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Everything posted by Deuceman

  1. Here in Marlborough, Wilts we were wartime hosts to the US Army's 347th Station Hospital between May of 1944 and May of 45, when it relocated to Chiseldon near Swindon for its last couple of months in the ETO. The 347th were essentially a stabilisation unit, with patients being flown directly from mainland Europe to nearby Ramsbury and Membury airfields before being conveyed by Ambulance to the hospital on the Common on the north side of the town. As a result, few of the 347th's patients stayed more than one night before being moved once more by ambulance, on to hospital trains at Marlborough's GWR station to be taken on to other military hospitals that would specialise in the various branches of medicine required by each individual. As a unit the 347th had just over 1100 beds, all serviced by 43 officers, 75 nurses and some 400 enlisted men as well as 3 American Red Cross Officers. During its active existence from circa D+3 to the end of July 1945, the 347th treated a staggering 62000 patients of whom less than 20 passed away whilst in their care. In 1997 a small group of 347th veterans returned to Marlborough and unveiled a handsome self funded granite memorial on the site of their wartime endeavours. Some 18 years on, the painted inscription on the stone is now illegible and I am leading efforts to get it refurbished; with a local painter offering to do so FOC with a gilt cream paint as used on sun dials. As and when it is completed I would like to arrange a suitable low-key one day event to refresh the local populaces' awareness of what happened in their midsts post D-Day and would like to gather a representative collection of appropriate WW2 military ambulances back on the common. Interestingly in 1997 we did have one WC54 kindly driven up from Somerset by Steve Whitehouse, but the veterans were decidedly cool about it's presence as it obviously made the bad memories just a little too real; something that I had previously given no consideration to. 18 years on we are sadly no longer graced by the presence of any 347th veterans (I actually do not know of any who are still with us), the only benefit of that being that we can contemplate recreating a little bit of history as per the attached images without causing unnecessary offence. If you are on Facebook, please visit my 'Friends of the WW2 347th Station Hospital' page to see more images of the hospital. The 347th were equipped with both WC54 and Austin K2 vehicles as well as anything passing through the area that they could lay their hands on to! If you are interested in being kept updated on when this might happen, PM me. Thanks, Neil Stevens
  2. I saw the Cletrac in the attached pics at Beltring on the Thursday but it had no support info with it and there was nobody around to ask questions of. Does anyone have the gen, as I have a bit of a fetish for them!! Looked like a lovely complete project. Have also attached a picture of an 83rd Sqdn example from the 437th TCG at RAF Ramsbury in 44/45 - for Mr Marriot's benefit!
  3. Hi Howard, I'm very impressed! The DT was a beast, but didn't have the charisma of the Jimmy. I look forward to hitching a ride on the next Operation Bolero....! I've always had a bit of a fetish for Jimmy shop vans and can't help snapping them when I see them. The best example I've seen was in Normandy in 2004 owned by French MV dealers Jeepest (as per image here) and used as a mobile shop for their spare parts sales - this one is super detailed in terms of fitments and correct transfers etc - I'll try and dig out the other detail shots I took and share them. Keep up the good work. Neil S
  4. Aha, an early Gestetner duplicating machine and its trailer...... that would account for why the one at my junior school never moved from under the stairs in the four years I was there....I didn't realise they were that heavy?
  5. Chris McMillan will be well aware of this story, but here's my own small contribution to the CVRW accident stats for 1986, when I was a driver with 1st Troop of A Sqdn, Royal Yeomanry during Exercise Keystone, BAOR in October of that year. Neither the Commander (Shaun Collins, 1st Troop Sergeant waving in picture) or myself were hurt. Didn't have a gunner with us that exercise. Shaun had been rolled in a Fox a few years previously and had a lucky escape, hence he was always reminding me of their high C of G and cautioning me about terrain etc. In this instance, had I been more reckless in my driving I would have got through without incident as had the two vehicles before me. We were actually going so slowly, that when the embankment slipped out from underneath us, there was nothing else we were going to do other than role into the adjacent ditch. Shaun hunkered down inside whilst I considered myself very luck that we rolled on the BV side and hadn't had the hot contents spilled all over me! Fred Carno's army then showed in the form of the A Sqdn LAD, who proceeded to do a neutral turn in their Spartan on the ploughed field and shed both tracks! Once they had sorted themselves out, we were righted using a wrecker. Some swift action with crowbars then got the shattered remains of the wings off of the tyres and with a check of all fluids etc, we were back in the war!! Needless to say, all four wings had to be replaced once we were back in Swindon, but the Sqdn CO Major Arkell made a special point of looking me up a few weeks later and advising that the resultant enquiry had absolved me of any blame!! Vehicle Reg was 10 FD 73, if anyone knows of its history and demise I'd be interested. For all of Shaun's caution, it didn't stop him from egging me on at times; the most notable incident being on the dual carriageway into Swindon after end ex on Salisbury Plain, when as tail end charlie behind 2nd and 3rd troop's vehicles, I got the speedo off of the clock so that we overtook them all in the fast lane, with Shaun up top saluting at attention as we sped past!!
