SECOND UNITED STATES CAVALRY – A HISTORY
Compiled, edited and published by Historical Section, Second Cavalry Association
Maj. A. L. Lambert and Cpt. G. B. Layton, 2d Cavalry
Squadron Rear found a happy home just east of Zwiesel, and upon moving in came across the smallest donkey you ever saw. “Well, what have we here!?”, bellowed Gilmartin on seeing the wee beastie.
Frisby ventured that it might be a jackass. “Hell no”, snorted Gil, “it looks more like a half-ass to me!”
And so he became known. After that no party in the big mansion was complete unless Half-Ass came swirling across the polished ballroom floor, straddle legged on a carpet, with the 3oo pound “Tiny” Miclow astride him.
Already most of the Second Cavalry combat veterans had left for home and new men, usually from combat units that had been deactivated, took their places. It meant constant retraining to the Cavalry skills.
Some instances of Cavalry trained personnel joining, especially in the officers ranks, greatly facilitated this task.
Among the officers replacing old Second Cavalrymen was Lt. Col. George England, as Group Executive, when Lt. Col. Benkosky took over command of the 2nd Squadron in May.
Lt. Col England had been CO of the 94th Cav Rcn Sq of the 14th Armored Division and worked on our right flank from Lichtenfels to Bayreuth in April. Another now familiar Second Cavalry Officer, Major Charles T. Krampitz joined in early June from the 36th Cav Rcn Sq of the 11th Cavalry Group. The 36th won a Presidential citation for holding off a complete German Division in repeated attacks at Monshau on the North flank of the Bulge. Major Krampitz, assigned as Group S-2 while we were in Kotzting, commanded the Provisional Squadron there and later, at Zwiesel, was placed in command of the 42nd Squadron.
By this time Major John H. Aylor, former Group Executive for the 11th Cavalry, was commanding the 2nd Squadron, while Lt. Col. Benkosky was in the States on TDY.
In the enlisted ranks very few of the original troopers remained. 1st Sgt. Bowen of E Troop and 1st Sgt. Greene of F Troop in the 42nd were left, to mention a few.
It now became increasingly apparent that with the small number of troops that the United States had allocated for the occupation of Germany, it would be necessary to employ small mobile units with excellent communication facilities to cover the extensive areas and yet maintain a shock force to deter any organized uprising.
The planning department of the USFET G-3 Section foresaw that the Cavalry Rcn Sq most nearly fulfilled these requirements, and on Nov. 20, 1945, the Second Cavalry Group was designated by Third Army to move to a central location covering all of the Eastern Military District (the Third US Army area) and prepare plans and initiate training to take over the duties of District Constabulary by 1 Jan. 1946.
After conferences at 3rd Army Headquarters the Group Commander secured the former German Military establishments in Freising and Schwandorf which were designated as the stations of the 42nd and 2nd Squadrons respectively.
Group Headquarters was set up in Freising at the former Third Army Intelligence Center and was soon ready for limited operations.
However, in early December, before the troops were completely settled in their new billets, there came a call from Third Army for a troop-size Task Force to participate in a special operation – classified Top Secret.