Jump to content
Great War truck

Buried Jeeps

Recommended Posts

Not sure about jeeps but I know where A tp buried the traffic lights from the big crossroads at Soest in west Germany after swiping them with a Chieftain bridgelayer on a tank transporter. The perpatrator was pulled over by the civ police, but he denied seeing or doing anything wrong and in the absence of any evidence he, and the rest of the convoy, were allowed to go.

 

It was only when they unloaded at their destination did the (large) traffic light stanchion come crashing to the ground from the top of the bridgelayer where it had laid quite happily all the way back. The boys then did the right thing and buried the whole thing as quick as possible...

 

But to go back to the subject my dad did national service in Singapore and would corroborate the tales of sea dumping - as well as vehicles he told of lots of platinum items and components from generators and sundry electrical and signals gear..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is well documented that at the end of WWII about 400 Corsair F4U fighter planes (and also other types) were bulldozed into a heap and burnt at Rukuhia airfield near Hamilton New Zealand. I have seen a photo somewhere of them all lined up waiting to be disposed of. Some were also bulldozed into a gully and their remains are occasionally dug up by local enthusiasts. It beggars belief that no-one considered any of them worth keeping.

 

Also, I understand that there are still places in NZ where you can find GMC trucks lined up under hedges rotting away, although I have not seen them myself. Surprising, when you consider the number of enthusiastic restorers here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some leads

 

Thank you for your email.

 

There should be a Japanese report after their engineers and specialist reviewed the war booty and infrastructure within weeks of occupying Singapore in 1942. The most famous of these is the fortress fact finding team led by Lt.Col. Masataka Numaguchi of Army Technical HQ and Major Katsuji Akiyama of the Army Heavy Artillery School which produced the original Japanese Monograph No.68 (published by the Chief of Military History in 1958). I believe there must be similar files evaluated by the Japanese Naval Board for the the Singapore harbour and docks where the cranes were purportedly to be last seen.

 

Apologies that I cannot be of further help, I wish I know which precise direction to point you to, but the Public Record Office, and the National Library of Australia holds copies of the above Monograph No.68 and I believe other files pertaining to the after the battle survey/inspection carried out by the Japanese.

 

I hope this helps somewhat.

 

Regards,

Chen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn just read 126 pages of original Japanese Monograph No.68 but no talk of cranes. Very detailed a very frank about the poor planning setting up the installations and that more effort was spent on accomodations areas than defencible positions. An interesting read.

 

One 15" gun was salvageable

 

His report does not cover the Naval dockyard.

 

More digging required

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since we've detoured from buried jeeps, to buried planes. There are rumours of underground storage hangers with a variety of intact planes, under old German airfields.

Confirmed burials of WW2 planes are from the Phillippines, where hundreds of planes were bulldozed into holes & buried.

 

Underwater dumps of vehicles are fairly common in the Pacific theatre too, tales of equipment being offered for sale to the locals; who thinking that it'll be left behind anyway, so why buy when they'll be able to just acquire it when it's been abandonned?; the vacating Allies just drive anything into the sea, preferably off a jetty or a cliff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After spending two days metal detecting. And digging lots of holes in a field (with a slew) looking for buried jeeps and harleys that were supposedly buried in 1946 when a very large local army camp was cleared. I now do not believe there were any us army vehicles buried until some one can prove me wrong. The rumour has been in the area that I live in since the war and one chap said he actually buried the kit but cryed off at the last minute when we asked him to show us where on the land it was buried. So until there are pictures of a real in the flesh jeep in a crate or harley in a box dont believe a word of it. The only vehicle that was found was a dinky toys electric milk float!!!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only vehicle that was found was a dinky toys electric milk float!!!!!!!!!

 

Excellent :D:D:D:D:D:D, truth be told it's probably worth more than any metal that's been buried in the dirt for 60 years ;)

 

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hiya - Interesting thread.. I have some info that could help (or not!

I have a friend who works for the MOD in my dream job (although the money is bad!) Her job is working on the excavation and disposal of kit for the MOD. This ranges from buried wrecks to making bombs safe (well their finding - the bomb disposal people take over from there)

 

She has worked on all major American sites and airfields in the past. I was talking with her about kit left over and she said they come across a lot of 'debris' but never anything like complete ww2 vehicles.

 

She about a year ago was called to two airfields in South Devon as they had found a large amount of debris buried at the edge of the airfield. It turned out to be a large amount of large calibre rounds in cases. These were from the returning bombers/ aircraft where the munitions had developed faults and couldn't be fired. The airfields were Dukerswell and Smeatharp. They scanned the whole site and this was the only debris of any note found. She did hint at a listening station they may be called to in the near future also in South Devon - its still MOD property so theres been no access to the public.

 

Think the greatest task she has dealt with was the Harwell 'job' which they had to deal with radioactive waste in fire buckets buried under a infant school.

 

I quizzed her extensively and she insisted digging anything up from these sites were very dangerous.

 

Interestingly she then went on to tell me about the 10K german bomb in the road outside my current house! Apparently its safe and they don't see the need to remove it!! (I HOPE SHE WAS JOKING! BUT THE OLD LADY OPPOSITE REMEMBERS IT DROPPING!)

 

 

Hope that hasn't shattered any dreams of finding crated jeeps. I have enough problems with 'top hat sections' without 60 years plus of constant moisture!!

