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USAF vehicles?


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Hi Jack,


Yes and no,the Cletrac was USAAF specific as was the Chevrolet M6 bomb service truck.some CCKW tankers were designed for the AAF as well.Clark tugs were an adaptation of a pre war warehouse/aircraft tug.


Having said that the Eighth air force especally were masters at modifying vehicles to suit their needs so all sorts of things can be seen in WW2 photos.



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There were also the tricycle and four wheel bomb trailers. I'll have a look through my stuff and see what else I can come up with.




PS Re USAF - Up until 1947, the Air Force was part of the Army and was known as the US Army Air Force ( or US Army Air Corps ). They didn't become a separate force until after 1947, after which the red strip was added to the star and bar insignia on the planes.

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USAAF Vehicles


Tankers - 4000US Gallon Capacity, 6 x 7 1/2 ton F-1 Tractor Units built by Biederman, Federal and Reo.


Prior to US tankers, the USAAF used RAF bowsers.


Here's a Cletrac at Debach ( 493rd BG ). It is in need of a little work!


Some were modified with A Frame hoists on the front.


Another USAAF trailer was the Flying Control Trailer, usually fitted with a B-17 or B-26 nose glass on top as a viewing position. This one is also at Debach. Most were built on station and varied considerably.



The tricycle bomb trailer featured twin front wheels and could carry 3 tons. It's most frequent load was 4 x 1000 lbs HE.


Some fields had GMC CCKW 352 & 353's with air and water cooled .50's mounted for air defence. Some trucks, both Dodge and GMC had aircraft gun turrets mounted for practicing gunnery. While the vehicle drove around the base, gunners would practice their aim at overflying aircraft.


Some GMC's featured the front mounted A Frame crane and were used for aircraft maintenance.


Also for mobile maintenance was the 4-5 Ton 4x4 Autocar Model U714T Tractor with a 10 Ton Fruehauf semitrailer. The tractor had a 112bhp Hercules engine. The trailer was fitted out with a 110 volt generator for power tools, storage bins, plus heating and ventilation.


Jeeps, Command Cars and Dodge Ambulances were also seen. Jeeps, GMC's & Dodge WC's were often used to carry pilots and aircrew to the planes. Some jeeps were painted black & white checkers as "Follow Me" vehicles for aircraft marshalling.



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Hi Jack

Try to get a copy of Bart Vanderveen's book The Observers Fighting Vehicles Directory WW11 ISBN 0 7232 1469 7 published by Frederick Warne. It is now out of print and copies have sold on ebay for up to £80

but you can pick one up sometimes at shows for much less or try a search on Google. It is a mine of information and would be a great help to you.





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  • 2 months later...

my 43 CCKW353 cargo truck was an Army Air Force truck and then Air Force truck. She was still painted flight line yellow with black hood markings when I fuond her. At the advanced pilots training fields at Kelly and Brooks Fields in San Antonio, Texas during World War II hundreds of T-6 trainers were flown each day. A cargo truck loaded with pilots would drive slowly between the lines of aircraft lined up faceing each other and each pilot would disembark at his aricraft. After landing ,the same truck would slowly make it's way down the long line of Texans and pick up the pilots and return them to the debriefing area for additional instruction and reports. They also had CCKW dump trucks for airfield maintance as these training fields were grass fields during the war. later they would become hard stand with runways.

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  • 1 month later...

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