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                   Music - 1940's Song Mix The Andrews Sisters

 

World War II
The Pacific Theatre

“No greater record has emerged from the War than that of the 1st Cavalry Division – swift and sure in the attack, tenacious and durable in defense, and loyal and cheerful under hardship.  It has written its own noble history.  My personal connection with it in many moments of crisis has especially endeared it to me."

Douglas MacArthur

Tokyo 1946


General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur on his flag ship observing his beloved MP Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division storm the beach at Los Negros Island and secure it for the rest of the division.  At the personal direction of General MacArthur, the MP Platoon and elements of the 8th Engineers went ashore first in this and all subsequent beach landings.  Due to their tenacity and success at securing these beaches the MP Platoon had the honor of leading the march of the Occupation Forces into Tokyo.

 

After six months of training in Australia, the 1st Cavalry Division got its firs taste of combat.  On February 29, 1944 the men of the division sailed for the Admiralty Islands and stormed ashore in an amphibious landing at Los Negros Island.  The MP Platoon, Headquarters Troop, 1st Cavalry Division along with elements of the 8th Engineers were first ashore to secure the beach landing and make the way clear for the follow on units. After a fierce campaign in which the enemy lost 7,000 combat soldiers, the division and its MP Platoon could look with pride on its first combat test of World War II.

The next action for the Cavalry troops was on the Philippine Island of Leyte.  The division fought tirelessly against the Japanese fortifications.  With the last of the strongholds eliminated, the division moved on to Luzon, the main island of the Philippines.

One of the First Team’s most noted feats was accomplished during the fighting for Luzon.  On January 31, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur issued the order, “Go to Manila, free the prisoners at Santo Tomas, take Malaccan Palace and the legislative building.”  The next day, the “Flying Column,” as the element came to be known, jumped off to slice through 100 miles of Japanese territory.  Leading this column were members of the MP Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division.  Hours later, the 1st Cavalry was in Manila and the prisoners were freed.  The First Team was “First in Manila”

As the war came to a sudden end, MacArthur’s First Team was given the honor of leading the Allied Occupational Army into Tokyo, achieving its second notable first – “First in Tokyo”.  The MP Platoon proudly led this march into Tokyo. 

 

NEWS ARTICLE
1ST CAVALRY DIVISION ASSOCIATION
NEWSPAPER
SABER
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2005 ISSUE
PAGE 19 IN THE
82ND Field Artillery column

Jim FARQUHARSON writes:

“I saw something on Leyte back in ’44 that was so unexpected, so 1st Cav, that it stuck in my mind for the last 51 years.  The campaign to retake Leyte was fought in the mud.  We hadn’t been on the island for more than a week when a Typhoon hit.  It swamped the place.  The constant rains that followed never let it dry for more than two days at a time.  The main supply route (MSR) in the Leyte Valley that supplied the 25th and 32nd Infantry Divisions and us, was a little pre-war, 2-lane road of dubious pavement.  It was OK for buffalo carts and an occasional car, but as a 3-Division MSR, it soon sank out of sight. 

Most of the supplies for the 32nd Infantry Division were brought to Carigara on the Northern part of the island by landing craft.  If you drove on the road from the beach we’d hit six weeks before, it wasn’t too bad for the first ten miles.  The Engineers did their best to surface it and build it up out of the mud. But it was a hopeless task.  For the last fifteen miles or so it was a rut and quagmire of axle-deep mud all the way to Carigara.  Once you passed where the Engineers were working you went to 4-wheel drive and ploughed your way through the soupy mud. Throughout the entire island the roads, fields, air strips, vehicles, tents, boots, and people were always muddy.

About six weeks after we’d landed and helped MacArthur keep his promise to return, several of us went back to the beach in a jeep.  The day happened to be a sunny one.  It didn’t dry anything out, but it did give us a chance to see the mud in the distance that the rain had kept hidden.  Returning from the beach that afternoon, we drove off the good part of the MSR and sank into the mud filled stretch of road.  In those days there were no signs stating “You’re in CAV COUNTRY”.  Our sector looked pretty much like everyone else’s, MUDDY.  It appeared that way until we came to a little barrio where there was a cross-road.  We hadn’t seen a soldier when we passed this place in the morning.  But that afternoon, in the middle of the intersection, standing on a freshly painted  bright yellow 55 gallon drum was a 1st Cav MP.  This trooper was immaculate with shined boots, polished brass, enameled helmet liner, a clean MP Brassard, pressed uniform and clean WHITE GLOVES!  I had never seen anyone so out of place in my life until I saw this guy.  Then it occurred to me “What the Hell” why not?  Everybody that drove past that intersection knew who the hell was in charge.  They were in CAV COUNTRY!  Our column was briefly stopped at the intersection and when that MP waved us through we drove slowly so as not to get the bright yellow drum muddy.  All of us were glad the 1st Cav had put on quite a show for us.  It reminded us of who we were and of our responsibilities to our unit.  And we felt a sense of great pride.  This is CAV Country Sir!”

 

 

WW II Certificate

 

 

Cav Engineers and MP's ride to the beach at Los Negros

 

Dawn barrage at Hyane Harbor Los Negros Island

 

MP Platoon 1st Cav. Div. directing traffic in Tocloban in the Pacific October 1944

 

MP Plt members climbing off the ADP and load onto the LCM for the assualt on the beach at Los Negros Island

 

Undaunted the Cav MP's storm ashore at Los Negros

 

Unidentified MP Platoon member just outside Manila

  Billy Ray Cyrus " Old Army Hat"

       

                     Pacific Theater                            


Sam Reinert
CPT MP USAR (Ret)
Founder
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX
http://545thmpassn.com/