The 6th Cavalry
is a historical organization within the United States Army
that began as a regiment
in the American Civil War
; It currently is organized into aviation squadrons that are assigned to several different combat aviation brigades.
The 6th U.S. Cavalry was organized in August 1861, where it took to the fields of the Eastern Theater as part of the Union Army of the Potomac. The regiment took part in sixteen campaigns, among them the Maryland Campaign, Gettysburg Campaign, Overland Campaign and the Appomattox Campaign.
From 1865 to 1871 during Reconstruction, the regiment was stationed in Texas (see Fifth Military District for reports of soldiers of the 6th Cavalry killed and wounded in various incidents of 1867–68). It also took part in the Indian Wars and the Johnson County War. The "Fighting Sixth" sailed to Cuba during the Spanish-American War and took part in the battle for San Juan Hill alongside of Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders." (In 1900 the 6th was in the Boxer Rebellion).
An 1887 letter from Charles Winters, Troop D of the 6th Cavalry, describes a soldier's experiences during the Apache Wars in New Mexico:
I will now take and write to you a few lines, to let you know that I am yet alive, and doing well.
I joint(sic) the Army in January, 86 and had a good fight with Geronimo and his Indians. I also had two hard fights, where i came very near getting killed, but i got true alright.
I was made Corporal when i first enlisted, but have now got high enough to be in Charge of Troop D. 6th U.S. Cavalry and it requires a good man for to get that office, and that is more than i expected.
Charley White from Cranbury came out with me and got in the same Troop with me, and I sent him with twenty more men out on a Scout after Indians and Charley was lucky enough to be shot down by Indians the first day, and only three of my men returned. I was very sorry but it could not be helped.
The Territory of New Mexico is a very nice place never no Winter and lots of Gold and Silver Mines all around but for all that it is a disagreeable place on account of so many Indians.
I like it first rate and I think as soon as my five years are up I will go bak to Old New Jersey but not today.
My name isn't Charley Winters no more since i shot that man at Jefferson Barracks when he tried to get away from me. My Captain at time told me to take the name of his son who died and so my name since then is Charles H. Wood.
I will now close and hope that you will soon write and let me know how you are getting along.
Give my best regards to all and to yourself and oblige.
My address is:
Charles H. Wood
Troop D. 6th Cavalry
Fort Stanton, New Mexico
The 6th Cavalry, which became part of George S. Patton
's Third Army during World War II
, had one of the most outstanding combat records to come out that conflict, starting in October 1943 where it embarked on the Queen Elizabeth
bound for northern Ireland
In January 1944, the 6th Cavalry Regiment was disbanded and reorganized into the 6th Cavalry Group and assigned to XV Corps. The unit spent the first part of 1944 in intense basic, small unit, and special combat training. Finally in July 1944, the unit set sail across the English Channel to land at Utah Beach (Sainte-Mère-Église, France). Throughout WWII, the Sixth was part of most of the major campaigns, some of which included "Task Force Polk," the engagement in the Ardennes, and the Battle of the Bulge. It was also responsible for the screening and protection of the corps in the Bastogne area, defending the Our River, breaching the Siegfried Line, and the big job of crossing the Rhine River and the drive to the east.
Toward the end of hostilities, the Sixth was left with the detail of mopping up enemy stragglers to its final battle with the capture of Adrof & Mark Neukirchen. The Sixth Cavalry was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Army), for its valor during World War II.
On 20 December 1948
, the former 6th Cavalry Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as the 6th Armored Cavalry. The Regiment returned to the United States from Germany in 1957 during Operation Gyroscope, and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Inactivated in 1963, the regiment reactivated four years later at Fort Meade
, where it served through 1971 when it was again inactivated.
In the summer of 1974, the Army decided to implement one of the recommendations of the Howze Board, and created an air cavalry combat brigade. The 2nd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, commanded by Col. Charles D. Canedy, was redesignated as the 6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat). While at Hood, the brigade was a test bed for new concepts involving the employment of attack helicopters on the modern battlefield. In the fall of 1990, two of the brigade's subordinate units were deployed in Iraq during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
In late 1995, the 1st and 4th Squadrons were again deactivated, leaving only the 3rd Squadron at Fort Hood.
