Photos from Hatchet Troop 1-1 Cav's post
1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment "Blackhawks" is part of the 2nd HBCT 1st Armored Division. We are proud to be the oldest cavalry squadron in the U.S.
20500 Old Ironsides
El Paso, TX
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Perhaps the most personal vestige of our proud heritage is our unit crest. It depicts the Black Hawk, symbolizing the Black Hawk Wars against the Indians in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. The Hawk is encircled by the Dragoon saber belt and buckle which has a “D” thereon, symbolizing the Dragoons. The gold, eight point star which forms the background of the crest was the Dragoon’s insignia until 1851. The black and gold are old Dragoon colors, while the yellow is the Cavalry color. The inscription, “Animo et Fide,” is Latin for “Courage and Faithful.” More than one hundred and eighty years of service is the proud heritage of the First Cavalry Regiment, the oldest regiment in the United States Army and the first regiment of cavalry to be completely mechanized. Birth of the Regiment: 1833 The First Cavalry Regiment traces its history to 1833. The need for a mounted force to protect pioneers moving westward across the Mississippi River became essential as settlers encountered hostile Native Americans. Therefore, Congress authorized the organization of “The United States Regiment of Dragoons,” which became the “First Regiment of Dragoons” in 1836 and the “First Regiment of Cavalry” in 1861. From across the country, each of the Troops were raised. • Headquarters: Jefferson Barracks, Missouri: 04 March 1833 • Troop A: Nashville, Tennessee: 12 August 1833 • Troop B: Sacketts Harbor, New York: 29 July 1833 • Troop C: Louisville, Kentucky: June 1833 • Troop D: Cincinnati, Ohio: 25 July 1833 • Troop E: New York, New York: 29 June 1833 • Troop F: Jefferson Barracks: 05 December 1833 • Troop G: Jefferson Barracks: 16 January 1834 • Troop H: Jefferson Barracks: 02 March 1834 In the summer and fall of 1833, the first five Troops of the Regiment (A, B, C, D, E and the Regimental Headquarters) were organized under COL Henry Dodge at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. These Troops then marched to Fort Gibson, (Oklahoma) in what was then known as the Arkansas Territory. They remained there until June 1834 where they were joined by the remainder of the Regiment (Troops F, G, H, I, and K). The Regiment’s first expedition was against the Pawnee, ending in September, 1834. One fourth of the Regiment’s officers and men died of fever. The winter of 1834-35 saw Troops A, C, D, G, and the Headquarters Troop sent to Fort Leavenworth. COL Kearny commanded Troops B, H, leading them through hostile territory on the right bank of the Mississippi River, near the mouth of the Des Moines River. MAJ Mason commanded the remainder of the Regiment at Fort Gibson. All the Troops of the Regiment were kept in the field in some capacity throughout the summer of 1835. The regiment became the "First Regiment of Dragoons" when the Second Dragoons was raised in 1836. The general disposition of the Regiment remained unchanged. The various Troops continuously scouted among the Native Americans, especially along the Missouri frontier. A portion of the Regiment went to Nacogdoches, Texas to preserve the peace between westward moving settlers and Native American populations living in the area. They also assisted in building wagon roads and bridges. Troops of the Regiment returned to their respective stations; Forts Leavenworth, Gibson and Des Moines, that winter. In March 1837, a Regimental order designated the color of the horses of each Troop as follows: Troops A and K- Black Troops B, F and H –Sorrel Troops C, D, E and I:-Bay Troop G: Iron Gray. In October 1837, and again in March 1838, COL Kearny led elements of the regiment to quell the Osage Tribe. In April 1839, the army created Fort Wayne in what considered hostile territory now the State of Indiana. Troops E, F, G and K, were stationed there for several years, with occasional forays into the field against hostile native tribes. In addition to its frontier duty the Regiment pushed west on long marches to explore a practically unknown country and to protect settlers traveling the Santa Fe Trail. These marches extended to western Wyoming, often covering more than 2,000 miles. Kearny was promoted Brigadier General 30 June 1846, COL Mason succeeded him.. Mexican-American War: 1846-1848 General Kearny commanded the "Army of the West (1846)," during the Mexican-American War. His command consisted of Troops B, C, G, I and K, the 1st Dragoons, an artillery battalion, some separate infantry companies, two regiments of Missouri volunteer cavalry, the famous Mormon Battalion, and the 1st Regiment of New York Volunteers. This army consisted of about 3,700 men, when it ventured west to New Mexico. The army was concentrated at Bent's Fort on the Arkansas River. On 01 August 1846, the Regiment, making up the core of the army, marched for Santa Fé, then a part of Mexico. The force occupied Santa Fé without much opposition. Kearny left part of his army in Santa Fé and marched to California, arriving in December 1846. The army encountered an enemy equal in composition the morning of 06 December 1846. Kearny commanded 150 mounts, defeating the Mexican California lancers in fierce battle about 40 miles from San Diego at San Pasqual, California. The 1st Dragoons, losing 3 officers and 14 men killed, principally from lance thrusts. GEN Kearny received two wounds, his force finally reaching San Diego on 12 December 1846. With a force consisting of Troop C, 1st Dragoons, (60 dismounted men) under Captain Turner, sailors and marines with a battery of artillery, and California volunteers; Kearny left San Diego for Los Angeles on 29 December 1846. Engaging the enemy outside what is present day Los Angeles; Kearny's force routed the Mexican units under Governor Flores at the crossing of the Rio San Gabriel, on 08 January 1847 and on the plains of the Mesa on 09 January 1848. With the capture of Los Angeles the following day, all Mexican resistance to the American occupation of Southern California ceased. During 1847, Regimental Headquarters remained at Fort Leavenworth. Troops A and E were with Zachary Taylor in Mexico. Early in the year, Troop B was reorganized at Jefferson Barracks before being sent to Santa Fé, in June. On 26 June 1848, while en route, the Troop was engaged by Comanches at Grand Prairie, Arkansas. They lost five men killed and six wounded. Upon reaching Santa Fé, they retrained as a field artillery battery. Troops D, F, and K, saw service on GEN Winfield Scott's line in Mexico. The Regiment took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz Rosales in Mexico after having marched 210 miles in 4 days and nights to reach it. Later, Troop F escorted GEN Scott from Veracruz to Mexico City. It was present at several battles near Mexico City, engaged in escort duty between both cities from 01 November to 20 December. In 1848, the three Troops returned to the United States, stationed at various points along the northwestern frontier. Troops B, G, and I served with GEN Sterling Price, from February to March 1848, in his campaign into the Mexican State of Chihuahua, participating in the attack on Santa Cruz de Rosales. COL Thomas L. Fauntleroy, promoted from the Second Dragoons, succeeded Brevet Brigadier General Mason, then Colonel of the 1st Dragoons, who died at Jefferson Barracks, 25 July 1850 as the Regiment’s new commander. Regimental Headquarters was transferred to Fort Union, New Mexico Territory, in July 1854. Throughout the following year, Troops in New Mexico Territory were almost constantly on the move. COL Fauntleroy made three expeditions against the Utahs and Apaches with Troops I and K fighting the Apaches. During this time the Regiment was scattered throughout the west. In the Oregon Territory, Troops C and E took part in the Rogue River War an armed conflict in 1855–56 between the US Army, local militias and volunteers, and the Native American tribes commonly grouped under the designation of Rogue River Indians. The Rogue River Valley area is in what today is southern Oregon. At the Battle of Hungry Hill, 31 October 1855, the Troops were compelled to retire with a loss of 26 killed and wounded, after fighting a day and a half. In the spring of 1855 the First Cavalry Regiment was authorized by Congress, thus changing the Regiment’s name. The Regiment’s Headquarters was moved to Fort Tejon, California, in December 1856. The various Troops were scattered throughout