First Dead 1861

The Civil War's First Dead
civil warWith 12 Baltimoreans Killed In The Bloody Pratt Street Riot

 
The most significant action of the Civil War may have occurred in Baltimore on 19 April 1861 during the Pratt Street Riots, which directly caused 17 known deaths and at least 50 injuries and seven recorded arrests, which are now known as the first deaths of the Civil War. Many believe this attack on the union army was at least in part allowed by the Mayor and Police Commissioner at the time, as they were confederate or southern sympathizers one or both being part of the Know Nothing a political party in the US, prominent from 1853 to 1856, that was antagonistic toward Roman Catholics and recent immigrants and whose members preserved its secrecy by denying its existence.
 
 
Most of the fighting took place along President Street from near the Harbor North to Pratt Street along Pratt St., West to Light Street the violent action lasted from about 11 AM to 12:45 PM and mostly involved 220 New England Militiamen, some of whom carried and fired muskets, and a mob of Baltimore civilians including a New Maryland Militiamen out of uniform that was variously reported to number anywhere between 250 and 10,000 (more on those number in this report) and which fired a few pistols but fought mainly by grappling, and or hurling paving stones.
 
 
Of the 600 or so officers and men of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, a volunteer militia, who passed from the President Street Station to Camden Station in route to Washington, four were killed and about 35 wounded. The dead soldiers all of enlisted rank, are Addison O Whitney, Luther C Ladd, Charles A Taylor, and Sumner H Needham. The last named died with little resistance in Baltimore Hospital about a week after the riots and during a 19th Century style operation on his fractured skull.
 
 
Of the 10,000 unarmed Pennsylvania Militiamen and the 100 additional members of the six Massachusetts including the Regiment Band who arrived at the same time none made it through the mob around President Street Station on this journey but only one died of injuries sustained here. He was George Leisenring, who also succumbed about a week later, after he returned to Philadelphia.
 
 
Many Baltimoreans were wounded, and 12 were killed – James Carr, William R. Clark, Robert W. Davis, Sebastian Gill, Patrick Griffiths, John McCann, John McMahon, Francis Maloney, William Maloney, Philip S. Miles, Michael Murphy, and William Reid.
 
 
At the time and off and on ever since leading Baltimoreans were and have been the most outraged by the death of Mr. Davis a 36-year-old Drygoods Merchant and Semi-innocent bystander he may have cheered for the Confederacy but he did not join the fighting, and was shot by someone on the 6th Massachusetts trained shortly after it left Camden Station. He cried, “I am killed!” as he fell and the next day a Baltimore coroner’s jury decided that he had been ruthlessly murdered. By one of the military Mr. Davis’s funeral was elaborate but his murder, if that term is strictly accurate was never named, charged, or prosecuted.
 
 
Two of the dead civilians Patrick Griffiths and William Reid were described as boys (which at the time might have meant that they were black, adult males white or black with low wage jobs, or that they may have been very young, probably poor white males). Patrick Griffith was employed on an Oyster’s Sloop that was tied up near Pratt and Light Street. William Reid was employed by a Pratt Street establishment described only as of “The Greenhouse” and was shot through the bowels while looking on from the business door.
 
 
The ages addressed occupation specifically circumstances of death and last rites of the other Baltimore casualties have apparently never been recorded although those who fell in the Pratt Street riots turned out to be the first fatality victims of a hostile action in the Civil War (no one was killed during reaction which had ended four days earlier at Fort Sumter South Carolina)
 
 
The most thorough contemporary accounts of the riots in Baltimore newspapers state that the police arrested “great numbers” afterward. Only seven were apparently ever named anywhere though – Mark Hagan and Andrew Eisenbreeht, charged with “assaulting an officer with the brick” Richard Brown and Patrick Collins “throwing bricks creating a riot” William Reid “severely injuring a man with a brick” J Friedenwald, “assaulting an unknown man” and Lawrence T Erwin, “throwing a brick on Pratt Street” these seven constituted a nether Civil War first
 
 
The troops from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania were responding to Abraham Lincoln’s April 15 call for volunteers, and many Baltimoreans in slave-holding Maryland interpreted that to be an effort to recruit an army to invade such succeeding “sister states” as Virginia. A Confederate Army recruitment office flourished at Marsh Market: a pro-secession mob of about 800 had roamed Charles Street on the night of April 18, and more than one Negro had recently been flogged for daring to cheer the Republican President in public.
 
 
So the Baltimoreans in the Pratt Street riots were as much pro-Southern as they were simply pro Maryland or simply outraged by the alleged violation of State sovereignty by another State’s Militia (An idea suggested in “ Maryland! My Maryland!” the official state song that was inspired by and written shortly after the riots by writer Randall, a native Baltimorean English teacher then in New Orleans).!
 
 
And so the seven Baltimoreans arrested turned out to be the first Civil War partisans of either side who suffered official legal action for their pains. Of them boldly Lawrence T Erwin was convicted and “held for sentence” so far as contemporary accounts, histories and memories reveal. His sentence, if any, is also unrecorded.
 
 
One history of Baltimore Police Department explains that “it was useless to arrest men when not an officer could be spared to put them in jail.” It seemed too, that although the department had been reorganized about a year earlier under Marshal George P. Kane to rid it of corrupt “Know Nothing” political elements, it had no patrol wagons in 1861, and since the main body of police detailed to maintain order during the militia’s passage was either a half mile away at Camden Station or in route to the scene of the fighting door and most of the writing, it is perhaps remarkable that as many as seven arrests were made.
 
 
Why the main body of police was at the end of the troops projected route, instead of at its beginning, is still something of a mystery. The record collection of the riots that was published 19 years after the events by George William Brown, who was mayor in 1861, lays part of the blame on the management of the P.W. & B. be railroad the company failure to answer marshal Kane’s repeated telegrams that ask how many troops were in route to the Pres. Street location and when: so by 1030 on the morning of April 19, the police could do nothing better than send their main body – “a strong force” – the Camden Station.
 
 
Such action was proper, one infers from Mayor Brown’s account, even though a large crowd had assembled at both stations as early as 9 AM and even though the secessionist flag – a circle of white stars on a field of blue – was displayed by the throng and Pres. Street station. Passers to arrive from the North won the P.W. & B than customarily stayed one the cars and Pres. Street station if they were bound for Washington, and the cars were hauled one by one and by four force teams, to Camden station, where the passengers got off and boarded Baltimore and Ohio trains to continue to national capital. “As the change of cars occurred at this point,” a Police Department history published in 1888 remarks, “it was here that the attack was feared.”
 
 
But why at Camden station, to which the troops would have been pulled more than a mile through angry spectators who it already been hurrahing Jefferson Davis. President of the new Confederacy, and cheering president Lincoln for an hour and a half?
 
