Mississippi Rifles

History

History of the 1-155th Infantry (Mech)

1-155th Infantry Battalion Crest

Mississippi’s First and Finest

« ARROW – Creek Indian Wars
« RED CROSS – War of 1812 and Florida, 1814
« CACTUS – Mexican – Monterey and Buena Vista
« WHITE CROSS – Civil War
« FLEUR-DE-LIS – World War I
« THREE STARS – World War II

History

Now older than the state of Mississippi and seventh oldest infantry unit in the United States from point of service, the 155th Infantry, formerly the First Mississippi Regiment, was handed its first commission on 1 June 1798 by Winthrop Sargent, territorial governor of Mississippi.

Having a memorable part in seven wars, and now engaged in training for any emergency, the Color streamers speak eloquently and heroically for more than one hundred and fifty years of service during the Indian War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.

It was during the Mexican War, that the 155th Infantry, then the First Mississippi Regiment, was commanded by the great Jefferson Davis, who resigned his seat in Congress to assume command. At Buena Vista, 22 February 1847, with the Mexicans out-numbering the Americans five to one, General Zachary Taylor called upon Jefferson Davis and the First Mississippi Regiment. Moving quickly into the assault, Davis gave but one order: “STAND FAST, MISSISSIPIANS.” History was made that day and the order became the official motto for the unit, later to be emblazoned on the unit crest.

Through the Civil War, in engagements in Kentucky and Tennessee; in the Spanish-American War; in World War I, at Beauregard and in France, and in World War II, in the Southwest Pacific, the men from “Mississippi’s Pride” were always among the finest.

The 155th Infantry Regiment was designated as such on the 27th of September 1917, as part of the Federalized National Guard. From 1919 until 24 November 1940, the 155th Infantry was organized in Mississippi as a National Guard unit, and participated in several civil disturbances on call of the Governor. The aid rendered by the 155th Infantry during the famous Flood of 1927 can never be measured, and the Regiment was given official recognition by the Governor and the Legislature.

On 25 November 1940, the 155th Infantry, as part of the 31st Infantry Division, was again called into Federal Service, and stationed in Camp Blanding, Florida. During 1941 the Regiment went through intensive training from basic subjects to large scale field maneuvers in Louisiana and the Carolinas. On 30 November 1941, at the termination of these problems, the 155th had again become of age. It was tough, well trained, willing, and but for the lack of arms and equipment, ready. Immediately, after Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war on Japan and Germany, the Regiment was split into combat teams with the mission of coastal defense from Jacksonville, Florida to Key West. In February 1942, the Regiment moved with the Division to Camp Bowie, Texas, from Camp Blanding, Florida. It had lost over half of its personnel on cadres to new units, and so began again the long training program. In July, 1942, the Division was again called upon for cadres and the 155th Infantry responded with well trained personel. The Regiment was moved to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in September of 1942, after extensive maneuvering in Louisiana, and again by December furnished a large cadre to other units.

Finally, after 37 months of intensive training, cadres, more training, and more cadres, the Regiment as part of the 31st Division sailed out of Newport News, Virginia for the Southwest Pacific and action.

From March 1944 till July 1944, the Regiment participated in extensive training in jungle warfare and amphibious exercises as part of the toughening up process for the type of warfare usual to that part of the world. By 20 July 1944, the 155 Infantry was once again in combat.

Dutch New Guinea-Maffin Bay-Wake Island, these are names the men of the “Walking 155” remember in their first test under fire against the Japanese. In the New Guinea campaign, the 155th accounted for dead enemy at the rate of 80 to each one American killed in action. Later come Morotai, Midanao, The Agusan Valley, Maloe, and other tongue twisters in the long fight to defeat the Japanese. No words can describe the heroic action, the hardships, the insects, the gripes, or the final feeling when V-J Day arrived and a soldier could move at night without fear of death.

In 22 October 1946, the 155th Infantry Regiment, was again organized as a National Guard Regiment, as part of the 31st Infantry Division, with Headquarters at Canton, Mississippi, and commanded by Colonel Leslie L. Evans, units of the regiment were organized in Canton, Jackson, Vicksburg, Meadville, Crystal Springs, Gulfport, Kosciusko, Natchez, Yazoo City, Moorhead, Aberdeen Cleveland, Clarksdale, Lousiville, Corinth, Tylertown, and McComb.

