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AD Chevy Trucks

Chevy trucks

Over 6,000 pictures
Brad Allen has an awesome collection of Chevrolet factory pictures that he has set up from film strips.

This one is on AD Chevy trucks (1947-1955).

Lots of work on Brad's part ... pure enjoyment for you.


 

Denis Samin, among other things, is a military historian and writes a good bit on WWII in the Pacific. He has done research and visited battle sites in the near Pacific Islands and WWII US Air Force bases in Queensland.

Denis has a good relationship with 90th Bomb Group who were stationed in northern Australia before moving north to New Guinea and from there, to Luzon in the Philippines as the Japanese were pushed back.

The 9th Bomber Group has its own website in the US and Denis is one of the contributing writers.

Denis is a great and funny writer ("Bolt Down the Hatches, Mate") in our Feature Stories section is a great example).

And he he has a great old Stovebolt -- with another funny story!


 

Some more old truck history from the Tech Tip page:

  • Stovebolts in World War II -- Bill Slone's Dad worked in Costa Rica during WWII, constructing the Pan American Highway. Some neat Stovebolt family photos!

 

Hungry for more ...

Some Military Truck links from the Lots O' Links page

 

 

 

 

 
01 September 2012
# 2963

 

Owned by Justin Boulton
"Aus42blackout"
Bolter # 23435
Rockhampton, Queensland
Australia

 


 

1942 Chev 1 1/2-Ton

 

More pictures of my old truck

Join the discussion about this truck

 

This Gallery story actually started back in January 2010! Justin sent in some information about this old truck he came to posses. He posted several tiimes in the forums and was mostly looking to get a good identification of the truck before he started the restoration. Several ideas floated around - what actually was the size, was it a Maple Leaf truck, a Holden body, etc.

All I knew was that it was a neat truck residing in Australia. We started fishing for more information. So was everyone else. Time passed, and we got another email with a reference to Denis "Zacca" Samin (long time Bolter and great story-teller), who also lives in Australia and has a 1942 Chevy Ute. Denis has a son and I thought maybe this was the son's truck. The editor was just a wee bit wigged out. And we were needing pictures!

Turns out Denis had a lot of good information about the history of these trucks (below) and HIS son is Joshua not Justin (close but no cigar). So, after all this time in the to-do pile, this story can finally be told! Justin's email address was still good so we were able to get back onto this story!

Those of you who know, a good story is worth sniffing out. This one does take the prize in the longest "in progress."

With that little intro, I sugget you read on. ~ Editor


From Justin :

I still have the old Chev truck which is sitting quietly under my house. The truck is a 1942 Chevy 1.5-ton with full stake sides. It is complete and still runs like clock work. It has no rust to speak of. This classic truck has all the black out lights up front and the GI light switch in the cab. Someone has replaced the tail lights so I don't know what they look (so any pics of them would be appreciated).

I have not commenced work as yet because of very limited space and another new toy bought in 2011 -- a 1966 Ford Mustang. Here is a picture of the car still with left-hand drive. It has a 289 v8 auto. I have fitted wheels after I brought it and take it out for run every couple of weeks.

I work away from home in the Coal Mining Industry driving CAT rear dump trucks. I will be home soon and can give you more details on the 1942 Chev.

Denis has given a good history below of how this old truck got to Australia. When the war was over, apparently a lot of machines and equipment were sold off, some returning to the USA. This truck was sold by the Army to a farmer. Sometime in the mid-1980's, my friend bought the truck with the idea of restoring it. He had it for almost 25 years until he admitted he neither had the time to restore it nor the space to keep it. I got it about three years ago and am the third owner since it became "civilized."

I want to do a full restoration on it and hope to start that next year. I am building a new house and work shop which needs to get done first. I wanted to get a positive ID on the series, when and where it was built, and how it got into Australia before I started.

In January 2010, this was what I knew about the "Black Out Truck"

  • 1942 Chev 1/2 ton stake side model #4409
  • Right hand drive
  • 160" wheelbase
  • 216 Engine / # BFR496988, 4 speed & s/speed differential
  • Leather gas tank grommet
  • Door lock under handle R/H
  • One piece hood liner
  • Rubber around rear window
  • 10 planks on bed
  • Wind out front window (trucks made in Australia had fixed window)
  • 10 stud wheel pattern
  • All chrome is painted
  • 1st ID plate: 1338&1339 parts & service
  • 2nd ID plate: Holden B736 Body # (this was put on after arriving here?)

The parts manual is issued 15 July 1942 and has "Built for UNITED STATES ARMY" printed on the front cover. The service manual is dated 1 August 1942 and says,

General Motors Overseas Operation
Division of GM Corporation
Detroit, Michigan.
Contract #W-398-QM-12981 and W-398-QM-13006.

