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 Good morning.   Welcome to the dedication of the memorial honoring the men of the 11th Cavalry Group who served in World War II.

 Please stand for the posting of the colors.

 Again, welcome to today’s dedication honoring men of World War II.

 My name is Allen Hathaway, president ----

 The 11th Cavalry was activated on February 2, 1901.  The 11th Cavalry has a long and distinguished history spanning over 109 years.

 The 11th Cavalry Group, as it was known during World War II, is part of that long and distinguished history.

 We are here today to honor those men from World War II and particularly those who were killed in action while serving with the 11th Cavalry Group.  

 We are pleased today to have three veterans of World War II who served with the 11th Cavalry Group.

I’d like to introduce them now.

 Mr. Arthur Bass,  Hillsboro, IL

 Mr. Kingdon Gould - Washington, DC

 Mr. Ausbon Jinright - Tuscaloosa, AL

 These gentlemen served with Troop C, 36th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 11th Cavalry Group during WW II.

 We are proud to say the 11th Cavalry is still serving our nation today.

 The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment is arguably the best trained mechanized military unit in the world.  The men and women of the 11th currently have the task of training active and reserve units at their home base at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.   They are the best of the best.

 The Regiment serves as the opposing force in exercises designed to train our Army under near-combat conditions.

 The senior leaders of the regiment are here this week as part of the Armor Conference and our memorial dedication today.

COL Paul J Laughlin – RCO
CSM Martin E Wilcox - RCSM
LTC Todd Walsh – 1/11 CO              
CSM Steve Mulig – 1/11 CSM
LTC Michael J. Hester – 2/11 CO
CSM Scott R. Peare – 2/11 CSM
Regimental Color Guard

I’d like to also introduce retired BG John Sherman Crow, president of the Blackhorse Association.  General Crow served with the 11th Cavalry in Vietnam in 1970-1971 and later as the Regimental Commander in Fulda, Germany from 1979-1982, as the 11th patrolled the border of east and west Germany during the cold war.

I want to also welcome the many Blackhorse veterans who are today as we remember our fallen comrades.   Thank you for attending.   

A little about this memorial.  In the 109 years since the 11th was first activated it has been called upon to defend the freedom of this nation and it’s allies.

The Memorial as a whole entity is dedicated to all Blackhorse troopers who served in all campaigns beginning with the Philippine Insurrection in 1902-1904, through the latest deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III in 2005-2006.

This memorial is a lasting tribute to those who served and died in the service of our country and of the 11th Cavalry.

The memorial has undergone several changes in the past 3 years.  It has expanded to include memorials to all campaigns of the 11th Cavalry.

On your left and facing in is the memorial dedicated to the men who served in the

Philippine Insurrection:  1902 – 1904           43 casualties

Later this year we will add a plaque listing the name of those men.

On the same memorial on the outside is the plaque

Mexican Insurrection:  1916 – 1917         

From 1966 – 1972 the regiment served in Vietnam.  Behind me is the monument dedicated to the 730 casualties the regiment suffered in the 5 1/2 years it served in Vietnam.

To your right

          Gulf War / Operation Positive Force:  1991           1 casualty

          Operation Iraqi Freedom:  2005 – 2006                    21 casualties

 The bricks you see here are from troopers who served with the 11th Cavalry, family and friends of the Blackhorse.  There are nearly 1,000 bricks here that are inscribed with various messages of pride in service to this great regiment and of support of the men listed on these monuments. 

 Very soon this monument will be complete having accounted for and listed all names from all campaigns of the 11th Cavalry.

 And now today we are please to be able to honor the men of  World War II

 In December 1941 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor the 11th Cavalry was stationed in California.  In the following months the 11th would provide security along the coastline of California and borders of Mexico.

 In the early years of World War II there was constant shifting of military resources.       Personnel and units were moved and reorganized as the country mobilized to fight this war.

 The 11th Cavalry was no exception.   In 1942 and 1943 the 11th underwent various reorganizations and reassignments.  Various elements of the 11th were spun off as other divisions being formed.

 Finally, in May 1943 the 11th became the 11th Cavalry Group Mechanized.  The 11th Cavalry Group was organized into two squadrons – the 36th and 44th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrons.

 For the remainder of 1943 and into 1944 the 11th would continue their intensive pre-combat training and prepare to enter into World War II.

 In June 1944 COL ANDREW FRIERSON would assume command of the 11th Cavalry Group.

 In early September 1944 the group moved to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.  On September 29 the group boarded the US Transport Ship

CILICIA   SI-LIS-EE-A  then joined a 40 ship convoy headed for the European Theater of Operation.

 Eleven days later the transport dropped anchor in Scotland and the 11th boarded a troop train headed for Swanage, England along the south coast on the English Channel.

 Troop B, 44th Squadron, led by LT Leonard D. Holder was given the honor of providing security to General Eisenhower's headquarters from November 1944 through the remainder of the war.

 COL Holder would later become the 37th Colonel of the Regiment in Vietnam in 1968.

 On November 23, 1944 the 11th Cavalry Group crossed the English Channel and soon found themselves in the Battle of the Bulge holding an entire sector normally occupied by a division.  After the Bulge, the 11th Cavalry Group acted as the flank screen for the 13th Corps during the push from the Roer to the Rhine. The 11th was in constant enemy contact, and reached the Rhine on March 5, 1945.  They resumed their offensive into the heartland of Germany on April 1st.  In a classic use of armored cavalry, the 11th pushed ahead of allied forces, liberating more than a thousand American POWs and several thousand slave laborers from prison camps. The 11th Cavalry reached the Elbe River on April 14th then swung north conducting mop up operations. The 11th Cavalry Group met the Russian Third Corps coming into Germany near Kunrau on May 4, 1945.  This final thrust of the war resulted in the 11th Cavalry Group capturing over 6,000 prisoners.  In 21 days the Blackhorse moved 378 miles. On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany would surrender.  The war in Europe was over.

 For its actions during World War II the 11th Cavalry Group was awarded 5 battle streamers which are proudly displayed on the regimental colors.

Normandy – 1944
Northern France – 1944
Rhineland – 1944-1945
Ardennes-Alsace – 1944-1945
Central Europe – 1945

These campaigns were hard fought and with great sacrifice.

The 11th suffered 56 casualties /  37 from 36th Recon Sqdn / 19 from 44th Recon Sqdn

 It is our duty as friends, comrades, fellow soldiers and Americans to honor these men and their sacrifices.  Today we dedicate this monument in their memory.

 please Stand

 Invite the World War II veterans to step forward to unveil the monument.

 Read names

 Many of those just read are laid to rest in the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, Holland.

 In 1994, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their landing in Europe, these gentlemen along with others from C Troop, their wives and friends traveled to Holland for a reunion.

 Please be seated

COL Laughlin – greet WW II veterans brief remarks

Closing remarks  - Allen Hathaway

REMINDER:   10:00 am memorial service for COL Jimmie Leach

Please Stand

Closing prayer – Chaplain Larry Haworth -  2/11 ACR –  Vietnam - 1969-1970 

Retire colors – 11th Cavalry Color Guard