102nd Infantry Regiment History

1639: The102nd Infantry Regiment traces its roots back to the days of the New Haven Plantation of the British Empire. A unit was developed called an Armed Watch which guarded the area against attacks from savages, pirates and hostile forces.

1675:  The Militia participated in the King Philip’s War named after the Indian Sachem Philip who led Connecticut and Rhode Island Indians in an effort to drive settlers from their homes.

1739: The unit became the Second Regiment of the Colonial Militia.  Captain Benedict Arnold led the unit from New Haven and it fought in many engagements during the Revolutionary War.

1816: The New Haven Grays were formed from the remnants of the second regiment. They elected Shapos Staples as their commander. From this period until the outbreak of the Civil War the Grays were called upon to restore unrest in the city. (Yale Medical students - chasing citizens around Fair Haven)

1861: The Grays were called to enlist for 90 days as part of the second Connecticut Infantry. They participated in the Battle of Bull Run and many other engagements during the conflict including Gettysburg. By this time New Haven Grays served in a variety of units such as the 27th Connecticut, which fought bravely at Gettysburg. They have a monument on the field and their famous commander Colonel Merwin also has a marker where he fell. (Antonio Darnell’s backpack is on display in the gray’s room. He is one of two Asian American’s to fight in the unit during the Civil War.)

1916: The unit was sent to the Mexican border at Nogales New Mexico. Pancho Villa was robbing banks and the area need protection.

 1917:  The first infantry and second infantry regiment were combined to form 102nd Infantry Regiment. Company A was referred to as the Grays but it was unofficial (nickname). The unit left for France on September 7, 1917. It fought in many battles and was highly decorated. “Stubby” was the highest decorated dog in WW1. We have a painting done in 1926 that shows him wearing his medals.

1942: The 102nd become part of the 43rd Division.  They were assigned to Christmas Island in the Pacific expecting a Japanese invasion. It never came. Many of its men were transferred to the 25th and 37th infantry divisions which saw a lot of action during WW2.

1945:  After the surrender of Japan, the unit returned to Connecticut and reverted back to National Guard status.

1950: In the summer of 1950 while participating in annual training, the 102nd was notified it was to be moblized for the Korean War and was again assigned to the 43rd Infantry Division. They trained for a year at Camp Picket ,Virginia. Then the unit was ordered to travel to North Carolina to take part in the 3rd Army Maneuvers, "Operation Southern Pines". Some personel were sent to Korea but most served in Germany.

1954:  The unit once again became part of the Connecticut National Guard. In 1955, the unit was called to duty to assist with the floods of 1955. In 1978, the unit was called to duty to provide assistance with "Storm Larry", which was referred to as the "Blizzard of 78".

2010 - Present: The 102nd continues to add to it's Valor and Honor as it serves it's country today in the war on global terror.

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