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308th Cavalry Regiment
308th Cavalry Regiment COA.png
Coat of Arms of the 308th Cavalry Regiment
Active
  • 1917–1918
  • 1921–1942
Country United States
Branch United States Army
Type Cavalry
Part of 62nd Cavalry Division (1921–1942)
Garrison/HQ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1923–1942)
Motto(s) Nunquam non paratus (Never unprepared)
Anniversaries 24 February
Insignia
Distinctive Unit Insignia 308th Cavalry Regiment DUI.jpg
U.S. Cavalry Regiments
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The 308th Cavalry Regiment was a cavalry unit of the United States Army during World War I and the interwar period. It was activated in early 1918 but broken up in the middle of the year to form new artillery units. The unit was recreated as a Pennsylvania Organized Reserve unit during the interwar period, and was converted into a tank destroyer battalion shortly after the United States entered World War II.

History[edit | edit source]

Shortly after the United States entered World War I, the regiment was constituted on 18 May 1917 in the National Army, and organized on 24 February 1918 at Camp Harry J. Jones, in Douglas, Arizona. However, it was broken up on 13 September 1918 and its men were used to create the 65th and 66th Field Artillery Regiments, and the 22nd Trench Mortar Battery. The 65th and 66th Field Artillery were demobilized on 22 December 1918 at Camp Kearny, California, preceded by the 22nd Battery on the previous day.[1][2]

On 15 October 1921, the 65th and 66th Field Artillery and the 22nd Battery were reconstituted as the 308th Cavalry, part of the 154th Cavalry Brigade of the new 62nd Cavalry Division in the Organized Reserve.[3] The regiment was initiated on 10 November 1921, with its headquarters at Cumberland, Maryland, but relocated to western Pennsylvania around October 1922, changing its headquarters to Pittsburgh in 1923. In 1928, members of the 308th built the 308th Cavalry Club in Aspinwall on land owned by the local hospital, with equestrian, pistol, and saber training areas, as a site for inactive training. In July of that year, the regiment conducted its annual summer training with the 52nd Cavalry Brigade at Mount Gretna.[4] On 1 July 1929, the unit was reorganized to consist of three squadrons, and simultaneously all of the 308th's units were moved to Pittsburgh.[2]

The 308th usually held Inactive Training Period meetings at the 107th Field Artillery Regiment's Hunt Armory or at the city's Post Office Building, and used the horses of the 107th Field Artillery for regular equestrian training. It conducted summer training at Fort Myer and Fort Belvoir with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment.[2] As an alternate form of training, the 308th provided basic military instruction to civilians under the Citizens' Military Training Camp program at Fort Myer. Its designated mobilization training station was the York Concentration Area in Pennsylvania, and its primary ROTC feeder school was the Valley Forge Military Academy. The regiment celebrated its Organization Day on 24 February, the date of its first organization.[5] Between 4 and 25 August 1940, the regiment participated in the First Army maneuvers in western New York, which involved 81,000 men.[6] After the Attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in the American entry into World War II, it was converted into the 66th Tank Destroyer Battalion on 30 January 1942.[1] The battalion was disbanded on 11 November 1944.[4]

An unrelated 308th Armored Cavalry Regiment briefly existed in Minnesota after World War II.[7]

Commanders[edit | edit source]

The 308th was commanded by the following officers:[4]

  • Colonel John J. Boniface (24 February–25 April 1918)
  • Colonel Hugh D. Berkeley (26 April–24 September 1918)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Elmer J. Kingsbury (10 November 1921–October 1922)
  • Colonel Josiah L. Reese (October 1922–15 September 1926)
  • Colonel Jean H.A. Day (15 September–after October 1926)
  • Colonel Josiah L. Reese (before March 1927–25 February 1930)
  • Colonel George H. Cherrington (25 February 1930–January 1941)
  • Lieutenant Colonel John H. Schenkel (5 May–6 November 1941)

Heraldry[edit | edit source]

The 308th's coat of arms was approved on 9 July 1925, and its distinctive unit insignia was approved on 13 March 1926. Both were rescinded on 17 February 1959. The distinctive unit insignia included a 1 1/8 in (2.86 cm) gold colored metal and enamel device, which consisted of a shield with three red bars in the center below a bear, and a red and gold scroll below the shield, which was inscribed with the regimental motto, "Nunquam non paratus". The shield symbolized the United States Cavalry, the bear, similar to that on the Seal of California, represented the unit's California service in World War I, and the red bars symbolized three World War I field artillery units that were included in the 308th's lineage. The motto was Latin for "Never unprepared". The 308th's coat of arms was similar to the distinctive unit insignia except that it added the Organized Reserve crest, a Minuteman, and omitted the motto.[8]

References[edit | edit source]

Citations[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

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