INTRO :

There are three levels of military units: Combat, Combat Service, and Combat Service Support. Combat is Armor, Infantry, Artillery, those whose job is to fight. Combat service is those who directly service combat units: Medical, Engineers, Military Police, ect. Combat service support are the logistics train that keeps the machine running. A survey after WWII showed it took 20 men to keep one combat soldier in operation. Engineer Bns in WWII were in classed in groups of Combat Engineers, Construction Engineers, Bridge Building Units, Heavy Construction, and Facilities Engineers. Combat Engineers served directly with Infantry & Armor Units as an integral part, generally one Battalion per Division. They put in and took out minefields, built and cleared obstacles, blew bridges, direct combat utilization. Construction Engineers built roads, housing, provide water, ect. Bridge units build Bailey Bridges (pre assembled parts), pontoon (floating) bridges, and timber trestle, all while under direct fire. Facilities Engineers basically rebuild town essential functions such as power, water, ect. The Engineers stopped the German advance by blowing essential bridges at the Battle of the Bulge, they kept the Bridge at Remagen up long enough for essential units to develop a bridgehead. If the infantry/armor units come to a place where they cannot proceed, they immediately call on the engineers.


 

103RD ENGINEER BATTALION :

MOTTO : « PARATUS »


HISTORY :

 

The 103rd Engineer Battalion, "The Dandy First", is the only Pennsylvania unit authorized to carry the lineage of a Continental Army unit. When Benjamin Franklin issued his appeal for citizens of Philadelphia to "associate" for the common defense in 1747, he looked to the skilled carpenters and craftsmen in the city’s booming shipyards who were familiar with naval guns to form a battery of artillery. The resulting units, the Artillery Companies of the Associated Regiment of Foot of Philadelphia, the progenitors of today’s 103rd Engineer Battalion, are among the oldest and most decorated military organizations in the Commonwealth. Armed with cannon, some purchased with the proceeds of a city-wide lottery and others "borrowed" from New York, the artillerists mounted the first major defenses of the Delaware River. The cannoneers saw their first combat action during the French and Indian War, when elements of the artillery were mustered into Crown service and dispatched to Pittsburgh and Erie. A generation later, at the onset of the American Revolution in 1776, the men were reorganized as the Philadelphia Artillery Battalion. One company, under the command of Capt. Thomas Proctor, was designated as the Pennsylvania Artillery Company and later expanded and placed in the Continental Army as Proctor’s 4th Continental Artillery. The unit participated in numerous Revolutionary battles, including Trenton, Princeton, Monmouth, Brandywine, Germantown and Yorktown. At the end of the Revolutionary War, the Proctor’s Artillery Battalion and the Philadelphia Artillery Battalions were consolidated to become the Regiment of Artillery. The unit was called up for service in the War of 1812, during which six companies saw service. In 1822, the unit was reorganized as the Artillery Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Pennsylvania Militia and later the 1st Artillery Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia. The unit, also known as the 1st Regiment Gray Reserves, was called into federal service for the Civil War in April 1861 and redesignated the 17th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. In 1862, the regiment was reorganized into two new regiments -- the 118th "Corn Exchange Regiment" and the 119th Gray Reserves -- both in the Army of the Potomac. The Philadelphians, now infantry rather than artillery, won fame and glory in such places as Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. By the time America went to war with Spain in 1898, the unit was called the 1st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and it served under that designation when it was sent to Texas to help chase Pancho Villa back into Mexico during the 1916 Mexican expedition.

 

WWI :

 

When the U.S. entered the Great War in Europe in 1917, the unit was drafted into federal service and consolidated with the 13th Infantry, Pennsylvania National Guard, to form the 109th Infantry, an element of the newly formed 28th Infantry Division. The Keystone soldiers fought the best -- and the worst -- Germany had to throw at them in such places as Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne and Lorraine. They endured horrific trench warfare, constant bombardment and the debilitating effects of mustard gas in bringing the Kaiser’s troops to heel. Shortly after World War I, the Philadelphians were redesignated as the 103rd Engineer Regiment. They used the vast resources of the city’s many universities to recruit engineers; their armory is now located in the midst of the academic communities of Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania.

