WITH THE FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION, July 22, 1950 (UP) - The liberators of Manila slogged and rode into forward battle positions today, ready to avenge their buddies who have retreated slowly for 17 days.
Hundreds of exhausted GI's, some barefoot, some half-naked, cheered the reinforcements on. These were the boys of the battered 34th and 19th Regiments of the 24th Division, who had fought a delaying action against overwhelming odds and then had hiked, run and crept through encirclement to the new American lines.
One sergeant, dressed only in shorts, said, "boy, it's sure good to see you guys."
His outfit had spent 48 hours getting back to American lines. They swam the Kum River, and on the last 200 yards, with American rescue teams waiting on the bank, one man slipped off a log and drowned.
The 1st Cavalry men were fighting mad as they watched the Taejon veterans shuffle by.
The 1st Cavalry, as it moved up, seemed organized to provide the long-awaited punch which Americans hope will halt the steadily advancing Reds and send them reeling.
Maj. Gen. Hobart Gay, commanding general, said: "We are ready." He was one-time chief of staff to the late Gen. George S. Patton.
Gay was fired upon while driving in a jeep to take up a command post, but was not hit. Apparently the shot came from a hillside.
When the 1st Cavalry Division begins shooting at the enemy, the North Koreans will meet for the first time a fully equipped and battle-armed American division.
To date they have faced out-numbered Yank outfits thrown into battle in a hurry to fight delaying actions until the Americans could muster sufficient troops and weapons to turn the tide.