1-CD – OOB – WW-2


Stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas, as 1st Cavalry Division (Special), the unit moved to Toyahvale Texas during the 7-30 Oct 1939 period and returned to Fort Bliss. It moved to the Cravens-Pitkin Louisiana Maneuver Area during the 13 to 24 Aug 1940 and returned to Fort Bliss until participated in 2nd-3rd Army Louisiana Maneuvers on Aug 10 to Oct 4 then returned to Fort Bliss. During the period from 27 July to 21 Sept 1942, the 1st Cavalry Division participated in the 8th Corps Louisiana Maneuvers near Mansfield, Louisiana, and returned to Fort Bliss. The unit staged at Camp Stoneman, California from Jul 21 1943 until departed the San Francisco Port of Embarkation on Jun 26 1943 and arrived in Australia on Jul 11 where the unit was re-designated 1st Cavalry Division (Special) on Dec 4. The 1st Cavalry Division (Special) departed then Australia on Dec 18 1943 and arrived in New Guinea 2 days later by echelon, last contingent arriving on Feb 25 1944. The division was then moved to the Manus Island on Mar 5/15 1944; left Manus Island on Oct 12 and landed in Leyte, Philippines, on Oct 20 1944. The 1st Cavalry Division (Special) left Leyte on Jan 24 1945 and landed on Luzon, Philippines, on Jan 26 1945. Finally, the 1st CDS arrived in Japan on Sept 2 1945 where it remained active untill 1946.


1st Cavalry Division Campaigns

New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Leyte, Luzon
Aug 45 Location : Lucena Batangas, Philippine Islands

1st Cavalry Division (Special) Order of Battle 1941

Hqs & Hqs Troops, 1st Cavalry Division
Weapons Troop
5th Cavalry Regiment
12th Cavalry Regiment
7th Cavalry Regiment
8th Cavalry Regiment
61st Field Artillery Battalion (75-MM-(HD)
62nd Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM-(TRKD)
82nd Field Artillery Battalion (75-MM-(HD)
8th Engineer Squadron
1st Medical Squadron
16th Quartermaster Squadron
91st Reconnaissance Squadron
1st Antitank Troop
1st Signal Troop
27th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company


1st Cavalry Division (Special) Order of Battle 1941
Hqs & Hqs Troops, 1st Cavalry Division
5th Cavalry Regiment
12th Cavalry Regiment
7th Cavalry Regiment
8th Cavalry Regiment
61st Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
82nd Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
99th Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
271st Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
8th Engineer Squadron
1st Medical Squadron
1st Signal Troop
27th OD Med Mat Co
16th Quartermaster Squadron
302nd Reconnaissance Troop MECZ
603rd Medium Tank Company
Military Police Platoon
801st Counter Intelligence Corps Detachment

1st Cavalry Division – Overseas Wartime Assignments

6th Army (US) : July 23rd 1943
10th Corps (US) : October 1st 1944
8th Army (US) : December 26 1944
6th Army (US) : January 27 1945
14th Corps (US) : January 31st 1945
11th Corps (US) : June 15 1945
8th Army (US) : August 15 1945

1st Cavalry Division (Special) – Wartime Commanders

Maj Gen Innis P. Swift : April 1941 – August 1944
Maj Gen Verne D. Mudge : August 1944 – February 1945
Brig Gen Hugh F. T. Hoffman : Febriary 1945 – July 1945
Maj Gen William C. Chase : July 1945 – Deactivation

1st Cavalry Division (Special) Casualties

Killed in Action : 734 – Wounded in Action : 3311 – Died of Wounds : 236

1st Cavalry Division (Special), Combat Narrative

The division arrived in Australia on Jul 26 1943 and engaged in jungle and amphibious training at Toorbul Point and Port Stephens. The 2nd Cavalry Brigade departed Strathpine, Australia on Dec 19 1943 and arrived in Oro Bay, New Guinea on Dec 20 1943. The division established its command post at Cap Sudest, New Guinea on Jan 4 1944, and by Feb 25 1944 the remainder of the division had arrived in Oro Bay from New Guinea. It then trained for operations in the Admiralty Islands.

