Buffalo Soldiers – 9th Cavalry

Posted on February 26, 2013


On July 28, 1866 the 9th Cavalry Regiment was formed. The regiment was made up of 12 companies formed into 3 Squadrons. Each Squadron had 4 companies. Each company had 4 officers 15 Non-Commissioned Officers and 72 Privates.

On AUGUST 3, 1866  a Regiment was made up of Negro (African-American) soldiers. This Regiment was designated the 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry Regiment. The 9th Cavalry Regiment went to San Antonio, Texas in March of 1867. The mission was to : 1. Protect the Stage Coach and Postal Routes. 2. Rebuild and maintain Forts. 3. Establish Law and order from Mexican Revolutionaries and raiding Indians. It was the Indians that came up with the name “Buffalo Soldiers”. They said the men had dark skin and hair as coarse as the Buffalo. They also said they were strong warriors.

The 9th Cavalry Regiment served from Texas to Utah to California and even in the Philipines. After the Philipines the 9th Cavalry once again fought but this time it was in Mexico under the command of General John J. (Blackjack) Pershing  against Poncho Villa.

In 1944 the 9th Cavalry Regiment was deactivated. It was reactivated as the 9th Reconnaissance Troop, 9th Cavalry, 2nd Infantry  Division and carried out missions during WWII in both the European and Pacific Theaters. :Later it was redesignated the 9th Cavalry Regiment (Mechanized) and participated in the Normandy Invasions and fought in Tunisia and Italy.

In 1950 the 9th Cavalry Regiment was deactivated and reactivated as the 509th Tank Battalion. In 1953, the 509th Tank Battalion became integrated.

These  were the original Buffalo Soldiers. They were fierce fighters and Proud soldiers. This is why we still talk about the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th Cavalry.

During WWII many Black soldiers served with pride but once again in segregated units such as the 9th Cavalry. These men were  not treated with the same respect as their white counterparts. Their promotions were slower and their rank was limited. Many of these men never received the respect or awards they deserved.

In 1965, the 1st Cavalry Division became the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Less than 3 months later they were in Vietnam. The units of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) were integrated. We had Black, Indian, Hispanic and White Pilots. In  the Blue Platoon we maintained about a 25 man roster. We had Black, Hispanic, and White soldiers. We fought as a team as did the whole unit.

At our last Squadron reunion we had Shirts made up.  DSC07923 1306X1256  This was to Honor those who went before us. The Buffalo Soldier is part of our proud heritage.