5th Cavalry Regiment

The 5th Cavalry Regiment ("Black Knights"[1]) is a historical unit of the United States Army that began its service in the decade prior to the American Civil War and continues in modified organizational format in the U.S. Army.[2]

5th Cavalry Regiment
5th Cavalry Regiment coat of arms
CountryUnited States of America
BranchRegular Army
Nickname(s)"Black Knights, Lancers"[1]
EngagementsIndian Wars
American Civil War
Spanish–American War
Philippine–American War
Border War
Mexican Expedition
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
War in Southwest Asia
Iraq War
Albert Sidney Johnston
Robert E. Lee
Wesley Merritt
George H. Cameron
Gordon B. Rogers
Eric Shinseki
Distinctive unit insignia
U.S. Cavalry Regiments
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4th Cavalry Regiment 6th Cavalry Regiment

Formation and the Frontier

As the borders of the United States expanded westwards, the US government decided that it needed more mounted troops to protect the wagon trains and secure the frontier. On 3 March 1855, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (later to be known as the 5th Cavalry Regiment) was activated in Louisville, Kentucky with troopers drawn from the states of Alabama, Maryland, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia.[3] Each company rode mounts of a certain color, so a trooper's company could easily be identified in the confusion of battle, and so that the regiment appeared more splendid and organized during dress parades. Company A rode Grays, Companies B and E rode Sorrels, Companies C, D, F, and I had Bays, Companies G and H rode browns, and Company K rode Roans.[3] Under the command of Col. Albert Sidney Johnston, its officers included 12 future generals: field officers Robert E. Lee, William J. Hardee, and George H. Thomas, and line officers Earl Van Dorn, Edmund Kirby Smith, George Stoneman, Kenner Garrard, William B. Royall,[4] Nathan G. Evans, Fitzhugh Lee, and John Bell Hood.

After receiving cavalry training at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, the regiment, under COL Albert Sidney Johnston, began riding out to Fort Belknap, Texas. The journey to the fort was long and hard; the 700 men and 800 horses of the 2nd Cavalry marched over the Ozark Mountains, through Arkansas, and into Indian Territory until they arrived on 27 December 1855. COL Johnston immediately received orders to set up Headquarters along with Companies B, C, D, G, H, and I at Fort Mason, Texas.[3] Arriving on 14 January 1856, the men arrived at the post (which had been abandoned for two years) and immediately began work repairing it. On 22 February 1856, Company C of the 2nd Cavalry, under the command of Captain James Oaks, engaged the Waco Indians in their first battle just west of Fort Terrett, Texas.[3]

In July 1857, LTC Robert E. Lee arrived at Fort Mason to take command of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. That same month, LT John Bell Hood led a company of the 2nd Cavalry into the Texas frontier. Near the Devils River, the patrol spotted a band of Comanche warriors holding a white flag of truce, and LT Hood went to speak with them. The warriors dropped their white flag and began lighting fires to carefully placed burn piles in order to provide a smoke screen. 30 more Indians, hiding within 10 paces of the Cavalry troopers, began attacking with arrows and guns.[3] The cavalrymen charged and engaged in hand-to-hand fighting, but were forced to withdraw under the cover of revolver fire in the face of two-to-one odds. LT Hood was wounded by an arrow through the left hand in this engagement, but continued to serve with the 2nd Cavalry.[3]

On 15 February 1858, Major William J. Hardee was instructed to proceed from Fort Belknap with Companies A, F, H & K to Otter Creek, Texas and establish a Supply Station. On 29 February, they came upon a large encampment of Comanche Indians near Wichita Village. In July 1858, the entire regiment assembled at Fort Belknap in anticipation of joining Johnston in Utah to subjugate rebellious Mormons. Their orders were rescinded and they instead formed a striking force, the "Wichita Expedition," against the Comanche.[3] Led by Major Earl Van Dorn, four companies trapped and defeated a sizable force of Comanches on 1 October at the Wichita Village Fight, and followed it up on 13 May 1859, with a similar victory at the Battle of Crooked Creek in Kansas. During this period (1858–1861), the regiment fought in some forty engagements against the Apaches, Bannocks, Cheyennes, Comanches, Kiowas, Utes and other tribes along with Mexican banditos.[3]

American Civil War

Virginia, Gaines' Mill, Ruins of - NARA - 533366
April 1865 photograph of ruins of Gaines Mills Va
J.B. Hood CSA LOC cwpb.07468
John Bell Hood

Early in 1861, the regiment went to Carlisle Barracks, where the officers and men loyal to the South left the regiment to serve in the Confederate States Army. Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee was replaced by Lt. Col. George Henry Thomas. The regiment was rebuilt with new officers and recruits loyal to the Union and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac under the command of General George McClellan. On 21 July 1861, the regiment participated in its first battle of the American Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run; it was the last action in which they would be called the "2nd Cavalry." In the summer of 1861, all regular mounted regiments were re-designated as "cavalry", and being last in seniority among the existing regiments, the regiment was re-designated as the 5th United States Cavalry.[3] During the Civil War, the Regiment fought valiantly at the Battle of Gaines's Mill, the Battle of Fairfax Courthouse, the Battle of Falling Waters, the Battle of Martinsburg, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Battle of Wilderness, and the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, among many others. The 5th Cavalry's most notable action came at Gaines Mills, when the regiment charged a Confederate division under command of a former comrade, General John Bell Hood. The regiment suffered heavy casualties in the battle, but their attack saved the Union artillery from annihilation. This battle is commemorated on the regimental crest by the cross moline, in the yellow field on the lower half of the crest.[3]

On 9 April 1865, the 5th Cavalry was selected to serve as the Union Honor Guard for the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse. The Regiment stood by solemnly as it watched its former commander, General Robert E. Lee, surrender to the Union Army.[3]

Indian Wars

5th Regiment United States Cavalry insignia

In September 1868, the 5th Cavalry Regiment received its orders and began preparations for duty against hostile Indians in Kansas and Nebraska. In the following years the 5th Cavalry fought many skirmishes and battles against the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho on the Great Plains, and against the Utes in Colorado. On 8 July 1869 at the Republican River in Kansas, Cpl John Kyle made a valiant stand against attacking Indians resulting in him receiving the Medal of Honor.[5][6] The 5th was then sent to Arizona, where it defeated the Apaches in 95 engagements from 1871 to 1874. Due to these actions, General William Sherman told a committee from the United States House of Representatives that "the services of the 5th Cavalry Regiment in Arizona were unequaled by that of any Cavalry Regiment." After General Custer and 264 of his men died at the Battle of Little Big Horn, troopers of the 5th rode after the Sioux to avenge the deaths of their fellow cavalrymen. The punitive ride quickly became known as the Horsemeat March, one of the most brutal forced marches in American military history. Men and horses suffered from starvation, but they eventually caught up with the Indians. Under the leadership of Col. Wesley Merritt, a Civil War veteran, the 5th was instrumental in defeating the Indians at the Battle of Slim Buttes. It was the first significant victory for the army following Little Bighorn. In the next few years the principal engagements in which the regiment took part were with the 2nd Cavalry and 3rd Cavalry.

