Since the dawn of warfare, military transportation has been a decisive element to achieving victory. The movement of armies, equipment, and supplies, whether it involved ancient Carthaginian general Hannibal guiding elephants over the Alps or bringing George Washington and the Continental Army down from New York to Yorktown, Virginia, has been the key to victory, or defeat.
The United States Army Transportation Corps was born on 31 July 1942. These were dark times for the Nation, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and conquest of the Philippines. The Department of War, forerunner to the modern Department of Defense, determined that the Army needed a single manager for transportation. Prior to this, responsibilities for the various aspects of military transportation and distribution had been split between the Quartermaster Corps and the Corps of Engineers, and indeed, not all the responsibilities that the Transportation Corps has today immediately fell under their prevue.