the West and over the next five years, the Regiment engaged in a variety of fights with Native Americans, seeing action at different times against the Navajos and Apaches in the Southwest and several tribes in the Northwest. American Civil War: 1861-1865 Located in Arizona and on the Pacific Coast at the outbreak of the Civil War, the Regiment joined the “Army of the Potomac” in Maryland and fought with that army in all of its principle battles. COL Fauntleroy resigned on 13 May 1861, succeeded by COL Benjamin Lloyd Beall. The designation of the regiment was changed to "First Regiment of Cavalry" on 03 August 1861. The entire Regiment, except Troops D and G stationed in New Mexico Territory, sailed by steamship from the Pacific Coast through Panama and on to Washington, D.C. It arrived by the end of January 1862 and was attached to the 2nd Brigade, Cavalry Reserve, Army of the Potomac. Troops D and G soon abandoned and destroyed Forts Breckinridge and Buchanan, before leaving Confederate Arizona. Retreating to Fort Craig, Troop D skirmished with Confederates near Fort Craig on 19 February 1862. The two Troops took part in the Battle of Valverde on 21 February 1862 with Troop D participating in the engagements at Pigeon's Ranch (30 March); Albuquerque (25 April); and Peralta (27 April). In June 1863, the two Troops were broken up. The officers and NCOs were transferred to Carlisle Barracks and reorganized, joining the regiment at Camp Buford, Maryland, in October 1863. The Peninsula Campaign in Virginia saw the bulk of the 1st U.S. Cavalry, to include the 1st Cavalry Regiment, fighting at Williamsburg (04 May, where a squadron under CPT Benjamin F. "Grimes" Davis charged and repulsed Confederate cavalry, capturing a flag but losing 13 men), Gaines' Mill (27 June) and at Malvern Hill, Kelly's Ford, and during Stoneman's Raid in April and May. At Upperville, Maryland, the 1st U.S. Cavalry (including the 1st Cavalry Regiment) met the Jeff Davis Legion and the 1st and 2nd North Carolina regiments in a mounted charge. The Regiment suffered severely, losing 53 men (most to saber cuts). At Gettysburg, it lost 16 men. Several more men were lost in a series of skirmishes during the Confederate retreat to Virginia. After a period of rest and re-equipping near Washington D.C., the Regiment rejoined the Army of the Potomac and was engaged at Manassas Junction and at Catlett's Station (05 November), Culpeper (08 November), Stephensburg (26 November), and Mine River. During the winter, the regiment conducted picket duty along the Rapidan River. In February 1864, the 1st U.S. Cavalry (including the 1st Cavalry Regiment) engaged in a series of fights along the Rapidan line, accompanying BG George Armstrong Custer in a raid on Charlottesville, Virginia. With GEN Sheridan's taking command of the Cavalry Corps, the 1st Cavalry Regiment, (commanded by CPT N. B. Sweitzer), was attached to Merritt's Reserve or Regular Brigade, Torbert's Division. Preparing for the Overland Campaign, the Regiment conducted picket duty along the Rapidan, taking part in the battles of Todd's Tavern (07 May), and Spotsylvania Court House (08 May). Subsequently, the Regiment accompanied Sheridan on his daring raid around Richmond, fighting at Beaver Dam Station (10 May); Yellow Tavern (11 May), Meadow Bridge (12 May), Mechanicsville (12 May), Tunstall's Station (14 May), Hawe's Shop (28 May), and Old Church (30 May). The Regiment saw severe fighting at the Battle of Cold Harbor, 01 June 1864. The 1st Cavalry Regiment next accompanied General Sheridan on his Trevilian raid, and lost 35 men in the Battle of Trevilian Station (11 and 12 June). The Regiment engaged in daily skirmishing during its return march to White House Landing. It was engaged there on 17 June, at the Chickahominy River on 18 June, and at the Battle of Darby's Farm, 28 June. The Regiment captured an enemy flag at the battle of Deep Bottom on 28 July, where the Regular Brigade, fighting on foot, routed a brigade of Confederate cavalry. On 31 July, the 1st Cavalry Regiment was transported to a threatened Washington D.C. to assist in repelling Confederate GEN Early’s attack. The Regiment moved towards Harpers Ferry on 05 August, once ordered to the Shenandoah Valley to rejoin Sheridan. On 10 August the Reserve Brigade, of which the 1st