In February 1943, the entire 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for an overseas assignment as a dismounted unit. An impatient 1st Cavalry Division was dismounted and they were processed for movement to the Southwest Pacific theater as foot solders. In mid June 1943, the last troops of the division departed Fort Bliss, Texas for Camp Stoneman, California and later on 03 July, boarded the "SS Monterey and the SS George Washington" for Australia and the Southwest Pacific.
On 26 July, three weeks later, the division arrived at Brisbane and began a
fifteen mile trip to their new temporary home, Camp Strathpine, Queensland,
Australia. The division received six months of intense combat jungle warfare
training at Camp Strathpine in the wilds of scenic Queensland and amphibious
training at nearby Moreton Bay. In January 1944 the division was ordered to
leave Australia and sail to Oro Bay, New Guinea. After a period of staging in
New Guinea, it was time for the 1st Cavalry Division to receive their first
baptism of fire.
Just after 8:00 on 29 February, the 1st Cavalry troopers climbed down the nets
of the APD's 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 fire lower and some
casualties were suffered. At 8:00 hours 04 March 1944, 7th Regiment, as a part
of the combat reinforcements of the Admiralty Campaign landed, unopposed, in
the Los Negros Islands at the northeast corner of the Momote Airdome. Their
first significant resistance was encountered on 05 March. By 10 - 11 March,
mop up operations were underway all over the northern half of Los Negros
Island and attention was being given to a much bigger objective immediately to
the west; Manus Island.
On 18 March, the 2nd Brigade crossed the river in force and drove the enemy from Lorengau Village. The objectives were Rossum, a small village south of Lorengau and Salsia Plantation. By 21 March, the 8th Cavalry had won control of most of the plantation, but the battle for Rossum was slowed by heavy jungle which the Japanese used to their advantage. After 96 hours of bitter combat the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry was relieved by the 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry. The final push to Rossum was made behind heavy artillery fire and air bombardment. On 28 March, the battle for Los Negros and Manus was over, except for mopping up operations.
The Admiralty Islands campaign officially ended on 18 May 1944. Japanese
casualties stood at 3,317 killed. The losses of the 7th Cavalry Regiment
included 43 dead, 17 wounded and 7 died of non battle injuries. Training,
discipline, determination and ingenuity had won over suicidal attacks. The
7th Cavalry Troopers were now seasoned veterans.
With the last of the strongholds eliminated, the division moved on to Luzon,
the main island of the Philippines. On 26 January, conveys were formed and
departed for the Lingayan Gulf, Luzon Island, the Philippines. Landing without
incident on 27 January, the regiment assembled in an area near Guimba and
prepared for operations in the south and southwest areas. From 23 February to
11 March, the entire regiment concentrated in breaking the strongly held
Japanese line west of Antipolo. 02 April, second phase of the Luzon Campaign
began. On 28 July, the final elements of the regiment closed in Sariaya and
the Luzon Campaign was officially ended at 2400 hours on 30 June. The regiment
suffered 145 killed, 37 died of wounds, 603 wounded and 2 were reported
missing while inflicting 3,146 losses on the enemy.
At 8:00 on 08 September, a history making convey left Hara-Machida with Tokyo as their destination. Headed by Major General William C. Chase, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, the party included a veteran from each troop of the division. Passing through Hachioji, Fuchu and Chofu, the Cavalry halted briefly at the Tokyo City Limits. General Chase stepped across the line thereby putting the American Occupational Army officially in Tokyo and adding another "First" to its name;
"First in Tokyo".
Troops of the 7th Cavalry Regiment were assigned to guard the American Embassy where General MacArthur had taken up residence. Over the next five years, until the outbreak of the Korean War, the regiment was able to perform many valuable duties and services that helped Japan reconstruct and create a strong, viable economy. On 25 March 1949, the reorganization which began in 1945, was completed by redesignating troops as companies.
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