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Christmas Menu for No.215 Squadron 1944, Page 1
The menu for No.215 Squadron's Christmas Dinner of 1944
On This Day - 1944
Three officers and 22 ratings of the RAN lost their lives in the Indian Ocean during the year, as a result of enemy submarine attacks on Allied shipping.
The services reconnaissance department (SRD) craft HMAS BLACK SNAKE, (SBLT J.R. Kay), was commissioned.
HMA Ships NAPIER and NEPAL, (destroyers), anchored off Teknaf, 15 miles up the Naf River in Burma. The destroyers were supporting the Indian Army’s drive south.
HMAS QUICKMATCH, (destroyer), picked up 67 survivors from the US merchant ship ROBERT J WALKER, torpedoed by a German submarine off Jervis Bay.
HMAS WARRAMUNGA, (Tribal class destroyer), in the Philippines, served the following Christmas menu:
- Breakfast fresh fruit, tea and coffee, cereal, fried eggs and bacon
- Dinner roast turkey and ham, beans and peas, plum pudding and brandy sauce, fruit trifle and jelly, nuts and beer
- Tea Christmas cake, nuts, iced fruit juice supper: giblet soup, cold roast pork and ham, potato salad and mayonnaise, iced fruit juice. “
HMAS GASCOYNE, (frigate), took off 1300 troops from the burning transport SOMMELSDIJK, torpedoed by Japanese aircraft off Leyte.
CAPT H. B. Farncomb was promoted and appointed Commodore Commanding Australian Squadron.
HMAS BUNBURY, (minesweeper), was damaged in a collision with HMS SEA ROVER, (submarine), off Fremantle, WA. BUNBURY was in dockyard hands for a month undergoing repairs.
HMA Ships NAPIER and NEPAL, (destroyers), supported the 74th Indian Brigade as it drove south in the vicinity of the Naf River, Burma.
Australian Fleet Auxiliary Bishopdale, in San Pedro Bay Leyte Gulf, was hit by a crashing Japanese VAL dive bomber which struck the starboard upper bridge and then No: 3 wing tank, exploding on contact, was extensively damaged and was out of action for the next few months. DEMS Gunner/Deckhand Stuart William Savage RANR was killed and one other later died of his injuries. DEMS Gunner Stuart W Savage was buried at the US Military Cemetery at Leyte, the Philippines the same day. His body was subsequently moved to Sai Wan War Cemetery, Hong Kong
HMAS SHOALHAVEN was launched at Walker’s Yard, QLD.
HMAS NAPIER covered Allied troop attacks in the neighbourhood of St Martins Island, Burma, with close-range gunfire.
The 21st Minesweeping Flotilla, HMA Ships BURNIE, LISMORE, MARYBOROUGH, and TOOWOOMBA swept shipping lanes in Bass Strait, following the attack on the merchant vessel ILISSOS, by the German submarine U862.
The air/sea rescue vessel AIR CLAN, (SBLT O. M. May, RANVR), was commissioned.
Christmas Menu for No.215 Squadron 1944, Page 1 - History
Dedicated to the men who manned the ships
and the embarked composite squadrons
of Task Unit 77.4.3 (Taffy III)
on October 25, 1944
Online since June 4, 1996
- C3rd Fleet
- USS DARTER (SS 227)
- COMBATDIV 2
Now on sale!
The Battle Off Samar -
Taffy III at Leyte Gulf
5th Edition (2010)
by Robert Jon Cox
Copyright © 2011 by USMilitaryArt.com
USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE 413)
Commemorative Profile Drawing
by George Bieda
1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment "Quarterhorse" "Raiders"
In 2007, the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment was reactivated as part of the modular transformation of the 1st Infantry Division. 2nd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment was inactivated and its personnel reflagged, with 1-4th Cavalry taking its place as the Brigade reconnaissance element for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
As part of the modular transformation, each Brigade Combat Team included an organic cavalry squadron. The reactivated 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry consisted of a headquarters and headquarters troop, 2 motorized reconnaissance troops equipped with HMMWVs and one dismounted reconnaissance troop.
Prior to this reorganization, 1-4th Cavalry had acted as the 1st Infantry Division's divisional cavalry squadron. In that role it had consisted of a blend of tanks, Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicles and helicopters. It had been one of only 2 cavalry units in Europe, the other being assigned to the 1st Armored Division, also in Germany.
The unit's Headquarters and Headquarters Troop provided the command, decision making and logistical support necessary for all other troops to perform their diverse missions.
The Ground Cavalry Troops (Troops A, B and C) consisted of a combination of armor, mechanized infantry and artillery into unit that was capable of bringing overwhelming firepower to bear at the critical time and place on the battlefield. The Squadron's 3 Ground Cavalry Troops performed their primary mission as the muscle of the Squadron by putting steel on target with the M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle, the M1 Abrams tank and M106 mortar carriers.
The Air Troops (Troops D, E and F) added a third dimension to the cavalry effort, reaching farther and faster into the battle space than any other manned weapon system. D and E Troops perform their primary mission as the forward eyes of the Squadron and Division, using the OH-58D(I) Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopter. F Troop was the Squadron's aviation maintenance troop.
At the end of the Mexican War in 1848, the US Army had only 3 mounted regiments, the 1st Dragoons, the 2nd Dragoons, and the Regiment of Mounted Rifleman to protect settlers moving westward. By 1855, Congress realized the number of mounted Soldiers was not enough and authorized the raising of 2 more regiments, the 1st Cavalry and the 2nd Cavalry.
The 1st Cavalry Regiment was constituted on 3 March 1855 and was organized at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri on 26 March 1855 under the command of Colonel Edwin Voss Sumner. Upon completion of the organization of the regiment in August 1855, the 1st Cavalry was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Company B, 1st Cavalry Regiment was organized in September 1855 in Rome, New York. This unit later joined the Regiment on 20 September 1855 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The regiment's mission was 2-fold: to maintain law and order in the Kansas Territory between pro and anti-slavery factions and to protect the settlers from attacks by the Cheyenne Indians. In 1857 the regiment was split with half taking up new quarters at Fort Riley, Kansas and the rest maintaining small garrisons scattered throughout the state.
With so many units being sent east for the war the 1st Cavalry was initially kept on the frontier until militia type units were raised to protect against Indian raids. On June 22, 1861 George McClellan now a Major General, requested Company A and Company E to serve as his personal escort. The 2 companies saw action in the Bull Run, Peninsula, Antietam and Fredericksburg campaigns, not rejoining the Regiment until 1864. The rest of the 1st Cavalry was committed to action in Mississippi and Missouri. In August 1861, a reorganization of Cavalry units occured, with the 1st Dragoons being reflagged as the 1st Cavalry and the unit previously known as the 1st Cavalry was reflagged as the 4th Cavalry.