 

WWII :

 

SEPTEMBER 1939 saw the 103rd Engineer Regiment, under Cal. Horace Inman, engaged in its efficient weekly armory drills, adding lustre to its proud record as a leading engineer regiment of the National Guard of the Nation. The Regiment was redesignated the 103rd Engineer Regiment (Combat) on May 15, 1940. President Roosevelt, on January 31, 1941, ordered the 28th Division into active military service and the l03rd Engineers became a part of the United States fighting forces on February 17, 1941. The Regiment was mobilized at the Armory, Broad and Callowhill streets, on February 17th, where the next few days were spent as intensive preparations for extended active duty were made. The days were devoted to recruiting, physical examinations, inspection and preparation of equipment.



Several key personnel of the Regiment were unable to accompany the unit into service as a result of the physical examinations given preparatory to taking the field. Colonel Inman, regimental commander, was one of the casualties of the tests. He had served with the Regiment for a number of years and had also seen active duty in World War I with the 109th Infantry. Colonel Inman was succeeded by Lt. Col. H. Wallis Anderson, who had only very recently joined the Regiment, having for some years served as G-l of the 28th Division. Colonel Anderson served with the 103d Engineers during its combat period in World War I, as a company and later as a battalion commander. He was advanced to colonel in May 1941.
After several days of preparation at the armory, the Regiment moved from home station in Philadelphia on February 25, 1941, to the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, where it joined the other organizations of the 28th Division. Camp construction at the Gap was not entirely completed prior to the Regiment’s arrival, and February-March weather in that area was not always favorable for field problems. However, these situations served to develop the organization’s initiative and ability to meet and overcome difficulties. The preparation of the Regiment for active duty followed the schedules prescribed by higher headquarters and began with basic training for the recently-joined personnel, with continuing emphasis on physical conditioning. Programs were developed for small units, larger units, specialist training, familiarity with equipmentall essential to the preparation of the Regiment for its function as an integral component of the division team.Considerable additional heavy equipment was received by the unit at Indiantown, including trucks, graders, tractors, pontoons, H-10 bridging and other special engineer items. Personnel were trained and qualified in their operation, maintenance, capabilities and limitations. As there was no suitable body of water at Indiantown, several tactical movements were made to Mt. Gretna to make use of that area’s water facilities for footbridge and floating equipment practice. As the result of personnel losses at the time of entering on active duty, the Regiment did not have its full quota of officers. Continued efforts were made to correct this deficiency and assignments to the unit of Capt. Elmer J. Haile, Jr., and Lts. J. H. Costinett, Harry Cameron, Wythe P. Brooks, William F. Thomas, C. D. Willetts and others were made. Several, such as Costinett and Cameron, had previously been with the Regiment for summer training and had been requested by name due to the very favorable impressions they made at that time. Training progressed from small unit activities to participation in divisional problems, both field and C. P. X., in which the Regiment fulfilled its role as a support unit of the Division. Additionally, key personnel attended the several special schools which were conducted by Division Headquarters.



Friendly competitions and rivalries during this period kept the spirit of the 28th Division at high level. One incident, indicative of this feeling, involved the 103d and the “Medics.” As part of their    familiarization training with the new equipment, platoons from several line companies of the l03rd constructed the H-10 bridges across the gulley east of headquarters “against time.” The band and medical detachment witnessed the exhibition and promptly assumed an “any body can do that” point of view. A “provisional platoon” volunteered to “beat the record.” The “musical medics” erected a bridge in creditable time and signaled its completion by marching across carrying a simulated casualty on a litter. The l03rd Engineers relived some history of its 1918 counterpart the 103rd Engineers and its lineal antecedent the 109th Infantry when the Battle of Grimpettes Woods was re-fought at Indiantown Gap. Reenacted by the 110th Infantry, the battle was authenticated in detail by General Martin who played a major part in the original fighting in France. The demonstration was put on so that the members of the Division could profit from the lessons which had cost the Keystone Division much blood during that struggle. The preliminary training and field exercises completed at Indiantown, the Regiment moved with the division on August 25th to the A. P. Hill Reservation, near Fredericksburg, Va., for further large unit training and maneuvers. Immediately upon return to Indiantown, the 28th Division and the 103rd Engineers prepared for large-scale maneuvers in the Carolinas with the 1st Army. The division, including the Engineer Regiment, left for the Carolina manuever area on September 25th, a four-day move, with bivouacs at Winchester, Va., Horse Pens Lake and Greensboro, N. C. The l03rd arrived at base camp near Lilesville, east of Wadesboro, N. C., on September 29th. At the close of these maneuvers the Division and attached troops were directed to return to Indiantown Gap. This movement was made as a three-day operation with overnight bivouacs at South Boston, Va., and Warrenton, Va., and arrival at the Gap scheduled for the evening of the third day. The Division moved in four serials: 55th Infantry Brigade; 56th Infantry Brigade; 58d Artillery Brigade; and fourth, all other units. The latter included the l03rd Engineers; 108rd Quartermaster Regiment; 103rd Medical Regiment; Tank Destroyer Battalion; a Pigeon Company; the attached Cavalry Regiment; and other miscellaneous units, all under the command of the commanding officer, 103rd Engineers.


