for the time period 1988 to 1991.

4.9.2 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery is Inactivated at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1992
Command of the 2nd Bn was passed to LTC John G. Boynton in 1990. {Note: LTC Boynton's uncle, LTC Marshall E. Boynton, had commanded the 5th Bn, 30th Field Artillery in Vicenza, Italy, in 1971-1972.} The 2nd Battalion, 30th Field Artillery was Inactivated on 2 January 1992. No other documents have been found that describe the activities of the 2nd Bn for the time period 1990 to 1992.