B-16845, JUNE 3, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 853

B-16845: Jun 3, 1941

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PROPERTY - PRIVATE - LOST OR DESTROYED - MILITARY SERVICE PERSONAL PROPERTY DESTROYED BY FIRE WHILE IN STORAGE IS NOT WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4. SO THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM BY AN ARMY OFFICER UNDER SUCH ACT FOR THE LOSS OF GOODS DESTROYED BY FIRE WHILE IN A PACKING AND CRATING WAREHOUSE FOR PREPARATION FOR SHIPMENT TO BE MADE SOME SIX WEEKS LATER. SINCE SUCH GOODS MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS IN A TRANSIT STATUS UNTIL WRITTEN SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN GIVEN BY THE OWNER TO THE QUARTERMASTER AND ACTION NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO SUCH INSTRUCTIONS TAKEN ON THE GOODS. FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY CAPTAIN JAMES T. THE CLAIMANT WAS DIRECTED BY THE CITED ORDERS OF JANUARY 9.

B-16845, JUNE 3, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 853

PROPERTY - PRIVATE - LOST OR DESTROYED - MILITARY SERVICE PERSONAL PROPERTY DESTROYED BY FIRE WHILE IN STORAGE IS NOT WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, SO THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM BY AN ARMY OFFICER UNDER SUCH ACT FOR THE LOSS OF GOODS DESTROYED BY FIRE WHILE IN A PACKING AND CRATING WAREHOUSE FOR PREPARATION FOR SHIPMENT TO BE MADE SOME SIX WEEKS LATER, SINCE SUCH GOODS MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS IN A TRANSIT STATUS UNTIL WRITTEN SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN GIVEN BY THE OWNER TO THE QUARTERMASTER AND ACTION NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO SUCH INSTRUCTIONS TAKEN ON THE GOODS.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO LT. COL. W. M. DIXON, U.S. ARMY, JUNE 3, 1941:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST OF MAY 10, 1941, FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY CAPTAIN JAMES T. WILLIS, INFANTRY, U.S. ARMY, THE SUM OF $666.30, COVERING HIS CLAIM UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, FOR LOSS APRIL 11, 1940, BY FIRE OF INCENDIARY ORIGIN, OF HIS PERSONAL PROPERTY WHILE BEING HELD IN THE WAREHOUSE AT FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, FOR PREPARATION FOR SHIPMENT, INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION DIRECTED BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 66, WAR DEPARTMENT, DATED MARCH 19, 1940, EFFECTIVE UPON COMPLETION ON OR ABOUT MAY 27, 1940, OF TEMPORARY DUTY THERETOFORE DIRECTED AT FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS, BY LETTER ORDERS, FROM THE ADJUSTANT GENERAL, DATED JANUARY 9, 1940.

THE CLAIMANT WAS DIRECTED BY THE CITED ORDERS OF JANUARY 9, 1940, TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT FEBRUARY 1, 1940, FROM FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, TO FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS, AND REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER FOR TEMPORARY DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH TRAINING ACTIVITIES. UPON DEPARTURE FOR TEMPORARY DUTY, HE TURNED HIS PERSONAL EFFECTS OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER AT FORT BENNING FOR STORAGE. THE QUARTERMASTER STATED AUGUST 24, 1940, THAT---

1. FIRST LIEUT. JAMES T. WILLIS, INFANTRY, WAS A STUDENT AT THE INFANTRY SCHOOL, 1939-1940 COURSE. THIS COURSE TERMINATED FEBRUARY 1, 1940, AND HE WAS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY WITH THE 2ND DIVISION, FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS, FOR THE 3RD ARMY MANEUVERS. SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 66, PAR. 50, WAR DEPT., DATED MARCH 19, 1940, ORDERED HIM TO THE HAWAIIAN DEPARTMENT AT THE COMPLETION OF THE 3RD ARMY MANEUVERS ON OR ABOUT MAY 27, 1940.

2. LIEUT. WILLIS DELIVERED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THE QUARTERMASTER, FORT BENNING, ABOUT FEBRUARY 1, 1940, WITH THE REQUEST THAT THEY BE HELD UNTIL HIS PERMANENT ORDERS WERE ISSUED, THEN TO BE PACKED AND CRATED AND SHIPPED TO HIS NEW STATION AT SUCH TIME THAT THEY WOULD ARRIVE WHEN HE WOULD ARRIVE. ON OR ABOUT APRIL 1, 1940, HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE MOVED FROM A STORAGE WAREHOUSE TO THE PACKING AND CRATING WAREHOUSE FOR PREPARATION FOR SHIPMENT. THIS WORK WAS COMPLETED JUST PRIOR TO THE FIRE ON APRIL 11, 1940. SINCE LT. WILLIS' ORDERS DIRECTED HIM TO SAIL FROM SAN FRANCISCO ON OR ABOUT JULY 1, 1940, HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE BEING HELD AT THIS POST FOR SHIPMENT ALONG WITH OTHER FREIGHT TO MAKE FULL CARLOAD LOTS AT SUCH TIME AS TO ARRIVE AT THE ARMY BASE, BROOKLYN, N.Y., FOR THE JUNE 8, 1940, TRANSPORT.

