How West Point Survived Mutiny. By R. Ernest Dupuy (Part 1)

How West Point Survived Mutiny. By R. Ernest Dupuy (Part 1) - The Best from American Heritage * • • • • • How...
The Best from American Heritage * • • • • • How West Survived Point Mutiny Pilotless Plane Leads Jets on 100-Mile Chase Almost the last thing that comes to mind in connection with the United States Military Academy at West Point is the word mutiny. Yet It was there—nearly a century and a half ago—that occurred a most Instructive, if bloodless, uprising uprising against constituted authority. Out of the incident was born the modem West Point By R. Ernest Dupuy It was June 15, 1817, and up at West Point newly elected President James Monroe, staunch friend of the Military Academy, was in a towering rage. The place was in poor shape, its curriculum had unraveled, examinations were unknown, and~discipline was nonexistent. The acting superintendent. Captain Alden Partridge, Corps of Engineers, Engineers, seemed to be running "Dotheboys Hall" of sorts, where favoritism governed and cadets were being graduated graduated without reference either to academic standing or military military ability. The academic staff—Professors staff—Professors Mansfield, Ellicott, Berard, Douglass and Crozet— had just presented the Presi dent with burning indictments of the existing regime. In particular, particular, Mansfield had written: "... Men, not principles, are intended to prevail . . . this noble institution is calculated on as an instrument to gratify the capacity of individuals, in subserving the interests of friends & Connexions, in advancing advancing favorites & sycophants instead of rewarding merit on fair & honorable principles as designed by the laws." Previously Charged Previous charges of nepo tism had been made against Partridge; that his uncle, Isaac Partridge, had run the cadet mess; that his nephew. Lieu tenant John Wright, was post adjutant; that another relative "Major" James Barton, oper ated the cadet store, wliere unifomu were sold to cadets at prices exorbitant in comparison comparison with those charged by New York tailors. Other complaints of disci plinary laxness had been made that cadetJ wandered on and off the post at will; that they were selling their pay vouch ers in advance to loan sharks to obtain money; and that officers officers who passed the bar racks might be showered by (Turn to Page S, Col. 1) COLUMBUS. Ohio — OP) — A pilotless Civil Air Patrol plane traveled for more than 100 air miles at 16,000 feet .Saturday before it crashed 300 yards from a farm house near Chillicothe. 40 miles south of here. The single engine plane had gotten away from its pilot at the Rising Sun, Ind., airport Before it crashed n^early two hours later ending a statewide statewide alert of both civil and military air facilities, jets from the 166th Fighter Squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard got it in their sights. Neither Necessary The jets, two armed and two unarmed F84Fs, had planned to either flip it down by making making contact with its wings, or shoot It down. Neither was necessary. Swoosh of the jets as they made several approaches to the plane at the high altitude caused It to veer away each time. Then, just as the jets gave up the attempt to make physical contact, the plane's propeller feathered and the engine quit With the jets trailing close behind, the plane dipped and began • long S ide toward an isolated farm nd area about seven miles - north of Chillicothe. It finally crashed and came to rest near Ohio 159 between Chillicothe and Kingston in Roes County, about 300 yards from the only farm houses In the inunediate area. It did not eatch fire, but broke Into two pvts, Use Radar Throughout the chase, military military radam In the area. In eluding that at Wright-Patter•OB Wright-Patter•OB Air Force Base near Day too, kept the plane on the radar icopea and reported its apeed, height and location. Robert Murray, 33, pilot of the plane belonging to the Rising Sun Civil Air Patrol, laid he was on the ground "cranking up" the plane and that apparently the throttle had been left on. He said he had landed at the Rising Sun field a few minutes earlier, filled the tank with gasoline and was preparing to taxi the craft to a hanger when it took off on Us own. The plane has a top speed of 105 m.p.h. but cruises at 90 m.p.h. In This Section: Local News Page 4 Einar Skoal .......Page 11 Editorial Page 14 Late Telegraph News, Pages 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 Builders .Page ;i2 This is the new 49-star Saturday by President proclaiming Alaska the newest display of the new flag before Improper" and that present beyond July 4th as long as Find Garments in Kidnap Case NEW YORK — im — Two boys playing in a vacant store in Brooklyn Saturday found garments hospital authorities say were worn by a girl who was 2Y2 hours old when she was kidnaped from a hospital. Detectives immediately launched a floodlighted house- to-house search in the area where the blanket was found. The newborn daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank D. Chionchio Chionchio was snatched from a bassinet bassinet in a fourth floor nursery apparently by a woman seen nearby a short time eariier. • Insubordinate, a martinet who broke all his own rules, Capt Alden Partridge was court-martialed after a usurpation usurpation and mutiny at West Point in 1817,

Clipped from
  1. The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin,
  2. 04 Jan 1959, Sun,
  3. Page 1

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