The fourth serial, the miscellany, brought together a great contrast in vehicles from the engineer
pontoons and heavy road equipment to cavalry horse trailers and the pigeon company’s mobile loft: An army was on the march! The long and cumbersome road unit required early departures and late closings in bivouac areas. The serial left Wadesboro, N. C., for Indiantown at daylight Sunday,
December 7, 1941! As the long, winding motorized columns trundled toward South Boston, Va., the radio in the control car crackled with the electrifying news thatPearl Harbor had been bombed by Japanese planes. As the long, winding motorized columns trundled toward South Boston, Va., the radio in the control car crackled with the electrifying news that Pearl Harbor had been bombed by Japanese planes. Rumors were rampant during the next several days; orders were received; orders were cancelled. A divisional reconnaissance party, including the Division Engineer, G-1, G-4, Provost Marshall, etc., was dispatched on December 11th to the New Jersey coastal area. The mission was to locate concealed bivouacs in the pines southeast of Camp Dix where the entire 28th Division could be placed in position to defend an assigned sector of the New Jersey coast. Maximum leaves over the Christmas and New Years’ holidays were restricted, and in some cases it was necessary to recall certain personnel after they had already departed from camp. The Engineer Regiment was ordered to assist the Philadelphia District Engineer (then Colonel, now Maj. Gen. Vaughn, ret.) on protective projects at the Philadelphia, Pa., and New Castle, Del., airports. The work consisted principally of constructing sand bag revetments around planes at these installations. The first battalion was assigned to Philadelphia, the second to New Castle. January 1942 was a tumultuous time. In addition to the problems of this fluid period the 28th Division was reorganized into a Triangular Division, with the engineer component reduced from a regiment to a battalion. “Over-age.in-grade” officers were transferred to noncombat assignments. The Regiment lost both battalion commanders, Majors Harry Johnson, Jr., and John J. Borbidge, and several captains, including  John L. Ross and Fred J. Maurade, as well as 1st Lt. Howard C. (Pop) Daniels. Most ended up in overhead assignments in the Army Air Force. In January the 28th Division received orders to move to Camp Livingston, La., and to leave behind at Indiantown Gap certain battalions, including the second battalion, l03rd Engineer (C) Regiment, which was the first step in reorganizing the old square divisions into triangular divisions. The 111th Infantry Regiment became the nucleus of a separate Regimental Combat team and the second battalion of the 103rd Engineers was detached from the Division and redesignated 180th Engineers (Heavy Ponton) Battalion. On the eve of World War II, the regiment was broken up into the 103rd Engineer Battalion (Combat) and the 180th Engineer Heavy Pontoon Bridge Battalion. The 103rd, serving as part of the 28th Division, participated in the Normandy campaign and in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. Their contributions were particularly noteworthy during the Battle of the Bulge, when they helped stop the German advance into Belgium.


AFTER...
 

After the war, the two units were consolidated into the 103rd Engineer Battalion (its current designation). The 103rd, like the rest of the 28th Division, was mobilized for the Korean War and served in occupied Germany until 1953.

Crest :




Description:

A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 5/32 inches (2.94 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Argent, two chevronels Azure, upper charged with six fleurs-de-lis paleways, lower charged with ten mullets in like position Or, in base a lion rampant Gules, all within a diminished border of the last. Attached below is a Blue scroll inscribed “PARATUS” in Gold letters.

Symbolism:

The shield is white (silver), the old color of Infantry; the chevronels are in blue, indicating that the organization’s service during the Civil War and World War I was as Infantry. The ten mullets or stars represent the ten battle honors of the Civil War period and the six fleurs-de-lis, the World War I service. The red lion denotes service in the War of 1812. The red border signifies that the organization is now an Engineer unit. The motto translates to “Ready.”. 
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 103d Engineer Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard on 12 December 1931. It was redesignated for the 103d Engineer Battalion, Pennsylvania Army National Guard on 3 September 1942.

 




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