III Corps (United States)

III Corps (United States)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=III Corps

caption=III Corps shoulder sleeve insignia
dates=May 16, 1918-August 9, 1919; August 15, 1927-October 10, 1946; March 15, 1951-May 5, 1959; September 1, 1961-Present.
country=United States
branch=United States Army
current_commander=LTG Rick Lynch
garrison=Fort Hood
colors=Blue and White
battles=World War I
World War II
Iraq Campaign
identification_symbol_label=distinctive unit insignia

The III Corps (Third Corps) —nicknamed the Phantom Corps, America's Hammer, and the Counterattack Corps— is a corps of the United States Army. The III Corps is the official counteroffensive force of the U.S. Army, and it is currently headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas. The formation was originally dubbed the III Armored Corps until 1943, when it was changed to simply III Corps. To this day it is still unofficially known as the "Armored Corps".

Command Group

*Commanding General: LTG Rick Lynch
*Deputy Commanding General: BG James M. McDonald
*Deputy Commanding General (Canadian): BG Peter Atkinson
*Corps Command Sergeant Major: CSM Neil Ciotola
*Corps Chief of Staff: COL Paul E. Funk II


World War I

The III (Phantom) Corps was organized on March 30, 1918, at Langres, France. It was activated on May 16, 1918, at Mussy-sur-Seine and participated in the Aisne-Marne, Champagne, Oise-Aisne, Lorraine, and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. Its World War I commanders included Major General John L. Hines. Following the end of the war, the corps was demobilized at Neuwied, Germany, on July 1, 1919.

Interwar Period

On August 15, 1927, the corps was reconstituted in the Regular Army as XXII Army Corps, and was redesignated as III Army Corps on October 13, 1927.

World War II

During World War II the Corps was deployed to The European Theater of Operations and earned the name "Phantom Corps" by hitting the enemy when least expected. The corps was recalled to active duty on December 18, 1940, at the Presidio of Monterey, CA, and remained to participate in the defense of the west coast following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In early 1942, the corps moved to Fort McPherson, GA, for training. After a short period, the corps returned to Monterey and on August 19, 1942, was designated a separate corps. During the next two years, III Corps would train thousands of troops for combat, including 33 division-sized units, and participate in four corps-level maneuvers.

On August 23, 1944, the corps departed California for Camp Miles Standish near Boston, and subsequently deployed for the European Theater of Operations on September 5, 1944. Upon arrival at Cherbourg, France, the corps was assigned to the Ninth Army and given the code name "CENTURY" which it retained throughout the war. Corps Headquarters was established at Carteret, in Normandy, and for six weeks, the corps received and processed all the troops of the 12th Army Group arriving over the Normandy beaches during that period. The corps also participated in the famed "Red Ball Express" by organizing 45 provisional truck companies to carry fuel and ammunition for the units pursuing the Germans across France.

The corps was assigned to the Third Army on October 10, 1944, and moved to Etain, near Verdun, just in time to participate in the fight for Metz and the Battle of the Bulge. III Corps' first combat came during the battle for Fort Jeanne d'Arc, the last of the great Metz forts, which fell on December 13, 1944. Later that same month, III Corps was moved north to assist in the relief of Bastogne. During the first 10 days of action, III Corps liberated more than 100 towns, including Bastogne. This operation was key in halting the German offensive and the eventual drive to the Rhine River.

During the first four months of 1945, III Corps moved quickly to the offensive. On February 25, now as part of First Army, units established a bridgehead over the Roer River, which, in turn, led to the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, on the Rhine River, on March 7. On March 24, the Edersee Dam was captured intact and the corps continued the attack to seize the Ruhr Pocket on April 5, 1945. In late April, III Corps reformed and launched a drive through Bavaria towards Austria. On May 2, 1945, III Corps was ordered to halt at the Inn River on the Austrian border.

At the end of the war, III Corps had added campaign streamers for Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe, had taken more than 226,102 prisoners and had seized more than convert|4500|sqmi|km2 of German territory. The corps had also participated in most of the critical actions from Normandy to the German-Austrian border. Its wartime commanders included Major General John Millikin and Major General James A. Van Fleet.

After 13 months of occupation duty in Germany, the corps returned to Camp Polk, LA, and inactivated on October 10, 1946.

Korean War

On March 15, 1951, during the height of the Korean War, III Corps was again called to active duty at Camp Roberts, California. In April 1954, III Corps moved to Fort Hood, TX, where it participated in a number of important exercises, either as director headquarters or as a player unit. The main purpose of these operations was the testing of new doctrines, organizations, and equipment. On May 5, 1959, the corps was again inactivated.

Berlin Crisis

The Berlin crisis brought III Corps back to active duty for the fourth time on September 1, 1961. Units participated in an intensive training program and were operationally ready by December 1961. In February 1962, the Department of the Army designated III Corps as a unit of the U.S. Strategic Army Corps and in September 1965, assigned III Corps to the U.S. Strategic Army Forces.

Vietnam War

During the Vietnam era, the corps supervised the training and deployment of more than 137 units and detachments to Southeast Asia, including the I and II Field Force staffs. The corps also trained more than 40,000 individual replacements for units in Vietnam. As the war in Southeast Asia ended, the corps received many units and individual soldiers for reassignment or inactivation. It was also during this period that III Corps units participated in a number of key tests and evaluations that would help determine Army organization and equipment for the next 30 years.

