World War 2
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Does anyone have information on the 163 rd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion serving in the Pacific?

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2015-07-15 21:26:23
2015-07-15 21:26:23

I found this information while doing an Internet search.

After being sent to the pacific theatre, the unit found itself engaged in combat in the Philippines where it served honorably and won the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. It was on the Philippines where the 163d Field Artillery helped the 38th Infantry Division earn its nicknames, the" Avengers of Battaan" and the Cyclone Division. It was at this time the former elements were reorganized and redesignated as the 163d Field Artillery, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System, to consist of the 1st Battalion, and element of the 38th Infantry Division.

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I do know that my Uncle Harry C. Funk was in that unit at Leyte and all his miliary records were lost in a fire in St. Louis in 1973. I have some pictures that were taken there and some stories that were passed along by him. He was a corporal on a Quad 50 and was highly decorated....silver star, two bronze stars, two purple hearts.James W. PetersonCharlotte, NC211th AAA AW BattalionAt the beginning of World War II, antiaircraft artillery was, at best, the poor stepchild of the Coast Artillery Corps. A typical unit was a three battalion regiment that would include a gun battalion, an automatic weapons battalion and a searchlight battalion. Vast expansion began in 1940-1941 and Antiaircraft Artillery finally achieved an identity separate from the Coast Artillery in 1943.The 211th AAA AW Battalion originated as a Connecticut National Guard that was called to Federal service in 1940. It was originally formed as the second battalion of the 208th CA (AA) Regiment and was in training at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts on December 7, 1941. On February 18, 1942, this unit left San Francisco on the USS Matsonia for service in the Asiatic Pacific Theater. Arriving in Australia on March 9, 1942, they moved into base at Townsville on March 18th. This battalion was originally equipped with .50 caliber machine guns, but later AAA AW Battalions were typically organized into four firing batteries and each battery was equipped with eight 40mm Bofors guns and eight quad mount .50 caliber machine guns.On May 16, 1943, the 2nd Battalion 208th CA (AA) was reorganized and redesignated 211th CA Bn (AA). Redesignated 211th AAA AW Battalion on June 15, 1944. Source: History of Headquarters 14th Antiaircraft CommandThe 211th AAA AW Battalion was recognized as the top scoring AAA unit during the Philippine campaign. Defending Tacloban Airstrip during the Leyte Campaign, they were officially credited with 40.75 planes destroyed and 26 probably destroyed.My uncle, Milas Ray Benfield from Stony Point, NC enlisted in the US Army on August 14, 1941 and was training with the 208th CA (AA) in Massachusetts on December 7, 1941. He shipped out with this unit in February 1942 and returned from the Asiatic Pacific Theater on April 23, 1945. He received the Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Medal with 5 bronze service stars for Papua, New Guinea, East Indies, Southern Philippines and the Luzon Campaign. Other awards include the Distinguished Unit Badge and the Purple Heart. He was discharged from the 211th AAA AW Battalion, Battery D on July 23, 1945.I have some additional information that I would be willing to share and would be interested in obtaining additional information and pictures relative to this units World War II service.David L. BenfieldTodd, North Carolina

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