Your friend could have a problem, working for the MOD she is subject to the official secrets act and would have signed it, i know i did and have to say zilch on such matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The latest one is a sherman turret in the middle of a field ha ha and the hull of the sherman in the lake nearby.Ive had a look again this morning and the only thing i found was a duck and not the gmc version............................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A number of years ago the taxi-ways at the airfield I work at where dug up and re-laid. During the excavation work a scrap wing from a Hawker Hunter and a scrap fuselage from a Vampire/Venom where unearthed. Scrap metal values must have been pretty low back then when they were buried. Though I do still find it a bit odd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Degsy

26-11-2011, 01:36

Very interesting regarding the cranes, I hadn't heard anything about them before. A friend now in his late seventies and still restoring vehicles to keep busy was stationed there when the army pulled out in the fifties, hundreds of jeeps and GMC's were pushed off a pier and dumped into deep water as they were not required to be brought back to the UK and would have affected the local economy if suddenly dumped on to the market. The tears still come to his eyes when he tells the story as it wasn't something he just heard about, he actually had to do it.

 

Not very likely!

 

The Army pulled out in 1972/3 ish. By that time jeeps and GMC's had long gone.

All remaining equipment, including barracks and buildings, was sold off to Singapore Govt for peppercorns per time.

I remeber a huge car park filled with school buses (RAF) handed over for nothing, 1972.

 

I saw myself landing barges overloaded with military toolboxes being dumped in the sea off Singapore. This would have been around 1957.

 

Baz

 

Also watched Ghurkas at Sungei Patani smashing up heaps of new No 19 wireless sets and burying them. 1957.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to Jeeps. As a boy I used to live in South Devon.

 

I can well remember various Nissen type huts on Bovey Heath full of stores. I went inside one with my father & found boxes of mouldy leather items, holsters I think. But we just left them nobody seemed to think of stealing them or vandalising the huts. But there were stories that there were Jeeps in the area buried in the event of the invasion failing so that they could not be used by the Germans, but at the time nobody seemed much interested.

 

That must have been early-mid 1950s & I can remember we used to visit Slapton Sands & seeing the whole hillside devoid of greeness just burnt trees stumps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Degsy

26-11-2011, 01:36

Very interesting regarding the cranes, I hadn't heard anything about them before. A friend now in his late seventies and still restoring vehicles to keep busy was stationed there when the army pulled out in the fifties, hundreds of jeeps and GMC's were pushed off a pier and dumped into deep water as they were not required to be brought back to the UK and would have affected the local economy if suddenly dumped on to the market. The tears still come to his eyes when he tells the story as it wasn't something he just heard about, he actually had to do it.

 

Not very likely!

 

The Army pulled out in 1972/3 ish. By that time jeeps and GMC's had long gone.

All remaining equipment, including barracks and buildings, was sold off to Singapore Govt for peppercorns per time.

I remeber a huge car park filled with school buses (RAF) handed over for nothing, 1972.

 

I saw myself landing barges overloaded with military toolboxes being dumped in the sea off Singapore. This would have been around 1957.

 

Baz

 

Also watched Ghurkas at Sungei Patani smashing up heaps of new No 19 wireless sets and burying them. 1957.

 

The story re the Jeeps and GMC's has been confirmed independently by other people, it is not a case of memory fading with age as I have known the guy for almost 50 years and first heard it in the sixties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dumping in the sea has been a regular military practice. The UK's place of favour was Herd's Deep off Alderney. There are many photographs of barges loaded with equipment ready to be dumped. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurd's_Deep

Should be mentioned, also the resting palce of Tom Davis J class yacht Westwind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live very near to RAF Barkston Heath in Lincolnshire and it is common knowledge round here that at the end of the war many jeeps were buried on site, whether this is true is anyones guess although I have been told this by someone who swears as a boy he watched them do it ! I was also told that pilots training there to this day are warned their compasses will play up when flying over the field containing these jeeps. Is it true who knows ?, but I would love to find out for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few years ago I had the builders in putting in a base for my garage , my jeep was sitting under a tarp, one of them asked to see what was under the tarp ..." oh my god its a jeep he said ..I remember burying 3 of them in a big ditch in Korea when the North koreans where getting a bit to close .." he said this was common practice ...

 

So lets go digging along the 57th parallel....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A few years ago I had the builders in putting in a base for my garage , my jeep was sitting under a tarp, one of them asked to see what was under the tarp ..." oh my god its a jeep he said ..I remember burying 3 of them in a big ditch in Korea when the North koreans where getting a bit to close .." he said this was common practice ...

 

So lets go digging along the 57th parallel....

Nice idea, but I expect progress would be hindered by all the old crated Spitfires that have been thrown in on top!

Edited by Nick Johns

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Watcha Nick ....we could always go digging in your garages for buried jeeps ....:wow:

Yes, have got a few buried, and they are real but deffo no Spitfires though! an MB Jeep I have nearly finished is about to emerge!! weather permitting, ..actually drove it the other day!! it'l be ready for the summer

Edited by Nick Johns

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was also told that pilots training there to this day are warned their compasses will play up when flying over the field containing these jeeps. Is it true who knows ?, but I would love to find out for sure.

I don't know whether there are Jeeps buried there or not but as large concentrations (hundreds or even thousands) of vehicles on the surface, such as at Bruntingthorpe or Upper Heyford, do not make aircraft compasses play up, then it is hard to see how a pile of buried Jeeps could have that effect. It isn't unusual where myths of buried treasure are concerned, to find a secondary myth that supposedly corroborates the first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats interesting as with all stories I suppose things get added but I do believe the chap who as a boy saw them buried as he is a retired school teacher who is extremely fond of Barkstons wartime history and not one to make up stuff. Isuppose we will never know as the land still belongs to the MOD and not available to dig. A lot of stuff was buried after the war as finds have proved but some will always stay buried.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...