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All are later awarded the Medal of Honor. Eighty men are assigned to the Department and are given a distinguishing insignia, a crossed quill and key authorized in October This becomes the first Quartermaster insignia. The insignia was designed by Captain Oscar F. In , it becomes the insignia for all ranks, officer and enlisted. Spanish American War Public indifference and Congressional frugality had brought the Army and its supply agencies to a deplorable state of unpreparedness on the eve of the Spanish-American War.
The sudden mobilization of , men for war with Spain and the requirement to feed, cloth, supply and move them put an incredible strain on the Quartermaster Department. The capture of Puerto Rico and the Philippine Islands as a result of the war and the annexation of Hawaii in imposed added supply responsibilities upon the Quartermaster's Department. Troops had to be transported to these new possessions and maintained by a continuous flow of supplies. The Department also took in its stride the transportation of troops from the Philippines and the United States to China at the time of the Boxer Rebellion in when an international expedition relieved the besieged foreign legations in Peking.
Quartermasters are responsible for water transportation until May 1st Lieutenant John J. Due to his outstanding service in Cuba, Pershing was promoted to Major in the Volunteers in August of Its mission, to procure horses, condition them, provide initial training, and issue them to using units. Before that time, horses and mules for Army use had been purchased by the Quartermaster Department under contract after advertising for bids.
This practice had been quite unsatisfactory in terms of getting a number of older horses, many in poor physical condition. The first remount depot was at Fort Reno, Oklahoma. The Front Royal, Virginia, Depot was opened in The Remount Service was inactivated in A very important part of the legislation replaced most civilian employees with a permanent service corps of 6, enlisted men. Up to this time, Quartermaster field operations were largely carried out by civilian employees or details from combat units under the supervision of Quartermaster officers. This was the first time that the Army used motor transportation on a large scale.
The Quartermaster Corps purchased over 3, trucks and had them shipped by fast express trains, along with personnel to operate them, to Columbus, New Mexico. Quartermaster Corps purchases trucks, hires operators and has vehicles delivered to Columbus, New Mexico within 5 days.
Quartermaster Corps (United States Army)
The truck soon proves its superiority over animal-drawn transportation. At the beginning of the war the Quartermaster Corps was responsible for supplying clothing; individual, camp and garrison equipment; general supplies; transportation; camp and station construction and utilities; feeding and paying the Army. Rapid expansion of the Army mobilizing for war made it impossible for one agency to perform this great variety of functions. Responsibilities for Transportation, Construction and Procurement were transferred from the Corps for the duration of the War.
The Corps, however provided supply support to an Army of four million men, half overseas in Europe. A complex and extensive depot system was developed to handle these supplies both in the US and overseas. Quartermasters even grew vegetables behind the trenches in France to supply the troops with fresh food. By the end of there were twenty-eight different types of Quartermaster units in existence, marking the first appearance of specialized Quartermaster troop units.
Johnson was constructed in Florida as the first camp devoted exclusively to training Quartermaster personnel. November General Pershing requests that every division departing for combat duty in France have at least one field laundry. This was followed by establishment of salvage depots and bathing and disinfecting delousing plants marking the beginning of modern Field Services.
Between the Wars 4 June National Defense Act restores transportation and construction missions to the Quartermaster Corps; prewar paymaster functions permanently transferred to Finance Department. The Heraldic Section of the Office of the Quartermaster General was responsible for the research, design and development of distinctive unit insignia unit crests , shoulder sleeve insignia patches , flags, medals, seals, coats of arms and other heraldic items for the Army. We would lose this war instantly, but for the QM. Without his vast ambidextrous corps of worker-fighter men not a wheel could turn.
From the lack of gas, which the QM handles, not a tank could run or a plane fly.
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But for the QM's care and skill in planning the movement of supplies, whole Army divisions might starve, freeze, or die of thirst. At the height of the War, Quartermasters provided over 70 thousand items and more than 24 million meals a day. When the war had ended, Quartermaster soldiers recovered and buried nearly a quarter of a million soldiers in temporary cemeteries around the world. When the ship had to be abandoned, instead of seeking to save himself, he stayed in the water for a prolonged time courageously helping others.
