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The 182nd Infantry Regiment, now known as the 182nd Cavalry Squadron (RSTA), is the oldest combat regiment in the United States Army. The regiment traces its history more than 370 years, when it was a colonial regiment of foot of the British Crown in Massachusetts. It later served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, with Union forces in the American Civil War, and as a federalized Massachusetts National Guard regiment with the U.S. Army during World War I and World War II. For many years the regiment was a mechanized unit, and in 2006 the regiment was converted into the 182nd Cavalry Squadron (RSTA), headquartered at Melrose Armory in Melrose, Massachusetts.
The unit reorganized on 12 July 1920 as the 5th Infantry Massachusetts National Guard. It was redesignated as the 182nd Infantry and assigned to the 26th Division on 21 March 1923. It was subsequently reorganized and federally recognized on 11 April 1923 with headquarters at Charlestown, Massachusetts. The unit was inducted into federal service on 16 January 1941 at Charlestown. It was relieved from the 26th Division and assigned to the Task Force 6814, on 14 January 1942, which was sent to Melbourne, Australia.
On 6 March 1942 the men of the 182nd broke camp outside Melbourne and boarded troop trains for the docks in Melbourne. With the rest of the Task Force, the 182nd traveled to a classified destination which turned out to be New Caledonia, where they arrived on 12 March 1942. On 27 May 1942, Task Force 6814 was redesignated the Americal Division, one of only two American infantry divisions to be assigned a name instead of a number (Americal is a combination of the words American and Caledonia).
As part of a piecemeal transfer of the Americal Division, the 182nd was deployed to combat in the Battle of Guadalcanal on 12 November 1942, where the Regiment's 3d Battalion participated in an operation to capture the Japanese defensive works atop the Sea Horse, a prominent terrain feature on the island. Maintaining contact with elements of other U.S. Army regiments in the assault, the 3rd Battalion began its ascent, and by 30 December was in action against Japanese forces atop the Sea Horse. The fighting was so intense that some of the Americans could not be removed after being killed, and were buried where they fell. In 2008, the remains of Lt. Raymond S. Woods of the 182nd Infantry Regiment, who was killed in action on 30 December 1942 in fighting atop the Sea Horse Ridge, were located and transferred to JPAC. The 182nd later fought in the Bougainville campaign, the Northern Solomons, and later in the Battle of Leyte.
On 26 March 1945, during Operation Victor II, the 182nd landed at Talisay Beach, four miles (6.5 km) west of Cebu City, taking Cebu City the next day. Moving into the jungled hills of the interior, the 182nd fought the Battle of Go Chan Hill 28-29 March 1945 and then battled to clear the other hills in the area. They were heavily counterattacked by fanatical Japanese defenders on Bolo Ridge. After eliminating Japanese resistance on Cebu, the 182nd rested and reequipped, later boarding ship from Cebu for occupation duty in Japan.
Near the end of the war, the Americal Division was renamed the 23rd Infantry Division, though it retained its original designation in both official documents and informal usage throughout the war.