Category:
Military

February 25, 2016

The Draft and Army IQ

Following up on Chuck's mention of "military intelligence" in his latest column, this short article from 1951 noted the (perhaps unexpected) effect that a military draft has on the average IQ of GIs.

St. Petersburg Times - Oct 13, 1951


Intelligence Average of GIs Going Up
HEIDELBERG, Germany — The intelligence average of American troops in Germany is going up.
Reason: The draft.
Officers in the U.S. Army's European Command headquarters here say Army intelligence averages go up every time there is a military draft.
"With the draft, we get the extremely brilliant persons, as well as the average or slightly below average persons," one officer explained. "The 'brilliant' persons usually do not enlist in the Army as a private."

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 25, 2016 - Comments (10)
Category: Intelligence, Military, 1950's

February 13, 2016

Speed of aircraft carrier

Example from 1960 of the military's gift for stating the obvious.

No luck in tracking down the referenced pamphlet. Doesn't seem that the Navy saved copies of all the thousands of pamphlets it published over the years.

The Sikeston Daily Standard - June 3, 1960


Anchors Aweigh. In Washington, a U.S. Navy pamphlet titled Executive Future: Officer Candidate School in the Navy, comments: "Aircraft carriers are the backbone of a naval task force. They are slower than planes, but, of course, faster than fixed land installations."

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 13, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Military, 1960's

January 30, 2016

Anti-Aircraft Dumpling Cannon

February 1967: Munich resident Helmut G. Winter was sick and tired of the noise of military aircraft flying low over his house. So he built a catapult and started launching Bavarian potato dumplings at the planes.

In one week he launched 120 dumplings. He never managed to score a direct hit. But eventually both the West German Luftwaffe and American pilots conceded defeat and agreed to a flight path that avoided his house.

Reportedly, he gave the Americans a model of his dumpling cannon as a gesture of thanks, inscribed "As a souvenir and a warning — Helmut G. Winter, The Bavarian Dumpling Shot." I bet this model has now been lost or thrown away, instead of being in a museum where it belongs.

Cincinnati Enquirer - Feb 20, 1967



Newsweek - Mar 13, 1967



Newsweek - Mar 13, 1967



St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Mar 1, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 30, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Military, 1960's, Weapons

December 31, 2015

The MRE Diet

Army researchers are conducting a study to try to improve the healthfulness of MREs (meals, ready-to-eat), and they're looking for volunteers.

To qualify to participate, you need to live near Natick, Massachusetts and be willing to eat MREs (and nothing but MREs) for 21 days.

But the researchers say the lack of variety won't really be that bad because they've managed to come up with a book of recipes using only MRE ingredients. Recipes include "everything from specialty beverages ('Canteen Irish Cream Latte') to main dishes ('Bunker Hill Burritos') to desserts ('Fort Bliss-ful Pudding Cake')."

More info: Army Times.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 31, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Military, Science

December 27, 2015

Ready on the Home Front



What do you think would happen today if you got ahold of live telephone operator and shouted, "Army Flash!"

The amazing thing is how much more there was to the civil defense system than the old cliche about the warden yelling, "Douse those lights!"

Posted By: Paul - Sun Dec 27, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Military, PSA's, 1940's

December 22, 2015

USAF Lip Balm Recall

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Somebody in ordering is in trouble! The Air Force has recalled lip balm that contains THC due to the use of hemp oil in it. Its too low a dose to show up on a drug screen but, you know, zero tolerance and all that.

Posted By: patty - Tue Dec 22, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Drugs, Military

November 15, 2015

How the AMC Building got its name, 1973

Warren Times-Mirror and Observer - Jan 15, 1973


ARMY ORIGINALITY — To boost morale, the Army Materiel Command recently held a contest to name its new national headquarters. More than 524 names were suggested, and the AMC's official Contest Committee to Name the New Building solemnly studied the offerings. At last, Maj. Gen. Charles T. Horner, the AMC chief of staff, announced with pride: "The name of the new AMC building is the AMC BUILDING." The lucky winner, Francis Sikorski, received $100 in appropriated monies for his shrewd suggestion.


The AMC Building - 5001 Eisenhower Ave. via Flickr.





I first encountered the story of how the AMC Building got its name in Chuck's 1989 News of the Weird book. Later, I also noticed it in National Lampoon's True Facts. So because I'm amusing myself over at about.com by telling the story of some classic weird news stories in more depth, I recently decided to try to find out if there were any more details to the AMC story. For instance, what other names were submitted in the contest? Were all the other entries so bad that the committee decided it had to choose the most obvious name possible? Or was this really just "army originality" at work.

But after a lot of digging, I've come up empty.

The story of the name-choosing contest is mentioned in the Army Materiel Command's own official history (pdf), published in 2013. So I contacted the AMC and asked them if they knew of any more details to the story. Their pr rep contacted the historians, who returned the answer that, no, that's all there is to the story. No other details survive. So we'll never know exactly why the "AMC Building" was the winning entry in the "Name the new AMC Building" contest.

But I can report that the AMC Building no longer houses the headquarters of the AMC. The AMC moved out of the Eisenhower Ave. building in 2002, relocating its headquarters first to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and later to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where it currently can be found.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 15, 2015 - Comments (12)
Category: Military, Odd Names, 1970's

November 12, 2015

Army puts price tags on equipment

Back in 1951, the U.S. Army was told it needed to cut costs, so it initiated the "cost-consciousness" program. This involved putting price tags on all the equipment, so that the soldiers could see how much everything cost. The theory was that this would make them use the equipment more "wisely and well."

After the program was implemented, one Army Reserve staffer said, "It looks just like a department store here."

There were claims that the program saved the Army millions of dollars. So I wonder what caused it to be shelved?

The News-Herald (Franklin, Pennsylvania) - Dec 14, 1951



The Spokesman-Review - Feb 27, 1952


Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 12, 2015 - Comments (14)
Category: Military, 1950's, Armed Forces

November 9, 2015

Veterans Day 11/11/2015

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This post is a bit early, but for good reason. This year on Veterans Day Bob Evans is honoring all military personnel, past and present, by offering free breakfast to all of you on Veterans Day. So, I am doing my Veterans Day post early to inform all of our esteemed veterans and active duty WUVians so that you have a chance to enjoy a free breakfast. Thank you all for your service.

Posted By: patty - Mon Nov 09, 2015 - Comments (7)
Category: Military

November 1, 2015

Nothing To Bragg About

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What do you suppose would be the most inappropriate Halloween costume to wear to any military base, especially Ft. Bragg? Yep, emergency response was initiated and a gate was shut down over some idiot showing up to the base in a suicide bomber costume.

Posted By: patty - Sun Nov 01, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Costumes and Masks, Holidays, Military, Terrorism and Terrorists, Goofs and Screw-ups

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Alex Boese
Alex is best known as the curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the weird news "expert" at about.com.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

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