124th CALVARY REGIMENT



124th Calvary Regiment History  (http://124cav.org/history.htm - no longer active)

(Excerpt from the above web site)

The 124th was sent to Fort Brown in Brownsville, Texas where it remained, patrolling the border. On May 10, 1944, the 124th Regiment moved by train from the border posts to Fort Riley, Kansas, taking all horses and horse equipment. At Fort Riley, the Regiment received an A-2 Priority Rating for procurement of controlled Items of equipment. Personnel adjustments were made, and they received new men and officers in order to be "combat ready." On July 7, 1944, the Regiment departed Fort Riley via rail for Camp Anzio, California, a port of embarkation near Los Angeles, California. Prior to departure, the Regiment turned in its horses to the Quartermaster at Fort Riley, but loaded all saddles and other mounted equipment for shipment overseas.

On July 25, 1944, the Regiment boarded the U. S. Ship General H. W. Butner, a troop transport, bound for India and the ChinaBurma India (CBI) theatre of war. The voyage ended in Bombay, India on August 26, 1944. From Bombay, the unit moved by wide gauge rail across the country to the Ramgarh Training Center in the Province of Bihar, India, some 150 miles West of Calcutta. Here the Regiment learned that it would be dismounted, but would retain its Cavalry designation. Orders were received to reorganize into a long-range penetration unit; and the unit was re-designated the "124th Cavalry (Special)." Mounted equipment was stored and dismounted type items of clothing were issued.

The Regiment departed Ramgarh, India for Burma on October 20, 1944. Transportation was on primitive railroad and river steamer up the Brahmaputra River to Gauhatti, India, then by narrow gauge rail through the Assam Valley to Ledo; from Ledo to Myitkyina, Burma by C-47 aircraft, then to Camp Landis by truck. The Regiment arrived in Burma on October 31, 1944. It was here that the Mars Task Force was formed. This organization contained the 124th Cavalry, the 475th Infantry, a Chinese Combat Team, two Battalions of Field Artillery, some Quartermaster mule pack troops, and medical and other miscellaneous units needed in a combat force of such magnitude.

The Mars Task Force was given the mission of clearing Northern Burma of Japanese forces and opening the Burma Road for truck traffic to China. In order to accomplish this mission, the force moved more than 200 miles by foot over the most hazardous terrain in Burma, over mountainous jungles, steep trails, swift streams and rivers on hot days and cold nights, in rain and mud, coupled with the ever fear of mite typhus. This was all done while being cut off completely from friendly forces and having to depend entirely upon air supply. The 124th established contact with the enemy on January 19, 1945, and fought continuously for 17 days. With the objective secure, an administrative bivouac was declared around February 15, 1945.

The only Medal of Honor awarded for ground action in the CBI Theater was presented posthumously to Lt. Jack Knight for heroic action in battle. Lt. Knight was commanding "F" Troop of the 124th Cavalry at the time of his death. The hill on which he was killed was named Knight's Hill by order of Admiral Louis Mountbatten.

The Regiment departed the combat zone for Lashio on February 28, 1945; and after a short stay in Lashio was flown over "The Hump" to Kunming, China, completing the move on May 14. On June 11, orders were issued for inactivation of the Regiment, and on July 1, 1945, the 124th Cavalry Regiment (Special) was deactivated.


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