US Army Quartermaster Foundation
Fort Lee, Virginia


quartermaster_branch_insignia.gif (10765 bytes)Quartermaster History Time Line
1775-Present

The intent of this webpage is to give a short overview of significant historical events in Army Quartermaster history. Because this page is a work in progress, there are sure to be some omissions and mistakes.  Send your comments to: bornk@lee.army.mil

Revolutionary War War of 1812 A Professional Department
Mexican War Civil War Supplying Western Outposts
Spanish-American War Quartermaster Corps Established Punitive Expedition
World War I Between the Wars 1919-1941 World War II
Korean War Vietnam War Post Vietnam
Urgent Fury - Grenada Just Cause - Panama Desert Shield/Storm
Restore Hope - Somalia Uphold Democracy - Haiti Joint Guard - Bosnia

Revolutionary War (1775-83)
"No body ever heard of a quarter Master in History." 
Major General Nathanael Greene, Quartermaster General 1778-80
"that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal service for the defense of it..."
General George Washington

1775-83 The Quartermaster Department of the Revolutionary War was a small organization responsible for supply activities that were to furnish all camp equipment and tents and when the Army went into winter quarters, provided the lumber and articles needed to provide huts for the troops.   It also had primarily responsibility for providing transportation to the Army.   Supply of Subsistence (food) and Clothing were the responsibility of the Commissary General (1775) and the Clothier General (1776).  The Department was handicapped by having virtually no money or authority and was dependent upon Congress and the states for supplies. 
16 June 1775 Quartermaster Department established by Congress. 
14 August 1775 Major (later Major General) Thomas Mifflin, appointed as the first Quartermaster General by General George Washington, commander of the Continental Army.
26 December 1776 Congress authorizes General Washington to appoint a Clothier General for the Continental Army.
14 May 1777 Congress provides for more specialized division of Quartermaster duties; created Forage and Wagon Departments within the Quartermaster Department.
19 December 1777 Winter quarters of Continental troops established at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
23 March 1778 Major General Nathanael Greene appointed as third Quartermaster General, serves until 1780. Reorganizes supply system after Valley Forge, establishes the first depot system to support the Army. While his fame as a battle leader is well know, his outstanding service as the Quartermaster General during the darkest period of the Revolution have been almost forgotten.
24 December 1799 Founding of the Schuylkill Arsenal  (later the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot) at Grey's Ferry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1803 the Arsenal figured prominently in the provisioning of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Northwest, providing weapons and clothing.
1784-1812 The Quartermaster Department, like the Army as a whole, had a checkered career during the interval between the two wars with Great Britain.  The title and office of Quartermaster General were abolished, revived and abolished again, and finally restored only on the eve of the War of 1812.  During much of this time all procurement of military supplies was in the hands of the Treasury Department.  For a number of years both procurement and distribution were carried on by military agents who were responsible only to the Secretary of War.

War of 1812 (1812-15)
"In short, a Quartermaster General should anticipate every thing, see every thing, and be prepared at all times as far as human foresight is capable of for all emergencies."
Major General Henry Dearborn, Commander of the Northern Department

