U. S. Colored Troops and the list goes on…

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Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum Newsletter

January 2005

Volume 3 - Issue 1

Published four times each year ~ January, April, July & October


As another year begins, we look back on the prominent men who served this county and continue to keep their stories alive. When we discovered the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association, it was our link to living Buffalo Soldiers. Throughout 2005, we will honor these veterans and our military brothers who were Montford Point Marines, Tuskegee Airmen, 28th U.S. Colored Troops and the list goes on…...

Trooper George Hicks, III

Carmon Weaver Hicks

BSRM researchers
The 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association

The 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association traces its beginning to 1966 in Kansas City, MO when former cavalrymen met to share their unique military experience 100 years after these units were established. Many of these veterans were assigned to the regiments that were deactivated in 1944. With their ranks growing old, they wanted to insure that their accomplishments were not forgotten. At the outset, membership in the Association was limited to persons who had served in the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments. Later, associate membership was extended to anyone who had rendered outstanding service to the Association or to the U.S. through service either in the armed forces or their community.

The Association holds a reunion on July 28 of each year - the date the black regiments were established. It is held in different locations around the United States. Their first annual reunion was held in 1967 at Fort Riley, KS. Past reunion guest speakers included Lieutenant General Julius Becton, Jr., General Roscoe Robinson, Jr., General Daniel “Chappie” James, and General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colon Powell, Rear Admiral L.A. Williams, Major General John Q.T. King, and Major General Harry Brooks. Currently, there are 27 active chapters of the Association. Buffalo Soldiers, Indian Scouts, descendants, and interested others participate in keeping their history alive.

In our next issue, we will feature Trooper James Madison, a WW2 veteran who helped establish this national organization and is actively promoting the history of the Buffalo Soldiers in Kansas City, MO.

The 133rd Anniversary Reunion – Portland and Vancouver
The 133rd Anniversary Reunion was held from July 28-31, 1999 in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. Portland, Oregon, founded in 1845, was called “the clearing” by American Indians. It is the state’s largest city and sits on the banks of the Willamette River, just south of its junction with the Columbia River. To the east are the Cascade Mountains and Mount Hood (11,239 feet high - Oregon’s highest point) and to the west is the Coast Range. As we traveled on the Columbia River Scenic Highway through the 75 mile Columbia River Gorge, the scenery through the Cascade Mountains was stunning. We stopped at Multnomah Falls – a 620 feet high spectacular waterfall. It is one of eleven waterfalls in an eleven mile stretch of the Columbia River Gorge.

Vancouver, Washington was home to American Indians until 1792 when American traders explored the Columbia River and established the fur trading industry. (The Columbia River divides Oregon from Washington.) In 1849, Army troops arrived to establish Vancouver Barracks. It served as the military headquarters for the Pacific Northwest and played a major role in westward expansion. Soldiers who served there included General Ulysses Grant, General Phillip Sheridan, General George Marshall, and General Oliver O. Howard. We visited General Oliver O. Howard’s home, built in 1879, which is now a historic structure. Howard was a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient during the Civil War and was the first head of the Freedman’s Bureau established in 1865 to aid former slaves. Howard University in Washington D.C. was named in recognition of his work.

Approximately 400 people attended the 133rd Anniversary Reunion. I had communicated with the National President, Harold S. Cole, for months so when I checked in at the hotel, he introduced himself. We were there to accept the charter for establishing the Heartland Chapter of the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association. I was given another opportunity to get to know one more Buffalo Soldier with a story to tell. Here is his story.
Trooper Harold S. Cole

National President - 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association

