"The Guards Of Thunder"
The guns date to 1927, when the U. S. Army adopted the M-1 75mm Pack Howitzer. This small lightweight howitzer was used throughout WW II and could be disassembled into six major loads to be carried by the pack animals. The howitzer was first used in combat in 1942 in the Philippines and proved very successful. During the 1930s, the wood wheels were replaced with pneumatic tires and the vehicle modified to be carried by airborne units in gliders. Consequently, it was redesignated the M-8 75mm Pack Howitzer (airborne). The small howitzer proved efficient and reliable and was used by several non-airborne units using a jeep as the prime mover. The several types of ammunition used by the pack Howitzer included an anti-tank round.
Requesting the Rhode Island National Guard Guards of Thunder
The Directorate of Military Support approves requests for the use of the Rhode Island National Guard's 75mm pack howitzer salute battery, known as The Guards of Thunder, for patriotic and ceremonial functions.
To request the Guards of Thunder from the Rhode Island National Guard, event organizers should submit a completed and correctly-filled-out DD Form 2536 (PDF) .
Please submit the request 60 days prior to the event. All members of The Guards of Thunder are volunteers, and less than 60 days notice greatly reduces the chance that volunteer support will be available. Also, we need sufficient time to secure ammunition for the guns.
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