IKE JACKET – 5th ARMY – SERGEANT TECHNICIAN 4th GRADE – 83 CML MORTAR BN
The 83d Chemical Battalion first activated at Camp Gordon, Georgia on 10 June 1942. After intensive training, it departed the United States on 29 April 1943 for overseas duty. The Battalion served 508 days in combat in the Mediterranean Theater and Mainland Europe during World War II. The battalion was designed to carry 36 4.2 inch mortars, with each shell weighing about 25 pounds, for a total firepower effect equivalent to three 105mm howitzers. The 4.2 inch mortar brought a lethal, mid-to-close range fire support capability to the infantry units the 83d supported. The battalion successfully performed five amphibious operations, one airborne operation, and fought in eight campaigns. The 83d boasts a brilliant campaign record, having fired over 500,000 mortar rounds in support of such distinguished units as the Rangers, 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions, and the 2d and 41st British Commandos.