 
Only the day before, a lesser riot (resulting in no deaths) began near the Bolton station one another troop of Pennsylvania Militia (the first defenders) D trained in North Baltimore and was stoned by a mob as it marched south to board a train for Washington. The police applied more and less effective protection for the first defenders while they were of foot in Baltimore on April 18. Why then did marshal Kane apparently reverses strategy on April 19 and decide that the six Massachusetts et al would be safe while on the cars as they were pulled from Pres. Street station to Camden station?
 
 
Mayor Brown later decided (in his memoirs of the riot, published in 1887) to the six Massachusetts et al would have been more imposing, therefore safer, if they had marched as a body of 1700 men from one station to the other. Just such an order for marching through Baltimore was apparently prepared by the sixth Massachusetts commander, Col. Edward F Jones, but it was abandoned “someone had plundered” Mayor Brown concluded hinting strongly that some PW and be executives had.
 
 
The logic of hindsight suggests that the main body of police should have met the train at Pres. Street station and that adequate details of officers should have escorted each horse-drawn cart of soldiers to Camden station. As it happened the first nine cars of 35 car troop train hauled Col. Jones and seven of his 11 Massachusetts companies of Pres. Street, across Pratt Street and down Howard Street to Camden station with little, if any police escort – and still they made the trip without serious mishap. The crowd hissed but threw stones at only the last car, and Mayor Brown, who by this time had arrived to Camden station from his law office, thought that maybe the nine cars were the lot.
 
 
The 10th car was halted at the Pratt Street bridge over Jones falls by a wagon load of sand that the mob dumped in its path, some anchors (perhaps eight that Negro seamen from nearby ships drew across the tracks, and a motley barricade of lumber and paving stones that were handy because the street was by chance under repair at that point.
 
 
The 10th car returned to Pres. Street station, where the mob had swelled to about 2000 and where some police arrived (from outlying districts, apparently not from the main body at Camden station) as the 220 or so soldiers D trained and lined up in single file. Their effort to March to Camden station in this unlikely formation was blocked by a knot of men flying the “Succession Flag” so they were formed into double file, about faced, an marched in the opposite direction, (i.e. retreat) conceivably inspired to dive into the harbor and swim West at the Light Street. The mob having savagely choked a union sympathizer, who tried to tear down the “Succession Flag”, circled the soldiers and halted the de facto retreat. The troopers then fell in by platoons, for abreast, and with police help, wedged a path north on President Street. The gang with the “Succession Flag” would march ahead of them and savagely beat two or more union sympathizers who tried to tear down the banner, then ran along the militia ranks. Part of the crowd behind the six Massachusetts columns then began to throw stones, one of which felled a trooper named William patch, who was then beaten with his own musket.
 
 
The four companies – C, D, I and L – then began either “to run” or March “at double quick,” presumably one orders from one or all of their captains, who were named Follansbee, Hart, Pickering and Dike. Two more soldiers were knocked down at Pres. and styles streets – possibly by a flatiron or one of the “queer missiles” (meaning chamber pots) that were thrown by Baltimore women in the mob, according to the 1936 reminiscence of Aaron J Fletcher the last survivor of the Civil War six Massachusetts.
 
 
Mr. Fletcher is the only direct account that even suggests that any women were involved in the riots. (A romantic story, written in 1865, alleges that a Baltimore prostitute named in Manley saved the six Massachusetts Regiment band by guiding them away from Pres. Street station by back alleys – but most accounts state that the police protected the musicians) at about the time the troops turned the corner into Pratt Street, at any rate, someone fired the first shot.
 
 
E. W. Beatty, of Baltimore fired that shot from the crowd, according to the opinion that seemed to be based on the opinions of Confederate officers with whom a he later served before he was killed in action. One of the six Massachusetts soldiers fired that first shot, according to contemporary newspaper accounts that attributed the information to a policeman identified only as “number 71” by that time Mayor Brown had heard that the mob had poured up Pratt Street and had hastened to the bridge. Where he met the new and wonders and joined them in their March at the head of the column as far back toward Camden station as light Street.
 
 
Mayor Brown’s account states that he slowed the soldiers pace (they also had to pick their way through the half hazards barricade at the bridge) the Capt. Follansbee said: “We have been attacked without provocations” and that he Mayor Brown replied “you must defend yourselves.”
 
 
The troopers of home about 60 carried muskets, then began to fire in earnest – in volleys, according to the newspaper; over their shoulders and helter-skelter, according to Mayor Brown; definitely not in volleys, according to Karen Fletcher’s recollection (although he was with Company E, which passed safely through in one of the nine cars) the first Baltimorean hit (in the groin) was supposed to be Francis X Ward.
 
 
A Unionist newspaper in Washington quoted Col. Jones and the next day as saying that Mayor Brown had seized a musket and shot a man during the march. Mr. Brown wrote later that a boy he had handed him a smoking musket which a soldier had dropped and that he had immediately handed it to a policeman.
 
 
The Mayor must have found that the Pratt Street riots generally embarrassing. Then 48 years old he had been elected in October, 1860, on the reform ticket dedicated to absolving Baltimore of its nickname “Mobtown” and he helped put down the bank of Maryland riots in 1835. He believed in freeing the slaves gradually, but felt that slavery was allowed by the Constitution and that the South should be allowed to succeed in peace.
 
 
He was some early arrested by the federal military in September 1861 and prisons until November 1862 from 1872 until the year before his death 1890 he served as chief judge of the supreme bench of Baltimore city. He was defeated in a campaign for mayor in 1885.
 
 
When Mayor Brown left the Massachusetts infantrymen, near Pratt and light Street, most of the casualties had fallen, the fighting having been heaviest near South Street. The Baltimore dead and wounded were mostly bystanders, according to most Baltimore accounts, because the running soldiers allegedly fired to the front and sides and not at the hostile mob behind them which may have been as small as 250 men, according to the “Tercentenary History of Maryland”
 
 
A historian who took notable exception to the bystander only version was J Thomas Clark, author of the “Chronicles of Baltimore” which describes an “amends concourse of people” that to a man threw paving stones at the troopers from in front of them.
 
 
Before the column reached Charles Street, marshal Kane and about 40 police finally arrived from Camden station and through a cordon around the soldiers. “Halt men or I’ll shoot!” The Marshall is supposed to have cried as he and his men brandished revolvers. The mob halted.
 
 
That even marshal Kane telegraphed friends to recruit Virginia rifleman to defend Baltimore further from invasion by union militia. In June, after general Benjamin Butler “occupied” Baltimore with other Massachusetts troops, the police Marshall was also arrested and imprisoned. Released in 1862, he went to Richmond apparently by informal agreement, and apparently served in the Confederacy during the war. He died at the age of 58 and 1878, seven months after he was elected Baltimore’s Mayor.
 