Cavalry Regiment was a part, routed Confederates near Winchester, Virginia. The Regiment was engaged in almost daily skirmishing, taking part in all the important Valley battles except Fisher's Hill. From 16 August through 20 August, the 1st Cavalry Regiment was ordered to destroy all Confederate wheat and forage, and the seizure of all horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs accessible in the Valley. The Regiment also took part in the memorable charge of the Reserve Brigade at the Battle of Opequon, 19 September, capturing two stands of colors and some 200 prisoners in conjunction with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. Casualties for the Regiment were 37 killed, wounded and missing and on 28 September 1864, in an action at Waynesboro, Virginia, it suffered 18 additional casualties. The 1st Cavalry Regiment played an important part in the Battle of Cedar Creek, 19 October 1864. Defeating the Confederates, lead by Horatio G. Wright in the morning, the Union Divisions of GEN Merritt and GEN Custer came up as reinforcements. Two squadrons of the Regiment formed perpendicularly across the Valley Pike and dismounted behind stone walls. This position was held with great difficulty, with the advanced squadron subjected to enfilade fire. The third squadron was held in reserve. Following this battle, the Regiment returned to Middletown, Maryland. Throughout the fall and winter of 1864, the Regiment engaged in numerous skirmishes, taking part in GEN Merritt's raid through the Loudoun Valley and Torbert's raid on Gordonsville, Virginia. In December, the Regiment was assigned to the Cavalry Corps headquarters in Winchester, Virginia. On 27 February 1865, Sheridan commenced his last expedition through the Shenandoah Valley. His aim was to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad and the James River Canal, and capture Lynchburg, Virginia. The Regiment took part in the Battle of Waynesboro, 02 March 1865, where the remnant of Confederate GEN Early's army was captured. It then marched from Charlottesville, Virginia to White House Landing, destroying locks and the embankment of the James River Canal, railroads and Confederate supplies. It arrived at White House Landing on 17 March, taking part in a sharp engagement that day. Fighting with the Cavalry Corps, 1st Cavalry Regiment was present in all the major battles of the Corps until the close of the war. On 30 March 1864, it took part in the engagement on White Oak Road (31 March), at Dinwiddie Court House (01 April), and at Five Forks. There, the Regiment charged an entrenched enemy position, carried it and seized 200 prisoners. It also fought in the engagement near the Southside Railroad (02 April), at the Battle of Sayler's Creek (06 April), and at Appomattox Courthouse, (09 April 1865), which was the scene of Confederate GEN Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. The Regiment returned to Petersburg, Virginia where it remained until 24 April 1865. It then marched with the Cavalry Corps towards North Carolina for the proposed junction with Sherman. On the surrender of Joseph E. Johnston's army, the Cavalry Corps returned to Petersburg and the Regiment, escorting GEN Sheridan, left for Washington D.C. on 08 May 1865. It arrived on 16 May, taking part in the Grand Review of the Armies. The Frontier: 1866-1898 With the close of the Civil War, the 1st Cavalry Regiment resumed its campaign in the Indian Wars of the American West. In late May 1865, the Regiment was ordered to Louisiana, arriving at New Orleans on 31 May and remaining there until 29 December when it embarked for California via the Isthmus of Panama. It was stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco (22 January 1866), with Troops A, G and K going to Drum Barracks on 05 February. Troops C, D and E, followed them on 17 February with Troop L going to Sacramento. In June, the Regimental Headquarters went to Fort Vancouver with several Troops of the Regiment distributed among various stations in the untamed west. From 1866 to 1868, the Regiment operated in Oregon, Washington Territory, Idaho Territory, Nevada, Arizona, and participated in the Snake War in California. Owing to the vast extent of country guarded by the regiment, service in the Regiment was arduous, demanding and lasted for many years. Troops scouted for Native Americans, provided escort duty of various kinds, and maintained the peace. From 1866 to 1872, elements of the Regiment stationed in Arizona fought in the Apache Wars. On 29 January 1867, Troop M encountered a band of 90 warriors at Stein's Mountain in New Mexico Territory; Killing 60 and capturing 27. Eight men from Troop M further engaged the Apaches (26-31 May 1868), killing 34 more warriors. Over the course of three days (9–11 December 1869) 20 men from Troop E killed 11 Mojave Apaches at Fort McDowell in Arizona. It was during this period, thirty soldiers and officers serving with the Regiment earned the Medal of Honor. Eighteen of these awards were for a single engagement against Apaches in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona on 20 October 1869, and another six for actions in George Crook's "Winter Campaign" of 1872–73. The last 25 years of the nineteenth-century saw the Regiment embroiled in several major Indian wars. Troops carried out their orders to combat hostile tribes while maintaining the peace, though the Regiment was never fully together as a cohesive unit. The Modoc War (1872-73), also known as the Lava Bed War, involved a small tribe living in northern California near Tule Lake and Lost River. Settlers interested in the area had them removed to the Klamath Indian Reservation where they were poorly treated and subsequently left. This further exacerbated tensions between the Modoc and settler population that later proved deadly. As a result of open hostilities, Troop B left Fort Klamath, 28 November 1872, for the purpose of arresting "Captain Jack" and the leaders of his band of Modoc; Troop G left Fort Bidwell, 13 December 1872 to engage the Modoc near Lost River, joining Troop B and a column under GEN Wheaton’s command. This column included Troops F and H. All four Troops assembled under GEN Wheaton, engaging the Modoc on 17 January 1873. From Nevada, Troop K joined the column. During the night of 14 April 1873, Troops of the 1st Cavalry Regiment moved with the rest of the command to invest the Modoc stronghold. This became known as the "Second Battle of the Lava Beds" (15–17 April 1873), when the Modoc warriors were driven from their positions and into the rocks and mountains. Several more engagements ensued, including Sorass Lake, California (10 May), a pursuit of the Modoc (17 May), and the eventual capture of “Captain Jack" near Applegate's Ranch. In Arizona, those Troops of the Regiment that remained were moved north. By the end of October 1873, the Troops were stationed at the following locations: Headquarters with Troops A and D: Benicia Barracks Troop B: Fort Klamath Troop C: Camp McDermitt, Nevada Troop E: Fort Lapwai, Idaho Territory Troops F, L and M: Fort Walla Walla, Wyoming Territory Troop G: Camp Bidwell, California Troops H and K: Camp Harney, Oregon Troop I: Camp Halleck, Nevada. On 15 June 1877, Troops F and H (CPT Perry commanding) were ordered to Camas Prairie assist the settlers of Mount Idaho, Indian Territory, who were threatened by the Nez Percé under Chief Joseph. The Nez Percé crossed the Salmon River along the Canadian border. Elements of the Regiment found Chief Joseph's camp, taking it by surprise. The Nez Percé quickly rallied, repulsing the Troops. All the Troops of the Regiment, except Troop M at Colville and Troop A at Camp Harney watching the Piutes, were subsequently ordered into the field against the Nez Percés. Troops E and L joined GEN Howard's command on 21 June 1877. On 11 July, GEN Howard crossed the Clearwater with his whole command, moving down stream with Troop H in the advance. The Nez Percé camp was discovered and at once attacked. The fight lasted two days, ending with a Nez Percé retreat. The regiment lost 3 men killed and 4 wounded. A battalion commanded by MAJ Sanford, made a reconnaissance (18 July), on the Lo-Lo trail, and Native American scouts accompanying it were ambushed with considerable loss. The battalion (as it was then known), consisting of Troops C, D, I and K, joined GEN Howard on the Clearwater (28 July). Crossing the Lo-Lo trail began on 30 July. Troops B, C, I and K, commanded by Sanford, accompanied it, and with other troops under MJR Green, constituted the "Reserve Column." Troops D, E, G and L remained at Camas Prairie