Lieutenant Ramseys War: From Horse Soldier to Guerrilla Commander (Memories of War)

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The surprise charge, with Ramsey on his beloved chestnut gelding Bryn Awryn, scattered the Japanese invaders, even though they were backed by tanks, and helped the allies organise their retreat from the Philippines by stalling the enemy advance. By that time Cavalry units, with their famous motto of "shock, mobility and firepower", were already an anachronism, but Ramsey and his men proved that a small horse-mounted force could still wreak havoc on the enemy.

To them we must have seemed a vision from another century, wild-eyed horses pounding headlong; cheering, whooping men firing from the saddles.

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Escaping capture during the Japanese advance, Ramsey retreated to the jungle and mountains, building a guerrilla force of Filipinos, eventually totalling 40, men. They harassed the enemy for the next three years while most American soldiers and their allies had retreated or been captured, many forced into the infamous Bataan Death March. For three years Ramsey's family assumed he was dead — as did General Douglas MacArthur, US commander of the Pacific, who had been forced to retreat from the Philippines — until Ramsey started getting messages to him from the Central Luzon jungle, via guerrillas, sympathisers and American warships.

Ramsey recalled how he smuggled messages through enemy lines: "You take lemon juice and write with it and you don't see it until you put heat under it.

Edwin Ramsey - Wikipedia

Unless you put On retreating from the Philippines MacArthur had said "I shall return. Ramsey, who had seen his weight halve to 6st 9lb in the jungle and had lost around 5, of his Filipino guerrillas, was ordered home by MacArthur. He had also had his appendix removed with a pen-knife, with rum as anaesthetic. He later recalled: "No anaesthetic, a little bit of rum, chewing on the nurse's arm, and cussing.

It burst in his hands as he took it out.

MacArthur later estimated that Ramsey's guerrilla activity, and the intelligence he gathered, had saved tens of thousands of American and Filipino lives. His operations became a blueprint for modern-day US Special Forces and to this day, to Filipinos of a certain age, the name Ramsey is second only to MacArthur as their most-loved American. Edwin Price Ramsey was born in Carlyle, Illinois in , but moved to Eldorado, Kansas when he was two and 10 years later to Wichita, Kansas, with his older sister Nadine — who flew US fighters and bombers during the war — and his mother, who ran a dermatology clinic, after his father died.

While at school, he worked as a "jerk" in a soda fountain and a waiter in The Palms nightclub in Wichita to help feed his family. As part of his high school education he went to the Oklahoma Military Academy in Claremore, outside Tulsa, largely because they had a "horse artillery unit" and a serious polo team. As war in Europe loomed he applied for active duty in the Philippines, where the US had major military bases although they were not yet involved in the conflict.

To begin with, I didn't even know where it was, except that it was a warm country, it was tropical and they had a good polo team there. In fact, we were playing polo when the war broke out [after Pearl Harbour]. While the Japanese invaded the Philippines and launched air raids, Ramsey recalled having made a bed from boxes of TNT explosives. We took quite a beating and lost about half our officers and men in the very beginning.

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After the war Ramsey worked as an executive with Hughes Aircraft Corporation and returned to the Philippines as a private businessman before retiring to California. In , in Manila, he married the daughter of the French ambassador there and they went on to have four children. He remained active in US Veterans' affairs for the rest of his life and recorded his wartime exploits in the book Lieutenant Ramsey's War.


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View Large Image. After the fall of the Philippines in - and after leading the last horse cavalry charge in U. In Stock with Supplier Shipping in days. Ed Ramsey refused to surrender.

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Instead, he joined the Filipino resistance an The Japanese put the elusive American at the top of their death list. On the run for three long years, Ramsey withstood unimaginable fear, pain and loss. His book chronicles a remarkable true story of courage and perseverance. When will my order arrive? What happens if the goods are damaged when I open them up? You might also like. John F. Kennedy and PT Richard Tregaskis. Ships in days.