A-10457, A-10575, AUGUST 25, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 140

A-10457,A-10575: Aug 25, 1925

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" IS CONSTRUED AS HAVING REFERENCE TO THE SAVING OF THE LIVES OF OTHERS AND NOT SAVING ONE'S OWN LIFE. " IS CONSTRUED TO MEAN THE PERFORMANCE OF SOME DUTY IN THE MILITARY SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE CAUSE OF THE LOSS. IS NOT WITHIN THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4. IS NOT REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 6 AND 16. THE CLAIMS ARE ASSERTED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4. THE SAME HEREBY IS. INCLUDING ALL PRESCRIBED ARTICLES OF EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING WHICH THEY ARE REQUIRED BY LAW OR REGULATION TO OWN AND USE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES. OR DESTROYED WAS SHIPPED ON BOARD AN UNSEAWORTHY VESSEL BY ORDER OF AN OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO GIVE SUCH ORDER OR DIRECT SUCH SHIPMENT.

A-10457, A-10575, AUGUST 25, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 140

PRIVATE PROPERTY LOST IN THE MILITARY SERVICE THE CLAUSE IN THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436,"GIVING HIS ATTENTION TO THE SAVING OF HUMAN LIFE," IS CONSTRUED AS HAVING REFERENCE TO THE SAVING OF THE LIVES OF OTHERS AND NOT SAVING ONE'S OWN LIFE, AND THE CLAUSE IN THE SAME PARAGRAPH,"ENGAGED IN AUTHORIZED MILITARY DUTIES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH," IS CONSTRUED TO MEAN THE PERFORMANCE OF SOME DUTY IN THE MILITARY SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE CAUSE OF THE LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY. THE LOSS BY FIRE OF THE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF AN ARMY NURSE, WHO AWAKENED ONLY IN TIME TO SAVE HER OWN LIFE BY ESCAPING THROUGH A WINDOW, AND WHO RENDERED NO SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE FIRE, IS NOT WITHIN THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, SO AS TO ENTITLE TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY LOST. THE LOSS OF THE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY, RESULTING FROM THE OFFICER BRINGING DOWN HIS AIRPLANE ON THE SURFACE OF A BODY OF WATER, DUE TO ENGINE FAILURE, WHICH NECESSITATED THE ABANDONMENT OF THE OFFICER'S WEARING APPAREL TO ENABLE HIM TO SWIM TO SAFETY, IS NOT REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436. (MODIFIED BY 5 COMP. GEN. 291.)

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO CAPT, CARL HALLA, UNITED STATES ARMY, AUGUST 25, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 6 AND 16, 1925, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF FLORENCE SELLERGREN, NURSE, RED OAK, IOWA, FOR $58.95, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE VALUE OF HER PRIVATE PROPERTY LOST BY FIRE WHICH OCCURRED APRIL 6, 1918, IN THE NURSE'S QUARTERS, BASE HOSPITAL, CAMP DODGE, IOWA, AND A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF CAPT. ORLO H. QUINN, AIR SERVICE, UNITED STATES ARMY, FOR $123.22, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE VALUE OF HIS PRIVATE PROPERTY LOST IN THE MILITARY SERVICE AS THE RESULT OF AN AIRPLANE CRASH APRIL 10, 1924.

THE CLAIMS ARE ASSERTED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, THAT THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIMS OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY FOR LOSS OF PRIVATE PROPERTY DESTROYED IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES," APPROVED MARCH 3, 1885, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 9, 1918 (FORTIETH STATUTES, PAGE 880), BE, AND THE SAME HEREBY IS, AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"SECTION 1. THAT PRIVATE PROPERTY BELONGING TO OFFICERS, ENLISTED MEN, AND MEMBERS OF THE NURSE CORPS (FEMALE) OF THE ARMY, INCLUDING ALL PRESCRIBED ARTICLES OF EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING WHICH THEY ARE REQUIRED BY LAW OR REGULATION TO OWN AND USE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES, AND HORSES AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRED BY LAW OR REGULATIONS TO BE PROVIDED BY MOUNTED OFFICERS, WHICH SINCE THE 5TH DAY OF APRIL, 1917, HAS BEEN OR SHALL HEREAFTER BE LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED IN THE MILITARY SERVICE, SHALL BE REPLACED, OR THE DAMAGE THERETO, OR ITS VALUE RECOUPED TO THE OWNER AS HEREINAFTER PROVIDED, WHEN SUCH LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION HAS OCCURRED OR SHALL HEREAFTER OCCUR WITHOUT FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE OWNER IN ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

"FIRST. WHEN SUCH PRIVATE PROPERTY SO LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED WAS SHIPPED ON BOARD AN UNSEAWORTHY VESSEL BY ORDER OF AN OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO GIVE SUCH ORDER OR DIRECT SUCH SHIPMENT.