until 05 August, when the Battalion moved near Mount Idaho, establishing a permanent camp (Camp Howard). Troops F and H were stationed at Fort Lapwai. GEN Howard's trying and "stern" march across the Lo-Lo trail resulted in the final surrender of Chief Joseph to GEN Miles at Bear Paw Mountains. In 1881, Troops C, G, I and M were sent to Arizona. On 02 October 1881, Troop G and other Troops of the Regiment saw action near Cedar Springs, Arizona with Apache warriors. The warriors fought with great boldness and desperation with the fight ending near 2100 that evening. The Apaches escaped. Troop G had two men wounded and 12 horses killed. On 04 October, Troops G and I had a running fight near South Pass in the Dragoon Mountains, following the Apaches into Sonora, Mexico. In April 1890, the Cheyennes assumed a threatening attitude toward their Indian Bureau Agent, who called upon the commanding officer of Fort Custer for protection. The Fort sent MAJ Carrol with Troops B, D and M to the Tongue River Agency, establishing Camp Crook. Elements of the Regiment also took part in operations against the Sioux in the winter of 1890–91, but were not brought into actual contact with them. In December 1890, word was received that a Troop of cavalry was surrounded by hostile Native American warriors at or near Cave Hills, Montana. Troop A made one of the most remarkable marches on record to relieve the Troop, marching 186 miles over three days; 95 miles marched in the first 25 hours, and 170 miles in the next 53½ hours. Unfortunately, the report, which caused such tremendous exertion, proved unfounded. Spanish-American War: 1898 From its far western posts, the Regiment was assembled at Chickamauga, Georgia for the Spanish-American War. Though a short-lived campaign in the Caribbean, 1st Cavalry Regiment participated in the Battle for Santiago, Cuba while serving as part of U.S. V Corps. The U.S. Army employed Civil War-era skirmishers at the head of the advancing columns. As a result, three of four U.S. Soldiers who volunteered were killed. The Battle of Las Guasimas demonstrated that quick-thinking American Soldiers would not stick to old linear Civil War tactics. Rather, they learned from their Cuban counterparts and used cover and concealment methods to hide their defensive positions. On 01 July 1898, a combined force of about 15,000 American soldiers from regular infantry and cavalry regiments, and volunteer regiments to include Theodore Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders," attacked 1,270 entrenched Spaniards in dangerous Civil War-style frontal assaults at the Battle of El Caney and Battle of San Juan Hill outside of Santiago. More than 200 U.S. Soldiers were killed with nearly 1,200 wounded in the fighting. Supporting fire by Gatling guns proved critical to the success of the assault. The Regiment earned its 61st battle honor for its role in the Battle for Santiago, Cuba. Philippine Insurrection: 1899-1902 For the exception of Troop E, the 1st Cavalry Regiment was sent to the Philippines to put down a rising insurrection. The Philippine Insurrection began with a skirmish on the night of 04 February 1899, just outside of Manila between US Soldiers and Filipinos disappointed with the Treaty of Paris that ended the war with Spain ceding the Philippines to the United States. The insurgency was lead by Emilio Aguinaldo, the leader of the Filipino Independence Movement who used guerrilla-style tactics. The service of the cavalry in the Philippine Islands after the capture of Aguinaldo, in March 1901 might well be described as daily and nightly patrols by small detachments commanded by junior officers. These little groups often encountered large bands of insurgents armed with bolos and U.S. rifles. A regimental report from the history of the 1st Cavalry Regiment is typical of the period: “On December 8, 1900, detachment Troop M engaged a force of two hundred insurgents on Boot Peninsula, Lake Taal, dispersing them in a running fight of two and one-half hours duration. Private Ernest Shrey, Troop M, killed. Four insurgents killed; captured three prisoners, their arms and ammunition.” “On 5 May 1901, Lieutenant Hartman with Troop K engaged about two hundred and fifty insurgents at Mount Solo, drove them from three separate positions, killing one, capturing