Weakened by his exertions, he was eventually dragged down by the sinking ship and was drowned. Gibson, a company cook with the 3d Infantry Division, led a squad of replacements through their initial baptism of fire, destroyed four enemy positions, killed 5 and captured 2 German soldiers, and secured the left flank of his company during an attack on a strongpoint. He was himself killed while still firing at the enemy.
After the initial assault on 20 October, the st follows up with four heavy drops consisting of artillery, vehicles, and ammunitions on the same day and during the next three days, drops tons of supplies to the assault force. The Institute of Heraldry became the only organization within the government devoted to the science and art of military heraldry and other official symbolism.
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It provided heraldic services to the Department of Defense and other government agencies. This function was transferred to the Adjutant General in All former Technical Services, including the Quartermaster Corps, are realigned into larger organizations. Responsibility for Army logistic support given to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics with wholesale responsibilities delegated to the Army Material Command. The newly formed Defense Supply Agency later renamed the Defense Logistics Agency takes over management of the supply items, formerly under the control of the Quartermaster Corps, common to more than one service.
CSS units, which were in the past organized by technical service quartermaster, ordnance, transportation , are reorganized on a functional basis. This agency was later changed to Personnel and Logistics Group, and in to the U. Army Support Group, Vietnam, later the U. Army Support Command was established. Forces in Vietnam. Army deploys nearly 20, logistical troops. Produces 1, Quartermaster Lieutenants to meet the incre asing need for logistics off icers in Vietnam.
May Elements of the 82d Airborne Division deploy to t he Dominican Republic to forestall a leftist take-over. The degree of heroism required for this unit award is the same as that which would warrant award of a Distinguished Service Cross to an individual. The th received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for service in Vietnam. Cooks and clerks take up arms in their own defense. Members of the th QM Company Air Delivery rig supplies for airdrops and assist in the loading and delivery of these supplies.
During the month siege, container drops, 52 low altitude parachute extraction LAPES , and 15 ground proximity extraction GPES drops are made, containing over 8, tons of supplies. March American forces in Vietnam reach their peak strength of , All on board perished as a result of the impact or the post-crash fire.
Quartermaster personnel from these units as well as the 41st Area Support Group furnished supply and field services. The extensive use of helicopters required support units to provide over one million gallons of JP5. Most of the fuel had to be moved by truck initially, then placed in fuel system supply points or forward area refueling equipment. The riggers' mission was to pack parachutes for a training jump before the start of jungle school. On 17 December they were ordered to draw weapons, live ammunition and live grenades.
They patrolled the area until 19 December. The firefight lasted around 30 minutes and ended when the Panamanian forces were threatened with an airstike. None of the riggers were wounded. One was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with V valor device for this action. In the single, most devastating attack on U. The 14th, which had been in Saudi Arabia only six days, suffered the greatest number of casualties of any allied unit during Operation Desert Storm. Eighty-one percent of the unit's 69 soldiers had been killed or wounded. Quartermaster Foundation Page.
Quartermaster History Time Line Present The intent of this webpage is to give a short overview of significant historical events in Army Quartermaster history. War of This procedure saved much time and effort. Although QMRTC interviewers sought to conserve training time through the utilization of civilian skills wherever possible, they also had to take into account the capacities and requirements of the various technical schools.
Thus while the civilian experience of the man, his occupational preference, and his educational background were usually primary considerations, aptitude as demonstrated by aptitude tests was often a vital criterion for the interviewer in making his recommendations for assignment. Even after a man had been assigned to a QMRTC training unit he could be reclassified if found unfit for the type of training he was undergoing, or if it was. This reclassification could be requested by the man himself, his company commander, his technical instructor, or by the Classification and Assignment Section.
A regimental reclassification officer was placed in control of classification and assignment within each regiment in an effort to expedite the process of reassigning personnel when necessary. Classification of selectees according to their civilian skills did not necessarily mean that they would become technicians in QMC units.
The men possessing skills were usually those with greater general ability who normally were earmarked to fill other highly essential needs. One of the most pressing needs was for commissioned officers. More than 5 percent of all Quartermaster personnel had to be trained as officers. Commanding officers of QMC units were reluctant to release valuable men for training as officers, and consequently the burden of supplying officer material fell upon the QMRTCs. The great need for instructors in technical training was another drain on skilled personnel.
