Soldiers stand at attention in field bearing coat of arms.

Photo from the Ohio National Guard Heritage Center Collections

Soldiers from Battery B, 177th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion stand near their 90 mm Radar Controlled Air Defense gun at Locus Point, Camp Perry, Ohio, circa 1955.

Army artillery branch turns 247

Ohio National Guard lineage goes back to Civil War

Story by Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Mann, Ohio National Guard historian

On NOV. 17, 1785, the Continental Congress unanimously elected Henry Knox “Colonel of the Regiment of Artillery,” marking the birth of the artillery branch in the U.S. Army. Although field artillery and air defense artillery are separate branches, both inherit the traditions of the artillery branch.

The organization of independent artillery units in the early years of the Ohio Militia were sporadic and inconsistent. The state provided little support for procuring artillery equipment and the horses needed to pull them. Some communities — with the backing of the towns’ socioeconomic elite — were able to raise batteries in the early part of the 19th century. In 1839, the Cleveland Grays, an independent militia company, were able to organize a gun section under the command of Sgt. D. L. Wood. The nine-member section built its own carriage and caisson for a self-procured 6-pound cannon. In 1845, the section became a full-fledged battery and adopted the name of the Cleveland Light Artillery. The organization was the nucleus for the 1st Regiment, Ohio Light Artillery that answered the call during the Civil War and is the ancestor of today’s 134th Field Artillery Regiment.

The state maintained traditional field artillery units until after World War II. Antiaircraft artillery battalions were added starting in 1947 and have been part of the Ohio force structure since. In 1959, all artillery units were merged under the artillery branch. In 1972, the artillery branch was split into the field artillery and air defense artillery branches that we know today.

Ohio’s artillery units have earned campaign credit in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War and the War on Terrorism.

•   Ohio Artillery Units (battalion and larger)
•   1st Regiment, Ohio Light Artillery (1860-1865; 1886-1899)
•   1st Battalion, Ohio Field Artillery (1911-17)
•   1st Field Artillery Regiment (1917, 1919-1921)
•   2nd Field Artillery Regiment (1917)
•   3rd Field Artillery Regiment (1917)
•   134th Field Artillery (1917-1919, 1921-1959, 1993-present)
•   134th Artillery (1959-1968)
•   135th Field Artillery (1917-1919, 1921-1959)
•   135th Artillery (1959-1968)
•   136th Field Artillery (1917-1919, 1936-1959, 1972-1993)
•   136th Artillery (1959-1972)
•   137th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (1949-1959)
•   137th Artillery (1959-1971)
•   140th Field Artillery Battalion (1942-1959)
•   174th Air Defense Artillery (1972-Present)
•   174th Artillery (1959-1972)
•   174th Field Artillery (1942-1959)
•   174th Field Artillery Group (1943-1945)
•   177th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (1951-1959)
•   179th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (1951-1958)
•   179th Missile Battalion (1958-1959)
•   180th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (1951-1959)
•   182nd Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (1948-1959)
•   183rd Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (1947-1949)
•   191st Antiaircraft Artillery Group (1955-1959)
•   191st Artillery Group (1959-1963)
•   371st Antiaircraft Artillery Group (1947-1959)
•   371st Artillery Group (1959-1972)
•   62nd Field Artillery Brigade (1917-1942)
•   37th Division Artillery (1942-1968)
•   987th Field Artillery Battalion (1943-1945)
•   987th Armored Field Artillery Battalion (1947-1954)


Stow armory with 1st Sgt Robert Pinn super imposed

Stow armory named for U.S. Colored Troops hero during Civil War

First Sgt. Robert Pinn (1843-1911) earned the Medal of Honor during the Battle of New Market Heights, Va. on Sept. 29, 1864. He was the first Black Soldier to have an armory or readiness center named after him in the state, in the early 1970s, when the new Ohio Army National Guard Armory in Stow was opened.


Painting of HELL'S WENCH aircraft with black and white photo of Baker superimposed.

Lt. Col. Addison Baker earns Medal of Honor during WWII

On Aug. 1, 1943, “Hell’s Wench,” an American B-24 bomber badly damaged by antiaircraft artillery fire, led the 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) in its daring low-level attack on the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, which supplied two-thirds of Germany’s petroleum production at that stage of World War II.


Pvt. Jacob Parrott with super-imposed Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor history:
Member of Ohio National Guard predecessor was first recipient

Pvt. Jacob Parrott, a member of the Ohio Volunteer Militia — the predecessor to the Ohio National Guard — has the distinction of being the first person to receive the Medal of Honor, on March 25, 1863.


Painting depicts the action of Pvt. Billy E. Vinson who fought off a bayonet attack by six Japanese rifleman

‘…Manila Would Do’:
Marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Manila

Spearheading the mission to retake the Philippine capital city of Manila from the Japanese in 1945 was the Ohio National Guard’s 37th Infantry Division, by then veterans of four years of active service and two bloody jungle campaigns: New Georgia and Bougainville.


Soldiers from Battery B, 177th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion stand near their 90 mm Radar Controlled Air Defense gun at Locus Point, Camp Perry, Ohio, circa 1955.