 
The six Massachusetts had left Baltimore by 1 PM on April 19, 1861 – short of its dead and some of its wounded, who were cared for in Baltimore hospitals and temporarily buried and Greenmount Cemetery and its regimental bands men who along with 1000 unarmed Pennsylvania volunteers were more effectively protected by the police from two attacks at Pres. Street station by mobs which may have increased to 10,000 persons according to Mr. Scarf’s Chronicle.
 
 
The Pratt Street riots occurred on the anniversary of the revolutionary war battle of Lexington, a coincidence which both northern and southern propagandists made a lot of, notably the former the civic leaders of Baltimore called halfheartedly for law and order in speeches in Monument Square when the same afternoon, ordered railroad bridges burned North the city and persuaded Pres. Lincoln to route further worsened the defenders through Annapolis.
 
 
Much of the city might protest that its sovereignty had been violated, the riots appeared to the North to be a pro-Confederate outrage, and it is not difficult to understand why the federal government soon decided to clamp down on the city.
 
 
The six Massachusetts was in Baltimore three more times during the war. It survivors were felt it here on several occasions afterwards. Its reception on April 19, 1861 caused far-reaching repercussions, though including the ironic turnabout in Baltimore which saw Unionist mobs roughing up success in this one the streets as soon after the riots as May 1861.
 
 
Note; Marshal George P Kane was Baltimore’s police Commissioner at the time called Marshal – Mayor George W Brown was the city’s mayor at the time
 
 
A map shows the route followed by the Massachusetts infantrymen on their march from Pres. Street station to Camden station
 
 
The three contemporary drawings produced above show the six Massachusetts fighting its way along Pratt Street against the mob of April 19, 1861. The middle sketch is from Harper’s weekly the other two are from Frank Leslie’s pictorial history of the war.
 
 
The attack on the six Massachusetts was drawn by Albert Faulk Baltimore artist perhaps a witness

 Devider color with motto 

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

Police Boys Club

boys club

Baltimore City Police Boys Club
History if Baltimore City Police Boy's Club

 

Starting in 1944 and continuing through the 1980s, the Baltimore Police sponsored a Boys’ Clubs throughout the city with financial help from Buddies Inc. and a Baltimore Businessmen’s Organization. Policemen chipped in to buy sports equipment, and gave an abundance of personal time and attention teaching games, and giving talks about citizenship, civic responsibility, community relation, and police work. Buddies Inc. raised funds for events like Baltimore Colts Night, and a series of shows Called Up With The People and Baltimore Orioles games. The Shiners of the Bowie Temple in Baltimore joined in supporting the Boys Club in 1977 with a share of the proceeds from the annual Shrine Circus. The First Club was started by Southwestern District. All of the club’s numbering from 2 to 4 at various times were led by Police Officers and Police Cadets. Some boys went one to become cadets. In the late seventies, the department experimented with expanding the club to include girls the name was changed to Youth Clubs, but the idea proved unfeasible and was soon abandoned. Today the club said been replaced by the activities of the Police Athletic League or PAL.

Summer camps for hundreds of inner-city youngsters under 16, who otherwise would have spent their summers idly and devastated or dangerous neighborhoods, began in 1945  NWD Police Boys Club basketball team 1950son land provided by the U. S Army at Fort Ritchie in Catoctin Maryland’s Mountains. The camps were extensions of the department’s work with the Boys Club. The founder of the camps was Captain William Heart, the first Commander of the Department’s Youth Division. When the Army Land was needed for military purposes in 1974 Commissioner Donald Pomerleau and the Buddies Inc. raised funds to buy an alternative site one route 23 at Deer Run in Harford County. The new location was named, Camp Walter Perkins for the founder of Buddies Inc.

Sarah Callan worked for the department for 47 years before retiring in 1970, kept the books and handled administrative detail for the club and camps. Other key figures were in the league Vance, who helped with whatever needed doing in the early days, Major Patricia A. Mullen, who directed Police Youth Services in the 70’s and 80’s, and Sergeant Don Farley supervisor of the club and camp activities in the same., Period.

As a police and the Baltimore aerial council of the boy scouts of America have cooperated since 19681 programs presented by the scouts one law enforcement day. Each of the nine police districts as sponsored an explorer scout troop since 1944.

The department joined Federal, state, and county law enforcement agencies and hosting all day in March 1980. The event held at the inner harbor, featured a variety of law enforcement as if it’s, explanations of fingerprinting and its value, continuous motion pictures of the crime prevention, a helicopter demonstration, and rolls by the department’s mount unit, always a favorite of the public. Erik Estrada then starring in the television series ships up here did rash field to support the event.

A successful youth division program was created in 1978 by the department’s youth services division now if they use bureau. Teenagers who committed minor crimes like shoplifting join in 90 days of mandatory counseling with a use officer, who attempts to discover the youngsters' interests and a way to pursue those interest as a substitute for idle hands and idle time. The program provides a great deal more in just a warning and in it and I’m conditional release. It can, however, in appropriate cases and with a miscreants cooperation, of the lead the severity of juvenile court.

The southwest district commander of community relations section added A theatrical talks to its work in 1971 police Officer Charles L. Clayton Sr. Better known as buck Clayton with the support of district Commander Richard G. Francis became Charley the magic cop. Clean a recognize professional magician, began making appearances before school children, using is sliding and showmanship to teach safety, brotherhood, patriotism, added dangers of narcotic. The Baltimore police department participated through the 1970s and 1980s in annual Baltimore City fairs as both guardians of the peace and exhibitor of the law enforcement information.
 

Untitled-1

Baltimore Police Boys Club members left to right Sonny Augustyniak, Butch Kotowski, Jim Galloway, and John Randle the Colts Allen “The Horse” Ameche and Claude “Buddy” Young in a training camp visit.

1 black devider 800 8 72

Police Boys club72

The Police Boys Club of Baltimore

The Police Boys Club of Baltimore is making valuable contributions in the struggle against juvenile delinquency. Calculated to meet the recreational needs of 8 to 18-year-old, club activities include athletics, sports, crafts, woodworking, and scouting. Each club is equipped with a library, recreation room, game rooms, and wood workshops.



The clubs are located at the following:
Eastern, Police Boys Club - 1619 Bank St.,
Northwestern, Police Club - Calhoun and Gold Street
Southern, Police Boys Club - Patapsco and Olmsted
Southwestern, Police Boys Club - Calhoun and Pratt Street

  SW boys club

First Police Boys Club Formed in Southwestern District
Proves Success
9 June 1944

Applying as a gauge the boys 

Enthusiasm for the club and their readiness to become members. The Southwestern Police Boys' Club. the first of several similar clubs to be established in various sections of the city under the direction of the Baltimore Police Department. is already a success far beyond the hopes of its founders. The club's memberships large enough at its beginning a scant two weeks ago. is growing by leaps and bounds. With facilities to comfortably accommodate approximately 100 boys more than 400 were signed members on the opening night. That list has grown to over 550 and more applications are pouring in each day. Officials in charge of the organization said. 

