I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I went to Aberdeen and the US Army Ordnance Museum… which is where we left off from the last SAW installment. I had just spent the day at Mount Vernon partially with the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard who put on a wonderful display of “revolutionary” tactics and firing their “firelocks” AND The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
The following day was spent capturing another Presidential Salute Battery mission in Arlington National Cemetery. Finally on Wednesday, 18 FEB 2009, with snow flying, I headed North to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, current home of the US Army Ordnance Museum and it’s outstanding outdoor display of armor, artillery and…
My mission there was to further uncover the role that G M Barnes played in WW II and learn what I could about the WW I artillery piece known as the “French 75″ … I learned quite a bit since the resources at this museum’s library are extensive.
But let me back up a bit. Arriving on post for the first time I was unsure how to get to the museum (I need a GPS – donations welcome!) I slowly went by this large large – HUGE actually mortar that several people would slip inside the tube with no problem and then missed the turn for the museum’s entrance, but was given a shot of “ordnance eye candy” as I circled the outside collection. WOW, what a sight!
When I finally got around to the entrance of the museum building, I was pleasantly surprised to find an M5 out in front “guarding” the museum. It was painted its tactical color and was complete with the sights that were used to aim this gun. Despite the precipitation, which by this time had turned from frozen into liquid, I got the camera out and captured a few photographs before going inside.
Once inside, I was pleasantly greeted by a staff member and then taken t
o the library where I was showered with attention to my requests. I spent the morning going over the provided materials and relishing in the information that I was gleaning from these treasured tomes. The door I opened again leading me to at least 6 more for me to check behind. Seems that the French 75 was a rather remarkable artillery piece for its time and was a very impressive that GEN Pershing ordered the fired the first round (and 9,999 more) to be packed up and sent back to the United States. Its place of honor after being paraded around to show the American people what we had done is at the US Military Academy – West Point Museum in New York
To be continued….
Tags: 3d Infantry Regiment, Arlington National Cemetery, Escort to the President, Fife and Drum Corps, French 75, The Old Guard, US Army, US Army Ordnance Museum