Battalion History

The history of the 147th Field Artillery Battalion began with the former 147th Field Artillery Regiment, South Dakota National Guard. Service for the Battalion begins from the Spanish-American War days through present conflicts.

The 1st South Dakota Infantry Regiment (U.S. Volunteers) was organized during the Spanish-American War and subsequently the Philippines Insurrection. Service continued with the 4th South Dakota Infantry on the Mexican border in 1916.

World War I activated service of the 4th South Dakota Infantry, which was converted prior to movement to France to the 147th Field Artillery Regiment. During World War 1 the 147th served as part of the 32nd Division and helped to pierce the Kriemhilde-Hindenberg Line. The 147th continued service in both World Wars and during the Pacific campaign.

The 147th traveled to Australia in 1941 where they were the first Americans to visit that country. During this period, the Regiment was reorganized as a Battalion. The 147th became well known as the “Bushmasters”. The unit left Australia and began “Island Hopping” through the Southwest Pacific, gaining prestige as it went. After World War II, the unit returned home and was reorganized as the 147th Field Artillery Battalion.

In World War II, men of the 147th Field Artillery Battalion (which derived from the reorganization of the 147th Field Artillery Regiment at Milne Bay on January 1, 1944, into the 147th FA Battalion and the 260th FA Battalion), found themselves on Luzon, Pacific Islands –where their fathers and grandfathers had fought before them in the Spanish-American War.

In 1950 the unit was again called on by our country where it became a part of the Alaskan Defense Command and deployed to Alaska. The Berlin Crisis in the fall of 1961 found the unit on the road once again, this time to Fort Sill, OK. In a period of five short weeks, the 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery prepared for and passed the Army Training Test and was rated “Combat Ready”. In 1974, the Battalion became the first Reserve Component unit in the United States to become proficient in the delivery of nuclear weapons.

On September 2, 1997 the Battalion converted from M109A4, 155mm howitzer (self-propelled) to the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. The Battalion transitioned to the M270A1 MLRS in July 2005.

In 2001, the Battalion was activated for state missions, security of local airports, protection of national monuments, and wildland firefighting.

In 2003, 1/147 was mobilized for Operation Enduring Freedom and 94 members of 2nd Battalion served with 1/147 FA BN at Ft Sill, OK.

In late 2003-2005, 64 members of 1/147 FA mobilized with 2/147th FA BN during OIF II.

In 2005, Charlie Battery 1/147 FA BN was mobilized to Iraq during OIF 5-7.

In 2007, Bravo Battery 1/147 BN was mobilized to Iraq during OIF 07-09.

In October 2007, the Army Force Structure transformed 1st Bn and 2nd Bn into one Battalion forming what is now 1st Battalion, 147th FA.

In April of 2009, the restructured 1/147 FA BN was mobilized with the 115th FiB for OIF 9.2.