The History of the 278th
The following is a brief history of the 278th FABN, taken from "The 278th FABN Goes to War", compiled by Frank Brookhouser of Headquarters Battery.
- May 6, 1943
The 278th FABN is formed at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, under the guidance of the 177th Field Artillery Group. (Initially attached to the 72nd FA Brigade, further attached to the XI Corps, and assigned to the 2nd US Army.) The battalion was originally planned to be a truck-drawn 105mm howitzer battalion, composed of headquarters, headquarters battery, and three firing batteries. From the original cadre, assignments were made by Lt. Col. Varley Taylor, Battalion Commander.
Basic training progressed in Wisconsin through the summer of 1943.
- August 10, 1943
The 278th marched 584 miles to Fargo, North Dakota to help harvest the bumper wheat crop there. The unit remained in North Dakota until Sept. 11, when they returned to Camp McCoy.
- Winter 1943
Training resumed, and the 278th travelled to Fort Riley, Kansas where they engaged in MTP tests, and Battery and Battalion Tests.
- Jan., 1944
The 278th FABN was reorganized into a tractor-drawn 240mm howitzer battalion and assigned to the XIII Corps. Feb.6, 1944
The battalion reported to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for training with the 240mm. After training throughout the spring, on June 24 the 278th began heading east to its eventual deployment overseas, arriving in New York on July 13
- July 15, 1944
Onboard the USS Aquitania, the 278th set sail for Europe, docking at Gourock, Scotland on July 22, 1944. The unit then boarded a train for Bodmin, Cornwall. Here the 278th was eventually attached to the 33rd FA Brigade, and assigned to General Patton's 3rd US Army.
- August 26, 1944
The battalion marched out of Bodmin towards the marshalling area near Weymouth on the English Channel.
- August 29-30, 1944
278th crossed the English Channel and and debarked at Utah Beach in France.