1140th M.P. Co. History

History

On 27 January 1943, while the bomb group was just entering phase training at Wendover, the 1140th Military Police Company (Avn) was activated at Robins Field, Georgia. A few days later the company was transferred to Daniel Field, Augusta, Georgia, where it remained until its transfer to the staging area, Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, 27 June 1943. The company embarked on the Aquitania 8 July 1943, arriving in Scotland on 16 July 1943. Two days later the company arrived at Grafton Underwood. Just before coming overseas Lieutenant Lester L. Osborne (later a captain) took over company command from Lieutenant Albert J. Lynch. Upon his discharge from the service in August of 1944, Captain Osborne was replaced as commanding officer by Lieutenant Patrick F. Plunkett (later captain), who had previously been serving the organization in a junior capacity. The 1140th M.P. Co. was disbanded on 15 April 1945.

Role, Function and Unit Composition

Formed and trained in the Zone of the Interior, the 1140th Military Police Company, Aviation, arrived at Grafton Underwood on 18 July 1943. The company's primary task was station security. Military Police were not strictly limited to base property but also provided security details for crashed aircraft in the vicinity and safeguarded unit property on adjacent land. The MPC was assigned to the 443rd Sub Depot. Daily activities and operations dictated the unit interface closely with all units at Grafton Underwood. In its first months overseas, the company had a strength of three officers and 85 enlisted men, but in January of 1944 a Detachment "A" was formed and changed station to Podington, AAF Station 109, and thereafter the main detachment at Grafton maintained a general strength of 50 enlisted men and one officer.

Daily Duties

The 1140th MPC conducted everyday duties just like any police organization. The company patrolled the base perimeter and base property. Guard details were posted around the clock at all entrances while other personnel were assigned to the base guardhouse, the center of MPC activity. From this building the MPC operated an air raid warning signal and had the ability to turn off virtually every light on the base in an emergency. All personnel reported in to the MPC at the guardhouse when leaving or arriving on station. This allowed the MPC to monitor leave and report AWOL offenders. The MPC provided guards for specific aircraft on the airfield and the briefing room. When required the MPC provided escort for visiting dignitaries, prisoner escort and holding servicemen for judicial action.
The military police investigated crimes and breaches of peace on the base and surrounding areas. This even included policing servicemen who were off base in the surrounding villages and towns. Each day the MPC directed traffic control on the base and enforced the traffic laws like speeding. The MPC oversaw the base bicycle population which meant registering all authorized cycles on the base and rounding up all bicycles periodically to ensure the rightful owner possessed them. Should the group commander desire, the MPC conducted inspections of the station and quarters for contraband such as unauthorized equipment consuming station power.


Information provided by the 384th Bomb Group Historian, John Edwards; additional information adapted from As Briefed (pages 207-208).