Some of you may recall that on February 13, 2018 the Franklin County School District had some very special visitors. Col. Glenn Husted, US Army Retired, and 2 of his fellow employees from the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum were at the Armory building to retrieve the remaining machine gun that had been on the front lawn of the armory since about 1938. After WWI, the US Congress distributed war trophies to all 50 states. That’s what the machine guns that were at the armory are, war trophies. German MG08 water cooled machine guns. There were 136 machine guns of various types distributed to Mississippi Sometime after WWI. Our National Guard unit got two of them. Mr. Husted informed us that we had the only one in Mississippi and he just happened to see it one day when passing through Meadville. He contacted Col. Lynn Pippen, FCSD JROTC instructor, who then talked to Chris Kent, Superintendent of Education. The decision was made to donate this war relic to the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby. The gun was to be restored and to be put on display. Some might question the decision to donate it. However, after learning the history of the gun and just how valuable and rare it is, it belongs in a museum. It was rusting away sitting on the front lawn of the Armory. We had no idea how rare it is. Mr. Husted assured us that Franklin County School District and the local community would get credit for the donation when it is displayed. He also told us that once restored he will bring it back to Meadville for a day. Their plans are to have it completed by Veterans Day 2018.
Well, the gun has been restored to museum quality and will be brought back the JROTC Building on Tuesday, November 13. It will be on display in one of the classrooms from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm. The public is invited and encouraged to view the war relic between the aforementioned hours.