Fills Need for Fun 

Originally founded by the department as a weapon in its fight on juvenile delinquency, the club. which is installed in the specially renovated third floor of the station house at Pratt and Calhoun streets. has a fertile field in which to work. since that, thickly populated section of town has no recreation for its hundreds of children other than the streets. The clubs' plans. of course, are still in the formative stage. but its athletic program. which is under the direction of Officer.Joseph Epplier a former football player and bicycle racer. is ample proof of the need of such a work for boys of that area.

Except for baseball. which l guess every kid knows a little something about."Epplier  savs." We practically have to teach nearly every lad who comes to us how to play. For the most part, these kids don’t even know the rudiments of even the simplest games like, say ping pong 

Boys Are Willing

"But they are more than willing and are taking the sports like ducks to water. I took a batch of our new baseball equipment to Carroll Park the other day and the gang nearly mobbed me grabbing the gloves and bats in their eagerness to get a game going Epplier got the same reaction When he called for volunteers to man a track team which would represent the club in its first taste of outside competition in the All-For-Glory track meet held by the Department of Public Recreation at Carroll Park last Tuesday. Seventy-five boys showed up for the tryouts the Saturday previous to the Fourth. Epplier ran them through several qualifying heats and whipped some 65 of them together as entrants for Southwestern. 

Win First Meet 

Not only did the lads of the club practically make the meet-they had the largest single entry list but they also ran off with the majority of the honors. placing more firsts seconds and thirds than any of the other groups entered. Donald Bokman stepped off the 100-yard dash for 10-11 Years for the club in 14 seconds and Phillip Weinreich and Rollins Johnson placing second and third. Added points to the club's final record. Little Bill Cammarata in the 12-13 age group covered the same distance for the club in one second less than Rokman and again club members in Bob Peed and Bob May followed him in the next two positions. 

Bill Reis Donald Blurb and Bill Rawlings. all three clubbers captured The 14-15 group lOO·yard dash in that order. The boys of the club chalked up the honors in the 60-yard dash for 7-8 and 9 years as well. Eddie Grap hit the tape first, followed by Larry Smith and Roy Singletary. 

Plans For Winter 

While Lieut. Fred Glock. Who heads the club. and his assistants have their hands Full at the present getting the club moving smoothly. they are not too busy to think of the future. When the summer months are over the club expects to turn to basketball and boxing and wrestling For these latter sports Glock hopes to find sufficient talent in the department but if it isn't available there outside experts will be asked to help out. For purposes of competition, the boys of the club are divided into four groups. the midgets for boys from 8 to 10 junior, 11·12. Intermediates 13·16 and the seniors 16·18 The station resounds with The voices of about 125 boys each night. In addition to its outside athletics, the club contains pool tables. ping pong tables and games of a wide assortment for the boy. Other facilities include a well-stocked library, paneled in knotty pine and constructed by the policemen and a wood-working shop. equipped with power-driven tools. The club is open daily from 4 pm to 9 pm  

1 black devider 800 8 72

Inspector John Schueler Sr 72

Inspector John R Schueler
Heads Project
 

The overall program of the department is under the direction of Inspector John R. Schueler as chief of the Juvenile Protection Bureau William L. Hartung who has been serving in the Bureau of identification and who has been connected with local athletics for many years, is assistant to Schueler. Other officers in charge of special phases of the club are Fred Elgert who does most of the paperwork and Charles B. Gerick. The entire cost of equipping the club which amounted to $1500 was donated to the Southwestern by the Variety Club of Baltimore, Tent No. 9.

1 black devider 800 8 72

police boys club
George D. Gilbert, 23 Years
Northwest Baltimore Police Clubs

George and the Gilbert of the Baltimore police department, who gave 23 years of service as club’s director, athletic director, club driver and rifle instructor of the western police boys club were eulogized at services 5 March as sharp street memorial United Methodist church. He was a 76 and died suddenly on February 28 new paragraph Robert Johnson, president of Douglass high school class of 1937 recalled fond memories of the deal when they attended the school’s 60 if reading in last June and Hal he was a good citizen and love helping youth. A resolution by Frank Ballston from the Maryland house of delegates also attested to his years of community service.

Jordan D. Gilbert was born January 20, 1920, at Johns Hopkins hospital the oldest of three children of Harry beacon Gilbert and Janie Jenkins. He was the grandson of Harriet Murphy Gilbert, one of five daughters of John H Murphy a senior founder of the African American newspaper and Harry Dion Gilbert. That’s an Afro printer he was responsible for an opening presses from the early flatbed press to the later Goss presses.

Harriet Gilbert Matthews, daughter of gymnastic Gilbert lane, gave in the family tribute to her uncle citing him as a father, brother, husband, grandfather, protector, and lover of children.

Gilbert is a graduate of Douglass high school and attended Morgan state college before world war two interrupted his schooling. His army service started in 1941 and closing service at camp Claiborne Ft Belvidere and Camp Gruber. After discharge in 1953, he worked and Social Security taking accounting and economics at Cortez Peters business school

He sort of service to the Baltimore police department in 1953 and worked the western district police boys club to 1958 and tools retirement in 1976. Poll web. Department of Recreation and Parks recall Officer Gilbert improve the lives of the young boys she came into contact with one gold street in the sand town area and Hauser sports and personal sacrifices proved to be a positive influence in many lives

The Rev. Dr. Bruce Haskins delivered the message of hope and Morse Queen, minister of music a Sharp Street gave an organ solo, “you’ll never walk alone”

He is survived by his wife, Ruth and order deal sister semester three stepchildren, six grandchildren. Pallbearers include Henry David’s Michael Robert and Matthew its and it wasn’t Woodlawn cemetery with funeral arrangements by march funeral homes west

1 black devider 800 8 72

Bring Back Police-Sponsored Boys Clubs 


When my brother, Frank, and I were growing up in Baltimore City on South Calhoun Street we were both charter members of the Southwestern Police Boys Club on the third floor of the police station at Pratt and Calhoun streets. The club was run by full-time policemen and had an indoor basketball court, boxing ring, pool tables, ping-pong tables, a woodworking shop, a Boy Scout troop, and a TV room. I believe it was open six days a week and closed at about 9 p.m. In the summer, we would go away to Camp Ritchie for one or two weeks. I believe the cost was about $6 per week. We also had baseball teams and football teams.

As I look back on those happy times spent with my friends at the Boys Club and the devotion those policemen gave to helping us boys, I feel that that experience was a major factor in our growing up the process. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Back then, my brother and a friend of his got interested in ham radio and crystal sets while participating at the Boys Club. He eventually became an electrical engineer and a valuable employee at Bell Labs. He is now 81 years old and lives in Massachusetts. I loved to play pool and ping-pong and leaned toward the business side and became a Certified Public Accountant. I am 77 years old and live in Nottingham.