28 March 1812 An act of Congress established a Quartermaster Department headed by a Quartermaster General with the rank of brigadier general and a suitable hierarchy of deputies and assistant deputies. Also created by this act was the new Commissary General of Purchases responsible, "to conduct the procuring and providing of all arms, military stores, clothing and generally all articles of supply requisite for the military service of the United States."   Use of military agents were discontinued. These two supply departments had broadly overlapping responsibilities.  No provisions made for supply of subsistence (food).
3 March 1813 Remedial legislation was passed that allowed the Quartermaster Department, with the approval of the commanding general of an army or military district, to procure and issue subsistence directly in the field when contacting failures occurred.
9 March 1813 Quartermaster Department ordered to build boats at Erie for Admiral Perry's fleet.  Fleet turned over to Perry in August 1813.
1815-1818 Quartermaster Department split in two, with a Quartermaster General and a deputy for each of the two divisions-the Northern and the Southern-into which the United States was divided for purposes of military administration.
Birth of a Professional Quartermaster Department (1818)
"I wish to give to it that character, and those features, which will render it efficient in time of war, and which, both in peace and in war, will insure strict responsibility in all its branches." 
Brigadier General Thomas Jesup, Quartermaster General 1818-1860
14 April 1818 Supply system overhauled. Quartermaster Department reunited under a single Quartermaster General, with two deputies and at the discretion of the President, up to twelve assistant deputies, made a permanent bureau in Washington, D.C.  Subsistence Department created, headed by a Commissary General with clear-cut powers to buy and issue rations. 
8 May 1818 Brigadier General Thomas Sidney Jesup appointed the 12th Quartermaster General. Often called the "Father of the Quartermaster Corps", Jesup molded the Department into a permanent professional supply staff agency. Jesup's term lasted forty-two years, ending upon his death in 1860.
1821 First detailed Quartermaster regulations and published forms developed by General Jesup and published as part of the Army Regulations of 1821.  With relatively minor amendments, they remained in effect until long after the Civil War.
18 May 1826 Law gives Quartermaster Department authority to distribute, "all clothing and camp and garrison equipage required for the use of the troops."
23 August 1842 Office of Commissary General of Purchases abolished by act of Congress. Quartermaster Department now responsible for procurement as well as distribution of clothing and equipment.  The Department also acquired the principal clothing and equipment depot, Schuylkill Arsenal in Philadelphia (later called the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot).
Mexican War (1846-48)
"with our nearest depots farther from the sources of supply than Algiers is from Toulon or Marseilles, we accomplished more, in the first six months of our operations in Mexico, than France, the first military power in Europe, has accomplished in Africa in seventeen years."
Brigadier General Thomas Jesup, Quartermaster General
1818-1860

1846-48

The Quartermaster's Department performed creditably in supplying the field armies operating in Mexico and the Far West. This was a difficult task considering the vast distances and the primitive transportation network involved. During the War, the Department provided the Army with clothing and equipage, with horses for the cavalry and the artillery and with transportation by both land and water--a responsibility that included not only the procurement of river craft, sailing boats, steamships, wagons, carts, horses, mules, and oxen but also the operation of these means of transportation.

18 June 1846

Congress authorizes Quartermaster Department additional officers as required, but not to exceed one Quartermaster per brigade.

August 1846

Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant detailed as Regimental Quartermaster officer for the 4th Infantry Regiment. In September, during the battle of Monterey, Quartermaster Grant was expected to remain behind the lines. Without orders, he rode to the front and charged with his regiment. Grant now replaced the regimental adjutant. In April 1847, Grant again found himself appointed quartermaster, and this time the assignment was to last until 1852.   

March 1847

Quartermaster Department built "surf boats" to land 10,000 troops and supplies at Vera Cruz, Mexico during the Mexican War.

3 March 1855

Congress appropriated $30,000 for the purchase of Camels.  Seventy-five camels were imported to Texas and experiments were conducted that successfully demonstrated the ability of Camels to carry supplies on the desert Southwest United States.  Camels continued to serve in California until 1864.
Civil War (1861-65)
"There was never a corps better organized than was the quartermaster's corps with the Army of the Potomac in 1864." 
General Ulysses S. Grant
1861-65 The Department supplied the Army both during its growth and through four years of campaigns in the field providing supplies by wagon, rail, river and sea. It also constructed and equipped a fleet of river "iron-clads" which played an important part in the operations of the Army in the West.  It organized and operated an effective depot system and at the end of the war provided transportation for the return of over a million men to their homes.
10 June 1860 Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston appointed as Quartermaster General upon General Jesup's death.  Serving only ten months Johnston resigned his post when Virginia seceded from the Union.  He cast his fortunes with the Confederacy, and became one of the South's most noted military leaders during the Civil War.
May 1861 Brigadier General Montgomery C. Meigs appointed 14th Quartermaster GeneralHis brilliant services during the Civil War included quartering, clothing, equipping and feeding an Army of over a million men. It was General Meigs' proud boast that on only two occasions did any Union army suffer from want.  
17 June 1862 Congress enacted legislation providing for establishment of national cemeteries and for their maintenance by the Quartermaster General.
17 September 1862 "Sergeant McKinley, Co. E., 23rd Ohio Vol. Infty,. while in charge of the Commissary Department on the afternoon of the day of the battle of Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862, personally and without orders served hot coffee and warm food to every man in the regiment, on this spot, and in doing so had to pass under fire."   William McKinley became the twenty-fifth U.S President (1897-1901).  
October- November 1863

