26th Reconnaissance Troop

Recon Troop Often In Vain

One hundred and forty-three Cavalrymen to an Infantry Division - that's the 26th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop.

It got its start on ETO duty on the French Coast, making sure the Channel islands of Guernsey and Jersey didn't run away. From that a brief fling at the "Red Ball" and then on to Nancy where it took an infantry job of manning fox-holes in the black, dirty and wet woods of France. Jeeps and M-8s were forgotten for a while, until the 8th of November when the push got started. The troop started out taking towns along the division flank. Chateau Salins and Ritche will always remain a memory of most vicious fighting. Metz for Xmas was the cry when Rundstedt bulged.

From Metz to Arlon, Belgium, it was a cold and foggy ride, but the troop wasn't riding for the beauty of the weather; its mission was to locate and reconnoiter the penetration of enemy troops. Before the fog cleared, it contacted the enemy - they were all over the place in superior number.

A handful of men fought enemy tanks and infantry until the YD's swiftly moving infantry moved up. Lt. Hatfield was awarded the DSC and a Battle Commission for his superior skill and leadership in this conflict.

Another big push started on the 15th of March. To the Rhine took only a few days, but to the men in the point bantams spearheading for the task forces it seemed weeks.

South to the Danube, and the race for bridges was on. For once the troop was functioning as a unit.

The troop adopted a platoon from the 818th TD and from "Dog" Company of the 778th Tank Bn. A TD Sgt. gave the classic fire order, "Level her off at 300 and let her eat."

Cart Walter B. Moseley and Flying Flynn guided it from the start to the finish.

excerpt from "Grapevine" Vol. II / No.35 - October 21, 1945


Left to Right: Bill Zaleski, Massachusetts and Phil Fecteau, Maine

Sitting: Michael Mosqueda, Mich. 2nd Row: Oscar Burnett, Arkansas; Gordon Bivins, Idaho 3rd Row: Carl Helm, Wisconsin; Phil Fecteau, Maine; Bill Zaleski, Massachusetts

Phil Fecteau on R&R at the Hancock House near Ellsworth, Maine (1942)

Sitting: Michael Mosqueda, Michigan. 2nd Row: Santo Nicoletti, New York; Gordon Bivins, Idaho. 3rd Row: Bill Helm, Wisconsin; Phil Fecteau, Maine; Bill Zaleski, Massachusetts

Photos by courtesy of Marc Fecteau