  6. Here's a shot of an engine in a truck in Normandy in 2004. It was a workshop body in use a mobile shop for the vehicle and spares dealer Jeepest. It was a superb restoration such that I wonder why they would have painted it like this if it wasn't for the sake of authenticity?
  7. I have certainly seen it whilst going by in the train recently - I've been working in Chatham a lot in the last six months so can't say how recently it was that I last saw it but has to be within the last 3 months.
  8. A work colleague of mine has just sent me a picture of a field in West Germany ( formerly a US Army training facility but now just open fields and open to the public ), in which sit 24 x M47 Patton tanks slowly going to rack and ruin. They can be clearly seen on Google earth at location 52°52'8.66"N 7°26'13.59"E and in the attached images. The vehicles appear to have been wired up, possibly for some kind of laser firing training system? The nearest town is Sogel in Lower Saxony. Anyone know anything more?
  9. Eden Camp - Malton, North Yorks A shining example of the fact that something doesn't have to be good to pull in the punters. I was there about 5 years ago helping on a school visit and the place must have been entertaining 20 coach loads of kids as it ticked all the National Curriculum boxes. The exhibits were very, very poor, summed up by a poorly built Airfix Lancaster tied to a piece of string which was fixed to an unseen motor which, when a button was pressed, jerked the aircraft across a rockery pond - and all this in a genuine wartime POW camp building. For those who haven't been able to work out the obvious links and clues here, this was the building which commemorated the Dambusters raid............! Isn't it obvious? As for the 'vehicle' exhibits, if you like your GMC with moss and litchen, fill yur boots! Crap of the highest order which you can part with good money to see! Alternatively stay in the car and go to the National Railway Museum in York, which is free and much better.
  10. Bonnet No 4130024....anyone still got it!!
  11. L4 - Ken Wakefield L6 x 2 in formation with Alamo Liaison Sqdn from San Antonio Texas, piloted by 437th TCG, 85th Sqdn veteran Tommie Thompson - a/c later destroyed killing B24 veteran pilot. P51 - Janie - with Maurice Hammond - uber thanks to brother Clive for this one! B17 - Yankee Lady - out of Willow Run B24 - Witchcraft - out of Willow Run C47 x 5 - 3 x G-AMPO/G-AMPY/G-AMSV/43-15211 x 2 AAC Westland Scout - hedge hopping on Salisbury plain whilst in the TA RAF C130 - crossed the north sea in the cockpit RAF VC10 - all the seats face backwards! RAF Tri-Star AWACS simulator - I broke the motion equipment! Citabria - with Pilot Officer 'Biggles' Barrell Airbus A310/319/A320/A330 DC9 DC10 727 737 747 757 767 777 MD11 MD80 Saab 340 Canadair Regional Jet variants Embraer variants Various twin turboprop and jet commuter types Space shuttle Aspiration list: C47 No 42-100591 Valiant Air Command, Titusville FL - genuine ex 437th TCG, 84th Sqdn, Ramsbury a/c: the wartime pilot of which I knew before his death. Should be back in the air later this year after an 8 year o/haul following a ground loop. WACO CG4A Curtis Commando C46 Lockheed Constellation - any variant Republic P47 Boeing B29 Lockheed P38 North American B25 Saturn V DC4 DC6 Vulcan Almosts...... C141 from Charleston AFB scuppered due to 911 B17 Lucky Lady - Wroughton to France. Brother Clive asked if we could bum a flight from Great Warbirds at Wroughton in 92 and they said yes we could fly back to France with them...we had neither Passports or cash to get home with! B17 Liberty Bell - from somewhere in Suffolk but Clive didn't ask me!!! It's good to aim high and whilst most of these are unlikely to be fulfilled, that's what I said about the P51, B17 and B24 a few years ago! Ok I was joking about the Space Shuttle and the Saturn V!! I had a job keeping my breakfast down in the P51!! But I'd do it again! Thanks to Jessie the Jeep for the ground to air of me in the P51 and to fellow B17 joy rider and HMVF regular Simon Morris for the Yankee Lady and Witchcraft pics - it was the highlight of our August 05 'Grand Adventure' to Thunder over Michigan or as it actually turned out, a grand and a half!!
  12. "You realise that if we don't get one of these suckers going, there's a chance we'll be issued a Champ" No Champs were hurt in the formulation of this post.
  13. Thanks NOS well worth knowing.
  14. Please can any wise soul out there let me know what the engine mount dimensions are to enable the construction of an engine rig for a CCKW engine as per the attached pic culled from the web? Many thanks in advance. Neil
  15. Jack, Sorry for the delay in getting up to speed with your plans. This sounds like it has all the makings required to become THE event of 2010 in the UK if not the worldwide MV calendar. I want in on making this happen, so count me in to participate in turning the great planning that has happened already into an event that will make your hair curl! Hopefully this time I'll also get to see the armour convoy!! Incidentally, I was convinced that you were going to say the venue would be Weymouth and I was hoping you wouldn't, so I'm really pleased that it is to be Maiden Newton as it will be so more meaningful. Good work! Neil Stevens
  16. Found this amongst the For Willow Run shots previously advised of on the forum!
  17. Is politiks innit, but I think you will find that Communist China has the retaking and reabsorption of Taiwan as one of its sovereign intentions....... hence why the US have such a presence there! You don't want to be around when that one kicks off!!
