1942 Chevrolet 1.5-Ton Military Firetruck
From Bill :
In writing to Bill for a picture for the 2009 FireBolt calendar, we got this neat update and story:
A quick story for you: The War Department did not expect the breakout success that Allied Armies would have in the ETO in the fall of 1944. They captured huge amounts of ground without destroying cities from bombing and artillery and thus not destroying the existing Fire Departments and their equipment.
While thousands of fire trucks were built to cover these cities, in reality, they were not needed as the local fire brigade still was in place.
Many of the fire trucks were never sent to Europe and sat in New Jersey at the overseas depot.
When the War in Europe ended, there were stockpiles of them. They were given to many fire departments for $1 to use as a front line piece. Mine initially went to a fire department on Long Island as its primary apparatus.
My how things have changed! It's inside storage is why it is in such good shape and why Darley and Marsh pump were saddled with so many "leftovers."
I stumbled across a mid 1950's ad on eBay sometime back advertising the 500 gpm pump as a re-fit. Now I know why.
About two years ago I had the opportunity to buy two COE 1941 Navy Fire Trucks. They were owned by a person who was under zoning pressure to clean out his yard. They had been surplussed as fire trucks and then turned into flat beds.
I viewed them and took pictures. By the time I got my end together (prepared the wife for two more junkers coming to the house), they had gone to the scrapper. Here is a picture of one.
06 December 2007
From Bill :
Greetings! A four year restoration has brought this 1942 Chevrolet 1.5 ton Military Fire Truck back to its original configuration. This truck has a chassis by Chevrolet, body by Oren Fire apparatus, and a pump by Darley Fire Pump.
In WWII War Department terms, this truck was referred to as a Model 325 truck. I have restored it to its Army Air Corps Crash truck configuration. A large portion of my restored WWII military vehicles are modeled after the identical vehicles that would have been used by my Father's Air Corps unit as a tribute to him. Dad was a 50 mission B-17 pilot flying with the 15th Air Force, 97th Bomb Group, 342 Bomb Squadron out of Amendola (Foggia) Italy during the middle of 1944.
This particular truck was never shipped overseas but was given by the War Department to a Long Island New York Fire Department as their first run apparatus. It made the rounds through other Long Island Departments before heading to upstate New York, where it was finally purchased by me.
The truck is fully operational with its 300 gpm pump and carries 300 gallons of water.