Greely Expedition

Greely relief expedition - labelled
The six survivors of the U.S. Army's Greely Arctic expedition with their U.S. Navy rescuers, at Upernavik, Greenland, 2–3 July 1884. Probably photographed on board USS Thetis.

As the Indian Wars continued, an officer of the 5th Cavalry Regiment, Lieutenant Adolphus Washington Greely, who had overseen the construction of some 2,000 miles of telegraph lines in Texas, Montana, and the Dakota Territories, was selected to lead an exploratory expedition to the Arctic. On 7 July 1881, Greely and his men left St. John's, Newfoundland, and arrived at Lady Franklin Bay on 26 August, where they established Fort Conger on Ellesmere Island, Canada, just across the narrow strait from the northwest tip of Greenland. During their tenure at Fort Conger, Greely and his men explored regions closer to the North Pole than anyone had previously gone.[3] Although they were able to acquire much needed scientific data about arctic weather conditions which was used by later arctic explorers, the expedition lost all but 7 men out of the original 25 members of the party. The rest had succumbed to starvation, hypothermia, and drowning, and one man, Private Henry, had been shot on Greely's order for repeated theft of food rations. The survivors were eventually rescued by a Naval relief effort under Cdr. Winfield Scott Schley on 22 June 1884.[3]

Spanish–American War

In 1898, the Spanish–American War began after the USS Maine sunk under suspicious circumstances in Havana, Cuba. As the US mobilized for war, the 5th Cavalry was sent from San Antonio, Texas to Tampa, Florida. A shortage of naval transports and an abundance of military units eager to get into the action meant that the 5th Cavalry Regiment had to be split up, and only a few troops made it to Puerto Rico in time to engage the enemy.[7] Alongside 17,000 other US troops, the troopers landed on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico at the port of Guánica, 15 miles west of Ponce. In July 1898, the regiment was split into four columns of both dismounted scouts and mounted cavalry, and in early August began patrolling across the mountainous enemy-held countryside. Troop A saw most of the action in the Puerto Rican Campaign; under General Theodore Schwan, it was part of the 2,800 man "Independent Regular Brigade." Troop A performed well at the Battle of Silva Heights, at Las Marias and at Hormigueros where the 1,400 Spanish defenders beat a hasty retreat.[7] The regiment's service in this war is symbolized by the white Maltese cross in the black chief of the upper half of the regimental coat of arms. The Spanish turned over the island of Puerto Rico to the United States on 10 December 1898. The 5th Cavalry remained on the island until early in 1899, when it returned to San Antonio.


In 1901, the Regiment, minus the 2nd Squadron, embarked for the distant Philippine Islands to help put down the bloody Philippine–American War being fought there. In 1902, the 2nd Squadron proceeded to the Philippines to join the rest of the Regiment. Dismounted, they battled in the jungles of the Pacific to help end the rebellion and defeat the army of Philippine revolutionary Emilio Aguinaldo.[7]

After returning to the United States, in March 1903 the troopers of the 5th Cavalry were spread throughout Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. Some of them fought Navajo Indians in small battles located in Arizona and Utah; a rarity in the twentieth century. The Regiment remained split up for five years until January 1909, when Headquarters along with 1st and 3rd Squadrons were reassigned to Pacific duty to strengthen the U.S. military presence in the new territory of Hawaii.[7]

Although there was a small Army population on the island of Oahu, the deployment of cavalry troops mandated a permanent Army post. By December, Captain Joseph C. Castner had finished the plans for the development of today's Schofield Barracks. The 2nd squadron arrived in October 1910, to help in the completion of the construction. In 1913, threats to the United States-Mexico border brought the 5th Cavalry back to the deserts of the Southwest, where it was stationed at Fort Apache and Fort Huachuca, Arizona.[7]

Mexican Expedition

In 1916, the Regiment was dispatched to the Mexican border to serve as part of the Pancho Villa Expedition. Under the command of General John "Black Jack" Pershing, the Regiment crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico and was successful in stopping the border raids conducted by bandits of Pancho Villa who had expanded their criminal operations into the United States, and had brought death to American citizens. The Regiment remained with the Punitive Expedition in Mexico, until 5 February 1917. When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, the 5th Cavalry was selected to remain stateside and defend against incursions along the Mexican border.[7]

After several relocations, in October, the Regiment moved into Fort Bliss, relieving the 8th Cavalry Regiment. Following the Mexican Punitive Expedition, the 5th Cavalry Regiment was spread throughout Texas helping safeguard wagon trains, patrolling the Mexican border and training.[7] In 1918, airplanes and tanks had emerged from World War I as the weapons of the future. However, the long history of the Cavalry was not finished. The cavalry remained as the fastest and most effective force for patrolling the remote desert areas of the Southwest and Mexican border. Airplanes and mechanized vehicles were not reliable enough or adapted for ranging across the rugged countryside, setting up ambushes, conducting stealthy reconnaissance missions and engaging in fast moving skirmishes with minimal support. In many ways, it was just the beginning of a new era. 5th Cavalry troopers were getting into frequent, small scaled combats with raiders, smugglers and Mexican Revolutionaries along the Rio Grande River.[3] In one skirmish in June 1919, four units, the 5th and 7th Cavalry Regiments, the 8th Engineers (Mounted) and 82nd Field Artillery Battalion (Horse) saw action against Pancho Villa's Villistas. On 15 June, Mexican snipers fired across the Rio Grande and killed a trooper of the 82nd Field Artillery who was standing picket duty. In hot pursuit, the troopers and the horse artillery engaged a column of Villistas near Ciudad Juárez. Following a successful engagement, the cavalry expedition returned to the United States side of the border.[3]

Interwar Years

On 18 December 1922, the 5th Cavalry Regiment relieved the 10th Cavalry Regiment and became part of the new 1st Cavalry Division; it has served with this division ever since. In 1923, the division conducted maneuvers in Camp Marfa, Texas and all the 5th Cavalry's wagon trains were drawn by Mules, as it was not motorized yet. The early missions of the division and the 5th Cavalry largely consisted of rough riding, patrolling the Mexican border and constant training. Operating from horseback, the cavalry was the only force capable of piercing the harsh terrain of the desert to halt the groups of smugglers that operated along the desolate Mexican border.[7]

As tensions in Europe began to rise in the 1930s, the 5th Cavalry Regiment continued to train with anticipations of war. The Great Depression of the 1930s forced thousands of unemployed workers into the streets. From 1933 to 1936, the troopers of the 5th Cavalry Regiment provided training and leadership for some of the 62,500 people of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Arizona-New Mexico District. One of these workers' significant accomplishments was the construction of barracks for 20,000 anti-aircraft troops at Fort Bliss, Texas.[7]

World War II in Europe began on 1 September 1939 with the German Invasion of Poland, the same day the 1st Cavalry Division was doing maneuvers near Balmorhea, Texas. The 5th Cavalry participated in the Louisiana maneuvers and returned to Fort Bliss in October 1941; they were preparing for war despite the fact that the USA was still neutral. On 7 December 1941, the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and drew the United States into the war. The men of the 5th Cavalry Regiment returned from leave and began readying for combat.[7]