It baffles me as to why we don't have similar clubs to help the youngsters today. When we came home from school, we headed right for the Boys Club until supper time. Our parents knew where we were and that we were in good hands. I realize these are different times in which we live but the basic principles are still there. With a few adjustments, we could do it again. Our father was a retired police sergeant in Baltimore City, and I want to thank the policemen who devoted their time and talent in molding us kids during the early years of our youth. We respected them and they were our friends. I hope this might encourage officials in Baltimore and Baltimore County to rethink the idea of closing the Police Boys Clubs. They did and do make a difference.

Bob Witt, Nottingham

  SD Boys club

 Retired cop defends Baltimore police Athletic League

As the Baltimore Police Athletic League prepares to end because of budget cuts and transfer centers to the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, community activists, residents and others are starting to rise up. I got this e-mail from retired Baltimore police Lt. Osborne B. McCarter:

It has been quite some time since I talked to someone from the media, but after reading your article and reflecting on my 32.5 years as a public servant with the Baltimore Police Department, connecting with the present situations that are occurring, I can only conclude that the powers to be, has finally gotten their wish.

Peter, as the last Operation Lieutenant running The PAL program and in furtherance of my professional career I elected to become a commander as a Deputy Mayor, I have been either directly or indirectly involved in four youth programs that have met some form of demised because of politics within the City of Baltimore.

First was the Boys Club, then The Explorer Program, followed by the Walbrook Academy, now the P.A.L.  Each program fostered a partnership between cops and kids, it was an investment being made in our youth and the feature of our city. I challenge anyone who has been involved with any of the youth programs to state differently.

For example, let's look at the Northeast District. But first let look back to the inner parts of the city where thousands of residents were displaced, like the construction of a highway to nowhere, built from Pulaski Street to M L K Blvd. so that workers at SS building could get into the city faster and get out at the end of the tour of duty quickly, then there was the implosion of the High Rises all of those residents were displaced throughout the city some into areas we officers used to call "Country Club Districts."

But as the displacement occurred so did the crime, crimes such as vandalism and graffiti, were all too common in areas once consider crime free, compared to some districts where a part one crime was expected at least one per day if not one per shift per sector.

The Goodnow area of the Northeast soon fell victim of the vandalism and graffiti followed by street robbers, gang and drug activities. The Goodnow PAL center which started off being a 7-Eleven closed not too long after opening, because of the crime in and around the store. Mrs. Army Mock, Sgt. R. Gibbson, Officers Lorie & Creg dedications and support from the community soon turned that area around from one of Blight to being one of the premier centers in the city. Thanks to the partnership between Mrs. Mock, Police Commissioner Thomas Frazier, Officer Lorie, and Officer Craig.

But who really benefited from what when on at the center? first were the kids from the community, then the community, its citizens, and the city benefited from the partnership that had been fostered between kids and cops. Well, O'Malley finally got his wish. Hermann, I pray that the youth of the city become enlighten as to the overall goals of the political official who are eliminating avenues for kids to avoid at-risk behavior and that voters see that as programs are being eliminated for the youth that there are more detention facilities being build and slated to be built. One can only conclude that the youth of the city are being targeted. I am thankful for having touched thousand of lives positively in one way or another over the 32 1/2 years of service within the Police department.

In Memory of Police Officer Troy Lewis Jr. who was a true and dedicated PAL officer died March 28, 2009. 

Retired
Ob-X-50

1 black devider 800 8 72

Baltimore Police Honor Retiree
Sgt. James Dixon a Former Member of Montford Marines
Receives Congressional Gold Medal


BALTIMORE —A 33-year veteran of the Baltimore City Police Department brought home the highest civilian honor that can be awarded to an individual -- the Congressional Gold Medal. Sgt. James Dixon was a member of the Montford Marines, the first African-Americans in the U.S. Marine Corps. Between 1942 and 1949, about 20,000 black Marines were trained at Montford Point, N.C. In June, they were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. On Tuesday, Dixon, who is now retired, was one of those honored. He brought his medal to the Baltimore City Police Department. "I wanted to say thank you for all you've done for the city of Baltimore and the United States of America," BCPD Acting Commissioner Anthony Barksdale said. Dixon's friends and fellow officers were also there to say thank you. "I really just love the guy. He was so intelligent, told great stories. He was just a tremendous police officer, a tremendous sergeant. Everybody loved him," retired BCPD Sgt. Alan Yeater said. "Sgt. Dixon was like a father-figure to us. It was a home away from home at the Western Police Boys Club," friend Terry Hall said. "He just treated everybody so well. He made you want to come to work. He didn't want to leave. He hated to take a day off," said retired BCPD Lt. Fred Roussey said. "He was just a terrific supervisor, a terrific man." Dixon served with the BCPD from 1954 to 1987, and he's seen a lot of changes over the years. "It's been an honor being in the Corps. It's been an honor being in the Police Department. I did 33 years in this Police Department. Trials and tribulations we've been through, but we've succeeded, and I see the results of our work," Dixon said. Do you know a local policeman, firefighter or military member that's being honored?

Colts Baltimore Police Boys Club 1960 72

Baltimore Police honor sergeant who served amid segregation

Dixon remembered as a trailblazer for blacks in the police force

July 17, 2012, |By Nick Cafferky, The Baltimore Sun

James Dixon joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1954 as a black officer in an era of widespread racial prejudice. Police posts were segregated and blacks were not allowed in patrol cars

On Tuesday, a quarter-century after he retired as a sergeant, Dixon returned to the department for a ceremony to honor his service and thank him for his role in helping the department through a time of social change. Dixon, 77, was given a BPD hat and coffee mug.

"I think today was really good for him because I don't think he realized how far the Police Department has come," said Derrick Dixon, James' son. "So for him to come out here and see a lot of Afro-American officers and commissioners, I think it blew his mind.

"I think now he realizes a lot of the things he did for the Police Department and a lot of first-time things he did for blacks and realizes what it led to," Derrick Dixon said.

The segregation in the police wasn't anything new for James Dixon, after his service in the military.

He was one of the hundreds of Marines from Montford Point, an all-black boot camp in North Carolina, to receive a Congressional Gold Medal last month.

"This was something I never expected, although the Tuskegee Airmen got theirs, so we shouldn't have been very far behind them," James Dixon said. "This is something I will cherish for the few days I have left in my life. But this is something I'm going to have framed and hung on the wall."

Dixon served in the Marines from 1944 until 1946, but his placement there was itself a stroke of luck. Drafted by the Navy, Dixon was willing to go to prison rather than join a unit where he was forced to serve food or swab decks like other blacks who were in the Navy during that era.

