The initial assembly areas were within five blocks of the Yokohama docks. By
nightfall, the troops of the 1st Cavalry Division were occupying staging areas
throughout the harbor. The Division Artillery was quartered at Hara-Machida.
The 8th Cavalry was passed to the control of XI Corps with the mission of
occupying Yokohama and were stationed at Kawasaki. The 12th Cavalry was
assigned the missions of seizing five airfields in the vicinity of Tachikawa
which were completed by the evening of 04 September.
Although there had been some doubt as to reactions of the Japanese populace
when the troops had first come ashore, no friction or untoward incidents
developed. In the Kanto Plain area surrounding Tokyo was a large segment of
the Japanese army which was commencing its own disarmament. The units included
14 infantry divisions, 17 independent mixed brigades, one armored division,
and one infantry regiment. Had any part of this force decided to rebel at the
provisions of the peace agreement, the 1st Cavalry Division might have been
badly hit before it had gained a firm foothold in Japan. On the contrary, both
the Japanese and the Americans were highly pleased at the behavior of each
The party included a veteran from each troop in the Division so that all units would be represented on this climatic trek of the war. Passing through Hachioji, Fuchu and Chofu, the convoy halted briefly at the Tokyo City Limits. General Chase stepped across the line thereby putting the American Army officially in Tokyo and adding another "First" to the record of the "First Team." PFC Paul Davis of Fairland, Ottawa County, OK. a member of "D" Troop, 12th Cavalry Regiment who followed the general, received the honor of being the first enlisted man to enter the city officially. This won him an award of $1,000 offered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of his home county to the first soldier from the county to set foot in Tokyo.
On the same morning, General MacArthur made his official entry into Tokyo,
escorted by the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, the 302nd Reconnaissance Troop, and
the Division Band carrying the Division standards and colors. The official
"Flag of Liberation Raising Ceremony" took place at 1700 hours. The flag was
the one which had been flying over the Capitol at Washington on Pearl Harbor
Day and had flown over the Battleship Missouri while the surrender documents
were being signed. The Flag of Liberation was also the first American flag to
be flown over Rome, Italy, at the conclusion of hostilities with that country.
The Division's first mission in Tokyo was to assume control of the central
portion of the city. Troops of the 7th Cavalry guarded the American Embassy
where General MacArthur had taken up residence, and the Meiji Shrine, one of
the most sacred geographical points in Japan, according to Japanese belief.
Daily patrols began the long task of locating, investigating and reporting all
Japanese installations which had contributed to the nation's war effort. All
arsenals, factories, barracks and storage grounds had to be examined and
reports made of their contents. In addition, the Division was concerned with
the status of demobilization of the Japanese armed forces. Although the
Imperial Army and Navy were being disbanded under supervision of Japanese
officials, the 1st Cavalry Division maintained liaison with them and checked
on the progress of their work.
On 10 September, the 8th Cavalry was temporarily relieved from the XI Corps
and moved to Kawasaki were its command post was set up at Keio University.
Except for the Division Artillery which remained at Hara-Machida, the
remainder of the Division was concentrated at Yoyogi Parade Grounds.
During the next week, most of the units moved to the Meiji Shrine Park in
Tokyo. The first units to move into more permanent quarters, the 12th Cavalry
and the artillery battalions, were located at the Japanese Military
Preparatory Academy at Asaka, fourteen miles northwest of the center of Tokyo.
The 1st Brigade Headquarters command post and 5th Cavalry were located at Camp
McGill at Otawa, approximately twenty miles south of Yokohama, where they
carried out their regional duties. The 7th Cavalry was situated at the
Merchant Marine School. The 2nd Brigade Headquarters had its command post,
along with the 8th Cavalry Regiment, in the Imperial Guard Barrack Buildings
located in the Roppongi District of Tokyo. Division Headquarters and other
units were stationed at Camp Drake located within 20 miles north-east of
|Camp McGill - 1st Brigade and 5th Cavalry|
|Merchant Marine School - 7th Cavalry|
|Roppongi - 2nd Brigade and 8th Cavalry|
|Camp Drake - 1st Cavalry Division|
The first units to move into more permanent quarters, the 12th Cavalry and the artillery battalions, were located at the Japanese Military Preparatory Academy at Asaka, fourteen miles north-west of the center of Tokyo. The 1st Brigade Headquarters command post and 5th Cavalry were located at Camp McGill at Otawa, approximately twenty miles south of Yokohama, where they carried out their regional duties. The 7th Cavalry was situated at the Merchant Marine School. The 2nd Brigade Headquarters had its command post, along with the 8th Cavalry Regiment, in the Imperial Guard Barrack Buildings located in the Roppongi District of Tokyo. Division Headquarters and other units were stationed at Camp Drake located within 20 miles north-east of Tokyo.
Now that the war had ended and it had become apparent that the occupation of
Japan would not require any tremendous force of arms, redeployment of veterans
with long service moved forward on a large scale. Some of the US Army
divisions who had come to Japan only a few days before commenced preparations
for inactivation or movement home to the United States. This meant that the
1st Division, one of the units to remain overseas, would be charged with the
responsibility for an increasingly larger zone of occupation. On 16 September,
the 1st Cavalry was given responsibility for occupying all of the city of
Tokyo.in addition to adjacent parts of Tokyo and Saitama
On 25 September, 1945, there began a great shifting and turnover of personnel which continued thence forward and added considerably to the difficulties of carrying out the occupation mission. Men with high adjusted service rating scores were transferred to the 43rd Infantry Division for shipment home and discharge. Later, as other units were inactivated or deployed to the States, many low point men were turned over to the 1st Cavalry Division to complete their tours of duty. However, these additions and the trickle of replacements which came directly from the United States did not equal the Division's losses through redeployment. During the period from 01 July, 1945 to January 31, 1947, a total of 32,494 personnel were redeployed to the States from the 1st Cavalry Division, a turnover of approximately three times the authorized strength of the Division.
On 30 September, one of the major tasks in the early stages of the occupation was performed by the 2nd Cavalry Brigade when it closed 21 banking institutions in Tokyo and seized all records, pending an investigation of foreign financial activities by these firms. Twenty-one teams consisting of guards, interpreters and counter-intelligence corps personnel descended simultaneously on the 21 installations and effected the closings without an incident.
As the 1st Cavalry Division completed its first month of occupation duties, the demilitarization of Japanese war industries was in full swing. During the ensuing year the major effort of the Division was devoted toward locating, inventorying, and assisting in the destruction of arms, ammunition and military supplies. Factories which had been producing for the Japanese war machines were seized and either destroyed or held for reparations. As the arsenals, military posts and airfields were cleaned up,the search was broadened to include numerous caves, mountain hideouts, and other points to which the war material had been dispersed.
