Master Sergeant William Crismon


The photo below has been in our family for seventy years or so.  This is Sergeant William Crismon performing the famous horse jump demonstration. 



The above photo is displayed in the US Cavalry Museum at Fort riley, Kansas.  A second photo shown below recently was found on the Internet.  Is this US Cavalry Soldier the same man in both photos below?  We are confident that the photo of the soldier in light khaki uniform on the left is Pop because that is what Mother said.  She even made a hand written notation on the back of the original photo.  Is it possible that the soldier in the darker uniform on the right is also Pop?  We know he rode two mounts that were quite famous at Fort Riley.  One was “Tarzan” and the other “Charger”.  In both photos the horse and rider are jumping a soldier posed as the hurdle.  This was an impressive demonstration that required very special skills on the part of the horse and rider (plus bravery and trust on the part of the hurdle soldiers).  Sgt. William Crismon’s reputation in horse training and equestrian skills were well known in the US Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Kansas.  Mom said this horse/rider skills exhibition required permission of the Post Commander and was frequently performed at Horse Shows on the Post.


                                                Sergeant Crismon on Tarzan.           Sergeant Crismon on Charger?





The photo at the left (khaki summer uniform) shows the soldier's chevron rank to be a Sergeant.  You will recall William Crismon achieved the rank of Sergeant by way of a battlefield promotion while in France during WWI.  In the photo on the right (OD winter uniform) it appears the rider’s chevron is Master Sergeant.  Pop was promoted to First Sergeant of Troop "A", Second Cavalry in 1934 so the photo on the left was most likely taken before that time astride Tarzan.  If the second photo is also Pop, it would obviously have been taken after the first photo because of the chevron rank.  Notice the build of both Troopers appears to be the same.  In the photo on the right the rider’s face is more visible.  He certainly resembles how Pop would have looked in the 1930’s astride Charger.