History of Fort Ord Horse Unit

Posted on November 12, 2016 by Jerrilee.
Categories: equipment, health, history, military, riding.
Army Mules from:olive-drab .com

Army Mules from:olive-drab .com

The 18th Cavalry was first organized on June 6, 1917.  On November 11th they became the 76th Field Artillery Regiment assigned to the Third Division and were sent to France in May of 1918.  The 76th saw their first fire fight on July 5th near Chateau-Thierry, on July 15, 1918, they were instrumental in the defeat of the Germans in the Champagne-Marne Defensive and continued to serve well through the Armistice on November 11, 1918, finally returning home, to Camp Pike, Arkansas, the following August.

From Arkansas, the second battalion of the 76th was moved to the Presidio of Monterey in 1922 where they remained until 1940.  ” On August 4, 1917, the U.S. War Department purchased 15,609.5 acres of land from the David Jacks Corporation to be used as a training area and firing range for the infantry, cavalry, and field artillery units stationed at the Presidio of Monterey. This acquisition, today known as the East Garrison area, was then called Gigling Reservation, named after a German immigrant family that had lived on the land.”

Moving to Presidio, Monterey, California

In 1933 the Army renamed Gigling Reservation, Camp Ord, after Maj. Gen. E.O.C Ord a Civil War commander.  Much of these 15,000 plus acres consisted of manzanita scrub brush and sand. In 1938 improvements on the land began with the building of administrative buildings, barracks, mess halls, a sewage treatment plant and tent pads.

The second battalion of the 76th Field Artillery (horse drawn) unit stationed at the Presidio of Monterey became the first unit of this new division. Their 1,400 horses were kept in temporary corrals at the tent encampment, until their stables were completed.  On August 15, 1940 Camp Ord, Clayton, Pacific and other nearby camps combined and were redesignated Fort Ord.  By the end of the year, Fort Ord had 1,098 buildings finished or in progress.

Vet hospital, Fort Ord

On January 30, 1941 the veterinary hospital (presently the Marina Equestrian Center) was completed. This hospital would care for the horses of the 7th Field Artillery, the 68th Quartermaster Pack Troop (horses and mules), and the 107th Cavalry (horse-mechanized) unit that came to Fort Ord in December of 1941 to defend the West Coast from a Japanese invasion.

images and article: Carmel by the Sea, Fort Ord Warhorse Day Celebration