three, also six ponies, three rifles, and three bolos.” This type of warfare afforded little space for grand strategy and tactics, but the work performed by the enterprising and courageous junior officers won them promotions and helped prepare them for higher commands in World War I. Chief among the young American officers was John J. Pershing, Captain of Cavalry. The United States established a pro-American government in the Philippines under future US President William Howard Taft. Throughout the insurgency it launched a pacification campaign that became known as the “Policy of Attraction.” Designed to win over key elites and other Filipinos who did not embrace Aguinaldo’s plans for the Philippines, this policy permitted a significant degree of self-government, introduced social reforms, and implemented plans for economic development. Over time, this program gained important Filipino adherents and undermined the revolutionaries’ popular appeal, which significantly aided the United States’ military effort to win the war. The 1st Cavalry Regiment returned to the United States in 1903, where it resumed its border duties between Mexico and the US during World War I. World War II: 1941-1945: The whole of 1st Cavalry Regiment held its last mounted review as a regiment of horse cavalry on 14 December 1932. In 1933, the Regiment became the US first cavalry regiment to be completely mechanized. It was designated the First Armored Regiment (L) in 1940, and became part of the First Armored Division (15 July 1940) stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In 1942, the Regiment was deployed to Ireland with the 1st Armored Division and subsequently fought throughout North Africa and Italy. Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, became the Regiment’s first baptism under fire. At 0820, 08 November 1942, men of 1st Armored Regiment landed at St. Leu, in French Morocco. Vichy French forces initially hampered the Regiment’s advance inland from the beaches. By 1100 that morning, they had captured Tafaraoui Airfield, 30 miles away from their initial landing point. They overran a battery of defending French medium guns. The next day the Regiment admirably acquitted itself against a counterattack by Vichy French Tanks (E 35). Troop B, 1st Armored Regiment, (CPT William R. Tuck commanding) with LT Whitsit's platoon of tank destroyers, moved eastward from Tafaraoui Airfield to engage the Vichy French. Whitsit's 75s provided a base of fire from a hill about eight hundred yards from St Lucien. Simultaneously, Tuck's company advanced across open fields in two V formations abreast, with a third platoon five hundred yards behind them. Their armor exchanged fire with the enemy using their 37mm antitank guns. The Regiment destroyed one obsolete French E 35 after another using older, outdated ammunition, which it used throughout the rest of 1942. Fourteen Vichy French Tanks were destroyed with the temporary loss of one American tank, mortally wounding a Sergeant. On 20 July 1944, the 1st Armored Regiment was reorganized with 2nd Battalion deactivated and the remainder of the Regiment redesignated as 1st Tank Battalion. Cold War: 1945-1954 After World War II, the Regiment reorganized as the 1st Tank Battalion, was later converted to the 1st Constabulary Squadron, serving on occupation duty in Germany until December 1948, when it was inactivated. Reactivated as the 1st Medium Tank Battalion in March, 1951 at Fort Hood, Texas, the Regiment served with Combat Command A, 1st Armored Division, until February 1962 when the remainder of the 1st Armored Division was reactivated. At this time the Regiment was redesignated as the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, and resumed its historic role as the “eyes and ears” of its parent organization. During October, 1962, as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Squadron moved to Fort Stewart, Georgia with other elements of the 1st Armor Division. As the world situation eased, the Squadron participated in a STRAC mobility exercise and amphibious training at Port Everglades, Florida. During the spring of 1963 the Squadron took part in the STRICOM exercise “Swift Strike,” and then returned to Fort Hood. Vietnam: 1954-1975 In January, 1967, the commander of 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, was