World War II

In February 1943, the entire 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for overseas deployment. The soldiers of the division were growing impatient in their idleness, but in order to go to combat, they were dismounted, and ordered to the Southwest Pacific as foot-soldiers; the age of the horse cavalry had ended. In mid-June 1943, the 5th Cavalry Regiment departed Fort Bliss, Texas and headed west to Camp Stoneman, California. On 3 July, the men boarded the SS Monterey and the SS George Washington for Australia. On 26 July, the troopers arrived at Brisbane and were camped at Camp Strathpine. They conducted jungle warfare training in the wilds of Queensland and amphibious training at Moreton Bay. In January 1944, the 1st Cavalry Division left Australia for Oro Bay, New Guinea and began staging there for their first combat operation.[3]

Los Negros

On 27 February 1944, Task Force "Brewer", consisting of 1,026 troopers, sailed from Cape Sudest, Oro Bay, New Guinea under the command of Brigadier General William C. Chase. Their objective was a remote Japanese-occupied island of the Admiralties, Los Negros, where they were to make a reconnaissance in force and if feasible, capture Momote Airfield and secure a beachhead for the reinforcements that would follow. Just after 0800 on 29 February, the 1st Cavalry Division troopers clambered down the nets of the ships and into the LCM's and LCPR's, the flat bottomed landing craft of the Navy. The landing at Hayane Harbor took the Japanese by surprise. The first three waves of the assault troops from the 2nd Squadron, 5th Regiment reached the beach virtually unscathed. The fourth wave was less lucky; by then, the Japanese had been able to readjust their guns to the beachhead and some casualties were suffered. The Battle of Los Negros had begun.[3]

MacArthur and Henshaw
MacArthur and Henshaw

Troops under the command of LTC William E. Lobit of Galveston, Texas, dispersed and attacked through the rain. They quickly fought their way to the Momote Airfield and had the entire airfield under control in less than two hours. The United Press would hail the Los Negros landing as "one of the most brilliant maneuvers of the war." Shortly after 1400 on "D" day, General MacArthur arrived on shore and inspected and praised the Cavalry troopers' actions and accomplishments; then ordered General Chase to defend the airstrip at all costs against Japanese counterattacks. He finally headed back to the beach where he presented the Distinguished Service Cross to Lt. Marvin J. Henshaw, 5th Cavalry, of Haskell, Texas. Lt. Henshaw had been the first American to land on Los Negros in the first wave, leading his platoon ashore through the narrow ramp of a Higgins boat.[7]

As nightfall approached, the troopers began preparations for what they knew was coming; a counterattack. In the darkness around 0200 in the morning, the Japanese infiltrated the 5th Cavalry's perimeter. Hand-to-hand fighting broke out near some foxholes and tough fighting raged the next day and through the night. Japanese pressure on the invasion force remained desperate and intense. The arrival of the 5th Cavalry's reinforcements helped to turn the tide of the fight. In a coordinated maneuver, the 40th Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees) landed on Los Negros Island in support of the 5th Cavalry. Their mission was to reconstruct the Momote Airfield. Assigned to defend a large portion of the right flank, the 40th suffered heavy casualties while defending the airfield alongside the troopers of the 5th. Along with the 40th, the consolidated 5th Regiment soon secured all of the Momote Airfield and spent the long night of 2 March, repulsing Banzai attacks.[7]

The 5th Cavalry Regiment spent its 89th Anniversary in combat as they fought off attacks from the Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces. Combat raged on the island on March 3–4. At one point the Japanese had penetrated several hundred yards inside the defense perimeter near G Troop. The cavalrymen rallied and they wiped out the attackers.[3] It was during this fight that a member of the Regiment, Staff Sergeant Troy McGill earned the 5th Cavalry Regiment's, and the 1st Cavalry Division's, first Medal of Honor of World War II. SSG McGill, of Ada, Oklahoma, was the senior man in charge of a line foxholes dug in 35 yards ahead of the main American positions. Suddenly, this line was attacked by a company of 200 Japanese soldiers on a suicidal Banzai charge. After all but one of his men were killed or wounded, he ordered the survivor to withdraw and provided covering fire. He held his foxhole, and when his weapon failed, SSG McGill charged the enemy and clubbed them until he was killed. The next morning, 146 enemy dead were found in front of his position.[3]

On 4 March, reinforcements arrived and these men quickly joined the action. On 6 March, the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment relieved the 5th Cavalry, which had been in almost continuous combat for four days and nights. On 6 March, the 5th Cavalry went back into action to occupy Porolka and the first American planes began using Momote airstrip to assist in the battle.[7] The next day the Black Knights pushed south and overran Papitalai Village on Manus Island after a short amphibious landing assault. By 10–11 March, mop up operations were underway all over the northern half of Los Negros Island and attention was being given to future operations; and the 5th Cavalry was sent west to begin further operations on the large Manus Island. With attention focused on the opening of new operations at Hauwei Island, the 5th Cavalry, alongside the 12th Cavalry, began working their way south of Papitalai Mission through the rough hills and dense jungles in close range, sometimes hand to hand, combat.[7] Tanks occasionally would give welcome support, but mostly the troopers had to do the dangerous job with small arms and grenades. On 22 March, two squadrons from the 5th and 12th Regiments overran enemy positions west of Papitalai Mission. Once again it was tough fighting with the terrain, overgrown with thick canopies of vines, favoring the Japanese. On 24 March, the 5th and 12th Regiments overcame fanatical resistance and pushed through to the north end of the island. On 28 March, the battles for Los Negros and Manus were over, except for mop up operations.[3]

The Admiralty Islands campaign officially ended on 18 May 1944. Japanese casualties stood at 3,317 killed. The losses of the 1st Cavalry Division were 290 dead, 977 wounded and four missing in action. Training, discipline, determination and ingenuity had won over suicidal attacks. The 5th Cavalry Troopers were now seasoned veterans.[7]


On Columbus Day, 12 October 1944, the 1st Cavalry Division departed its hard earned base in the Admiralties for the Leyte invasion, Operation King II. The invasion force arrived on 20 October. Precisely at 1000 hours, the first wave of the 1st Cavalry Division hit the beach. The landing, at "White Beach" was between the mouth of the Palo River, to the south of Tacloban, the capital city of Leyte. Troopers of the 5th, 7th and 12th Cavalry Regiments quickly fanned out across the sands and moved into the shattered jungle against occasional sniper fire.[7]

The fighting near the beaches was still was underway when General MacArthur and Philippines President Sergio Osmeña waded ashore. MacArthur soon broadcast his famous message to the Filipinos: "People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on the Philippine soil - soil concentrated in the blood of our two peoples... Rally to me! Rise and strike!" To the Philippine resistance and the 17 million inhabitants of the archipelago, it was the news they had long hoped for.[7]

The missions of the 1st Cavalry Division in late October and early November included moving across Leyte's northern coast, through the rugged mountainous terrain and deeper into Leyte Valley. The 5th Cavalry experienced savage combat in rugged terrain when the men secured the central mountain range of Leyte. By 15 November, elements of the 5th and 7th Regiments pushed west and southwest within a thousand yards of the Ormoc-Pinamapoan Highway. By 11 January 1945, the Japanese losses amounted to nearly 56,200 killed in action and only a handful - 389 had surrendered. Leyte had indeed been the largest campaign in the Pacific War, but that record was about to be shattered during the invasion of Luzon.[7]


