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Greetings. Hope someone can tell me what the actual intended use of a Royal Enfield Flying Flea motorcycle (WD/RE) would be in a combat zone. In this regard does anyone know of an account describing their actual use? It probably seems obvious. But consider: there are pictures of them being loaded into gliders, but not many photos (if any) of them in use after landing, except in what appear to be posed photos at practice or publicity events. It is often said that they were delivered (mostly by glider rather than parachute, apparently) with the British airborne. One view seems to be that there were to be used by, essentially, a commando-style force. I'd visualize this as soldiers, hurriedly mounted on these motorcycles, rushing to an objective such as a bridge, tossing the motorcycles into a hedge and taking up positions. (For instance, there was an attempt, at Arnhem, to use glider-delivered Jeeps armed with machine guns to reach the bridge, but they were ambushed en route). But when I look at the Flying Flea I see a motorcycle with full fenders, sprung seat, toolkit, tire pump, headlight with black-out hood, tail lamp and -- for gosh sakes -- a bulb horn! It does not appear to be a use-once, throw-away conveyance. So I always conceived the notion that they were for use carrying dispatches among the airborne. But, if so, why so few, if any photos of this? An explanation I have heard is that the special sealed carburetor filter, meant to prevent spills while in the air, was not understood by troops who would start the motorcycles, run them briefly until the petrol in the carburetor was used up, and then, when they stopped, dump them, considering them non-functional. Thank you all. David in Fort Lauderdale
Having restored 1944 Airborne 10cwt No1 Mk2 Trailer and an 1944 10cwt Lightweight Water Bowser (posted photos previously on HMVF), I've now got a new project. Have been lucky to find a 1944 Lightweight Electrical Repair trailer (thanks Richard). I believe it is one of the trailers developed by the REME section of the Airborne Forces Development Centre based at Amesbury Abbey (Wilts) from 1943 in cooperation with the REME Central Workshops at Old Dalby (ref. Rob van Meel's British Airborne Jeeps). The trailer data plate shows it to be "Electrical Repair Trailer. No.1 Mk II. Cont. No. 23/7940" and WD Number: X6170936. It still has its 110v DC Bench Grinder and a 110v DC "Van Norman YW Valve Refacer", a large worklight and an Admiralty Pattern 1 Gallon Still (for distilling water for batteries!). It came its original canvas cover with "T-plate", but is missing the simple steel frame (on the to do list). I am guessing the old design of triangle warning plate is a post-war. It is missing the collapsible workbenches that slotted into the front...does anyone have any information on these? Size and method of construction? The two wooden cased 6v battery boxes are also missing. But I think it is an unusual survivor in very good conditon, I'll post a few photos below, but I am very interested to find any further informaton about these trailers, their equipment and use. It seems that this particular example only left the army in late 1970s/early 80's, possibly having been with a TA unit. I don't think the REME museum has one, althought they do have the very similar Lightweight Machinery Trailer. How many others survive? Thanks in anticipation John
Hi, a few questions to all you trailer buffs. I have recently acquired a WW2 10cwt lightweight trailer to tow behind my Airborne Jeep. It was originally fitted with the early type hitch with the arms attached to the chassis, but has been retrofitted with the later hitch (but with smaller towing eye). My first question; is this designated a No1 Mk1 or is it just an early Mk2? The second question; what lighting would the trailer have originally been fitted with during wartime service? Did they just have have the convoy light underneath, or did they also have the MT tail lights? The brackets were evidently there at one time, but have been cut off. Just working out whether or not to weld brackets back on. Third and final question; can anyone tell me what tools etc went in the brackets inside the tub? A tyre repair kit fits nicely in one of them, but not sure what the other brackets are for. Thanks, Tom.
Hi, I have just bought an 80 Watt charging set for my 22 set, but it is missing the spark plug. Can anyone tell me what the correct spark plug is? A picture would be really useful as I can't see how the plug fits securely to the screened lead. Thanks.