61ST AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY REGIMENT
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Distinctive Unit Insignia


Description/Blazon
A Gold color metal and enamel device 7/8 inch (2.22 cm) in height overall blazoned as follows: Per fess dancette Argent and Sable, a thunderbolt bendwise Proper penetrating the chariot wheel of Helios winged with two dexter wings inverted forming a saltire with the first charged all counterchanged and upon the wheel the sun in splendor of the third.

Symbolism
The aim and purpose of the unit are told in pictorial form by the story from Greek mythology of the winged chariot of Helios which was brought to earth by a bolt of lightning thrown by Zeus. A summary of the story is as follows: Helios, the sun, drove across the heavens from east to west daily, in a winged chariot drawn by the celestial horses. His son, Phaeton, in order to please his mother, and to satisfy those who doubted that he was really a son of Helios, obtained permission from his father to take his place in the chariot for one day. Phaeton had scarcely taken the reins when the celestial horses, despising their weak driver, turned out of their patch and set everything on fire. When the chariot came so near the earth that the Ethiopians were blackened by the near approach of the sun, Zeus, with a well aimed bolt of lightning, wrecked the chariot and sent it plunging into the river Po. This is the first historical record of a hit being scored against an aerial target. The shield is divided by the saw tooth line taken from Lord Delaware's arms which were the basis of the coat of arms for the Coast-Defense of the Chesapeake. The upper part of the shield is white, the lower half black, for day and knight.

Background
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 61st Artillery Battalion on 16 November 1923. It was redesignated for the 61st Coast Artillery Regiment on 12 December 1939. The insignia was redesignated for the 61st Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion on 10 August 1955. It was redesignated for the 61st Artillery Regiment on 19 December 1958. It was redesignated for the 61st Air Defense Artillery Regiment effective 1 September 1971.




Coat of Arms


Description/Blazon

Shield

Per fess dancette Argent and Sable, a thunderbolt bendwise Proper penetrating the chariot wheel of Helios winged with two dexter wings inverted forming a saltire with the first charged all counterchanged and upon the wheel the sun in splendor of the third.

Crest

On a wreath of the colors Argent and Sable, an eagle's head erased Or.

Motto

NON EST AD ASTRA MOLLIS E TERRIS VIA (The Way To the Stars Is Not Easy).

Symbolism

Shield

The aim and purpose of the unit are told in pictorial form by the story from Greek mythology of the winged chariot of Helios which was brought to earth by a bolt of lightning thrown by Zeus. A summary of the story is as follows: Helios, the sun, drove across the heavens from east to west daily, in a winged chariot drawn by the celestial horses. His son, Phaeton, in order to please his mother, and to satisfy those who doubted that he was really a son of Helios, obtained permission from his father to take his place in the chariot for one day. Phaeton had scarcely taken the reins when the celestial horses, despising their weak driver, turned out of their patch and set everything on fire. When the chariot came so near the earth that the Ethiopians were blackened by the near approach of the sun, Zeus, with a well aimed bolt of lightning, wrecked the chariot and sent it plunging into the river Po. This is the first historical record of a hit being scored against an aerial target. The shield is divided by the saw tooth line taken from Lord Delaware's arms which were the basis of the coat of arms for the Coast-Defense of the Chesapeake. The upper part of the shield is white, the lower half black, for day and knight.

Crest

The crest is from the arms of James Monroe with the colors reversed, a red eagle's head on a gold shield.

Background
The coat of arms was originally approved for the 1st Antiaircraft Battalion on 25 October 1921. It was redesignated for the 61st Battalion (Antiaircraft) on 10 June 1922. It was redesignated for the 61st Coast Artillery Regiment on 15 December 1939. The insignia was redesignated for the 61st Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion on 10 August 1955. It was redesignated for the 61st Artillery Regiment on 19 December 1958. It was redesignated for the 61st Air Defense Artillery Regiment effective 1 September 1971.





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