Armored Cavalry Journal, May-June 1947?

U.S. Zone Constabulary Mounted Platoon Composed of Volunteers


Composed of 41 enlisted men and one officer, the Horse Platoon of the 16th Constabulary in Berlin is an all volunteer unit. Material in this article on the Horse Platoon is taken from a recent feature story in the "Berlin Observer" written by Maurice Nutter, a staff member of the newspaper.
Berlin's modern knights and their high-stepping mounts, known as the Horse Platoon of the 16th Constabulary, unlike other units in Berlin, is an all volunteer outfit. So writes Maurice Nutter in a recent issue of the Berlin Observer of which

he is a staff writer.

The full strength required for the unit to function properly, according to Nutter, is a platoon numbering 41 enlisted men and one officer.

Each man before being taken into the unit is interviewed and thoroughly oriented on his future duties. A great deal is demanded of every member of the platoon. They are required to have high spirit, exacting discipline and exceptionally good military bearing, because this platoon is trained for not only show purposes but also for certain security missions. These volunteers are picked to perform the duty of honor guards, escorts, reception parties and to participate in every important ceremony that takes place in Berlin.

Nutter writes further that the platoon was formed October 1, 1945, as the Horse Platoon of the 78th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop of the 78th Infantry Division, then located at Hofgeismer, Germany, and alerted for movement to Berlin. Major General Ray W. Barker, then commanding general of the Berlin District and the 78th Infantry Division, and Colonel John C. MacDonald, then assistant commander of the 78th Division, organized the platoon.

First Lieutenant Mathew B. Quinn, then with the 78th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, was placed in command. His first mission was to select and train personnel and obtain equipment for the men and horses. Colonel John C. MacDonald personally selected the mounts for the platoon. They were shipped by the 6835th Remount Depot from Bad Homburg, Germany.

The Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Quinn, who helped form this famous unit is still in command of it. He believes the Horse Platoon will stay on active duty in Berlin as long as there is an occupying force in Germany. Lieutenant Quinn is a New Yorker. He enrolled in the Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Kansas, graduating in March, 1943.

Right-hand men of the Platoon Commander, according to Nutter, are Platoon Sergeant Hugh E. Carwile and Stable Sergeant Flautte Wemack.

The Platoon's first big assignment in Berlin was on January 1, 1946, when it was called upon to guard the chiefs of all the Allied Powers at a reception given by the United States Deputy Military Governor in Dahlem. Another important mission the unit was called upon to perform was to act as honor guard, last June 26, for 12 newspapermen and publishers who arrived in Berlin on an inspection tour.

In May, 1946, Nutter continues in the Berlin Observer, which is the weekly Information and Education newspaper published for the Berlin Command, the Horse Platoon became part of the 16th Constabulary Squadron and was attached to Headquarters Troop. It occupies the area which was formerly the Deutsche Reitschule, famous stables where many members of the Prussian nobility kept their horses. The area and buildings had greatly deteriorated during the war years but had not been bombed. The Horse Platoon has improved it. They staged some fine Interallied horse shows on the old grounds.

The men of the platoon are at present billeted in two villas in the vicinity of the stables at Zehlendorf West, but will be moved shortly to newly renovated barracks adjoining the Zehlendorf stables. These stables were at one time occupied by the mounted SA Troopers of the German Army.

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