"I [said] that if I was put in the Navy, I was going AWOL because I wasn't going to serve any food or scrub any decks," Dixon said, teary-eyed. "Had I been put in the Navy, I would be in jail now. I'm not a servant."

Much has changed since then, but the department has not forgotten Dixon's contributions, said Acting Commissioner Anthony E. Barksdale.

"He's stood strong through all of it. And look at him. Still shining; still standing strong," said Barksdale. "He's giving me advice and telling me stories that are making me happy that I'm wearing the same uniform that he used to wear."

ncafferky@baltsun.com 

1 black devider 800 8 72

Old Southwestern District Police Station

Since the doors opened at the former Southwestern District Police Station house on July 17, 1884, the square brick building at Pratt and Calhoun Streets has served the city in many different ways. When construction on the new building began in the fall of 1883, the Baltimore Sun claimed the new Southwestern district police station would "surpass in size, elegance and completely of arrangement any police building now in the city, and, indeed, it will have few equals in the country."

Builders Philip Walsh & Son and architect Frank E. Davis completed the three-story building with room for 47 officers. The men had been reassigned from the southern and eastern districts to serve under of veteran police officer Captain Daniel Lepson who led the brand-new district.

In the summer of 1944, Baltimore's first police boys' club moved into the upper floors, serving around 120 boys from 8 to 18 years old every day during the first few weeks after they opened. With donations from a local social club, the officers converted the station's third floor gymnasium into a  "big clubroom," described by the Sun as, "filled with tousle-haired boys noisily pushing at billiard balls, fashioning B-17's out of wood, nailing magazine racks together and eying each other craftily over checker games." The city started four boys' clubs in the 1940s, with a segregated facility for black children at the Northwestern District Police Station on Gold Street.

Both the officers and the Boys' Club departed in 1958 when the Southwestern District Police Station relocated to a modern, air-conditioned facility at Fonthill and Hurley Avenues. Following close on their tails, however, were the men and dogs of the department's K-9 Corps who moved their official headquarters from the Northern District station to Pratt Street.

Unfortunately, by the late 1970s, the building fell vacant. The Maryland Department of Social Services renovated the former police station in the early 1980s. When they left, the building fell vacant again. Today, the structure is deteriorating and remains at risk until a new use for this often reinvented building can be found. 

Original found here

Colts Baltimore Police Boys Club 1961 72

Bring back police-sponsored boys clubs

July 11, 2013

When my brother, Frank, and I were growing up in Baltimore City on South Calhoun Street we were both charter members of the Southwestern Police Boys Club on the third floor of the police station at Pratt and Calhoun streets. The club was run by full-time policemen and had an indoor basketball court, boxing ring, pool tables, ping-pong tables, a woodworking shop, a Boy Scout troop, and a TV room. I believe it was open six days a week and closed at about 9 p.m. In the summer, we would go away to Camp Ritchie for one or two weeks. I believe the cost was about $6 per week. We also had baseball teams and football teams.

As I look back on those happy times spent with my friends at the Boys Club and the devotion those policemen gave to helping us boys, I feel that that experience was a major factor in our growing up the process. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Back then, my brother and a friend of his got interested in ham radio and crystal sets while participating at the Boys Club. He eventually became an electrical engineer and a valuable employee at Bell Labs. He is now 81 years old and lives in Massachusetts. I loved to play pool and ping-pong and leaned toward the business side and became a Certified Public Accountant. I am 77 years old and live in Nottingham.

It baffles me as to why we don't have similar clubs to help the youngsters today. When we came home from school, we headed right for the Boys Club until supper time. Our parents knew where we were and that we were in good hands. I realize these are different times in which we live but the basic principles are still there. With a few adjustments, we could do it again. Our father was a retired police sergeant in Baltimore City, and I want to thank the policemen who devoted their time and talent in molding us kids during the early years of our youth. We respected them and they were our friends. I hope this might encourage officials in Baltimore and Baltimore County to rethink the idea of closing the Police Boys Clubs. They did and do make a difference.

Bob Witt, Nottingham

Colts Baltimore Police Boys Club 1955 72

Devider color with motto 

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

Meter Maid History

A Meter Maid unit began on 8 May of 1961 with 10 Meter Maids and a Sergeant. Prior to that on 1 November 1955, The Baltimore Police department Traffic Enforcement unit enforced parking meter violations. The first Meters went up on North Ave. after 48 days the meters had made a profit of a little more than $29K. $29K in 1955 would be around $275,000.00 in 2019

BPD News

Good Cop - Bad Cop - We all know as in any profession we have some great police, some really really good police, some good police, some average police, some hump cops, bad cops and dirty dirty no good cops. What most might not understand is no one hates a dirty cop worse than Americas good police, When your life depends on your back-up, do you think police want unreliable dirty cops behind them? 

Emil Klaas Jr.

 Patrolman Emil J Klaas Jr.

Patrolman Klaas 16 3 72

  Patrolman Klaas Jr.

Patrolman Klaas 12 1 72Patrolman Klaas 13 1 72Patrolman Klaas 16 1 72Patrolman Klaas 16 10 1 72Patrolman Klaas 16 1cs72Patrolman Klaas 17 1 72Patrolman Klaas 2016 8 1 numbered 72 Patrolman Klaas Jr.
(Numbered)
Patrolman Klaas Scan 20180216 no numbers 8 1 72Patrolman Klaas Jr.
(No-Numbers)
Patrolman Klaas sharp 20180216 7 1c72

 Patrolman Klaas Jr.

The old saying a picture is worth a thousand words comes to mind. Here if we look at the officers, left coat pocket we see a long leather strap has been fished through his pocket with a nightstick ring on same. As a young officer I often saw old timers walking around with a long leather strap that held their nightstick ring, or in many cases also held their espantoon. Until this photo, I didn't know the reason for the long strap, now I know it was so during the winter months they could fish the strap through the pocket which was opened all the way through allowing officers to get to their pant pocket or firearm. Now their espantoon would be held in its ring, but highly accessible on the outside of the officer's coat.

paint72 Patrolman Emil J. Klaas Jr.

E Klass

19 Oct 1954

Devider

 POLICE INFORMATION

Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Devider

NOTICE

How to Dispose of Old Police Items

If you come into possession of Police items from an Estate or Death of a Police Officer Family Member and do not know how to properly dispose of these items please contact: Retired Detective Ken Driscoll - Please dispose of POLICE Items: Badges, Guns, Uniforms, Documents, PROPERLY so they won’t be used IMPROPERLY.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Devider color with motto

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

Sgt Donald Voss

Sergeant Donald Voss

IMG 20160705 0009IMG 20160705 0007

IMG 20160705 0008

 

1 black devider 800 8 72

Three police injured in melee

 

Jun 19, 1972

Three police injured in melee Crowd of 300 in Cherry Hill Hurls Rocks
A police officer was knocked unconscious, and two others were injured yesterday (18 June 1972) in a stone-throwing melee that resulted in two arrests. The incident occurred at 7:20 P.M. when a crowd of about 300 persons gathered in the 2500 block Norfolk Street, Cherry Hill.

