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WWII US Army Theater Made 6th Cavalry Regiment Patch
Item #: MCJ38
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WWII US theater made 6th Cavalry Regiment shoulder sleeve insignia. Direct embroidered on felt and in excellent condition. 
World War II
During the years between World War I and World War II, the 6th Cavalry participated in the Army's experiments to modernize the cavalry force and it became a "horse-mechanized regiment" with modern vehicles supported by horse trailers for operational mobility. However, once America became involved in the war after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the 6th Cavalry shed its horses and became solely a mechanized unit. Because of this pre-war experimentation, the 6th was not broken up like many Army outfits, but retained the majority of its original personnel allowing for added stability and training continuity. The 6th Cavalry Regiment was renamed the 6th Mechanized Cavalry Group (MCG), and was organized into two squadrons; the 6th SQDN and the 28th SQDN. The 6th MCG was assigned to General Patton's Third Army and arrived in Normandy between 9-10 July 1944. GEN Patton wanted an Army-level reconnaissance unit in order to bypass traditional reporting channels and enable quicker decision making at the field army level; this was to be called the Army Information Service (AIS), and the 6th MCG was chosen for the role.
Brittany to Belgium
One squadron would fulfill the duties of the AIS, while the other, in conjunction with the associated parts of the AIS squadron not needed for that role (the tank company and assault gun troop), would serve as a security force for the Army headquarters and "hip pocket” reserve for the Army Commander. The two Squadrons would rotate duties on a 21-day cycle, with a reconnaissance Troop being assigned to every Corps HQ, and platoons detached for every Division. When necessary, Sections (typically 2 Jeeps with an M8 Greyhound) could be detached down to the Regimental level. These detachments all reported to the Squadron operations center, which directly reported up to Third Army HQ, speeding up information flow to the Army level. During Operation Cobra in 1944, the 28th SQDN (supplemented by B TRP, 6th SQDN) provided 15 detachments spread out across the 4 Corps and 11 Divisions in the Third Army, and an additional detachment to provide command and control for AIS nodes in the Brittany Peninsula. The standard time for an AIS message to go from battlefield to Army headquarters averaged two hours, twenty minutes, while the conventional channels took eight to nine hours. While continuing to provide reconnaissance and security for Third Army units during the Brittany Campaign, on 27 August 1944 A TRP, 28th SQDN was dispatched South to reconnoiter the Loire River from Orleans to Saumur, a distance of 100 miles. The Troop successfully completed this mission in two days, and ensured that all bridges over the river were destroyed so no German counterattack could drive into the Third Army's southern flank. Although Third Army operations covered some 475 miles at the beginning of September 1944, the 6th Cavalry moved information so quickly to Army HQ that GEN Patton was afforded an unprecedented amount of flexibility and battlefield awareness. On 5 September, LTC James H. Polk was replaced by COL Edward Fickett to command the 6th Cavalry, and LTC Polk would go on to command the 3rd MCG. On 18 September, GEN Patton ordered the creation of a Task Force consisting of the assault gun Troops (E/6th and E/28th SQDNs) and the tank Company of the 6th SQDN (F CO), with minor supporting elements to assist TF Polk in operations along the Moselle River. During these operations, the tanks and assault guns provided fire support and gained valuable combat experience until 30 September. During the month of October, rain and mud slowed AIS communications by hindering the mobility of motorcycle and Jeep couriers. In repsonse, the 6th MCG used carrier pigeons beginning 8 October. Although slower than motorized vehicles, the birds provided a useful alternative when radio communications failed[49]. At the beginning of November, the 6th MCG was ordered to only keep one Squadron on AIS duties to enable to other to be used for direct action. TF Fickett was created by attaching 5th Ranger Battalion, C Co 602nd Tank Destroyer Battalion, and B Co 293rd Engineer Battalion to 6th SQDN. TF Fickett was committed to XX Corps during the attack on the Saar River, and prepared to engage the German 36th Infantry Division on 2 December 1944. Advancing on a two mile front against the towns of Carling and L'Hôpital, TF Fickett met fierce German resistance but managed to clear their objectives on 5 December. This action destroyed a salient in the American lines that threatened the advance and prevented any Corps level forces from being drawn away from the battle. On 8 December, TF Fickett relieved the 11th Infantry Regiment of the 5th Infantry Division and eventually relieved the entire division. The Task Force covered the frontage of an entire division in an economy of force mission. On 16 December, 6th and 28th SQDNs switched their duties (6th went to AIS and 28th went to TF Fickett), and the TF was reassigned to support III Corps.