On 27 January 1945, the men of the 5th Cavalry Regiment landed at Lingayen Gulf on the island of Luzon. There was no resistance, and the Battle of Luzon began with quiet start. With the objective of pushing south and southwest, the regiment assembled at Guimba and received this order from General MacArthur; "Go to Manila! Go around the Japs, bounce off the Japs, save your men, but get to Manila! Free the internees at Santo Tomas! Take the Malacanan Palace and the legislative building!" The next day, elements of the 5th Cavalry joined the infamous "flying column" formed by the 1st Cavalry Division and cut 100 miles deep into Japanese territory and managed to rescue the internees at the Santo Tomas prison camp on 3 February; the prisoners were freed, but the troops of the flying column were far ahead of the advanced American positions. The 5th Cavalry was relieved by elements of the 37th Infantry Division on 7 February and resumed offensive operations against the enemy.[8] As 5th Cavalry troopers continued fighting in Manila, they experienced urban warfare, uncommon in the Pacific Theater. On 23 February, E Troop advanced down a street in Manila supported by tanks, but was attacked by hidden machine-guns and rifle fire. The troop commander was wounded in the middle of the street but PFC William J. Grabiarz ran to save him. After being hit in the shoulder, he was unable to carry his officer so he laid in front of him to shield him from the enemy bullets while calling for tank support. He managed to save his commanding officer from death, but he was riddled by bullets himself and was killed in action. PFC Grabiarz's selfless actions earned him the regiment's second Medal of Honor of World War II.

On 12 April, the 5th Cavalry Regiment pushed south down the Bicol Peninsula in order to link up with the 158th Regimental Combat Team and clear the area of Japanese. They completed this on 29 April after B Troop along with attached engineers launched an amphibious assault in the Ragay Gulf near Pasacao. After more fighting across Luzon and stiff battles to drive out stubborn Japanese resistance, the Luzon Campaign was officially declared over on 30 June 1945.[8]

Occupation of Japan

On 13 August 1945, the 5th Cavalry received orders to accompany General MacArthur to Tokyo as part of the 8th Army occupation force. After arrival in Tokyo, 5th Cavalry headquarters was located at Camp McGill in Yokosuka. The troopers of the 5th Cavalry Regiment were given guard and security missions in the Tokyo area where General MacArthur had taken up his residence. Over the next five years, until the Korean War began, the regiment performed many important duties and services that helped Japan reconstruct and create a strong economy.[8] On 25 March 1949, the regiment was reorganized and Troops became Companies once again, and Squadrons became Battalions.

Korean War

On 25 June 1950, the Army of North Korea crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded South Korea, overrunning and destroying large elements of the Republic of Korea Army; within three days, North Korea had captured Seoul. On 30 June, the United States sent Air Force, Navy, and Marine troops, along with a 1,000 man Army battalion from the 24th Infantry Division and advisers from the 1st Cavalry Division to support the ROK Army. On 18 July, the 1st Cavalry Division was ordered to Korea and landed at Pohang-dong, 80 miles north of Pusan, and 25 miles south of the communist forces.[9] The 5th Cavalry quickly marched on Taejon and was deployed into battle position by 22 July. The next day, the men received their baptism by fire. The 8th Cavalry Regiment was swarmed by North Korean troops and the 1-5 Cavalry was sent to fill in the line. On 24 July, F Company moved to assist the overwhelmed 1-5 Cavalry on their right flank, but the numbers of North Korean troops was too much for the troopers. Only 26 men from Companies B and F escaped alive to friendly territory.[9]

Over the next few days, a defensive line was formed at Hwanggan, and the 5th Cavalry relieved elements of the battered 25th Infantry Division on the line.[9] This line became known as the Pusan Perimeter, and the troopers held on for over 50 days against unrelenting North Korean attacks. On 9 August, 1-5 Cavalry bore the brunt of a massive enemy attack of five divisions near Taegu. Troopers of the 5th and 7th Cavalry Regiments used artillery and air support to defeat the North Koreans, and seized Hill 268, "Triangulation Hill," accounting for 400 enemy dead. The 5th Cavalry Regiment withstood two more large attacks, but held the perimeter. Pusan became a vital staging port for United Nations troops and materiel, and thanks to the efforts of the troops on the perimeter, enough time had been gained that now the defenders outnumbered the attackers. On 17 August, after a battle with North Korean troops, a mortar unit from H Company, 5th Cavalry was forced to surrender.[9] The men were tied up, and 42 were shot and killed and 4-5 more were wounded; this became known as the Hill 303 massacre.

C Co, 1st Bn 5th Cavalry advances on Hill 45, 29 Jan 1951
With air and artillery support, men of Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, advance on "Hill 45" near Ichon, Korea, after three days of bitter fighting for the objective. January 29th, 1951.

When Operation Chromite was launched at Inchon, pressure was relieved from the 1st Cavalry Division positions, allowing them to take the offensive. On 26 September 1950, the 5th Cavalry Regiment crossed the Naktong River and advanced to Sangju, Hamhung, and Osan-dong. The regiment then seized Chongo, Chochiwan, and Chouni from the reeling enemy. On 2 October, the regiment was ordered to establish a bridgehead across the Imjin River, and by 9 October, they had pushed north of the 38th Parallel. On 12 October, as the 5th drove toward the enemy capital, C Company was fighting North Korean forces for control of Hill 174.[9] During the battle one trooper entered an enemy foxhole he thought to be unoccupied. The man was wounded, but his platoon leader, 1LT Samuel S. Coursen, ran to his rescue. Disregarding his own safety, 1LT Coursen engaged in hand-to-hand combat until he was killed. When his body was recovered, seven enemy dead lay in the foxhole. 1LT Coursen saved his soldier's life at the cost of his own and received the Medal of Honor. The 5th Cavalry entered Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, on 19 October and was the first American unit to do so.[9]

On 25 October 1950, Communist Chinese forces intervened and attacked in force across the Yalu River into Korea. On 24 November, GEN MacArthur ordered the 1st Cavalry Division back to the front from its reserve positions to counterattack. Despite this, UN forces fell back and executed an ignominious retreat in the face of overwhelming numbers of Chinese and the bitter cold of the Korean winter.[9] On 25 January 1951, the 5th Cavalry Regiment moved with the rest of the Eighth Army to counterattack, and advanced 2 miles per day despite fierce resistance and extreme weather. On the night of 29-30 January, A Company, 1-5 Cavalry was fighting the Chinese for control of Hill 312. Here, 1LT Robert M. McGovern led his platoon into battle despite heavy wounds, throwing back enemy grenades and knocking out machine guns before he was fatally wounded. 1LT McGovern would receive the Medal of Honor.

Captain J. W. Finley. F Co, 5th Cavalry
Captain J. W. Finley of Hazelhurst, GA., Co. F, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, although suffering from severe neck and face wounds as a result of an exploding Chinese grenade, braces himself upright between two Jeeps and refuses to leave until he has finished directing first aid treatment and evacuation of wounded men of his company. 22 February 1951.