Most of these instructors were enlisted men. They had been trained specialists in civilian life and possessed the qualifications that could be utilized in training others, in view of the scarcity of officer and civilian instructors. Similarly, men who demonstrated exceptional aptitude in motor mechanics were often assigned to Quartermaster regional motor schools for advanced training, while personnel with outstanding leadership qualities were designated for training as noncommissioned officers.
An additional drain on high-grade personnel came with the establishment near the end of of the Army Specialized Training Program, under which selected enlisted men with outstanding qualifications for commissions were permitted to continue their studies, under military discipline, in civilian institutions of higher learning. Engineering courses, for example, usually absorbed men with a combination of mechanical aptitude and high general ability.
This competition within the QMC for men of high quality, at a time when the Army was expanding rapidly and a general shortage of personnel existed, tended to make men of lower caliber available for the technical schools. Considerable criticism was directed at the QMRTCs by these schools concerning the background of students selected for their courses. Furthermore, it declared that nearly half of the men were past thirty years of age, about 20 percent were past thirty-eight, and 25 percent could not assimilate the training and should never have been assigned to the school.
This criticism led to an analysis by the Camp Lee QMRTC early in of the availability and qualifications of students for the technical schools. Two important developments late in and early in altered classification objectives and methods.
One was the decline in the caliber of men received from reception centers. Requirements for fillers and cadres—the first consideration during the period of rapid expansion when so many new units were being activated—became of secondary importance to the requirements for individual replacements overseas.
The War Department specified that men going overseas as individual replacements had to meet rigid physical standards. Consequently the Camp Lee QMRTC, which formerly had been concerned primarily with the occupational skills of its trainees, found it necessary to shift the emphasis to their physical capacities. Reversing its former procedure, the QMRTC sought to bring to light any physical defects in the men before they began their training rather than after they had completed it and were ready for shipment overseas.
Inasmuch as many defects could be corrected during training, this change facilitated the preparation of individual replacements. The previous lack of attention by the QMRTCs to the physical soundness of their trainees can be traced in part to the weakness in the Army system of physical classification. This classification had been extremely broad and proved far from adequate when it came to screening the men for those who could meet the physical requirements for overseas service. From the beginning of the emergency period until the middle of , men were simply classified either as fit for general service or capable only of limited service, with no distinction within these categories as to varying degrees of physical capacity.
Men classified for limited service were restricted to noncombatant duties, and were to be utilized only in the zone of interior. All others were considered capable of performing any kind of military service and were placed in the general-service category. The Army specified that men in this. During the first eighteen months the Selective Service System was in operation, the manpower supply was considered plentiful and the great majority of selectees who had physical defects were rejected. After that brief period, however, shipment of limited-service men overseas for any type of duty was, in principle, prohibited.
The early correction of dental defects and fitting of glasses will be a matter of routine in all organizations. Commanders will utilize to the fullest extent those who have noncorrectible defects in positions which are predominately noncombatant; an individual with defective hearing may function well as a cook, and one unable to march because of flat feet may be fully qualified as a chauffeur.
All of the theaters were extremely short of Quartermaster and other service personnel because the Troop Basis had underestimated overseas personnel requirements for them, and many combat troops were required to perform supply duties. While it was common for a unit as large as a regiment to include between and such men, the roster of the th Quartermaster Truck Regiment at Camp Blanding, Fla. Of this number, men, classified as chauffeurs, were found to be unfit and had to be transferred from the unit. Those who failed to qualify had to be replaced, and this delayed shipping dates of the affected units.
Many general-service men were being utilized as operating personnel in the zone of interior despite the severe shortage of men physically qualified to serve overseas. As an illustration, QMC operating personnel on 30 June comprised 7, general-service men in contrast to only 1, The replacement was to take place at the rate of at least 5 percent a month, and by 31 August instructor staffs and overhead at replacement training centers, unit training centers, and schools were to comprise a minimum of 80 percent limited-service men. This replacement program was expected to release 21, general-service men for overseas duty.
In that brief period the number of limited-service men in the QMC operating strength had increased to 1,—a gain of —while the number of general-service men had declined to 6,—a loss of only This release of general-service men fell far short of the projected replacement rate, but still could be considered moderately successful in the light of the fact that Headquarters, ASF, had allowed forty-five days to train each limited-service man as a replacement, and there had as yet been little time for this training.
