WWII 101st Cavalry Group

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    WINGFOOTRHINE LAND andCENTRAL EUROPE: CAMPAIGNS :

    OFFICIAL HISTORY

    IOIST CAVALRY GROUP(M EC HAN IZED)

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    To Ihe men of WingfooiHerein is ihe account of oup commonadventures; of Ihe trail we blazed across ihe

    rivers, plains and mountains of Qermany andRuslria. Ji is rendered in a simple bul detailedoutline, like a black and while etching, await-ing ihe colors of our individual experiencesand memories. There are many accomplish-ments on ihe record of which we may beproud, yet lei us be ever mindful of ihe pricepaid by those who will not come home ioexult in our common victory.

    Golonel, U. S. RrrnyGornmanding

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    CONTENTSTo the men of Wingfoot 3Foreword 5JANUARY 7

    Official History 9FEBRUARY 13Official History 14

    MARCH 17Official History 19

    APRIL 37Official History 41

    MAY 77Official History 80

    A final word 95CAVALRY CHARACTERSCartoon, by T/5 Alfred Hopkins 78RECORD of EVENTSPrior to January 4, 1945 97What about YOUR story? 98Random Shots 99100My Story 101INMEMORIAM Inside Back CoverAREAS OF OPERATION (Maps) PAGES 12,

    18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 42, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 68, 72 and 90.Illustrations by Captain Crozier Wood

    Major Mercer W. Sweeney, Editor

    Souvenir Booklet Published far Members of The 101st Cavalry Group, MechanizedPrinted by Hugo Diesbach Ww., Weinheim/Bergsitr., GermanyAUGUST 1945

    PASSED BY THE FIELD PRESS CENSOR FOR MAILING

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    ForewordThe story of the 101st Cavalry in the annals of American

    Arms in Combat began in the year 1898 during the Spanish-American War. The lirst baptism of fire came at Coamo,Porto Rico, where Troop "C",one of the parent 01 ganizations,served with distinction. In1916, Squadron "A" (Manhattan),the oldest of the parent units, remained a separate squadronwhile Troop "B" (Geneseo), the youngest, and other up-StateTroops joined with the now Squadron "C " (Brooklyn), toform the Ist New York Cavalry. All served on the MexicanBorder. In 1917 werehese horse cavalry units reorganizedinto separate Machine Gun Battalions of the 27th Divisionand, as such, served brilliantly throughout the crucial 1918campaigns of World War I.

    In1920 the horse organizations were reestablished andin 1922 the Ist New York Cavalry was redesignated the 101stCavalry. Several reorganizations took place in the followingyears. InJanuary 1941, the unit was inducted into the Armyof the United States as a Horse-Mechanized Regiment andbecame fullymechanized after our entry into World War 11.Reorganization from a Regiment to a Group took place inDecember 1943. The personnel now consisted of men andofficers representing every State of the Union who stood

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    shoulder to shoulder with the men from New York under thestandard which proudly flew the Battle Streamers of 1898and 1918. Together these men gallantly attachedave twoadditional streamers to the 101st Cavalry standard "Rhine-land" and "Central Europe". This is their story.

    Early redeployment of the units of the Group did muchto direct the choice of contents for this booklet. This and thelimitations of time, opportunity and available facilities con-fined the project within the scope of the material immediatelyat hand.The "Reports After Action Against Enemy" are presented

    in their original form as forwarded for filing in the officialarchives of the War Department. The title "W INGFOOT"is taken from our battle code name which proved to be mostprophetic.

    While no effort is made at this time to describe in dra-matic detail the heroism, fortitude and sacrifices of individualmembers and units, this booklet does provide the essentialsof background and factual data for the production of suchan historical document at a future date. Marching betweeneach and every line of the text, however, is pride in organi-zation and the vitality,personality and laughter of the menall of the men of the 101st CAVALRY GROUP.

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    they sang the old year out and the New Year in ... Would the orders never come?Would it be the big fight or one of the "sideshows"? Would the Group be broken-upor fight as a unit? What Army would itbe? What Corps? ...Most of these questionswere not to be answered for a long time but the orders to move finally came withBARTON-STACEY in southern England the first stop. And then to the marshallingarea at SOUTHAMPTON and a midnight ride to the docks where hours of waitingin the rain cast the mood.

    Destination Known At LastA small convoy of LjST's and Li/berty ship gathered offshore and waited for the

    night to close-in. An overcast sky and a moderate sea formed the backdrop to anuneventful crossing of the English Channel ... A sprawling heap of rubble, once thebustling Port of- Le Havre, and the sour glances of the local citizens were soonexchanged for sunny roads, picturesque villages and the smiling people of inlandNormandy and the gumbo mud of Camp Twenty Grand ... On past the outskirtsof Paris to bivouac in SOISSONS and then at VERDUN where the men of WorldWar Ilept nearby ...Finally, itwas known it was to be the Sixth Army Group'sSeventh Army and the XV Corps. The orders were to relieve the 106 th Cavalry Groupwith headquarters in Lauterbach, Germany on the SAAR RIVER FRONT.

