E-Company Structure

Like all infantry regiments, the 16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division contained three battalions, which alongside its other regimental troops brought the total 
authorised strength to 3,118 men.

Infantry Battalions had an authorised strength of 860 men, comprising of three rifle companies, a headquarters & headquarters company and a heavy weapons company. The headquarters & headquarters company was referred to by name, or as “HHC”. The other companies of the battalion were divided through the three battalions of the infantry 
regiment: 1st Battalion contained A, B, C (rifle companies) and D Company (heavy weapons); 2nd Battalion contained E, F, G (rifle companies) and H Company (heavy 
weapons); 3rd Battalion contained I, K, L (rifle companies) and M Company (heavy weapons). The letter J was not used, over concerns it would be confused with the letter “I”.

E, or “Easy” Company contained within it three rifle platoons and a weapons platoon, referred to as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th platoon, respectively. The company consisted of roughly 180 men.

 

The Rifle Platoon:

The rifle platoon consisted of three rifle squads and a platoon HQ section. There were three rifle platoons to a company along with a weapons platoon. The first platoon was 
led by a 1st lieutenant  and the others were led by 2nd lieutenants. The rifle platoons were numbered 1-3 in a company as were the rifle squads within a platoon.
It was at platoon level and above that "attachments" to the authorized strength and structure were found. Each platoon would usually be supported by a medical aidman from 
the Regimental Medical Detachment. Depending on the type of mission the platoon was tasked with, a mortar observation team from the company's heavy weapons platoon 
might be attached to provide fire support and locate enemy targets. Again, depending on the type of mission the platoon was tasked with, sometimes one or both of the 
company's two LMG's (air-cooled 30. Caliber) teams might also be attached to the platoon from the battalions heavy weapons company. The company commander (Captain) 
would also have five 3-man antitank teams available that would be attached to different platoons as he saw fit.


Platoon HQ section:
Strength: 5 men
The platoon HQ consisted of five men, the platoon commander (lieutenant), platoon sergeant (technical sergeant), platoon guide (staff sergeant) and two messengers (also 
called 'runners'). The platoon commander is armed with an M1 carbine, whilst the other members of the HQ section will be armed with M1 Garand rifles. The two messengers 
were used to carry orders and gather information for the platoon commander. Each rifle platoon would also have one M1903A4 or M1C scoped sniper rifle that would be issued 
to one squad at the platoon commander's direction. Sub machine guns would also be issued to platoon and company HQ levels for the junior officers to distribute out as they 
saw fit. This depended on the type of mission the platoon was tasked with, such as a contact patrol.


The Rifle Squad had a strength of 12 men (based off the TO&E of 1943-44)

 

The rifle squad consisted of three subsections (Able, Baker and Charlie), with each section having its own specific role.

 

The rifle squad had two NCO’s (Non-commissioned officer), with a Staff Sergeant as the squad leader and a Sergeant as the assistant squad leader.


Out of the twelve men that make up the rifle squad, eleven of them are armed with M1 Garand rifles, and the remaining man is equipped with a Browning Automatic Rifle 
(BAR).  The squad's role was mainly centered around the use of the BAR, whether this be in defense or offense, as the BAR was the primary source of firepower within the squad.

 

The three subsections of the rifle squad were made up of the following,

Able - Two scouts and the squad leader (Staff Sergeant).

 

Able's role was to scout ahead of the rest of the squad and feed back information to the squad leader. If they came into contact with an enemy force, the scouts were 
equipped with tracer rounds and would lay down fire towards the enemy position in order to inform the rest of the squad of the enemy position.

Baker - BAR gunner (automatic rifleman), one assistant auto rifleman
and  an ammunition bearer for the BAR.
 

Baker's role was to provide fire support to the rest of the squad and lay down suppressive fire to allow Charlie or Able to maneuver and outflank an enemy position. Baker was 
also used to cover the rest of the squad making it's retreat. The Baker team was the primary source of some much needed firepower within the rifle squad.

Charlie - Five riflemen and the assistant squad leader (
Sergeant).
 

Charlie's role was to maneuver around and outflank enemy positions under the cover of Baker's suppressive fire. It was their job to assault the enemy position and clear out 
an enemy force. The squad's assistant squad leader (Sergeant) would also be the squad's grenadier, and all members of the rifle squad would carry additional rifle grenades 
for the squad's grenadier.

 

 

Information provided by B.Hilton

 

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