Troops use the bus, 1928
On Sunday, August 12th, Blue Ridge moved the 121st Engineers, consisting of approximately six hundred troops from Washington, D. C. to Camp Ritchie for two weeks training, this movement requiring twenty-eight buses.
In order to avoid unnecessary traffic congestion on the highways all buses were spaced and maintained an operating distance of three hundred feet apart. The movement was completed on schedule time and without accident or break-down. The feat is particularly remarkable in view of the fact that the eighty miles were covered through a heavy rain, over slippery roads with a speed not exceeding twenty-five miles per hour.
On August 12th, Blue Ridge also moved from Baltimore to Shepherd Flying Field near Martinsburg, W. Va., three bus loads of troops composed of the ground force of the Air Corps. The Flying Force used planes for transportation to and from Logan Field.
West Virginia's most notable feat in bus transportation was accomplished August 19th when the Monongahela Transport Company transferred nine companies and the band of the 201st Infantry from home stations to the National Guard Camp at Point Pleasant, W. Va. Most of the companies were transported an average distance of 160 miles, although one company was 214 miles from camp.
Twenty-one buses were used in this movement, as well as sixteen trucks for the equipment, and the trip was made in good time, without accident. It was carried out under the direction of Superintendent Bailey A. Hupp and the buses used, aside from the Monongahela Company's own equipment, were three from the Blue Ridge at Hagerstown and three from the Penn Bus Lines at Bridgeville.
On the trip to Camp, the companies were picked up at their home stations and assembled at Salem, 148 miles from their destination. The convoy departed from Salem at nine o'clock in the morning and arrived in Parkersburg shortly after noon where a stop was made at the City Park for lunch and refueling of buses.
While the buses left home stations as early as five o'clock in the morning to arrive at Salem by 8:30, the trucks with equipment left armories in some instances shortly after midnight. The trucks were all Company property assembled from several divisions and departments and their schedule was arranged in order to have them arrive in camp a short time before the buses.
Although a service truck with mechanics accompanied the convoy, there were no mishaps. A slight delay was occasioned at a high railroad crossing at Cairo where a temporary platform had to be constructed to get some of the buses across. The return trip was made two weeks later on September 30th.
Buses left Fairmont Saturday afternoon for the Camp and the return trip was started at six o'clock Sunday morning. At Parkersburg, seventy five miles north of the Point Pleasant Camp, a stop was made for refueling and the Guardsmen were paraded through the city. On arrival at Fairmont, about 5:30 in the afternoon, another parade was staged. Colonel E. H. Smith, in command of the 201st, was highly gratified with the manner in which the movement was accomplished. He reported to the commanding general that he had received reports from every unit commander and that he was "informed by them that the mode of travel was satisfactory and preferred by them to rail". More freedom of action, less confusion over handling of equipment, and a more flexible schedule giving a stop wherever desired by the commander, were among the reasons cited by Colonel Smith for the satisfaction which attended the bus trip.
The Blue Ridge Transportation Company came in for its share of praise. The practical use of motor buses in the transportation of troops was fully demonstrated in Maryland and the results were highly praised by the military authorities. The Company anticipates that its services will be utilized each year in connection with the transporting of troops to and from Camp Ritchie for the summer maneuvers.
Potomac Edison News
Bus terminal, Hagerstown (Md.) , 1940-1960.
Hagerstown, Md., 1940-1970