On 14 February, the 5th Cavalry Regiment received word that the 2nd Infantry Division's 23rd Infantry Regiment and French Battalion were trapped at Chipyong-ni. The troopers formed a rescue force called Task Force Crombez, and set out with M4A3 Sherman and M46 Patton tanks (painted with tiger stripes) at once. The sight of these fearsome tanks sent the Chinese running from their entrenched positions, allowing the tanks and troopers of L Company, 5th Cavalry, to cut them down in the open.[9] On 15 February 1951, TF Crombez broke through the enemy perimeter and relieved the forces inside, ending the standoff. The Battle of Chipyong-ni has been called "the Gettysburg of the Korean War", as it signified the high-water mark of the Chinese invasion.

Once the dynamic attacks and counterattacks by UN and Chinese forces were spent, the 5th Cavalry Regiment was then part of the "see-saw" fighting against the Communists for control of strategic hills and ridges across Korea. This static warfare was costly and frustrating.[9] During one of the UN major fall campaigns, on 28 October 1951, G Company, 5th Cavalry was engaged in a desperate fight for control of Hill 200 against the Chinese. The American assault stalled until 1LT Lloyd L. Burke charged forward and knocked out two enemy bunkers with grenades and his M1 Garand. On his third charge, he caught enemy grenades in midair and hurled them back at the Chinese. 1LT Burke captured an enemy machine gun and used it to pour flanking fire into the hostile positions, killing 75. Inspired by this show of bravery, his 35 troopers rallied and carried the hill and killed 25 enemies. 1LT Burke was the 5th Cavalry's last Medal of Honor recipient in the Korean War. During their second winter in-country, the 5th Cavalry was relieved and rotated back to back to Hokkaido, Japan on 7 December 1951 after 549 days of constant combat.[9]

Vietnam War

The regiment was reorganized in August 1963 as the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 5th Cavalry Regiment and later as the 3rd Squadron, 5th Armored Cavalry. The units arrived at Fort Benning in 1965, and then proceeded to South Vietnam as air and armored cavalry. The 1st Cavalry Division was the first full division committed to the Vietnam War.

Between 12-13 September 1965, the bulk of the 1st Cavalry Division arrived in South Vietnam and the 5th Cavalry was soon in action; from 18-20 September, 2-5 Cavalry supported friendly elements in Operation Gibraltar. However, their first real test did not come until the Battle of Ia Drang.[10] During the fight for LZ X-Ray, elements of the 7th Cavalry were surrounded by large People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) forces, and 2-5 Cavalry arrived to help. They arrived on the American line and quickly engaged enemy forces, eventually rescuing the "lost platoon" led by SGT Ernie Savage. Once the battle was complete, the 2/5th Cavalry troopers set out for LZ Columbus while Alpha Company 1/5th Cavalry and 2/7th Cavalry set out for LZ Albany. The column was ambushed by the PAVN near LZ Albany losing 155 killed for the loss of at least 403 PAVN killed. The 1st Cavalry Division earned the Presidential Unit Citation for their role in the Ia Drang Campaign.[10]

The Viet Cong was being starved of their food supplies by allied forces, and American commanders launched Operation Paul Revere II on 2 August 1966 to prevent them from capturing rice from farmers; the 1st Cavalry Division was to be used in this operation. Near the border with Cambodia on 14 August, A Co, 1-5 Cavalry inadvertently engaged an entire PAVN battalion, and at the same time, B Co, 2-5 Cavalry began clearing out a series of enemy bunkers dug into the jungle. The next morning, 5th Cav troopers found the bodies of 138 enemy soldiers.[10]

Thayer I
The area of Operation Thayer, Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam.

On 13 September 1966, the US Army launched Operation Thayer, and it was the largest air assault operation of the entire war. On 2 October, other elements of the 1st Cavalry Division were engaging in heavy combat, and A and C Companies, 1-5 Cavalry were sent east of the main forces to contain enemy movements. On the morning of 3 October, the two companies attacked south and drove the enemy into blocking positions set up by the 12th Cavalry; a classic hammer and anvil attack.[10]

On 31 October, Operation Paul Revere IV was launched near the Cambodian border, and until 21 November, 1-5 Cavalry only received light contact with the enemy. On the morning of 21 November 1966, C Company, 1-5 Cavalry was headed south of Đức Cơ Camp and came into contact with a much larger enemy force. 2nd Platoon fired the initial shots, and 3rd Platoon soon arrived to assist. The two units were significantly outnumbered and fought desperately to survive. 3rd Platoon was overrun, with only 1 man who survived injury or death and 2nd Platoon took over 50% casualties. As was common in the early days of Vietnam, the troopers' M16 rifles malfunctioned early in the battle. 2nd Platoon's survivors called for airstrikes, and soon 1st Platoon arrived to reinforce. The battle ended shortly after and A Company arrived to reinforce the battered C Company. Despite the harrowing ordeal of C Company, they managed to inflict 150 casualties on their communist adversaries.[10]

On 13 February 1967, 5th Cavalry Regiment elements took part in Operation Pershing, the longest operation of the 1st Cavalry Division. It ended on 21 January 1968, and resulted in the capture of 2,400 prisoners, 1,500 individual and 137 crew weapons from the enemy, as well as inflicting 5,401 casualties.[10] On 30 January 1968, the Viet Cong and PAVN launched the Tet Offensive during the Vietnamese New Year's celebrations. Near Quảng Trị, ARVN troops were surrounded by Viet Cong, and 1-5 Cavalry and 1-12 Cavalry were airlifted to Thon An Thai Valley to the east. These cavalrymen broke the enemy siege and for ten days, the troopers would hound the retreating communists.[10]

After Phase II of the Tet Offensive ended in communist defeat, US troops launched Operation Jeb Stuart III. 3-5 (Armored) Cavalry was assigned to the 9th Infantry Division and attacked the village of Binh An after they discovered the entire PAVN 814th Infantry Battalion was located there.[10] A, B, and C Troops of 3-5 Cavalry assaulted the village from the ground with armor support, while D Co, 1-5, and C Co, 2-5 were airlifted to a nearby LZ and closed in on the village. A final assault was made on the enemy on the morning of 28 June, and at battle's end, the enemy lost 233 men with 44 captured, while only 3 5th Cavalry troopers were casualties.[10]

In late 1968 the 5th Cavalry elements participated in Operation Toan Thang II, and in Operation Cheyenne Sabre in February 1969.[10] Although 26 March 1971 was the official date when the 1st Cavalry Division was relieved from combat duties in Vietnam, 2-5 Cavalry helped established 3rd Brigade headquarters in Bien Hoa by interdicting enemy supply routes in War Zone D. On 12 May, 3rd platoon, D Co, 2-5th Cavalry tangled with enemy forces holed up in bunker complexes. With help from the Air Force and 3rd Brigade Helicopter Gunships, the troopers captured the complex. On 14 June, D Company was involved in another battle when it ran into an ambush in heavy jungle and engaged a company-sized enemy unit.[10] The troopers were pinned down in a well-sprung trap, cavalry field artillery soon pounded the PAVN positions and Cobra gunship fire rained on the enemy positions keeping pressure on the withdrawing PAVN throughout the night.[10]

