Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

involved where there are no vehicles at the cemetery. In other words, they must hire a truck. When they receive supplies the supplies must be trucked to the cemeteries, The amount for that item is $7,700.

COMMUNICATION SERVICE

The next item is for communication service, in the amount of $7,815 which is to cover the cost of telegrams dispatched by the superintendents to the next of kin in all burials

It also involves an item of $4,651, or approximately $91.9 per cemetery for 51 national cemeteries for the use of telephone service.

Mr. ENGEL. How much of that is for toll calls, do you have any idea? Colonel MARSHALL. No, sir, we have not the slightest idea. Mr. Engel. What control do you have over that service in order to know that they are not using it for private business?

Supposing a superintendent wanted to call up his aunt or somebody and charged it up to the account. Colonel MARSHALL. Those bills are checked each month. Mr. ENGEL. Checked by whom? Colonel MARSHALL. By the Army area, and if there are any longdistance calls on there that are not certified and approved he pays for them himself. Mr. ENGEL. Proceed.

OTHER CONTRACTUAL SERVICES

[ocr errors]

Colonel MARSHALL. The next item is for other contractual services, for the maintenance and repair of 86 motor vehicles at 40 cemeteries, totaling $7,500. This is for the ambulances and vehicles in cemeteries at which there is no facility for maintenance.

SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS

The next item is on page 102, and that is for supplies and materials for national cemeteries, amounting to $64,133.

Mr. ENGEL. And you are going to give us last year's comparative cost in each case? Colonel MARSHALL. Yes, sir; we will furnish that for the record. (The matter referred to is as follows:)

[blocks in formation]

This item includes the purchase of stationery and office supplies in the amount of $1,510 per year. The average for 1948 was $18.88 per cemetery, compared to $19.11 for 1949.

It also involves the purchase of fuel for the operation of heating plants in the cemeteries, amounting to $20,000, at an average of $59.78 per cemetery. Then there is an item for the purchase of gasoline and lubricating oils for 290 units of motor driven equipment, totaling $12.483.

The next item in the amount of $7,104, is for the operation of 96 motor vehicles at those cemeteries which have motor vehicles, and facilities for their maintenance.

Mr. ENGEL. Do you furnish hearses at these cemeteries? Colonel MARSHALL. We have a few. We have one at Arlington, and one at Long Island, and one at Golden Gate. Mr. ENGEL. How old are those hearses?

Colonel Marshall. One which we are replacing is completely worn out; that is the one at Arlington. That is a 1937 model.

Colonel MARSHALL. The next item is for the purchase of flags and halyards. It includes the purchase of 86,000 small grave decorating flags. During the past few years we have been using flags that were returned from overseas. Those flags have now worn out, and the replacement factor, plus the increase in the demands of World War II dead necessitates this purchase.

The next item is the "Purchase of lawn tools.” That is for the replacement of worn out tools in the 79 cemeteries, an item of $4,851.

The next item is for the local purchase of materials needed in the maintenance of the cemeteries, such as lumber, paint, oils, signs and material for cleaning headstones, in the amount of $5,366.

The next item on page 107 amounts to $2,500, and is for the purchase of sanitary cleaning supplies used in the national cemeteries, mainly in the comfort stations.

EQUIPMENT

The next item on page 108, in the amount of $90,520 is for the purchase of replacements for worn out equipment and to furnish motorized equipment to cemeteries which have had no equipment, or have had horsedrawn equipment.

Mr. ENGEL. How many trucks are you buying?

Colonel MARSHALL. There are 11 trucks, 1 tractor gang mower, and i horse-drawn wagon.

Mr. ENGEL. What type of trucks are they? Colonel MARSHALL. They are mostly pick-ups. Mr. ENGEL. What make? Colonel MARSHALL. We buy from Ordnance. We do not know what they are.

Mr. ENGEL. What do you do with the old trucks-turn them in?

Colonel MARSHALL. Yes, sir; where possible, we will use the law which permits a turn in.

Mr. ENGEL. You will trade in the old ones for new ones?
Colonel MARSHALL. That is right.

You will notice the items followed by an “X” are those designated for replacement as shown on pages 109 through 112, such as Baltimore, replacement of one 13-ton dump truck. That is a strict

replacement; the others are initial purchases where they have no motor vehicles.

Mr. Engel. How have they been getting along so far?

Colonel MARSHALL. In some cases with horse-drawn vehicles and in some cases by contract, and the contract cost is running so high that it just does not pay to continue it.

Mr. Engel. At Natchez, Miss., you say: The horse at this cemetery which has heretofore been used for hauling has been disposed of. A truck is required to provide for hauling of tools, equipment, and other necessary materials to meet the requirements at the cemetery.

What is the next item?
Colonel MARSHALL. That is the last item in this particular budget.

CARGO OF U. S. A. T. CONNOLLY”

Mr. ENGEL. General Larkin, I requested you to furnish me with a statement showing just what was on the U. S. A. T. Connolly, Army transport, which was destroyed by fire 2 days ago. Do you have that statement now?

General LARKIN. Yes, sir. It had on board 6,445 caskets in cases, 3,000 gallons of cavity fluid, 422 boxes of toilet paper, 12 lawn mower handles, 5,695 spare parts for power. mowers, and 20 pounds of identification tags.

Mr. ENGEL. Was that the total cargo?
General LARKIN. Yes, sir.