During the early years of the Civil War, Union commanders scattered their cavalry regiments throughout the army conducting company, squadron (2 company) and battalion (4 company) operations. The 4th Cavalry was no exception with its companies scattered from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic coast carrying out traditional cavalry missions of reconnaissance, screening and raiding.
In the first phases of the war in the west, companies of the Regiment saw action in Missouri, Mississippi and Kentucky campaigns, the seizure of Forts Henry and Donelson and the Battle of Shiloh. On 31 December 1862 a 2-company squadron of the 4th Cavalry attacked and routed a Confederate cavalry brigade near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In 1863-64 companies of the 4th saw further action in Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi. On 30 June 1863, another squadron of the Regiment charged a 6-gun battery of Confederate artillery near Shelbyville, Tennessee capturing the entire battery and 300 prisoners.
By the spring of 1864, the success of the large Confederate cavalry corps of Jeb Stuart had convinced the Union leadership to form their own cavalry corps under General Phillip Sheridan. The 4th Cavalry was ordered to unite as a regiment and on 14 December 1864 joined in the attack on Nashville, Tennessee as part of the cavalry corps commanded by General James Wilson. In the battle the 4th helped turn the Confederate flank, sending them in retreat. As the Confederate forces attempted a delaying action at West Harpeth, Tennessee an element of the 4th Cavalry led by Lieutenant Joseph Hedges charged and captured a Confederate artillery battery. For his bravery, Lieutenant Hedges received the Medal of Honor, the first to be bestowed on a member of the 4th Cavalry.
In March 1865, General Wilson was ordered to take his cavalry on a drive through Alabama to capture the Confederate supply depot at Selma. General Wilson had devoted much effort in preparing his cavalry for the mission. It was a superbly trained and disciplined force that left Tennessee led by the 4th Cavalry. It was more than a traditional cavalry raid. It was an invasion by a cavalry army. As the column moved south into Alabama it encountered the famed Confederate cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Union force was too strong and defeated the Confederate cavalry allowing the Union forces to arrive at Selma the next day.
On 2 April 1865, the attack on Selma commenced led by the 4th Cavalry in a mounted charge. A railroad cut and fence line halted the mounted attack. Dismounting the Regiment pressed the attack and stormed the town. Selma's rich store of munitions and supplies were destroyed along with the foundries and arsenals.
General Wilson next turned east to link up with General Sherman. His force took Montgomery, Alabama, Columbus, Georgia and had arrived in Macon, Georgia when word came of the end of the war. The Regiment remained in Macon as occupation troops.
The end of the Civil War brought a new surge of westward migration. Indian nations were determined to hold on to the lands they had taken back during the Civil War. In Texas the situation was acute with the Cheyenne and Arapahoe roaming at will in the north and the Comanche, Kiowa and Mescalero Apache controlling western Texas and eastern New Mexico. The 4th Cavalry was ordered into Texas to confront these formidable foes. The Regiment was filled with skilled Civil War veterans from both armies and outfitted with the latest and best equipment. On War Department records of that day the 4th Cavalry was rated the best cavalry regiment in the US Army.
By November 1865 the Regiment had transferred to Fort Sam Houston, Texas. From here the 4th pacified the San Antonio area and conducted campaigns against Indians along the Mexican border. On 15 December 1870 29-year old Colonel Ranald Slidell Mackenzie assumed command of the Regiment. A brilliant leader, he commanded a Union cavalry corps at the age of 24. He would command the 4th Cavalry for 12 years, leading it on some of its most famous campaigns.
On 1 April 1873 the Regiment moved to Fort Clark, Texas close to the Mexican border. To stop the cross-border raiding by the Apaches coming out of Mexico Mackenzie was ordered by President Grant to ignore Mexican sovereignty and strike at the Apache/Kickapoo village at Remolino, Mexico some 55 miles south of the border. With utmost secrecy Mackenzie began training and preparations for the operation. On 17 May 1873, 6 companies of the 4th (A, B, C, E, I, M) crossed the Rio Grande under cover of darkness and headed to Remolino. It was a difficult night march over unfamiliar terrain, but by dawn they were in position and on Mackenzie's signal the 4th charged the camp. There was some scattered resistance but most of the warriors fled leaving their horses and families behind. The families and horse herd were rounded up and the 4th began a grueling march back to the Rio Grande reaching Texas at dawn on 19 May. During this operation the 4th Cavalry covered 160 miles in 32 hours, fought an engagement, and destroyed a hostile camp. With out their horses and their families in captivity the Indian warrior returned to their reservations in Texas.
In August 1874, with the border pacified the 4th began a major campaign against the Comanche nation in northern Texas. On 27 September 1874 the Regiment located the Comanche in the Paladuro Canyon of the Red River. Two companies drove off the large pony herd of 1200 while other companies attacked the camp driving off the warriors and then burning it. The Comanches made their way on foot to Fort Sill to surrender.
Successfully accomplishing their pacification mission in Texas, the Regiment was stationed in what is now the state of Oklahoma when it received orders to march with General Crook north to avenge the massacre of General George Custer and 5 companies of the 7th Cavalry. On 24 November 1876, the 4th Cavalry located Chief Dull Knife and his northern Cheyenne band. The Regiment rode all night to reach the Indian camp. At dawn the 4th Cavalry charged the village killing many of the Indian warriors, destroying their lodges and capturing 500 horses. The survivors soon surrendered. In 1880 and 1881 the Regiment was busy relocating Indian tribes in Utah and Colorado.
In 1883, the War Department redesignated all cavalry companies as troops. The designation squadron was given to a group of 4 troops and the cavalry no longer used the designation battalion. Since 1862 the US Cavalry had used guidons similar in appearance to the United States flag to better distinguish Union from Confederate cavalry. On 4 February 1885 the War Department ordered a return to the traditional red and white cavalry guidon used before the Civil War with one specific change. On the upper red half instead of displaying US in white, the regimental numeral would be displayed and as before the troop letter would be displayed in red on the white lower half.
In 1884, the 4th Cavalry was ordered to Arizona to combat the Apache. By May 1884 the Regimental headquarters was located at Fort Huachuca along with Troops B, D and I. The rest of the Regiment was stationed at army posts throughout the eastern half of Arizona. In May 1885, 150 Apaches led by Geronimo left the reservation and cut a wide swath of murder and robbery throughout southern Arizona as they headed for Mexico.
After unsuccessful efforts to bring Geronimo back to the reservation, General Nelson A. Miles commander of the Department of Arizona ordered Captain Henry W. Lawton with Troop B, 4th Cavalry in pursuit. Several engagements with 4th and 10th Cavalry elements took a toll on Geronimo's band, but he managed to escape back to Mexico. In July, Lawton resumed the pursuit. Geronimo sent word he was willing to surrender. Moving into Mexico Lawton accompanied by Lieutenant Charles Gatewood, 6th Cavalry, whom Geronimo respected and trusted, met with Geronimo on 24 August 1886. Geronimo agreed to cross back into Arizona and surrender to General Miles. Captain Lawton and Lieutenant Gatewood brought Geronimo to Skeleton Canyon some twenty miles north of the Mexican border where he formally surrendered to General Miles on 3 September 1886.