The Regiment attended its first post-war encampment at Camp Shelby in July 1947 with 13 units participating. In 1948 and 1949 the Regiment spent its encampment at Fort Benning, Georgia.

At the outbreak of the hostilities in Korea, with war clouds gathering for the inevitable, the 155th held its summer field training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Training was hard, and attitudes were serious. Somehow, everyone felt that before long the Regiment would once again receive its call to active duty.

After many days of waiting and watching, on 15 December 1950, President Truman announced that once again, the 31st Infantry Division would enter Active Federal Service. Activation order designated Fort Jackson, South Carolina as the training site.

The Regiment entered Federal Service in January 1951 and went through a complete cycle of training from basic training through unit tactical problems. In the days that followed, the Regiment was once again called upon to furnish both Officers and Enlisted personnel as replacements for overseas service. Many served with distinction in Korea.

In 1953, the 155th Infantry was again reorganized in Mississippi as a National Guard Regiment with many positions of leadership filled with Korean veterans preparing for any emergency.

Reorganized under the “Pentomic” concept 1 May 1959 as First Battle Group 155th Infantry, the unit is again preparing for any emergency that may arise. The attitude of the personnel of the 155th Infantry was ably stated by Colonel Hogaboom, regimental commander from April 25, 1923 through July 4, 1941, in an address in accepting the unit’s colors at a ceremony at Camp Beauregard in 1931;

“I accept this beautiful emblem as the representative of the officers and men of the 155th Infantry, and I assure you and the people of our great state that we are fully appreciative of the obligation of loyal and faithful service which goes hand in hand with this token of the noble service of our fathers.

“We join all right thinking men in wishing for our state and nation a long period of peace and prosperity, but if we are to carry these colors as gloriously in the future emergencies as our fathers have done in the past, we know that we must always be prepared and that real preparation can only be had by intelligent training.

“So with our hats off to our glorious past and our coats off to the future, we shall carry on, giving the best that we have to uphold the traditions of our unit and hand it to our sons as bright and untarnished as we have received it.”

155TH INFANTRY REGIMENT

 

DISTINCTIVE UNIT INSIGNIA

 

1-155th Infantry Battalion Distinctive Unit Insignia

 

COAT OF ARMS

 

1-155th Infantry Battalion Coat of Arms

Distinctive Unit Insignia. Description: A Silver metal and enamel device 1 1/16 inches (2.70 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Azure, in bend a giant cactus and a fleur-de-lis pale ways Or; on a chief Argent a saltire Gray surmounted by a cross Gules charged with an arrow fess ways of the third. Attached below the shield a Silver scroll inscribed “STAND FAST” in Blue letters.

Symbolism: The shield is blue, the present Infantry color, and the chief is white, the old Infantry color. The arrow and cross represent Indian War and War of 1812 service. The cactus indicated the organization’s service during the Mexican War. The gray saltire is for the organization’s service as Confederate troops during the Civil War. World War I service is denoted by the fleur-de-lis. It is understood that Colonel Jefferson Davis, when commanding the troops at the Battle of Buena Vista, commanded, “Stand Fast, Mississippians,” when other troops were beginning to fall back. The motto selected is taken from this command.

Background: The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 4 June 1931.

Coat of Arms.

Blazon:

Shield: Azure, in bend a giant cactus and a fleur-de-lis paleways Or; on a chief Argent a saltire Gray surmounted by a cross Gules charged with an arrow fessways of the third.

Crest: That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Mississippi National Guard: On a wreath of the colors (Or and Azure) a slip of magnolia full flower with leaves Proper behind a trident Sable.

Motto: STAND FAST.

Symbolism:

Shield: The shield is blue, the present Infantry color, and the chief is white, the old Infantry color. The arrow and cross represent Indian War and War of 1812 service. The cactus indicated the organization’s service during the Mexican War. The gray saltire is for the organization’s service as Confederate troops during the Civil War. World War I service is denoted by the fleur-de-lis. It is understood that Colonel Jefferson Davis, when commanding the troops at the Battle of Buena Vista, commanded, “Stand Fast, Mississippians,” when other troops were beginning to fall back. The motto selected is taken from this command.

Crest: The crest is that of the Mississippi Army National Guard.

Background: The coat of arms was approved on 4 June 1931.

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