In February 1943, the entire 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for an overseas assignment as a dismounted unit. On 16 June, the division departed for Camp Stoneman, California and departed 03 July aboard the SSS Monterey and the SS George Washington for Australia to join in the Southeastern Pacific Theater of Operations against Japan.
On 13 November 1943, the 302nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized, was constituted in the Army of the United States. On 04 December 1943, the unit was activated in Australia and assigned the lead reconnaissance mission of the 1st Cavalry Division. The 302nd had a specific TO&E which incorporated a unique radio unit with personnel composed of Lakota and Dakota Indians who used their ancient tribal Sioux language to communicate to other Divisional Headquarters troops. This secret organization, formed in the foothills of Australia and later to be known as "The Code Talkers", was recruited at the direction of General MacArthur. The close net group of individuals, Phillip Stoney LeBlanc, Edmund St John, Baptiste Pumkinseed, Eddie Eagle Boy, Guy Rondell and John Bear King took their task seriously and saved many America lives using their unbreakable coded language to fool the Japanese throughout the subsequent Island Campaigns. 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.
The capabilities of the 302nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop played a major role on being able conduct surveillance missions to determine the extent of troop strength and fortifications of occupied islands. For example operations on Los Negros had reached the mopping-up stage, but an estimated 2,700 Japanese troops remained on Manus. General Swift decided to launch the 2nd Brigade on an attack on Lugos Mission, an important objective west of Lorengau. Lorengau, known to be heavily fortified. It has an airfield and four roads converged there.
As a preliminary surveillance mission, the 302nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop was ordered to identify and locate sites from which the artillery could cover landings on Manus. Three patrols were sent out by LCVP on 11 March. The first found Bear Point on Manus free of Japanese but it lacked sites for artillery emplacements. The second scouted the Butjo Luo Islands. They found the islands apparently unoccupied, with good sites on the northern island. The third patrol, 25 officers and men of the 302nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, two officers from the 99th Field Artillery Battalion, Navy escorts and a native guide, set out for Hauwei in an LCVP, escorted by one of the PT Boats that were now operating from the tender USS Oyster Bay in Seeadler Harbor.
On 15 October 1945, at the close of the Pacific Theater Operations, the 302nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized was redesignated as the 302nd Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop.
On 25 March 1949, the 302nd Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop was
redesignated as the 16th Reconnaissance Company and subsequently on 01
November 1957, during the beginning of the Korean DMZ Operations, was
consolidated with the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry on 01 November 1957.
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