This Week In Quartermaster History
29 January - 4 February
Saturday night, 28 January
1921, hundreds of movie-goers
packed into Washington D.C.s famed Knickerbocker Theater, unaware that they were
about to be hit by one of the worst snowstorms in the history of our nations
As shoulder-high drifts accumulated outside all traffic came to a halt. Then suddenly, without warning the theater roof gave out a loud crack and came crashing down upon the audience -- carrying the balcony with it, and burying men, women, and children under tons of concrete, steel, plaster, and snow. Leaving 98 dead and more than a 150 injured.
A frantic call for help went out around midnight, and within minutes Captain C. W. Hoover, QMC, led a 5-truck convoy through the treacherous streets to reach the scene of this human catastrophe. Over the course of the next 36 hours he and his fellow Quartermasters continued pulling the dead and seriously injured victims from the twisted wreckage, and were credited with saving many lives.
Days later a grateful District Military Commander gave unstinted praise to CPT Hoovers men for their "splendid service" in providing prompt and ready assistance during their hour of need.
Compiled by the
U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps Historian
Fort Lee, Virginia