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This Month in History: ATAC Responds To Emergency

This composite image displays TACOMís unit insignia from 1967 and today. The image of the first insignia was printed in the January 1967 issue of The Detroit Arsenal News.

In this scanned image from the August 1967 issue of "The Detroit Arsenal News," members of the Mobile Maintenance Technical Branch are shown loading food and clothing on ATAC truck for delivery to the Salvation Army Emergency Relief Center.

In this scanned image from the August 1967 issue of "The Detroit Arsenal News," ATAC Soldiers and volunteer workers unload ATAC food and clothing relief contributions at the Salvation Army disaster center near Detroitís riot stricken area.

In this scanned image from the August 1967 issue of "The Detroit Arsenal News," members of the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., took a break from riot duties to chat with ATAC security guard Leonardo Turner.

Editor’s note: The following article is part of a series of stories and graphics reprinted from TACOM or Army Tank Automotive Center (TACOM’s predecessor) newsletters in 1967 in honor of the command’s 50th anniversary. The terms “ATAC” and “TACOM” are interchangeable throughout this series. This story ran in the August issue of “The Detroit Arsenal News.”
 
The tragic rioting that swept through much of Detroit during the week of July 23 found ATAC responding to the emergency first in its capacity as an agency of the Department of the Army and also as a supplier of relief food and clothing for victims left homeless and destitute by the disastrous fires and looting.
 
With the decision that federal troops would be sent to Detroit to assist in restoring order, two brigades from the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., and the 101st Airborne, Division, Fort Campbell, Ky., were air transported, with vehicles and equipment, to Selfridge Air Force Base. The 4, 700 federal troops were under the Command of Lt. Gen. John Throckmorton.
 
ATAC’s Colonel John G. Lucas, Director of the Operational Readiness Directorate served as the Army Materiel Command point of contact with the troops until representatives of AMC arrived on the scene. Throughout the period of disorder r ATAC stood by to provide responsive support assistance when it was requested.
 
As the disorder grew and the destruction of homes and the loss of personal property grew it became apparent that the survivors would be in desperate need of food and clothing.
 
ATAC Commanding General, Major General William Lapsley authorized the voluntary contribution of clothing and non-perishable food. The relief supplies were placed in large containers located at collection points set up in eight ATAC buildings. They were collected from the pick-up paints and Major Ed Washington of the New Vehicle Maintenance School provided military drivers and a vehicle to transport the supplies to a Salvation Army Emergency Relief Center located in the heart of the stricken area.
 
ATACers contributed a total of more than two tons of food and clothing.
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