"SECOND. WHEN IT APPEARS THAT SUCH PRIVATE PROPERTY WAS SO LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED IN CONSEQUENCE OF ITS OWNER HAVING GIVEN HIS ATTENTION TO THE SAVING OF HUMAN LIFE OR PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE UNITED STATES WHICH WAS IN DANGER AT THE SAME TIME AND UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, OR WHILE, AT THE TIME OF SUCH LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION, THE CLAIMANT WAS ENGAGED IN AUTHORIZED MILITARY DUTIES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.

"THIRD. WHEN DURING TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS SUCH PRIVATE PROPERTY, INCLUDING THE REGULATION ALLOWANCE OF BAGGAGE, TRANSFERRED BY A COMMON CARRIER, OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORTED BY THE PROPER AGENT OR AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, IS LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED; BUT REPLACEMENT, RECOUPMENT, OR COMMUTATION IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WHERE THE PROPERTY WAS OR SHALL BE TRANSPORTED BY A COMMON CARRIER, SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE EXTENT OF SUCH LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION OVER AND ABOVE THE AMOUNT RECOVERABLE FROM SAID CARRIER.

"FOURTH. WHEN SUCH PRIVATE PROPERTY IS DESTROYED OR CAPTURED BY THE ENEMY, OR IS DESTROYED TO PREVENT ITS FALLING INTO THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY, IS ABANDONED ON ACCOUNT OF LACK OF TRANSPORTATION OR BY REASON OF MILITARY EMERGENCY REQUIRING ITS ABANDONMENT, OR IS OTHERWISE LOST IN THE FIELD DURING CAMPAIGN.

"SEC. 2. THAT EXCEPT AS TO SUCH PROPERTY AS BY LAW OR REGULATION IS REQUIRED TO BE POSSESSED AND USED BY OFFICERS, ENLISTED MEN, AND MEMBERS OF THE ARMY NURSE CORPS (FEMALE), RESPECTIVELY, THE LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THIS ACT SHALL BE LIMITED TO DAMAGE TO OR LOSS OF SUCH SUMS OF MONEY OR SUCH ARTICLES OF PERSONAL PROPERTY AS THE SECRETARY OF WAR SHALL DECIDE OR DECLARE TO BE REASONABLE, USEFUL, NECESSARY, AND PROPER FOR OFFICERS, ENLISTED MEN, OR MEMBERS OF THE ARMY NURSE CORPS (FEMALE), RESPECTIVELY, AS THE CASE MAY BE, TO HAVE IN THEIR POSSESSION WHILE IN QUARTERS, OR IN THE FIELD, ENGAGED IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE IN THE LINE OF DUTY.

"SEC. 3. THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO EXAMINE INTO, ASCERTAIN, AND DETERMINE THE VALUE OF SUCH PROPERTY LOST, DESTROYED, CAPTURED, OR ABANDONED AS SPECIFIED IN THE FOREGOING PARAGRAPHS, OR THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE THERETO, AS THE CASE MAY BE; AND THE AMOUNT OF SUCH VALUE OR DAMAGE SO ASCERTAINED AND DETERMINED SHALL BE PAID BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE ARMY, OR SUCH PROPERTY LOST, DESTROYED, CAPTURED, OR ABANDONED, OR SO DAMAGED AS TO BE UNFIT FOR SERVICE, MAY BE REPLACED IN KIND FROM GOVERNMENT PROPERTY ON HAND WHEN THE SECRETARY OF WAR SHALL SO DIRECT.

"SEC. 4. THAT THE TENDER OF REPLACEMENT OR OF COMMUTATION OR THE DETERMINATION MADE BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR UPON A CLAIM PRESENTED, AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE FOREGOING SECTION, SHALL CONSTITUTE A FINAL DETERMINATION OF ANY CLAIM COGNIZABLE UNDER THIS CHAPTER, AND SUCH CLAIM SHALL NOT THEREAFTER BE REOPENED OR CONSIDERED.

"SEC. 5. THAT NO CLAIM ARISING UNDER THIS ACT SHALL BE CONSIDERED UNLESS MADE WITHIN TWO YEARS FROM THE TIME THAT IT ACCRUED, EXCEPT THAT WHEN A CLAIM ACCRUES IN TIME OF WAR, OR WHEN WAR INTERVENES WITHIN TWO YEARS AFTER ITS ACCRUAL, SUCH CLAIM MAY BE PRESENTED WITHIN TWO YEARS AFTER PEACE IS ESTABLISHED.

"SEC. 6. THAT FOR THE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS ARISING AND ESTABLISHED UNDER THIS ACT THERE IS HEREBY APPROPRIATED, OUT OF ANY MONEYS IN THE TREASURY NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED, THE SUM OF $300,000.

"SEC. 7. THAT SO MUCH OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1918 (FORTIETH STATUTES, PAGES 479, 480), AS MAKES PROVISION FOR THE PRESENTATION, ADJUSTMENT, AND PAYMENT OF CLAIMS OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN FOR LOSS OF PRIVATE PROPERTY DESTROYED IN THE MILITARY SERVICE BE, AND THE SAME HEREBY IS, REPEALED.'

APPROVED, MARCH 4, 1921.

THE ORIGINAL ACT OF MARCH 3, 1885, 23 STAT. 350, AS EXTENDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1915, 38 STAT. 1077, TO COVER THE LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO THE REGULATION ALLOWANCE OF BAGGAGE OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN SUSTAINED IN SHIPMENT UNDER ORDERS, WAS UNTIL MARCH 28, 1918, THE SOLE FOUNDATION FOR THE SETTLEMENT AND PAYMENT OF CLAIMS OF THIS CHARACTER, AND SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED LOSSES SUSTAINED IN TIME OF WAR OR HOSTILITIES WITH INDIANS. UNDER THAT ACT IT WAS THE PROVINCE OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO DECIDE WHAT ARTICLES OF PERSONAL PROPERTY WERE REASONABLE, USEFUL, NECESSARY, AND PROPER FOR AN OFFICER OR SOLDIER WHILE IN QUARTERS, ENGAGED IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE, IN THE LINE OF DUTY, AND THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE TREASURY WERE AUTHORIZED TO EXAMINE INTO AND ASCERTAIN THE VALUE OF SUCH PROPERTY AND SETTLE SUCH CLAIMS. THREE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE THEREIN PRESCRIBED IN ADDITION TO THE PROVISION WHILE BAGGAGE WAS BEING TRANSPORTED CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1915; FIRST, WHERE SUCH LOSS OR DESTRUCTION WAS WITHOUT FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE CLAIMANT; SECOND, WHERE THE PROPERTY SO LOST OR DESTROYED WAS SHIPPED ON BOARD AN UNSEAWORTHY VESSEL BY ORDER OF AN OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO GIVE SUCH ORDER OR DIRECT SUCH SHIPMENT; AND THIRD, WHERE THE LOSS OR DESTRUCTION OF SUCH PROPERTY WAS IN CONSEQUENCE OF THE OFFICER OR ENLISTED MAN HAVING GIVEN HIS ATTENTION TO THE SAVING OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IN DANGER AT THE SAME TIME AND UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. THE FIRST CLAUSE FOR MANY YEARS WAS HELD TO BE ONLY A CLAUSE OF LIMITATION, AND NOT AN INDEPENDENT BASIS FOR A CLAIM, 23 COMP. DEC. 627.

THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1918, 40 STAT. 479, FURTHER ENLARGED THE SCOPE OF THE ACT OF 1885 BY PROVIDING FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF ALL CLAIMS WHETHER ARISING IN TIME OF PEACE OR IN TIME OF WAR, AND EXTENDED IT SO AS TO COVER CLAIMS FOR PROPERTY DESTROYED OR CAPTURED BY THE ENEMY, OR DESTROYED TO PREVENT ITS FALLING INTO THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY, OR ABANDONED FOR REASONS OF MILITARY EMERGENCY REQUIRING ITS ABANDONMENT, AND PROVIDED THE ALTERNATIVE OF REPLACEMENT IN KIND OF THE PROPERTY LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED. IT CONFERRED UPON THE SECRETARY OF WAR JURISDICTION TO EXAMINE INTO, ASCERTAIN, AND DETERMINE THE VALUE OF SUCH PROPERTY LOST, DESTROYED, CAPTURED, OR ABANDONED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED.

THE ACT OF JULY 9, 1918, 40 STAT. 880, COVERED THE WHOLE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1918, AND RESTORED TO THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS THE JURISDICTION TO EXAMINE INTO, ASCERTAIN, AND DETERMINE THE MONEY VALUE OF THE PROPERTY AND SETTLE SUCH CLAIMS IN THE SAME MANNER AS WAS PROVIDED BY THE 1885 STATUTE.

THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, SUPRA, IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD OF AND COVERING THE INSTANT CLAIMS, VESTED IN THE SECRETARY OF WAR THE DETERMINATION OF THE ARTICLES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE IN CASE OF LOSS AND THE VALUE THEREOF AND DIRECTED PAYMENT BY DISBURSING OFFICERS. THE QUESTION HERE FOR DETERMINATION IS WHETHER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN CONNECTION WITH THE LOSS COME WITHIN THE PROVISION OF THE ACT. THE BOARDS OF OFFICERS APPOINTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF INQUIRING INTO THESE CLAIMS AND REPORTING THE FACTS HAVE DETERMINED AND REPORTED THAT THE LOSSES WERE SUSTAINED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESCRIBED IN THE SECOND SET OF CONDITIONS OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT. THE LANGUAGE USED TO DESCRIBE THE CIRCUMSTANCES IS AMBIGUOUS, AND IT IS PROPER TO REFER TO THE PRIOR ACTS, THE DECISIONS THEREUNDER, AND THE CONDITIONS SOUGHT TO BE REMEDIED, TO DETERMINE ITS TRUE MEANING. THE PROVISION IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE THIRD CLAUSE OF THE 1885 ACT, PROVIDING FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN CASES WHICH AROSE CHIEFLY AS THE RESULT OF A CATASTROPHE OR DISASTER WHERE THE LOSS OR DESTRUCTION WAS IN CONSEQUENCE OF A PERSON HAVING NEGLECTED THE SAVING OF HIS OWN PROPERTY AND GIVEN HIS ATTENTION TO THE SAVING OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IN DANGER AT THE SAME TIME AND UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. THE PROVISION IS EXTENDED TO ONE WHO UNDER LIKE CIRCUMSTANCES IS GIVING "HIS ATTENTION TO THE SAVING OF HUMAN LIFE," AND TO THOSE WHO "AT THE TIME OF SUCH LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION" WERE "ENGAGED IN AUTHORIZED MILITARY DUTIES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.'

IT WAS HELD THAT PROPERTY LOST BY REASON OF A MEDICAL OFFICER HAVING GIVEN ATTENTION TO THE TREATMENT OF THE MEN OF THE COMMAND AT THE TIME OF THE GALVESTON FLOOD, ALTHOUGH IN SOME CASES THUS SAVING LIVES, WAS NOT THE SAVING OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY SO AS TO BRING THE CLAIM WITHIN THE 1885 ACT. 25 COMP. DEC. 783; 91 MS. COMP. DEC. 12. OBVIOUSLY, IN THE LIGHT OF THESE DECISIONS THE EXTENSION OF THE PROVISION TO THOSE HAVING "GIVEN ATTENTION" TO THE SAVING OF HUMAN LIFE WAS INTENDED TO COVER CASES WHERE ONE WAS GIVING ATTENTION TO THE SAVING OF THE LIVES OF OTHERS, AND NOT MERELY WITHDRAWING FROM THE PLACE OF DANGER TO SAVE ONE'S OWN LIFE.

ALSO UNDER THE 1885 ACT IT WAS HELD WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN WAS HELD IN MILITARY FORMATION AND THUS PREVENTED FROM RESCUING HIS PROPERTY, AND IN THE CASE OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN ASSIGNED TO DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH AND BECAUSE OF THE DISASTER IN WHICH THEIR PROPERTY WAS DESTROYED, THUS MAKING IMPOSSIBLE THE SAVING OF THEIR PRIVATE PROPERTY, THAT THESE CASES DID NOT COME WITHIN THE CLAUSE OF THE ACT PROVIDING FOR REIMBURSEMENT WHERE THE LOSS "WAS IN CONSEQUENCE OF HIS HAVING GIVEN HIS ATTENTION TO THE SAVING OF THE PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE UNITED STATES WHICH WAS IN DANGER AT THE SAME TIME AND UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES.' THESE DECISIONS SHOW THE PURPOSE TO BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT WHERE THE LOSS OCCURRED "WHILE, AT THE TIME OF SUCH LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION, THE CLAIMANT WAS ENGAGED IN AUTHORIZED MILITARY DUTIES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.' THE GRAMMATICAL ANTECEDENT OF THE THREE CONCLUDING WORDS OF THE SECOND CLAUSE,"IN CONNECTION THEREWITH," IS "PRIVATE PROPERTY.' AS TO THE LAST OF THE THREE CIRCUMSTANCES OF REIMBURSABLE LOSS IN THIS CLAUSE THE LAW PROVIDES:

SECOND. WHEN IT APPEARS THAT SUCH PRIVATE PROPERTY WAS SO LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED * * * WHILE, AT THE TIME OF SUCH LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION, THE CLAIMANT WAS ENGAGED IN AUTHORIZED MILITARY DUTIES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.