Quartermasters in East Tennessee work to open a desperately needed supply route, the so-called "Cracker Line" for thousands of besieged Union Army troops at Chattanooga. On 30 Oct 1863, Quartermaster Colonel William G. LeDuc and Captain Arthur Edwards, launched a homemade steamboat, CHATTANOOGA on her maiden voyage from Bridgeport, Alabama to a landing spot near Chattanooga called Kelley’s Ferry, breaking the siege. More vessels followed in the weeks and months ahead, including one carrying General William T. Sherman as he made ready for his march through Georgia.

13-15 October 1863 Lieutenant Colonel Richard Batchelder, Chief Quartermaster 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, distinguished himself during actions against Confederate raiders between Catlett and Fairfax, Virginia. He moved his supply wagon trains by continuous day-and-night marches without the customary escorts. He armed his teamsters and fought off repeated attacks from Mosby's Rangers, bringing them through without loss of a single wagon.  In 1895 he was awarded the Medal of Honor for these actions
15 June 1864 The Secretary of War orders that the ground immediately surrounding the Lee Mansion at Arlington, Virginia be set aside as a military cemetery. General Meigs had recommended that property owned by Robert E. Lee, be use as a military burial ground. Based on this recommendation, Arlington National Cemetery was created.
1864 Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot established in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
July 1864 to April 1865 City Point, Virginia, becomes the logistics base for the Army of the Potomac during the siege of Petersburg. The base supplied over 125,000 soldiers 600,000 tons of supplies, 108 million rations, 240,000 tons of forage for over 65,000 animals, and maintained over 5,000 wagons. During the peak of operations, it was one of the busiest ports in North America and until World War II, the largest logistics effort undertaken by U.S. Army Quartermasters.
Post Civil War Demobilization/Supplying Western Outposts (1866-97)
1866-97

The Department engaged in routine supply operations of remote garrisons in the West, recovery and burial of the Civil War dead, disaster assistance to civilian communities, and supply to various expeditions. It was responsible for the payment of claims from civilian firms for items furnished to the Army during the Civil War.  The last claim was not settled until 1889, 23 years after the end of the war.  The Department also turned it's attention to improving the living conditions of the soldier.   It  constructed new barracks, hospitals, store houses and mess halls.

28 July 1866 The sutler system (Forerunner to the present PX and Commissary Store) was formally abolished by Congress.   In its place the Subsistence Department was directed to keep articles for sale to officers and enlisted men at cost.
25 June 1876 Saddler Otto Voit and Blacksmith Henry Mechlin, along with Sergeant George Geiger and Private Charles Windolph, Company H, 7th U.S. Cavalry, provide covering fire to water gathering parties during the Battle of the Little Big Horn. All are later awarded the Medal of Honor.
25 July 1876 National Cemeteries placed under supervision of the Quartermaster General.
1884 Congress establishes the enlisted rank of Post Quartermaster Sergeant, the first time enlisted men are directly assigned to the Quartermaster Department. Eighty men are assigned to the Department and are given a distinguishing insignia, a crossed quill and key authorized in October 1883. This becomes the first Quartermaster insignia.
3 September 1896 War Department General Order #40 authorized the distinctive sword, key, wheel and eagle as the Insignia of the Quartermaster Corps officers. The insignia was designed by Captain Oscar F. Long at the direction of the Quartermaster General, Brigadier General Richard Batchelder. In 1902, it becomes the insignia for all ranks, officer and enlisted.
Spanish American War (1898)
1898 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 200,000 men for war with Spain and the requirement to feed, cloth, supply and move them put an incredible strain on the Quartermaster Department. 
1898 Quartermaster General Marshall Ludington developed the Army Transport Service an ocean transport service. The capture of Puerto Rico and the Philippine Islands as a result of the war and the annexation of Hawaii in 1898 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 1900 when an international expedition relieved the besieged foreign legations in Peking. Quartermasters are responsible for water transportation until 1943.
May 1898 1st Lieutenant John J. Pershing appointed as Regimental Quartermaster of the famous 10th Cavalry during the Spanish American War. Due to his outstanding service in Cuba, Pershing was promoted to Major in the Volunteers in August of 1898. Pershing later commanded the American Expeditionary Force in World War I  and was Chief of Staff of the Army.
18 July 1898 War Department created a Division of Transportation in Quartermaster Department charged with supervision and control of all rail and water transportation.
1905 First Cooks and Bakers School opens at Fort Riley, Kansas.
1908 Congress authorizes the Remount Service, within the Quartermaster Department.  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 1911.  The Remount Service was inactivated in 1948.
1 March 1910 The Quartermaster School opened at the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot.
Establishment of the Quartermaster Corps (1912)
24 August 1912 Quartermaster, Subsistence, and Pay Departments consolidated by law and renamed the Quartermaster Corps.  A very important part of the legislation replaced most civilian employees with a permanent service corps of 6,000 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.
1912 Consolidation makes Subsistence (food) a Quartermaster responsibility.
1913 Quartermaster Corps writes first specifications for military trucks after extensive correspondence with manufacturers.