On 21 June 1972, the last 1st Cavalry Division troops left South Vietnam; it was the first and last Army division to leave the country.[10] In Vietnam 5th Cavalry units participated in twelve campaigns. Six 5th Cavalry Regiment Troopers received the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War; Billy Lane Lauffer, Charles C. Hagemeister, George Alan Ingalls, Edgar Lee McWethy Jr., Carmel Bernon Harvey Jr., and Jesus S. Duran. On 27 January 1973, the Paris Peace Accords saw a cease-fire in Vietnam and the departure of most US troops.[10]

Gulf War

On 12 August 1990, both the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, were alerted for duty in Southwest Asia. They deployed with the 1st Cavalry Division to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield / Operation Desert Storm. They were followed by 3rd and 5th Battalions, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade (Ready First), 3rd Armored Division (Spearhead ) Ayers Kaserne (The Rock), Kirchgoens, West Germany (redesignated from 2/36 INF and 3/36 INF) on 28 December 1990 to June 1991.

The 3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Brigade (Ready First),1st Armored Division was deployed to Bosnia Herzegovina in December 1995. The Battalion operated out of Camp McGovern near Brcko, BiH. Attached to the battalion was Special Operation Detachment Gypsy. Gypsy Team was the civil military operations (CMO) direct support team in Brcko. The team deployed in January 1996 and left the theatre in July 1996.

In 1992, Delta Co. 2/5th was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for guard duty on Haitian Immigrants camps setup on the Naval Base.

The battalion was deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in December 1995


2-5 Cavalry Ur Iraq
Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment on patrol near Ur, Iraq. (2009)

The "Black Knights" returned to Southwest Asia in March 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. Task Force 1-5 (TF 1-5) was assigned to the Kadamyia District of western Baghdad. In August 2004 the 1st battalion was shifted from stability operations in Kadamiya to go and fight the Madi Army in Al Najaf Battle of Najaf. After completing the mission in Al Najaf, TF 1-5 returned to Baghdad to resume operations in the Kadamyia District. In November 2004 the 1st battalion was again ordered to assist in the retaking of Al Fallujah in the Second Battle of Fallujah . Once the city was under coalition control TF 1-5 moved to North Babil to support the election process in Iraq. From October 2006 to January 2008, TF 1-5 was deployed to the Mansour District of western Baghdad. The majority of the deployment the battalion was attached the Dagger Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division. Task Force 1-5 fought in Al Amiriya bringing that section of the city under control with the help of one of the first Sons of Iraq movements. In January 2008, TF 1-5 redeployed back to Fort Hood, Texas. In January 2009, TF 1-5 again deployed to Iraq. This time the battalion operated in Al Adamyiah. After the SOFA went into effect the battalion moved north to Camp Taji and took over areas north of the camp. In 2004 Task Force LANCER 2-5 Cav was assigned responsibility for Sadr City, in the north-eastern portion of Baghdad. The battalion conducted over 80 days of sustained combat during the initial months of the deployment. After another 30 days of combat, the task force focused on rebuilding the infrastructure and training Iraqi security forces. These efforts contributed to the success of Iraq's first free elections in January 2005.

The 5th Cavalry Regiment today comprises two battalions, both part of the 1st Cavalry Division. The 1st Battalion is assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, while the 2nd Battalion is assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team. Both units are combined-arms units with two M1 Abrams tank companies, two M2 Bradley mechanized infantry companies and an engineer company.

The United States Army has since reactivated another component of the 5th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, in the form of Delta Troop, 5th Cavalry Regiment; as the Brigade Reconnaissance Troop for the 170th Infantry Brigade, in Baumholder, Germany. Although a reflagging of G Troop, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division; the BRTs of Europe remain the Warding Eye and Fulda Gap presence in Germany. Also Echo Troop, 4th Cavalry Regiment, has been reflagged to Echo Troop, 5th Cavalry Regiment, of the 172nd Infantry Brigade in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

In October 2012, D Troop inactivated with the 170th Infantry Brigade. E Troop and the 172nd Infantry Brigade inactivated in May 2013.

Current status

See also


  1. ^ a b "Special Unit Designations". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  2. ^ "History of the 2nd BN, 5th Cavalry Regiment". hood.army.mil. Archived from the original on 2011-06-14. (reproduced with permission)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "5th Cavalry Regiment - The Early History". first-team.us.
  4. ^ William Bedford Royall at Find a Grave
  5. ^ See List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Indian Wars and "Kyle, John". homeofheroes.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  6. ^ "A review of Kyle's death in 1870". lbha.proboards12.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Boudreau, William H. "History of the 5th Cavalry Regiment". 1st Cavalry Division Association.
  8. ^ a b c "5th Cavalry Regiment - WW II, Pacific". first-team.us.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "5th Cavalry Regiment - Korean War". first-team.us. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n http://www.first-team.us/assigned/subunits/5th_cr/5crndx04.html

External links

1st Garrison Division of Lanzhou Military Region (2nd Formation)

2nd Cavalry Division(Chinese: 骑兵第2师)(3rd formation) was formed in October 1962 from 4th and 5th Cavalry Regiment from 1st Cavalry Division, and 6th and 7th Independent Cavalry Regiment of Lanzhou Military Region.

The division was under direct control of Lanzhou Military Region. From 1962 to 1969 the division was composed of:

4th Cavalry Regiment;

5th Cavalry Regiment;

6th Cavalry Regiment;

7th Cavalry Regiment.In October 1969 7th Cavalry Regiment was detached from the division, and 2nd Independent Infantry Regiment of Gansu Provincial Military District attached, and the division was re-organized to an army division, catalogue A and renamed as 20th Army Division(Chinese: 陆军第20师), and its structure was re-organized as follows:

58th Infantry Regiment (former 2nd Independent Infantry Regiment of Gansu);

59th Infantry Regiment (former 4th Cavalry);

60th Infantry Regiment (former 5th Cavalry);

Artillery Regiment(former 6th Cavalry).The division then moved to Shizuishan, Ningxia.

In January 1983 the division was re-organized and renamed as 1st Garrison Division of Lanzhou Military Region(Chinese: 兰州军区守备第1师)(2nd formation). By then the division was composed of:

1st Garrison Regiment (former 58th Infantry);

2nd Garrison Regiment (former 59th Infantry);

3rd Garrison Regiment (former 60th Infantry);

Artillery Regiment.In October 1985 the division was disbanded. Its division HQ were converted to HQ Tank Brigade, 47th Army.

5th Cavalry (India)

The 5th Cavalry was a military unit of the British Indian Army.

The regiment was raised at Bareilly as the 7th Irregular Cavalry in 1841 as a result of the First Afghan War.

In 1861 it was renamed the 5th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry. The pre-Indian Mutiny of 1857 Bengal Light Cavalry regiments had been lost to mutiny or disbandment leaving the number free. In 1901 it was 5th Bengal Cavalry.