THAT IS, THESE WERE BEING PACKED AND CRATED PRIOR TO APRIL 11, 1940, FOR SHIPMENT TO ARRIVE AT THE ARMY BASE, BROOKLYN, FOR THE JUNE 8, 1940, TRANSPORT.

THE SAME QUARTERMASTER OFFICER CERTIFIED JUNE 20, 1940, AS FOLLOWS:

I CERTIFY THAT A TOTAL OF NINETEEN (19) PACKAGES OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS BELONGING TO ST LT. JAMES T. WILLIS, INFANTRY, WHICH WERE TURNED OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER FOR PACKING AND CRATING, WERE COMPLETELY DESTROYED IN THE FIRE WHICH OCCURRED IN THE PACKING AND CRATING WAREHOUSE ON THE NIGHT OF APRIL 11, 1940.

THE CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED IN WRITING AS FOLLOWS:

SUBJECT: CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT FOR PROPERTY DAMAGED BY FIRE IN BUILDING 363, FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, APRIL 11, 1940.

TO: LT. COL. SIDNEY S. EBERLE, SPECIAL UNITS, FORT BENNING, GEORGIA.

1. UNDER PROVISIONS OF AR 35-7100 I HEREWITH SUBMIT A CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT FOR DAMAGES TO MY PROPERTY WHICH WAS STORED IN BUILDING 363, FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, AND DESTROYED BY FIRE ON THE NIGHT OF APRIL 11, 1940.

PARAGRAPH 27A AND B, AND PARAGRAPH 28, ARMY REGULATIONS 30-960, PROVIDES:

A. BAGGAGE FOR EITHER SHIPMENT OR STORAGE WILL BE TURNED OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER ON W.D., Q.M.C. FORM NO. 434 ( SHIPPING TICKET) IN TRIPLICATE, SHOWING--- (1) WHETHER FOR SHIPMENT OR STORAGE. (2) AUTHORITY FOR SHIPMENT OR STORAGE. (3) DESIGNATION OF QUARTERMASTER TO MAKE SHIPMENT OR TO STORE. (4) NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE PERSON TURNING OVER THE BAGGAGE. (5) NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE PERSON TO WHOM DELIVERY IS TO BE MADE.

B. IF THE BAGGAGE IS FOR STORAGE, THE SHIPPING TICKET WILL BE ALTERED TO SHOW THAT FACT.

28. CERTIFICATE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY SHIPPED. A. PERSONS DESIRING SHIPMENT OF BAGGAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WILL FURNISH THE SHIPPING QUARTERMASTER WITH W.D., Q.M.C. FORM NO. 219, * * *.

IT WAS HELD IN 3 COMP. GEN. 610 THAT WHERE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY, UNDER SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS OF THE OFFICER, IS DESTROYED BY FIRE WHILE HELD IN A GOVERNMENT WAREHOUSE SIMPLY FOR WEIGHING, PACKING, AND MARKING, A PROCESS NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT, SUCH DESTRUCTION IS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF PARAGRAPH " THIRD" OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921. THE EVIDENCE SHOWS CLEARLY THAT CLAIMANT'S PERSONAL EFFECTS WERE TURNED OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER, IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, FOR STORAGE. HIS CLAIM STATES THEY WERE "STORED" WHEN THEY WERE DESTROYED BY FIRE. THE QUARTERMASTER STATES THEY WERE MOVED TO THE PACKING AND CRATING WAREHOUSE FOR ,PREPARATION FOR SHIPMENT," BUT APPARENTLY NO SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS HAD BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE OWNER. BEFORE THE PERSONAL PROPERTY OF AN OFFICER COULD BE CONSIDERED IN A TRANSPORTATION STATUS, WRITTEN SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS MUST BE GIVEN THE QUARTERMASTER BY THE OWNER, AS REQUIRED BY THE CITED ARMY REGULATIONS, AND ACTION BY THE QUARTERMASTER NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO SUCH SHIPPING INSTRUCTION IS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO CONSTITUTE THE EFFECTS IN TRANSIT STATUS. THE FACT THE GOODS WERE BEING CRATED AND PACKED SOME 6 WEEKS BEFORE SHIPMENT LEADS TO THE CONCLUSION THE EFFECTS WERE IN STORAGE WHEN THEY WERE DESTROYED BY FIRE. PERSONAL PROPERTY DESTROYED BY FIRE WHILE IN STORAGE IS NOT WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE. CURRAN V. UNITED STATES, 65 CT.1CLS. 26. FURTHERMORE, CERTIFICATION OF THE CLAIM " BY DIRECTION OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF WAR" IS NOT A DETERMINATION UNDER THE STATUTE WARRANTING PAYMENT BY A DISBURSING OFFICER. B-15898, MAY 21, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 797.

YOU ARE ADVISED PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH.