Three US Army Regiments have held the designation‚ 28th Infantry
The first was constituted on January 29th, 1813 and served during the war then in progress with England. In 1815, it was consolidated with other regiments to form the 3rd Infantry.
In 1866, the second 28th Infantry Regiment was formed. But in 1869 it was merged with the 19th Infantry under the designation of that organization.
The present 28th Infantry Regiment was constituted under the Act of Congress of Feb 1901 and organized in March of that year at Vancouver Barracks, Washington.
The Regiment first saw combat service from Dec 1901 to Jan 1904 during the Philippine Insurrection where the Regiment was heavily involved in counter guerrilla operations. Elements of the regiment were first deployed into the rebellious provinces on Luzon Island, but most of the 28th Infantry action was seen later, on the island of Mindanao. The Regiment subdued the Moro guerrillas at Pantar, then at the walled city of Jolo and most notably leading the American assault during the savage battle of Suliman Mountain.
During the years 1906-1908, the Regiment, minus one Battalion, performed guard and police duty as part of the American forces of Cuban Occupation.
In 1913, the 28th Infantry was ordered to Texas to assist in guarding the Mexican border against raids by Pancho Villa. In April, 1914, the Regiment was part of the expedition which occupied the captured Mexican city of Vera Cruz. It served there until November of that year.
Following the entry of the US into WWI, the Regiment was assigned on June 8, 1917 to the First Expeditionary Division, which later became the First Infantry Division. On June 29, the men of Company K became the first American combat unit to set foot on European soil at St. Nazaire, France.
The Regiment distinguished itself by conducting the first offensive operation by US troops in WWI at Cantigny, where, in a viciously fought three-day battle, the 28th Infantry captured the town of Cantigny and then withstood five determined German counterattacks. Here the‚ Lions of Cantigny‚ were born and the prestige of the American fighting man was upheld before the world. The Regiment also fought in the battles of Soissons, the Argonne and Sedan. It suffered more than 5000 casualties in this war. Three of its members were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroism: SGT Michael B. Ellis of Co B, PVT Sterling Morelock of Co M and 2LT Samuel I. Parker of Co K.
The inter war years found the Regiment headquartered at Ft. Niagara, NY. It was detached from the First Division on Oct 16, 1939, and assigned to the Eighth Division on June 22, 1940.
The 28th Infantry again distinguished itself in combat during WWII. After landing on Utah Beach on July 4, 1944, its first action was an attack to the south to establish a critical bridgehead over the Ay River so that armored divisions could launch a breakout and then attack into Brittany and Northern France. The Regiment then advanced south through Avranches and Rennes and turned west into Brittany. It participated in the savage battle for Brest and then fought on the Crozon Peninsula.
In late September, the 28th moved to Luxembourg and assumed its sector of the 8th Inf Div front which stretched along the Our River. In mid-November, the Regiment relieved elements of the 109th Infantry in the area southeast of Aachen. The next several weeks were spent attacking through the dense, forbidding Huertgen Forest, where deep mud, bitter cold, snow, enemy artillery and mines, and fierce enemy resistance caused numerous casualties in the worst fighting the Regiment was to experience.
The Regiment successfully conducted an assault crossing of the flood-swollen Roer River in late February. It then seized the town of Stockheim and continued the attack, seizing dozens of strongly defended enemy towns, until it reached the Rhine River.
In mid-April the 28th Infantry drove north as part of the campaign to destroy or capture all enemy forces trapped in the Ruhr-Sieg pocket. After a brief period of occupation duty in the Ruhr-Rhine area, the Regiment was ordered to cross the Elbe and advance toward the Baltic Sea. The final days of the war for the Regiment were spent managing huge numbers of Wehrmacht POWs, refugees and former prisoners of the Germans.
During its eleven months of combat, the Regiment played a major part in four allied campaigns - winning three Presidential Unit Citations embroidered Normandy, Bergstein and Stockheim. It suffered over 4,300 total casualties and captured more than 115,000 prisoners of war and vast stores of enemy material.
The Regiment was inactive from 1945 until 1950.
The 28th Infantry was reactivated in Aug, 1950, again as part of the 8th Division, and served as a training regiment at Ft. Jackson, SC. It later moved to Ft. Carson, CO in 1954 and to Germany in 1956.
In 1957, the Regiment was reorganized and each of its Battalions became Battle Groups. The 1st BG remained with the 8th Inf Div; the 2nd BG was assigned to the 1st Inf Div.
In Dec of 1958, the 2nd BG was assigned to the 24th Inf Div in Germany.
In March of 1959, the 3rd BG became part of the 83rd Inf Div, Army Reserve and in May, the 1st BG was assigned to the 1st Inf Div.
The 2nd BG was inactivated on 1 Feb 1963 and relieved from assignment to the 24th Inf Div. In October of that year, it was reactivated and assigned to the 1st Inf Div.
