|Branch United States Army|
|Allegiance United States of America|
Garrison/HQ 1st Battalion: Cambridge Springs, PA 2nd Battalion: Lewistown, PA
The 112th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Sixteenth Pennsylvania, is a unit in the Pennsylvania National Guard which can trace its lineage back to before the American Civil War.
- In 1951, a rampant lion as found on the arms of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg grasping a red cross of the province of Lorraine in France were added to the old coat of arms of the 112th Infantry Regiment.
- The lion is in the infantry color and both symbols represent the locale of the regiment's combat in World War II.
- The shield is white, the old infantry color.
- Service in the Civil War is shown by the cross patée, the badge of the 5th Corps, 3rd Division, in which the organization served in that war.
- The Spanish castle indicates service in Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War, while the bridge, which is a representation of the bridge over the Vesle River at Fismes, France where the regiment saw its hardest fighting, symbolizes service in World War I.
- The coat of arms was approved on 2 January 1930.
- It was amended to show additional war service on 29 August 1951.
- The insignia was amended to correct the blazon on 16 May 2008.
Symbolism and background
The symbolism of the distinctive unit insignia is the same as that of the coat of arms. The dates of its approval and amendment are also the same.
The 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment draws its origins from Civil War era units, including the 13th, 15th, and 17th Pennsylvania Regiments and still maintains the right to possess the silver bands and battle streamers awarded for battle service in the Peninsula and Virginia 1861–1863 campaigns and for participation in the battles of Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spottsylvania. On 22 November 1878, the battalion was organized as the 16th Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard. The regiment consisted of companies from Erie, McKean, Venango, Elk, Warren, and Crawford counties. The units were located in Erie (Co A), Bradford (Co C), Oil City (Co D), Cooperstown (Co E), Franklin (Co F), Ridgeway, Pennsylvania (Co H), Warren (Co I), and Titusville (Co K).
The 2d Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment's heritage can be traced back to the Logan Guards (Lewistown) and the Bellefonte Fencibles, both organized in 1858. These units were mustered into federal service during the American Civil War. The Logan Guards were mustered as Company E, 25th Pennsylvania Volunteers and then as Company A, 46th Pennsylvania Volunteers. The Bellefonte Fencibles were mustered as Company H, 2d Pennsylvania Volunteers. These units combined have 17 campaign streamers from the American Civil War: Po Valley, Manassas, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Atlanta, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Battle of Appomattox, Virginia 1861, South Carolina 1862, Mississippi 1863, Tennessee 1863.
In July 1865, these units were mustered out of federal service.
Spanish–American War (1st Battalion)
Designated as the 16th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, the unit was mobilized on 28 April 1898 and activated into federal service for the Spanish–American War on 10 May 1898 at their mobilization site, Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania. They sailed to Puerto Rico on 5 July 1898 and served with the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Army Corps throughout the campaign. The unit was noted for actions in the Battle of Coamo, where the regiment sustained six wounded and one killed in action during a blocking action. The unit was awarded the sattle streamer marked Puerto Rico for their service. They were mustered out of federal service in December 1898.
World War I
George C. Rickards, a career Pennsylvania National Guard officer, was promoted to Colonel as commander of the 16th Pennsylvania in 1907. On 3 July 1916, the regiment was called to service for Mexican border duty, with Rickards still in command. The unit was transported to and garrisoned at El Paso, Texas for training, but was never utilized because hostilities ended.
The unit was mustered into federal active service on 16 July 1917 for service in World War I, and Rickards remained its commander. On 11 October 1917 the 16th Pennsylvania Regiment was redesignated as the 112th Infantry Regiment and became part of the 28th Infantry Division. The 112th was the first war-strength National Guard regiment in the United States. The regiment reached France in May 1918 as part of the American Expeditionary Force. It went onto the line on 4 July 1918, in the Second Battle of the Marne. From that day on, the names Fismes, Fismette, Fond de Mezieres, and Argonne would never be forgotten. The second battalions Companies G and H lost a combined total of 200 men out of 230 when they were cut off at Fismette and fended off a frontal attack on their position by a thousand German soldiers. The 112th Infantry Regiment returned home in April 1919 and was mustered out of federal service on 6 May 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey. The regiment was awarded battle streamers marked Champagne 1918, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Marne, Lorraine 1918, and Meuse-Argonne for its service in France.
