Parading the Colors


28 April 1918: The Regimental Color of the 104th Infantry Regiment, 26th (Yankee) Division, US Army, is decorated with the French Croix de Guerre by General Fenelon Passaga for exceptional bravery during the Battle of Apremont on 20 April 1918, at which time the 104th was serving in Passaga's XXXII Corps. The sector held by the 104th was heavily bombarded, then violently attacked by German stormtroopers who succeeded in capturing several stretches of the American trenches. The 104th immediately counterattacked with the bayonet and in the intense close-quarters fighting that followed ejected the Germans and reestablished the line. I am proud to decorate the flag of a regiment which has shown such fortitude and courage, General Passaga said. I am proud to decorate the flag of a nation which has come to aid in the fight for liberty. Subsequently the 104th was in the thick of the fighting that turned back the German Army's final offensive and clinched the victory of the Allies. In addition to the unit award, 117 men of the 104th were individually decorated with the Croix de Guerre.

The 104th Infantry was a unit of the Massachusetts Army National Guard that could trace its origins to the seventeenth-century Massachusetts Bay Colony militia. It returned to France with the Yankee Division in August 1944, distinguishing itself a number of engagements including the Battle of the Bulge. The regiment continued to serve until 2005 when it was inactivated, the preservation of its lineage and honors being entrusted to the 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry, Massachusetts Army National Guard. Lest we forget.

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