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    70th anniversary of Operation Cowboy marked in Czech Republic

    Operation Cowboy

    Photo By Lt. Col. Neil Penttila | A Soldier from 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment inspects a historic vehicle provided...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Neil Penttila 

    2d Cavalry Regiment

    HOSTOUN, Czech Republic - The 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2nd Cavalry Group, Mechanized) began their European Campaign in July of 1944 riding tanks, and with a little guidance from Gen. George S. Patton, ended it on horseback.

    Leaders of the Regiment, along with community leaders from Bělá nad Radbuzou and Hostouň, Czech Republic gathered, April 30, 2015 in order to remember the 70th Anniversary of Operation Cowboy, the American rescue of 400 prisoners of war, 700 rare horses and around 350 of the famed Lipizzaner breed on April 30, 2015. The celebration and remembrance are done yearly in order to maintain the strong ties between the 2CR and the communities that share mutual history.

    While the operation was a major success, it was not without cost. The 2CR lost Tech 5 Owen Sutton and Pvt. Raymond Manz. The soldiers were remembered with wreath laying and a remembrance at the sight of the battle.

    “We are here today to commemorate the horrors of war and remember those soldiers who participated in the liberation of our country and never returned to their home” said Mayor Miroslav Rauch of Hostouň.

    The sentiment was shared by Col. John V. Meyer III, the 78th Colonel of the Regiment.

    “The true cost of war, and ultimately freedom and liberty, is all too often measured in names and faces.”

    The day’s events, while somber at times, was meant to celebrate the relationship the regiment has formed with the communities.

    The strong ties created by shared histories of the communities and the regiment were on display on April 30. American Strykers and various additional support vehicles were on display for the town members to explore. In turn the soldiers of the regiment were treated to food, music, beer and a bonfire.

    Lt. Col Jon Due, commander of 4th Squadron, 2 CR was on hand and had a special tie to the communities of Bělá nad Radbuzou and Hostouň. His grandfather had fought there and was part of Operation Cowboy.

    Due returned his grandfather’s framed Victory in Europe Medal and his wartime 2nd Cavalry Regiment Patch to the people of Hostouň with noticeable pride in his grandfather’s service and place in history.

    “I will never forget how he described his participation in Operation Cowboy” said Due “His experiences here, liberating Hostouň, at the time lined with cheering town people, Allied prisoners of war and of course the horses was the most humane and happy act he participated in during the war.”

    After 70 years, the Regiment and the people of Bělá nad Radbuzou and Hostouň have found a way to make history a lasting bond for the future. The only conflict occurred when children in Hostouň challenged Soldiers from 4th Squadron to a spontaneous soccer match. After thoroughly routing the Soldiers, the children moved on to explore their new friends’ Strykers.


    Date Taken: 05.01.2015
    Date Posted: 05.01.2015 09:53
    Story ID: 161918
    Location: HOSTOUN, CZ

    Web Views: 1,317
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