Early in the conflict,the Japanese had begun to make provision for the
movement of their war industries to the underground. The destruction of their
great cities by aerial bombing, during The spring of 1945, had hastened this
procedure. The demilitarization became a grim game of hide and seek. At the
beginning of the occupation, schools, temples, and shrines were spared from
search by the occupation forces,but after it became known that certain of
these institutions were being used for the storage of munitions, a systematic
and revealing survey was made. After a year and a half of occupation,
unreported and undestroyed implements of war were still being turned up in
|"Hard" Sentry Duty|
|Bank Guards On Alert|
In October 1945, the 1st Cavalry Division commenced the seizure of stocks, precious metals, jewelry, foreign currency, and narcotics, which were in the possession of Japanese business firms and industrial plants. By the end of January 1947, more than 76,000,000 grams of gold, a billion grams of silver, 7,000,000 grams of platinum, and a large quantity of diamonds had been confiscated by the Division and impounded in the vaults of the Bank of Japan. About 60,000,000 grams of narcotics had been seized and either destroyed or turned over to the Japanese Home Ministry.
In addition to seizing and disposing of munitions and precious items, the 1st Cavalry Division conducted an inventory of all lumber mills in its zone of responsibility to determine production capacity and the stocks of lumber on hand. One hundred sixty-nine mills were canvassed during this survey.
On 06 November, the Division took over the operation of the repatriation center at the port of Uraga, south of Yokohama on Tokyo Bay. Japanese nationals, including army, navy, civil service, and diplomatic personnel, being returned from overseas were received, processed, and sent to their homes in Japan. Non-citizens of Japan passed through the port on their way back to their own countries. Among the problems that added to the difficulty of operating the port was prevalence of diseases such as cholera and typhus aboard the incoming ships. Quarantine measures were enforced and the danger of an epidemic in Japan was allayed. In all, more than 560,000 incoming Japanese, 61,000 cases of funeral ashes and more than 12,000 outgoing Formosans and Ryukyuans were processed through the port of Uraga under the supervision of the 1st Cavalry Brigade.
On 11 October, 1945, patrols from the 1st Cavalry Division officiated at the release of 34 political prisoners who had been confined by the Japanese Government for periods ranging up to 18 years. Another duty which befell the 1st Cavalry Division was the seizure of the Tokyo embassies of the puppet Chinese and Manchurian Governments which had come into being during the development of the "Greater East Asia Co Prosperity Sphere." These buildings were placed under guard and their contents impounded.
By 15 December,1945, the 1st Cavalry Division had extended its area of occupational responsibility to include the Chiba Prefecture. The order, adding Chiba Prefecture to the 1st Cavalry sector of responsibility, necessitated spreading the troops of one squadron over an area twice as large as Tokyo Prefecture, and it further increased the heavy burden already placed upon the Division's supply and communication networks. The Division knew that assuming responsibility for this prefecture was only the prelude to the huge task that would be confronted in the succeeding two months.
Most members of the 1st Cavalry Division welcomed the arrival of 1946. For them, it was the dawning of a new era, a time of peace. The days of privation, hardship, suffering and death were over for the first time since 07 December, 1941, and Pearl Harbor. It found the 1st Cavalry Division in secure control of Tokyo and vicinity, the capital of the former war-built Japanese Empire.
January of 1946 was spent pursuing the gigantic task of rendering Japan powerless to wage wars of aggression. Vast supplies of weapons, aircraft, ammunition and similar instruments of death and destruction were destroyed. During this month, 6,052 tons of ammunition was shipped to out loading docks within the Division's sector of responsibility, although a severe shortage of personnel hindered the operation.
As quickly as all machines of war were reduced to scrap, the remains were turned over to the Japanese Home Ministry for use in the reconversion of all the industry of Japan to peace time pursuits. Large amounts of food, clothing and medical supplies, intended for use by the Japanese armed forces, were also delivered to the Japanese Home Ministry for civilian use. In this fashion the 1st Cavalry Division continued to destroy the potential war-making powers of the Imperial Japanese Government.
On January 1, the relief of the 112th Cavalry Regimental Combat Team had been effected completely by the 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry. However, the end of January found the Division executing the occupational duties in this area with the same superior standard of efficiency that it had performed more difficult tasks during the trying days of the war.
With the acceleration of the program to repatriate Koreans to their native land, additional repatriation duties were assumed by the 1st Cavalry Division. Upon order of IX Corps, the Division assumed its share of guard responsibility for safely convoying trains carrying Korean passengers on their way to out loading ports. During the month of January, 16 trains carrying Korean repatriates passed through the Division sector of responsibility.
During February of 1946, the 1st Cavalry Division saw the abandonment of a cloistered life by Emperor Hirohito, the hanging of General Tomoyuki Yamashita and the sentencing of General Masaharu Homma to be shot. General Yamashita, one of Japan's foremost military leaders, had led the Japanese troops that opposed the 1st Cavalry Division in the Philippines. His execution as a war criminal, stripped of uniform, decorations and other appurtenances signifying membership in the military profession, took place at Los Banos Camp, P.I. on 23 February, 1946.
Operations during February were still being carried out in accordance with directives from higher headquarters. Some localities still required a thorough searching for war material that had been unreported either because it had been secreted or simply overlooked. As evidence or this fact, a 12th Cavalry patrol, accompanied by Japanese Police, discovered 20 boxes of dynamite and 2,600 meters of primer cord at the Kanawa Christian Church just four miles northwest of Hiratsuka. Further investigation revealed that information of this cache had been given to the Hiratsuka Police the previous October, but no one had transmitted it to the occupation authorities until 08 February.
An even greater delinquency in failure to report war material was the
discovery, by members of the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion, of 100 20 mm
guns, without mounts, inside the dockyard workmen's entrance at the port of
Uraga. These guns had never been reported by the Japanese Police. With an
accent on the acceleration of the destruction of Japanese ammunition, the 1st
Cavalry Division far surpassed its previous tonnage shipments of ammunition
for destruction at sea when it transported 10,545 tons during the month of
In order to occupy such a large area, it was necessary to redeploy the troops of the Division and move troop concentrations to new locations. The movement took place during the latter part of February and was completed by 01 March with the units fully prepared to relieve the former occupying forces. The only significant move during March was made by the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion from the Uraga area, south of Yokohama, to the Miizugahara Airfield near Kagohara.
Operations during March were much the same as in previous months. Some localities still required a thorough searching for war material. This was particularly true of the area around the port town of Uraga, where large, fortified, coastal installations were uncovered, many with guns still in place. These positions were just another indication of the extensive measures taken by Japan in preparing the defense of the homeland.
Daily patrols conducted inspections of educational institutions for any display of militaristic tendencies, and to correct those observed immediately. Fewer violations were noted during March than any previous period. Patrols were also dispatched daily to investigate factories that were in operation to see that they were operating in compliance with current directives of the Economic and Scientific Section of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP).
On 09 March, 1946, a ceremony and review was held by elements of the Division at the east gate of the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo. Lieutenant General Robert L. Eichelberger, 8th Army Commander, honored units of the Division by presenting them with battle streamers for the Luzon, Leyte-Samar, New Guinea and Bismarck Archipelago campaigns of World War II. Twenty-five hundred troops of the Division participated with every unit represented.
The end of March 1946 saw spring well on the way in Japan and troops were looking forward to that season of cherry blossoms and magnolia. Continued redeployment to the United States for discharge was the brightest hope of many and the announcement by the Commanding General, Eighth Army, that the dependents of service men would be reaching the area in May, bolstered the spirits of many troopers.
April of 1946 and spring came to Japan together in the first year of peace
since the outset of World War II. Troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division,
patrolling throughout the great industrial and agricultural area of the Kanto
Plain, found little evidence remaining of the once-powerful Japanese war
machine. 1st Cavalry Division troopers with their gold and black shoulder
patches were a familiar sight to the crowds in Tokyo and Yokohama, who
gathered in groups and masses to discuss and to plan their new found
democracy. Farmers swarming onto the airfields and every available plot of
ground scarcely looked up from their labor of turning bomber and fighter bases
into fields of grain, as jeep-riding cavalry patrols swept by on their way to
The month of April also provided the 1st Cavalry Division the opportunity to
participate in the first Army Day Parade celebrated after the end of World War
II that was held in downtown Tokyo cross from the Palace of the Emperor on 06
April. Occupation duties were rotated among troops in the Division in order to
allow the necessary time for training. Division small arms ranges were in
constant use while specialist and on-the-job training received particular
attention. The Division Officers' School, graduating its tenth class in Troop
Administration for company officers on 27 April, was planning a new course in
Military Justice Procedure to begin in May.
|First Army Day Parade Since World War II Ended, Held In Tokyo - 06 April, 1946|
As April drew to a close, increased unrest among labor groups and signs of possible disturbances in the metropolitan areas necessitated placing the Division on an alert status on the 30th which lasted until 02 May.
The month of May 1946 in central Japan opened in a fashion truly indicative of the new found freedom of the Japanese people. For the first time in over a quarter of a century, Japanese members of the world-wide Communist party were allowed to celebrate May-day without restrictions as the anniversary of the founding of their party. Thousands gathered in the cities, towns and villages throughout Japan for a day of parading, banner waving and speech making. In Tokyo, members of the party and other individuals interested only in being part of the celebration began gathering at the outlying railway stations of the city well before dawn on 01 May. At nine o'clock, they began their separate parades, all converging at the plaza before the Imperial Palace in the heart of Tokyo. By 1100 hours approximately 300,000 persons were crowding the plaza and over-flowing into nearby Hibiya Park. Troopers throughout the 1st Cavalry Division were alerted well in advance the celebration and were fully prepared to take charge if any damage or injury was done to US property or personnel. However, the crowds remained orderly and no disturbances occurred.
Operations for May were similar to the previous months. However, on 12 May, members of the Division conducted a review in Tokyo in honor of General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, Chief of Staff. General Eisenhower visited the billets of the 8th Cavalry prior to the review, and in the following two days inspected elements of the 12th Cavalry and the 271st Field Artillery Battalion.
The decrease in the number of men required for guard duty and other occupation tasks permitted an increase in the time allotted to formal training of Division troops during the month. Small arms ranges were in constant use with troopers firing the rifle, carbine, automatic rifle, sub-machine gun, light and heavy machine gun. Specialist's training, at schools conducted within Division and by higher echelons, was continued with a marked improvement in the efficiency the schools and the interest of the students. On 31 May, a total of 233 students from the Division were attending 11 different specialists schools conducted by the Division and Eighth Army.
May came to a close with the occupation progressing smoothly and peacefully.
The food situation for the Japanese was serious, but was not at the famine
stage. Distribution of grain from the United States and harvest of local wheat
crops in early June was expected to alleviate the shortage to a great extent.
The "new government" elected in April at the first free election in Japan
passed successfully through the early unsettled days of office and was
progressing along democratic lines.
July of 1946 began with an impressive Fourth of July ceremony in Tokyo by
elements of the 1st Cavalry Division. All separate squadrons, troops and
regiments were represented by over 3,000 troopers along with the 1st Cavalry
Division Band. They were formed in line on the Palace Plaza for the formal
presentation of the new colors and unit flags to the respective commanding
officers by the commanding general of the Division.
|Heavy Tanks And Division Band "Pass In Review" - 04 July 1946|
To the troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division who had "sweat out" D Day a year ago, August of 1946 in Japan revealed an era that showed little resemblance to the vast military machine they had conquered piece-meal on their island hopping campaigns of the Pacific.The wheels that turned for war in every factory-and shop were now truly turning in ways, except for the bomb-scarred sections of Tokyo, even now mercifully covered with weeds or tiny gardens plots, little evidence remained of war. It was hard to imagine the nightly horror like B-29s or the tramp of Tojo's war-crazed men. One year of occupation by the 1st Cavalry Division had proven to be a success.
During August, patrols for the purposes of intelligence, security and police,
showed an increase over that in July. A total of 2,331 patrols were
dispatched. A large number of these were for the purpose of enforcing rules of
conduct at recreational areas throughout the Division zone of occupation and
in Shizuoka Prefecture. Many intelligence patrols were also dispatched in
searching out the hiding places and seizing precious metals, illegally-held
and hidden in violation of SCAP directives. A patrol of the 5th Cavalry
located 16 aerial bombs at Mirawa Mura early in the month and a 12th Cavalry
patrol located a large quantity of 14-inch projectiles, mines and torpedoes
cached in the Kami Karskona Primary School for use against our forces when
troopers were to "hit the beaches" the previous year.
The individual training phase of an amphibious operation was continued during the month. On 23 September, advance parties comprised of the medical collecting troop, shore party and the operations detail, reported to the Yokosuka Amphibious Training Center, where they were submitted to intensive training activities preparatory to the actual landings scheduled to take place later in the year.