War Department Circular , which eliminated limited service effective 1 August , did not ban physically limited men from serving in the Army. It merely provided that assignments were to be made on the basis of individual capacity rather than by type. Men who did not meet physical standards for general military service were still to be accepted for induction in controlled numbers, acceptance being predicated on their ability, skill, intelligence, and aptitude.
Quartermaster Corps History Time Line, Present
The circular emphasized that men already in the service who failed to meet minimum physical standards were to be discharged. Furthermore, the War Department in August published a list of defects that were to disqualify men for service overseas. These defects included such common ailments as hernia, perforated eardrums, and missing teeth, as well as neuropsychiatric conditions of any kind. The directives appear to have been interpreted generally as a desire on the part of the War Department to get rid of physically limited men.
The net result, at any rate, was a flood of discharges. The QMC during the three-month period, September through November , released because of physical and mental defects more than 17, men as compared with only 14, for the entire previous fiscal year. Consequently, columns do not add up to total net losses.
Discharges from the QMC declined rather sharply after the publication of Circular , but the Corps released a total of more than 34, men for physical and mental reasons between 30 June and 1 July , as compared with 14, in the similar period of —43, and 25, in the fiscal year Despite these discharges, men with physical or mental limitations accumulated in the QMC to such an extent in that their utilization and training became a serious problem.
Their number was increasing daily with no outlet through requisitions or orders, according to a report by Brig. Physically and mentally limited men accumulated in the QMC in various ways. Many were newly inducted men directly from reception centers; some were debilitated personnel returned from overseas; others were men who failed to meet physical and mental requirements when their units were assigned to theaters; and still others were from units cannibalized to fill vacancies in other units.
Considerable shifting of personnel was taking place among the various branches of the Army in the attempt to get all physically fit men overseas. Many general-service men who had been trained specifically for Quartermaster duties had to be reassigned to combat units to fill vacancies. Likewise, many were transferred to the QMC, particularly from combat units, and these generally were men unqualified to serve overseas.
Quartermaster Corps efforts to release general-service enlisted personnel from operating jobs for overseas assignments encountered considerable difficulty early in This difficulty was not due to any scarcity of physically limited men to replace them but rather to the fact that such a large portion of the men were key technicians who were considered by their commanders as irreplaceable in their zone of interior jobs and therefore temporarily disqualified for overseas duty.
At the end of April the number of these men in the QMC totaled 3,, or nearly 35 percent of its 8, enlisted operating strength. About the same number were either permanently or temporarily disqualified for service in the theaters because they were physically or mentally limited, were over thirty-eight years of age, or had been in the service less than twelve months. Thus only 2,, or 30 percent, of the QMC enlisted operating personnel were available immediately for overseas assignments.
This was a rather poor showing, as five of the six other technical services were sending proportionately large numbers of their operating personnel abroad, as shown in the table on page The QMC, however, overcame this difficulty rapidly in the next few months.
A month later it had trimmed the number to approximately 1, and, by the end of October, to a mere During the same period the QMC eliminated many unnecessary jobs and combined others in its efforts to conserve manpower, with the result that it reduced its enlisted operating personnel from 8, to approximately 6,, about 99 percent of which were men who either were permanently disqualified for overseas assignment or had already served abroad. Thus the QMC had accomplished its objective of.
In the meantime the Army classification and assignment system had been revised radically by the introduction of the physical profile plan. This plan was adopted formally about the middle of May , after having been tried out experimentally earlier in the year. It provided that all men, except critically needed specialists, were to be assigned from reception centers to the three major commands on the basis of their physical capacities rather than their occupational skills.
He then was to be assigned a physical profile serial to denote the degree of his physical fitness and on that basis placed in one of four categories, or profiles, designated by the letters, A, B, C, and D. Profile A signified men who were qualified for rigorous combat duty. Inductees who were placed in Profile B qualified for less strenuous combat duty and for service in or near battle areas, while those in Profile C were restricted to duty in base positions either in this country or overseas.
Profile D designated men who were below minimum standards for induction. The objective of the plan was to channel inductees possessing the best physical qualifications to the AGF, which had been protesting for many months that the men available for its combat units were below the Army average physically and mentally. The shortage of men qualified for combat duty had become critical by the middle of At the same time, with mobilization in its final phases, the demand for occupational specialists had subsided. The net result was that the War Department finally yielded to the wishes of the AGF and installed the system that the latter had devised.