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    HEADQUARTERS101 st Cavalry Group, Mecz

    APO 758, U. S. Army

    15 February 1945

    SUBJECT: Historical Data.TO: The Adjutant General, War Department,THRU: Command Channels.

    Washington, D. C.

    -. In accordance with the provisions of AR 345 105, dated 18 No-vember 1929, and Change 4, dated 10 August 1944; letter Hq ETOUSA,subj: "Handling of Historical Documents in the European Theater ofOperations", file AG 312.1 Op History, dated 14 July 1944, and Section IV,Circular No. 34, Headquarters Seventh Army, dated 28 November 1944,the following report is submitted.

    2. During the period 1 January 1945 2 February 1945, the 101stCavalry Group, Mecz., was commanded by Colonel Charles B. McClelland,with Lt Col Leo W. Mortenson as Executive Officer.3. The 101st Cavalry Group, Mecz., is composed of the following ele-

    ments:a. Hq &Hq Troop, 101st Cavalry Group, Mecz.Colonel C. B. McClelland, Commanding

    LtCol L. W. Mortenson, Executive Officerb. 101st Cay Ren Sq Mecz

    LtCol M.Kendall, CommandingMajor H. J. Brock, Executive Officerc. 116th Cay Ren Sq Mecz

    LtCol H. C. Leonard, CommandingMajor R. D. Feagin, Executive Officer

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    4. Narrative Historya. On 1 Jan 1945, the 101st Cay Gpwas stationed at Camp Anty-Cross, DALTON INFURNESS, LANCASHIRE,ENG-LAND, preparing to move to FRANCE toassume any mission which might be as-signed by CG ETOUSA. Necessary modification of combat vehiclels and equipmentwhich had accompanied the unit overseas had been completed in December1944.b. Inorder to facilitate the final pre-paration for movement, the unit movedon 4 January by road and rail to CampC, BARTON STACEY, HAMPSHIRE,ENGLAND. c. During the period 5 28 Jan, general purpose vehicles (approximately250) were drawn from Ordnance Depotsand serviced and modified (racks, etc.)by the unit maintenance sections. Thenecessary 'supplies and equipment to complete the unit 100% were also drawn withthe exception of portions of the basicammunition load .d. On 29 Jan, the 101st Cay Gp, Mecz,departed Camp C BARTON STACEY andmarched to the SOUTHAMPTON Mar--halling Area, closing at Camp C 5,291200.c. The 101st Cay Gp (less a marchingparty of 553 officers and enlisted men)departed Camp C-5 0545, 30 Jan and em-

    barked at SOUTHAMPTON aboard 4LSTs and 2 Liberty Ships. The marchingparty was embarked on a troop transport.

    f. Moving in convoy, the unit arrivedat LE HAVRE, FRANCE, and at 311020the first vehicles of the Group Headquarters were disembarked from theirLST. The remainder of the LST's wereunloaded and the units marched 44 milesin separate serials, to Camp TWENTYGRAND vie. DUCLAIR, FRANCE, closing approximately 312400. The Reconnaissance troops of both Squadrons wereaboard two Liberty Ships which wererouted up the SEINE RIVER to ROUEN.The marching party was disembarked atLE HAVRE and moved by GMT toTWENTY GRAND, rejoining their units311130.

    g. The Reconnaissance troops weredisembarked at ROUEN, 1 Feb 1945, closing at TWENTY GRAND at 0300 2 Feb.

    CHARLES B. Me CLELLANDColonel, CavalryCommanding

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    Februaryof the\Jn the &th day of February 1945 men from the two original Squadrons

    101st CAVALRY GROUP took their place in the front lines for the first time. Whileof hardit was not fully realized at that time, they were ready for combat. Four yearsto prove in theand conscientious training in the United States was itself earlyfighting. There was much still to be learned, however, the "hard way". Especiallywhen their equipdifficultwas the task these men faced of fighting as infantrymenand training was strictly for Mechanized Cavalry work. They quickly overcamement were battlewise andthese obstacles and difficulties and it was not long before theycombat soldier. The acidhardened 'to the unpleasant 'tasks which are ithe lo t of -thetest of unrelenting and continuous night and day responsibility now fell upon theperiod ofof command. There was to be no respite for aelements and machinery85 consecutive days.