When Lord Kitchener became Commander-in-Chief, India he undertook to complete the unification of the armies of India, the various Presidency army regiments were renumbered into a more cohesive sequence. The Bengal regiments took the first 19 numbers with the result that the regiment was renamed simply as 5th Cavalry in 1903.

The regiment amalgamated with the 8th Lancers in 1922 to form the 3rd Cavalry.

Ariete Armored Brigade

The Ariete Armored Brigade is one of the two active armored brigade of the Italian Army. Its core units are Tank and Bersaglieri regiments. The brigade's headquarters is in the city of Pordenone. Most of its units are based in the North-East of Italy. The brigade's name comes from the battering ram (in Italian: Ariete). The brigade draws much of its historical traditions from the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete, active during the Second World War from 1939-42, and again active from 1948-1986. The brigade is part of the Friuli Division.

Battle of Pyongyang (1950)

The Battle of Pyongyang (17–19 October 1950) was one of the major battles of the United Nations' offensive during the Korean War. Following the Battle of Inchon, the UN forces re-captured Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and proceeded to advance north of the 38th Parallel. Shortly after advancing, the American and South Korean forces faced the North Korean defenses near Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, on 17 October.

North Korea's leadership and its main forces had already withdrawn to Kanggye, allowing the UN forces to capture Pyongyang on 19 October.

Battle of Tabu-dong

The Battle of Tabu-dong was an engagement between United Nations (UN) and North Korean (NK) forces early in the Korean War from September 1 to September 18, 1950, in the vicinity of Tabu-dong, north of Taegu in South Korea. It was a part of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, and was one of several large engagements fought simultaneously. The battle ended in a victory for the United Nations after large numbers of United States (US) and Republic of Korea (ROK) troops repelled a strong North Korean attack.

Holding positions north of the crucial city of Taegu, the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division stood at the center of the Pusan Perimeter defensive line, tasked with keeping the United Nations Command headquarters secured from attacks from the North Korean People's Army. On September 1, the NK 3rd Division attacked as part of the Great Naktong Offensive.

What followed was a two-week battle around Tabu-dong and Waegwan in which the North Koreans were able to gradually push the 1st Cavalry Division back from its lines. However, the North Koreans were not able to force the US troops to withdraw completely or push the UN out of Taegu. When the UN counterattacked at Inchon, the North Koreans were forced to abandon their attack on Tabu-dong.

Battle of Yongdong

The Battle of Yongdong was an engagement between United States and North Korean forces early in the Korean War. It occurred on July 22–25, 1950, in the village of Yongdong in southern South Korea. The newly arrived US Army 1st Cavalry Division was ordered there to cover the retreat of the US 24th Infantry Division after the Battle of Taejon. The 1st Cavalry Division soldiers, however, were untried in combat, and the North Korean]] Korean People's Army's (KPA) 3rd Division (NK 3rd Division) was able to outmaneuver them and force them back.

Though the Americans lost the town, their artillery inflicted substantial casualties on the North Koreans and delayed them for several crucial days, allowing the United Nations Command time to set up the Pusan Perimeter.

Camp War Eagle

Camp War Eagle was the name of the United States Army camp located at the northeast corner of the Baghdad slum known as Sadr City. It was established in May 2003 by 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (known as the War Eagles) and B Company, 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment which is an element of 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division. War Eagle was located on the site of a pre-war Iraqi Army base, and as such was walled and somewhat suited for use as a forward operating base.

Some of the first battles with the Mahdi Army were fought out of this camp in early 2004. The camp's mascot, Billy the goat, was found murdered in a shipping container in early 2004.

Soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division including 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment and Bravo Company 20th Engineer Battalion (United States), were stationed at Camp War Eagle and fought against the Shia militia of Muqtada al Sadr known as the Mahdi Army during the uprising which began April 4, 2004.

The troops of Task Force Lancer's (2-5 Cav, C1-82FA, and B/1-12 Cav) and Task Force Charger's (1-12 Cav, B/2-5IN, B/20E) stay at War Eagle (March '04-05') was one of the deadliest periods in the Iraq war.

On April 4, 2004, this was the launch point for what was to be named "Black Sunday". During the six-hour night battle, 8 were killed and 60+ were wounded. This initial fight would go on for 10 days. It was during this time that Casey Sheehan was killed. Cindy Sheehan, his mother, would use her son's death to protest the war in Iraq.

On Mothers' Day, 2004 also known as "The Day of Steel Rain", Camp War Eagle was attacked with approximately 100+ detonated mortar rounds and rockets raining down inside the camp in a 24-hour period.

It was renamed Camp Hope in early 2005.

On March 10, 2006, the camp, then known as Forward Operating Base (FOB) Hope, was transferred from Multi-National Division – Baghdad control to the Iraqi Army. Specifically, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 101st Airborne Division handed over control to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade ("The Tiger Brigade"), 6th Iraqi Army Division.

Hill 303 massacre

The Hill 303 massacre (Korean: 303 고지 학살 사건) was a war crime that took place during the opening days of the Korean War on August 17, 1950, on a hill above Waegwan, South Korea. Forty-one United States Army prisoners of war were shot and killed by troops of the North Korean army during one of the numerous smaller engagements of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter.

Operating near Taegu during the Battle of Taegu, elements of the U.S. Army's 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division were surrounded by North Korean troops crossing the Naktong River at Hill 303. Most of the U.S. troops were able to escape but one platoon of mortar operators misidentified North Korean troops as South Korean army reinforcements and was captured. North Korean troops held the Americans on the hill and initially tried to move them across the river and out of the battle, but they were unable to do so because of a heavy counterattack. American forces eventually broke the North Korean advance, routing the force. As the North Koreans began to retreat one of their officers ordered the prisoners to be shot so they would not slow the North Koreans down.

The massacre provoked a response from both sides in the conflict. U.S. commanders broadcast radio messages and dropped leaflets demanding the senior North Korean commanders be held responsible for the atrocity. The North Korean commanders, concerned about the way their soldiers were treating prisoners of war, laid out stricter guidelines for handling enemy captives. Memorials were later constructed on Hill 303 by troops at nearby Camp Carroll, to honor the victims of the massacre.

James F. Wade

James Franklin Wade (April 14, 1843 – August 23, 1921) served as a Major General of Volunteers in the United States Army during the Spanish–American War.

Wade was born in Jefferson, Ohio on April 14, 1843. His father, Senator Benjamin F. Wade, was a Radical Republican senator from Ohio during the Civil War, and a harsh critic of President Abraham Lincoln and his successor, Andrew Johnson.

James Wade commissioned a lieutenant in the 6th Cavalry Regiment (United States) from the state of Ohio on May 14, 1861, which he accepted on June 24, 1861. He performed exceptionally well at Beverly Ford on the Rappahannock River during the Battle of Brandy Station where he earned a brevet promotion to captain on June 9, 1863 for gallant and meritorious service.

