108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (United States) - History - World War II

World War II

The 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade traces its lineage to the 514th Coast Artillery Regiment (Antiaircraft), which was formed in Schenectady, New York in October, 1923. The Regiment was reorganized as the 108th Coast Artillery Group (Antiaircraft) on 3 January 1943 at Camp Davis, North Carolina, and again reorganized as the 108th Antiaircraft Artillery Group, in May of the same year. The 108th was then moved to Camp Stewart, Georgia on 14 October 1943. Two months later, the 108th staged at Camp Shanks, New York on 22 December and remained there until they deployed from the New York Port of Embarkation on 6 days later, and arrived in England on 7 January 1944.

The brigade deployed to Europe during World War II, and participated in the landings at Normandy, going ashore at Utah Beach on 28 June 1944. The 108th then went on to provide antiaircraft defense for the city and port of Cherbourg, for eleven months, and then moved forward to the cities of Rheims and Rouen. The brigade was moved forward to Germany on 2 May 1945, and was stationed in Kaufhueren on 20 August. The Group was deactivated there on 14 December 1945, and returned to the Army reserve. The personnel and equipment from the brigade were dispersed to the occupation units.

1/514th CAR (AA) became 217th Coast Artillery Battalion on 20 January 1943, and was again redesignated as 217th Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion on 28 June 1943. The 217th deployed from the Boston Port of Embarkation on 7 April 1944 and arrived in England on 17 April 1944. The 217th moved forward to France on 25 June 1944, where they remained until they moved forward to participate in the Ardennes-Alsace Offensive. The 217th was relocated to Stubenag, Germany on 20 August 1945. The 217th returned to the continental US via the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation on 2 February 1946, and was deactivated and returned to the US Army Reserve the same day.

2/514th CAR (AA) became 639th Coast Artillery Battalion (Auto Weapons) on 20 January 1943, And was again redesignated as the 639th Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Auto Weapons) on 15 May. The 639th deployed from the New York Port of Embarkation on 29 September 1944, and landed in France on 10 October 1944. The 639th was then relocated to Braunfels, Germany on 20 August 1945. The 639th returned to the continental US via the New York Port of Embarkation on 2 February 1946, and was deactivated at Camp Kilmer, and returned to the US Army Reserve on the same day.

3/514th CAR (AA) became 363rd Coast Artillery Battalion (Search Light) on 20 January 1943, and was redesignated as the 363rd Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Searchlight) on 3 March 1943. The 363rd did not deploy, but remained at Fort Gordon, Georgia until 31 October 1944, whereupon the unit was deactivated and returned to the US Army Reserve, with the personnel and equipment transferred elsewhere as required.

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