General Miles and Captain Lawton escorted Geronimo and his band to Fort Bowie. They were immediately put on a train and sent to Florida accompanied by Troop B, 4th Cavalry. After delivering Geronimo to the authorities in Florida, Troop B was ordered to Fort Myer, Virginia to serve as an honor guard. With the capture of Geronimo the 4th Cavalry was transferred to Fort Walla Walla, Washington in May 1890. For the next 8 years it performed routine garrison duties.
After the seizure of Manila during the War with Spain by Admiral Dewey the call was made for American ground forces to defend the Philippines. The first regiment to be sent was the 4th Cavalry. Six troops were initially sent in August 1898 to Manila where they were immediately deployed to defend Manila from dissident elements of the Philippine army that resented the American takeover of their islands. Fighting broke out when Filipino forces fired on US Forces. The Americans drove the Filipinos from the city and began a campaign to capture the insurgent capitol of Malolos. A mix-up the 4th Cavalry's horses had led them to be unloaded in Hawaii. Troops E, I and K were mounted on Filipino ponies and participated in the Malolos campaign. The dismounted squadron consisting of Troops C and L participated in the capture of Santa Cruz led by Major General Lawton.
By August 1899 the rest of the Regiment had arrived in the Philippines. In the fall of 1899 the 4th Cavalry moved north under General Lawton to capture the insurgent President Aguinaldo. Severe fighting took place in the small town of San Mateo and General Lawton was killed in action.
In January 1901, the Regiment was assigned pacification duties in the southern part of Luzon. On 31 September 1901 the tour of duty in the Philippines ended for the Regiment. The 4th Cavalry had participated in 119 skirmishes and battles. The Regiment's 3 squadrons were reassigned to Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley, Kansas and Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, the birthplace of the regiment. In 1905 the 4th returned once again to the Philippines and participated in the Jolo campaign on the island of Mindanao.
n 1907 the 4th Cavalry was reassigned back to the United States to be stationed at Fort Meade, South Dakota, except for the 3rd Squadron stationed at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. In 1911 the 4th Cavalry was sent to the Mexican border. Two years later it departed for Schofield Barracks, Hawaii where it served throughout World War I. In 1919 the Regiment returned to the Mexican border and then to Fort Meade, South Dakota in 1925. Regular duties were performed with practiced marches and annual maneuvers held in Wyoming. In 1926, the March King John Phillip Sousa, impressed with the reputation of the 4th Cavalry, wrote an official march for the regiment entitled "Riders For the Flag." The 4th Cavalry Band and the Black Horse Drill Team of Troop F participated in many civic functions throughout the Midwest.
As war swept Europe in 1940, the 4th Cavalry Regiment was reorganized as a Horse-Mechanized Corps Reconnaissance Regiment. The 1st Squadron retained their horses and the 2nd Squadron was mechanized. In January 1943 the Regiment left Fort Meade for the last time for the Mohave Desert to prepare for the North African campaign.
However, the Regiment's orders were changed and the 4th Cavalry arrived in England in December 1943 to serve as the reconnaissance regiment of the VII Corps. Immediately upon arrival the 4th Cavalry Regiment was redesignated and reorganized as the 4th Cavalry Group, Mechanized. The 1st Squadron was reorganized and redesignated as the 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized and the 2nd Squadron was reorganized and redesignated as the 24th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized.
In preparation for the Normandy invasion the 4th Cavalry was assigned a critical role in the amphibious assault of the VII Corps onto Utah Beach. Aerial reconnaissance showed German fortifications on the St. Marcouf Islands 6000 yards off of Utah Beach. These fortifications posed a serious threat to the Utah Beach landings. The 4th Cavalry was assigned the mission of neutralizing them prior to the landing. The 4th Cavalry also had the mission of getting 2 troops ashore on D-Day to link up with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions to give them armor support.
At 0430 Hours on 6 June 1944, elements of Troop A, 4th Squadron and Troop B, 24th Squadron landed on St. Marcoufs. Corporal Harvey S. Olsen and Private Thomas C. Killeran of Troop A, with Sergeant John S. Zanders and Corporal Melvin F. Kinzie of Troop B, each armed only with a knife, swam ashore to mark the beaches for the landing crafts. They became the first seaborne American Soldiers to land on French soil on D-Day. As the troops dashed from their landing craft they were met with silence. The Germans had evacuated the islands, but they did leave them heavily mined. Meanwhile, one platoon of Troop B, 4th Squadron got ashore at Utah Beach and linked up with the 82nd Airborne.
As the American forces swung into the Cherbourg peninsula the 4th Cavalry Group's 2 squadrons performed flank protection for the 4th and 9th Infantry Divisions. In the Cape de la Hague area the 4th Squadron fighting dismounted seized all of its objectives in 5 days of bloody fighting capturing over 600 prisoners. Both the 4th and 24th Cavalry Squadrons were awarded the French Croix De Guerre with Silver Star for their gallantry on the Cherbourg peninsula.
In the dash across France the 4th Cavalry assumed traditional cavalry missions of flank screening and protection of lines of communication for the VII Corps. By 3 September 1944, the 4th Cavalry crossed into Belgium and by 15 September 1944 they had reached Germany and the Siegfried Line.
On 16 December 1944, the German Army launched its surprise attack against lightly-held Allied positions in the Ardennes. While the attention of the world was focused on the early stages of what would become known as the Battle of the Bulge, some of the fiercest fighting of the war erupted to the north on the 19th, 20th and 21st of December 1944 in the VII Corps sector on the edges of the Hurtgen Forest along the approaches to the Roer River. It was here that the 4th Cavalry Group was given the mission to seize the heavily fortified town of Bogheim and the high ground to its southeast.
On 19 December 1944, under a ground fog, 2 troops of the 4th Squadron entered the town undetected and engaged the Germans. Two other troops coming up in support were caught in the open as the fog lifted and took heavy casualties. The 2 troops already in the town successfully drove out the Germans by the afternoon. All 4 troop commanders had either been killed or wounded and over one fourth of the enlisted personnel had also become casualties. The next morning the 4th Squadron charged dismounted across 2 hundred yards of open terrain to seize the high ground overlooking the town. In the battle for Bogheim the 4th Squadron destroyed 2 battle groups of the 947th German Infantry and a company of the 6th Parachute Regiment. For its magnificent bravery at Bogheim the 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.