No matter what system of marking men is devised, the using services will still receive what is available in accordance with allotted quotas. The labeling of a man by a profile system will not improve his physical ability. The application of the profile system in the manner that has been proposed will result in overloading the people charged with assignment with a mass of unwieldy and unmanageable details.
The end result of such a complex system will be wastage rather than conservation of our military manpower. Under the profile system the War Department established the quotas of inductees to be assigned to the three major commands on the basis of reports from reception centers showing the number of men available for assignment in each profile. The ASF and the AAF quotas were to be filled from the residue of men left after the reception centers had skimmed the best physically qualified individuals for the AGF.
Aside from the fact that the AGF had first choice, the contrast was not as sharp as it might first appear because 80 percent of the ASF men were to be in the two top categories, as compared with 90 percent of the AGF assignments. Within these percentage distributions by profile, reception centers were directed to assign the men insofar as possible in accordance with their Army General Classification Test scores, occupational experience, education, and previous military training, as they formerly had done.
Thus the only major change in classification and assignment procedure brought about by the profile plan was at the reception center level in classifying and distributing men to the three major commands according to their degree of physical fitness. This situation doubly restricted the quality of men available to the ASF for distribution to the QMC and the other six technical services. Requirements of the ASF for the first six months of operation under the profile plan were listed at , men, of whom the QMC was to receive 15, Moreover, the distribution was broken down into whites and Negroes, and the percentages of these varied extensively.
Only 25 percent of the whites were to be in Profile A, 25 percent in Profile B, and 50 percent in Profile C, compared with 55 percent, 15 percent, and 30 percent, respectively, of the Negroes. In the case of Negroes, the QMC was to get 70 percent in the two top profiles, but even in this regard it fared little if any better than most of the other services, except for the Ordnance Department, which was to get only 10 percent in these two categories, and 90 percent in Profile C, as shown in the table at the top of the page. Owing to the fact that its peak strength was attained nine months ahead of that of the Army as a whole, the QMC probably was the least affected of all the arms and services by the profile plan.
When the plan went into operation the Corps already had more than , personnel, which was within 6, of its top strength. Thus most of the men assigned to it by profile were for replacements, and, since the trend in the strength of the Corps was downward after the fall of , these requirements were comparatively small.
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Moreover, any specialists critically needed by the Corps could be obtained outside the profile plan. The QMC was more directly concerned with the intelligence of its personnel than it was with their physical capacity. Occupational skill, of course, was of first importance since every man in the Corps, unless assigned to perform manual labor, had to be a specialist of some sort.
A large proportion of the men received from reception centers, however, either possessed no skill at all or no skills that could be utilized. Both kinds had to be trained for jobs that would make them useful to the QMC, and it was necessary that the men have sufficient intelligence to absorb this training in the time that could be devoted to it.
Through this test, devised in collaboration with experts in psychology and personnel. Selectees were grouped into five grades on the basis of their AGCT scores. Grade I designated men in the highest bracket of intellectual capacity, while Grade V indicated those in the lowest group.
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Men rated as having average intelligence were placed in Grade III. Only men in Grades I or II were eligible to become officer candidates. V, a situation that handicapped training and operations. White selectees constituted 72 percent of the total number of trainees sent to the QMRTC during this period. Similar records are not available on Negro trainees. The fact that the proportion of Negroes falling in these two lower grades was normally greater than that of whites would indicate that the over-all average was probably higher than 36 percent.
The situation became worse as the war progressed and the caliber of selectees declined. During the six-month period March through August , men classified in the two lower brackets accounted for 42 percent of all personnel received by the two QMRTCs. The proportion increased still further in when more than 87, out of a total of about , men sent to the QMC from reception centers were in Grades IV and V. This figure represented nearly 53 percent for the QMC as contrasted with an average of about 32 percent for the other six technical services and only 27 percent for the AAF.
Conversely, the QMC received a smaller proportion of men of above-average intelligence than any other arm or service except the Transportation Corps. Only 21 percent of the selectees assigned to the QMC during were in Grades I and II, as compared with 42 percent to the AAF, 58 percent to the Signal Corps, and an average of about 30 percent to the other five technical services. The commanding general of the Camp Lee QMRTC protested as early as September that too many men with low intellectual capacities were being received from reception centers.
He reported that half of the men in the two lower grades had been classified as basic, meaning that they did not possess usable skills, and that their limited mental abilities made it unlikely that they could become specialists in the normal time allotted to training. Apparently the QMC received an unusually large number of men in Grades IV and V on the assumption that most of them could be absorbed in service units. It was true that a sizable number of men in the lower grades could be so used.
Personnel requirements for the service units, however, accounted for only about one fourth of the total QMC needs, whereas more than half of its assigned personnel were in the two lower categories. Thus the Corps was confronted with the necessity of training the major share of its Grade IV and V men for specialized occupations that normally called for a higher degree of intellectual capacity.
While below-average intellectual capacity in itself presented a training problem, the most serious difficulty stemmed from illiterates, non-English-speaking personnel, and Grade V men. They had to be assigned to special training units and given elementary schooling in such subjects as reading, writing, spelling, English, and arithmetic to enable them to comprehend and follow instructions so that they could participate in the regular training courses. The men in these categories possessed widely varying potentialities.
Foreign-born, for instance, might be educated in their native language and have only to learn to read and write English, or they might be illiterate in both languages. Even American-born illiterates differed extensively in aptitude. Many could absorb instruction quickly and advance rapidly to the point where they could be reclassified and reassigned to training as specialists.
Some could qualify only for manual labor tasks, while others were so mentally inept or unstable that they had to be discharged as useless to the Army. This problem was only a minor one during the emergency period and the early months of the war. The number of illiterates and non-English-speaking personnel in the QMC increased rapidly after the summer of when the War Department adopted new induction standards based on intelligence rather than literacy. The result was that SOS headquarters reduced to 3 to percent the ratio of illiterates who could be assigned to the QMC and most of the other technical services.
Despite this restriction, enrollment in QMC special training units continued to show a marked increase. The number of men requiring special training at the Camp Lee QMRTC, for example, averaged nearly 1, a month during the first half of , in contrast to less than a month in the second half of Although this eased the training load it did not reduce the proportion of Grade V personnel assigned to the QMC nor the problem of fitting them into useful jobs. For example, an inspection late in of the th Battalion, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, and four attached companies in training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
The low state of morale and mental adjustment of these men constituted a serious training problem, as illustrated by the fact that there were more than court-martial cases in less than four months. The situation at Fort Devens, however, was an extreme example inasmuch as the majority of the units trained there were service companies and were comprised of Negro personnel whose educational background and intelligence were far below average.
Furthermore, a large portion of the men had been transferred from the AGF and represented the least desirable element in that command. Personnel who had progressed satisfactorily were reassigned to either basic or technical training. Men who had learned to read and write to such an extent that they could understand and follow instructions but who showed no aptitude for other than manual-labor jobs were assigned to service units.
Illiterates and men with mental handicaps who had not reached the desired level of proficiency within three months were subject to discharge. Disposition records at the Camp Lee QMRTC during the period from the activation of special training units there in May until 15 January show that 60 percent of the enrolled personnel were sent to technical schools for training as specialists and 31 percent to service units, while 5 percent were discharged and 4 percent were given jobs as furnace tenders.
There were several reasons why most of the men available to the QMC were of relatively low intellectual caliber. One was the lack of a central classification and assignment system whereby men from civilian life could be distributed more equitably between the Army and the Navy. The Navy, including the Marine Corps, obtained all of its personnel from volunteers until the end of Thus many thousands of better-educated, top-quality men, mentally and physically, who volunteered or were commissioned in the Navy or Marine Corps, remained outside selective-service opera tions and were never available to the Army for distribution to the arms and services.
The AAF too, until , was able to operate pretty much outside of selective service as a result of the Army policy in effect at the time, which permitted men of draft age to volunteer for a specific branch of service. Mobile Laundry Unit in Operation. Pack Animals in Italy. Reception Center for War Dogs. War Dog on Biak Island. Pressing Clothing. Fiscal Years.
Prisoners of War at Work. Quartermaster Corps , Chester L. For the next 30 years this dominance was shared by California, which in addition to the six-rowed type produced types from the North African coast area.