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Gary W. Palmer

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Gary W. Palmer, “was an aviator in the U.S. Navy for ten years. He flew the E-2A Hawkeye, a tactical early warning aircraft, during the Vietnam War. Following his military service, Palmer joined the San Diego Sheriff’s Department while simultaneously serving as a tank commander in the Army National Guard. Palmer retired from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department in 2007 after 33 years of service. Meanwhile, in 1994, Palmer became interested in his father’s World War II service with the 106th Cavalry Group. Palmer subsequently became a member of the 106th Cavalry Association and began researching and writing about the history of the U.S. Cavalry.”  Gary W. Palmer is the author of The U.S. Cavalry - Time of Transition, 1938-1944: Horses to Mechanization.

According to the book description of The U.S. Cavalry - Time of Transition, 1938-1944: Horses to Mechanization, “During the 1930s and into World War II, the U.S. Cavalry wrestled with a fundamental question: should its horses be retired and replaced with tanks and other mechanized vehicles—or should the horse remain the mainstay of the cavalry? Time of Transition is historian Gary Palmer’s colorful, detailed look at this game-changing period for the American military establishment. Ten years in the making, Time of Transition is Palmer’s tribute to his father, who served in the 106th Cavalry Group during World War II. Deftly blending official wartime records with fresh interviews, stories and rare photos from personal and archival collections, Palmer follows the 106th, a unit of the Illinois National Guard, as its 1,500 personnel make the transition from horses to mechanization and participate in the landmark Louisiana Maneuvers of 1940-41.

Palmer shares the personal experiences of the many National Guard soldiers who, due to the constant juggling of personnel, trained and served with Regular Army units such as the 4th, 14th and 27th Cavalry Groups during World War II. In addition to the Guardsmen, Regular Army cavalry troops relate their inspiring wartime stories. Palmer also uncovers the behind-the-scenes activities of the War Department, Army General Staff, and other military units as they test the firepower of the traditional horse cavalry against the new technology of tanks, jeeps and other mechanized vehicles. Packed with action and analysis, Time of Transition is a volume of military history that salutes the pioneers who stood at the crossroads of tradition and modernization—and courageously grappled with the challenges of change.”

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