Army Day - 1948

Charleston Daily Mail
April 6, 1948

Beach Raid, Parade Mark City Army Day

Planes Drone Over Levee To Add Realistic Effect; Meadows Speaks

Army day, 1948, arrived with a belated bang Tuesday at 10 a. m. when the LCI 1053 finally docked at the city levee and approximately 150 infantrymen charged up the bank with rifles firing.

Landing under cover of a red and white smoke screen, national guardsmen from Charleston, St. Albans, Montgomery and Gassaway demonstrated the army technique in securing a beachhead, then re-formed on the boulevard to join the parade a few minutes later.

Several thousand Charlestonians lined up along the boulevard at 9:30 when the landing operation was to take place, and by 10 a. m. when the landing craft arrived from the South Charleston dock, there were many hundred more persons to watch the spectacle.

Planes Roar Overhead

Six fighter planes - P-51's - from Kanawha airport buzzed overhead to lend air cover. The troops fired blank ammunition in the simulated landing conditions.

At 10:30 a. m. national guard units, West Virginia State college's ROTC unit and band, the Charleston, Stonewall Jackson, and South Charleston high school bands, two contingents of marines, the American Legion drum and bugle corps, drill teams of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars and Army Mothers Post No. 2 paraded through the downtown business section. On hand to review the parade from the steps of Kanawha county public library were Gov. Meadows, Mayor Andrews, Brig. Gen. Charles R. Fox, commanding officer of the West Virginia national guard, Col. Nelson Dingley, III, executive officer of the West Virginia military district, Lt. Col. George Rochman, officer for the return of World War II dead, and other officers and officials.

Meadows Addresses Throng

Gov. Meadows addressed the gathering at 11:30 a. m. after the parade had passed in review and marched through downtown streets.

A concert of army music and marches was scheduled by the Stonewall Jackson high school band at 12:15 p.m. on the lawn of the YMCA, to be followed at 7:30 p. m. with a similar concert by the Charleston high school band.

Throughout the day a display of army equipment including the new 75 and 57 millimeter recoilless rifles - which are gas-operated and may be fired from the shoulder - were on display in front of the YMCA. Rocket launchers, flame throwers, 50 and 30 caliber machine guns, an army "duck," army radio and signal equipment and other small arms and equipment was available for public inspection.

P-51's on Inspection

P-51's of the West Virginia national guard may be inspected at Kanawha airport until 6 p. m., Col. Dingley said.

Army day celebrations will be climaxed with moving pictures, free to the public, shown on the lawn of the YMCA after the Charleston high school band concert. The pictures are "Preamble to Peace" and "Design for Peace."

Set aside as a reminder to citizens that a strong America is a peaceful America and that peace through preparedness is the answer, Army day is a national observance proclaimed by the President to honor the army and its reserve and national guard components.

Military and Wartime