The Battle of the Bulge
TF Fickett was forced to leave the 5th Ranger BN behind as they moved North on Christmas Eve, 1944 to support III Corps in the Battle of the Bulge. Operating on the flanks of the 4th Armored Division and the 26th Infantry Division in the vicinity of Neufchateau, TF Fickett advanced on the enemy on Christmas Day. By protecting the western flank of the 4th AD, the cavalrymen allowed that division to reach the surrounded paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne on the following day[53]. "The 6th MCG’s actions during III Corps’ relief of Bastogne are highly typical of traditional American cavalry operations... Protecting open flanks and maintaining communications between scattered units were long part of horse cavalry doctrine and practiced often. By their actions, the troopers of the 6th MCG contributed immeasurably to the success of the 4th AD in relieving the 101st Airborne Division. Furthermore, they had additionally conducted a true reconnaissance mission along the flank of the corps, and their efforts aided a subsequent attack by two full divisions." On 2 January, the 28th SQDN was attached to the 35th Infantry Division facing Harlange to allow them to divert an infantry battalion to the main effort in the north. Meanwhile the 6th Squadron patrolled the rear areas of the 26th and 35th ID's until 9 January when both Squadrons moved up to the Harlange pocket. Although not in the Group's orders, COL Fickett ordered an attack, and, using combined arms maneuver, the 6th MCG seized the towns of Harlange, Watrange, and Sonlez where they linked up with the 90th Infantry Division. The Germans in the area had held off the 26th, 35th, and 90th IDs for eleven days, but the 6th MCG defeated them and seized eight 88mm guns, five Nebelwerfer launchers, and 300 prisoners. For their actions in this battle, the 6th Mechanized Cavalry Group was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
Advance into Germany
On 20 January 1945, 28th SQDN relieved the 26th ID and promptly seized a bridgehead over the Wiltz River, the town of Winseler, and then the town of Wiltz. The Cavalry continued the advance and maintained the lines of communication between III Corps and XII Corps as the Third Army attacked across the Our River[56]. By 4 February, TF Fickett was given a five mile frontage to cover on the opposite side of the Siegfried Line, so they were given the 1255th Combat Engineer BN to assist in improving their positions. On 12 February, the 1255th Engineers seized the town of Viandan with the assistance of the 6th MCG's assault guns and tanks, setting the stage for TF Fickett's attack across the Our River. On 14 February, the engineers left the Task Force. On 19 February, TF Fickett was at the southern end of III Corps' line and its mission was to attack across the river in order to fix the German defenders there to prevent them from interfering with VIII Corps' main effort. German resistance was fierce, and B TRP, 28th SQDN lost 27 men near the town of Viandan. Enemy resistance faltered by 24 February, and TF Fickett attacked towards the towns of Waxweiler, Bitburg, and Mauel in Germany[57]. On 28 February, the 6th MCG crossed the Prüm River and engaged the Germans in a pitched battle to take the town of Waxweiler and the surrounding high ground. In the fight to clear the roads east of Waxweiler, one platoon of the 6th SQDN had every single NCO become a casualty in one day’s fighting. In a rough two-day fight, TF Fickett crossed the Nims River at Lasel and continued moving east, culminating their advance with the seizure of Neuheilenbach on 4 March. On 5 March, the 6th MCG was sent to protect VIII Corps' Northern flank. Here they assisted the 87th Infantry Division and the 11th Armored Division as they attacked east across the Rhine River. On 26 March, TF Fickett was ordered to pass through the two divisions and serve as the Corps' advance guard into Germany. For this mission, TF Ficket consisted of the 6th and 28th SQDNs of the 6th MCG, 1 BN of artillery, 2 Tank Destroyer COs, 1 CO of Engineers, and 2 Infantry COs of the 76th Infantry Division. TF Fickett further divided itself into five independent Task Forces centered around the Reconnaissance Troops. On 27 March 1945 the advance began and moved swiftly. The next day, 28th SQDN encountered the 6th SS Mountain Division Nord in the town of Schmitten, Germany. A platoon from C TRP was ambushed and shattered by the SS soldiers as well as the platoon that came to rescue them. By the end of the day, the cavalrymen suffered 36 casualties including a tank, a tank destroyer and every Jeep that entered the town. SS resistance was so great, that the TF bypassed Schmitten altogether. By the 29th, the TF had traveled 50 miles and encountered only sporadic German resistance. By the end of March, TF Fickett was stripped of its Tank Destroyer and Infantry augmentations, and was sent to act as a rear guard for the VIII Corps advance to round up German stragglers bypassed by the rapids columns of advancing armor and infantry. On 11 April, Third Army began advancing toward Czechoslovakia, and 6th MCG was split into two elements; 28th SQDN committed a TRP to act as a liaison between XX Corps and VIII Corps, while 6th SQDN operated in a security role on the edges of the VIII advance. On 15 April, the 6th MCG crossed the Saale River, fighting their way through light German resistance, and encouraging pockets of Germans to surrender, or bypassing those who didn't and reporting their location to the following larger forces. Seizing and securing bridges for the VIII Corps advance, the 6th Cavalry entered Czechoslovakia on 20 April 1945. On 12 April, Third Army was ordered to assault into Bavaria, the "National Redoubt" of Nazi Germany. While Third Army advanced into Bavaria, VIII Corps and the 6th MCG remained in Czechoslovakia along defensive position on the Weisse Elster River between Gornitz and Rossbach. The Cavalrymen's last attack occurred on 6 May when they drove across the river, but were stopped on 7 May due to the ceasefire. The 6th Mechanized Cavalry Group's exemplary service during the Second World War acting as Army level reconnaissance led to their deserved nickname; "Patton's Household Cavalry." The Regiment would not go home immediately after the war, however, and it remained as part of the United States Constabulary in West Berlin until 1957
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
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