The number of guarded installations showed a marked decrease. The number fell from a total of 85 at the end of September,to a new low of 60. This was a far cry from the 252 shown on the operation report of 05 January, when demilitarization activities were at their peak. But it was no inconsiderable number either, with man power at such a premium.
A welcome attachment to the Division came towards the end of October, when "B" Company, 511th Parachute Infantry Battalion was attached for guard duty in Tokyo. These 11th Airborne soldiers were housed with the 8th Cavalry at their quarters in the 3rd Imperial Guard Barracks, Tokyo, and soon had taken over five important guard posts including the Imperial Palace in conjunction with the British guards.
Demilitarization of war plants and factories and the seizure of illegally-held weapons and war-making implements continued on a lesser scale. Very few caches of arms were to be found and nearly all war plants were now engaged in necessary peace time pursuits. The huge 1st Tokyo Military Arsenal was finally cleared of all arms and ordnance supplies by the end of the month.
Training suffered along with other occupational duties, due to the critical replacement situation, but the commanding general kept training going, in spite of all difficulties. Certain units were filled by concentration from others, so that replacements could be given their required individual and basic training in a near-to-full troop, prior to assuming their specialist and detailed occupational duties. A two-week review period covering replacement center subjects was initiated prior to completion of the last five weeks of the required War Department Mobilization Training Program. The training program for the Division as a whole was readied for anticipated reception of replacements on a large scale in weeks to come.
The month of November brought real fall weather, the inevitable rain and a crop of replacements to bolster the diminished man power of the 1st Cavalry Division. The demilitarization of 34 war-plants was completed during November, thereby accomplishing a part of one more aim in the occupation. Even though the total number of war-plants completely demilitarized ran into the hundreds, many still remained to be converted.
The first week of November found units of the Division starting their Mobilization Training Program. This consisted of a two-weeks review of the first eight weeks of basic training followed by the last five weeks of the respective branch, 13 week program repeated in full. As units were brought to at least 75 per cent strength, they started their training. By the end of December, it was anticipated that all Division reserve units would have their training completed.
December of 1946 brought with it the second occupation Christmas for the 1st Cavalry Division and was a far cry from that somber 25th day of December a year before. Hard, bitter combat men who saw that day a year ago had been replaced by an eager group of newer and younger soldiers. Between the many festivities of the holiday season, which was enhanced by the efforts of all social groups to provide a Christmas more like the one friends and relatives were spending at home, and the exceptional fine display of decorum by the occupation personnel did much to manifest and spread the spirit of good will, peace and democracy to the Japanese nation. This holiday season was well and fruitfully spent by members of the 1st Cavalry Division.
During the month, 43 more war plants and factories underwent the prescribed process of demilitarization and the discovery of bullet proof glass and quantities of aircraft instruments was made during an inspection of the Tokyo Die-casting Limited Partnership, Kawasaki Branch. Reports also brought forth the disclosure of 100 kilograms of Japanese mustard gas which was immediately destroyed. The 8th Cavalry Regiment located and disposed of large amounts of small arms ammunition and anti-tank rocket shells in addition to destroying 200 kilograms of Japanese phosgene and lewisite gas at the 6th Japanese Military Laboratory in Tokyo, a former army chemical warfare plant.
Excitement reigned in Tokyo between 17 - 20 December when elements of the Division Artillery and the 2nd Cavalry Brigade were alerted to observe and maintain order during the mass Anti-Yoshida demonstrations at the Imperial Palace Plaza. Although 200,000 people were in attendance, there were no unusual incidents and the group remained orderly throughout.
The year of 1946 came to a close with a December quota of 5,253 replacements for the Division from the states. Their basic training varied from three weeks to completion of the basic course. They were immediately integrated into the Division military training program, and 31 December, 1946 saw the Division eagerly awaiting the reception of the trained replacements to bring it to authorized strength.
In the beginning of 1947, the 1st Cavalry Division continued its mission of occupation of the heart and nerve center of the Japanese Empire. Its hard-riding patrols fanned out from metropolitan Tokyo and Yokohama, the center of all industry, government and occupation policy, to the southernmost tip of the Izu peninsula, west through the mountainous regions of Yamanashi and Nagano, through the fertile Kanto plain to Saitama, Gumma, Tochigi and Niigata on the Japan Sea, then northeast through Chiba and Ibaraki - 10 Prefectures in all.
Although there was no change in occupational policy or area of occupation, there had been vast changes among the troopers themselves. The combat veterans of the Division had been almost entirely replaced by new arrivals from the States, young, eager and anxious to learn the ways of the army. Their time was busily spent doing guard duty, patrolling, specialist assignments and the ever-present basic training program. More than 10,000 replacements were received by the Division during the months of December and January, bringing its enlisted strength to 15,605 at month's end, over 15 per cent more than authorized Table of Organization strength.
The problem of training for all these young men was acute. Commanders of brigades, regiments, squadrons and troops were faced with this: Replacements were being received in large increments from the USA and no individual had more than eight weeks preparation at replacement centers stateside. Some had received a five week program, no more. Secondly, replacements for officers in the company grades were only a little more than one half of authorized requirements, and lastly, the shortage of trained and experienced non-commissioned officers in all grades was acute. From a training standpoint, the supply of young officers who bore the brunt of instructing troops and non-commissioned officer assistant instructors were critically short.
Regardless, training progressed and each individual, after receiving his two weeks of review on the subjects he had in the States and largely forgotten through his processing in depots and voyage to Japan, was, by January's end, well into the balance of the 13 weeks required by the War Department Mobilization Training Program. For some of the early arrivals, the tests, to be conducted by IX Corps at the termination of the basic training cycle, were well in sight. But welding the individuals into small fighting units and the small units into an efficient whole, capable of performing all the missions of an occupational Division and for combat, was far from complete.
At the repatriation port of Uraga, where the 12th Cavalry had long supervised the processing of millions of demobilized Japanese military personnel, activities slowed to a walk, and plans were made to close the port and cease operations 15 January. But on 09 January came word from the Commanding General of IX Corps that the port would remain open to repatriation until the 1,500 German Nationals in Japan were shipped out.
The month of February, 1947 started with the Division alerted during a threatened Japanese general strike. The strike ended at noon on the 1st. February 3rd was proclaimed "Manila Day," a memorable occasion to old timers who had seen combat with the Division in the Philippines. It was on this day two years prior, that the famed "Flying Column" entered Manila, liberating the internees at Santo Tomas. The largest review ever put on in Tokyo was conducted in commemoration of this day. Major General Charles W. Ryder, IX Corps Commander, reviewed the troops.