called to Vietnam to assist in studying the role of Armor in Vietnam. Upon his return to Fort Hood, Texas in March, 1967, the Squadron began training for Vietnam. From March to August 1967, the officers and men of the Squadron trained daily in all phases of Squad, Platoon, Troop and Squadron operations. The Squadron received superior ratings in their annual training test, annual general inspection, and Command Maintenance Management Inspections during this period. It surpassed every assigned mission with such professionalism, that in late July 1967, the Squadron was awarded the Third US Army Corps Superior Unit Award. Arriving in Vietnam in August, 1967, the Squadron consisted of three Armored Cavalry Troops and one Air Cavalry Troop, D Troop, which was not deployed until July 1968. The Squadron immediately deployed in the I Corps Tactical Zone around the city of Chu Lai. It was committed to battle two days after its arrival, operating against the North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong. From 01 September 1967 to June 1968, the Squadron was involved in eleven major battles and numerous smaller engagements; among these were Cigar Island, Que Son Valley, Pineapple Forest, the Western Valley and Tam Ky. The Air Cavalry Troop, Troop D, joined the Squadron 21 July 1968, disembarking at Da Nang and flew directly to Camp Eagle. The Troop remained on combat duty in I CORP for the next four years using the call sign Sabre. The Squadron was further augmented by Troop F, 8th Cavalry, attached to the Squadron as its “eyes and ears.” In the Pineapple Forest Battle of February 1968, the ground-air cavalry team had its greatest victory, killing 180 of the enemy without losing one of its own number. 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment remained in the field continuously during the Vietnam War from 1967-1972, attached as an independent Squadron to elements of the 101st Airborne Division and took part in 13 campaigns. The Squadron departed Vietnam on 10 May 1972. Cold War: 1972-1991 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment returned to Europe and the 1st Armored Division. It took up a frontier mission in December 1978, conducting surveillance of the international border between the Federal Republic of Germany and Czechoslovakia. While watching the border, it eventually gained additional aviation elements to help support its mission. V Corps' Kiowa force stood at 27 soldiers strong, hailing from Büdingen, Germany. At this time, the Squadron consisted of 3 aerial troops: D ("Desperado"), E ("Executioner") and F Troops ("Falcon"). They conducted aerial reconnaissance missions and reported the composition/disposition of obstacles or enemy positions, to the 1st Armored Division headquarters. As with their forbearers, the Kiowas lead the Division in all things Scout related. They also worked closely with the Abrams tanks and Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicles on the ground. Gulf War: 1990-91 In February 1991, the Squadron spearheaded the 1st Armored Division’s attack into Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. As the Division's best Cavalry Squadron, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment made first enemy contact with the Medina Division and informed the Division Commander of the location of the enemy forces. The subsequent battle, known as Medina Ridge, soon involved the Division’s 2nd Brigade consisting of 4-70th Armor, 2-70th Armor and 1-35th Armor. Medina Ridge was one of the few battles during Desert Storm where American forces encountered significant Iraqi resistance and found it extremely difficult to advance. The Iraqi forces were well-deployed. They could not be seen by American forces advancing until after they had cleared the top of the ridgeline. This defilade position gave the Iraqis protection from the powerful long-range direct fire of the M1 Abrams tanks and the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. The American units found it necessary to engage an entrenched enemy at close range, resulting in a higher degree of damage to the American armored units. Following the Gulf War, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment returned with the Division to Germany where it remained until the Bosnian Conflict (1992-1995).