Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fort Richardson After Action Report

About as cool as anything there were the ladies in period dress.
I'll always have  soft spot in my heart for the old T-Patch.

Funny, there wan't a nickels worth of difference between the the Jeep I drove in the Army and the WWII version.

My dad was on a half track during WWII. This one seemed surprisingly nimble and quiet.

One of these guys day is about to get real bad.
  • So, I saw a dude get shot today (02/07/2015) anything interesting happen in your part of the world?
  • It happened during the WWII reenactment at Fort Richardson. The weird thing about that is it wasn't the first time it has happened. An old friend was a a reenactor during the late 80s and early 90s. During an engagement a guy got shot in the thigh. His unit bought him an original Wehrmacht Wound Badge to commemorate the event. 

    There was one Russian and one Japanese soldier there (that I saw anyway). No word on if they recreated the Russo Japanese War.

  • I thought about the possibility of a live fire incident in a, Wouldn't it be crazy...? kind of way before I left the house then dismissed it as soon as I recalled the aforementioned event. I assumed those guys would be shook down for live ammo and even guessed they might have to buy their blanks at the event.
  • When the guy got hit a woman stepped out of the crowd and used the military hand gesture for cease fire.

    I don't know if it was part of the play but this smoke grenade was thrown after the shot.

  • The guy playing the German officer was directly in the the line of fire but when he perceived what was happening he turned and walked to the source of the fire calling for a ceasefire. That was really brave.
    This is him after the fact.
  • There were at least 2 live rounds fired and I could be convinced there were 3. I saw one impact the ground in front and slightly to my left, then when I was turning right to identify the source I heard another live round pass from my right to left. When I turned left to see where it may have impacted I think I heard a third coming from right to left again but it may have been an effect caused by sound bouncing off the guardhouse from 2 or 3 blanks which were fired basically simultaneously.

  • It is hard enough to believe what is real anymore without seeing somebody get gutshot in the middle of a bunch of guys playing war for an audience.


Capt. Schmoe said...

Whoever fired the live rounds needs to have his ass beat. Hard. Till he stops moving hard. Maybe even a few kicks after that hard.

The event safety officer, if there was one, needs to be told he cant play any more. Ever. With anyone.

If there wasn't a safety officer, the HMFIC needs to told he cant play anymore either.

There is NO f*&^ing excuse for this type of stuff happening.

I occasionally shoot photos involving real weapons that get pointed at me. Part of the safety protocol is that the safety officer inspects each weapon, ensures each officer does not have any live ammo and labels each inspected weapon. It is reassuring when I process the images and the shot is looking right down the barrel. I can always see the markings on the weapon that signify that it is clear and that the rounds are training blanks.

The Donald said...

Did they determine whether it was handgun/rifle ammo? I'm surprised that more than one or two live rounds might get fired, as surely the re-enactor would have noticed a difference in recoil - though maybe in the excitement of 'battle' it didn't register¹.

It's terrible for the guy who was hit - but fortunate that it sounds like he'll recover. Not too good for the shooter, either - hopefully the investigation yields better procedures² for checking arms/ammo, and that this won't end living history demos.

I've always enjoyed military aircraft/equipment/arms displays (including 2 overnight 'tours of duty' on CV-16, 1 overnighter on BB-35), but haven't attended a re-enactment event. A lot of the WW2 guys I know/knew (one guy was a Bataan survivor) were kind of reluctant to revisit their war experience.

¹ Were there any grassy knolls in the vicinity?

² Unless there was some kind of weird TV drama love triangle plot here.

el chupacabra said...

Hey Cap'n- Supposedly they did have an SO and he checked the weapons and guys ammo. There was a process- but it failed.

Hi Don- Cops took an M1 Carbine away.

Capt. Schmoe said...

I guess if I had to pick a round to get gut-shot by, an M1 carbine would be it. IF procedures were followed and it still got through, the procedures are flawed. Regardless the ass-beating needs to occur.

I wonder if the the live rounds got through after a magazine change?

el chupacabra said...

Cap'n- The wound was characterized as a "deep graze".

Yes, you're right- if I had to choose... It reminded me if an old SFC I knew who was in the First Cav in Korea. He would say, The first thing we did was trade our Garands for a M1 carbine. Then he would say, Want to to know what the second thing was? Find some sucker to trade that carbine to get a Garand back! He would then tell horror stories about shooting Chinese soldiers with the carbine and the Chicoms would just growl at him and level their bayonets off and charge.

I would assume so- yes. The engagement had been on for a few minutes. I'll further go out on a limb and say that is why I heard the multiple shots of live rounds in succession. A mag or two (or three) filled with blanks was fired then the guy dug into another pouch or pocket where a mag of live ammo was.

The Donald said...

Yeah, sounds like to me the equipment check was not thorough enough. No reason for live ammo to be anywhere on the field, period.

My Dad used to look for an M1 Carb at gun shows, specifically and only manufacturer code B, if he could find one for cheap. Mainly as a curio, as he worked his entire post-college career for the company, despite having been hired 17 years after they built their last firearm.

RPM said...

Was there a Doug Neidermeyer in the group?

Seriously, glad nobody got killed. They need to have an intense review of safety procedures.