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United States ARMY 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment Military Patch PARAMARINE THE ROCK

United States ARMY 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment Military Patch PARAMARINE THE ROCK

McGROGAN's US ARMY 503rd AIRBORNE INFANTRY REGIMENT PATCH "The Rock" The 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) was among the most decorated airborne units during World War II. World War II On February 14 1942. the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment was formed. The Regiment's 1st and 2nd Battalions were formed at Fort Benning, Georgia, from the 503rd and 504th Parachute Battalions, respectively. Unlike many other airborne units, who were deployed in the European Theater of Operations, the 503rd was the first airborne regiment to fight in the Pacific, and as an independent unit. They are most notable for liberating the island of Corregidor in Manila Bay, for which the unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation (US). The 503rd also got it's nickname, "the Rock Regiment" from this battle. The two other airborne operations included an assault on the Japanese-held Nadzab airstrip, New Guinea, 5 September 1943, and Kamiri Airfield on Noemfoor Island off the coast of Dutch New Guinea, 3 July 1944. Post-WWII history Inactivated at Camp Anza, CA, in December 1945, it was reactivated and redesignated as Company B, 503rd Airborne Infantry in February 1951 and assigned to the U.S. 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In 1959, the regiment again reorganized as the 1st and 2d Airborne Battle Groups, 503rd Infantry, and was assigned to the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In March 1963, both battle groups were redesignated and reorganized as the 1st and 2d Battalions, 503rd Airborne Infantry, and reassigned to the newly formed 173rd Airborne Brigade(Separate). In May 1965, the 503rd Infantry deployed with the 173rd Airborne Brigade to Vietnam as the first major U.S. Army ground combat unit to be deployed. During its six years in Vietnam, the 503rd participated in fourteen campaigns, winning two more Presidential Unit Citations and a Meritorious Unit Commendation. The 503rd participated in the only combat jump of the war, called "Operation Junction City". It redeployed to the United States in July 1971, having the distinction of being one of the last units to leave Vietnam. Subsequently, the 503rd served as part of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division until 1984 when it was inactivated. Reactivated 19 December 1986, it was assigned to the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division as the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry. After the recent deployment to the al Anbar province of Iraq, the 503rd is now based at Fort Carson, Colorado.

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