Groups] [2nd Cavalry Photo Album]
Northern France // Ardennes- Alsace // Rhineland // Central Europe
H. "Hank" Reed, COL,
2d Cavalry Group, “Toujours Pret,” traces its history to 1836 when it was
established by Congress as the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons.
As Dragoons, the unit participated in the early battles with the Indians most notably the Seminole War in
The 2nd Dragoons also distinguished themselves in the Mexican
War when Captain May led them in a charge to capture Mexican cannon with the
battle cry “Remember Your Regiment.”
1861 the Regiment was redesignated as the 2nd Cavalry and served with
distingshion throughout the Civil War and the Indian Wars that followed.
As the the nineteenth century ended the unit was called to service in the
Philippines during the insurrection and along the Mexican Border.
WWI saw the unit deployed to
and see limited action. They were
the only US Cavalry to fight mounted in that conflict.
Between WWI and WWII the stationed at
were it performed both active service roles and support missions for the
As war loomed the regiment was assigned to the new 2nd Cavalry
Division. However, in 1942 the
decision was made to mechanize it and it conducted its last mounted review in
August 1942 at Fort Reno Nevada.
In January 1943 the regiment was stood up again under command of Colonel
Charles H. Reed, at
South Carolina, as the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Mechanized).
The regiment was cadred with a small group of regular cavalry NCOs and
Officers from throughout the cavalry force and received an influx of draftees
and new officers from from both
and the Cavalry Officer Candidate School (OCS) at
late in 1943 and in early was reorganized and redesignated as the 2nd
Cavalry Group with attached 2d and 42d Cavalry Squadrons.
The Group arrived in
19 July 1944
It moved immediately to an assembly area near the battered town of
and set out on its first mission, protecting the lines of communication from
to Carentan. however, this important
though unexciting mission was to last only a short time and on 26 July the group
was assigned to Task Force A under Brigadier General Ernest.
En route to join this task force, the group assignment was changed and
instead it was attached to the 4th Armored Division.
The group was given the mission of protecting the division’s left flank
and routed south units mission. Just
5 days and some 200 miles later the Group Commander, “Hank” Reed, reported.
“We are washing our tanks in the
The Group remained on the
screening a 90 mile front until 10 August , then moved east to join the XII
Corps east of
The XII Corps, began its drive to the east on the 12th of August and the
2d Cavalry Group protected the right flank of this fast-moving corps, and was
engaged in several sharp actions in the vicinity of Montagis, Auxerre, and
Tonnerre. After the fall of
to the 4th Armored Division, the group led the racing columns to
There the group screened the right flank of the corps while other troops
and gasoline supplies were replenished.
Moving forward across the
, the group advanced to
Luneville and the Foret de Parroy. Here
on the morning of 18 September the 111 Panzer brigade launched an attack on the
corps’ flank and of the groups’ most memorable battles was fought.
The 2 months following the battle of Luneville found the group dismounted
and fighting as infantry in the notorious French mud just north of the Foret de
On 8 November the group advanced to the east and during November and
December continued to operate on the flanks of XII Corps.
When the German offensive was launched in the
16 December, the group was screening the corps’ flank in the vicinity of
Sarreguemines. As part of XII Corps,
the 2d Cavalry Group moved north to
to spend the 2 months of January and February protecting the corps’s right
flank along the
During this period the group, heavily reinforced with engineers, tank destroyers,
and artillery, occupied a division sector.
When the offensive was resumed in March, the group passed through the
Seigfried Line at Wasserbillig and pushed on into
on 16 March, where the group maintained a screen from Boppard to Bingen which
they had captured. Crossing the
Rhine, 25 March, the group continued to operate on the flank of the XII Corps,
clearing up enemy pockets of resistance, until the end of the war.
The end of the war found the 2d Cavalry Group in
in contact with the Russians and arranging the details of the surrender of some
2,000 German artillery officer candidates who had surrendered just 2 days prior
to V-E Day. The speed and vigor with
which the 2d Cavalry Group operated earned for it the title “Patton’s
Ghosts,” a title which speaks for itself.
article is extracted from a supplemental student text (undated) written for the
US Army Armor School by LTC (Ret) James W. Cooke