Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More history, warts and all

Chemical warfare has been around for a long time. In WWI it was especially horrific, as they discovered it could be just as dangerous for the people using it as for the enemy. Here's Uncle Henry modeling the 1917 version of the MOPP suit:

As a Master Sergeant Uncle Henry trained troops on the newfangled Lewis machine guns. Due to the racial segregation in place at the time, he wasn't allowed to train the black soldiers -- he trained their officers, who then went back and trained the enlisted. When he was telling me about this his voice had a "would you believe it?" tone. He was a remarkably open-minded man for his time, and didn't see how skin color affected a guy's ability to operate machinery.


Blogger Barb said...

The uniform (minus gas mask) reminds me of a picture we used to have of my maternal grandfather. He was a hoot, and I'm sorry he died when I was 7, and baby sister was 1, cause she never got to know him. Even my memories are limited. Mostly I remember that he could whistle between his fingers (and make on heckova racket) and that he loved his Caddys. He's the one I got the 'gun gene' from, also, since my Dad really wasn't into firearms much. *grin*

4:54 PM, June 01, 2006  

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