80 Years Ago Today:
Established in 1913 and associated with the New Jersey Army National Guard (unofficially carrying the lineage of the Civil War-era 1st New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry) after the Dick Act replaced state militia units, the 102nd Cavalry Regiment was taken into federal service for the Punitive Expedition against Villa in 1916 then shipped over to France where it served (sans horses, broken up into MP, field artillery, and train headquarters troops for the 29th Infantry Division) in the Meuse-Argonne/Alsace in 1918.
Interbellum, the 102nd was reformed in 1921 and assigned to the 21st (National Guard) Cavalry Division along will all the other horse cav in the Northeast. This association ended in 1937 with the general disbanding of most of the Army’s and Guard’s mounted units and, in 1940, the 102nd became gently mechanized.
Inducted into federal service on 6 January 1941, the unit was broken up into a couple of different cavalry reconnaissance squadrons (mechanized) and shipped out for England where they landed at Normandy and fought across Northwest Europe under Major General Leonard Gerow’s Fifth Corps.
Today, the 102nd is still mechanized, as a recon unit for the 50th IBCT, 42nd “Rainbow” Infantry Division, and is still part of the NJANG, although they don’t roll in WMC Scout Cars anymore.