Training was continued with renewed vigor. The modified seven week
Mobilization Training Program (MTP) as well as the full 13 week program was
being conducted in all units of the Division. Vehicular training was suspended
due to a drastic cut in gasoline. A 70 per cent cut in the average fuel use
over the previous few months was put into effect on 05 February, which
practically grounded the Division as far as tactical gasoline was concerned.
As the occupation continued, the various units of the Division were shifted from place to place so that they could accomplish their missions more effectively. At the end of the first 18 months of occupation (February 1947), the command posts of the 1st Brigade, 5th Cavalry and 12th Cavalry were situated at Camp McGill at Otawa, about 20 miles south of Yokohama. The 2nd Cavalry Brigade command post and 8th Cavalry Regiment remained at the 3rd Imperial Guard Regiment Barracks in Tokyo while the 7th Cavalry Regiment was at the Merchant Marine School. The Division Artillery Headquarters at Ojima, in Gumma Prefecture, was so located that it could maintain control over the four artillery battalions which had the duty of occupying the mountainous prefectures. These comprised the northern portion of the Division's zone of responsibility. Division Headquarters and other units of the Division remained stationed at Camp Drake near Tokyo.
The month of March, 1947 found the 1st Cavalry Division deep in the throes of its intensive training program. The effect of this training was beginning to manifest itself by the greater tendency toward unit training and the application of this training in command post exercises.
For some units, this month saw the culmination of the mobilization training program with tests being conducted by the IX Corps testing team. Units of the Division that were tested comprised of the 1st Squadron, 5th Cavalry; 1st Medical Squadron; 603rd Tank Company, 302nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop; and 3rd Platoon, 6th Special Service Company. All tests were held at Camp Drake. The completed units were then scheduled to embark on a thorough and comprehensive range season. Division Artillery had continued its howitzer firing at Camp Weir with the respective Field Artillery Battalions firing weekly.
The number of installations requiring guards by the 1st Cavalry Division remained relatively constant during the month and by the end of March, the figure stood at 67. A total of 929 reconnaissance and police patrols were active throughout the month.
March came to a close with the 1st Cavalry Division taking on the added
mission of organizing survey teams for the purpose of conducting election
surveys during the approaching Japanese national elections. These surveys, to
be made throughout the 1st Cavalry Division area of responsibility, would be
threefold in effect: the pre-election phase, election phase, and post-election
phase. During March, the pre-election phase saw 155 teams active in all 10
Division prefectures. It was believed that the results of these surveys would
provide substantial information as to the progress of democracy in occupied
In early April, further word came from IX corps with regard to the Japanese elections. The duties of the Division comprised of visiting the poling places to insure fairness, and preventing violations of existing voting laws. Above all, these teams were to be impartial fact finders and exert no influence on either side. These 155 Division teams spread out on 04 April in towns, villages and metropolitan areas. Ninety nine teams were employed in Tokyo alone. After the last election which was held on 30 April, team reports showed few major violations. The turnout was good and women were much in evidence to exercise the right of franchise acquired only a year before.
At the port of Uraga, repatriation had slowed down to a mere trickle and 5th Cavalry troopers of the 1st Squadron at Camp Drake continued to guard and transport important war crimes prisoners, suspects and witnesses between Sugamo Prison and the courts at Yokohama.
May of 1947 began with a two day practice alert and command post exercise in
which the entire 1st Cavalry Division participated. The exercise happened to
coincide with the Japanese May Day demonstration which was held at the
Imperial Palace Plaza in Tokyo. A crowd of 250,000 demonstrators and onlookers
celebrated the day without restriction for the second time since the surrender
of Japan. The crowd was orderly. Singing, dancing, speeches and marches were
the activities of the day.
On 31 May, a C-54 Army transport crashed into the side of a mountain near Hadano, in which 40 persons lost their lives, brought forth a display of resourcefulness from elements of the 1st Cavalry Brigade. "B" Troop, 12th Cavalry, with the able assistance of L-5 airplanes from Division Artillery, performed excellent work in locating, investigating and evacuating victims of the C-54 accident.
To accomplish the ends of training and occupation missions, June of 1947 saw many organizations of the Division moved to new locations. Units of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade rotated between Tokyo and Camp Palmer to affect marksmanship training on individual arms. Other movements saw "C" Troop of the 12th Cavalry replace "B" Troop, 12th Cavalry at Hiratsuka. "G" Troop, 8th Cavalry took over duties of "F" Troop, 8th Cavalry at Fuchu; "C" Battery, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion supplanted "B" Battery at Karuizawa and "E" Troop, 7th Cavalry, attached to 71st Quartermaster for the purpose of accomplishing necessary missions.
June drew to a close with feverish and intensive preparation for the Allied Powers Parade that was to be held on 04 July. It was heralded as the most significant and outstanding event of the occupation to date, Plans had been made for a review of representative elements of all military units in Japan by the Supreme Commander, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.
In early July, planning for the mammoth Independence Day Review and Parade
in Tokyo highlighted the activities of the First Cavalry Division. Weeks of
planning by Division and higher headquarters had gone into this event. More
than 15.000 troops were aligned on the Imperial Palace Plaza, comprising, in
addition to the First Cavalry Division, elements of the llth Airborne
Division, the 24th Infantry Division and the 25th Infantry Division.
Hover Mouse Pointer over scrolling text area below to pause.
|Independence Day Parade, Show Of Might - Tokyo, Japan|
Never, since the beginning of the occupation, had the people of Tokyo ever
seen such a spectacle of armed might, and never was a more colorful body of
troops assembled. Beginning on the white graveled Plaza in front of the main
gate of the Emperor's palace where troops were presented to the Eighth Army
Commander, Robert L. Eichelberger, and the long line formed into a column and
marched past the bunting-draped reviewing stand where General of the Army
Douglas MacArthur received the honors. With General MacArthur on the
reviewing stand, before a backdrop of allied flags, were distinguished members
of the Allied Council, representing all countries with missions in Japan.
Occupational duties for the month of July consisted of numerous mass meeting surveillances of labor and political groups in Tokyo. This seemed to be a never-ending job for 2nd Cavalry Brigade troopers. No difficulties or violence of any kind were reported. Meetings continued to be orderly and well regulated. On 18 July, word came of a threatened riot between rival Korean organizations at Terite, and the 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry was alerted for the threatened emergency. Patrols which were immediately dispatched to the scene reported all quiet in that sector and the alert terminated the evening of the same day without incident.
