Re: M4 flat car loads - was CCB photo

Bruce Smith

On Apr 21, 2008, at 8:21 AM, wrote:
Actually, in reading through some recently found (declassified) from Nov-Dec 1943 Newport News Divisional Office files, they had problems with letting C&O employes, who didn't have security checks, take these trains back to their homes.

It would be interesting to know where the guard(s) rode.

For secure shipments guards would usually ride in the cabin car or in an extra coach and the shipment would be located as close to the rear of the train as possible. Alternatively, some companies owned their own cabin cars for precisely this reason and these would be coupled directly to the load in question (I think that this was more common with odd dimension loads). Early in the war, there are several films that show unit movements (men with their equipment) and these movements had armed men posted ON the equipment. I'm sure it was an interesting ride.

Note also that some shipments might have railroad personnel along for the ride. Several years ago I read an account of a boxcar of aircraft instruments showing up on the UP during WWII and when the UP figured out what it was worth, they assigned an employee to "escort" that car until it was unloaded and off their hands. He rode in the caboose.

Pinkertons were posted at critical points along the route.
U.S. Military Police were also assigned to guard specific locations. MPs will be present at these locations on my planned layout ;^)


Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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