Rare WWI 2nd Cavalry Photo RPPC Taken in France – 2nd Dragoons Training Station

A particularly special photo acquisition comes in the form of a 2nd Cavalry RPPC (real photo postcard) taken somewhere near Tours, France during the war.  The 2nd Cav. trained only ten miles from my house in Vermont, at Fort Ethan Allen before their departure to Hoboken for transfer overseas to France.  Considered by many to be the only  true U.S. mounted cavalry units to serve during WWI, the 2nd Cav. was a unique unit that tends to be glossed over by WWI histories.  I’m proud to add this photo to my collection!

Interesting details of the photo include a mascot puppy, the use of spurs, and a raggedy pigeon perched on a shoulder.

For those interested in reading more on the history of the 2nd Cavalry, check out this website:  http://history.dragoons.org/category/world-war-i/

2nd Cav. Puppy Dog Mascot

27 thoughts on “Rare WWI 2nd Cavalry Photo RPPC Taken in France – 2nd Dragoons Training Station

  1. I enjoyed looking at the pictures of the 2nd Cavalry. Mu Uncle was a member of this unit in VT and later transferred to Mississippi where he died of TB. i have several pictures of him and Ft. Ethan Allen.

    • Sir, I was wondering if you would like to share photos of your uncle. I work for the 2nd Cavalry Museum in Germany and would love to display pictures and any information you mighgt have on him.

  2. I enjoy finding pictures for the museum I work with in Germany. Would you be willing to make a copy of this photo so we can display it for our soliders to see? Thanks

    • Eric:
      I would be pleased to mail you a picture or two of my late uncle on horseback and another one of him doing mess detail out in the field. Kindly give me your address and I’ll mail them to you.
      Ken Froberg
      Jamestown, RI

  3. Thank you for linking to my 2d Cavalry history site, provided by the 2d Cavalry Association.

    I’m contacting you on behalf of Ryan Meyer, curator at the Reed Museum and Regimental Heritage Center, Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, where the 2d Cavalry Regiment is home based. Ryan was hoping he could get your permission to use a copy of this WWI 2d Cavalry RPPC in an exhibit he is currently putting together for the museum’s re-opening soon. If so, would it be possible to get a higher resolution scan?

    • Also noticed there was a Captain Hart in the photo. Jason B. Hart served in the 2d Cavalry from September 5, 1917 until October 31, 1919, and was promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain during this period. The 2d Cavalry Regiment was the only US Cavalry to fight mounted on horseback during WW I, and is the oldest continuously serving regiment in the US Army today, established in 1836. Our veterans organization was the first, and is the oldest, unit specific veterans organization in the US, established in 1899 by our regiment’s Spanish-American War veterans.

      • Folks:

        I would like to make some duplicates of the pictures I have of my Uncle and would mail them to you if you give me a address.

        I have a large picture of the emtire unit taken in from of the barracks at Fort Ethan Allen, VT but I do not know how to copy it. I believe there are some similiar pictures up there also.

        Best Regards, Ken Froberg

      • Brennan:

        OK let me know what size pictures they want. I can do some standard photo or a few 5×7″‘s.

        Ken Froberg RI, USA

  4. I am doing family research and found that my great uncle, PVT. Victor Pronsky who served in the 2d from 1919-1924. He was in France at one point according to the records I have. He died from a fall off of a horse in Washington, DC. Washington Barracks was listed as his residence on the death certificate in February of 1924. He joined at Ft. Ethan Allen in VT. I have a formal picture of him in uniform with my 3 male relatives. Does anyone have any information or pictures of what the 2d was doing in DC and prior to that for the dates I have listed? Any other information during this time period would be a great help. Thanks.