  18. I've never seen this done at the Great Dorset Steam fair! Moving LCM over land for the Rhine River Crossing on March 24th 1944 "Operation Varsity"
  19. Jack, Ammunition stockpiled in the town square for the impending D-Day invasion of France. Location: Moreton-In-Marsh, United Kingdom Date taken: May 1944 Photographer: Frank Scherschel Size: 1280 x 867 pixels (17.8 x 12.0 inches) Neil
  20. Jack, Don't assume they always sold it! Don't forget Lend lease and in this case what Taiwan is, where it is and whose side it is a thorn in!! I bet they didn't pay the US for all that stuff!! Ditto they often gave it away so that they didn't have to bring it home, both at expense to themselves and to the detriment of their own auto and defense industries! Lots of good tank shots on there too, Pattons I think! Cheers, Neil
  21. Following the heads up given recently to the LIFE archive images available via Google Images, a bit of searching revealed these fantastic shots of Moreton in Marsh in 1944. I shared them with fellow historian Martin Collins from the West Midlands and Martin dropped by Moreton last week to do a few impromptu then and now shots which are also attached. Amazingly, whilst the two GI's in the street had gone, the Ben Hur trailer was still there when he arrived, but a GMC came and collected it before he had chance to get his camera out! Martin and wife Fran are accomplished authors of four different books relating the history of the US Forces in the Midlands during WW2. There most recent and extremely well written and illustrated effort is "Blackmore Park In World war Two - An account of the US Army Hospitals at Blackmore Park, Malvern 1943-45". Blackmore Park housed two different American General Hospitals and was home at different times to the 19th, 65th, 90th and 155th General Hospitals. Published by Brewin Books at £10.95 Enjoy, Neil Stevens
  22. I came across the two images attached here when I surfed on to the following: http://taiwanimage.gio.gov.tw/en/index.html Apparently all of the images on the site can be used royalty free if not for profit although i didn't find where it said that, just going on hearsay from the website I linked through from. Don't ask why I ended up on this site, my excuse is I was looking for steam engine shots and I'm sticking to it! Anyway Jack, looks like it might be a location where you can search for an elusive tractor unit judging by what they were using in 1953!
  23. Gents, We did go to the left and up the hill, but the road also went to the right as well. The left turn up the hill is not visible in the wartime shot but was there. During the war the road also went straight ahead just after it curved to the right, creating a crossroads although that fourth leg of the crossroads was ripped up when the wood was ripped up and the land used for crops. Bow to your superior knowledge on geology and soils Jack, unless anyone fancies challenging you, in which case I might wade in! The Sussex Weald was the other area which came to mind, but its just guesswork. Thanks for the heads up on the source, There are some cracking colour shots on there, especially the Moreton in Marsh High Street shots, which Martin Collins has been recreating then and now comparisons for today. When received I'll post them if he hasn't already. A 'fashinating' exposé of LIFE's archive! Tops marks. Neil
  24. Gentlemen, May I say how personally aggrieved and hurt I am that you have chosen to debate the fair environs of ye olde Station 469 without involving my ever so umble self! Let's be clear here, when dealing with such matters, it's important to skip the monkey and instead go direct to the organ grinder!! Joking aside, I am convinced that this isn't the location you all feel it might be although I am impressed that (given their respective ages!) both Jack and Degsy recall the site with such clarity - the similarities are very strong. I'd love it if it was, but to me it doesn't stack up. Attached are a pair of 1944 and 2007 comparisons of the location concerned, taken 180 degrees from where Clive's RTV convoy long shot is taken. Fundamentally, in the wartime shot you should see the following: Tall Beech and other trees to the right of the the gorse bushes all the way along the road. Tall Beech trees blocking the cameraman's forward view down the road at this location - these were felled in 1999/2000 In WW2 the field beyond the V between the trees was totally wooded such that you would not have been able to view the top of the distant escarpment for tree growth as per the 1944 shot - nissen huts were then built throughout this area. Added to the above point, the height difference between the concrete road and the surrounding hillsides/escarpment is too great. The field directly to the left of the road in the wartime shot would have had terraced nissen huts on its lower slopes during WW2. Admittedly this could have been taken before they were built, but the other reasons above already discount it fully for me. I do have one other shot which should add further weight to my thesis but I need to locate and scan it in etc - don't hold your breath. The more pertinent point in all of this is where did the image come from Joris, are there any more in the sequence and can we access a bigger resolution original to dribble over?!! I would guess it is somewhere in Dorset around Jack's neck of the woods or slightly closer to the coast, possible even on estate land due to what looks like a concrete road. Jack, is it even a wartime shot? I wouldn't trust you not to have contrived this as a cunning marketing ploy to surreptitiously get us all believing in the authenticity of the latest batch of tents you've had shipped in from Pakistan!!! Best wishes, Neil For more on Ramsbury airfield see http://www.YITKV.co.uk
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