This is a direct transcription of a small pamphlet printed by the
Quartermaster Dept, circa 1924.
It is the most concise and descriptive reference on
the Phillips Pack Saddle I've seen yet, so I've included it in it's entirety. This
document courtesy of the Rock Island Arsenal Museum.
PHILLIPS PACK SADDLE - MODEL 1924
Tests of pack saddles for the purpose
of replacing the cumbersome and crude Aparejo in combat organizations were started in 1908
when the War Department equipped one squad of each Machine Gun Platoon with the English
Pack Saddle and one squad with the Aparejo. The tests covered a period of three years.
Neither type of saddle was satisfactory, but much valuable information was obtained as a
result of these tests. The end of these tests was the starting point in the development of
the Phillips Pack Saddle.
The need for a suitable pack saddle
was keenly felt when our troops entered Mexico in 1916 and again when the World War came
With the great increase in the number
of modern weapons of war, machine gun and machine rifle units; radio, wire and other
signal packs; demolition and pioneer packs, kitchen and other troop packs, there developed
the need for a pack saddle which would enable pack animals to accompany cavalry at all
gaits as well as a saddle suitable for cargo at slower gaits. Pack transportation at
Cavalry gaits was recognized as a different and bigger problem than pack transportation at
the pack train gaits of amble and walk.
Further tests of pack equipment begin
in earnest in 1919 upon the return of our troops from France. The World War demonstrated
the need for equipment simple in design, that could be used by National Army troops with a
short period of training. Practically all standard types of foreign pack saddles and
American types were tested by boards of the several services.
The Phillips Pack Saddle, as designed
by Lt. Col. Albert E. Phillips of the Cavalry, won each of the service tests in which this
saddle was entered. The Infantry test was conducted by the Infantry School at Camp Benning
in 1920. The Mountain Artillery test was conducted by the Pack Artillery Board, 4th
Artillery, in 1922-23, and consisted of over five hundred miles of marching. Three
separate tests were conducted in the Cavalry by the 1st Cavalry Division, covering eleven
hundred and fifty miles of marching, in each of which the Phillips Saddle won first place.
As a final result of all tests, the
Phillips Pack Saddle was adopted for the Cavalry service on July 26, 1924.
DESCRIPTION OF THE
The Phillips 'Pack Saddle Model 1924
represents the highest development of the pack saddle. Briefly, the saddle consists of two
pads and a frame, with specially designed accessories of breeching, breast strap and
The back or outside of the pads is of
selected tan leather, reinforced with spring steel ribs, arranged longitudinally to assist
in maintaining the shape of the pads while the contact side is covered with the highest
grade woven felt or calf-skin as desired. The pads are stuffed with long curled hair,
which retains its resiliency indefinitely. The pads are molded to form and are rights and
lefts; new pads may be requisitioned as required. There are three handholes on the outside
or back of each pad for adjustments. The pads are equipped for attachment to the frame.
The frame is scientifically designed
so as to be light in weight, and to withstand hard usage; to lend itself readily for nil
pack purposes, such as carriers for top loads and hangers for side loads and is free of
all projections. A small hook on each bottom bar eliminates a lash cinch when the diamond
or other hitch loads are packed. This hook is used with foot-rests on the corners of each
pad, the rope passing around the foot-rests. These foot-rests also keep the pads off the
ground when the saddle Is removed from the animal in camp.
The pads are attached to the frame by
staple fasteners at the top of pads and by aluminum pockets at the bottom of the pads.
Brass locking pins through the pockets lock the pads to the frame. The pads are easily and
quickly attached to, or detached from the frame without the use of tools.
The saddle is equipped with two mohair
cinchas and is cinched principally with the front one. With cinchas properly adjusted this
method allows the hind quarters to travel through their natural swinging motion. The
cinchas are equipped with a specially designed but simple device for rapid cinching and
quick release of cinchas without tying or untying of knots.
The breeching was developed with the
saddle and differs from all other types of breechings. It was designed to function at all
gaits and satisfactorily fulfills requirements.
The breast collar is useful for fast
gaits and up hill work.
There is considerable flexibility to
the saddle and it is suitable for either horses or mules. The pack animal has considerable
freedom of movement under the saddle and can gallop with agility.
Tests have demonstrated that the
saddle will not only save animals, but insure the loads being present when needed. The
average soldier may be taught to handle the saddle in a short period of time.
The Cavalry saddle
weighs 50 pounds. The Artillery-Cargo saddle weighs 58 pounds. 94.5 June 20, 1929
[hand written note/correction to
manual in bold]
One Phillips woven mohair pad is
issued with each saddle. This pad shapes itself instantly to the contour of the animal's
back; is durable, soft, cool, and easily cleaned. It replaces the woolen blanket and the
canvas lined corona. This pad has met the enthusiastic approval of every one who has used
it. The pad will not of itself cause an injury.