William Mihalo walks into the cavalry, 1943.

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William Mihalo walks into the cavalry, 1943.

Post  mconrad on Wed 05 Sep 2012, 10:23 am

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This newspaper wire photo of November 1943 marked "Wm. Mihalo champion walker, cavalry" piqued my curiosity. Just a few minutes searching on the marvelous internet brought up that he was a sports celebrity in his time. I suppose this picture dates from his induction into the army, and the cavalry no less. His cavalry specific uniform was perhaps provided due to his status and the photo opportunity. He has no rank and no unit patch. I don't think too many buck privates were being issued riding breeches and spurs in 1943.

Elsewhere on the internet I found that in 1945 he was with the 140th Infantry Special Service at Camp Swift, Texas, and still engaged in athletic walking. Whether or not that was his full time duty with the army I do not know. He is probably the "William J Mihalo 1915-1979" buried in Los Angeles Veterans Cemetary, who reached the rank of corporal.

Also found this:
"Mihalo indeed was national AAU champion in the 50K road walk in 1940 with a time of 5:06:45. An odd and unfortunate incident occured in the 1948 AAU nationals and Olympic trials, won by Baltimore’s Ernie Crosbie. As the May 17. 1948 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recounts:

“The event was marred at the three-mile mark when a passing automobile struck William Mihalo, one of the contestants, a glancing blow on the leg.

“Mihalo, of Detroit, finished the walk but was disqualified for running in the final mile. He collapsed after crossing the finish line in a dead heat with third place John Deni of Pittsburgh and was cared for by a nurse.”

1934 photo: [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


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Re: William Mihalo walks into the cavalry, 1943.

Post  ChrisF202 on Wed 05 Sep 2012, 1:18 pm

Great photo of the service uniform worn by US Army cavalrymen at the twilight of the horse cavalry.

Not too many people know this but the US Army maintained horse mounted cavalry units until the very late 1940s. I think the last horse cavalry unit was 'de-horsed' in 1946 or 47.


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