A squadron of the 5th Cavalry landed on Los Negros Island on Feb 29 1944 and after heavy combat occupied the Momote Airfield. It was then reinforced by the 2-Sq/7th Cavalry on Mar 4 1944 while on Mar 6 1944 the 12th Cav landed. The 2nd Cavalry Brigade arrived on Mar 9 1944 and employed the 8th Cavalry to assault the Manus Island on Mar 15 1944 which overran the Lugos Mission, followed by the 7th Cavalry.

By Mar 18 1944, Lorengau and its airfield had been captured, and the division mopped up both Los Negros and Manus and seized other nearby islands which secured the Admiralties by May 18 1944. The division then trained for the next operation until departure for the Philippines on Oct 12 1944.

The 5th, 7th, and 12th Cav assaulted the Leyte Island on Oct 20 1944 and cleared San Jose, Tacloban Airfield, and Cataisan Peninsula. The 8th Cav landed at La Paz Samar Island and secured the San Juanico Strait on Oct 24 1944. The division regrouped on Oct 28 1944 as the 2nd Cavalry Brigade assembled at Barugo, converged on Carigara and contacted the 24th Infantry Division on Nov 2 1944.

The 12th Cav was attached Nov 15 1944 and assumed responsibility for the Capocan-Carigara-Barugo area. The division cleared the Mount Badian-Hill 2348 region from Nov 28 to Dec 9 1944 and the 12th Cav battled at the ridge south of Limon Nov 30 to Dec 10 1944 when the 7th Cav relieved it and finally captured it on Dec 14 1944.
The 12th Cav pushed into Lonoy on Dec 19 1944 and seized Kananga 2 days later. The division attacked west toward the coast over swamps against scattered resistance on Dec 23 1944, and the 5th and 12th Cav reached the coast at Tibur on Dec 28 1944.

The division then fought past Villaba to contact the 32nd Infantry Division on Dec 30 1944. The 8th Cav returned from patrolling on Samar Island on Jan 8 1945 and the division prepared for movement to Luzon. The division landed in the Mabilao area of Lingayen Gulf Luzon on Jan 27 1945, and the 12th Cav was relieved from attachment on Jan 31 as the division attacked with the 5th and 8th Cav from Guimba toward Manila. The division entered Manila on Feb 3 and fought through fierce opposition in the northern and eastern suburbs. The 12th Cav attacked into Rosario Heights Feb 10, and the division overran Neilson Field to reach the shore of Manila Bay 2 days later.

The 7th Cav captured crossings over the Mariquina River in the Ugong-Rosario area Feb 20. The 2nd Cav Brigade attacked from the Taytay area on the 23 toward the Shimbu Line but was checked 2 days later in the Antipolo area. The 5th Cav captured the Agriculture Building in Manila on Mar 1. The division began its drive against the Shimbu Line with four regiments abreast on Mar 8 and stormed Bench Mark Hill 11, and seized the crest of Bench Mark Hill 9, Mar 10. It was relieved in the Antipolo area Mar 12 and withdrew for rehabilitation. The division began the drive on Lipa by taking Santo Tomas on Mar 24 and Los Banos the following day. By Mar 29 the 8th Cav had captured Lipa and established contact with the 11th Airborne Division, and next opened the Batangas-Calamba supply road into Manila. The division then turned east and the 7th Cav seized Alaminos Apr 1 while the 12th Cav fought the Battle for Imoc Hill Apr 1/5. The 5th Cav had reached San Pablo on Apr 2 and after heavy combat the division took Mauban on the east coast Apr 10 and established contact with the 11th Airborne Division at Lamon Bay the next day.

The 1st Cav Brigade pushed into Bicol Peninsula Apr 12 and the Japanese defenders had been pocketed north of Mount Matassana Bundoc by Apr 16. This area was reduced by the 2nd Cav Brigade commencing Apr 17. Beginning on May 2 the 5th Cav probed Mount Isarong for the next two weeks. The division was relieved of its combat missions on Jun 26 and engaged exclusively in training at Lucena, where it had been since May 6 1945. The division was in this capacity when hostilities ended.

For all purposes :
European Center of Military History
Gunter ‘Doc Snafu’ Gillot
rue des Thiers 8
Francorchamps 4970
Email : gunter [at] eucmh.be

Thank You for your support !

(NB : Published for Good – June 2019)


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