The effects of melting snow and several days of heavy rains throughout the Mississippi Valley in early spring 1927 caused the banks of the Mississippi River to overflow. The great flood that followed was one of the most devastating in our country’s history. Eventually seven states were affected, but Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas bore the brunt of the disaster. Over 16 million acres were lost to the waters. Some 162,000 homes suffered extensive water damage, and at least 9,000 homes were completely destroyed. This triggered the evacuation of well over a half million civilians.
Working with Red Cross officials, regional Quartermaster personnel quickly sprang into action, and on 5 April 1927 began issuing food and cooking utensils, thousands of tents, cots, blankets, clothing, and other lifesaving items to the desperate victims of this disaster. Soon more supplies poured in from QM depots as far away as St. Louis, Chicago, Columbus, New Cumberland, Philadelphia, and Schenectady.
This massive relief effort, applauded by officials and grateful citizens nationwide, turned into the Quartermaster Corps’ largest single supply operation since the end of World War I.
Compiled by Dr. Steven Anders, former Quartermaster School historian
Event: Mississippi Valley Flood relief
Date: April 1927
"The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war."
- Chinese Proverb