As the German Ardennes offensive pushed westward the VII Corps was shifted south into Belgium to blunt its advance. By 23 December 1944, the 4th Cavalry Group was in contact with advancing German forces. On 24 December 1944, the 4th Cavalry Group was attached to the 2nd Armored Division and ordered to defend the key road junction of Humain to prevent the Germans from driving a wedge between the 2nd Armored and the 84th Infantry Divisions. The 4th Squadron was screening to the west between Combat Commands A and B of the 2nd Armored Division, leaving the 24th Squadron to defend Humain. By midnight Troop A, 24th Squadron had taken Humain.
By early Christmas morning Troop A was forced out of the town by a strong German panzer attack. Attempts to retake the town by the lightly armored 24th Squadron made little progress against the heavy German armor. Nevertheless by 26 December 1944, the 2nd Armored Division along with the 24th Squadron had repelled the German attack in the Humain sector and significantly contributed to ending the German attempts to continue their westward advance across the Meuse River toward Antwerp.
After retaking the territory lost to the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge allied forces resumed their advance into Germany. The 4th Cavalry Group conducted screening missions for the VII Corps in the advance on the Roer River in February and the closing of the Ruhr Pocket. In the last stage of the war the 4th Cavalry Group became a task force with attached infantry, artillery and engineers with the mission of eliminating German forces in the Hartz Mountains. It was there the 4th Cavalry Group was operating at war's end.
For occupation duties in Germany and Austria the Army organized the US Constabulary. The 4th Cavalry Group was redesignated the 4th Constabulary Regiment with the 4th and 24th Constabulary Squadrons. The Headquarters of the 4th Constabulary Regiment was stationed at Camp McCauley in Hoersching near Linz, Austria. The 4th Constabulary Squadron was stationed at Wells and the 24th Constabulary Squadron at Ebelsburg. Troops of the regiment were posted at 7 other towns throughout the American occupation zone of Austria conducting law and order and security missions.
The 4th Constabulary Regiment was inactivated on 1 May 1949. The 24th Constabulary Squadron was transferred to Bad Herzfeld, West Germany also on 1 May 1949, where it performed border surveillance until its inactivation on 15 December 1952. The 4th Constabulary Squadron was reorganized and redesignated as the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion on 1 April 1949 and then on 1 December 1951 as the 4th Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Battalion. It remained at Camp McCauley until its inactivation on 1 July 1955. To retain some portion of the 4th Cavalry on active duty, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Battalion was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Armor Group and activated in West Germany on 1 July 1955.
In the short span of 12 years, the 4th Cavalry Regiment had been redesignated 5 times and reduced to an armor group headquarters company. With the decision to also do away with most tactical regiments the Army realized it wanted to preserve the valuable honors, traditions and history of famous regiments. In 1957 the Army set up the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS). Under CARS the regiment would be a group of tactical units bearing the regimental name. Over 150 historic regiments of cavalry, armor, infantry and artillery were preserved. The original line companies/batteries/troops of a regiment would be activated as the headquarters company/battery/troop of newly constituted battle group/battalion/squadron to preserve the lineal ties with the old regiment. Should a separate company-sized element be required the original company/battery/troop would be activated.
On 15 February 1957, 5 elements of the 4th Cavalry were activated. The 1st Squadron descending from Troop A was activated in the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. The 2nd Battle Group (Infantry) descending from Troop B was activated in the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea. The 3rd Squadron descending from Troop C joined the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The 4th Squadron descending from Troop D was activated in the Army Reserve 102nd Infantry Division at Kansas City, Missouri and the 5th Squadron descending from Troop E was activated with the Army Reserve 103rd Infantry Division at Ottumwa, Iowa.
It was initially thought that the terrain of Vietnam would preclude the use of armored cavalry in Vietnam. Early successes in mounted operations in the Vietnamese highlands by Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, as well as successes in the area north west of Saigon in III Corps Tactical Zone by the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry and then the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry convinced commanders that given their mobility and firepower, armored cavalry along with tank and mechanized infantry units supported by air cavalry could be very effective against Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces.
The 1st Squadron 4th Cavalry was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division as the division reconnaissance squadron based at Di An. It was the first element of the 4th Cavalry Regiment to arrive in Vietnam. The squadron's main mission was to conduct route and convoy security missions primarily along Vietnam's Route 13, the main communications and supply route from the Saigon north through Binh Doung and Binh Long Provinces. The 1st Squadron successfully accomplished this mission in face of strong enemy resistance. It also participated in large scale combined operations such as Cedar Falls and Junction City. Overall the "Quarter Horse" participated in 11 campaigns of the Vietnam War from 20 October 1965 to 5 February 1970. The 1st Squadron was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for its heroism in Binh Long Province, as well as a Valorous Unit Award for Binh Doung Province. Troop A, 1-4th Cavalry also received a Valorous Unit Award for its actions at the battle of Ap Bau Bang.
In the mid-1980s the Army decided to move to a unit replacement system whereby soldiers would spend the majority of their army careers rotating between the elements of a regiment located in the United States and overseas. In order to set up the proper alignment of like units old historic long-term assignments of regiments in certain divisions were terminated. As part of this reorganization Department of the Army decided that all 4th Cavalry elements would be armored cavalry and assigned to heavy divisions. The 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, organized as an armored cavalry squadron, remained assigned to the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized). A mission of the 1-4th Cavalry was the patrolling of the inner-German border until the collapse of East Germany in 1990
In 1990, the Squadron deployed to Saudi Arabia, as part of Operation Desert Shield. This led to the Squadron's spearhead of the division assault into Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. In the VII Corps sector the 1st Infantry Division was given the mission of breaching the enemy's defensive line. In turn the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry was ordered to lead the Big Red One. 1-4th Cavalry had arrived in Saudi Arabia without its tanks, which had been in storage while the squadron served as the Opposing Force in 1st Division maneuvers in Germany and was short tank-qualified personnel. The 1st Squadron quickly integrating new replacements just out of training and readied newly issued tanks for A and B Troops. On schedule, the 1st Squadron with its 2 armored cavalry troops and 2 air cavalry troops lunched the VII Corps attack destroying over 27 Iraqi tanks and armored vehicles in the initial attack. The Big Red One soon had destroyed some 10 miles of enemy defenses and had created a breach in the Iraqi lines for the VII Corps to pour through. Swinging east the Corps with the 1st Infantry Division on the south passed through the cavalry screen and attacked the Iraqi forces. By 27 February 1991, the 1st Infantry Division had destroyed 2 armored divisions. The 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry then set up blocking positions on the Al Basrah -Kuwait City highway preventing Iraqi forces from escaping from Kuwait. The Squadron received a Valorous Unit Award for its actions during Desert Storm. A cease-fire was declared at 0800 hours on 28 February 1991, ending the conflict.
