91st Recon Squadron?
I receive a considerable amount of interesting mail relating to a variety of subject matter. Oftentimes it relates to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (SRS), whose history, and her veterans that served under her emblem, are really the source and genesis of this web site. On March 8, 2004, I received an inquiry and request from Dolly Esch-Twoeagles that was somewhat of a departure from the norm. She advised me that the 91st SRS was not the only 91st Squadron bearing that designation during the WW II worldwide conflict. Her message clearly explained the dilemma and problems involved in an Internet search for information relating to individuals and units that served under a 91st Squadron title. I will publish her message below and if your have any serious information or comments to contribute, feel free to be in touch with me or with Dolly to expand our knowledge on this subject. Thank You.
Chuck Stone Web Site Editor/Developer
Dolly's Message and Request
From: Dolly Esch-Twoeagles <email@example.com>
Thank you for the assistance that you are about to give me.
I was wondering if there's any way possible that you might work this into your site.
I've been doing some research for a WWII Army veteran. Yep, I know this isn't an Army site. Problem is that in my research, I keep finding folks looking for information on their dad's, grandpa's, or uncle's unit...the 91st Recon Squadron. Actually, they've been looking for an Army unit, but in the process they get themselves turned around into believing that they're actually looking for your unit...then they can't figure out how dad, grandpa, uncle died in Tunisia, Sicily, or one of several campaigns in Italy when the Army Air Force unit served in the American theater.
Now, me, however--I don't give up so easily. Here's the deal.
First problem is that there were 3 units from the same period with similar unit designations, so folks keep confusing info on the three units. The 91st Recon Sq that was actually an Army Air Force unit never really left the American theater; the 91st Recon Troop, which belonged to the 91st Inf Div throughout WWII served in the European theater; but the Army also had the 91st Cav Recon Sq (aka 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron or 91st Reconnaissance Squadron or 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) or any other abbreviated version thereof).
The 91st Cav Recon Sq (which by the way has a Troop A, Troop B, and Troop C, to further add to the confusion), was a "nondivisional unit." That is, it reported directly to Headquarters II Corps throughout the war, which in turn detailed or "attached" it to myriad Infantry Divisions, Armored Divisions, and Task Forces throughout the war. Sometimes it even split the Squadron and sent part of it to fight with one Task Force, part with another Task Force, and left part of it in reserve...all at the same time!
One case in point is Gerry H. Kisters. He was a staff sergeant when he earned a Distinguished Service Cross while assigned to the 91st Cav Recon Sq in Tunisia on 7 May 1943 -- but is generally listed under the 1st Armored Division, because that is the division the unit was attached to at the time. (The unit was attached to the 9th Infantry Division just a couple weeks before, so 91st Cav Recon Sq officer 2LT William R. White, who is listed as a deceased member of the 1st Armored Division Association, generally is listed as receiving his Silver Star on 27 April 1943 at Sedjenane while a member of the 9th Division--rather than the 91st Cav Recon Sq which was ATTACHED to the 9th Inf Div at the time.) But, I digress. Remember SSG Kisters from the beginning of the paragraph? Well, next stop after Tunisia was Sicily. Second Lieutenant Gerry H. Kisters (then Staff Sergeant), earned his Medal of Honor, near Gagliano, Sicily on 31 July 1943...still assigned to the 91st Cav Recon Sq, but generally listed as a member of the 2d Armored Division, because that's the Division the 91st Cav Recon Sq was attached to at the time. (By the by, Kisters was the first during WWII to earn both medals--the Congressional Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross...so his unit, the 91st Cav Recon Sq, was the first unit to have a soldier earn both medals.)
I could go on and on about this supertroop unit, like how it was more often given infantry missions than "reconnaissance", when and where it was detailed (or attached) to whichever Division or Task Force under II Corps, where a memorial has been dedicated to the unit, how many casualties the unit suffered or awards it's members earned, or how folks...to include...the American Battle Monuments Commission...have confused those the Army Air Force 91st Recon Sq, the Army 91st Recon Troop, and the Army 91st Cav Recon Sq. But I've already probably given you a lot more information than you'd care to see on a unit that isn't actually the topic addressed in your site.
In a web search, your site generally pops up first. That's why I was wondering if you could add information about the Army units somewhere, particularly about the 91st Cav Recon Sq. I'd hate to think how many folks have given up looking for this elite Army unit already, because all they could find was your elite Air Force Unit.
Could you help me out?
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