Punitive Expedition (1916-17)

March 1916-
February 1917
Just prior to WWI the Corps supported General John Pershing's campaign in Mexico against Francisco Villa, the Punitive Expedition.  It  was confronted with the necessity of sheltering, equipping, and supplying an Army of about 150,000 men, including over 100,000 National Guardsmen mobilized on the border with Mexico. This was the first time that the Army used motor transportation on a large scale. The Quartermaster Corps purchased over 3,000 trucks and had them shipped by fast express trains, along with personnel to operate them, to Columbus, New Mexico.
11 March 1916 Southern Department calls for two motor-truck companies consisting of 27 trucks per company.  Quartermaster Corps purchases trucks, hires operators and has vehicles delivered to Columbus, New Mexico within 5 days. The truck soon proves its superiority over animal-drawn transportation.

World War I (1917-18)

1917-18 World War I provided the first great test of the reorganized Corps.  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.  It shipped more than three and a half million tons of supplies to the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in France.  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 1917 there were twenty-eight different types of Quartermaster units in existence, marking the first appearance of specialized Quartermaster troop units.  
1917 The Quartermaster Corps begins World War I with a strength of 227 officers and 6000 enlisted personnel. By the war’s end, the Corps numbers 13,500 officers, 230,000 enlisted men, and 100,000 civilians.
17 November 1917 Camp Joseph E. Johnson was constructed in Florida as the first camp devoted exclusively to training Quartermaster personnel.
November 1917 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.
7 August 1917 Chief of Staff of the Army and the Secretary of War approve plans for the organization of graves registration units to consist of two officers and fifty men.
8 December 1917 Establishment of Motor Transport Service, transferred to Services of Utilities within the Quartermaster Corps.
11 November 1918 Armistice Day (Veterans Day) - End of World War I.
13 November 1918 Quartermaster Graves Registration Service begins to recheck temporary graves and establishes 15 concentration cemeteries in the European battle area.

Between the Wars (1919-1941)

