142nd U.S. Infantry Regiment
("7th Texas") 1917

 

MOTTO: "I'll Face You!" The unit motto is based on an incident along the Aisne (Ayn River) in 1918 when a young lieutenant of the 142d under fire refused to turn his back on the enemy as his unit came back across the river after patrolling behind enemy lines.

FORMATION: The 142d Infantry came into existence officially on October 15, 1917, at Camp Bowie, Texas, when the 7th Texas and 1st Oklahoma Infantry Regiments were consolidated. The Oklahoma Unit had been in existence since the Spanish American War, and the Seventh Texas had been formed during the summer of 1917. A policy of merging units from different states was used in forming the 36th at the time.

WORLD WAR I SERVICE: The 142d served as part of the 71st Infantry Brigade in World War I, part of the French 4th Army, and entered the forward battle area on October 4-5, 1917, in support of the U. S. Second Division. The 142d led the brigade forward on October 7th , crossing the defunct Hindenburg Line and going into positions near St. Etienne which were only 100 yards from German fortifications. The ruined church tower from St. Etienne today serves as an element of the regimental crest. The regiment went into line with the 141st on their right. Advancing through massive shelling, gas attacks and terrible machine gun fire, the 142d advanced to take strongly defended Hill 160 near St. Etienne, then reorganized badly shattered units overnight. The regiment took 1600 casualties in the two day fight. Two members of the regiment received the Medal of Honor for their bravery.

BATTLE ALONG THE AISNE: On October 12-13, the regiment attacked toward the line of the Aisne (Ayn) River on the right of a four regiment/two brigade attack that advanced the American Line and eliminated a German salient south of the Aisne. During this campaign the numerous American Indian members of the old Oklahoma National Guard were used as telephone talkers, becoming a legend as the "Choctaw Talkers". On October 27-29, 1918, the regiment participated in the fighting at "Foret (Forest?) Farm", labeled by Major General William Smith 36th Division Commander as "magnificent. This was the regiment's last fighting assignment in World War I. Seventy percent of the officers and fifty-seven percent of the enlisted men were killed or wounded during the war.

BETWEEN THE WARS: The reorganization of the regiment began in 1921 and all units were federally recognized in 1922. The regiment trained at Camp Mabry in 1925, at Camp Hulen from 1926-1937, participated in the 3d Army manuvers at Camp Bullis, San Antonio, and again at Camp Hulen in 1939. The soldiers of the 142nd excelled in marksmanship, maintained rifle ranges, participated in Division athletics and moved into new armory facilities.

WORLD WAR II: The unit was mobilized at Fort Worth, Texas, on November 25, 1940. After federalization, the regiment trained at Camp Bowie, Brownwood, Texas. Training continued in Florida and North Carolina in 1942 and the regiment moved to Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, in August, 1942. The 142nd then staged through the A. P. Hill Military reservation in March, 1943, arriving at Fort Dix, New Jersey on March 17, 1943. The regiment sailed from New York on April 1, 1943, arriving in North Africa on 13 April.

FIGHTING IN ITALY: With the 141st in line, the regiment made an amphibious assault at Paestum near Salerno, Italy on 9 Sep 1943, the first landing by U. S. forces in Europe. led to fighting in the Naples-Foggia campaign, marked by an assault on Mount Sammurco on December 26, 1943. Merry Christmas, 142d. While attached to the 34th Inf Division, the 142 captured Manna Far, 31 Jan 44, and suffered heavy loses in close combat trying to storm Albaneta Farm, 11 Feb 1944.

With the 141 and 143, the 142 made a second amphibious landing at Anzio, reinforcing the Fifth Army on 22 May 1944. Participating in the breakout from Anzio and the capture of Rome, the unit was moved back to Paestum for retraining in July, 1944.

SOUTHERN FRANCE: The 142d Regiment made a third amphibious assault, Southern France, August 15, 1944, and on the 28th surrounded Livron and blocked Highway 7, closing the Montelimar trap. Driving towards Lyon, the regiment and the division stood aside to allow the French II Corps liberate the city on 2 Sep 44. Later in that month, the 142 captured Remiremont on the Moselle on the 23d.

THE VOSGES AND THE DOOR TO GERMANY: The regiment battled through the foothills of the Vosges Mountains includng the Battle for Bruyeres in October, the Foret Domaniale de Champ in November and entered the Alsatian Plains by forcing Ste Marie Pass on 25 Nov 44. The 142d Infantry fought the battle of Oberhoffen 1-12 February 1945, and later crossing the Zintzel River at Mertzewiller against determined German resistance. Mopping up pillboxes and strongholds west of the Rhine in March, the Regiment reached the Rhine itself on 24 Mar 45.

THE END OF THE WAR: With the 141st, the 142d led the division's attack across the Lecht River in the Danube plain in April 1945 and then followed in the wake of the 10th Armored Division from Landsberg to take Bad Toelz on 1 May with the 141st in the lead. It ended the war in the Kufstein area of Austria when hostilities were declared ended on 7 May 1945. The unit was returned to the United States through Hampton Roads, Virginia, on December 15, 1945 and was inactivated at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia, on that date.

WORLD WAR II CAMPAIGNS: Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.

POSTWAR SERVICE: The 142nd Infantry Regiment was reactivated as a component of the 36th Infantry Division on 23 October 1946, with three battalions generally located in the western and northwestern regions of the State. In 1959, as part of the "Pentomic Division" restructuring of the entire Army, the three battalion elements of the Division were formed into the First and Second Battle Groups, 142d Combat Arms Regiment. When the Pentomic Army concept was retired in 1963, the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 142d were reassigned as infantry battalions in the 36th Infantry Division. The 3/142 was not reactivated after the 1963 reorganization.

RETIREMENT OF THE 36TH DIVISION: 30 July, 1968: The 2d Battalion of the 142d, headquartered at Amarillo, was mechanized and assigned to the 72d Mechanized Brigade along with other units from the 49th Armored Division. The 1/142 was deactivated.

REACTIVATION OF 49TH ARMORED DIVISION: The 2d Battalion, 142d Infantry (Mechanized) was assigned to the 2d Brigade, 49th Armored Division, in 1973.

CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: 2/142d is assigned to the 49th Armored Division.

20Nov99

 

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