THE HISTORY OF THE LEGISLATION ON THIS SUBJECT AND THE PRESENT ACT AS A WHOLE NEGATIVE A CONSTRUCTION OF THE AMBIGUOUS LANGUAGE THAT WOULD FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF A LOSS OF PRIVATE PROPERTY WHILE THE OWNER WAS ENGAGED IN AUTHORIZED MILITARY DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH HIS PRIVATE PROPERTY. THE QUALIFYING WORDS "IN CONNECTION THEREWITH" LIMIT THE GENERALITY OF THE WORDS "WHILE * * * THE CLAIMANT WAS ENGAGED IN AUTHORIZED MILITARY DUTIES.' THE ANTECEDENT OF THE QUALIFYING WORDS OBVIOUSLY IS THE CONDITION OR CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER WHICH THE LOSS OCCURRED.

IN VIEW OF WHAT HAS BEEN STATED, THE CLAUSE "ENGAGED IN AUTHORIZED MILITARY DUTIES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH" AS USED IN THE STATUTE IS CONSTRUED TO MEAN THE PERFORMANCE UNDER PROPER AUTHORITY OF SOME DUTY IN THE MILITARY SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE OCCURRENCE CAUSING THE LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION OF HIS PRIVATE PROPERTY. THE FACTS PRESENTED SHOW THAT RESERVE NURSE SELLERGREN WAS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE, SERVING AS A NURSE AND STATIONED AT THE BASE HOSPITAL, CAMP DODGE, IOWA; THAT ABOUT 5 O -CLOCK ON THE MORNING OF APRIL 6, 1918, FIRE BROKE OUT IN THE SLEEPING QUARTERS OF THE NURSES; THAT AT THE TIME THE FIRE BROKE OUT SHE WAS ASLEEP; THAT THE FIRE SPREAD WITH SUCH RAPIDITY THAT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO SAVE ANY GOVERNMENT PROPERTY OR HER PRIVATE PROPERTY; AND THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HER TO ESCAPE THROUGH THE WINDOW TO SAVE HER LIFE. APPLYING THE RULE OF CONSTRUCTION HEREIN STATED, SHE WAS NOT GIVING HER ATTENTION TO THE SAVING OF HUMAN LIFE OR GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IN DANGER AT THE SAME TIME AND UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. HER FLEEING FROM THE FIRE TO SAVE HER OWN LIFE DOES NOT BRING HER CLAIM UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCE OF HAVING "GIVEN ATTENTION" TO THE SAVING OF HUMAN LIFE, AND THERE APPEARS NOTHING TO SHOW THAT SHE RENDERED ANY SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE OCCURRENCE CAUSING THE LOSS. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN HER CASE DO NOT BRING HER CLAIM WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, AND THE PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER IN HER FAVOR IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF CAPTAIN QUINN SHOW THAT IN APRIL, 1924, HE WAS ORDERED ON A CROSS-COUNTRY AIRPLANE FLIGHT IN THE CANAL ZONE FROM FRANCE FIELD TO BALBOA AND RETURN; THAT ON THE RETURN FLIGHT, APRIL 10, 1924, HE WAS FORCED TO LAND HIS AIRPLANE IN GATUN LAKE, DUE TO ENGINE FAILURE; THAT HE STAYED WITH THE PLANE UNTIL IT SANK BELOW THE SURFACE OF THE WATER, WHEREUPON HE WAS OBLIGED TO ABANDON IT, TOGETHER WITH HIS PERSONAL PROPERTY, IN ORDER TO SAVE HIS LIFE. APPLYING THE RULE STATED, IT WILL BE SEEN THAT HE WAS NOT GIVING HIS ATTENTION TO THE SAVING OF HUMAN LIFE OR GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IN DANGER AT THE TIME AND UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE PURPOSE OF THE STAYING WITH THE PLANE IS NOT APPARENT. OBVIOUSLY HE WAS NOT TRYING TO SAVE THE PLANE, AND THE FACT THAT THE LOSS OF PROPERTY CONSISTS OF THE WEARING APPAREL HE ABANDONED SUGGESTS THAT HIS STAYING WITH THE PLANE WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF USING IT FOR SUPPORT WHILE DISROBING TO SWIM TO SAFETY. THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE LOSS WAS THE SINKING OF THE PLANE, AND IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT HE PERFORMED ANY MILITARY DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH THAT OCCURRENCE WHICH PREVENTED HIM FROM SAVING HIS PRIVATE PROPERTY.