This Week In Quartermaster History
exactly 5:13 a.m. on 18 April
1906 a terrible earthquake
struck San Francisco leaving much of the city in ruins. Fires burned virtually out of
control for another four days adding to the misery. Killing more residents, destroying
ever larger sections of the community, hospitals, other public services and the means of
communication leaving the city battered and in desperate need of assistance.
"It was," as one observer said, "bedlam, pandemonium, and hell rolled into
By the time it was over, the Great Quake and Conflagration had claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people, seriously injured thousands more, flattened hundreds of commercial and public buildings, destroyed property valued at more than 500 million dollars, and left a half million residents homeless.
That same evening officials requested from the Quartermaster Corps tents, rations, and other vital supplies. Within hours the first 200,000 rations arrived. More followed from neighboring states in the days ahead. Also hundreds of tents, blankets, and mountains of other items. Feeding centers and supply "depots" were set up to distribute the goods to the most needy.
At yet another critical moment in our nation's history the Quartermaster Corps moved quickly, demonstrating its effectiveness indeed the commitment with which its members also serve in situations other than war.
Compiled by the
U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps Historian
Fort Lee, Virginia