Mr. ENGEL. These caskets you were shipping were, of course, to be used for the returning of the dead?

General LARKIN. Yes, sir
Mr. ENGEL. Under the repatriation program?
General LARKIN. Yes, sir.

Mr. ExGEL. Just how are those caskets made up? I mean just how are they shipped.

General LARKIN. The caskets are metal. The top is very firmly fastened to the base of the casket. It is very difficult to unfasten. And the casket is placed in a shipping case which is also fastened with screws.

Mr. ENGEL. A wooden shipping case?
General LARKIN. A plywood shipping case.
Mr. Engel. And the casket comes back in the shipping case again?
General LARKIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. ENGEL. The lid of that shipping case is screwed down?

General LARKIN. The lid of the shipping case is fastened firmly to the base of the casket.

Mr. ENGEL. With screws?
General LARKIN. Yes, sir.

Mr. ENGEL. And there is no way for anyone to get into the casket itself?

General LARKIN. It would be difficult for anyone to get into the casket.

General HORKAN. There is a picture of the shipping case (exhibiting Mr. ENGEL. That goes over the top of the casket?

General LARKIN. The base of the shipping case is screwed to the base of the casket.

Mr. ENGEL. They are steel caskets?
General LARKIN. They are steel caskets; yes, sir.
Mr. ENGEL. What kind of steel?
General LARKIN. Plate.
Mr. ENGEL. Durable for how long; have you any idea?

General LARKIN. No, sir. It would depend, of course, on the type of soil.

Mr. ENGEL. But it will be years before it disintegrates?
General LARKIN. Yes, sir; they will be durable for a long time.
Mr. ENGEL. What caused the vessel to burn so fast?
General LARKIN. We have not heard the report yet.
Mr. ENGEL. Was that because of the fluid?

General LARKIN. No, sir. The fluid was stored on deck. The only report we heard was that the fire broke out in the boiler room.

Mr. ÈNGEL. Well, it seemed to spread very fast.

General LARKIN. It seemed to; yes, sir. There will be a report forthcoming on it.

Mr. ENGEL. Of course, the plywood around the caskets would be inflammable, and the fire would spread pretty fast.

General LARKIN. Yes, sir; that would burn.

Mr. ENGEL. If the flames got rampant in the stored caskets with an air draft between them, that would probably cause it to spread pretty fast.

General LARKIN. Of course, it would have to spread quite a way from the boiler room before it got into the holds.

Mr. ENGEL. Yes. And, of course, how it got there, you are going to have an investigation made to determine that, and so forth?

General LARKIN. Yes. I think it was very, very fortunate it did not happen on the return trip. As a matter of fact, the loss is considerable-not only the loss of the ship itself, but the caskets and cases. That amounts roughly, I would say, to $1,200,000. Then we fitted the ship up especially to carry the dead at a cost of $109,000.

Mr. Engel. It is fortunate, as you say, that it was not on the return trip.

General LARKIN. Yes, sir. It would have been a terrible situation then.

Mr. ENGEL. Are there any questions?

Mr. NORRELL. General, there are two questions I have in mind. They may already have been answered, but I want to get them straight in my mind.

The casket itself, I believe you said, was steel.
General LARKIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. NoRRELL. And you just have one regulation casket?
General LARKIN. That is right.

Mr. NORRELL. In other words, you have one type of casket for all deceased soldiers?

General LARKIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. NORRELL. Of what is the box made?
General LARKIN. Plywood.

Mr. NORRELL. Can the casket be opened by the relatives when it arrives, or is it securely sealed?

General Larkin. It is securely fastened. It can be opened, but we have discouraged the relatives from opening it, because I think in many cases it would be a shock to them to open it. But, to get

down to the final analysis, it depends, after it once passes out of our possession, on State laws, and the State laws are not uniform.

Mr. NoRRELL. So it would depend, in the final analysis, on the
State law?
General LARKIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. NORRELL. But it is not the intention of the War Department
that the casket should be opened by the family; is that correct?

General LARKIN. That is correct. If they be opened at all, they should be opened by the mortician who handles it; not by the next of kin.

Mr. Norrell. How is it fastened when you put the remains in there for shipment to the relatives?

General LARKIN. The casket is firmly screwed to the base of the shipping case, and then the top of the shipping case is put down on the casket which is resting on the shipping case base, and that is fastened by lug fasteners that you see here on the side (indicating). The lid of the casket itself is firmly screwed by lugs to the base of the casket, and it is not an easy matter to open

We had a case that, I think, occurred out in Colorado where the undertaker, without any authorization at all from the next to kin, opened one up, and then he could not close it and he had to get the help of our personnel to close it. Mr. NORRELL. That is all. Mr. Engel. Take up the next.

it up.

CEMETERIAL EXPENSES, No Year (ACT OF MAY 16, 1946)

[blocks in formation]

Colonel MARSHALL. The next item is for the continuation of the evacuation program which was started in 1946. In presenting this estimate, we have listed under each project the total program as estimated. For example, you will notice on page 119 the total program is listed in the first column, and then we show the amount appropriated, then the amount deferred, and, last, the amount in the fiscal Fear 1949 estimate.

Because of the fact this is a no-year program and a continuing program, we have introduced the totals rather than to try to segregate each

year, in order to keep this committee advised of the progress.

« PředchozíPokračovat »