Post Vietnam Era

In July 1973, III Corps became part of the newly established Forces Command (FORSCOM) and its training, testing, and evaluation mission began to grow. For the remainder of the decade, III Corps would take part in a number of Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) tests of organizations and tactical concepts, and play a key role in the fielding of new equipment. III Corps units would also participate in major exercises such as REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) and disaster relief operations in the United States and Central America.

III Corps played an increasingly important role in the decade of the 1980s. Corps units were on the leading edge of the Army's modernization effort with the introduction of new organizations and equipment like the M1 Abrams tank, M2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, AH64 Apache helicopter, Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), and Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE). III Corps' primary mission continues to focus on Europe and the training of forces for deployment. The corps participated in numerous field and command post exercises such as Road Runner '87 that involved more than 10,000 soldiers in a ten-county, Central Texas area. In 1987, III Corps also conducted the largest deployment of forces to Germany since World War II. This demonstrated the corps' ability to perform one of its primary wartime missions. III Corps also plays an important part in the training and support of active and reserve component units. This support involves training guidance, resources, and the maintenance of relationships that extend to wartime affiliations.

Rick Hillier, appointed Canadian Deputy Commanding General of III Corps in 1998, would become Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff in 2005.

Current Structure

III Corps (Ft Hood, TX):* 1st Armored Division (Ft Bliss, TX) (after relocation from Germany):* 1st Cavalry Division (Ft Hood, TX):* 1st Infantry Division (Ft Riley, KS):* 4th Infantry Division (Ft Carson, CO):* 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Ft Hood, TX):* III Corps Artillery at Fort Sill Oklahoma:** 41st Fires Brigade (Ft Hood, TX):** 75th Fires Brigade (Ft Sill, OK):** 212th Fires Brigade (Ft Bliss, TX):** 214th Fires Brigade (Ft Sill, OK):* 36th Engineer Brigade (Ft Hood, TX):* 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade (Ft Hood, TX):** Headquarters and Headquarters Company:** 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion:** 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion:* 89th Military Police Brigade (Ft Hood, TX):* 13th Sustainment Command (Ft Hood, TX)


*Organized 16 May 1918 in the Regular Army in France as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, III Army Corps.
* Demobilized 9 August 1919 at Camp Sherman, Ohio.
* Reconstituted 27 June 1944 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, III Corps; concurrently consolidated with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, III Corps (active) (see ANNEX), and consolidated unit designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, III Corps.
* Inactivated 10 October 1946 at Camp Polk, Louisiana.
* Activated 15 March 1951 at Camp Roberts, California.
* Inactivated 5 May 1959 at Fort Hood, Texas.
* Activated 1 September 1961 at Fort Hood, Texas.
* Reorganized and redesignated 24 September 1965 as Headquarters, III Corps; Headquarters Company, III Corps, concurrently constituted and activated at Fort Hood, Texas.


*Constituted 15 August 1927 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, XXII Corps.
* Redesignated 13 October 1927 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, III Corps.
* Activated 18 December 1940 at the Presidio of Monterey, California.
*Redesignated 1 January 1941 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, III Army Corps.
* Redesignated 19 August 1942 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, III Corps.


Campaign Participation Credit

*World War I

#Champagne 1918
#Lorraine 1918

*World War II
#Northern France
#Central Europe




*Allen, Robert S. "Lucky Forward: The History of Patton's Third U.S. Army". New York: Vanguard Press, 1947.

*American Battle Monuments Commission. "American Armies and Battlefields in Europe". Washington: Government Printing Office, 1938. Reprint. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1992.

*Cole, Hugh M. "The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge. United States Army in World War II". Washington: Government Printing Office, 1965.

*_______. "The Lorraine Campaign. United States Army in World War II". Washington: Government Printing Office, 1950.

*First United States Army Report of Operations, 23 February-8 May 1945. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1946.

*Forty, George. "Patton's Third Army at War". New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978.

*Historical Section, Army War College. Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War; American Expeditionary Forces; General Headquarters, Armies, Army Corps, Services of Supply, and Separate Forces. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1937. Reprint. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1988.

*Le Mon, Warren J. "Tank Maneuver Country." "Army Information Digest" 21 (January 1966):45-5 1.

*MacDonald, Charles B. "The Last Offensive. United States Army in World War II". Washington: Government Printing Office, 1973.

*McNamara, James C., et al. "The Phantom Corps". Shreveport: General Printing Co., 1945.

*Montgomery, John H., Jr. "The Remagen Bridgehead." "Military Review" 29 (July 1949):3-7.

*"A Salute to the Army Corps." "Army Information Digest" 17 (September 1962):26-31.

*Van Fleet, James A. "III Corps Operations." "Army and Navy Journal" 83 (7 December 1945):53ff.

*Wallace, Brenton G. "Patton and His Third Army". Harrisburg: Military Service Publishing Company, 1946.

External links

* [http://www.hood.army.mil III Corps Home Page] - official site.
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/iii-corps.htm GlobalSecurity.org page on III Corps]

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