1st Cavalry DIVISION - Hell for Leather

Activated 13 Sep 1921  •  Entered Combat 26 Jul 1943  •  Days of Combat 521  •  Casualties 4,055 


Commanding Generals

Maj. Gen. Innis P. Swift   (Apr 41 - Aug 44) 
Maj. Gen. Verne D. Mudge   (Aug 44 - Feb 45) 
Brig. Gen. Hugh F. T. Hoffman   (Feb 45 - Jul 45) 
Maj. Gen. William G. Chase   (Jul 45 - Feb 49) 



New Guinea (24 Jan 43 - 31 Dec 44)

Bismarck Archipelago (15 Dec 43 - 27 Nov 44)

Leyte (17 Oct 44 - 1 Jul 45)

Luzon (15 Dec 44 - 4 Jul 45)

Southern Philippines (27 Feb - 4 Jul 45)


Campaign Map of the 1st Cavalry Division

Division Chronicle

The era of motorcycles, automobiles, tanks, aircraft and parachutes soon brought an end to the age of armed Soldiers on horses. The Louisiana Maneuvers of 1940, designed to evaluate training, logistics and doctrine, confirmed the need for mechanized mobile units, and the air attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, left no doubt. In 1943, the 1st Cavalry Division became dismounted and was processed for deployment to the South Pacific, where they would fight throughout World War II as foot cavalry, island-hopping like Marines.


The 1st Cavalry Division arrived in Australia 11 July 1943, continued its training at Strathpine, Queensland, until 26 July, then moved to New Guinea to stage for the Admiralties' campaign 22-27 February 1944. The Division saw its first combat in the Admiralty Islands, units landing at Los Negros Island 29 February 1944. Momote airstrip was secured against great odds. Attacks by fanatical Japanese were thrown back, and the enemy force surrounded by the end of March. Nearby islands were taken in April and May. The Division next took part in the invasion of Leyte, 20 October 1944, captured Tacloban and the adjacent airstrip, advanced along the north coast, and secured Leyte Valley, elements landing on and securing Samar Island. Moving down Ormoc Valley (in Leyte) and across the Ormoc plain, the Division reached the west coast of Leyte 1 January 1945. The Division then invaded Luzon, landing in the Lingayen Gulf area 27 January 1945, and fought its way to Manila by 3 February 1945. Prisoners at Santo Tomas University were liberated and the 1st Cavalry had advanced east of Manila by the middle of February before the city was cleared. On 20 February the Division was assigned the mission of seizing and securing crossings over the Marikina River and securing the Tagaytay-Antipolo Line. After being relieved 12 March in the Antipolo area, elements pushed south into Batangas and Bicol Provinces. They mopped up remaining pockets of resistance in these areas in small unit actions. Resistance was officially declared at an end 1 July 1945. The Division left Luzon 25 August 1945 for occupation duty in Japan, arriving in Yokohama 2 September 1945 and entering Tokyo 8 September, the first United States Division to enter the Japanese capital.

Notes and sources:
Date Activated is the date the division was activated or inducted into federal service (national guard units).
Casualties are number of killed, wounded in action, captured, and missing.
The dates after the campaign name are the dates of the campaign not of the division.
The NCO Journal official website of the U.S. Army
The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States; , U.S. Government Printing Office. Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, 1 December 1941 - 31 December 1946. US Army Center of Military History at http://www.history.army.mil/ Various divisional histories