Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Website Finds, Walter Schweitzer, 107th Cavalry

In 1938 just as the idea of the modern military jeep was in its very infancy, Walter Schweitzer joined the recruit class of the 107th Regiment Horse Cavalry of the National Guard. He grew up listening to the sounds of the milkman, the baker and the grocer making their rounds with horse-drawn wagons and naturally gravitated towards horses. And in the next couple of years, the Horse Cavalry became a horse and mechanized cavalry outfit with the advent of the jeep and the greater mechanization of the army. Despite this, Walter Schweitzer remained on horseback stationed at Fort Ord, California after the attack on Pearl Harbor where his duties included patrolling the coastline in search of Japanese subs and invasion attempts and desert maneuvers. His was one of the last of the old guard who still rode a horse in the cavalry and Fort Ord was the last remaining example of cavalry stables and blacksmith shops before they were sadly, torn down in May 2011.
In May 1942, Fort Ord was responsible for shooting this series of publicity shots of Schweitzer and his horse, Big Cain jumping the jeep. That was what attracted me to this site, but the full story is a great one that I found here. I loved the irony of the horse cavalry jumping the ‘newcomer,’ the jeep that eventually helped make the horse based cavalry obsolete.
This will be an ongoing series of installments in which I want to highlight these miscellaneous photos found that feature the jeep in websites that most people would probably not know about or have seen before. These are not my photos and should be regarded only as references for research or entertainment. Please refer back to the original url source if you reproduce these. You can view the full album section here.
I’ll be back with more next week. I hope that everyone had a happy and safe new year and is enjoying this last of the big holidays until spring. I also wanted to update the look of the What’s New section slightly for the new year. What do you think? See you next week with more of the legendary jeep!

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