As police officers attempted to capture a handcuffed escaped from the Maryland Training School for Boys. Fifty police officers were summoned to deal with the crowd, which dispersed about 8:30

Taunted Officer
During the melee persons in the crowd taunted the officers and threw rocks at them. Most seriously injured was Sgt. Donald Voss, of the Southern district,
who was beaten and kicked unconscious as he attempted to aid another officer who had handcuffed two girls. The handcuffed girls fled during the struggle.

Also injured were Patrolman Edward Eilerman and Patrolman Richard Curley. All three officers were taken to Mercy Hospital where Patrolmen Eilerman and Curley were reported, in satisfactory condition and Sergeant Voss in fair condition.

Two juveniles were arrested. A police spokesman said the incident, the second major attack on police in as many weeks, was unprovoked and apparently spontaneous.



TO BE CONTINUED...

  Devider color with motto

 NOTICE

How to Dispose of Old Police Items


If you come into possession of Police items from an Estate or Death of a Police Officer Family Member and do not know how to properly dispose of these items please contact: Retired Detective Ken Driscoll - Please dispose of POLICE Items: Badges, Guns, Uniforms, Documents, PROPERLY so they won’t be used IMPROPERLY. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. 

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

Liberator Pistol

Liberator Pistol History

It was crudely made from sheet metal and steel tube. It held only one shot at a time. According to some magazines, it took longer to load it than it did to manufacture it. But the Allies in World War II hoped that the Liberator Pistol would help defeat the Nazis. That said it was not solely made to defeat Nazis

 
 

libpist

                                     

By 1940, Nazi forces had overrun nearly all of Europe. Britain itself faced invasion across the Channel and was short of troops and weapons. In desperation, the British military designed a crude sub-machine gun, known as the Sten, that could be manufactured quickly and cheaply from stamped parts and steel tubes. The gun was manufactured by the thousands and was widely distributed to be used in the defense of the island.

As it turned out, the Nazis lost the air Battle of Britain and their planned invasion never happened.

In 1942, a Polish military officer had an idea, inspired by the Sten--why not produce a cheaply stamped pistol that could be easily produced in large numbers and dropped behind the enemy lines to arm the various Resistance networks that had been formed in the occupied territories?

The idea appealed to some officers in the American Joint Psychological Committee, in charge of psychological warfare. They concluded that not only would a mass drop of thousands of weapons be of practical use in arming the Resistance fighters, but it would also hurt German morale by making the occupation troops fearful. They assigned the task to a team lead by George Hyde from the Inland Manufacturing Division of General Motors, and within a few weeks he had produced a design for a crude single-shot pistol dubbed the FP-45 Liberator.

Disguising the project as a flare projector (FP) to hide it from Nazi spies, the gun was deliberately designed to be as cheap and easily made as possible. There were only 23 parts: the barrel was a simple four-inch unrifled steel tube, and the rest of the gun was made from stamped pieces of sheet metal. It used the same .45 caliber ammunition as the Colt .45 automatic pistol. Each Liberator cost about $2.10 to make (about $35 in today's dollars). Some wags dubbed it the "Two-Buck Gun", or the "Woolworth Gun", after the five-and-dime store.

To load the weapon, the user had to twist the breech-block at the back of the pistol open and insert a single .45-caliber cartridge into the firing chamber, then close the block. Squeezing the sheet-metal trigger fired the pistol. After firing, the pistol could be reloaded by opening the block, pulling out the spent cartridge case (it often wouldn't come out, so the pistol came with a wooden dowel that was poked down the barrel to push the cartridge case out the back), inserting a fresh cartridge, and closing the block again. Testing done with the prototypes showed that the welded seams would often start splitting after just 10 rounds had been fired through the gun--and none of the tested pistols were still usable after 50 rounds. In humid conditions such as the Pacific islands, the unfinished metal in the guns often rusted and corroded within a few weeks.

But the Liberator was not intended as a combat weapon: rather, it was intended to be single-use and disposable. The idea was that a Resistance fighter could hide the Liberator in his pocket, walk up to an unsuspecting German trooper, pull the pistol and shoot him at close range, and then take his weapons and ammunition. The unrifled barrel gave the Liberator an effective range of fewer than ten feet, and the big .45 caliber cartridge was chosen because it was likely to kill or disable its target with just one shot.

Because the Inland Division was already busy producing M-1 rifles for the Army, the manufacture of the Liberator pistol was assigned to the Guide Lamp Division in Anderson, Illinois, a division of General Motors which in peacetime had been making automobile headlights and turn signals. About 300 GM workers were assigned to the task, and over a period of 11 weeks, they produced over a million Liberators. The finished pistols were packed in waxed-cardboard boxes with ten rounds of .45 caliber ammunition (which could be stored inside a hollow compartment in the pistol grip), a wooden dowel (for reloading), and a cartoon-illustrated instruction sheet showing how to load and use it (because the cartoon did not use verbal instructions, it could be dropped anywhere for any language group). The entire process, from design to manufacture, had taken about six months. Each gun had taken an average of 6.6 seconds to make.

Once manufactured, the Army, under both General Eisenhower and General MacArthur, declared that they saw no use for them, and the Liberators were turned over to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the American forerunner of the CIA which was in charge of Resistance activities in the occupied territories. Unlike the Army Psychological Warfare guys, however, the OSS never saw any real practicality in the weapon either, and never made any large-scale effort to distribute it to Resistance fighters, though about 100,000 Liberators were sent to guerrilla forces fighting the Japanese in the Philippines and China. Only about 25,000 pistols were dropped to Resistance groups in Europe. There are no documented instances of any Japanese or Nazi occupation trooper actually being killed by a Resistance fighter or guerrilla armed with a Liberator pistol. Most Resistance forces were supplied with the more-effective Sten instead.

At the end of the war, most of the Liberators sat unused in their boxes. To save storage space, they were ordered destroyed. As a result, today authentic Liberators are very rare and are highly prized by military collectors. A WW2 Liberator in good condition (and with the rare original box and equipment) can sell for over $2000.

