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249TH ARMY BAND
 MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA -

History

Summary

The West Virginia National Guard started out with a 1st Regiment and a 2nd Regiment. Each of these regiments had a band. Little is known about these two bands except that the 1st Regiment band was located in Fairmont WV. The 2nd Regiment band was located in Bluefield WV. These two units later became the 201st Infantry band and the 150th Infantry band. Both of these bands served in WWII. The 201st (1st Regiment) served in Alaska. It should be noted that sometime before the War, the 201st band was stationed in Morgantown, WV. This is 20 miles north of Fairmont. The 150th Band (2nd Regement) Served in the Canal Zone.

After the War, these two bands were consolidated into the current 249th. That band was located back in Fairmont, WV. It remained a local band through the 1970s. This changed upon the completion of a feeway system though West Virginia in the late 70s. However, during that time, the band was made up of some outstanding musicians who were mostly interested in avoiding the unpopular draft while attending College. Many of these musicians later became outstanding performers and teachers. However, by the mid 70s, that particular group was gone.

Being under the command and control of the 201st FA. the 249th lacked the ability to contol it's own situations. Annual Trainings were used as OPFOR for the 201st. Little performing was going on, and the organization lacked true support from senior leaders who understood how to utilize the band.

A notable period of the summer of 1979 in which the 249th was activated by the Governor to provide armed protection and security during a truckers strike. The band performed this mission with loaded weapons patrolling the roads in West Virginia.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Distinctive Unit Insignia