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Technician Fifth Grade Leonard Worthington

Service Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment

T/5 Leonard Horace Worthington was born in 1916 in the bustling commercial and industrial hub of Hagerstown, Maryland. With the closing of hostilities with the Axis powers rapidly approaching, Worthington enlisted into the US Army in 1944. He was assigned to Service Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment, which was assisting in the Occupation of Japan.

Worthington would arrive in the defeated nation sometime in late winter of 1946, just in time for the first Army Day Parade the 1st Cavalry Division was a part of since World War II broke out. Soldiers marched in fitted uniforms and shined boots, rifles perfectly maintained on their shoulders. Tanks, self-propelled artillery pieces, and M8 Greyhounds rolled down the Tokyo boulevards, and the division band played music for all to enjoy. The festivity was a boom to morale and showed off the very best of the American military, flaunting its vast muscle and supply.

In May of 1946, Japan was allowed the Freedom of Expression for the first time in over 25 years. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese Communists were allowed to participate in the May Day Parade, a holiday to commemorate the Haymarket tragedy in Chicago, Illinois as well as celebrate the working class. Throughout the morning of May 1st, over 300,000 communists gathered in downtown Tokyo, the 1st Cavalry prepared to deal with any civil disobedience, however, the attendees were peaceful and orderly.

The general purpose of the entire 1st Cavalry Division during this period of its history was maintaining order amongst the Japanese civilians, locating and destroying Imperial Japanese munitions, dismantling Japanese war material and machinery, policing the behavior of the soldiers in and recovering Imperial treasure like gold and silver.

Worthington drove Truck #35 within the Service Troop, hauling men to and from training, material from Yokosuka Harbor to Camp Drake, and doing maintenance on the vehicles. Worthington, along with the rest of the 8th Cavalry Regiment (and a contingent of 11th Airborne Division troopers) were housed in the 3rd Imperial Guard Barracks in Tokyo. In 1947, Worthington rotated back to the States and returned home to Maryland.

Following military service, Worthington made a career with Hagersville's historically important Fairchild Aviation Corporation, working there for 44 years. In his free time, he enjoyed loved baseball, football, and gardening as well as his family. Worthington passed away on February 19, 2012, with his wife passing the following day.

Technician Fifth Grade Leonard Worthington served in Service Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment during the Occupation of Japan. This photo album contains dozens of photographs of his time in Japan.

Disclaimer: This photo album contains racial terms not acceptable in today's world. The 1940s and today are vastly different socially, politically, and racially. Please understand and appreciate this nuance if racial terms may cause discomfort. This photo album is not censored or altered from its original state in order to preserve it as a historical resource and tool to educate others.

The Chief Historian and Tales of the First Team do not condone racism, sexism, bigotry, and anything that goes against common decency and respect for others. Language in this resource does not reflect upon the opinions or morals of the Chief Historian and Tales of the First Team.



  • 1st Cavalry Division History - Occupation of Japan, 1945 - 1950, Cavalry Outpost Publications, 1996,

  • Rogers, Charles A. Occupation Diary First Cavalry Division. First Cavalry Division Association, 1950.

  • “WWII Army Enlistment Records.”

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