101st Cavalry

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Image:101 cav ny ng.gif
New York National Guard

Rhineland // Central Europe

Commander: Charles B. McClelland, COL, CAV

Army Presidential Unit Citation

Presidential Unit Citation

C/116 CRS


The 101st Cavalry Group (Mecz), under command of colonel Charles B. McClellan, Cavalry, consisted of the 101st and the 116th Cavalry Squadrons, was assigned to the Seventh Army and attached to XV Corps in February 1945, and directed to relieve the 106th Cavalry Group (Mecz), in its defensive missions along the south bank of the Saar River, from Emmersweiller to Wadgassen.  During the night 13-14 March 1945, combat patrols from the 101st and the the 116th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrons (Mecz), made deep penetrations of the enemy positions.  Operations to attack and clear the enemy form the south bank of the Saar River in the group zone were initiated on 14 March 1945 , and successfully completed on 15 March 1945 .  This operation resulted in the capture or destruction of all enemy forces south of the Saar River in the group zone, and the capture of the towns of Geislautern, Wehdren, Schaffhausen, Hostenback, all German.

 On 16 March 1945, the 101st Cavalry Group was attached to the 63rd Infantry Division and relieved the 253 Infantry Regiment in its defensive positions facing the Siegfried Line along the general lone Ensheim-Gudingen, Germany, with the mission of defending present positions and maintaining contact with the enemy by aggressive patrolling.  On 20 March 1945 , a task force from the 116th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was assigned the mission of moving rapidly by an available route to the division right flank through the main defenses of the Siegfried Line and capture the town of St. Ingbert.  This mission was accomplished, and escape routes to the west and northwest from Saar-Brucken were blocked.  The remainder of the group had the mission of protecting the divisionís left flank by screening the line Bregack-St. Ingbert.

 German resistance west of the Rhine River in the XXI Corps zone had collapsed and on 23 March the 101st Cavalry Group was assigned the mission of moving east in the corps zone, sweeping the zone to the line Neustadt-Landau, entering each village and town, and traversing all roads with particular attention to the south flank.  Upon completion of this mission on 24 March the group was given the mission of assuming responsibility for lines of communication in the XXI Corps zone, mopping up all remaining enemy elements, patrolling all roads in the corps rear area, establishing roadblocks, and controlling movement of all persons.

 On 29 March 1945, the 101sts Cavalry Group crossed the Rhine River through the XV Corps bridgehead at Worms with the mission of screening the Seventh Army bridgehead area in the XXI Corps zone along the line Amor-Mudau-Eberbach and maintaining contact with elements of the 10th Armored Division operating north of Neckar River.

 On 1 April 1945 the group was attached to the 4th Infantry Division and assigned the mission of screen the division front along the line Sindolsheim-Bad Mergentheim, a distance of 55 kilometers, and to gain and maintain contact with the 63rd Infantry Division moving east in the XI Corps zone south of Bad Mergentheim.  During the operations, 2 April, while attached to the 4th Infantry Division, the group screened the advance of the division and determined the contour fo the enemy  MLR in the vicinity of Bad Mergentheim, and assisted in the penetration of this line.  The group was attached to the 12th Armored Division from 8 April 1945 to 4 May 1945 , and the 92nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was attached to the group.  During this time the group was assigned the mission of reconnaissance in force to an assigned limiting line along the Aisch River; squadrons were assigned missions of following combat commands through gaps and screening their flanks, route reconnaissance for the combat commands,  protecting the flanks of the division, attacking to seize crossings over the Danube in the Donauworth-Offinger area and and the Wertach River and Lech River in the Augsburg-Landsberg area.  On 18 April 1945 , the group was ordered to advance to he southeast and protect the division's east flank by blocking the exits from Munich-Bruck.  The group crossed the Lech River at Landsberg on a partially destroyed rail road bridge and continued south screening the divisionís east flank from Munich south to the Inn River .

 On 4 May, the 101st Cavalry Group reverted to XXI Corps control and was ordered to proceed via the autobahn east to the vicinity Chiemsee, until contact was gained with the elements of the French 2d Armored Division, and then turn south into the Bavarian Alps, where in May 1945 the forward elements halted as the war in the European Theater of Operations.

This article is extracted from a supplemental student text (undated) written for the US Army Armor School by LTC (Ret) James W. Cooke

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