In 1995, 1-4th Cavalry was the first unit deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, supporting the peacekeeping mission set forth by the Dayton Peace Accord. The unit remained deployed for a period of 11 months. During 1999 and 2000, Air Cavalry elements of the Quarter Horse returned to the Balkans, this time to Kosovo, as members of Operation Joint Guardian II.
In mid-October 2002, soldiers with 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment were abruptly told they would not deploy to Kosovo for peacekeeping duties. 1st Infantry Division officials in Kosovo said they could not comment on the change, while a spokesman for V Corps, the Division's parent headquarters, referred all questions to US European Command. A EUCOM spokesman, however, said he could not comment on the change, referring all questions back to V Corps. The first trainloads of the squadron's equipment bound for the Balkans from Germany had to be recalled over the weekend. The Schweinfurt-based Quarter Horse was to be part of the 1st Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade task force due to rotate into Kosovo. The squadron was to lead the US contingent's aviation task force of OH-58 Kiowa and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, as well as provide perimeter guards at the US headquarters at Camp Bondsteel.
1-4th Cavalry served in Iraq from 2004-2005. The 1st Infantry Division operating as Task Force Danger was based in and around the Iraqi city of Tikrit. 1-4th Cavalry organized as Task Force Saber and conducted security and stability operations from Forward Operating Base Mackenzie near the town of Ad Duluyuah. Attached to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division during operations in the city of Samarra from 1 October 2004 through 1 November 2004, 1-4th Cavalry's gallantry resulted in the receipt of a Valorous Unit Award.
The unit was inactivated in June 2006, as part of both the transformation of the 1st Infantry Division to the US Army's new modular force structure and the reorganization of US forces in Europe. Its personnel were reflagged as the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry, which became part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. The 1st Infantry Division was redeployed back to the United States, to be headquartered at Fort Riley, Kansas, with its units redeploying there following the end of their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Division took the place of the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), which was subsequnetly inactivated.
Initially, the 2nd Squadron, 4th Cavalry was activated and assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized). In 2007, this unit was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, which took up the role as the Brigade's reconnaissance element. As part of the modular force structure, each brigade would have an organic cavalry element.
The 1st Squadron served a second Iraq tour of duty in the Bagdad area from February 2007 to May 2008 with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
History of the American Fighter Ace: World War II
December 7,1941 brought the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s formal entry into World War II. American fighter pilots were in action from the very first. Army pilot George Welch was credited with four Japanese aircraft during the attack. He would go on to become a 16-victory ace, adding to his score in the Southwest Pacific. The Japanese invasion of the Philippine Islands brought sharp but limited air action and from it emerged America’s first Army Air Force Ace, Boyd D. “Buzz” Wagner, who destroyed his fifth Japanese aircraft on 16 December 1941.
The next American Aces were produced by the American Volunteer Group in China. Recruited in mid-1941 to defend the Burma Road, 109 former Navy, Marine and Army Air Corps pilots signed on with the AVG. In a massive air battle over Rangoon on Christmas Day 1941, Robert P. “Duke” Hedman and Charles H. Older became the first Aces of the “Flying Tigers.” Using the mutual support tactics of leader and wingman as taught by their commander, Claire Chennault, the AVG was credited with destroying 297 Japanese aircraft for the loss of only nine pilots in action. Names like Robert H. Neale, David L. “Tex” Hill and Jack Newkirk became household words in America.
The US Navy was not far behind in producing its first ace of World War II. In one of the first strikes against Japanese bases in the South Pacific on February 20, 1942 the F4F Wildcat pilots of VF-3 had to defend their carrier, the USS Lexington, against an attack by enemy bombers. In the course of the action Edward J. “Butch” O’Hare remained as the lone pilot to intercept the second wave of nine enemy bombers. He downed five and dispersed the others who dropped their bombs wide of the target.
His action made him the Navy’s first ace, and Medal of Honor recipient, of World War II.
The Marine Corps didn’t have to wait long for action, either. Future Marine Corps aces Marion E. Carl and Charles M. Runz scored their first victories in the defense of Midway Island.
When the initial Marine Corps invasion took place at Guadalcanal in the Summer of 1942, its fighter pilots fought a desperate war in the air from their base at Henderson Field. John L. Smith, Robert E. Galer and Marion Carl began to run up scores immediately. Carl became the Marine’s first ace when he shot down his fifth Japanese aircraft on August 24th. They were followed by Joe Foss, who became the first American Ace to tie the 26-victory Eddie Rickenbacker of World War I.
In November 1942 the Americans invaded North Africa and green AAF units were thrown against the cream of the Luftwaffe. The P-38s, Spitfires and P-40s were hard-pressed to gain air superiority, but finally they did the impossible and helped cut the supply lines to Rommell’s Afrika Korps to win air superiority over the Mediterranean. Aces like
William J. “Dixie” Sloan, Harrison R. Thyng, Frank A. Hill, Jerry Collinsworth and Robert L. Baseler made their marks against the Luftwaffe.
In Northern Europe the fighter pilots of the Eighth Air Force sought to gain air superiority over Western Europe. Once more, it was a case of the AAF against the best of the Luftwaffe and the young P-47 outfits fought desperately to help the bombers, or “Big Friends”, on their way to the targets and on their way home in their quest to prove daylight bombing could survive in the ETO. They just didn’t have the range to go all the way to the target with the bombers. Nevertheless, the “Jug” pilots did their best and the roll of aces in the Eighth Air Force began to grow. Names like “Hub” Zemke, David Schilling, Don Blakeslee, “Gabby” Gabreski, Charles London, Eugene Roberts, Walter Beckham and the Johnsons, Bob and Jerry, were prominent on the front pages.
In the Southwest Pacific, America’s fighter pilots held on in New Guinea by the skin of their teeth. The Bell P-39 just couldn’t cut it against the Japanese at altitude and there just weren’t enough P-40s. Finally the great day came when the P-38 Lightning arrived. For a combat theater that was primarily covered with water, this was the bird! It was also a great performer and could take on anything the Japanese could put up against it. Pilots like Jay T. Robbins, Tommy Lynch, Dick Bong, Tommy McGuire and Gerald Johnson began to pile up scores. In the South Pacific in the Solomons area the fighter pilots of the Thirteenth Air Force struggled with a handful of P-40s and P-38s. Men like Robert B. Westbrook, John Mitchell and Bill Harris led the way. On April 18, 1943, pilots of the 347th Fighter Group under the leadership of
John Mitchell successfully accomplished one of the outstanding missions of World War II when they intercepted and shot down the aircraft carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander of the Japanese Fleet. Fighter aces Rex Barber,
Tom Lanphier and Besby Holmes were in on the final kill.
