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The Birth of the HOW

14th Armored Cavalry Yearbook 1955

There are four unit yearbooks for the 14th Armored Cavalry from their years in Germany: 1952, 1954, 1955 and 1960.  They were published by various  companies from the American high school yearbook industry, each looking to capitalize on the potential new market of the Army in Germany.  The books follow a similar pattern, the history of the Regiment, salutary letters from senior commanders, sections devoted to each battalion with short text blocks relating highlights of the year with accompanying photos and then a concluding portion of Rhoen tourist information. There usually was a page or two recalling the border mission in general terms. 

Although lacking details, these military yearbooks can be great sources particularly when it comes to names, so crucial in the search for first hand recollections.  The 1952 yearbook featured group photos of each platoon but the troopers were unnamed. This book did, however, contain a complete Regimental roster in the final pages.  The 1954 book had individually named photos of each member of the Regiment, the 1960 yearbook had platoon group photos with names and ranks as captions but somehow, the 1955 book went to print with no rosters and no captioned individual soldier photographs. What a missed opportunity.

Here is the text that introduced the 2nd Battalion portion of the 1955 yearbook.

*******
The Second Battalion Story

As the year 1955 came to a close  the Second Battalion was able to look back with pride on its many accomplishments in the fields of operation and training as well as the superb showing in the world of sports.

Throughout the year  the Second Battalion has participated in numerous CPXs, FTXs and maneuvers with the NATO Maneuver, Cordon Bleu,  which emphasized realism, being the outstanding event of the year.

The men of Daley Barracks did much to foster German American relations by the way of Armed Forces Day in May in which the local townspeople toured the post.  At Christmas time the post facilities were opened to orphans in the vicinity of the Kaserne.

There were individual honors that cannot go without mention.  Among some of the highlights was Howitzer Company excelling in the annual Howitzer Company tests.  In the tank platoons, 2nd Lt John P. Dowling brought his platoon to the top as Best Tank Platoon of the battalion.

In the field of sports the Cavaliers have been well assisted by members of the 2nd Battalion on all regimental sport teams.  Company level athletics have had an excellent participation and enthusiasm was hard to equal.  Headquarters Company captured company level basketball honors.  F Company took the top spot in the Touch Football completion On the Regimental level there were many who indicated the Second Battalion up with  the best.

The past year saw Lt. Col. Dan P. Briggs take command of the Battalion while Lt. Col. James H. W. Treadwell moved to HQ 14th, in Fulda Germany.

The Second Battalion, Second to None has continuously strived to do best and has never failed to make the Maximum Effort in the mission as a Bulwark of Freedom.

*****
Howitzer Company
- this is the first time that the Howitzer Battery is mentioned in any source related to the 14th ACR.  Whether an existing USAREUR field artillery battalion was broken up with firing batteries then attached to each recon battalion, which I believe was the case, or howitzers were drawn from depot stocks and then staffed by newly assigned soldiers is unknown.  It is an unexplored major innovation in the development of the regimental cavalry organization and sadly, something that the Armor and Field Artillery professional magazines from that period seem to have missed.  I have no names or further details to attach to the first 2 - 14 Howitzer battery.  In the 1960 14th Cavalry yearbook, the Howitzer Battery is recalled in detail.

Lt. John P. Dowling - I could find nothing related to this top - tanker; the name is not uncommon with two or three exact matches found in the Social Security Death Index in the appropriate age range.  There were no conclusive obituaries or newspaper accounts tying the name to military service.   There was a LTC (ret) John H. Dowling, an Air Defense officer who matched at about the correct age, but no conclusive links to Kissingen or the cavalry.  His obituary is here.

SCO LTC James H.W. Treadwell - following command, reported to Fulda as the RXO.  LTC (ret) Treadwell spent twenty years on active duty, went to graduate school and then pursued a second career teaching and bring civilian educational opportunities to American soldiers.  His obituary is here.

SCO LTC Dan P. Briggs  -  Following his command in Kissingen, Stars and Stripes reported that he was assigned to 7th Army HQ G2 section.  Col (ret) Briggs was a US Military Academy graduate and career soldier, his obituary is here.

I wish I could have pulled more from the yearbook but unfortunately this was not the case.  It was a great souvenir for the troops and now a rare book but of somewhat limited value in terms of recalling the American experience in Bad Kissingen and the border region.  But then again - it recalled the Birth of the How and that is something certainly worthy or remembering.

  Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized picture  
     
  By 1957, the M7s that dated back to WWII, were replaced with the M52 self propelled howitzer as seen in this image taken at Hersfeld.  The icon image and this photograph were provided by Walter S. Hamilton, one of the first regimental cannoneers assigned to the 3rd Battalion.   Captain Treadwell at left with Colonel H. Fuller display captured North Korean Regimental flag from early in the war.  
         
     
 

LTC Treadwell, departing 2nd Battalion commander in 1955.

 

LTC Briggs, new commander of the 2nd Battalion in 1955.

 
     
   
 

Colonel Briggs later in his career at Fort Knox.

 
     
  Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized picture
 
 

An M7 Priest in WWII paint scheme on display at APG.

 

August 2014

 
 


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