The VANG is very lucky that a number of years ago someone had the foresight to pack away and save all of the paper State Headquarters documents from the 1920s to the early 1960s.
Today’s journey through these VANG historical files focuses on Property Accountability which, it turns out, was a real problem in the 1930s nationwide:
1. The first document reports the loss of three .45 caliber pistols (the revolver version, not the automatic) and a clarinet in the 116th Infantry Regiment in 1932. Note that the former Service Company Commander, Captain Allen, has pretty much written off the pistols but still has hopes of finding the clarinet. That’s comforting….sure hate to lose a clarinet…
2. The next example comes from 1931 where a former VANG officer explains that he doesn’t want to play the accountability game for a “Voltameter” and tells them instead of wasting everyone’s time to just go to Sears and buy one. Note that he wrote his reply to LTC Sheppard Crump and the Report of Survey officer on the letterhead of his civilian job at the Palace Theater in Clarkesville, Virginia, which is “The Best In Entertainment.”
3.From the property inventory listing for a 1st LT Russell who is taking command of a unit; it’s always interesting to read what our units had for equipment back in those days before computers, cellphones and satellite comms.
If you look towards the bottom of the image you can see the list continues: Bugle and sling; Canteens; Cover, Canteens; Can, Garbage; Cans Meat (old wording for Mess kit); and Cans, Night Urinal …..That is a new one to me…never heard of it but the unit has 2…go figure.
Till next time when we will walk again through the history of the Virginia National Guard; one event or one document at a time.
Alexander F. Barnes
CW4 (ret), VaARNG
VANG Command Historian
Virginia National Guard Historic Foundation