—- 70 Years Ago Today —–
On July 15, 1948, General of the Armies John “Black Jack” Pershing died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. Pershing, a 1886 graduate of West Point, had a career that spanned the end of the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Border Expedition and ended with World War I. Following World War I, Pershing was named General of the Armies and considered for the Republican nomination for President in 1920. Pershing ended his Army career as Army Chief of Staff from 1921-1924.
After his retirement from active duty service, Pershing stayed active in matters that affected soldiers and veterans, creating and serving in many service related organizations. The State Funeral for General Pershing on July 19, 1948, was the first State Funeral conducted by the Old Guard. The Regiment reactivated three months earlier, taking over as the Army’s official ceremonial unit.
Fifty Years Ago – #PhotoFriday
Caption: The Mobile Training Team (MTT) from 4th Battalion, 3d Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, conclude their instructions of students from the 2nd Army, Republic of Vietnam, with the firing exercise on the M-29 81mm Mortar at Landing Zone “Dottie,” approximately 10 kms NW of Quang Ngai. Corporal Jimmy L. Bird (Jacksonville, NC), Squad Leader, and an ARVN solder set 81mm mortar fire direction equipment. 20 June 1968.
75 Years Ago Today
On June 25, 1943, the 289th Military Police Company was first activated at Fort Custer, Michigan. When the 289th joined the Old Guard in 1994, it already had decades of history associated with it. The 289th deployed in support of World War II, and later during the Korean War, earning battle streamer for both.
During the Korean War, the 289th deployed from Fort Sam Houston to Inchon, South Korea on Thanksgiving Day, 1950. From Inchon, they moved south of Pyongyang, North Korea. By January 1951 the unit moved to Seoul, South Korea. In Seoul, the 289th was tasked with assisting the Eighth Army during it withdrawal from Seoul, guarding the Han River pontoon bridge. The 289th guarded the crossing until January 4, 1951, when it was destroyed to keep the Chinese Communist Forces from advancing.
Later the 289th supported missions ranging from securing supply routes against guerrillas hostile to United Nations forces, providing security at POW camps, serving as Provost Marshal in several South Korean cities and serving as escort to the Neutral Nations Inspection Team after the armistice was signed.The 289th MP Company would be inactivated in South Korea on June 3, 1955. One year later, the 289th would be activated again in Japan for a two year period, remaining inactive until it joined the Old Guard in 1994.
120 Years Ago Today
On June 22, 1898, soldiers of the 3d Infantry Regiment arrived in Santiago Harbor, Cuba. The Regiment departed Fort Snelling, MN by train on April 19 and traveled over 1,400 miles. They arrived in Mobile, AL two days later. The Regiment trained in Mobile for six weeks, until it was transferred to Tampa, FL on June 13. Upon reaching Tampa, it was assigned to General Shafter’s force en route to Cuba and set sail ten days later, bound for Cuba.
Once ashore, the Regiment is placed in Brigadier General Bates’ Independent Brigade, and placed in reserve at El Pozo, the Headquarters of the US Army Fifth Corps. By July 1, the Regiment is placed into action as part of the Siege of Santiago.
90 Years Ago Today
In the summer of 1928, President Calvin Coolidge left Washington, DC. Many presidents left the capital in summer to avoid the heat and humidity. Coolidge sought refuge in Wisconsin, choosing to spend time fishing at Cedar Island Lodge, near the town of Brule, WI.
The town received a make-over leading up to Coolidge’s arrival. Telegraph and telephone lines were run to support the Summer White House and its staff. A detachment of 3d Infantry Regiment soldiers were dispatched from Fort Snelling, MN to serve as the “President’s Guard.” Coolidge arrived in Superior, WI on June 15 and departed on September 10.
Here President Coolidge, center wearing a white hat, posed with the members of the 3d Infantry detachment. The summer of 1928 foreshadowed for the Old Guard what would come twenty years later. When the the 3d Infantry Regiment was reactivated in 1948, one of its duties was to serve as the Escort to the President. This mission is one the Regiment still maintains today.