It was 1942 and Harold S. Cole, 17 years old, enlisted in the military. On December 4, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy bombed Pearl Harbor. Two days later, the U.S. declared war on Japan, Germany, and Italy. Cole wanted to serve his country. He was born and went to school in North Pelham and New Rochelle, NY. His neighborhood friends were cavalrymen at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his brother, James, worked at a riding academy. Cole enjoyed riding horses and was a perfect fit for the cavalry. At White Hall Station in NYC, he was sworn in and boarded a bus to Camp Upton in Long Island. His next destination was Fort Riley, KS and from there to Fort Clark in Brackettville, TX.
Cole was assigned to the 9th U.S. (Horse) Cavalry, F Troop (pictured at left). When the platoon sergeant told the troops to go to the corral and get a horse, Cole got the horses for the inexperienced troopers. Every man was issued a saddle, bridle, horse blankets, stirrups, gun boot, girth, halter, shelter half with pints, feed bag, saddler bags, spurs, poncho, clothing boots, breeches, pistol holder, web belt, magazine holder, cartridge belt, gas mask, steel helmet liner, helmet liner cap, three kinds of gloves, and a general issue of clothing and weapons. In addition to field training with the horses, Cole was a drummer in the Regimental Drum and Bugle Corps and bugler for the 4th Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division. He also served as a motion picture operator and the platoon sergeant.
In 1943, the 2nd Cavalry Division moved from Texas to Oran, Algeria in North Africa. When the first sergeant told the troopers to dig a foxhole on a rocky mountaintop, the soldiers complained and dug a few holes. That night, a German aircraft flew over Oran and bombed the area. The next morning, every soldier could dig a foxhole. Cole still marvels at what black people can accomplish under adverse conditions.
In 1944, the 2nd Cavalry Division was transferred to the European Theater of Operations and soon after was inactivated. Some troopers transferred to the 92nd Infantry Division but Cole went to Sicily and from there to Naples and Anzlo, Italy. He participated in the invasion of Southern France and was sent to Carentan, France as World War II ended. Cole was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1946. His list of military awards includes a Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, and a World War II Honorable Service Lapel Button.
In 1953, Cole enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and went to Aircraft School. He served in the Air Transport Command, Air Defense Command, and Radar Early Warning System Command. In 1956-57, he helped construct the North American Radar Early Warning System. In 1966, he participated in the recovery of aircraft from Vietnam.
With 22 years of service in 17 countries, he retired from the U.S. Air Force. He was awarded the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, and Air Force Good Conduct Medal with three loops. Trooper Harold S. Cole returned to aircraft work and retired (again) from Lockheed Aircraft. He was the co-founder of the Los Angeles Area Chapter of the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association and was the national president of the Association from 1997-2001.
In 1995, Harold Cole and Franklin Henderson edited two books about the Buffalo Soldiers. Each book contains a historical and pictorial review of the 9th and 10th Cavalries at Camp Funston - Fort Riley, Kansas in 1941. These “yearbooks” contain individual photos of cavalrymen and training activities as well as current information about a variety of military leaders.
The Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum carries copies of these two publications. For more details, contact www.buffalosoldiersresearchmuseum.org.

Franklin J. Henderson and Harold S. Cole

Books of Interest

Cole, H.S. and Henderson, F.J. (eds.) (1995). 9th and 10th (horse) cavalry association: The

buffalo soldiers - 9th cavalry regiment/second cavalry division at Camp Funston, Kansas 1941. Printed in USA.
Cole, H.S. and Henderson, F.J. (eds.) (1995). 9th and 10th (horse) cavalry association: The

buffalo soldiers– 10th cavalry at Camp Funston-Fort Riley, Kansas 1941. Printed in

Visit www.buffalosoldiersresearchmuseum.org for more information.

Other Books about Black Soldiers in WW2
Abdul-Jabbar, K. and Walton, A. (2004). Brothers in arms: The epic story of the 761st tank

battalion, ww2’s forgotten heroes. NYC: Broadway Books.
Hargrove, H.B. (1985). Buffalo soldiers in Italy: Black Americans in world war 2. Jefferson, NC:

McFarland and Co., Inc. Publishers.

McGowen, T. (1995). Lonely eagles and buffalo soldiers: African Americans in ww2. NYC:

Franklin Watts.

Motley, M.P. (ed.) (1975). The invisible soldier: The experience of the black soldier, world war

2. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

For more information, contact the

Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum



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