4 June 1920 National Defense Act restores transportation and construction missions to the Quartermaster Corps; prewar paymaster functions permanently transferred to Finance Department.
September 1920 The Quartermaster Corps Subsistence School established at the Chicago Quartermaster Depot.
1924 Army Heraldic responsibility delegated to the Quartermaster General.  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. 
30 March 1922 Forty-six thousand World War I remains were returned to the United States for reburial.  30,000 American soldiers were permanently interred in Europe at the request of next of kin.
29 November 1929 Admiral Byrd's Antarctic expedition (supported by the Quartermaster Corps) reached the South Pole.
1 May 1930 The Quartermaster Corps initiated the "Gold Star Mother's Pilgrimage" allowing mothers of deceased World War I soldiers to visit graves in American cemeteries in Europe.
31 March 1933 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) created, The Quartermaster Corps provided the 300,000 men enrolled in this Depression era program with food, clothing, equipment, shelter and transportation.
July 1940-
December 1946
The Quartermaster Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Lee produces 24,644 new officers. (First OCS class was held at the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot)
25 November 1940 Construction began on second Camp Lee (on the same site as the World War I camp).
5 October 1941 The Quartermaster School at the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot closes and the officially reopens at Camp Lee, Virginia
World War II (1941-45)
"...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. But for the QM's care and skill in planning the movement of supplies, whole Army divisions might starve, freeze, or die of thirst."
"QM the Fighting Storekeeper", National Geographic Magazine, November 1942
1941-45 World War II saw the Quartermaster Corps provide supplies and services to millions of soldiers throughout the world.  Quartermaster soldiers performed heroically at such far-off places as Bataan, Iwo Jima, Leyte, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy and Bastogne.  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.
7 December 1941 Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
1942 Transportation Corps established.
13 March 1942 Quartermaster War Dog Program established.  By 1945 almost 10,000 war dogs were trained as scout, sentry, mine and messenger dogs for the Army, Navy and Coast   Fifteen War Dog platoons were activated in World War II. Seven saw service in Europe and eight in the Pacific
31 July 1942 Transportation mission transferred from the Quartermaster Corps to the newly established  Transportation Corps.
8 March 1943 Private George Watson, a member of the 29th Quartermaster Regiment, was on board a ship hit by Japanese bombers off the coast of New Guinea on 8 March 1943. 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. President Clinton awarded the Medal of Honor to Watson on 13 January 1997.
28 January 1944 Tech Sergeant 5 Eric G. Gibson, earns the Medal of Honor near Isola Bella, Italy. 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.
4 December 1944 First class of the new Quartermaster Subsistence School (Chicago opened).
2 September 1945 World War II officially ends.

Korean War (1950-53)