The Battle Groups, in 1963 (2nd) and 1964 (1st), again became Battalions, remaining assigned to the 1st Inf Division.
In 1965, the 1st and 2nd Battalions were deployed to Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division. The 3rd Bn was inactivated that year. The 1st Bn arrived on Oct 9th and was nominally assigned to the 1st Brigade with its main base at Phuoc Vinh, and later at Quan Loi and Lai Khe. The 2nd Bn arrived on Oct 6th and was usually assigned to the 3rd Brigade and based at Lai Khe. Both Bns were frequently assigned to other than their parent Brigades, however.
In 1965, elements of the 2nd Bn fought in the battle of Trung Loi while participating in Operation Bushmaster.
In 1966, the 1st Bn participated in Operations Crimp, Buckskin and Birmingham. During El Paso II, it fought in the Battles of Ho Krignou and Minh Thanh Road and had a major engagement during Operation Attleboro, the Battle of Ap Cha Do. The 2nd Bn was involved in the Battle of Lo Khe in Operation Cocoa Beach. During El Paso II, it had a major fight at Loc Ninh Plantation.
In 1967, both battalions were involved in Operations Cedar Falls, Tucson, Junction City, and Shenandoah II. In Oct, an ambush of elements of the 2nd Bn and the ensuing violent engagement with a reinforced VC Battalion caused many casualties in the Battle of Ong Thanh.
In Feb 68, the 1st Bn participated in the savage, three-day battle of An My resulting in 372 enemy dead and 12 captured. The 2nd Bn repelled the suicide attack of an estimated 4 Bns of NVA regulars during the battle of FSB Julie in Oct.
During much of 69, both Bns were involved in the Dong Tien (Progress Together) program, training ARVN units using combined operations, and other forms of mutual support. The 1st Bn, using helicopter and artillery support, defeated a major enemy force at FSB Gela in May of 69. In August and again in November, elements of the 2nd Bn had major engagements in the Trapezoid.
Early 1970 saw the end of the participation of the 1st and 2nd Bns of the 28th Infantry in this war. After almost 5 years of combat in Vietnam, and suffering just under 4000 casualties, the colors of both Battalions were redeployed to Ft. Riley. On 15 April 1970, the 2nd Bn was inactivated.
The 1st Bn was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for its gallant actions during the battle of Ap Cha Do (Operation Attleboro) in Nov 1966. The 2nd Bn was awarded a Valorous Unit Award for the battle of Lo Ke during Operation Cocoa Beach in March of 1966.
At the close of the war, SGT Earl Shark of Co A, 1st Bn, and SGT Paul L. Fitzgerald, Jr. and PFC Olin Hargrove both of Co A, 2nd Bn, were officially listed as Missing In Action. Later the Army issued a presumptive finding of death, in all three cases.
Two members of the 1st Bn, 1LT Gary L. Miller of Co A and CPT Euripides Rubio of HHC; and one from the 2nd Bn, 2LT Robert J. Hibbs of Co B were awarded the Medal of Honor, all posthumously, for their heroism during this war. 2LT Harold B. Durham, Jr., Btry C, 6-15 FA was also awarded the MOH for his heroism with the 2nd Bn during the battle of Ong Thanh.
The 2nd Bn was again activated and assigned to the 8th Inf Div in Germany on 21 Feb 1973.
In Sep of 1976, the 3rd Bn was allotted to the Regular Army, assigned to the 1st Inf Div and activated at Ft. Riley. In Nov of that year it was assigned to the 4th Inf Div and deployed to Germany with the Div's 4th Bde, operating with the 8th Inf Div.
In Feb of 1983, the 1st Bn was inactivated at Ft. Riley.
1984 saw the inactivation of the 3rd Bn in April and the 2nd Bn in August.
In January of 1987, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bns of the 28th Infantry Regiment were activated and assigned to the US Army Training Center at Ft. Jackson, SC.
In September of 1993, the 3rd Bn was inactivated.
The 2nd Bn was inactivated in September of 1994 but was reactivated in Sep 1996.
On November 30, 2005, the 1st and 2nd Bns of the 28th Inf Regt were deactivated at Ft. Jackson.
On January 16, 2006, the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry was activated and rejoined the 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One at Ft Riley, Kansas, as part of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. It deployed to Iraq with the 4th IBCT in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Feb 2007. It returned in April of 2008 after a very successful tour served with great distinction.
On 17 March, 2008, the 2nd Battalion was activated by reflagging the 1st Bn, 26th Inf in Schweinfurt, Germany. Subsequently it moved to Grafenwohr, Germany. It deployed to Iraq in support of the GWOT in December of 2008.
1st Battle Group
1st Infantry Division
Created in June 2006 to honor the famous BIG RED ONE unit with all its veterans. This wonderful plaque is a gift for the McNair museum (Berlin). The ceremony of presentation to Mr. Peter Kauschke, was held at the BUSMVA reunion.