Never To Be Forgotten by Marc Wolfe

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“NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN”

 

       The 83d Chemical Mortar Battalion first activated at Camp Gordon, Georgia on 10 June 1942.  After intensive training, it departed the United States on 29 April 1943 for overseas duty. The battalion served 508 days in combat in the Mediterranean Theater and Mainland Europe during World War II. The battalion was designed to carry thirty six 4.2 inch mortars, with each shell weighing about 25 pounds, for a total firepower effect equivalent to three 105mm howitzers. The 4.2 inch mortar brought a lethal, mid-to-close range fire support capability to the infantry units the 83d supported.  The battalion successfully performed five amphibious operations, one airborne operation, and fought in eight campaigns.  The 83d boasts a brilliant campaign record, having fired over 500,000 mortar rounds in support of such distinguished units as the Rangers, 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions, and the 2d and 41st British Commandos.

        The 83d Chemical Mortar Battalion inactivated on 26 November 1945 at Camp Miles Standish, Massachusetts. It reactivated as the 83d Chemical Battalion (Service) on 18 March 1955 at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Its subunits included the 317th Chemical Company (Processing), the 22d Chemical Company (Combat Support), and the 501st Chemical Company (depot).  The battalion last inactivated in 1966 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

        On 1 October 1993, it reactivated at Fort Bragg as the 83d Chemical Battalion (CORPS).

The Battalion relocated to Fort Polk in Sep 2000. The battalion’s war trace units were the 101st Chemical Company (Smoke/Decon) located at Fort Bragg, and the 59th Chemical Company (Smoke/Decon) at Fort Drum. The 83d served as the active duty command and control headquarters for chemical units assigned or attached to XVIII Airborne Corps or a Joint Task Force Commander.  The battalion deployed from Fort Polk on 8 February 2003, serving 118 Days in Kuwait and Iraq.  Upon commencement of ground offensive operations into Iraq, the battalion provided support to all major ground forces including 3d Infantry Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Division, United States Special Operations Forces and the 173 Airborne Brigade.

        In 2007, the chemical units assigned to the 83d CBRN Battalion at Fort Polk included its Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment, 7th CBRN Company (BIDS), and the 51st CBRN Company (Combat Support).  That year, the battalion was reorganized under the 48th Chemical Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, and 20th Support Command (CBRNE) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The 21st (Combat Support) and 101st (Smoke/Decon) CBRN Companies,  located at Fort Bragg, were attached  for Training and Readiness Authority, and the 63rd and 92nd Chemical Companies at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and Fort Stewart, Georgia were similarly attached during their deployments to OIF and OEF respectively.  The 83d CBRN Battalion also had oversight and responsibility for the 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (Rear) during the deployment of the Brigade Headquarters in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 83d CBRN Battalion currently stands ready at Fort Polk, Louisiana with both the 51st CBRN Company (Combat Support) and the 7th CBRN Company (BIDS) while both the 21st CBRN Company (Combat Support) and the 101st CBRN Company (Smoke/Decon) remain at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. 

 

CAMPAIGN PARTICIPANTS CREDIT WORLD WAR II

Sicily (with arrowhead)                        Southern France (with arrowhead)

Naples-Foggia (with arrowhead)          Rhineland

Anzio (with arrowhead)                       Ardennes-Alsace

Rome-Arno                                          Central Europe

 

CAMPAIGN PARTICIPANTS CREDIT OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM

Liberation of Iraq

Transition of Iraq

 

UNIT CITATIONS

Meritorious Unit Citation, awarded 27 June 2005 for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom

 

The vision or inspiration for this painting consisted of a few things.  First the overall theme, “Never to be Forgotten” exemplifies the fact that our organization will always remember the sacrifice of the members of the 83d Chemical Mortar Battalion who have honorably served before us.   The painting displays both WWII era Soldiers, as well as our CBRN Warriors of today, participating in a fierce battle. The capabilities of today's CBRN fighting force can be seen throughout the painting as well.   In the distance, a Biological Integrated Detection System (BIDS) vehicle provides support to the Soldiers in the foreground.  A Soldier in MOPP gear displays our decontamination capabilities while a FOX vehicle provides support.  A M56 smoke vehicle provides screening coverage during the mortar attack as Soldiers of today join the fight.