Early 30's FBI Training Photo - From Franklin Memoirs

Early 30's FBI Training Photo - From Franklin Memoirs

After examining a multitude of released FBI documents, there's no question that within days after the Kansas City Massacre in June, 1933, J. Edgar Hoover began an intensive campaign to obtain a variety of weapons for his men.  The next logical step to obtaining the weapons, was the training involved in using them.  Hoover spared no time or expense there either.  

In reality, the long held belief that FBI agents were not authorized to carry weapons before the May/June, 1934 Federal Legislation is widely mis-understood in addition to being simply inaccurate.  

We know from documents dated in 1933, that SA Thomas "Frank" Baughman (see bio and photo sections) played an intricate role, along with Washington Field Office SAC John Keith and SA Charles Appel, in the Executive Committee formed by J. Edgar Hoover with regard to weapons of choice and the training to be administered to all agents across the country.  In other sources and years earlier, we find Baughman being mentioned as shooting under the training of legendary weapons expert, Elmer Keith. 

  SA Thomas "Frank" Baughtman, 1935 (FBI - FOIA)

SA Thomas "Frank" Baughtman, 1935 (FBI - FOIA)

After transferring away from his executive position at Headquarters, Baughman spent nearly his entire career as a Firearms Instructor.  

But first, he spent those early years of the '30s playing a significant role in not only the firepower to be used by the Bureau, but the training implemented as well.  

Utilizing his liaison with the Secretary Of War and the commanders of the various military branches, he was instrumental in providing locations for Bureau firearms training.  These locations, among others, included the Marine base at Quantico, Va. and Ft. Meade, Ft. Ritchie and Ft. Washington in the DC suburbs.

Readers should check the navigation area for more information about Baughman's beginning liason with the office of the Secretary of War and the resulting relationships with the US Army and Marine Corps. to solicit help with regards to formal training. 

See this internal FBI magazine article regarding Ft. Ritchie.  (previously known as Camp Ritchie)  

All of this began in June, 1933 and the FBI Training Academy as we know it today, was still some seven years away....