The Transportation Corps was established 31 July 1942 by Executive Order 9082. The Transportation Corps is a combat service support branch of the U.S. Army, and was headquartered at Fort Eustis, Virginia, but has now moved to Fort Lee, Virginia. The Transportation Corps is responsible for the movement of personnel and material by truck, rail, air, and sea. Its motto is "Spearhead of Logistics," and it is currently the third smallest branch of the Army. According to an article in the Army News Service, "The first students to attend classes at the new Transportation School will be those enrolled in the transportation management coordinator course - MOS 88N (Military Occupational Specialty). It is the only one of the seven transportation MOS-producing courses that will be taught at Fort Lee (the others are taught elsewhere)." For example, Watercraft Operator (MOS 88K) and Watercraft Engineer (MOS 88L) training is conducted at Fort Eustis, Virginia, as Fort Eustis is the main housing of the Army's Watercraft. Motor Transportation Operator (truck driver, MOS 88M) training is conducted at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Railway training for Army Reserve soldiers (MOSs 88P, 88T, and 88U) and Army civilian employees has remained at Fort Eustis, as there are only warehouse tracks and no railway system available for training at Fort Lee.
History[edit | edit source]
Early history[edit | edit source]
As far back as the Revolutionary War, General George Washington appointed the first wagon master, John Goddard of Massachusetts, who can be considered the first Chief of Transportation. Prior to the War of 1812, military transportation had taken a back seat in the national military strategy. It was apparent after the war that some form of organized transportation support was needed to guarantee the new nation’s ability to successfully engage and defeat an enemy. In response to this need, General Thomas S. Jesup was appointed as Quartermaster General in 1818. Later Jesup initiated programs that not only improved the transportation capability of the U.S. military, but also encouraged the United States expansion to the west. These programs included the building of the Great Military Road of 1836 which linked the far flung ports of the west with the industrial bases of the east and the use of the steamship for amphibious landings.
Civil War[edit | edit source]
During the American Civil War, transportation proved to be an integral part of military logistics through the organization of railroads as a viable and efficient means of military transportation. By 1864, five of the nine divisions in the Quartermaster Department dealt exclusively with transportation. A substantial number of battles were won because of the field commander's ability to swiftly and effectively move troops and supplies. Most wounded soldiers were carried away in a banana-shaped cart called a gondola. See also United States Military Railroad.
Spanish-American War[edit | edit source]
During the Spanish-American War, the task of mobilizing and deploying a largely volunteer force to Cuba and the Philippines magnified the need for a separate transportation service within the Quartermaster Department. Army transporters worked with both the civilian railroads and the maritime industry to pull together a successful intermodal operation.
World War I[edit | edit source]
The American Expeditionary Force that deployed to France during World War I, emphasized the need for a single transportation manager. William W. Atterbury, a former railroad executive, was appointed as the Director-General of Transportation and a separate Motor Transport Corps of the National Army was established 15 August 1918. The United States Army School for Truck Drivers had been established by 9 July 1918; and the Transportation Corps of the AEF was abolished after the war, The M.T.C. subsequently conducted Transcontinental Motor Convoys in 1919 and 1920.
World War II[edit | edit source]
On 9 March 1942 the Transportation Service was established as part of the Services of Supply, and on 31 July 1942 the Transportation Service became the Transportation Corps. In March 1942, the transportation functions were consolidated into the Transportation Division of the newly created Services of Supply. By the end of the war the Transportation Corps had moved more than 30 million soldiers within the continental United States; and 7 million soldiers plus 126 million tons of supplies overseas.
One of the greatest feats of the Transportation Corps, via the Military Railway Service, was the rebuilding of France's shattered railroad network after D-Day and the transportation of 1,500 locomotives and 20,000 railway cars specially built for the lighter French track system starting With D-Day +38. To speed the process, and avoid delays caused by French channel ports and docks destroyed by the retreating Germans, the Transportation Corps brought the heavy railroad stock across the channel and across the beaches in specially built LSTs.
Cold War[edit | edit source]
When the Soviet Union cordoned off the city of Berlin in 1948, the Transportation Corps played a vital role in sustaining the city. Two years later, on 28 June 1950, President Harry S. Truman established the Transportation Corps as a permanent branch of the Army.
Korean War[edit | edit source]
During the Korean War, the Transportation Corps kept the UN Forces supplied through three winters. By the time the armistice was signed, the Transportation Corps had moved more than 3 million soldiers and 7 million tons of cargo.
Vietnam War[edit | edit source]
The Vietnam War saw the most diversified assortment of transportation units ever assembled. For over a decade the Transportation Corps provided continuous support for American and allied forces through an unimproved tropical environment using watercraft, amphibians, motor trucks and Transportation Corps aircraft.
On 31 July 1986, the Transportation Corps was inducted into the U.S. Army Regimental System.
Gulf War[edit | edit source]
In 1990 the Transportation Corps faced one of its greatest challenges with the onset of the Gulf War. During Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, the Transportation Corps working out of ports on three continents demonstrating its ability to deploy and sustain massive forces.
Post Cold War[edit | edit source]
Transportation Battalions - partial list[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to United States Army Transportation Corps.|
- List of ships of the United States Army
- United States Transportation Command
- Fort Story
- Fort Eustis Military Railroad
- Category:United States Army locomotives
- Transportation Corps insignia 
[edit | edit source]
- Destination Berlin: The Transportation Corps (WWII history booklet)
- The short film Big Picture: Army Transportation Corps is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
References[edit | edit source]
- USATCFE Overview[dead link]
- "Army and Navy Notes". 6 July 1919. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F20612FB3D5A11738DDDAB0894DE405B888DF1D3. Retrieved 3 April 2011. "The newest of army training schools has just opened at the University of Virginia. It is the United States Army School for Truck Drivers. Over 500 men are now taking the course and the schedule of instruction calls for the graduation into the service of three classes of 600 men each between now and 20 Nov. next."
- "There Highballing Now". February 1945. pp. 77–83. http://books.google.com/books?id=AyEDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA76&dq=popular+science+1930&hl=en&ei=4dTRTu6lLsvUgAed8uifDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CEIQ6AEwBDhG#v=onepage&q&f=true.
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