August was a comparatively quiet month, with training and occupational duties progressing as in previous months. Redeployment of troops within the Division area was rather extensive, because of rotation of training and guard duties. Emphasis fell upon the Mobilization Training Program during the month, as IX Corps testing teams were due to arrive in September.
The month of September 1947 proved to be one of the most eventful periods in the occupation history of the 1st Cavalry Division. The Division experienced a renewed acceleration in training and ceremonies in addition to the unusual incidents of typhoon and floods which tested its resourcefulness and ability under emergency conditions. These numerous activities, let alone the routine guard, patrol and other necessary occupational missions which were required to be accomplished, set the stage for the beginning of the third year of occupation.
On 15 September, the Typhoon "Kathleen" made its debut in the area of Central Japan, bringing with it rains and winds that eventually caused the inundation of parts of the Kanto plain and adjacent areas, including the metropolis of Tokyo itself. The ravage of the storm and its results upon the farms, cities and people will probably never be told, but, sufficient to say that over the prefectures of Gunima, Tokyo, Tochigi, Chiba and Saitama more than 150,000 acres of land were flooded, 200,000 houses inundated, over 100 persons killed, 700 missing and over 400,000 individuals were evacuated from affected areas. Highlighting the rescue and flood relief operations from the very beginning was the untiring efforts of almost all elements of the Division in rendering the required aid to allies and Japanese alike. Outstanding in this work was the 8th Engineer Squadron which worked days and nights repairing levees, blasting strategic points, evacuating the homeless and providing technical assistance in the flooded areas.
The Division bomb disposal teams working in conjunction with the Division patrols were able to locate and dispose of a tremendous quantity of bombs and war explosives during September. In addition, patrols located, seized and placed under guard, approximately 30 tons of silver buried in Tokyo, pending removal to the United States vaults in the Bank of Japan. Second Brigade provided guards and patrols for the transportation of about six tons of precious metals from the Bank of Japan to the Osaka Mint.
Notwithstanding the extensive missions and duties listed above, the 1st Cavalry Division employed some 70 patrol and search teams, composed of officers, enlisted men and interpreters throughout the Division area of responsibility in locating the remains of American war dead. These teams traveled to the remote corners of the Division's many prefectures in the accomplishment of the mission. The last major event of the month was the welcome attachment of the 95th Light Tank Company to the Division on 30 September by Eighth Army Headquarters.
October 1947, the second month of the third year of occupation in Japan, found the 1st Cavalry Division the same in spirit, high morale, and purposeful effort as in the days when occupation duties were new. But few were the soldiers remaining from those first days when the Division landed at Yokohama. Redeployment and replacement of personnel had accounted for more than 42,300 officers and men during this period, or a complete turn-over of personnel on the average of at least once each year.
Again, as in October of 1946, the shortage of personnel had become acute. Long over-strength in men, the Division now found that for the first time since December 1946, personnel strength was far below table of organization figures. This personnel shortage was already beginning to be apparent in all phases of the Division's activities during the month. Nevertheless, occupational duties and training continued at an undiminished rate. For reconnaissance, intelligence or military police purposes, 1,268 separate patrols were dispatched and guards were maintained on 65 important military or civil installations throughout the assigned area.
By 31 October, the 70 special patrols in search of World War II dead had completed their work. This alone had been a tremendous task. Thousands of contacts had been made in each of the eight prefectures assigned for search. In Tochigi-ken, 2,870 stops and inquiries had been made. The search also included complete coverage of the islands of O-Shima, Nii-Jima, Miyake-Jima and Kozu-Jima, south of Tokyo Bay. This search of islands turned out to be somewhat hazardous. On 17 October, a severe storm sank one of the landing boats used on the job, and seriously damaged a landing craft, tank which was finally able to limp back into Yokohama without loss of a single man. The search of the islands was resumed the following week and completed without further incident.
November was highlighted by an explosion at the Ikego ammunition dump, a few miles west of Yokosuka in the 1st Cavalry Brigade area. The morning hours of 17 November were disrupted at 955 hours by the explosion, and fire ran rampant throughout the area surrounding the ammunition warehouses and the adjacent forests. Soldiers and Japanese laborers were hampered in their fire fighting activities by explosions from 105 and 81 millimeter shells as well as all other types of ammunition. Units of the Division were alerted for disaster operations after the initial explosion and fire. The 2nd Squadron, 5th Cavalry, actually moved into the area to fight the fire. Engineer and medical units were placed on alert status' at their home: stations to render any assistance called for. During the early morning hours of the 18th, additional fires broke out in the wooded hills surround the ammunition dump. As a result, an engineer troop was dispatched with fire-fighting equipment to help suppress the flames. The burning area was brought under control by 1100 hours on 19 November. As a result of this conflagration, seven warehouses and 700,000 pounds of ammunition were destroyed.
On 01 December, one of the most unusual incidents in many months occurred. This commenced with reports of the wreck of a C-47 aircraft in the general area of Mount Fuji. Personnel from the 95th Light Tank Company, with certain others attached, and with the aid of Japanese guides, ascended the mountain under extremely difficult conditions. After many days of surviving the hardships of cold, snow and traveling over extremely hazardous terrain, the party reached the wreckage inside of the crater of Hoeizan, recovered and brought out the bodies of two flyers. This was one of the finest examples of courage, determination and fortitude displayed by personnel serving with the 1st Cavalry Division.
The third occupation Christmas and New Year experienced by the 1st Cavalry Division in Japan was well marked with festivities and celebrations. The unusual efforts of enlisted officer clubs, Red Cross clubs, theaters and unit messes, highlighted by a colorful Christmas pan in Tokyo, did much to enhance the gaiety joyousness of the holiday season for all personnel and to promote democracy within the Japan nation.
As the new year opened, the third since 1st Cavalry Division troopers landed at Yokohama in 1945, there were few members of the Division who could look back and trace the changes brought by 30 months occupation in the heart and nerve center of Japan. Changes there were, and many. A highly industrialized nation, geared for war, its subjects imbued with centuries-old fanaticism, steeped in tradition, and stripped of individual rights had been converted in these short months under the guidance of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers and enforced by the strong right arm of the 1st Cavalry Division into a peaceful nation incapable of waging war, with a framework of government under its new constitution that would make for lasting democracy. A more peaceful, benevolent and successful occupation had never been known.