Late 1943 in the Pacific saw the arrival of the first P-47s under the able leadership of Neel Kearby who would become a top Ace and receive the Medal of Honor before being killed in action. John T. Blackburn’s land-based VF-17 won fame over the Solomons, as did Gregory “Pappy” Boyington’s VMF-214 “Black Sheep” Squadron. Boyington was to shoot down 22 Japanese aircraft before he himself was downed to become a prisoner of war.
The China Air Task Force and later the Fourteenth Air Force in China and the Tenth Air Force in India continued to take their toll from the Japanese in the CBI in 1943. New fighter pilots had come on the scene and names like John Alison, Robert L. Scott, Bruce Holloway and John Hampshire headed up the list of fighter aces in that theater.
It might be said that the year 1944 was the year of the fighter Ace in the skies above all theaters during World War II. The P-51 Mustang came to Northern Europe and gave the fighter pilots the range to go all the way to the target with the bombers. The 354th Fighter Group of the Ninth Air Force initiated the Mustang action and their success was immediate. Newcomers such as Glen Eagleston, Jack Bradley,
Dick Turner and Don Beerbower began to run up scores and James H. Howard won the only Medal of Honor awarded a fighter pilot in the European Theater. The Eighth Air Force begged for and got the the Mustangs and immediately began to show a marked increase in success. Don Gentile and John Godfrey of the 4th Fighter Group hit the headlines, while the scores of George Preddy and John C. Meyer of the
352nd continued to grow. The new 357th Fighter Group got its share of publicity with Aces like Leonard K. “Kit” Carson, C.E. “Bud” Anderson, Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager, Robert W. Foy and Richard A. “Bud” Peterson.
D-Day on Normandy came and the Luftwaffe had been driven from the skies. The aces had to get out and seek the enemy. If he wouldn’t come up in the air, the order was to go down and get him on the ground. The strafing campaign was costly and cost Eighth Air Force many of its outstanding pilots. To encourage strafing the Eighth began crediting its pilots with aircraft destroyed on the ground and was the only numbered air force in Europe to do 80. Never was so much confusion added to the realm of “Acedom”. When the USAAF ruled against these ground victories after the war in compiling its official list of WWII victories, many “ground Aces” found themselves dropped from the rolls. The final decision was that, since no other numbered air force nor other branch of service recognized “ground kills”, neither would the Eighth nor the China-Burma-India Theater.
Late 1944 saw the introduction of the German jets in Northern Europe. This could have been disastrous to the bombers, but fortunately they did not become available in sufficient quantity to be effective. The American fighter pilots improvised tactics whereby they were able to neutralize the jet threat by catching the jets taking off or landing or by strafing them on the ground.
In the Mediterranean the formation of the Fifteenth Air Force as the strategic bombing arm brought about the formation a large escort force comprised of P-51s and P-38s. With the advent of the long-range missions came the opportunity for the escort pilots to score against a diminishing Luftwaffe. Fighter Aces such as John Voll, H.H.”Herky” Green, John “Sully” Varnell, Sam Brown and Jim Brooks downed German interceptors in great numbers over the Balkans and Southern Germany. By September of 1944 the Luftwaffe was all but completely absent from the skies of the Mediterranean.
The majority of the US Navy’s fighter Aces were made in 1944. The Battles of the Philippine Sea set the stage for enormous air battles where scores of Japanese aircraft were shot from the skies. David McCampbell, Alex Vraciu, Russell Reiserer and Wilbur “Spider” Webb were among those who got five or more on June 19, 1944, at the “Marianas Turkey Shoot”.
October presented another golden opportunity for the Hellcat pilots and they made the most of it. Dave McCampbell set the all-time record for victories in one day for American Aces when he downed nine at Leyte on October 24th.
The Fifth Air Force, too, had a rash of fighter Aces made in the Fall of 1944 during the invasion of the Philippines. Familiar names like Bong, McGuire and Gerald Johnson ran scores higher while men like Kenny Giroux, Robert G. West and Joseph M. Forster got the majority of their victories over the Philippines. By the early part of 1945, the Fifth Air Force, too, had just about run out of opposition.
In China aerial opposition also came to a close in late 1944. The P-40s, P-51s and P-38s dominated the skies and struck terror in the hearts of the enemy on the ground and in ports of China. John C. “Pappy” Herbst and Edward O. McComas were couple of oldsters who became high-scoring fighter Aces in the CBI and showed the youngsters how it was done. Little-publicized P-38 Aces like Walter Duke and Maxwell Glenn carried the war to Hong Kong and Formosa and ran up able scores against the enemy.
The war in Europe ended on May 8, 1945. Allied airplanes dominated the skies over Northern Europe completely. Some new Aces were made and some of the old timers
added to their scores, but enemy aircraft were few and far between. The last fighter pilot to become an ace in the ETO was Leland A. Larson of Ninth Air Force, who downed his fifth Luftwaffe fighter on May 8, 1945.
The year 1945 in the Pacific brought about another group of fighter aces. These were the Navy and Marine Corps pilots aboard the carriers that brought the war to the Japanese home islands and who withstood the kamikaze attacks off Okinawa. Eugene A. Valencia got his “mowing machine” from VF-9 working and his flight alone accounted for some 50 victories against the Japanese. George C. Axtell and his carrier-born Marines of the “Death Rattler” squadron shot down 124 1/2 enemy aircraft in less than two months of aerial combat.
The USAAF fighter pilots of the Central Pacific got into action escorting the B-29s to Japan and began to get into the scoring column. Robert Moore and James Tapp were two of the aces whose names became prominent in Seventh Fighter Command during that period. The last American fighter ace of World War II was Oscar Perdomo of the 464th Fighter Squadron, who downed five Japanese aircraft on August 13, 1945.
Of the thousands of fighter pilots who had taken to the skies in World War II only 1,279 became fighter aces. This total is composed of 735 USAAF aces, 381 Navy aces, 122 Marine Corps aces, 22 Americans who became aces flying with the Royal Air Force, and 19 aces in the AVG.
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The Battle Off Samar -
Taffy III at Leyte Gulf
5th Edition (2010)
by Robert Jon Cox
Copyright © 2011 by USMilitaryArt.com
USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE 413)
Commemorative Profile Drawing
by George Bieda
Then and Now
Updated 2 March 2021
Sometimes I will start a new blog when I see there is some interest in preserving the past. This blog has been dormant since November 10, 2015. The idea was to pay homage to those who had served with RCAF 401 Squadron. That was the idea behind creating a blog about 128 (F) Squadron in 2012.
Quietly crumbling into the sea, in amongst soft dunes isolated by marshland, is the Batterie Blankenese de Néville-sur-Mer. A few miles east of Cherbourg this is not a famous WW2 heritage site, but still a poignant reminder of when Normandy was occupied by an unwelcome enemy.