Rickards was promoted to brigadier general in 1919, and in 1921 he was promoted to major general and appointed Chief of the Militia Bureau, the first National Guard officer to hold the position.
World War II
The regiment was again called to active federal service on 17 February 1941, 10 months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. After years of training, the unit first entered the continent of Europe on the Normandy beaches following the D-Day landing. It became the 112th Infantry Regimental Combat Team which consisted of the 112th Infantry Regiment, the 229th Field Artillery Battalion, the 103rd Engineer Battalion, Company C, 447th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, and Company C, 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion. 28th Division commander James E. Wharton was in his first day of command when a German sniper shot him while he was at the 112th Infantry's command post. The regiment plowed through France and Germany, participating in the capture of Paris and the bitter fighting in the Huertgen Forest. At one point, after the fight for Kommerscheidt, the regiment was reduced to 300 men. During December 1944, the 112th Infantry Regimental Combat Team was holding a 6-1/2 mile long sector which the Germans attacked with nine divisions. The unit inflicted 1600 casualties and destroyed eighteen tanks during nine days of continuous action, that was later known as the Battle of the Bulge. The regiment was awarded battle streamers marked Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, and Central Europe for its service in World War II. The unit was also awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions during the Battle of the Bulge, from 16 to 24 December 1944. The unit was mustered out of federal service on 6 December 1945 at Camp Gordon, Georgia.
The 112th remained an organic unit of the 28th Infantry Division throughout World War II.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
In 2004-2005, A Company, 1st Battalion, was deployed with Task Force Dragoon to Tikrit Iraq.
Both the 1st and 2d Battalions deployed with the rest of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team on 19 September 2008. They conducted full spectrum operations in and around Baghdad, Iraq. The main body of the 1st Battalion was stationed at Camp Taji while the main body of the 2d was stationed at Camp Liberty on the Victory Base Complex. The 2d Battalion's Civilian Military Operations unit (S-9) oversaw the distribution of roughly $20 million to the Iraqi people in efforts to stabilize the Iraqi economy and build public works projects including police stations, schools, hospitals, fire departments, youth centers, and water pumping stations. The 56th redeployed to America toward the end of 2009.
Timeline (2nd Battalion)
The Bellefonte unit was redesignated Troop L, 103d Cavalry. The Bellefonte unit was mustered into federal service in January 1941 as Battery B, 190th Field Artillery.
The Lewistown unit was redesignated as Machine Gun Troop, 104th Cavalry, 22nd Cavalry Division. This unit was redesignated as Service Battery, 166th Field Artillery, then Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion 166th Field Artillery, then Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion 166th Field Artillery and was mustered into federal service for World War II in February 1941.
The Tyrone unit was mustered into federal service for World War II as Troop B, 104th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron.
The Huntingdon unit went through several redesignations including a quartermaster company and finally Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 154th Transportation Truck Battalion.
Company A, 110th Infantry (Everett) and Company G, 110th Infantry (Altoona) unit were both mustered into federal service for World War II in February 1941. The other Altoona unit was mustered into federal service for home station duty during World War II as Battery B, 200th Field Artillery.
Post-war (2nd Battalion)
Civil War silver bands:Peninsula – Manassas – Antietam – Fredricksburg – Gettysburg – Wilderness – Spottsylvania – Virginia 1861–1863
Battle streamers:Spanish–American War: Puerto Rico World War I: Champagne – Champagne-Marne – Aisne-Marne – Oise-Marne – Lorraine – Meuse-Argonne World War II: Normandy – Northern France – Ardennes-Alsace – Rhineland – Central Europe
Unit decoration: Presidential Unit Citation, 16–23 Dec 1944 112th Infantry
Civil War silver bands: Po Valley-Manassas-Antietam-Chancellorsville-Gettysburg-Atlanta-Fredericksburg-Vicksburg-Wilderness-Spotsylvania-Cold Harbor-Petersburg-Appomattox-Virginia 1861-South Carolina 1862-Mississippi 1863-Tennessee 1863
Battle streamers:Spanish–American War: Puerto Rico World War I: Champagne-Marne – Aisne-Marne – Oise-Aisne – Meuse-Argonne – Champagne 1918 – Lorraine 1918 World War II: Normandy – Northern France – Rhineland – Ardennes-Alsace – Central Europe Kosovo Operation Iraqi Freedom