  5. My father was one of those who trained at Ethan Allen before being shipped to France where he was in the 2nd Cavalry, Troop I. I have a journal he carried with him in which there is a listing of all his movements. It is bare bones so I hunted for ages before locating a copy of “One Hundred Years with the 2nd Cavalry” by Lambert. It helped me fill in many of the blanks which helped me appreciate what he faced as such a young man. Arriving home still in his teens, I am touched by his final comment “a free man once more.”

    • Wonderful story. Does he write anything specific about Fort Ethan Allen? I live five minutes from the fort and always wonder what the men who trained there thought of the area.

      Thanks for posting!

      • No, I’m afraid not. He enlisted at Plattsburgh, N.Y. . He sates he left Fort Ethan Allen, Vt. March 1 arriving at Camp Merritt, N.J. on the 18th and sail for France from Hoboken March 22nd on the transport Martha Washington. He mentions a battle with submarines on April 5th sinking two of them before arriving at Pamillac, France on the 6th. He was a messenger between the 1st and 2nd Division Hqtrs. There are 5 bars on his victory ribbon. After the armistice he was stationed at Ehrenbreitstein/Coblenz as part Army of the Occupation.

      • P.S. I have a photo of the mounted AOC troops on the Deutches Ecke at Coblenz.. I would be happy to email a copy to you.

    • Barb,

      I know this reply is coming years after you posted, but I have the Christmas Menu of 2nd Cavalry, Troop I from 1918. What was you father’s name?

  6. Ms Miers,
    Would you ever consider having your father’s journal transcribed so the information is not lost? Artifacts like this contain a wealth of information for military historians.

  7. I will be donating the materials to a museum. The journal consists basically of trips made mounted or by transport which I transcribed and added information gleaned from “One Hundred Years with the 2nd Cavalry”. The dates in his journal agree with those in the book and I was able to add tidbits to my transcription such as his statement Dec. 8 crossed the Rhine. The book stated on Dec. 8 orders were issued to march 28 miles to Remagen in advance of the infantry, making them the first American troop to reach the Rhine.

    • Thank you for your speedy reply. The reason I asked is that I know Ryan Meyer, curator at the 2d Cavalry’s Reed Museum, would love to have the information. This is the official museum of the unit your father served with, and is located at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany, where the 2d Cavalry Regiment is based.

      I created a website for the 2d Cavalry Association based on the book you speak of and another called SECOND UNITED STATES CAVALRY – A HISTORY, also by a Maj. Lambert serving with the 2d Cavalry, but a different Lambert than the Maj. Lambert from your book.

  8. Barb,
    My name is Ryan Meyer I am the curator for the 2d Cavalry Museum, Dave mentioned me in the last post, have you selected a museum for your father’s material?

    • Hello Ryan,
      Yes. I returned my father’s items to the historical society on the base where he did his basic training in 1918. He grew up nearby the base and I felt it was fitting. All I have is scans of his materials which I would be happy to share if you would want any.

  9. Noticed my grand father in the photo. He is bottom row 2nd from the left. Angelo Marcantonio. He signed the post card Marcantonio. Second half 3rd name in. His horses name was Spark Plug. It was cut up into steaks by the French after the US turned them over to them for plow horses. He wasn’t allowed to take him home because he was enlisted. Officers could pay their horses way back. His signature looks like mine. That’s how it stand out. Not the crossed T. He was one of the 250 to survive the Meus Argonne campaign. he came home afterwards and became a plumber and raised 9 children. He died of throat cancer at age 48. Probably asbestos poisoning from the working in the Brooklyn ship yard aboard ships. His sons were well entrenched in World War II. His middle aged son “Sony” survived Easy Red Beach Sector, Omaha Beach, first wave I company. It got lost and had a late arrival. Massey Battery opened up on them when they turned into the beach and hit all but 1 boat. The command an control landing craft burst into flames an flipped. He fought his way all the way into Germany. He wouldn’t let my father enlist because he was under age. Wouldn’t sign his paperwork probably saving his life. I myself was a LT in the Naval Airforce during the start of the Gulf War.

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