At various times, the 100th Infantry Division was supported by elements
of three different chemical mortar battalions.
Although originally designed primarily to deliver dense sheafs of poison gas
and other chemicals, these units nevertheless possessed tremendous conventional
firepower as well. Firing primarily white phosphorus (WP) projectiles to create
smoke screens and high explosive (HE) shells for the usual tactical purposes,
with 36 4.2 (107mm) mortars to a battalion, chemical mortar battalions
packed a punch essentially equal to an entire division artillery brigades
three 105mm howitzers, albeit at shorter range.
Even a single company of four deuce mortars (12 pieces) firing
Willie Peter or HE could match the firepower of a full battalion of
The crew of a 2nd Chemical Mortar Battalion M2 4.2"
mortar fires in support of advancing elements of the 100th Infantry Division, 6
December 1944. (US Army Military History Institute)
Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Elliott, US Army (Retired), a rare two-war (WWII
and Korean War) Chemical Mortar Battalion veteran, has created a world-class
website dedicated to the history of these unique units.
Below you will find several links to not only the sections of this superb
site that cover, in detail, the chemical mortar battalions that supported the
100th Infantry Division in combat, but to the front page of his section
There is also a nested organization chart depicting the generic organization
of a WWII chemical mortar battalion, which was common to all three battalions
that supported the 100th. Finally, the M2 4.2" mortar itself is described
at the final section.