April 1950 Camp Lee was designated Fort Lee and made a permanent Army installation.
20 July 1950 Transfer of Aerial Delivery mission from the U.S. Air Force to the Quartermaster Corps approved by the Department of the Army.
20-23 October 1950 The 8081st Army Unit (a theater level Quartermaster Rigger Company) and the 187th QM Parachute Maintenance Detachment support the first American airborne assault of the Korean War at Sukchon-Sunchon. After the initial assault on 20 October, the 8081st follows up with four heavy drops consisting of artillery, vehicles, and ammunitions on the same day and during the next three days, drops 658 tons of supplies to the assault force.
21 May 1951 A course in parachute packing, maintenance and aerial delivery initiated at the Quartermaster School.
December 1951 The Quartermaster School assumed operational control over the Petroleum School at Caven Point, New Jersey.
27 July 1953 Armistice ending Korean War signed.
1959 Quartermaster Heraldic Branch designs new 49 and 50 star U.S. Flags.
10 August 1960 Army General Order Number 29 established the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry (formerly the Quartermaster Heraldic Branch) under the control of the Quartermaster General.  The Institute of Heraldry became the only organization within the government devoted to the science and art of military heraldry and other official symbolism.  It provided heraldic services to the Department of Defense and other government agencies.  This function was transferred to the Adjutant General in 1962.
1962 The Defense Department is reorganized along functional lines. All former Technical Services, including the Quartermaster Corps, are realigned into larger organizations. The offices of the Quartermaster General, the Chief of Ordnance, and the Chief Chemical Officer disbanded. 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.
1962-1968 Combat Service Support (CSS) units reorganized under COSTAR (Combat Support of the Army). CSS units, which were in the past organized by technical service (quartermaster, ordnance, transportation), are reorganized on a functional basis.
July 1962 The Quartermaster School was designated "Home of the Quartermaster Corps." Also, the U.S. Combat Service Support Group was established at Fort Lee. (This agency was later changed to Personnel and Logistics Group, and in 1973 to the U.S. Army Logistics Center)
Vietnam War (1964-73)
Mid-1962 U.S. Army Support Group, Vietnam, later the U.S. Army Support Command was established.
1 April 1965 1st Logistics Command is activated in Saigon and charged with the responsibility of supporting U.S. Forces in Vietnam.  Army deploys nearly 20,000 logistical troops.
May 1966-
February 1968
Quartermaster Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Lee reopened. Produces 1,817 Quartermaster Lieutenants to meet the increasing need for logistics officers in Vietnam.
May 1965 Elements of the 82d Airborne Division deploy to the Dominican Republic to forestall a leftist take-over.
21 September 1967 Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the 34th Quartermaster Battalion outstanding performance of duty in support of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the defense of Pleiku Province, Vietnam from 23 October 1965 to 26 November 1965. (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.)
1968 President mobilizes a small number of Reserve units, totaling some 40,000 men, for duty in Southeast Asia and South Korea, the only use of Reserves during the Vietnam War. The Army Reserve's  173d Petroleum Company (Oper), Greenwood, Mississippi;  HHC, 259th QM Bn (Petr), Pleasant Grove, Utah and 842nd QM Co. (Petr Dep), Kansas City, Kansas, served in Vietnam.   The 259th received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for service in Vietnam.
31 January 1968 Tet Offensive, Viet Cong attacks Army logistical base a Long Binh. Cooks and clerks take up arms in their own defense.
21 January -
8 April 1968
Over 6,000 Marines are besieged and completely surrounded by North Vietnamese Forces in the remote base at Khe Sanh. Members of the 109th QM Company (Air Delivery) rig supplies for airdrops and assist in the loading and delivery of these supplies. During the 11-month siege, 496 container drops, 52 low altitude parachute extraction (LAPES), and 15 ground proximity extraction (GPES) drops are made, containing over 8,000 tons of supplies. The 109th’s role in air resupply to Khe Sanh earns the unit a Meritorious Unit Commendation, one of two the unit will earn during the Vietnam War. 
March 1969 American forces in Vietnam reach their peak strength of 543,000.
29 March 1973 The last U.S. troops depart Vietnam, ending the Quartermaster support system that provided supplies to U.S. and Free World military forces of over 1 million soldiers
Post Vietnam Era
1981 Transfer of water purification/distribution functions from the Engineer Corps to the Quartermaster Corps.
12 December 1985 A DC-8 charter carrying 248 soldiers returning from six-month tour of duty in the Sinai, crashed just after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. All on board perished as a result of the impact or the post-crash fire.  Army Graves Registration specialists from Fort Lee and Fort Bragg assist in the recovery operation.
9 June 1986 Chief of Staff of the Army approves adoption of the Parachute Rigger Badge as a permanent special skill badge.  The parachute rigger badge is the only special skill badge approved for a Quartermaster specific Military Occupation Specialty (MOS).
13 June 1986 Army General Order #9 established the Quartermaster Regiment and named Fort Lee, Virginia as the Corps’ regimental home
Operation Just Cause - Panama 1989
December 1989 Operation Just Cause - the invasion of Panama. Units from the 75th Ranger Regiment and 82d Airborne Division conduct airborne assaults on 20 Dec 89 to strike key objectives at Rio Hato, and Torrijos/Tocumen airports. Some soldiers from HSC and all of A Co 407th Supply and Transport Battalion participated in the parachute jump. A few solders from 1st Corps Support Command  also jumped. They were followed later by the 7th Inf Div, 193d Infantry Brigade and 4-6 Inf, 5th Inf Div , which assaulted objectives in both Panama City and on the Atlantic side of the Canal. Quartermaster personnel from these units as well as the 41st Area Support Group furnished supply and field services.  They also provided humanitarian support to refugee/detainee camps and delivered relief supplies. 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.
20 December 1989 Six riggers from E Company, 407th Supply and Transport Battalion were attached to the HHC, 3rd Battalion, 504th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division which was in Panama for the jungle training.  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.    These riggers saw combat with HHC, 3-504th Inf when this unit assaulted the Panamanian Defense Force (PDF) barracks on Fort Espinar at midnight on the 20th of 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.
Desert Shield/Storm Southwest Asia (1990-91)

25 February 1991

In Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, parts of an Iraqi SCUD missile destroyed the barracks housing members of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment, a United States Army Reserve water purification unit stationed in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. In the single, most devastating attack on U.S. forces during that war, 29 soldiers died and 99 were wounded. The 14th Quartermaster Detachment  lost 13 soldiers and suffered 43 wounded. 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.
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7 February 1997

Quartermaster Corps establishes the Military Order of Saint Martin

last update 08 Jan 2007

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