Originally designated the 7th California, the 160th Infantry Regiment and; the 1st Battalion trace their lineage back to the early days of California statehood when the call went out 17,000 men volunteered for service in the Civil War.
During the Spanish American War, California citizen soldiers again responded to the call. In 1898, they were mustered into federal service and trained at the Presidio of San Francisco. A statue of a proud soldier stands in Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles commemorating the sacrifice of the soldiers of the 7th Infantry in that war.
In 1916, California National Guard Infantry served with General "Black Jack" Pershing during the Mexican Border Campaign.
When the United States entered World War I, California citizens were again ready to serve and became the first units actually organized into the 160th Regiment, as the first regiment of the 40th Division. As replacements for other U.S. Army divisions, soldiers of the 160th fought in the battles of St. Michael and the Meuse-Argonne. During the Battle of the Argonne Forest, over one hundred men of the 160th Infantry served with the 307th Infantry, later famous as "The Lost Battalion," including Captain Nelson Holderman, who received the Medal of Honor.
On March 3, 1941 elements of what was the 160th Infantry (numerical re-designation occurred periodically throughout its history) were federalized at home stations. Soldiers trained at Ft. Lewis, Washington and were deployed to fight in the central Pacific and the liberation of the Philippine Islands.
On the island of Negroes, in the Philippine Islands near San Jose Hacienda, Staff Sergeant John C. Sjogren of Company I, 160th Infantry Regiment, (Now Company C, 3-160th Infantry (Mechanized) won the Medal of Honor for single-handedly killing 43 enemy soldiers and destroying nine pillboxes, paving the way for Company I’s successful advance to a key ridgeline.
Company H, 160th deployed 143 men alongside 944 men from the 78th CA Brigade into the San Pedro Harbor for assembly area, beach and local defense. The 160th Infantry and the 40th Infantry Division were preparing to spearhead the invasion of Japan when the war ended.
During the Korean War, the 40th Division and elements of what is the 1-160th Infantry Battalion deployed to Japan and the Korean Peninsula where they fought through two bitter cold winters in the "Land of the Morning Calm."
In the turbulent sixties, 1-160th Infantry was one of the first National Guard units mobilized for the Watts riots.
After the Rodney King verdicts were announced in April, 1992, widespread, deadly civil unrest, looting, and rioting resulted in what is now the 1-160th being mobilized to State and Federal Active Duty. Many soldiers lived and worked in the neighborhoods they were patrolling. Many drove around looters and burning buildings enroute to their armory. Serving in its home city of Los Angeles, the 1-160 aided local law enforcement and order was quickly restored.
On 17 January 1994, an earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter Scale rocked Southern California and again members of this Battalion performed with distinction, providing the State of California - humanitarian aid and security. Soldiers of this Battalion provided military assistance to law enforcement serving throughout most of the devastated greater Los Angeles.
At the time of this publication, soldiers of the 1-160th Battalion serve their nation in homeland defense assignments throughout the United States. Soldier's of the 1-160 have also proudly served their nation in Southwest Asia.
1-160th IN (M) carries the colors of the 160th Infantry Regiment, known for over one hundred years as "Los Angeles’ Own".