History of the 107th Mechanized Cavalry

107th History 1877 to 1945

The 107th Cavalry has a long and storied history serving with honor and distinction for over 124 years. Forming up in 1877 in Cleveland as a local militia following the great railroad strike, on October 10, 1887, the Troop was named the First City Troop of Cleveland. On September 10, 1887, the unit was mustered into the Ohio National Guard. On September 12, 1895, by command of the Governor, the organization dropped the name of the First City Troop of Cleveland and became known as Troop A, Ohio National Guard. It was during this period of time that Webb C. Hayes, the son of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the United States, served as Quartermaster Sergeant in the Troop. Webb C. Hayes later received a regular Army Commission retiring as a full Colonel. Colonel Hayes served during the Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrections, the Boxer Rebellion and World War I. For gallant service during the Philippine Insurrection, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Shortly after the sinking of the Maine, A Troop was designated as the nucleus of a regiment of eight troops, and called the First Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. The City of Cleveland with the aid of Troop A raised an additional two troops of Cavalry (Troops B & C). Other troops were Troop D from Columbus, Troop E from Toledo, Troop F from Dayton, Troop G from Marysville and Troop H from Cincinnati. The First Ohio Volunteer Cavalry Regiment was organized into two squadrons and mustered into Federal Service, May 9, 1898. Captain Matthias W. Day, USA was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of Volunteers and assigned command of the Regiment. The Regiment assembled for action in Puerto Rico but a shortage of sea transports delayed their sailing and the way ended.

On June 10, 1899 A Troop was called out to perform strike duty. After this duty, A Troop returned to its previous activities of parades and military maneuvers. In 1908, “The Tobacco War” between Ohio and Kentucky began. On May 7, A Troop was ordered to Ripley Ohio to protect the Ohio farmers. B Troop, an unattached cavalry troop fro Columbus, reinforced A Troop. The Troop was relieved of duty on the 21st of May and returned to Cleveland. In 1910, a streetcar strike occurred in Columbus, which caused A Troop to be called to duty, on July 8th. On July 25, 1910 by special order 148, Adjutant General Ohio authorized the formation of the First Ohio Cavalry Squadron including A Troop in Cleveland, B Troop in Columbus, and C Troop in Cincinnati and D Troop in Toledo. Command of the First Cavalry Squadron from its organization to its Mexican Boarder duty in 1916 passed from Major W. C. Scofield to Major Otto Miller and finally to Major D. J. Hurd. After 1910 Troop A returned to its former activities of parades and military encampments.

The Mexican border raids of 1916 found the regiment, which had been redesignated First Squadron, Ohio Cavalry again chosen for a role of responsibility and importance. In March, A Troop commenced a recruiting drive, which brought it up to wartime strength. The Squadron was assembled at Camp Willis, Columbus, Ohio, in July of 1916. The Ohio Squadron left Columbus on the first of September arriving at Camp Pershing, near Fort Bliss, Texas. On October 26th the Squadron was ordered to Fabens, Texas for border patrol A Troop served along with border from October 1916 to January 1917. A Troop then returned to Fort Bliss, Texas, where they were mustered out of Federal Service, on February 26, 1917 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

Within two months, the United States declared war. On April 11, 1917 the First Ohio Cavalry Squadron was recruiting to Regimental size. Cleveland was to provide Troops A, K and L, along with a Machine Gun Troop, Headquarters Troop and Supply Troop, Columbus was to supply Troops GB, G and H; Cincinnati, Troops C, E and F; Toledo, Troops D and M; Youngstown, Troop I. On May 18th 1917, the Regiment was organized and federally recognized. When it was found that the horse cavalry would not be used in Europe the Regiment was redisignated as the Second and Third Field Artillery Regiments, Ohio National Guard. A Troop became Battery A, 2nd Ohio Field Artillery. A Troop along with the rest of the Field Artillery Regiment joined the other two regiments as part of the 62nd Field Artillery Brigade of the 37th Infantry Division. The next eight and a half months transformed the former cavalrymen into artillerymen. During this period the Ohio Field Artillery Regiments again were redesignated and A Troop because Batter B, 135th Field Artillery Regiment. In July 1918, they arrived in France at the French Artillery Camp, Camp DeSouge, located at Leognan, near Bordeaux.

