1st Battle Group 1961/63
During the spring of 1957, the entire Second Infantry Division began a change to the new "pentomic" type of organization. Ninth Infantry headquarters, until this time, had been at Ladd AFB. Under the pentomic reorganization, the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry was reorganized and re-designated on 20 June 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battle Group, 9th Infantry and moved to Eielson AFB. The rest of the 9th Infantry was distributed evenly between Ladd and Eielson Air Force Bases.
On 16 December 1957, the 2nd Infantry Division, the unit to which the 9th Regiment had been assigned since World War I, was inactivated in ceremonies at Fort Richardson, Alaska. Non-divisional support units were assigned to the Yukon command, United States Army, Alaska. The First Battle Group, 9th "Manchu" Infantry was also re-assigned to Yukon command, while its units remained split between the two Air Force Bases.
In October 1960, the units which were located at Eielson, AFB were consolidated into a solid defense force with the rest of the battle group at Ladd AFB. Two months later, the base was turned over to the Army and renamed Fort Jonathon M. Wainwright. The new home of the first battle group was established as the Army's farthest north defensive post.
Pictures supplied by:
Anthony C. Messina
B Co. 1st Battle Group 9th Regiment