US Army 101 ( #101) Locomotive

US Army 101 is a 2-8-0 steam locomotive that was originally operated by the United States Army. It is one of two survivors of the 1,500 General Pershing locomotives built in 1916–1918 for the War Department in World War I. The 101 went on to see action in three wars — World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.

History of the 101

The history of the 101 is something of a mystery. What we do know is that it was built for the US Army for use in World War I by Baldwin Locomotive Works. It was owned by the US Army until it was donated to Korea to help fight for Korea's freedom.
In 1953, the 101 was recovered from damaged areas and reconstructed by the Army Transportation Corps., under the direction of Col. George Simpson. It seems that the 101 was still property of the Korean Republic however. Col. George Simpson, Harold T.I. Shannon, and Harold E. Fuller started to talk with the Korean Republic about donating the engine to the National Railroad Museum.
In 1958 Korean Republic President Syngman Rhee donated the locomotive as a gift from the Korean people. Over 300 newspapers carried the story of the arrival of the engine and this is how the struggling National Railroad Museum started to gain national attention. On May 30, 1959, General Pershing was presented with a Certificate of Service from the United states Army. The certificate was presented to the Museum by the Secretary of the Army.
Any other information this is to be found on the Internet or in print is suspicious at best. There are at least three different versions of the history of the 101 floating around.

History according the National Railroad Museum

According the National Railroad Museum Highlight and Data Catalog, the General Pershing saw action in France in 1918, Army camps in World War II, and was sent to Korea in 1951. (National Railroad Museum - Highlight and Data Catalog, p. 14)

History according to David P. Morgan

David P. Morgan wrote and article for the June 1959 issue of Trains magazine. In it he says "On July 18, 1917, the U. S. Government ordered 150 2-8-0's from the Baldwin Locomotive Works for service in France. The first engine was delivered just 20 days later, since the design virtually duplicated (except for its superheater) that of the Consolidations Baldwin was building for the British War Office. The 150th engine got only as far as Norfolk, Va., where it was reassigned as a switcher to Fortress Monroe. In 1925 the Army overhauled the stay-at-home, named her the General Pershing, and kept her at work on local bases. During World War II the Pershing chuffed about Army camps in the South. Finally in 1947 she and 100 World War II surplus Army engines were donated to the Republic of Korea. When the Korean conflict broke out the veteran 2-8-0 was switching at Pusan. She soon saw combat, won fame as "the darling of the Military Railway Service." In January 1959 she came home, a gift of Korean President Rhee to the Green Bay (Wis.) National Railroad Museum. So some old engines, like old military men, do not fade away." (Trains Magazine)


As best as can be figured out, this is the history of the General Pershing.
  • 1917 - Built
  • 1919-1937 - Ft. Monroe, Norfolk Army Base
  • 1925 - Modernized and new cab
  • 1940 - Modernized and new cab
  • 1942 - Wreck en route to Camp Blanding Florida from Ft. Benning, Georgia
  • 1945 - Storage
  • 1947 - Shipped to Korea
  • 1959 - Shipped to National Railroad Museum

Numbers the General Pershing carried

As best as can be figured out, this is the numbering history of the General Pershing.
  • 8341 - Utility Railroad Service
  • 6779 - upon arrival in Korea
  • 765 - After the 765th Transportation Shop Bn. rebuilt it.
  • 101 - Korean National Railways

Surviving Pershing Class Locomotives

  • US Army No. 101
  • Texas State Railroad No. 300


  • Unknown Author(s) (Unknown Year after July, 1973). "National Railroad Museum - Highlight and Data Catalog", Castle-Pierce Press.
  • Albert Carpenter Kalmbach, ed. (1959). "Trains Magazine", Kalmbach Publishing Co.