15th Engineer Battalion

15th Engineer Battalion
– “Drive On” –

15th Engineer Battalion

15th Engineer Battalion

The 15th Engineer Battalion was first constituted on July 1st, 1916 in the Enlisted Reserve Corps as an Engineer Regiment and organized on the 5th of May 1917 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the 5th Reserve Engineers. It was ordered into active military service between the 21st of May and the 6th of June, 1917 at Oakmont, Pennsylvania. The unit was re-designated on the 9th of June, 1917 as the 5th Regiment of Engineers. It was the re-designated again on the 8th of August 1917 as the 15th Engineers and allotted to the National Army. The battle record of the unit began during World War I, when it was awarded campaign streamers for the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. After service in World War I, the unit was demobilized on 15 May 1919 at Camp Sherman, Ohio.

In the interwar period, the unit was reconstituted on 25th August 1921 in the Regular Army as the 15th Engineers and assigned on 24 March 1923 to the 9th Division (later re-designated as the 9th Infantry Division). The unit was re-designated on the 1st of July 1940 as the 15th Engineer Battalion and activated on 1st of August 1940 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Battalion was reorganized and re-designated on 1 August 1942 as the 15th Engineer Combat Battalion. The 15th Combat Engineer Battalion landed on the shores of North Africa in September 1942 to provide combat support to the 9th Infantry Division in it’s drive to disable the German Afrika Korps. There the unit held US forces beat and disorganize the German Armies. It subsequently moved on to Sicily, assisting in operations there. From Sicily, the battle weary troops were transported to England where they underwent a rigorous training program in preparation for Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day, the invasion of France.

The day the Battalion had been training for came on 14 June 1944 as they swarmed onto the beaches of Normandy. Their assignment was to clear minefields and build bridges as the infantry pushed the enemy forces out of France and Belgium. They shared the glory of the 9th Infantry Division, as it became the first unit to cross the Seine River and begin the liberation of conquered Belgium, then moving to the Aachen area and later the Hurtgen Forest where they participated in some of the most brutal battles of World War 2. They also fought during the Battle of the Bulge, which saw Germany’s final winter offensive of the war fail.

In March of 1945, the Battalion were supporting the 9th Infantry Division as it snuffed out resistance in Bonn. Later that month the Battalion crossed the Ludendroff Bridge and established the Remagen Bridgehead for which Company B was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation. After the end of the Second World War, the 15th Engineer Battalion remained in Germany until it was inactivated on 30 November 1946 in Germany.