War on terrorism
On 4 January 2005
2nd Squadron deployed from Germany to Afghanistan absorbing elements from other units to become Task Force Sabre. CH-47 Chinooks
, UH-60 Black Hawks
, AH-64 Apaches
and the necessary support elements comprised the aviation task force which deployed to support the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
In 2005 and 2006 as a part of the Army Transformation, squadrons of the regiment were again reorganized, as the Army eliminated from its rolls those OH-58D Kiowa Warrior
units designated as attack battalions in light infantry divisions. Several of these attack battalions were reflagged as squadrons of the 6th Cavalry Regiment, replacing AH-64 squadrons that were then redesignated as Armed Reconnaissance Battalions:
- 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry - 1st Infantry Division - Fort Carson, Colorado
- 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry - 25th Infantry Division (Light) - Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
- 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry - XVIII Airborne Corps - Fort Lewis, Washington
- 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry - 10th Mountain Division (LI) - Fort Drum, New York
In 2006, 2nd Squadron deployed with its parent unit, the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, from Wheeler Army Airfield to Iraq. The Squadron was recognized with the Order of the Daedalion's 2006 Brig. Gen. Carl I. Hutton Memorial Award for their safety record in preparation for the deployment. The Squadron returned to Hawaii in 2007 having lost only one aircrew to hostile fire.
In 2007, 1st Squadron and 4th Squadron deployed to Iraq. The squadrons along with 1st Squadron's parent brigade, the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, replaced 2nd Squadron and its parent brigade. 4th Squadron returned to Fort Lewis during August and September 2008.
- Constituted 1861-05-04 in the Regular Army as the 3d Cavalry Regiment
- Regiment (except Companies A & B) organized 1861-06-18 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Company A organized June-October 1861 in Maryland and the District of Columbia
- Redesignated 1861-08-03 as the 6th Cavalry Regiment
- Company B organized 1861-08-16 at Camp Scott, Pennsylvania
- Cavalry companies officially redesignated as troops in 1883.
- Assigned 1927-08-15 to the 3d Cavalry Division, and stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.
- A Troop consolidated 1929-10-14 with Troop D, 6th Cavalry Regiment, (organized in 1861) and consolidated unit designated as Troop A, 6th Cavalry Regiment.
- Relieved 1939-12-01 from assignment to the 3d Cavalry Division, and moved by Road March to Fort Benning, Georgia on 1940-04-11.
- Regiment moved from Fort Benning by Road March 1940-05-05 to Alexandria, Louisiana, and arrived on 1940-05-08.
- Regiment departed Alexandria, Louisiana on 1940-05-27 via Road March, and arrived at Fort Oglethorpe 1940-05-30.
- Regiment retraced their steps to Alexandria, Louisiana]] on 1940-08-13, and arrived 1940-08-21.
- Regiment Road Marched to Ragley, Louisiana on 1941-07-26, and arrived on 1941-10-01.
- Regiment Road Marched to Chester, South Carolina on 1941-11-06, and arrived 1941-12-01. Regiment immediately returned to Fort Oglethorpe.
- Regiment performed its last Road March as a Horse Cavalry unit when it left Fort Oglethorpe, and moved to Camp Blanding, Florida on 1942-02-18.
- Regiment reorganized and redesignated 1942-07-21 as the 6th Cavalry Regiment, Mechanized. Troop B reorganized and redesignated as Troop E, 6th Cavalry, Mechanized.
- Regiment moved by Road March to Fort Jackson on 1942-11-02.
- Regiment moved again by Road March to Fort Oglethorpe on 1943-04-16.
- Regiment participated in Maneuvers at Lebanon, Tennessee from 1943-04-18 to 1943-06-20, and then Road Marched to Fort Jackson.
- Regiment Staged at Camp Shanks, New York from 1943-10-08 until 1943-10-12, when they deployed from the New York Port of Embarkation for England.
- Regiment arrived in Tanderagee, Northern Ireland on 1943-10-18, where they prepared to reorganize for their D-Day Assignment.
- Regiment broken up 1944-01-01 and its elements reorganized and redesignated as follows:
6th Cavalry Group
- Headquarters and Headquarters Troop reorganized and redesignated on 1944-01-01 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Cavalry Group, Mechanized with 6th and 28th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrons attached.