Although the Liberator was not exactly a military success, during the Vietnam War in the 1960's the CIA resurrected the idea, and produced another single-shot disposable pistol called the "Deer Gun", intended to be dropped in behind enemy areas. The Deer Gun was made from cast aluminum with a short steel barrel and fired the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. It was loaded by unscrewing the barrel, inserting the cartridge, then screwing the barrel back on. About 1,000 Deer Guns were made in 1964, at a cost of about $3.95 each. After some field testing, it was never mass-produced, and the originals were destroyed.

  libpist

libpist

The Liberator pistol has to rank as one of the most unusual firearms ever designed. First conceived as a way to equip resistance forces in World War II, today most reside behind glass at museums or in the hands of collectors. Fame ultimately escaped it, but it’s safe to say it served its purpose despite no records existing of it ever being used, mainly because the recipients were too busy moving, or fighting to stay alive.

libpist

 

Its concept began in March 1942, when a Polish military attaché suggested a simple, effective pistol that could be mass-produced and air -dropped by the hundreds or thousands in to waiting insurgents. The thought was that so many weapons delivered at once could instantly arm practically everybody in a local guerrilla group. Plus, it would do wonders for morale if everybody carried a weapon, and it would have a detrimental effect on occupying troops who might be led to believe that there was now a way for populations to massively resist them.

The U.S. Army’s Joint Psychological Warfare Committee accepted the proposal, and two months later George Hyde of General Motors Inland Manufacturing Division produced a design that met the specifications. To ensure its secrecy, it was given the designation Flare Projector-45 to conceal its real function.

GM’s Guide Lamp division was assigned the contract, and in 11 weeks with 300 workers, they assembled a million guns. Those who looked at the contraption had to imagine these were some sort of last-ditch device intended for one-time use. They were right.

Intended for people who may not be familiar with firearms, the Liberator was simplicity in itself.  Of 45 caliber, 5.5 inches long and weighing one pound, it featured 23 stamped steel parts for a total cost of $2.40 per gun.  Five rounds could be stored in the grip, which did not feed into the barrel. To do this, one manually inserted a .45 caliber cartridge at the rear, and then the chamber was hand-closed by a metal part. The round was then shot down a 4-inch, un-rifled barrel for an effective range of 25 feet. To clear the empty case, a wooden dowel was supplied to push it out the back and another round could be loaded.

In reality, the range was wishful thinking. This gun was intended to be placed the person that is to be killed so their weapon could be taken. It could then be discarded, passed on or saved for a final stand.

FP-45 Model 2 Right-rear view of the open action

Liberators were packed in boxes that included 10 rounds of .45 ammunition, the wooden dowel, and a comic strip type instruction sheet.  A million shipped off to both Great Britain and the Pacific, where they were stored and ready to be loaded into containers on aircraft. There they met their greatest obstacles, the General Staffs of the United States Army.

In Europe, Eisenhower’s men saw no practical purpose for the gun and only 25,000 were dropped to the French resistance. In the Pacific, MacArthur was also sour about the idea and the Army ended up turning the remaining lot over to the Office of Strategic Service to be dropped in both theaters when necessary.

Enhanced FP-45 Liberator Study Model 1

Small drops commenced in 1943 over Europe, while that same year 100,000 ended up being sent to China and smaller numbers dropped in the Philippines. In 1944, another European drop occurred in Greece to supply a few thousand to the resistance. By this time, it had a nickname derived from its cheap looks: The ‘Woolworth’ Gun.

How many were actually used will never be known, but it is safe to say some Axis soldiers met their end with the Liberator, as well as having their weapon stolen. There was never an attempt to round them up after the war, figuring most had been thrown away by then. Those that remained, the still hundreds of thousands of unused copies in warehouses, were melted down. Today, the Liberator is written about sparingly as its success is unknown. Its new life is that of a collectible, with excellent specimens in original box complete with accessories fetching up to $2,000 or more.

Inland Guide Lamp Liberator .45 ACP caliber pistol. Made by Inland Guide Lamp manufacturing. Over 1 million of these were made in a 3 month period. These were used as an insurgency weapon during WWII and most of these were distributed to the Philippines. Despite the fact that a million were made there are not too many in the USA as the only ones that made it back were from the GI’S.

U.S. FP-45 Liberator Pistol, manufactured by G.M. Guide Lamp Division, serial # None, cal. 45 ACP, 4" barrel with an excellent bore. The barrel has a smooth grind mark with an "F "inside a" C" stamp on the right side front of the chamber. The metal surfaces are gunmetal gray retaining about 99% original corrosion resistant finish with scattered light handling marks and minor freckling. The cocking knob is in excellent condition with cavity mold number 37. This fully functional model three pistol that has three holes, no breach marking, floor plate is present. The overall condition is it’s in Collectors Grade Condition. {C&R} Inv.: # 1-1301

1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

Donations help with web hosting, stamps and materials and the cost of keeping the website online. Thank you so much for helping BCPH. 

Paypal History Donations

1 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 

1861 News Article 2

The Civil War’s First Bloodshed

19 April 1861

 The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861 72

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861 372

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861 472The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861 572The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861 672The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861

The Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861 772iThe Baltimore Sun Sat Apr 20 1861

 1 black devider 800 8 72

Click on either of the pages below to be taken to a large full size version of that page

Mounted Sun Apr 16 1961 Pg1 72

http://baltimorepolicemuseum.org/images/Mounted_Sun__Apr_16__1961_Pg1.jpg

Mounted Sun Apr 16 1961 Pg2 72

http://baltimorepolicemuseum.org/images/Mounted_Sun__Apr_16__1961_Pg2.jpg

 

1 black devider 800 8 72

 

Devider color with motto

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

Arson Unit

Where There's Fire - There's Investigation - If the cause of a fire is suspicious in nature there is much more to its end than the cooling of the embers. When the task of the fire-fighter has ended, that of the arson investigator begins. Technically, arson has several meanings in both common law and statutory language, but to the arson investigator it means the deliberate setting fire to one's own property or the property of another, for an unlawful purpose. There is no other crime for which such diversity of motives is found; fraud, vengeance, murder, robbery, spite, evidence destruction, and the excitement found in fire by the pyromaniac. It is also one of the least expensive crimes to commit. Spending twenty-six cents for a book of matches and a gallon of kerosene, the arsonist can start a fire destroying thousands of dollars worth of property, or even more tragic, taking a human life.

Call Box

Baltimore got its first Call Box in 1885 - In Baltimore, it is hard to talk about the Call Box without also talking about the Patrol Wagon. They are obviously two very different law enforcement tools, but when it comes to Baltimore Police History, they will forever be linked by a Deputy Marshal and a date. Baltimore's first Call Box came to Baltimore in 1885 and as already mentioned were part of a package deal dreamt up by Deputy Marshal Jacob Frey that was made up of both the Call Box and the Police Patrol Wagon. The date that these things went into service according to Sun Paper accounts was 18 October 1885, and it is believed to have made Baltimore only the second city in the country behind Chicago to use Patrol Wagons.

Fingerprints

While researching Marshal Farnan of the Baltimore Police Department we came across a 1907 newspaper report that would indicate Baltimore's Police Department was the first in the United States to use fingerprinting to catalog criminals in our country officially. The 1907 article went on to report the following; "In line with this tendency in the ancient trade is the fingerprint method of identification, invented by E. R. Henry, of Scotland Yard, London.