This Week In Quartermaster History

22-28 January

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Quote of the Week:

"When it comes to handing out plaudits to the Army the Marines generally change the conversation to the Halls of Montezuma or talk about the weather.  But if the talk gets around to the day the Army's paratrooper Quartermasters airmailed them a  bridge, the song is a lot sweeter."

        Quoted in Peiffer, Supply By Air (1957): p. 96


For more information on this topic go to:
Short History of Quartermaster Aerial Delivery

The Quartermaster Corps picked up a brand new mission in the spring of 1950 -- supply by air -- at about the same time Allied troops were responding to the outbreak of war in Korea.

Leading the way in this new form of support was the 8081st QM Air Supply and Packaging Company. Using mainly C-119s ("Flying Boxcars") its members dropped thousands of tons of rations, clothing, medical supplies, radio and signal equipment, gasoline, weapons and ammunition in the early months of the war to the hard-fighting, often beleaguered troops on the ground. Even at one point a 19,000-pound treadway bridge that allowed U.S. Marines and X Corps soldiers trapped in the Chosin Reservoir to escape their Communist pursuers.

In the midst of those early record-breaking supply drops, on 25 January 1951, MSG Michael J. Gordon, the 8081st Maintenance Chief, designed, developed, and successfully tested under combat conditions the so-called "Gordon Quick-Release" system that made it both safer and more effective to eject critically needed bundles from the sky.

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Compiled by the
U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps Historian
Fort Lee, Virginia

Quartermaster Museum

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