January of 1948 was another month when strength fell so low that it was difficult to man the patrols, the sentry posts and keep integral units intact. Already, maximum consolidations and redeployment had begun at the old Japanese Merchant Marine School in Tokyo when a few months ago these barracks and those at the Fisheries School, and the Japanese Cavalry School at Camp Palmer had all been filled. The 8th Cavalry, its 1st Squadron all but depleted, had pulled into regimental headquarters at the guard barracks in Tokyo. At Camp McGill, the 12th Cavalry, reduced now to cadre strength, had been relieved of almost all occupational duties. The 5th Cavalry, split between Camp McGill and Camp Drake, had seriously reduced ranks. Division Artillery had concentrated what was left of all its battalions at Camp Drew, Koizumi. Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Division Artillery, had moved from Camp Ojima to Camp Drew on 28 January.
Training reached a bare minimum during the month but included the essential
Troop Information Program and physical conditioning exercises for all members
plus intensive basic training for new replacements. These minimum requirements
were met in spite of personnel shortages in all ranks in order to perform
necessary occupational assignments and carry out other essential military
functions of safeguard and custody.
The painful process of readjustment to the reduced manning levels was nearly complete with the departure of February's returnees. It appeared that the enlisted strength would be established at about 4,000 men. However, the prospect of a greatly increased loss of officers during the ensuing four months was indicated by Department of the Army directives affecting reserve officers and permanent enlisted warrants. A recruiting team was dispatched to the United States to remain on tour for at least 120 days.
During March, the Division maintained constant guard on 21 important installations within its zone of responsibility. This figure did not include the routine daily interior guard on unit supply dumps, property and housing or the evacuated billets at four camps formerly occupied by Division units. The number of military police and occupational patrols continued to increase as the personnel of the combat units decreased. A total of 1,010 such patrols were completed during March. Thirty one meetings were recorded during March of Communist organizations, and ten meetings of Koreans. Seventy two Japanese nationals were arrested for the illegal possession of occupation forces property. An incident was reported of the assault of a member of the occupation forces by a Japanese national, and a large amount of leftist and union activity was noted.
Along with the proverbial showers, the month of April 1948 brought forth spasmodic rallies and demonstrations by Japan's populace. These activities started off with mass labor demonstrations in Tokyo on 01 April and concluded the month on 30 April with a grand finale of Japanese May Day activities. If the activities accomplished nothing else, they did result in getting all 1st Cavalry troopers into the field and intimately connected their tactical assignments with the necessary surveillance of these demonstrations. Thanks to the efficiency, prior training and planning of the 1st Cavalry Division, no acts of violence or sabotage were committed by the demonstrators in the 1st Cavalry Division zone of responsibility.
The month of April came to a close in a flurry of activity brought about by the Command Post Exercise conducted in preparation for May Day, the Korean elections scheduled 10 days later, and possible subversive activity which might result. All echelons of the command were called into play. Operational patrols were dispatched by air and ground to cover expected areas of activity and Communist concentration. These patrols funneled information on through command channels to Division headquarters using all means of communication, namely, wire and telephone, police command circuits, radio command, air ground and liaison nets. Through these networks and command nets to IX Corps and 8th Army, a running account and close tab on all activities was made available to the higher commanders intimately concerned.
On 01 May, the entire 1st Cavalry Division found itself on an alert status in preparation for any outbreak of violence that might occur as a result of May Day festivities and Korean elections. The alert status remained in effect from 01 - 12 May with surveillance patrols in all areas of responsibility, which could very well account for the fact that no outbreaks of a subversive nature occurred in the Area Of Responsibility for the 1st Cavalry Division.
The strength of the Division continued to be a matter of grave concern however, for the number of replacements only exceeded total losses for May by 86 men. Officer strength continued to drop during the month with a net loss of 20 officers and warrant officers, increasing the already critical officer shortage. A ray of hope came from the Division's recruiting team in the Zone of Interior, indicating that a total of 3,384 men enlisted for the 1st Cavalry Division during the period of 15 March to 07 May, 1948.
In June, the Division experienced a net gain of 271 enlisted men which gave rise to a renewed feeling of optimism regarding the future of tactical training. The physical result of this small gain in personnel was to make available a total of nearly two troops daily from the entire Division for training. This was double the number available during the previous four months, and it had an excellent effect upon the morale of troops heavily overburdened with occupation, guard, surveillance and housekeeping duties.
The general overall operations for the 1st Cavalry Division during the month
of July were accelerated because of an influx of replacements that exceeding
losses by 713 men. The month's mission centered around testing these
replacements, orienting them and instituting training programs which would
best expedite their becoming 1st Cavalry Division troopers of the caliber
which the Division demanded. Coupled with the Division's replacement program,
plans were put into effect for all units to undergo field exercises and
maneuvers at Camp McNair, the maneuver area for the Division, for a minimum of
August also saw a slight increase over the normal amount of occupational duties. A strike at the Toho motion picture studio in Tokyo threatened law and order until the arrival of 2nd Cavalry Brigade troops supported by elements of the 302nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop and the 95th Light Tank Company. The mere presence of the troops, whose mission was to protect allied lives and property and to exercise surveillance of the strike, was sufficient to maintain order. During the month, command inspections were held for all units of the Division, with emphasis being placed on the replacement housekeeping and training situations.
During the month of September, the 1st Cavalry Division hit its stride with full scale training and a full agenda of occupation missions for all units. Continued arrival of a substantial number of replacements, which exceeded losses by 720 enlisted men for the month, enabled the Division to return several troops to an active status.
Coupled with replacement refresher training and continuous emphasis on field training and combat firing, all units participated in a command post exercise on the 9th and 10th of September, during which, all headquarters down to include active regimental and squadron headquarters, moved into the field.
Emphasis continued on fire prevention and control with demonstrations and lectures on this subject being conducted throughout the Division. Coupled with career management and Military Occupational Specialty training, the Division intensified its drive for United States Armed Forces Institute enrollments and stressed the Army Education Program in all units.
In November of 1948, the Division found itself embroiled in a beehive of activity, contributed to in a large extent by the arrival of 1,335 enlisted men replacements and 40 officers. The month's mission, in addition to the ever-present occupation mission, was centered primarily around processing and training replacements. Concurrent with replacement training, emphasis was placed on cadre and specialist training and the attendant problems of logistical and administrative supporting functions.
The 1st Cavalry Division embarked on the month of December in a whirlwind of activity that carried throughout the month. The biggest influx of replacements to date made their appearance on the local scene with a total of 2,880 enlisted replacements and 104 officers. Adding to the multitude of new faces already in the Division, the new replacements broadened the possibility for meeting existing training requirements. However, despite the replacement influx, there still remained shortage of good non-commissioned officers for squad leaders and company grade line officers.