Blankenese, late June 1944
Here, from 1943 the Kreigsmarine, German navy, defended Cherbourg with British anti-aircraft Vickers guns seized in 1940 from the Channel Islands, along with captured French guns.
When the Battery came under heavy attack from the US navy on 18 June 1944, the short firing distance of the guns – 12km for the Vickers, 20km for the French guns – rendered them useless. Before evacuating to Cherbourg the Blankenese sailors blew up what they could of the site.
The 24 th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 4 th Cavalry Group finished the job for them when they liberated nearby Néville-sur-Mer. A declassified Historical Report for the 24th suggests this was probably 22 June 1944 when they were between Barfleur and Cherbourg and ‘in contact with the enemy line of resistance, which was a series of fortified areas’. If you have more information we will be please to update this page.
Since the war this coastline has shifted and now high tide washes over many of the buildings. Blankenese was built closer to the sea than many other Atlantic Wall gun Batteries, a hallmark of the Kreigsmarine.
The sea and winter storms are slowly breaking up the old concrete and these buildings change constantly, further away from their murderous past to be ineffectual, if sculptural, ruins.
Our visit was in September 2016. The site is in open countryside with free parking down a bumpy track. Caution is advised if you find anything that looks like a bullet, live ammunition is frequently found in the area.
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Our new series of day trips for Normandy fans begins with an emotional visit to the D-Day landing beaches. This is a long day, but one that will stay with you forever. Best to plan ahead and have drinks, snacks and a packed lunch with you. Useful museum and memorial links at the end of&hellip
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Our postcard is impossible to match as this is a private residence, however the story of the Château de Grangues does not need a matching photograph, just to be remembered. The Château is set discretely back from the road in parkland, just a few kilometres from the seaside town of Cabourg. Although very close to&hellip
Wevelgem flugplatz (The Allied story) (1 Viewer)
already opened a topic about the german side and this is his Allied counterpart.
RAF Squadrons operating out of Wevelghem.
15 May 1940 Detachment. (Lysander II)
17 September 1944. (Spitfire LFIXE)
17 September 1944. (Spitfire IX)
17 September 1944. (Spitfire IX)
17 September 1944. (Spitfire IX)
1 November 1944. (Spitfire HFIX)
The Allied forces liberated Wevelgem in 1944. Soon after that they found the airfield interesting for their own warfare. the damaged airfield was repaired and soon after that the first squadrons arrived.
Groupe de chasse 1/2 cicognes where one of the 2 French squadrons who staid a while in Wevelgem.
A piece about wevelgem airfield viewed from No. 151 Repair Unit.
The Merlins, Alisons and Griffons roar,
The Sabres Rattle,
The Wasps Sting,
The Cyclones Blow,
The little Lycomings purr away.
These engines left our good unit for those on high, flying above and around us.
In their going out and their coming safely back, the Aircrew thanks go to 151.
The story of 151 enshrines the past,
As leaf by leaf,
So day by day,
Year by year,
Reunion after reunion,
The stories of our lives unfold.
Our eyes grow dim, our hair turns grey,
Could we, but have read when 151 began
That the story of our works would stand?
Through all our days and all our nights
Until the enemies were put to flight
- Epitaph to No. 151 Repair Unit (Aircraft), 2nd Tactical Air Force,
Wevelgem, Belgium, 1944-45, by Harold E Jacobson, ex. 151RU(A)
In September 1944, three Queen Mary lorries, each loaded with an aircraft engine test bench, and a Hillman Utility loaded with emergency rations, arrived at Wevelgem Airfield, near Brussels in Belgium. This was an advance party from No. 151 Repair Unit (Aircraft) - or 151RU(A) - a detachment of the 2nd Tactical Air Force.
Wevelgem itself had had a pedigree flying history, having been used by German flying ace Baron Von Richthofen during WW1, and from 1942 by the 'Top Guns of the Luftwaffe', the JG26, under the jurisdiction of legendary Jagdgeschwader General Adolph Galland.
But in 1944, Wevelgem was back under Allied control, initially under a Free French squadron of Spitfires. By the time the main unit of No. 151 Repair Unit (Aircraft) arrived in October 1944, the advance party had already established three aircraft engine test benches in position and ready for work. Eventually, there were six benches
1. two for the Merlins
2. one for Wright-Cyclones
3. one for a Pratt and Witney Twin Wasp
4. one for a Lycoming
5. one for Griffon engines (for the Spitfires of 610 Squadron)
In addition, a Hawker Typhoon EJ693 was adapted by 151 RU (Repair Unit) as a test bench for Napier Sabre engines. All in all, the unit was able to service nine aircraft of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, four British and five American.
1. Spitfire (British)
2. Typhoon (British)
3. Mosquito (British)
4. Tempest (British)
5. Mustang (US)
6. Boston (US)
7. Mitchell (US)
8. Marauder (US)
9. Auster (US)
Standard propellers were used with a depression box to take the engines up to their rated altitudes. Notably, this was the only engine test bench facility in the 2nd Tactical Air Force and played a vital role in keeping the aircraft flying. And from the first engine test in November 1944, the two Merlin benches worked three shifts a day, day-in, day-out, until beyond VE Day, 8 May 1945.
During that period, at Christmas 1944, the men of 151RU(A) gave a festive party for the 2,000 or so children of Wevelgem. It was the same time as the Ardennes Offensive.
'We served the children carrying our Sten Guns and two clips of ammunition, whilst serving the children with currant bread and cocoa as the Germans dropped their troops behind our lines. One of the young children, Anny, sang God Save The King, in English. She is now is a very close friend of ours, and her husband Etienne Vanackere is now curator of the Wevelgem Airfield Museum.'
- Harold E Jacobson
Harry Jacobson formed part of the advance party arriving at Wevelgem from RAF Odiham in September 1944. With his wife Min, and uniquely for an English couple, he was invited to and attended a Luftwaffe reunion from 12-15 May 1994, there meeting up with members of the old JG26 who had used Wevelgem from 1942-44. The speech he gave, whilst exchanging plaques with ex-JG26 Luftwaffe flier, Gottfried Schmidt, at the reunion was approved by then British Prime Minister, John Major.
Harry also revisited Wevelgem Cemetery on 18 May 1997, laying there a wreath to commemorate those who lost their lives during WW2. Over 2,000 RAF and Commonwealth aircrew are buried in Belgium, some of whom share the same Flanders soil as their relatives who died in 1914-18.
A hartwarming story wich my grandfather and grandmother still remember (they were about 12-13 years old then) The y are still thankfull to those fine English soldiers.
After the war Wevelgem remained an important "RAF- repair" airfield.
F1 Challenge 99 - 02
Incredible! The younger ones in the gaming community will hardly remember that this game even exists, I can hardly remember any game which is (nearly) 10 years old or older and is still in use in such a professional way as F1C is.
