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Photo:- Dan Gillotti

Silk patch made in Japan after WW2

Photo:- Dan Gillotti

Cotton patch made in Australia during WW2

The 1st Cavalry Division, United States Army left San Fransisco on 26 June 1943 on the ships "George Washington" and "Monterey" and arrived in Brisbane, Australia on 26 July 1943 and established camp at Camp Strathpine 15 miles north of Brisbane. Their Commanding Officer was Major General Innis P. Swift. The 1st Cavalry Division comprised 15,000 men so the tiny locality of Pine Rivers which comprised a population of approximately 4,800 people was totally overhwhelmed by the arrival of the Americans.

The 1st Cavalry Division was originally part of the 3rd Army but was assigned to the 6th Army on 26 July 1943. They engaged in jungle and amphibious training at Toorbul Point north of Brisbane and Port Stephens in northern New South Wales from 27 July 1943 until 18 December 1943.

The typical structure for the 1st Cavalry Division in 1941 was as follows:-

1st Cavalry Brigade HHT - Weapons Troop
- 5th Cavalry Regiment
- 12th Cavalry Regiment
2nd Cavalry Brigade - Weapons Troop
- 7th Cavalry Regiment
- 8th Cavalry Regiment
HHB 1st Cavalry Division Artillery - 61st Field Artillery Battalion (75-mm H-D)
- 62nd Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm Trk-D)
- 82nd Field Artillery Battalion (75-mm H-D)
Headquarters & Headquarters Troop,
1st Cavalry Division
- 8th Engineer Squadron
- 1st Medical Squadron
- 16th Quartermaster Squadron
- 91st Reconnaissance Squadron
- 1st Anti-tank Troop
- 1st Signal Troop
- 27th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company

The Division was reorganised and redesignated as the 1st Cavalry Division, Special on 4 December 1943. They started to leave Australia on 18 December 1943 and started arriving in New Guinea on 20 December 1943 with the last contingent arriving on 25 February 1944. The 2nd Cavalry Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division left Camp Strathpine on 19 December 1943 and arrived at Oro Bay in New Guinea on 20 December 1943.

From the 1 December 1943, the 1st Cavalry Division was structured as follows:-

1st Cavalry Brigade - Headquarters and
- Headquarters Troop
- 5th Cavalry Regiment
- 12th Cavalry Regiment
2nd Cavalry Brigade - Headquarters and
- Headquarters Troop
- 7th Cavalry Regiment
- 8th Cavalry Regiment
1st Cavalry Division Artillery - Headquarters & Headquarters Battery
- 61st Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm How)
- 82nd Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm How)
- 99th Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm How)
- 271st Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm How)
Headquarters Troop - Military Police Platoon
- 1st Signal Troop
- 27th Ordnance MM Company
- 1st Medical Squadron
- 8th Engineer Squadron
- 603rd Medium Tank Company (mechanised)
- 302nd Reconnaissance Troop

The 1st Cavalry Division then moved to Manus Island from about 4th to 15th March 1944. They left Manus Island on 12 October 1944 and landed at Leyte, Philippines on 20 October 1944.


Photo:- Associated Press Photo

Members of the 1st Cavalry Division hold memorial services for those who died fighting the Japanese on Manus Island in the Admiralty Group. Major General Innis P. Swift (centre, bare headed), Commanding General of the Division led the ceremonies. 10 April 1944



"I Remember ...  Recollections of Pine Rivers Shire during World War Two"
by Nicola Geeson

"Divisional Camp - Strathpine 1943-1945"
"U.S. 1st Cavalry Division
"Australian 7th Division (2nd A.I.F.)"
by Dave Spethman & Russell Miller


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This page first produced 6 March 2001

This page last updated 19 February 2020