Page 10

Infantry Regiment in 1929 and advanced to the rank of master sergeant before commissioning as a 2nd Lt. in 1939. During World War II, Mackey commanded Headquarters Company, 30th Infantry Division. As a member of the 119th Infantry Regiment, Mackey served in the European Theater campaigns from Normandy to Germany. He was awarded two Bronze Stars and the Combat Infantry Badge for his service. After the war, Mackey rejoined the 122nd Infantry Regiment. Colonel Wesley Willingham assumed command of the 160th Armored Group headquartered in Forsyth. Willingham enlisted in the Georgia Guard’s 30th Tank Company in 1924. He commanded Company A of the Georgia Guard’s 193rd Tank Battalion in 1940 and served as a tank battalion commander during World War II. Returning from the war, Willingham was promoted to colonel. He accepted a one-grade reduction to Lt. Col. In order to serve as battalion commander of the 190th Tank Battalion. Upon assuming command of the 160th Armored Group, Willingham was again promoted to colonel. Equipping the Division In the intervening months between the conversion and the 48th Armored Division’s first annual training in 1956, units across the state received hundreds of M-41 Walker Bulldog light tanks and M-47 Patton medium tanks. Drivers, gunners, and vehicle commanders trained on new

tanks, self-propelled howitzers and artillery pieces. In November 1955, curious attendees of the Coastal States Fair in Savannah could view the first M-7 tank-mounted selfpropelled howitzers assigned to the 118th Field Artillery and Division Artillery. Massive self-propelled 155 mm howitzers would add additional firepower and range at a cost of $194,000 per howitzer. Infantry of the former 121st and 122nd Infantry Regiments adapted to their new mechanized role as armored infantry battalions. They were joined by the 171st AIB and 144th AIB. By July, 1956, the division’s transition was complete. But more changes would follow. The division upgraded to M-48 Patton heavy tanks in 1958. In 1963, the division reorganized into a three-brigade structure with all units belonging to Georgia. The 121st Infantry expanded to four battalions and the 108th Armored Regiment was composed of five battalions. The 748th Cavalry Squadron, 560th Engineer Battalion and 148th Aviation Battalion rounded out the division while Division Artillery was composed of three battalions from the 118th Field Artillery, and a battalion each from the 179th and 214th Field Artillery. For the remainder of its existence, the 48th Armored Division conducted annual training at Fort Stewart. Next Month: The Berlin Crisis

48th Armored Units

Units of the 48th Armored Division, September, 1955 Headquarters Company, Band, and Medical Detachment – Macon Headquarters Company, Combat Command B – Macon Headquarters Company, Combat Command C – Atlanta 48th Armored Signal Company – Atlanta 48th Military Police Company – Atlanta 48th Replacement Company – Newly created unit 48th Reconnaissance Battalion Headquarters and Service Company – Jackson Company A – LaGrange Company B – Newnan Company C – Griffin Company D – Marietta Medical Detachment – newly created unit 121st Armored Infantry Battalion Headquarters Company – Albany Company A – Dawson Company B – Albany

9 | The Georgia Guardsman

Company C – Thomasville Company D – Bainbridge Medical Detachment – newly created unit 162nd Tank Battalion Headquarters and Service Company – Macon Company A – Perry Company B – Thomaston Company C – Macon Company D – Montezuma Separate Detachment, Company D – Reynolds Medical Detachment – Macon 163rd Tank Battalion Headquarters and Service Company – Calhoun Company A – Rome Company B – Cedartown Company C – Canton Company D – Dalton Medical Detachment – Calhoun 190th Tank Battalion Headquarters and Service Company – Americus

September 2015  

The September edition of the Georgia Guardsman remembers our fallen Georgia Guardsmen. Also this month we look back at the Georgia Guard 48t...

September 2015  

The September edition of the Georgia Guardsman remembers our fallen Georgia Guardsmen. Also this month we look back at the Georgia Guard 48t...

Advertisement