CAVALRY RECONNAISSANCE TROOP

 

The WWII mechanized cavalry reconnaissance troop has a troop headquarters and three reconnaissance platoons. Each platoon contains an armored-car section and a scout section.  Armored cars and trucks, -ton, are included in the platoon in the ratio of one armored car to two trucks, -ton. This permits flexibility in the organization of reconnaissance teams for specific missions. Three of the -ton trucks mount caliber .30 light machine guns, and each of the remaining three transports a 60mm mortar and crew. Three of the six  -ton trucks are equipped with a short-range radio.

 

Troop headquarters contains command, maintenance, administrative, and supply personnel, and transportation. Armored cars, each mounting an 37mm antitank gun and a light machine gun, are included for command, maintenance, and liaison functions. There are -Ton trucks for messenger and traffic control duties, half-track personnel carries to transport essential supplies and provide maintenance facilities, and a  ton cargo truck to provide kitchen facilities.

 

Each reconnaissance platoon is tactical self-contained. By attachment of transportation from troop headquarters, two of the three platoons could operate on detached mission beyond supporting range of the remainder of the troop.

 

TACTICAL VEHICLES:
Elements of the mechanized reconnaissance troop are mounted in various typed wheeled and half-tack vehicles. Each tactical vehicle carries a ground mount for each type of machine gun mounted in or on the vehicle.

 
a.










 

LIGHT ARMORED CAR, M8: Armored cars are the basic command an communication vehicles. The light armored car, M8, is a 6 x 6 vehicle, weighs 16.400 pounds with equipment and crew, and is capable of cruising from 100 to 250 miles cross country or 200 to 400 miles on highways without refueling. On a level, improved road, it cab sustain a speed of 55 miles per hour. Each armored car is equipped with a long-range radio set to assist in the exercise of command or for the purpose of relaying information received from subordinate elements to higher headquarters and a short-range radio set for communication within a platoon, reconnaissance team or headquarters. The armor of the vehicle provides a fair degree of protection against small-arms fire, while the 37mm antitank gun permits mobile defense against lightly armored vehicles at ranges not exceeding 400 yards when armor piercing ammunition is used. the gun also fires canister and high explosive shells.  Each armored car is equipped with one caliber .30 machine gun, light, for use against personnel.  An antiaircraft machine could be added, located so that it could be fired from a ring mount above the turret.  The vehicle was not designed for offensive combat. The armored car has only fair mobility across country. Mobility is limited in heavily wooded areas and on broken terrain. The large turning radius and limited mobility across country make the armored car susceptible to ambush on roads and in defiles.

   
b.



 

-TON TRUCKS: The -ton truck is the basic reconnaissance vehicle. The dominant characteristics of the -ton truck are low silhouette, speed, and exceptional cross-country mobility. These characteristics facilitate concealment and effective use of the minimum amount of cover. It is the cross-country scouting vehicle of the reconnaissance troop; it is not designed for offensive combat. Equipped with a short-range radio set, the -ton truck patrols extend materially the range and effectiveness of the armored car. They provide the means of transporting fire power rapidly and effectively to outflank minor enemy resistance.

   

*
 

note: a -ton truck is also known as "Peep" or  "Jeep". The 113th Cavalry Group was mainly equipped with Jeeps build by the Ford Motor Company.

   

HEADQUARTERS SECTION:

   
a.

 

TROOP COMMANDER: The troop commander is responsible for the training, administration, maintenance, supply, and employment of the troop. In combat, he assigns missions to the platoons, supervises their operations, and maintains control of and communication with them.

   
b.




 

TROOP EXECUTIVE OFFICER: The executive officer, who also is motor officer, accompanies the forward echelon. As second in command, he assumes the duties of the troop commander in the latter's absence. He is in charge of the communication net; his armored car contains the message center. He supervises the training and operation of the headquarters section. As troop motor officer, he supervises the training and work of troop mechanics and the training of drivers. He makes frequent inspections of the motor vehicles and advises the troop commander on matter pertaining to vehicle maintenance and supply. He requisitions spare parts and controls their distribution.

   
ADMINISTRATIVE, SUPPLY, AND MESS SECTION:
   
a.


 

FIRST SERGEANT: The first sergeant assists the troop commander in administration of the troop. He is in immediate charge of the enlisted personnel and records of the troop. When the troop is in action, he assists the executive officer in establishing the troop command post and supervising the activities of the forward echelon. He maintains a record of all combat orders and messages.

   
b.




 

MESS SERGEANT: The mess sergeant is in charge of the troop mess under the supervision of an officer designated by the troop commander as mess officer. In general the executive officer was the mess officer in the field. The mess sergeant supervises training and operations of cooks, cooks' helpers, and kitchen police. He is responsible for estimating rations needs and providing the first sergeant the information required to complete the ration section of the morning report. In combat or active reconnaissance operations, the mess sergeant establishes the kitchen at the rear echelon, but assists the mess officer by going wherever required to assure that the troop is fed efficiently.

   
c.


 

SUPPLY SERGEANT: The supply sergeant obtains and delivers supplies and is responsible for troop property and records. He commands the troop train and supervises plans for re-supply, movement and distribution of supplies, and rendezvous points. He prepares daily strength and expenditure reports for classes I, III, V supplies. He is responsible for training and supervising ammunition agents, motor supply corporal, and armorers.

   
d.

 

AMMUNITION AGENTS: Ammunition agents are assistants of the supply sergeant. They keep posted at all times on status of ammunition supply, and prepare ammunition expenditure reports. They help the supply sergeant to distribute ammunition to the troop.

   
e.

 

TROOP CLERK: The troop clerk is the first sergeant's assistant and performs duties pertaining to the administration of the troop. In addition, he was skilled in both mounted and dismounted scouting and patrolling, map reading, duties of messenger, traffic control, and duties of guide.

   
f.
 

COOKS: Cooks prepare and deliver meals under supervision of the mess sergeant. They must be capable of acting as relief drivers and aiding in defense in the troop rear echelon.

   
g.

 

AMMUNITION HANDLERS:  Ammunition handlers assist the ammunition agents and drivers in loading and unloading ammunition and other supplies carried in half-track vehicles of the troop train in which they rode. They also are responsible for operating machine guns when needed.

   
h.

 

BASIC PRIVATES: Basic privates are provided in Tables of Organization for replacement of personnel absent, sick, in confinement, or for other routine reasons. Some had been trained in the duties of each position filled by privates first class or privates.

   
   
  

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