To paraphrase a newspaper article, dated September 4, 1942 - “On September 3, 1942, a soldier accidently fired 4 rounds from a .50- caliber machine gun. Three of the four rounds struck the Lincoln Memorial, chipping the cornice above the main entrance to the memorial.” (Other sources of information refer to an Anti-Aircraft weapon versus a machine gun.) The U.S. Park Service has confirmed that the incident did occur, however, almost everything about this incident is questionable. In particular, I'm seeking answers to the following:
- What type of weapon was accidentally fired; (Appears it was a .50 caliber heavy machine gun)
- Where was the weapon located; (The two sites recorded have been the roof of the Headquarters, Department of the Interior and at a site somewhere near the 14th Street Bridge.)
- Who fired the weapon; (Member of U.S. Army Air Defense - A specific unit that has popped up has been 71st Air Defense Artillery (Regiment) United States Army.)
- What was the extent of damage to the Lincoln Memorial; Three of the four bullets struck the memorial, each knocking out a piece of marble the size of a baseball. Two of the damaged area have been repaired., which surprises me. Why hasn't at least one of the damaged areas been cut out and made a part of an exhibit at the Lincoln Memorial museum? Very few visitors to the Lincoln Memorial will ever be permitted access to the roof, why not make an interesting part of U.S. history more accessible?
- Where was the damage located; At the top of the Lincoln Memorial over the entrance to the memorial.)
- Was the soldier disciplined; (I have no information. Was the incident permitted to fade away without any further action and documentation?)
- Are there additional photographs and documentation available; and, (I have a few photographs and documents associated with the incident, but all History Buffs have an unending desire for more.)
- Are there any plans to include an exhibit about the incident in the museum of the Lincoln Memorial? Would it include one of the three damaged area from the impact of the bullets? ( I would love to see an exhibit about the incident at the Lincoln Memorial. One of the three damaged areas remains for another museum. Who would it be?
- SUBSTAINATED COMMENTS WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED.