62nd Cavalry Division (United States)
|62nd Cavalry Division|
Shoulder sleeve insignia of the 62nd Cavalry Division
|Branch||United States Army|
|James K. Parsons|
U.S. Cavalry Divisions
|61st Cavalry Division||63rd Cavalry Division|
It was created in 1921 due to a perceived need for additional cavalry units, and was numbered in succession of the Regular Army Divisions, which were not all active at its creation. Going into World War II, the US Army Cavalry contained 3 Regular, 4 National Guard, and 6 Organized Reserve cavalry divisions as well as the independent 56th Cavalry Brigade from Texas. After the American entry into World War II, its men were called up for active duty and the division was disbanded in early 1942.
The 62nd Cavalry Division was constituted on 15 October 1921, part of the Fourth Army and the Third Corps Area. Lieutenant Colonel William R. Taylor initiated its headquarters at 27 West Washington Street in Hagerstown, Maryland on 7 September. It was officially activated shortly afterwards with a strength of only 70 officers on 31 December 1921. On 30 June 1924, the headquarters was moved to the York and Allegheny Avenues in Towson, Maryland. By 31 July 1925, when all authorized units had been activated, it had 355 officers and 43 enlisted men. The division consisted of a headquarters and headquarters troop, the 153rd Cavalry Brigade at Baltimore and the 154th Cavalry Brigade at Richmond, each with two regiments, and support units. It included reserve units from Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania. On 1 July 1929, the division's machine gun squadrons were eliminated and absorbed into other units. During its existence, the 462nd Armored Car Squadron and 462nd Tank Company (Light) were added to the division, and the 462nd Field Artillery Battalion was expanded into the 862nd Field Artillery Regiment. In 1933, when field armies were reactivated, the 62nd transferred to the First Army.
The division generally conducted inactive training between September and May, with most subordinate units holding training meetings at the National Guard army in the city where they were stationed. During the summer, the division usually held training camps at Fort Myer, supported by the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Alternately, its cavalry units trained cavalry elements of the Citizens' Military Training Camp at Fort Myer and Fort Belvoir. Division support units conducted summer training with units from their own branch. Starting in 1930, the 62nd's training became more varied with the increasing experience of the division staff, participating in a command post exercises for the Third Corps Area at Fort Meade in July of that year. After the operation of Civilian Conservation Corps camps was handed over to reserve units in 1934, 87 division officers were on active duty working with the CCC in November 1935.
After the 61st Cavalry Division's 152nd Cavalry Brigade spent a successful summer training period alongside the 62nd Division at Fort Myer in 1937, the entire 61st Division joined the 62nd at Fort Myer for the summer training periods of 1938 and 1939, the latter of which was centered on preparing the reservists for the upcoming summer 1940 maneuvers in upstate New York. Also during the 1939 summer training period, elements of the division participated in Third Corps Area maneuvers in northern Virginia. In February 1938, future World War II armor commander Colonel Bruce C. Clarke became division chief of staff, holding the position until 1940. On 1 April 1938, Major General James K. Parsons took command of the division while simultaneously commanding the Third Corps Area. On 27 September 1940, the division headquarters was relocated to the Hurst Building in Baltimore. After the Attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in American entry into World War II, the division was disbanded on 30 January 1942, by which time it had practically ceased due exist due to the calling up for active duty of most of its officers.
In early 1940, the division included the following units:
- Headquarters & Headquarters Troop (Towson)
- 62nd Signal Troop (Towson)
- 582nd Ordnance Company (Medium) (Towson)
- 462nd Tank Company (Light) (Baltimore)
- 153rd Cavalry Brigade (Baltimore)
- 154th Cavalry Brigade (Richmond)
- 862nd Field Artillery Regiment (Baltimore)
- 462nd Quartermaster Squadron (Winchester)
- 462nd Reconnaissance Squadron (Washington, D.C.)
- 402nd Engineer Squadron (Baltimore)
- 362nd Medical Squadron (Baltimore)
- United States Army branch insignia
- List of armored regiments of the United States Army
- Formations of the United States Army
- Clay, Steven E. (2010a). US Army Order of Battle 1919–1941 (PDF). 2. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Combat Studies Institute Press. ISBN 9781780399171.
- Clay, Steven E. (2010b). US Army Order of Battle 1919–1941 (PDF). 4. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Combat Studies Institute Press. ISBN 9780984190140.
- Wilson, John B. (1998). Maneuver and Firepower: The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades (PDF). CMH Pub 60–14–1. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History.
- Cavalry Regiments of the U S Army by James A. Sawicki Wyvern Pubns; June 1985
- ”, The Trading Post, Journal of the American Society of Military Insignia Collectors, April- June 2009, pages 19 & 21