The 4th Infantry Battalion, Wisconsin National Guard, was organized on 25 April 1884, from Milwaukee companies, expanded and redesignated in 1890 as the 4th Infantry Regiment (four companies transferred to 1st Infantry Regiment 28 April 1898).
The four regiments of the Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry in federal service for the War with Spain were as follows:1st Infantry mustered in 14 May 1898, at Milwaukee; mustered out 19 October 1898;
2nd Infantry Regiment mustered on 12 May 1898, at Madison; mustered out 11–21 November 1898;
3rd Infantry Regiment mustered on 11 May 1898, at Milwaukee; mustered out 4–17 January 1899; and
4th Infantry Regiment was reorganized with the addition of new companies and mustered on 11 July 1898; mustered out 28 February 1899 at Anniston Texas.
They were reorganized on 10 June 1899, as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Infantry Regiments in the Wisconsin National Guard.
The 1st, 2nd, 3rd Infantry Regiments were mustered into federal service on 30 June 1916, for service on the Mexican Border Service and mustered out at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, on 19 January 1917, (1st Battalion), 28 February 1917, (2nd Battalion), and 14 December 1916 (3rd Battalion).
The regiments were again called into federal service for World War I on 15 July 1917, and drafted into federal service on 5 August 1917. They were reorganized and redesignated as the 128th and 127th Infantry on 24 September 1917 at Camp MacArthur, Texas, and assigned to the 32nd Division.
The units were disbanded at Camp Grant, Illinois, on 18 May 1919, (127th) and 19 May 1919 (128th). The 32d Division demobilized on 23 May 1919, at Camp Custer, Michigan.
The 127th Infantry was reconstituted and was reorganized on 1 April 1921, in the eastern portion of Wisconsin and assigned to 32nd Division. It was inducted into federal service on 15 October 1940, at Crandon. (The 32nd Division was redesignated on 1 August 1942, as 32nd Infantry Division).
On 26 November 1942, the 127th disembarked at Port Moresby after a period of training in Australia. The 3rd Battalion, 127th Infantry Regiment now took over on the Urbana front at Buna during the battle of Buna–Gona. Not able to be supported by tanks due to the terrain and swampy land, the fighting was a desperate tree-by-tree, bunker-by-bunker struggle. On 24 December 1942, First Sergeant, Elmer J. Burr was posthumously awarded first Medal of Honor of the campaign by throwing himself onto a grenade and absorbing the explosion protecting his commanding officer. Later the same day Sergeant, Kenneth E. Gruennert was awarded the Medal of Honor for knocking out two enemy bunkers single-handedly, and after being severely wounded in his attack against the first bunker, attacked the second bunker before being killed by a sniper. Cpl. Clarence "Inky" J. Jungwirth (Ret.) is the last surviving 2nd battalion combat veteran from the battle of Buna–Gona, et al. residing in Oshkosh, WI as of 2014.
The unit inactivated on 28 February 1946, at Fukuoka, Japan.
It was reorganized and federally recognized on 18 August 1949 with headquarters in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It was reorganized on 15 February 1959, as the 127th Infantry, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. The 127th Infantry consisted of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battle Groups, elements of the 32d Division.
The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battle Groups, 127th Infantry were ordered to active federal service on 15 October 1961, at Appleton, Oshkosh, and Milwaukee, respectively. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battle Groups, 127th Infantry were released from active federal service and reverted to State control on 10 August 1962.
The 127th Infantry reorganized on 1 April 1963, to consist of 1st, 2nd, and, 3rd Battalions.Description
Shield: Azure, on a pale Argent the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 42d Division (the fourth quadrant of a rainbow of three bands, Red, Yellow and Blue) surmounted by the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 32d Division (a Red arrow having shot through a line), both Proper; on a chief of the second three fountains. Crest: That for the regiments of the Wisconsin National Guard: On a wreath of the colors (Argent and Azure) a badger couchant Proper. Motto: LES TERRIBLES.Symbolism
See symbolism for coat of arms below.Background
The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 16 June 1927.Shield
Azure, on a pale Argent the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 42d Division (the fourth quadrant of a rainbow of three bands, Red, Yellow and Blue) surmounted by the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 32d Division (a Red arrow having shot through a line), both Proper; on a chief of the second three fountains.Crest
That for the regiments of the Wisconsin National Guard: On a wreath of the colors (Argent and Azure) a badger couchant Proper. Motto LES TERRIBLES.Symbolism
The shield is blue for Infantry. The silver of the pale and chief indicates the 127th Infantry is numerically senior to the 128th Infantry in the 64th Infantry Brigade. The 127th Infantry was federally recognizes 14 July 1920, and the 128th Infantry 16 April 1921. Tradition is that the name Wisconsin means "wild rushing waters," therefore, the three fountains, heraldic symbols for water, are used to symbolize the three Wisconsin regiments - The First, Second and Third National Guard Regiments - which were combined and from which organizations were drawn to make up the 127th Infantry; they also signify that the unit has been called into federal service three times – for the Spanish–American War, Mexican Border duty and World War I, at the time the coat of arms was approved. The red arrow was the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 32d Division and the rainbow that of the 42d Division, during World War I. The motto "LES TERRIBLES" is the nom-de-guerre conferred upon the 127th Infantry during World War I.Crest
The crest is that of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.Background
The coat of arms was approved on 17 June 1927.