During World War II, brigades were eliminated from divisions. Consequently, the HHC 173rd Infantry Brigade was designated as the 87th Reconnaissance Troop in February 1942 and activated on 15 December 1942. Though the brigade in name did not exist during the war, the redesignation meant that it carried the lineage of the 87th Reconnaissance Troop, and when the brigade was reactivated, it would include the troop's lineage and campaign streamers. The troop entered combat in 1944 and fought in three European campaigns; central Europe, the Rhineland and Ardennes-Alsace operations. The maneuver battalions of the Vietnam era 173rd trace their lineage to the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, which successfully assaulted the fortress island of Corregidor in the Philippines by parachute and waterborne operations, thereby earning the nickname "The Rock". After the war, the troop reverted to reserve status and was posted at Birmingham, Alabama from 1947 until 1951. On 1 December 1951, the troop was inactivated and released from its assignment to the 87th Infantry Division.
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