With the Japanese firmly control of Peking and the surrounding countryside, it would seem the mission of the Mounted Detachment had come to an end. However, traditions usually die a slow death, and in August 1937 Col Marston identified 2Lt Dewolf Schatzel as the next and ultimately last commander of the Horse Marines. Schatzel, commissioned in the summer of 1936, graduated at the top of his Officers Basic School class was given his choice of assignments….he chose duty in Peking. After a few months of serving in a line company, he must have demonstrated enough "vim and vigor" to be considered for this prestigious assignment. There was only one detail Col Marston may not have been aware of when he selected his new Mounted Commander...Schatzel did not know how to ride a horse! Lack of familiarity with horses was not however going to be a deterrent to this young marine, and Schatzel quickly turned to TSgt George Nowack, the Mounted senior NCO for help. Lieutenant Schatzel told Nowack "you have three and a half weeks to teach me how to ride and teach me so well that they will not know that I didn’t know how to ride before I took over the mounted detachment." Nowack accepted the challenge, and by September when Schatzel formally assumed command, he had become a proficient rider, able to perform on the parade ground and in the field.
The farewell plaque presented by the men of the Mounted to Lt Schatzel following the disbanding of the Mounted Detachment (Photo courtesy the Schatzel Family)
DeWolf and Ida Mae Schatzel, on their wedding day, Tientsin China, 23 March 1939.
Lt Schatzel and the Mounted
Colonel Schatzel, c 1958