138th Field Artillery

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Kentucky Thunder in Vietnam

The year 2009 marked the 40th Anniversary of the return to the Bluegrass from Vietnam following a 12-month tour of duty for the men of the 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, Kentucky Army National Guard. Read about the history of the 138th Field Artillery in the Vietnam War from 1968 - 1969.

Kentucky Thunder in Vietnam (PDF 38.8 MB)

Lineage and Honors

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Lineage and Honors
138th FIELD ARTILLERY
(LOUISVILLE LEGION)

Constituted 21 January 1839 in the Kentucky Militia as the Louisville Legion and organized at Louisville

Mustered into Federal service 17 May 1846 as the 1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry; mustered out of Federal service 17 May 1847 at New Orleans, Louisiana

Reorganized 30 June 1851 in the Kentucky Volunteer Militia at Louisville as the Louisville Legion

Reorganized 7 May 1860 in the Kentucky State Guard as the 1st Infantry Regiment (Louisville Legion) to consist of the Louisville Battalion and the Marion Rifle Battalion

1st Infantry Regiment reorganized in July 1861 at Camp Joe Holt. Indiana, 'with men of Union sympathy as the 3d Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (Louisville Legion)

Mustered into Federal service 9 September 1861 as the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (Louisville Legion); mustered out of Federal service 14 September 1864 at Louisville

Reorganized 15 October 1878 in the Kentucky State Guard at Louisville as the 1st Battalion (Louisville Legion)

Expanded, reorganized and redesignated in 1883 as the 1st Regiment of Infantry (Louisville Legion)

Mustered into Federal service 1-10 June 1898 at Lexington as the 1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry; mustered out of Federal service 24 February 1899 at Louisville

Reorganized 31 July 1899 in the Kentucky State Guard at Louisville as the 1st Regiment of Infantry (Louisville Legion)

Mustered out of state service 27 November 1900 at Louisville

Reorganized 27 May 1904 in the Kentucky State Guard at Louisville as the 1st Regiment of Infantry (Louisville Legion)

(Kentucky State Guard redesignated 19 March 1912 as the Kentucky National Guard)

Called into Federal service 18 June 1916 for service on the Mexican border; mustered into Federal service 25 June 1916 at Fort Thomas. Kentucky

(Company A mustered out of Federal service in February 1917 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky; called into Federal service 12 April 1917; mustered into Federal service 8 May 1917 at Camp Stanley, Kentucky)

Drafted into Federal service 5 August 1917

Converted and redesignated 9 October 1917 as the 138th Field Artillery and assigned to the 38th Division

Demobilized 8 January 1919 at Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky Reorganized 1921-1922 in the Kentucky National Guard at Louisville as the 138th Field Artillery and assigned to the 38th Division; Headquarters Federally recognized 30 June 1922 at Louisville

Inducted into Federal service 17 January 1941 at Louisville

(Antiaircraft and Antitank Platoons of Headquarters Batteries, 1st and 2d Battalions, consolidated, converted, and redesignated 15 December 1941 as Company A, 638th Tank Destroyer Battalion, and relieved from assignment to the 38th Division [see below])

Relieved 1 March 1942 from assignment to the 38th Division; regiment concurrently broken up and its elements reorganized and redesignated as follows:

Headquarters and Headquarters Battery disbanded

1st Battalion as the 138th Field Artillery Battalion, an element of the 38th Infantry Division

2d Battalion as the 198th Field Artillery Battalion

After 1 March 1942 the above units underwent changes as follows: 138th Field Artillery Battalion inactivated 1 November 1945 at Camp Anza, California

Relieved 13 May 1946 from assignment to the 38th Infantry Division Reorganized and Federally recognized 24 September 1946 at Louisville

198th Field Artillery Battalion inactivated 21 January 1946 at Camp Anza, California

Reorganized and Federally recognized 4 November 1947 at Louisville Ordered into active Federal service 1 May 1951 at Louisville (198th Field Artillery Battalion [NGUS] organized and Federally reorganized 1 May 1953 with Headquarters at Louisville)

Released 2 December 1954 from active Federal service and reverted to state control; Federal recognition concurrently withdrawn from the 198th Field Artillery Battalion (NGUS)

 Company A, 638th Tank Destroyer Battalion, inactivated 7 November 1945 at Fort Benning, Georgia

Expanded, converted, and redesignated 5 August 1946 as the 452d Field Artillery Battalion

Reorganized and Federally recognized 4 November 1947 at Louisville Reorganized and redesignated 1 September 1949 as the 452d Armored Field Artillery Battalion

Ordered into active Federal service 11 September 1950 at Louisville (452d Armored Field Artillery Battalion (NGUS) organized and Federally recognized 21 September 1952 with Headquarters at Louisville)

Released 17 January 1955 from active Federal service and reverted to state control; Federal recognition concurrently withdrawn from the 452d Armored Field Artillery Battalion (NGUS)

138th and 198th Field Artillery Battalions and the 452d Armored Field Artillery Battalion consolidated 1 October 1959 with Headquarters, 138th Field Artillery (reconstituted 25 August 1945 in the Kentucky National Guard), 441st and 623d Field Artillery Battalions (see ANNEX 1) and the 640th Field Artillery Battalion (organized and Federally recognized 1 May 1955 with Headquarters at Lexington) and consolidated unit reorganized and redesignated as the 138th Artillery, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System, to consist of the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th Howitzer Battalions, 5th Observation Battalion, and Battery A

Reorganized 1 September 1961 to consist of the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th Howitzer Battalions, 5th Target Acquisition Battalion, and Battery A

Reorganized 1 December 1965 to consist of the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th Howitzer Battalions, 5th Battalion, and Battery A

Reorganized 1 March 1966 to consist of the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th Howitzer Battalions, 4th and 5th Battalions, and Batteries A and F

Reorganized 1 February 1968 to consist of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Howitzer Battalions, 4th and 5th Battalions, and Batteries A and F

Reorganized 1 March 1968 to consist of the 1st and 2d Howitzer Battalions, 4th and 5th Battalions, and Batteries A and F

Reorganized 1 May 1968 to consist of the 2d, 4th, and 5th Battalions and Battery A

(2d Battalion ordered into active Federal service 13 May 1968 at home stations)

Reorganized 1 May 1969 to consist of the 2d and 5th Battalions and Battery A

(2d Battalion released 24 October 1969 from active Federal service and reverted to state control)

Redesignated 1 March 1972 as the 138th Field Artillery Reorganized 1 May 1974 to consist of the 2d Battalion

Reorganized 1 November 1980 to consist of the 2d Battalion, an element of the 149th Armored Brigade

Annex 1

Constituted 22 May 1846 in the Kentucky Militia as the 1st Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry and the 2d Kentucky Volunteer Infantry

Organized from volunteers of the enrolled militia, principally from counties in central Kentucky, and mustered into Federal service 9 June 1846 at. Louisville; mustered out of Federal service 7 and 9 June 1847, respectively, at New Orleans, Louisiana, and continued in state service as separate volunteer militia companies

Reorganized 15 June 1860 in the Kentucky State Guard as the Lexington Battalion, to include the Lexington Rifles (organized in 1857 by Captain John Hunt Morgan)

Expanded 6 November 1860 to form the Lexington Battalion (to include the Lexington Rifles) and the Kentucky River Battalion

Lexington and Kentucky River Battalions broken up in 1861 and elements reorganized as follows:

Elements with Union sympathy reorganized April-June 1861 primarily as the 1st and 2d Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiments; mustered into Federal service 4 and 13 June 1861, respectively, at Camp Clay, Ohio; mustered out of Federal service 18 and 19 June 1864, respectively, at Covington

Elements with Confederate sympathy (less Lexington Rifles) reorganized in July 1861 as elements of the 1st Kentucky Brigade (The Orphan Brigade); mustered into Confederate service in July 1861 at Camp Boone, Tennessee; surrendered 4 May 1865 at Washington, Georgia

Lexington Rifles withdrawn 20 September 1861 from the Kentucky State Guard, reorganized as a separate company of cavalry, and mustered into Confederate service at Bowling Green; consolidated in October 1861 with two other cavalry companies and consolidated unit reorganized and redesignated as Morgan Squadron, Kentucky Cavalry; expanded, reorganized, and redesignated in June 1862 as the 2d Kentucky Cavalry Regiment (Morgan's Men); surrendered 8 May 1865 near Woodstock, Georgia

Reorganized 18 May 1881 in the Kentucky State Guard as the 3d Battalion, with Headquarters at Lexington

Expanded, reorganized, and redesignated in 1883 as the 2d Regiment of Infantry, with Headquarters at Lexington

Mustered into Federal service 14-25 May 1898 at Lexington as the 2d Kentucky Volunteer Infantry; mustered out of Federal service 31 October 1898 at Lexington

Reorganized 24 April 1899 in the Kentucky State Guard as the 1st Regiment of Infantry, with Headquarters at Lexington

Redesignated 31 July 1899 as the 2d Regiment of Infantry

(Kentucky State Guard redesignated 19 March 1912 as the Kentucky National Guard)

Called into Federal service 18 June 1916 for service on the Mexican border Mustered into Federal service 25 June 1916 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky; mustered out of Federal service 15 February 1917 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Called into Federal service 12 April 1917; mustered into Federal service 21 April 1917 at Camp Stanley, Kentucky

Drafted into Federal service 5 August 1917

Consolidated 1 October 1917 with the 3d Regiment of Infantry (less 3d Battalion) (see ANNEX 2); consolidated unit concurrently reorganized and redesignated as the 149th Infantry and assigned to the 38th Division

