Post-World War II
(c) 152nd Field Artillery Association, 2009
152nd Field Artillery Association
Beginning in 1946, the National Guard began the process of reconstitution. In Maine, the old 152nd FA Regimental HQ and the Second Battalion were not reconstituted, leaving only the First Battalion. Federal recognition came in 1947 along with some changes to stationing: Headquarters moved from Houlton to Caribou, B Battery from Caribou to Houlton, C Battery from Ft. Fairfield to Ft. Kent, and the new Service Battery took over Fort Fairfield.
Lieutenant Colonel Herbert M. Brown was the first battalion commander of the newly reorganized battalion. LTC Brown had been the battalion's Plans and Training Officer and a lieutenant when the battalion mobilized in 1941; by 1943 he commanded the 739th Field Artillery battalion and fought the battalion across Europe to much acclaim.
Battalion Commander roster, 1947 - 2007
Two giants of the battalion, Sergeant Major Bouchard and Lieutenant Colonel Doody
In the 1950s, all the units of the battalion moved into newly built armories. The battalion briefly converted to Air Defense and fielded the Twin 40 "Duster" self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, and Service Battery got the chance to be a line battery for a couple of years.
In the 60s the battalion fielded self-propelled howitzers (can anyone provide details?). B Battery fired a 21-gun salute in honor of President Kennedy on the day of his funeral.
In 1971 the battalion made history by going to Canada to conduct annual training, beginning a 35-year fruitful relationship with Canadian Forces Base Gagetown.
In the 1980s the battalion sent B Battery to Camp Ripley Minnesota for annual training, the entire battalion to Fort A.P. Hill in 1985, won the Eisenhower Trophy at least twice, and fielded the new M198 155mm Howitzers. The battalion also began holding an annual "officers' party," which transitioned into the St. Barbara's celebration.
The Artillery Punch Ceremony at a Saint Barbara's celebration in the 1990s.
Among the many tragedies surrounding the deactivation of the battalion is the end of the opportunity to recognize so many great artillerymen through the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, and also great supporters of the battalion through the Molly Pitcher Award. See the roster of St. Barbara and Molly Pitcher recipients.
In the mid-1990s the battalion expanded out of Aroostook County for the first time since the early 70s, when there was a detachment of B Battery in Millinocket. Alpha Battery moved their flag to Waterville and the Presque Isle armory became a detachment of C Battery; also Calais became a detachment of B Battery.
Battalion soldiers work on Bangor Hydro's Washington County powerline after the Ice Storm of January 1998.
The late-90's saw three State mobilizations. Two were to assist in searches for lost hunters in the Ashland and Danforth areas. The other was in response to the ice storms of January 1998, known as Operation Ice Guard.
In 2000 the battalion travelled to Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah for annual training. The next year we fielded the new Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS), among the first battalions in the Army, active or Guard, to field the version that replaced the Battery Computer System (BCS) at the battery fire direction centers.
In 2004, as significant portions of the battalion began deploying in support of the Global War on Terror, the battalion deployed to Canadian Forces Base Val Cartier, outside of Quebec City, for Annual Training. In 2005 the battalion was back to Gagetown but without any guns, as we tailored training towards non-artillery tasks that our soldiers were performing overseas.
In 2006 we executed our last Annual Training at CFB Gagetown, and fired our guns for the last time.