    Courage, Fortitude And DeathHere on the Saar River Front ithe first impact of sudden death Was felft as itstruckto know the fullmeaningdown close personal friends and valued comrades. All came changed fromof honest fear and to respect it in others. Attitudes toward the enemyto cold and calculating anger. The maze of mines andslightly apprehensive curiosity

    booby traps in this area plagued the men at every step and took their toll. Theenemy's ability to use his weapons effectively and his skill at concealment came infor each other and withoutfor full appreciation and study. Men earned a new respect for courage andthinking in the terms of themselves wondered at man's capacityespecially did they wonder at the fortitude of those so grieviously wounded.

    Entire Western Front Flaresorders to attack. Nor"ATTACK!" No man ever forgets the first time he receives

    does he forget his own feelings which, between stimulation of the senses and soberedthinking, become a series of alternating hot and cold mental flashes. The inevitableperiod of waiting now set in. Postponements and changes of plan as well as othervexing problems arose. These proved to be the outgrowth of the Supreme Comman

    to strike the final blioiw.Thus, the planned local attack became, finallyder's decisionafter the turn of the month, a part of the opening over-all assault along the WesternFront.

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    HEADQUARTERS101st Cavalry Group, Mecz

    APO 758, U S. Army19 March 1945.

    SUBJECT: Action Against Enemy, Reports After.TO: The Adjutant General, War Department, Washington, D. C.THRU: Command Channels.

    1. In accordance with the provisions of AR 345-105, dated 18 Novem-ber 1929, and Change 4, dated 10 August 1944; letter Hq ETOUSA, subj:"Handling of Historical Documents in the European Theater of Opera-tions", file AG 312.1 Op History dated 14 July 1944, and Section IVCircular No. 34, Headquarters Seventh Army, dated 28 November 1944,the following report is submitted.*2. The inclosed reports and journals with supporting documentsconstitute the historical records of the 101st Cavalry Group, Mecz., for theperiod 1 February 1945 28 February 1945.

    3. During the period covered by this report, the 101st Cavalry Group,Mecz., was commanded by Colonel Charles B. McClelland, with Lt ColLeo W. Mortenson as Executive Officer.

    4. Narrative History.a. 101st Cavalry Group, Mecz., remained in Camp TWENTY GRAND,FRANCE, from 1February 1945 through 4 February. Garrison duties wereperformed and equipment was prepared for further movement. Pursuant

    to Troop Assignment No. 18, Headquarters Twelfth Army Group, 23 Ja-nuary 1945, the 101st Cavalry Group, Mecz., was attached to the FifteenthU. S. Army, relieved from assignment to the Twelfth Army Group andassigned to the Sixth Army Group. In accordance with Unit Assignment*Not included herein

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    No. 18, Headquarters Sixth ArmyGroup, 27 January 1945, it was subsequently assigned to the Seventh Army.Order

    No.b. Pursuant to Movement Order2-17, Headquarters District A, NormandyBase Section, Com Z, European T ot Opns,4 February 1945, the 101st Cavalry Group,Mecz., departed Camp TWENTY GRAND,FRANCE, en rouie to LUNEVILLE,,FRANCE, an 5 February 1945, crossed IP,ST . JEAN de CARDONEY, NORMANDY,at 0946 A, closed in bivouac SOISSONS,FRANCE, 1952A. Departed SOISSONS,FRANCE, 6 February 1945; crossed IP0700 A, closed in bivouac, VERDUN,FRANCE, 2130 A. VOCG Seventh ArmyFebruary 1945,were received night 6-7

    from LUNEVILLE,changing destinationFRANCE, to the FAULQUEMONT area,FRANCE. Departed VERDUN, FRANCE,7 February 1945; crossed IP 0700A, closedin bivouac ST. AVOLD,FRANCE, 1630 A.

    c. Pursuant to Operations InstructionArmy,No. 75, Headquarters Seventh6 February 1945, the 101st Cavalry Group,the XV CorpsMecz., was attached toupon arrival in the FAULQUEMONTarea, and directed to relieve the 106 thCavalry Group, Mecz., in its defensivemission.

    d. The 101st Cavalry Group* Mecz.,at AVOLD,remained in bivouac ST.FRANCE, 7-8 February 1945 and movedto LAUTERBACH, GERMANY, 9 February 1945. The Group CP and that of the116th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron,Mecz., were established in LAUTERBACH, GERMANY, on 9 February 1945,and the CP of the 101st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mecz., wias established in CARLSBRUNN, GERMANY, onthe some date.

    the 106ih CavalryGroup, Mecz., along the line EMMERS-c. The relief of

    -WEILLER, GERMANY WADGASSEN,GERMANY, both exclusive, was begunon 9 February 1945 and comp...

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