Demobilized in January 1919 at Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky

Former 2d and 3d Regiments of Infantry reorganized 1920-1921 in the Kentucky National Guard as the 1st Infantry and the 53d and 54th Machine Gun Squadrons (1st Infantry -- hereafter separate lineage)

53d and 54th Machine Gun Squadrons consolidated 1 April 1929; consolidated unit concurrently reorganized and redesignated as the 123d Cavalry, with Headquarters Federally recognized at Louisville, and assigned to the 22d Cavalry Division

Relieved 1 November 1940 from assignment to the 22d Cavalry Division; regiment concurrently broken up and its elements converted and redesignated as follows:

Regiment (less 1st and 2d Squadrons) as the 106th Separate Battalion, Coast Artillery, with Headquarters at Frankfort

1st and 2d Squadrons as the 103d Separate Battalion, Coast Artillery, with Headquarters at Louisville

After 1 November 1940 the above units underwent changes as follows:

106th Separate Battalion, Coast Artillery, inducted into Federal service 6 January 1941 at home stations

Reorganized and redesignated 14 July 1944 as the 106th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion

Inactivated 3 December 1945 at Camp Shanks, New York

Redesignated 29 January 1947 as the 623d Field Artillery Battalion; concurrently reorganized and Federally recognized in south-central Kentucky with Headquarters at Glasgow

Ordered into active Federal service 23 January 1951 at home stations Reorganized and redesignated 5 March 1951 as the 623d Armored Field Artillery Battalion

Reorganized and redesignated 10 September 1951 as the 623d Field Artillery Battalion
(623d Field Artillery Battalion [NGUS] organized and Federally recognized 23 January 1953 with Headquarters at Glasgow)

Released l8 March 1955 from active Federal service and reverted to state control; Federal recognition concurrently withdrawn from the 623d Field Artillery Battalion (NGUS)

103d Separate Battalion, Coast Artillery, inducted into Federal service 24 February 1941 at home stations

Reorganized and-redesignated 13 November 1943 as the 103d Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion

Inactivated 1 December 1945 at Camp Shanks, New York

Redesignated 13 May 1946 as the 441st Field Artillery Battalion Reorganized and Federally recognized 30 January 1947 in central Kentucky with Headquarters at Lexington

(Location of Headquarters changed 22 November 1953 to Richmond)

Annex 2

Organized 8 May l882 in the Kentucky State Guard in western Kentucky as the 4th Battalion, with Headquarters at Bowling Green

Expanded, reorganized, and redesignated in 1883 as the 3d Regiment of Infantry, with Headquarters at Bowling Green

Mustered into Federal service 21-31 May 1898 at Lexington as the 3d Kentucky Volunteer Infantry; mustered out of Federal service 16 May 1899 at Savannah, Georgia

Reorganized 10 October 1899 in the Kentucky State Guard as the 3d Regiment of Infantry, with Headquarters at Bowling Green

(Kentucky State Guard redesignated 19 March 1912 as the Kentucky National Guard)

Called into Federal service l8 June 1916 for service on the Mexican border

Mustered into Federal service 6 July 1916 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky; mustered out of Federal service 12-15 March 1917 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Called into Federal service 12 April 1917; mustered into Federal service 21 April 1917 at Camp Stanley, Kentucky

Drafted into Federal service 5 August 1917

3d Regiment of Infantry (less 3d Battalion) consolidated 1 October 1917 with the 2d Regiment of Infantry (see ANNEX 1); consolidated unit concurrently reorganized and redesignated as the 149th Infantry and assigned to the 38th Division; 3d Battalion, 3d Regiment of Infantry, concurrently reorganized and redesignated as Companies A and B, 138th Machine Gun Battalion; Company F, 113th Ammunition Train; and Company B, 113th Engineers, elements of the 38th Division

Above units demobilized in January 1919 at Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky

Campaign Participation Credit

Mexican War
Monterey
Buena Vista

Civil War (Union service)
Shiloh
Murfreesborough
Chickamauga
Atlanta
West Virginia 1861
Mississippi 1862
Kentucky 1862
Kentucky 1864
Tennessee 1863

Civil War (Confederate service)
Henry and Donelson
Shiloh
Murfreesborough
Chickamauga
Atlanta
Kentucky 1862
Kentucky 1864
Louisiana 1862
Mississippi 1862
Tennessee 1862
Tennessee 1863
Indiana 1863
South Carolina 1865

War with Spain
Puerto Rico

World War I
Streamer without inscription

World War II
New Guinea
Leyte (with arrowhead)
Luzon
Ryukyus
Algeria-French Morocco (with arrowhead)
Tunisia
Sicily (with arrowhead)
Naples-Foggia (with arrowhead)
Anzio (with arrowhead)
Rome-Arno
Normandy
Northern France
Southern France (with arrowhead)
Rhine Land
Ardennes-Alsace
Central Europe

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