New Documentary About the WW2 US Army Hero Who Led The Last Cavalry Charge in American History

26th Cavalry PI Scouts moving into Pozorrubio, Philippines, 1942.
26th Cavalry PI Scouts moving into Pozorrubio, Philippines, 1942.

“Never Surrender: The Ed Ramsey Story” is a new documentary about the WWII hero who led the last cavalry charge in US military history.

Born in Illinois, Ramsey died at the age of 95 in 2013. He was placed in command of the elite 26thCalvalry Regiment in the Philippines. Most of his time was spent playing polo with other officers until the Japanese troops invaded Manilla.

While in the Phillipenes, Ramsey found himself in facing down a large body of Japanese infantry, supported by tanks, while he and his men were mounted on horseback. With no other options available, Ramsey ordered his cavalry to charge – the last cavalry charge in American Military History. It was effective, too. The Japanese Infantry, surprised and terrified, broke and fled, and Ramsey and his small group held their position under heavy fire for five hours until reinforcements arrived.

After this incident, he led the famous offensive in the jungle of the Philippines. He took command of the Filipino resistance in 1942, after their commander was captured, and the forces under him eventually grew to more than 40,000 guerilla fighters. He survived extreme malnutrition and tropical diseases, Los Angeles Times reported.

It makes for an interesting tale but the film, directed by Steven C. Barber and Matt Hausle with some narration by Josh Brolin, spends a lot of time on polo and Ramsey’s career with Hughes Aircraft Co. after the war.

The movie includes the usual line-up of historians, retired military personnel and family members. It even includes scenes with Ramsey, filmed from 2003 and 2012.

Strangely, though, no Filipino veterans are represented in the film despite Ramsey’s time spent lobbying in Congress to restore the benefits that were promised them.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE