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San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - July 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company


One of the last surviving horse soldiers
joins local American Legion Post 629
San Jacinto News- Times

COLDSPRING – Eighty eight-year-old Corporal George W. Radney is one of the last surviving horse soldiers of the 112th Calvary Regiment and recently joined the American Legion Harold G. Davis Post 629 of Camilla. Radney’s military career began on a cold night in February 1941 at Fort Clark, Texas, when the 19-year-old was wondering if he had made a mistake joining the 112 Calvary Regiment of the United States Army. That day he had failed a full inspection because his horse’s equipment was not up to the standards set by First Sgt. Colley. His punishment was to stand guard duty with the horse’s bridle bit in his mouth, not in his horse’s mouth but in his own mouth. He quickly learned that the horses were some of his most valued comrades and that his pack horse Jughead would carry his 30 caliber machine gun, ammo, horse feed and rations. The horses were trained to stay calm in all combat conditions and to lie down on command and stay in that position while the soldiers took shelter behind them and fi red their weapons across their bodies. Radney had been around horses all his young life growing up in the West Texas area of Brady and riding his horse Rusty to attend public school in Doole. His older brother William (Bill) Radney, who is deceased, had joined the calvary and was station close by and every chance he got he went to see him drill with the horses. Radney said, “my mother told me if you are going to spend all your time watching your brother you might as well join and get paid for being there”. Being in the army provided them with food, housing, clothes and a small salary and they were stationed close to home but that was about to change in December 1941 at a place called Pearl Harbor in the Pacifi c Ocean. The 112 Calvary Association states the 112th Calvary Regiment was known as the “Little Giant of the Pacifi c,” and was part of the 56th Cavalry Brigade, Texas National Guard, which was mobilized for active duty on 18 November 1940. The regiment was stationed at Fort Bliss, El Paso, and in February 1941 was sent to Fort Clark at Bracketville, to relieve the 5th United States Cavalry. The regiment participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers and patrolled the border with Mexico until shipped overseas on 8 July 1942. The regiment disembarked at Noumea, New Caledonia, on 11 August 1942, where it was attached to the America Division. The Regiment, after turning in its horses, landed on Woodlark Island without opposition and provided security for Navy Seabees while the Seabees built an airstrip. In November 1943 the regiment plus the 148th Field Artillery Battalion was designated Director Task Force under Brigadier General Julian W. Cunningham. The 2nd Battalion of the 158th Infantry Regiment as reinforcing element for the task force was dropped in late December. The first action of the regiment was the landing at Arawe, New Britain. After linking up with the 1st Marine Division, the Regiment was sent to Aitape, New Guinea, and attached to the 32nd Infantry Division, where it fought in many battles along the Driniumor River. The new activated (1 October 1944) 112th RCT consisting of the 112th Cavalry Regiment (Special) and the 148th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer) departed Aitape for Leyte, Philippine Islands on 31 October 1944 and immediately attached to the 1st Cavalry Division. On 16 January 1945, the 112th RCT moved from Leyte to Luzon in the Philippines, where it fought until the end of the war. After the war Radney made a career in the oil patch and then he and his wife, Virginia, who have been married 64 years retired to San Jacinto County, where they live close to their two children Carrie Dailey and Lettie Albriton.

 

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