2nd Battalion (M) 50th Infantry

1st 50th Crest

   The following lineage begins "Post" World War II

(Source: Department of the Army, War Office, Lineage and Honors, 50th Infantry Regiment)
2ND BN, 50TH INF. (As 9th Armored Infantry Bn)

By Jim Sheppard
1/50th Vietnam Era Association Historian

According to the Department of the Army War Office's Lineage and Honors, for the 50th Infantry Regiment:

  • Assigned to the 6th Armored Division, Fort Leonard Wood, MO from 1950 to 1956
  • Inactivated in March, 1956
  • Relieved 1 July 1957 from Assignment to the 6th Armored Division.

The Lineage and Honors documentation from the Department of the Army does not show the 50th Infantry being reconstituted (along with other elements) until 1 July 1959...but this does not preclude the 2/50th being activated and assigned during 1957-1959.  Documentation may be forthcoming.

(Source: Postings on Website for  The Ferris Barracks, Erlangen, Germany)
2ND BN, 50TH INF. Assigned Ferris Barracks, Erlangen, Germany

By Jim Sheppard
1/50th Vietnam Era Association Historian

Unofficial documentation shows the Battalion, with it's unit Designation having been returned as 2/50th, assigned to Ferris Barracks, Erlangen, Germany between 1957 and 1964 (Dates approximate).

(Source: "2AD Dispatch", Final Issue, June 12, 1992)
2AD ends 52 year history at LDCK

By Staff Sgt. John Brooks
Assistant Editor

The history of 2nd Armored Division (Forward) is rather short when compared to some unit histories, but is a significant part of the larger legacy of 2AD, the longest continuously active armored division in the U.S. Army.

In 1975, in a move to strengthen the NATO alliance, soldiers from the 2nd Armored Division at Ft. Hood, Texas, were organized into a rotational brigade, known as Brigade '75. With the exception of the headquarters company and support battalion, each unit was to serve in Germany for six months, after which they would rotate back to Ft. Hood and be replaced with fresh 2AD troops. The new brigade was stationed in Grafenwoehr, Germany, through 1976 when it was stationed in Osterholz county and designated as 2AD (FWD), a new member of the Northern Army Group.

The kaserne (German for "Barracks") 2AD (FWD) called home, Lucius D. Clay Kaserne in Garlstedt, was constructed from 1977 to 1979 as a joint effort of the German and U.S. governments. When completed, rotation of the units from Ft. Hood stopped and 2AD (FWD) moved to its permanent home. Stationing of 2AD (FWD) at the new kaserne was completed in 1979.

During this period, the 8th Sergeant Major of the Army,  Julius W. Gates served as the 2/50th's CSM.

In 1983, 2AD (FWD) joined in the conversion to Division '86 and the regimental system. The 2nd Battalion, 50th Infantry and 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery were redesignated as 4th Battalion, 41st Infantry and 4th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, respectively, joining 2nd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment and 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry in their regimental affiliation to 2AD at Ft. Hood, Texas.

(Source: Global Security.org.)

Based at Fort Hood, the Second Armored Division furnished thousands of trained replacements to units serving in the Korean War. In 1951 the Hell on Wheels division returned to Germany to serve for six years in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, then returned to Fort Hood. The First Battalion, Fiftieth Infantry; Second Squadron, First Cavalry; First Battalion, Fourteenth Field Artillery; and First Battalion, Ninety-second Field Artillery fought in the war in Vietnam. The division sent brigades to participate in exercises in Germany from 1973 through 1979, and in 1987 the division was engaged in the largest deployment to Europe since World War II as a part of the Third Corps exercise "Reforger 87" to demonstrate the ability to deploy and fight in support of NATO.

On October 10, 1990, the division began to deploy more than 5,000 soldiers to Saudi Arabia. The 2nd Armored Division was next called to action for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. As coalition forces, the 1st (Tiger) Brigade of the 2nd Armored Division was attached to the I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) under Marine LtG Walter Boomer along with the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions. Their objective was Kuwait City. On February 24, 1991, the Second Armored entered Iraqi-held Kuwait. In 100 hours allied forces had taken back the emirate.

Desert Storm had temporarily interrupted the inactivation of the division begun in 1990. After Kuwait was liberated, the 1st Tiger Brigade returned to their home at Fort Hood Texas. Upon the division's return from Operation Desert Storm deactivation was continued, and the last unit became inactive on May 2, 1991, ending fifty-one years of continuous active duty. On May 23, 1991, the First "Tiger" Brigade was rededicated as the Third "Grey Wolf" Brigade of the First Cavalry Division, rejuvenating a Second Armored Division unit stationed at Fort Hood. Units like the 1st Tiger Brigade are now assigned to the 4th Infantry Division.

In December 1992 the Fifth Infantry Division was redesignated the Second Armored Division. The 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) had become Fort Polk's major tenant in 1974, and hundreds of millions of dollars in construction made it one of the most modern installations in the Army. In 1993, the 5th Division (redesignated as the 2nd Armored Division) moved to Fort Hood, Texas, as a result of changing defense requirements. In December 1995 the the 2nd Armored Division was again redesignated as the Fourth Infantry Division (mechanized), stationed in Colorado. The units that comprised the 2nd Armored Division have been assigned to other units and the division disbanded.

MSG Edmund G. Scott, US Army Reserve - Retired, contributed the following in regards to the 2/50th between 1975 and 1978:

I was stationed at Fort Hood in 1974 - 78 and was in A Co., 1/50th for about a year until I was trasnferred to the 2/41st which was short troops to be part of BRIGADE '75, so I was sent to Germany with the 2/41. The 2/50 was also in the 2nd Armored Division then and was part of the rotation to three different locations while the permanent location was being conctructed at Garlstedt. The three sites were Wildfleckin, Grafenwohr,and Hohenfels. I can personnaly attest to Wildfleckin and Hohenfels, since I was at each one for 6 months. Wildfleckin in 1975 and Hohenfels in 1978.

Historian's Notes:      I was among the first of three groups of Basic Trainees to cycle through the 1st Bn (M) 50th Infantry , 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas...my training beginning in December of 1965.  I recall that there was another unit at Fort Hood, the 2nd Bn (M) 50th Infantry. but in the 1st Armored Division. (I may be mistaken...as it seems the 2nd battalion may have also been with the 2nd AD)  In fact, Association Member Bill Moore recants in his story (See "One Name on the Wall",   published on our site in the "war Stories" section) that he transferred from the 2/50th one day before the buses arrived to take us on the first leg of our trip to the USS General John Pope...and ultimately, the Republic of South Vietnam.

Compiled by Historian Jim Sheppard, January, 2007