The momentum of activity of the old year continued on into January of 1949 as the 1st Cavalry Division launched into its first busy month. The number of replacements that arrived during the month totaled 2,494 enlisted men and 3 officers. The officer and enlisted replacements for the month totaled an approximate 70 per cent over that of the previous six months. During the month, the 1st Cavalry Division received word that General Chase would be returned to the United States by order of the Department of Army, for duty with the Third United States Army.
During the month of January the Division furnished a total of 82 election surveillance teams in supervision of the Japanese election of House of Representatives and Supreme Court members. This election surveillance covered a four day period. The Division continued to provide military government assistance in the way of teams for supervision of tax administration and to curtail the black marketing of food. Twenty guard posts were maintained in the assigned areas of responsibility. Military police patrols continued at the same pace as the previous month, with an average of 325 military police and reconnaissance patrols. A total of 323 operational flights of liaison aircraft were recorded during this period.
The important news of February 1949 was the change in command of the Division, with Major General John M. Devine assuming command from Major General William C. Chase, who had commanded the 1st Cavalry Division during all of its occupation duty in Japan and had served with the Division during World War II. Along with the new commanding general, the Division received a total of 1,061 enlisted men and 61 officers during the month. The strength of the Division continued to mount, because of the influx of additional men who enlisted in the States for duty with the 1st Cavalry Division. The strength totaled just under 15,000.
The month of February proved to be a busy one in the observance of special events. The Division celebrated 03 February as "Manila Day" in commemoration of the "Flying Column's" dash into Manila. A Division review scheduled for the same day, in observance of "Manila Day" was actually held on the 2nd, in honor of Secretary of the Army Royall, on the Imperial Palace Plaza in Tokyo. Secretary Royall visited Camp Drake and Camp McGill while touring Japan. On 11 February, a colorful review was staged at Herron Field, Camp Drake, in honor of the departing Commanding General, William C. Chase, with all units at Camp Drake participating and token units representing the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Brigades and the Division Artillery.
On 25 March, 1949 the 1st Cavalry Division closed out the "square division"
organization, as it was reorganized as a Triangular Division and redesignated
as the 1st Cavalry Division (Infantry). The 5th, 7th and 8th Cavalry Regiments
were retained and the 12th Cavalry Regiment was deactivated and most of its
members were transferred to the 32nd Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry
Division. Elsewhere in the Division the change-over was marked by diligent
work on the part of all to adjust to the new organization. A cadre of 400
enlisted men was furnished to the 24th Infantry Division during the month.
This reduced the Division strength close to the authorization of 11,496
enlisted men, 44 warrant officers and 692 officers.
Additional highlights for the month of April included the movement of the 8th Cavalry Regiment to Camp McNair, advance elements of the Regiment arrived on 19 May, and the remainder on 21 May, where they engaged in conducting Phase II of the Mobilization Training Program, consisting of range firing, combat problems and field exercises.
The Division continued to carry out the dual mission of occupation while
emphasizing the training mission. Liaison detachments within the Division
Zone Of Responsibility were withdrawn during the month. However, the Division
continued to maintain occupational guard detachments at the Bank of Japan,
Civil Property Custodian warehouse, Tokyo Quartermaster Depot and to escort
war criminals from Sugamo Prison to Eighth Army Headquarters for trial. More
and more, the emphasis fell upon training and an effort to increase combat
|1st Cavalry Division Light Reconnaissance Aircraft|
Light reconnaissance aircraft ("airforce") of the 1st Cavalry Division rest on
the flight line in front of a huge hanger at the Camp Drew Air Field that was
located adjacent to the community of Koizuma-Oto in Kumagaya-ken Prefecture,
some one hour north of Tokyo, by train. The original function this type of
plane was used assist in the observation and adjustment of artillery fire,
however, the small fixed-wing aircraft of the Division, commonly known as
"Grasshoppers", came to be used for Command and Control (C2), medical
evacuation, wire laying, courier service, aerial photography, scouting -
reconnaissance, and other purposes. The principal reason for the expanding
mission of organic Army aviation was that its aircraft were accessible to
ground commanders and able to operate in close coordination with the ground
During November, training activity continued progressively, as in previous months. A total of 622 Military Police patrols were dispatched, and word was received that the Division guard at the Tokyo Quartermaster Depot would be discontinued on 01 December.
With the establishment of the replacement company at Camp Drake, it became
possible to operate a more efficient basic education training program for the
Division. As the replacements were processed, those whose records indicated
that additional basic education was required were sent to the Camp Drake
Education Center to be tested. Those men who did not pass the test were held
in the replacement company and sent to the Army Education Center for class
instruction until they were either able to meet army requirements or be
recommended for discharge.
The 8th Engineer Combat Battalion remained at Camp McNair, on the slopes of Mount Fuji, in spite of the late seasonal difficulties of training at high altitudes during winter. They completed their scheduled work and left for Camp Drake on 18 December. In the period of 15, 16, and 17 December, a Division command post exercise was held, during which a battalion size combat team of the 5th Cavalry Regiment and a battery of artillery was moved on a 12 hour notice. Division forward set up a field command post near Camp Drake and then moved 17 miles to Murayama for the later phase. Division rear also moved out into the field for a part in the exercise, while the Judge Advocate's Section added oddity to the maneuver when they conducted a scheduled General Courts Martial in the field.
The last days of 1949 showed a marked change in the Division. Combat efficiency had risen sharply over that of the previous year, and the huge training program conducted by the Division was netting the desired result. It was quite apparent that occupational duties had fallen into the category of "in addition to your other duties" for the 1st Cavalry Division, The general plans for 1950 called for an ever-increasing degree of "combat centered effectiveness".
The beginning of 1950 called for an increased level of training to improve the
increasing combat effectiveness of the 1st Cavalry Division. Unknown at the
time, the real combat effectiveness of the Division was soon to be tested
later in the year. Many of the troopers who had joined the Division in the
later years of the occupation would earn their spurs across the Sea of Japan
in a fight against a new foe - the spread of Communism. The real combat
effectiveness of the 1st Cavalry Division was soon to be tested later in the
|61st Field Artillery Fire 17 Gun Salute To Joint Chiefs Of Staffs - 02 February, 1950|
In this call to action, they would soon learn the full and bitter meaning of a new concept of "limited war". In addition, they would find that massive battles could be waged without a Congressional declaration of war, without maximum efforts to supply ample manpower, support or materials to the front lines, and surprisingly, a growing trend, not without the complete support of the American people.
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