- Group landed in France on 1944-07-09, when they were assigned to the Third Army as “Patton’s Household Cavalry”.
- Group was recommitted to combat near St. Avold, France on 1944-12-01
- Group entered Luxembourg on 1944-12-31 to locate German forces at or near Bastogne.
- Group encountered German forces between the 26th infantry Division and 35th Infantry Division in the lintage-Saar area, where it remained until 1945-01-13.
- Group entered Germany on 1945-02-25 with VIII Corps, and attacked through Bauler, Waxweiler, and Lasel; mopped up along the Berlin Autobahn; and protected VIII Corps’ southern flank.
- Group was located at Sonnenberg, Germany on 1945-08-14
- Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Cavalry Group, Mechanized, converted and redesignated 1946-05-01 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Constabulary Regiment.
- Redesignated 1948-02-02 as Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Troop, 6th Constabulary Regiment
- Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Troop, 6th Constabulary Regiment converted and redesignated 1948-12-20 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Troop A, 6th Constabulary Squadron Converted and redesignated as Company A, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Former Troop D, 6th Cavalry, concurrently withdrawn from Company A, 6th Armored Cavalry - hereafter separate lineage)
6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized
- 1st Squadron reorganized and redesignated on 1944-01-01 as the 6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized. Troop E, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, Mechanized Reorganized and redesignated as Troop F, 6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized. Regiment remained attached to 6th Cavalry Group, but was moved to Gilford, Northern Ireland for deployment training.
- Squadron moved to England on 1944-05-13.
- Squadron landed in France on 1944-07-10.
- Squadron entered Luxembourg on 1944-12-25.
- Squadron enteed Belgium on 1944-12-28.
- Squadron entered Germany on 1945-02-23.
- Squadron was at Hildaburghausen, Germany on 1945-08-14.
- 6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized, converted and redesignated 1946-05-01 as the 6th Constabulary Squadron. Troop F Converted and redesignated as Troop E, 6th Constabulary Squadron.
- 6th Constabulary Squadron. Converted and redesignated 1948-12-20 as the 1st Battalion, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Troop E Converted and redesignated as Company B, 6th Armored Cavalry.
28th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
6th Armored Cavalry Regiment
- Battalions and companies redesignated 1960-06-24 as squadrons and troops, respectively. Troop E Reorganized and redesignated as Troop B, 6th Armored Cavalry
- Regiment inactivated 1963-10-24 at Fort Knox, Kentucky
- Regiment activated 1967-03-23 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland
- Inactivated (less 1st Squadron) 1971-03-31 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.
- 1st and 2nd Squadrons inactivated 1973-06-21 at Fort Bliss, Texas)
- Regiment reorganized and redesignated 1973-06-22 as the 6th Cavalry Regiment, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. 1st Squadron Redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Fort Hood, Texas (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated)
- 2nd Squadron redesignated 1974-07-01 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2d Squadron, 6th Cavalry, and activated at Fort Knox, Kentucky (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated)
- 1st Squadron Relieved 1975-02-21 from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division.
- Regiment withdrawn 1986 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System.
- 2nd Squadron inactivated 1986-05-30 at Fort Knox, Kentucky
- 2nd Squadron activated 1986-07-16 at Fort Hood, Texas
- 1st Squadron Inactivated 1995-12-15 at Fort Hood, Texas
- 1st Squadron Activated 1996-07-16 in Korea
- Civil War:
- Cold Harbor;
- Virginia 1862;
- Virginia 1863;
- Virginia 1864;
- Virginia 1865;
- Maryland 1863
- Indian Wars:
- Pine Ridge;
- Oklahoma 1874;
- Texas 1874;
- Arizona 1876;
- Arizona 1881;
- Arizona 1882;
- New Mexico 1882;
- Colorado 1884
- War with Spain:
- China Relief Expedition:
- Streamer without inscription
- Philippine Insurrection:
- Streamer without inscription
- Mexican Expedition:
- Mexico 1916-1917
- World War I:
- Streamer without inscription
- World War II:
- Northern France;
- Central Europe
- Southwest Asia:
- Defense of Saudi Arabia;
- Liberation and Defense of Kuwait;
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for HARLANGE POCKET
- Valorous Unit Award for KUWAIT;
- Army Superior Unit Award for 1996-1997;