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Lieutenant Colonel Bertram Wright

Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 1st Cavalry Division

When World War II concluded, ending humanity's bloodiest conflict, the task of recording the history of the Allied cause became paramount to historians and veterans alike. Many units published their own unit histories, like the 28th Infantry Division's Roll On and the 1st Cavalry Division's The 1st Cavalry Division in World War II. The First Team's unit history was compiled, edited, re-edited, and then edited again before being sent to the printing house where production was slowed due to language barriers and the need for more edits. The man who quite literally 'wrote the book' on the First Team's Pacific rodeo was Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Bertram C. Wright, the division's historian.


Lieutenant Colonel Bertram C. Wright was born on February 26th, 1908 in Andover, Connecticut, and entered the army sometime in the1930s. During the war, he served on the 6th Army general staff before joining the 1st Cavalry Division in Occupied Japan where he became the division's historical officer. His main task while assigned to the First Team was compiling the unit's World War II history, a mission easier said than done. Compiling the history required Wright to take information from morning reports, after-action reports, other unit histories, and general orders from both the 1st Cavalry Division and the 6th Army.

November 1947, the first of Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Bertram C. Wright's The 1st Cavalry Division in World War II were printed in Tokyo by the Toppan Printing Company under close supervision of both Wright and other officers. As stated in a letter written by LTC Wright, the bookbinder, and printers did not speak English. This resulted in a slow process of printing off pages at a time to proofread and then correct any spelling or grammatical errors. Further hindering production was the need for Japanese workers to take two to three days off each week to stand in soup kitchen lines for their families. Regardless, 5,000 first-edition copies of the unit history were printed in November 1947 while 25,000 were printed that December. The difference between the two copies is the binding; the first edition unit histories are hardcovers while the second edition is softcovers. He returned to the United States in 1948 and was assigned to the ROTC unit at the University of Utah, eventually retiring from the Army in 1960. He passed away on September 10th, 1987.

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