Of course there are a lot of games which are used at retro games LAN parties or whatever. But F1C is still used in leagues, it's still improved and still there are people which release Mods for it. Of course the community was bigger once and the Mods came out of the pipeline nearly every week, but that there are still people on it is really impressing. To be honest, we could say that F1C was a milestone for the gaming community. Since then the popularity of Modding, especially in Racing raised into somewhere Felix Baumgartner only could dream of. And for the milestone itself it dropped deeper then Felix Baumgartner could dream of too. But why F1C was such a milestone, what lead into the popularity of F1C? Why it's all gone and where will it lead?
Let's go back on Day Zero. A game called "F1 Challenge 99-02" was released on June 23rd for PC by the gaming giant EA Sports. Developed by ISI, a leading studio in racing games and a big advertising program in Europe it was long expected. And when it was there, finally, it fulfilled the the expectations in a enormous way. IGN gave it as rating 90% of 100, German GameStar Magazine gave it 89% of 100. The Graphics were once again a little bit improved compared to prequel F1 2002, the physics were absolutely realistic and the AI behavior broke all records. Back in these days F1C was THE racing game ever.
And the success of it raised. A modding team called "RH", known from F1 2002 already which brought some of the original game developers together, released their F1 2003 mod on July 30th 2003. It was probably the fastest released mod in a racing game ever. Another group, CTDP, followed with their F1 2003 mod in January 2004. The first modding Team battle ever raised. CTDP vs. RH, Quality vs. Quality. The community nearly raised a war about which one must be prefered. While CTDP had a bit better quality, RH was made for the slower PCs. CTDP gained the nickname "Crash to Desktop Project" while RH succeeded a bit more with their 2003 Mod.
But it all turned in 2004. While RH struggled to release their F1 2004 Mod and has not released it until April 2005, CTDP released their 2004 masterpiece already in November 2004. The success of CTDP F1 2004 was incredible. With their own ingame menu in carbon style and a complete new level of car modelling, texture quality and level of details they made it finally to a highly respected modding team. When finally RH came up with nearly the same quality of cars and a new made in game Menu no one really cared. And the success of F1C was at it's peak.
August 31, 2005 the unofficial sequel to F1C came out, rFactor. Developed by ISI too, it brought a complete new game engine (the legendary isiMotor2 engine), a whole new level of graphics and physics as well as new options in modding. It was absolutely clear that this is the new leading racing game. But because it came too late in 2005, the big modding teams as RH and CTDP continued Modding for F1C. CTDP released again their F1 2005 Mod before RH at November 26, 2005. RH followed on March 05, 2006. This time the modding teams had a draw. While CTDP was indeed the mod with the better quality it had no chance to survive against RH in the aspect of running smooth and nice on every PC. And in late 2006 a third concurrent shown up, the underdogs from SRM with their 2005 Mod. A great, but heavily underrated Mod by the way, which (except of the Helmets) had the same quality as RHs 2005 mod.
As it was clear that rFactor will take over now the dominating role F1C had in racing games for at least two years the big Teams made their step over to rF too. CTDP and RH tried it, CTDP released their F1 2005 for rF on August 7, 2006 while RH came to an abrupt end. They raised again in 2008 when GGSF1 released his F1 2007 mod on the base of RH 2005 for F1C. But the original RH quitted long before. CTDP struggled to make it to rFactor as well. The F1 2006 mod came one year too late, in 2008. Nowadays they are struggling even for members.
And that was the chance for F1C to raise again. A guy with the legendary name CrashKing released his F1 1996 mod alone. And let his 1995 Mod follow after it. The Turbo Mega Mod was released, and much more mods followed. The community changed for the first time. Now the dominating Teams, RH and CTDP, are gone and the community itself was now under the pressure of releasing Mods. Some of them raised themselves to a legendary status like CK did and others failed. But the long awaited F1 Mods never came. Why? There was no particular reason for it. Teams like VirtuaLM and SimBin formated themselves and made their way in the GT and Le Mans classes, GMT brought a DTM Mod and a WTCC mod followed too. Pre-1999 Mods were released really fast, Racesimulations became the new centre of F1C modding. But nobody except of GGSF1 tried to make an F1 mod. The leechers raised.
A dominating role in the last and still ongoing era of F1C was the leechers era. F1Mania released their CTDP F1 2006 conversion in 2007 without permission and since then the leeching teams were formed as mushrooms coming out of the ground. HLT as one of the biggest, VMT, SMT, VB, F1HU, KB, KC, AMT, SL, LMD. Especially since 3DSimEd allowed it to convert Codemasters F1 Cars in an easy way in 2010 the leechers were on a pretty good way to ruin the game and bury it after seven years. But then one man came and saved it: Armos. He was once a leecher as well, but finally decided to make a legal F1 2009 mod. To be honest, his cars were not the best in quality at the first release. But he raised F1C for a yet last time. He contacted GGSF1 to build an F1 2009 mod within the base of GGSF1s 2007 Mod and finally released it in 2010. A 2008, 2010 and 2011 mod followed. JasonXP brought us the 2006 Season and David Marques finally completed the gap of missing cars from 1989 to 1994. Finally we were able to play all F1 Seasons from 1979 to 2011 onwards. The probably biggest amount of Seasons a game will ever have! But the success of Armos' (and others) F1 mods has not stopped at F1 only, Carlos12295cf released his GP2 2005-2007 Seasons and 2004 F3000 mod while a GP3 mod is underway since then. Things looked promising.
Then the shock: The centre of F1C modding, Racesimulations.com, closed it's gates on December 5, 2012. Armos has gone too in July before, leaving an unfinished F1 2012 mod and a NASCAR 2011 mod. The community was dead. For the first time ever the F1C community was not able to communicate with each other at a central site. Several Racesimulations.com replacements raised and finally Race4Sim made it, starting on February 1st 2013 as a new centre for F1C. Even if the leechers continue to do their work and even if R4S was forced to set up new permission rules, F1C is alive - again. And will make it to it's 10th anniversary for sure. Not because it is still the best game out there, definitely not. But because of some man which brought it back from nowhere again and again. Because of people who love it and live it. Because of people which dedicate their whole free time to it, because of moderators which patently showed people what is right or wrong, because of people paying whole sites to let it be alive.
Let's be honest, the chance of F1C getting it's 20th anniversary with a community which is that big is pretty small. I'll doubt in a serious way that F1C will still be improved in 2023 as it's done today. I guess I will still play it, but I'm also sure the mods will stop once. Maybe not in the next few years, but in 2023.
We should thank all the people silently which had done so much for F1C and play it. As long as Windows can support it, because they gave us a lot. They gave us modding as it is nowadays, aiming for perfection. They showed us that still a nearly 10 year old game can be amazing. They gave us the biggest content a racing game will ever have. They formed EA Sports' F1 Challenge 2013.