There they began six weeks of intensive training with French 75’s Howitzers. Following training, they moved to the Marbacke Sector, near Atton, France, in support of the 92nd Division, where they received their baptism of fire. November of 1918 found the unit in support of the 33rd Division on line in the Troyon Sector in the middle of the St. Mihiel Salient. Here they remained until the Armistice. The Regiment left France on the 11th of February 1919 aboard the battleships Vermont and New Hampshire, arriving at Camp Stuart, near Newport News Virginia, March 24. On April 11, 1919 they were mustered out of service at Camp Sheridan, Chillicothe, Ohio. Prior to the end of World War I the State of Ohio authorized the reformation of the First Ohio Cavalry, under the guidance of the old A Troop members and veterans of World War I. Captain Ralph Perkins reorganized A Troop, which was mustered into State services on 25 October 1920. On 1 July 1921 the First Ohio Cavalry was redesignated as the 107th Cavalry. The Regiment was brigaded into the 54th Cavalry Brigade along with the 110th Cavalry (Massachusetts & Rhode Island) and the 45th Cavalry, Machine Gun Squadron (Kentucky).

A major reorganization of the Regiment took place in 1929 in order to locate squadrons geographically. This reorganization was not completed until 1931. The 54th Cavalry Brigade was also reorganized in 1929 along geographical lines by the brigading of the 107th Cavalry with the 123rd Cavalry, Kentucky. During the early part of the 1930’s the Regiment spent summer encampments at Camp Perry with marksmanship, horsemanship and drill. During the 1936 annual training period at Fort Knox the Regiment participated in Second Army maneuvers to determine the relative effectiveness of hours Cavalry and the new mechanized cavalry. In the summer of 1940 the regiment participated in Second Army maneuvers in Wisconsin for a three-week training period. On 5 March 1941 the 107th Cavalry was inducted into federal services for a scheduled one-year training period, Camp Forrest, Tennessee. After completion of a short mobilization training program, the Regiment participated in the Tennessee maneuvers in last spring, Louisiana maneuvers during the summer, and the Carolina Maneuvers in the fall. During the Louisiana maneuvers the 107th Regiment was filmed by MGM for combat scenes in the motions picture, The Bugle Sound. In November of 1940 the 107th Cavalry was reorganized and redesignaed as the 107th Cavalry Regiment (Horse/Mechanized). The First Squadron continued as horse cavalry and the Second Squadron became mechanized following the outbreak of World War II, the Regiment was ordered to Fort Ord, California where they arrived on 23 December 1941. Beginning on 6February 1942 until 6 March 1942, the regiment patrolled the California coast from the Golden Gate to Carmel, California. During the spring of 1942 the Regiment became completely mechanized and in August began desert training. This training lasted until December 1942. The entire year of 1943 was spent with the Western Defense Command, patrolling the California coast from the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge to Eureka, a distance of about 300 miles. Regimental headquarters was located at Santa Rosa, California. In January 1944 the regiment was reorganized into a Cavalry Group Mechanized: Regimental Headquarters became the 107th Cavalry Group Headquarters. First Squadron became the 22nd Reconnaissance Squadron, and the Second Squadron became the 107th Reconnaissance Squadron. Colonel Ralph T. King was Group Commander, Major Charles King Commanded the 22nd, Major William McPheeters Commanded the 107th Squadron. The 107th Cavalry Group Headquarters relocated to Port Polk, Louisiana and served there until 6 March 1945.

The 22nd Reconnaissance Squadron became the 3323 Signal Information and Monitoring Company (3323SIAM) and served in Europe with the Third Army. The 107th Reconnaissance Squadron moved to Fort Hood, Texas to conduct overseas training, where it was assigned to the 115th Cavalry Group Mechanized. The 107th Reconnaissance Squadron sailed from the Port of New York on 3 January 1945 and landed at Le Havre, France on 16 January 1945. They moved to Camp Lucky Strike, near Cany Barville, France for three weeks of training unpacking equipment that had been shipped from Fort Hood. In March and April the Squadron was assigned to the 15th Army and attached to the 66th Infantry Division in Brittany, with the mission of containing the enemy forces in the ST. Nazaire Pocket. Late in April the Squadron was assigned to the 7th Army and attached to the 103rd Infantry Division with reconnaissance and security missions preformed from Langenan, Germany to Schrnitz, Austria. The Squadron sailed from Marseilles, France with orders for redeployment to Manila and the Pacific Theatre. With the surrender of the Japanese and the end of World War II, the Squadron was directed to Hampton Roads, Virginia where the landed on 21 August. The squadron was shipped to Camp Bowie, Texas where it was deactivated on 16th November 1945. The 107th has continued its long history of serving the United Stated both in time of peace and national crises.