The 104th Medical Battalion has been part of the 29th Division since the First World War.
The 104th Medical Battalion traces is lineage back to the year 1909 when Company A, Hospital Corps, Maryland National Guard was organized by a transfer of men from the Hospital Detachments of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Maryland Infantry Regiments. In 1915 the unit was separated into two parts: Field Hospital 1 and Ambulance Company 1. Both were called into active service in 1916 and served in Texas during the Mexican border crisis.
When the 29th Division was organized for World War One in October 1917, the War Department consolidated all Maryland and Virginia National Guard ambulance and hospital units, forming the 104th Sanitary Train. As a result, Maryland’s Field Hospital and Ambulance companies both assumed the new federal numerical designation “113.” The 104th Sanitary Train served with the 29th Division in France, earning battle streamers for the Alsace Sector and the Meuse-Argonne campaigns.
After the war the unit was reorganized as the 104th Medical Regiment, 29th Division, and established its headquarters in the old 4th Regiment Armory at Fayette and Paca Streets in Baltimore. The regiment remained quartered in this armory performing its peacetime training mission until it was inducted into federal service along with the rest of the 29th Division on 3 February 1941.
When the 29th Division was transformed from a “square” to a “triangular” division one year later, the 104th was reduced to battalion size. The new unit, known as the 104th Medical Battalion, served with the 29th Infantry Division throughout its campaigns in Europe, participating in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns.
The 104th was awarded the French Army’s prestigious Croix de Guerre with Palm for its gallant performance on Omaha Beach. For its outstanding medical support during the campaign, the 104th subsequently earned a U.S. Army Meritorious Unit Commendation, embroidered “European Theater” on a streamer attached to its battalion colors.
After returning from Europe, the 104th was reorganized in Baltimore in 1946. In 1962 the unit moved from its old 4th Regiment Armory to Pikesville until the Maryland Army National Guard’s new medical armory was completed in Parkville.
When the 29th Division was deactivated in 1968, the 104th Medical Battalion, with the exception of Companies B and D, consolidated with the 136th Evacuation Hospital, and the combined unit assumed the designation of the 136th Evacuation Hospital.
The unit was redesignated again as the 104th Medical Battalion on 23 September 1987. The unit then became Charlie Co. (MED) 229th Main Support Battalion, 29th Division. With the restructuring in 2006 the unit became C Co. 729th BSB , 58th Brigade Combat Team, and in 2009 became the 104th Area Support Medical Company that stands before you today.
1. Balkoski, Joseph. The Maryland National Guard: A History of Maryland’s Military Forces, 1634-1991. Baltimore, MD: Guard, 1991. Print.
2. Shelley, Jim. “104th Medical Battalion.” 06 Mar. 2014. E-mail.