Wade was appointed brevet lieutenant colonel of the 6th US Colored Cavalry on May 1, 1864 marking the start of a 23-year career commanding African-American cavalrymen. On September 19, 1864, he was promoted to colonel and commander of the regiment. He received a brevet promotion to major on December 19, 1864 for gallant and meritorious service in action at East Marion, Tennessee. Wade received further brevets to lieutenant colonel and colonel on March 13, 1865 . for meritorious service during the war, and yet another to brigadier general of volunteers on February 13, 1865 for gallant service in the campaign in southwestern Virginia.

On July 28, 1866, he was promoted to the permanent rank of major in the newly established 9th Cavalry Regiment (United States) on July 28, 1866. This was one of the "Buffalo Soldier" regiments which later became famous for their service on the frontier. Major Wade was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the 10th Cavalry Regiment (United States) on March 20, 1879.

Wade left the buffalo soldiers with his promotion to colonel of the 5th Cavalry Regiment (United States) on April 21, 1887. He served ten years as the commander of this regiment before he was promoted to brigadier general, US Army on May 26, 1897. Wade was promoted to major general of volunteers on May 4, 1898. Two days later, he assumed command of the Third Army Corps at Camp Thomas, Chickamauga, Georgia. Following the armistice in August, he became a member of the Cuban Evacuation Committee to oversee the removal of Spanish forces from Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Wade then returned to his Regular Army rank and the command of the Department of Dakota. In 1901 he was placed in command of the Department of Southern Luzon in the Philippines, and on April 13, 1903 he was promoted to the permanent rank of Major General and placed in command of the Division of the Philippines.

In 1904 he returned to the United States as commander of the Division of the Atlantic at Fort Jay on Governors Island in New York City. In his final posting, he was in charge of all U.S. Army posts and activity east of the Mississippi River, serving until his retirement on April 14, 1907, after 46 years of service.


Jipyeong-ri is a village in Jije-myeon, Yangpyeong County, Gyeonggi-do Province, South Korea. It was the site of the Battle of Chipyong-ni during the Korean War, February 1951. A memorial has been erected at the site, which is split into three portions — Korean, American and French. The area was an important transportation and communication hub.

The battle is sometimes known as the Gettysburg of the Korean War. The battle saw 5,600 Korean, American and French forces under the command of Colonel Paul L. Freeman, 23rd Infantry Regiment, defeat a numerically superior Chinese force in hard fighting. Surrounded on all sides, the 2nd Infantry Division’s 23rd Regiment with the attached French Battalion was hemmed in by more than 25,000 Chinese Communist Forces around Jipyeong-ri. United Nations Forces had previously retreated in the face of the Communist forces instead of getting cut off, but this time they stood and fought. The allies fought at odds of roughly 15 to 1.On the third day of fighting, units of the 5th Cavalry Regiment punched a hole in the Chinese lines relieving the 23rd Regiment.

The victory is considered so decisive that the Chinese began peace overtures soon after.Sergeant First Class William S. Sitman, a Medal of Honor recipient and Bellwood, Pennsylvania native was killed during the battle.

Various older historical landmarks are located there, including the Jipyeong hyanggyo (village school) and a three-story stone pagoda from the Goryeo period.

Medicine Arrows

Medicine Arrows (real name Rock Forehead or Stone Forehead) (c.1795—1876) was a Cheyenne chief and Keeper of the Medicine Arrows from 1850 until his death. Rock Forehead became known to whites as Medicine Arrows after his appointment to this office. Among the Cheyenne he was also known by the nickname "Walks with His Toes Turned Out."Rock Forehead was a cousin of Black Kettle. His nephew, Little Man, would later become Arrow Keeper after his son, Black Hairy Dog. Several of his children took part in violent confrontations with whites. His youngest son, Fox Tail, was accused of killing a Mexican herder at Fort Zarah in 1866 during a drunken brawl. His oldest son, Tall Wolf, was one of the principal men who took part in violent raids on white settlements along the Saline and Solomon rivers in Kansas in August 1867 and August 1868, one of the precipitating events leading ultimately to the Battle of the Saline River and the Battle of Washita River in 1867 and 1868 respectively. Rock Forehead's camp was one of several camps along the Washita River downstream of Black Kettle's village at the time the battle of the Washita which took place on November 27, 1868.Rock Forehead's daughter was married to a man in Tall Bull's Dog Soldier band. She and her four children survived the Battle of Summit Springs on July 11, 1869, in which Tall Bull's village was destroyed by the 5th Cavalry Regiment; they were taken prisoner but were later released.Fearing military reprisals following the Red River War, Rock Forehead fled his reservation in January 1875 to join the Northern Cheyenne in Montana. He died there peacefully in 1876. His son Black Hairy Dog succeeded him as Keeper of the Medicine Arrows. Descendants of Rock Forehead reside in the Western Oklahoma area.

Meridian Ridge Campaign

The Meridian Ridge Campaign was a series of battles fought between the nationalists and the communists in the Shaanxi province of northwest China during the Chinese Civil War in the post World War II era, resulting in a nationalist victory.

Operation Hawthorne

Operation Hawthorne took place near the village of Toumorong, Kon Tum Province, South Vietnam from 2 to 21 June 1966.

Robert M. McGovern

Robert Milton McGovern (1928 – January 30, 1951) was an officer in the United States Army during the Korean War. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions on January 30, 1951.

Samuel S. Coursen

Samuel Streit Coursen (August 4, 1926 – October 12, 1950) was a 1949 graduate of the United States Military Academy and company commander in the United States Army during the Korean War. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions on October 12, 1950.

Second battle of Bàu Bàng

The second Battle of Bàu Bàng occurred during the night of 19–20 March 1967 during Operation Junction City, a search and destroy mission by American military forces in Tay Ninh Province of South Vietnam, to the west of the capital Saigon.

Forces from the 5th Cavalry Regiment were entrusted with the securing of Fire Support Base 20, around 1.5 km north of the village of Bàu Bàng, and they had expected an attack, as their area was a known Viet Cong (VC) stronghold. During the evening of 19 March, the VC 9th Division attacked the base with machine guns, mortars, rockets and small arms fire. The mortars fired from afar while a large number of infantrymen dressed in black charged from the foliage. Initially, they swarmed over the American armored vehicles, but were dispersed by the vehicles shooting on one another, although some of the vehicles were destroyed. With the help of artillery and air strikes, as well as flares and aerial searchlights to spot their enemies, the Americans repelled the Viet Cong. They claimed 227 VC killed and captured three, while losing 3 and suffering 63 wounded.

Wilhelm O. Philipsen

Wilhelm O. Philipsen (1852–1913), a recipient of the Medal of Honor, served as a blacksmith in Company D of the U.S. Army’s 5th Cavalry Regiment during the Battle of Milk Creek in 1879. He was among 10 cavalrymen who volunteered to form a skirmish line on September 29, 1879 while Company D retreated from an attack by the White River Utes. Philipsen and the other volunteers were awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in defending their unit during this retreat.His gravesite at Loudon Park National Cemetery, in Baltimore, indicates Philipsen achieved the rank of First Sergeant during his career in the Army. He was born in 1852 in Schleswig, Germany and died on September 15, 1913. His remains are among five Medal of Honor recipients at Loudon Park.

William J. Grabiarz

William J. Grabiarz (March 25, 1925 – February 23, 1945) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

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