The truck was made right-hand drive by Chevy before it came to Australia.

Later in 2010, Justin wrote to Denis from Sydney asking for any information he might have on this old military truck. One of Denis' many passions, he had plenty to share about the history of these old military trucks and how his particular truck may have come to Australia.

This is a straight-out US Army truck. So let's get rid of the ID problem and get an of idea how it got to Australia.

The cab, wind-out windscreen, inside cab and door trim, and the window winding handle all scream "Made in the USA" to me.

Before the US got involved in WW2, that is, prior to Pearl Harbor, under-the-table help with material had to come through Canada because of the US policy of "not getting involved." Your truck is a straight-out khaki, US-built 1941 Chevy military truck. Some guys will describe it as a "Maple Leaf" but this is wrong. Maple Leaf is again a Canadian Chevrolet truck built under GM licence.

Australia was at war with axis forces in the Middle East desert from 1940 onwards. The Australian and British armies were equipped with 1940-41 model Chev trucks, sourced from Canada. Soldiers of the Australian and Kiwi Long Range Desert Troop -- the forerunner of the SAS -- used Canadian-built Chevrolet 3-ton trucks, modified for desert warfare.

The cabs and panels generally were sent out from Canada as right-hand drive vehicles and assembled in Australia by Holden in Melbourne. How would a 1941 fully-US production built left-hand drive 2.5-ton truck get into Australia?

The Philippines had for many years been under the protection of the US, ever since the American-Spanish Civil War. It was in effect a US enclave on the edge of Asia and the Pacific. There were also US military bases there, comprising miles of deep underground tunnel defences at Bataan and Corregidor, airfields and torpedo boat bases.

The Japanese destroyed the entire US bomber fleet in the Philippines with a single air raid, destroying 30 B17 bombers parked wing tip to wing tip on the airfield. I think it was Clarke Field.

Same thing happened in Port Moreby, 25 DC3 transports were destroyed in a Japanese air raid. The aircraft, again, parked wing tip to wing tip. The whole lot were taken out by two bombs. That's why the Aussies had to walk the Kokoda Trail instead of flying into the Kokoda 'drome. As it was, they were totally exhausted from the march along the track well before they even made contact with the Japanese South Seas Force.

The US Government's last consignment of men, materiel and equipment was despatched to General MacArthur in a convoy and included munitions and US fighter aircraft to counter the gathering Japanese threat raging in South East Asia and the Pacific. Corregidor and Bataan were attacked and captured by the Japanese and so, the convoy from the US was diverted to Sydney. This included trucks, jeeps, cars, aircraft, bombs and ammunition,.and arms.

General MacArthur evacuated himself and his close staff to Darwin by B17 bomber. He then took took a train to Melbourne, far enough south to set up his headquarters. He had no troops until the US Army Air Corps and the 32nd National Guard Division of the US Army arrived.

That truck could have been intended for Corregidor or Bataan but the convoy, with some troops and aircraft in boxes, were landed in Sydney and Townsville in early 1942. At the same time, the Japs were sniffing around New Guinea and Milne Bay in Papua. The aircraft on the convoy were US A20 and Kittyhawk fighters, plus a handful of P38 twin-fuselage fighter bombers. These went immediately to the RAAF and were used to equip 75 and 76 Squadron in its defence of Port Moreby Airfield and the Battle of Milne Bay. Thank God for that.

Your truck was probably pressed into service in Australia in 1942 as well. It was converted to right hand drive probably in Melbourne and the plate on the firewall would be evidence of that fact.

My truck has two Holden ID plates. One starts with an "E" which means it was built in May. The next numbers indicate the colour, and size and build number. The square plate on the firewall is a standard plain, old GM Warranty warning to operators. I have to read up again on these details.

Your front mud guards are cut away in front so in boggy conditions they will shed mud and clay back onto the road, instead of jamming up behind the front part of the mudguard and chassis.

This is only my idea of reading your truck and placing into the historic events of that time, in 1942. The Casablanca conference which featured President Roosevelt (USA), Winston Churchill (Great Britain), Joseph Stalin (Soviet Union), had resolved to beat Germany first and hold on in the Pacific Theatre. This meant that all US resources and war materiel, were dedicated in the first instance to Europe. US resources didn't really begin arriving in Australia until 1943-1944.

The only other explanation is that was a truck used in support of the US Army 5th Air Force which was flying B17 and B24 bombers out of Charters Towers, Townsville and Port Moresby to plaster Japanese-held islands to Australia's North.

Fascinating stuff isn't it?

Denis "Zacca" Samin

 

 

 

 

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