WWII 11th Armored Cavalry Group

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Transcript of WWII 11th Armored Cavalry Group

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    THE COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE

    LIBRARY

    Fort Leavenworth, KS 660 27- 69 00

    Call Number

    CGSC Label 131 Jan 85 Edition of 11 Dec 72 is obsolete.

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    THE ELEVENTH CAVALRY..... *"

    " "IS FROM

    THE ROER TO THE ELBE

    7 7 . S .

    1 9 4 4 - 1 9 4 5

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    H E A D O U A R T E R S

    H C A V A L R Y G R O U P ( M E C Z l

    APO 4C3, U. S. Army

    22 June 1945

    Officers and Men of the 11th Cavalry:

    This little pamphlet , the story of yourparticipation in World War II written so as to high-light and personalize some of those engagements inwhich you acquitted yourselves so well, may s.erveto remind you in years to come of the campaigns fromthe Roer to the Elbe during which you added anotherglorious chapter to the history of our famous old .

    regiment.As this booklet goes to press we know that

    redeployment is disintegrating this fine organizationwhich so well upheld the standards and honor of the11th Cavalry.

    It is a bitter disappointment that our twosplendid squadrons , the 36th and 44th, which haveacquitted themselves with such distinction in theE. T.

    0., cannot continue together while thereis a

    war still to be fought.

    In saying goodbye I can only repeat thatwhich I have said so often before, "I am proud to beone of you ."

    PERSON

    Co lone l , y f i th Cava l ryCommanding

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    CONTENTS

    C H A P T E R PA G E

    !. EARLY HISTORY . . . ' . * 11

    II. THE REBIRTH O F THE 11TH CA VA LR Y 17

    III. FRO M G EO R G IA TO THE ROER 25

    IV. THE BATTLE O F THE ROER 31

    V. FR O M THE ROER TO THE RHINE 43

    VI. FR O M THE RHINE TO THE ELBE 57

    VII. THE C O M M A N D I N G OFFICER - A BRIEF HISTORY . 77

    VIII. C O M M E N D A TIO N S , AW ARDS, AN D CASUALTIES . 81

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    Chapter I

    EARLY HISTORY

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    EARLY HISTORY

    The original 11fh Cavalry was born a horse regiment through 8 Ac t of Congress, February 2. 1 9 0 1 . Fort M eye r, V irginia, became the scene of activation with the organization ofHeadquarters and ihe 3rd Squadron culminating in {he signingof the first morning report on 11 March 1 9 0 1 . The 1st and 2n dSquadrons were organized at Jefferson Barracks, M o . , and Fo ttEthan A llen , V t , respectively.

    The Comm anding O ffice r was Q olone l Francis M oo re , adistinguished veteran of the Civi l , Indian, and Spanish American Wars, the first of a long line of colorful and outstandingcommanders which ultimately included such men as Leon B.Kromer, later Chief of Cavalry, Hom er M . G ron inger (nowMajor G en er al), Ben Lear (now Lt G en era l), and James G .Harbord, later M ajor G en era l and Chief of Staff to G en era lPershing during World War I.

    Evidently the 1st Squadron's_aEqanizalion was attended withcertain difficulties which prompted the Commander \o includethe following woeful statement in a W a r Department telegramasking for more officer personnel: "I have four hundred horsesthat have never seen a soldier, four hundred recruits that havenever seen a horse, and four second lieutenants that have neverseen either a soldier or a horse."

    However, all obstacles must have been successfully overcome,for nine short months later found the 11th Cavalry bound forthe Philippine Islands, the 1st Squadron via San Francisco andthe Pacific, and the rest of the regiment via New York and theSuez Canal. The 1st Squadron was stationed in Samar, the 2ndin Batangas and the 3rd in Northern Luzon. All saw subsequentaction during the insurrection, the most important of which wasthe campaign against G enera l Ma lvar in Samar. The 1 st Squadron

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    so distinguished itself in this operation that battle honors wereawarded the 11th Cav alry lor which it now carries a streameron the ferrule of its regimental standard marked "S A M A R 1 9 0 1 " .

    In A p ri l, 19 04 , the regiment returned to the U nite d States

    where it remained until the summer of 1906, when, minus the1 st Squadron, it was sent to Cuba as part of the Army of Pacification. Here the 1 1th continued to distinguish itself, this timeby setting a marching record which it is believed has never beenequaled with such good results. Under the broiling Cuban sun,Troops " F " and " G " marched 110 miles in 29 and 30 hoursrespectively, and came into cam p without so much as a sore back.

    After its return to the U nite d States in February, 19 09 , theregiment was stationed at Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia, until May,1914, except for a short p er iod at Fort Sam Houston, Texas,during the Mexican Border trouble of 1911 . The Colorado coalstrike of May 1914 afforded the next job for the 11th where itassisted in quelling upheavals caused by the strikers, receivingofficial commendation for its effectiveness. January, 1915, folind

    the regiment again at its Fort Oglethorpe Station.W h ile celebrating its 15th birthday on 11 March 19 16 , the1 1 ih Cavalry was forcibly reminded of the reason for its existencewith the arrival of W ar Department warning orders for a moveto the Mexican Border. The 16th and 17th found the regimentdetraining at Columbus, N. M., where a few days earlier PanchoVilla had staged the infamous raid which brought down Uncle

    Sam's wrath in the form of General Pershing's Punitive Expedition. The next eleven months of the M exican Cam pa ign broughtsevere test to the m ettle of man and beast alike. More trying thanthe frequent engagements with Villa's bandits were the blisteringdusty days, the freezing nights, and probably the cruelest terrainany Cavalry in the world has operated over. Several exploitsduring this period enhanced the military reputation of the 11th

    Cavalry and received the acclaim of the press as well.Probably the most notable achievement du ring this period wasthat of a provisional Squadron of the regiment under the command12

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    of Major Robert L. Howze, who years lafer died a Major General- Acting under special instructions ol General Pershing on24 March 1916, the Squadron left Colonia Dublan for the south.The subsequent march to Parral occasioned the publication of the

    following remarks in the New York World: "Among many instances of achievements since troops entered Mexico one to thelasting credit of the men stands out among the rest, at the timewhen two hundred eighty men of the Eleventh Cavalry, cut loosefrom all com munication on the desert march. O n an issue of fivedays rations the column marched in twenty one days, five hundredand seventy one miles, only one hundred miles less than the

    distance from Paris to Berlin. The country through which theymarched a desert waste. It afforded no fodder, and only at longintervals water for the horses. There were no roads, at best onlyuntraveled trails. During the entire march they were beyond thereach of*relief. They fought several engagements and had onlyone man killed. It is to be doubted if there are Cavalrymen inthe Armies of Europe capable of equaling this feat."

    The action upon which the l i t h e Cavalry's Organ izationDay is based occurred 5 May 1916- Major Howze led sixtroops of the regiment on a night march to O j o Azules whereat daylight he surprised one of Villa's band . A two-hour runn ingfight resulted in the complete dispersement of the Villistars and42 of the enemy killed without an American casualty. M ajorJenkins' Squadron distinguished itself in a like manner by hard

    marching and by its rescue of two troops of the 10fn Cavalrywhich had become engaged at Carrozal.The regiment was with drawn from M exico on 5 February191 7,

    along with the other Expeditionary forces, andproceeded toC am pStewart, El Paso, Texas, where it remained until 23 May 1917.

    During W o r ld W a r I the regiment was stationed at Chickamauga Park, near Fort O gle th orp e . Two-thirds of the regiment

    was cadred to form the 22 nd and 23rd Cavalry, which laterbecame the 80th and 81st F ield Art illery . M an y of the officersand enlisted men were assigned important duties in France and

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    served whith distinction and ga llantry. Several enlisted men roseto the rank of Major during the war and one to Lt Colonel.

    Following the war the regiment was stationed briefly at FortM ey er ,Va., and thence proceeded to the Presidio of Monterey,

    Californ ia, where it remained until M ay 19 40 . C am p Lockeft,at Campo California, became the last station of this proud oldhorse regiment and during the ensuing period witnessed thedeath throes of Am erican horse cavalry as regiment after regiment reluctantly relinquished their faithful mounts in favor ofthe new-fangled tanks and amored cars. The day of reckoningfor the 1 1th Ca valry arrived 11 July 1942 , when the regiment

    was inactivated and its personnel, "sans chevaux",was absorbedin the 9th and 10th Am ored Divisions. C olone l Frierson, thepresent C O was at this time the Regimental Executive.

    Let us not pass up such a long and illustrious history so lightlywithout first inquiring into the origin and significance of the1 1th C ava lry insignia which we wear todaywith justifiable pride.O n 12 December 1934, general orders were publis