1st RECON TROOP (MECHANIZED CAVALRY)
TO: Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division, APO# 1 U.S. Army
1. The first detachment of the organization landed at about 0830 hours on the Damesme Beach on November 8, 1942. By 1230 hours,, 149 officer and enlisted men had assembled at a crossroad 1.8 west of Ste. Lou and established a CP. At 1330 hours, orders were received to assemble as many reconnaissance vehicles as possible for action on the morning of November 9. At 2300 hours, the Troop CO received the following orders: "Report to the CO Co "K", 16th Inf at Fleurus and procede the company on the road to St. Cloud and then withdraw to the South to protect the Division's left flank and to reconnoiter the roads to the south and west of Fleurus." Following the receipt of these orders the G-3 and Troop CO went to the CT 18th CP in a scout car to determine the enemy situation at St. Cloud.
2. By 0300 hours, Nov 9, four scout cars and four 1/4 ton trucks had bee assembled. With these vehicles the Troop CO reported to the CO Co "K", at 0400 hours at Fleurus and proceeded on his mission. Shortly after daybreak the troop arrived on the high ground about 1500 yards to the south of St. Cloud. The movement up to this time had been made without encountering the enemy. The Troop's machine guns were placed in positions along the high ground overlooking St. Cloud. The Troop CO having made a personal reconnaissance reported to the CO Co "K" of the situation in St. Cloud. As Co "K", approached our position, they deployed into an approach formation and passed through our gun positions. The Troop remained in position until Co "K", was entering the outskirts of St. Cloud. It being impossible to further support their attack, the troop withdrew and proceeded on its mission. Jus as the Troop began to withdraw, a battery of enemy artillery began to register on our former gun positions. At. Fleurus, the CO of the 16th CT was contacted and he was given the situation at St. Cloud. The CO 16th CT requested the Troop to contact his 3rd Battalion, which was astride the Oran-St.Cloud road. The 2nd Battalion, 16th CT was protecting the Divisions left flank at Fleurns. One section consisting of two scout cars and two jeeps was sent to Amis Amour to reconnoiter to the west. The remainder of the Troop consisting of two scout cars and two jeeps moved to the north through Assi __Okba to the Oran-St.Cloud road. The CP 2nd Battalion 16th CT, was located on this road about four miles west of St. Cloud. Information of the Battalion position was secured and the Troop then returned to Fleurus to report to the CO 16th CT. While making his report the Troop CO received orders for the Troop to return to its bivouac area and for him to report to Division Hq at Renan.
3. On November 8, 1942 at about 1400 hours the Troop CO received the following mission: "Report to the CO 16th CT at Legrand by 1630 hours that day and precede the 2nd Battalion, 16th CT on its movement on Oran and to reconnoiter the roads to the north of the main axis of the advance. To send one Scout car to Ste. Barbe du Tlelat to contact Combat Command B and to act as Laison. " The Troop moved out from their bivouac at about 1530 hours, November 9 with five scout cars and seven jeeps. 16th CT was contacted at Legrand at 1630 hours. LT Louis S. Peak was sent to Ste. Barbe du tlelat with one scout car to contact Command B. When he arrived there Combat B had moved out. He tried to locate them but was unable to do so he returned to the bivouac area at 2330 hours. The remainder of the Troop proceeded on its mission. The Troop remained together until it reached Amis Amour at which point LT Casimir I. Lenard with two scouts and three jeeps was assigned a zone of reconnaissance to the north of the main axis of advance. SGT Koch with one scout car and two jeeps was given a road to reconnoiter just north of the main axis. The Troop CO with one scout car and two jeeps proceeded down the main axis of advance. SGT Koch encountered an enemy patol on his road and had to return to the main axis of advance, where he reported the patrol to the Battalion Commander, he then reported to the Troop CO. At about 2130 hours the Troop encountered the enemy at the Ste. Jean Baptiste crossroad. It withdrew and reported this informaiton to the CO 2nd Battalion 16th CT. Almost immediately afterwards the 2nd Battalion engaged the enemy. The troop then moved to the rear of the Battalion to protect its rear and await further orders. LT Lenard's sections rejoined the Troop at about 0200 hours, November 10.
4. At about 0530 hours November 10, orders were received to secur the Ste. Jean Baptiste farmhouse for the Divsion CP and to send one section with an officer to contact the Combat Command B on the south. LT Lenard was sent with his seciton to establish this contact. At 0530 there was still heavy fighting at the crossroad but the Troop was able to secure the Ste. Jean Baptiste farmhouse by 0730 hours. At about 0830 hours the Division Commander arrived, there was still heavy fighting going on about 2500 yards west of the farmhouse. At about 1130 hours the troop furnished an armed escort for the Division Commander into Oran.
5. The Troop bivouaced at Division Headquarters that evening and returned to its assembly area west of St. Leu on the morning of Nov 11, 1942.
6. The Troop did not suffer any casualties or lose any vehicles during the operation. SIGNED/FRANCIS W. ADAMS/CPT/CAVALRY/1st Reconnaissance Troop/Commanding
The following unit is cited by the Commanding General for outstanding performance of duty in action during the Oran Offensive. The citation is as follows: "The 1st Recon Troop is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action. On the night of Nov 9, 1942, this troop proceded the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, in its advance on Oran and contacted the enemy at the crossroads near Formo Ste. Jean Baptiste. On the morning of Nov 10, the troop was assigned the mission of securing the Formo Ste. Jean Baptiste farmhouse. The troop, while under heavy enemy artillery and small-arms fire, advanced and secured its objective."