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When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:24 pm 
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This thread may only appeal to two or three of you WIXers. I apologize for boring the rest of you with my blathering but here goes.

Ellen and I are at the early stages of restoring a WWII Saginaw M-5 bomb trailer that will eventually end up in the collection of the McCook Army Airbase Historical Society in southwestern Nebraska. McCook AAF was a Second and Third Phase Training Base in the Second Air Force and had both B-24 and B-29 Groups rotate through. The current plan is to put seats on the trailer and use it as our "tour bus" for guided tours at the Base.

Don Kerr, a Concordia, Kansas Marine Corps veteran (trained as a Pratt & Whitney mechanic but ended up as a ground soldier in the Pacific) generously donated the trailer to our group. The following photos were taken at the former Concordia POW Camp that housed German prisoners from mid '43 to after the end of hostilities. Mr. Kerr has owned Building T-9, the Quartermaster warehouse, for many years.

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Ellen and Don Kerr looking over the trailer during our first visit to the site. The tower in the background is the support for the 100,000 gallon redwood water tank that served the POW camp. The enlisted prisoner barracks were clustered around the tower area.

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Here is a shot of the data plate and equipment number. Taigh, we have determined that the equipment number is 0195321 and the serial number is 4817.

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After putting new deck lumber on our little car trailer we headed back up to Concordia to retrieve our project. After removing the metal that had been laid on top of the deck we found the original oak planks still in place. The trailer had been used as a hay wagon on a local farm for many years after being sold surplus at Fort Leavenworth, and I doubt it ever saw a shed, so we were surprised to see so much lumber still intact. Sadly the wood crumbled when you disturbed it, but Elly was able to measure the width of the planks before we removed them.

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Our plan was to expect the worst when it came to moving the trailer. I don't think Mr. Kerr had moved the thing for over ten years and we suspected that the tires wouldn't hold air. We were correct. What I didn't think about was the brakes. I still haven't got them unstuck. :roll: We used the cherry picker to lift the front of the trailer high enough to back under. This thing is heavier than it looks.

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The next step was to use these furniture skates under the nose wheels as a way to roll the beast forward on the other trailer. The castering feature of the front wheels is stuck at a 90 degree angle and made things a bit interesting.

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Now all we needed to do was lift the rear high enough to remove the wheels and clear the side frames of the other trailer. I'm sure glad I didn't throw away my bike stands when I retired from motocross racing.

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And there you have it--we just had to load our equipment and head back home. I'll post updates once we get started with the actual restoration in the next few weeks.

Scott


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:26 pm 
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I'll be looking forward to your updates!

Regards,

Andy

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:26 pm 
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Second Air Force wrote:
This thread may only appeal to two or three of you WIXers. I apologize for boring the rest of you with my blathering but here goes.

Hey, I'll be the fourth! Glad to see you making the effort.

Of course I'm disappointed you failed to conserve and re-use those planks. You can't have been trying properly! :lol:

Looking forward to the updates.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:59 pm 
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In the absence of any carburetors, make sure you note down the serial numbers of each of the planks used on the deck. Wouldn't want to be without that reference. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:19 pm 
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warbirdcrew wrote:
In the absence of any carburetors, make sure you note down the serial numbers of each of the planks used on the deck. Wouldn't want to be without that reference. :twisted:


Serial numbers can be switched, any more we demand a DNA trace back to the tree the planks were cut from........................

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:00 am 
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Looks like an excellent start Scott. Can't wait to see your further progress.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:21 am 
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Matt Gunsch wrote:
warbirdcrew wrote:
In the absence of any carburetors, make sure you note down the serial numbers of each of the planks used on the deck. Wouldn't want to be without that reference. :twisted:


Serial numbers can be switched, any more we demand a DNA trace back to the tree the planks were cut from........................


Shouldn't you try to do a ring count to see how old the trees were the planks were cut from? Might not even be the right era planks for this type trailer. These could easily be planks some other trailer, which could screw your identification system all up. And there could be a mix of planks from two or more trailers, indicating cannibalism among trailers. Are we even sure that this trailer is not a Navy Drunkard, P2B? There are a number of similarities but of course, you can always tell by looking at the wheel hubs. Wheel hubs with 7 lugbolts are Navy make, while trailers with 6 lug bolts are AAF. There was also a later version of this trailer which only the Coast Guard used, but that one had no wheels at all and was instead mounted on a sort of rowboat and used only in the European Theatre.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:35 am 
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See, I knew only Taigh and the guys over on G503 would give a crap.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:48 am 
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no way! It's neat as hell! You always see these guys in the corner of a picture or stuck under a bomb bay but it's the first time I've seen one in anything but a 60 year old shot.

We're just being silly because for once tehre is a pretty cut and dried subject. You know, going into shock because there isn't much to argue about :p

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:02 am 
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Second Air Force wrote:
See, I knew only Taigh and the guys over on G503 would give a crap.

No no, we love it.

We'll be sure to tell you where you go wrong.


We all love the show and tell photo threads. I guess some of us are also hoping for the 'And this picture shows me and Dan lying underneath the Scruggs SO-2 just after it fell off the jacks, trapped us, and our wives left for Reno.'

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:31 am 
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Well one thing that will be a subject of many messages, will be what paint scheme and markings for the proper squadron.

Do you use the real squadron, or the one for the operational unit you like. What was the proper color of paint and were the planks stained, painted or left natural? So many new questions to ask.

Love the project. At least it won't get away from you with the brakes stuck.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:40 am 
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BTW, I forgot to mention - I want to have the first ride. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:59 am 
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I think we have the same tail lights on our shop truck.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:21 am 
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Chad,

I need one--keep the truck locked up.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:43 am 
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Scott,
The Yankee Air Museum either just got done restoring an M5 or are in the process. They may be a good source for parts information or any other information you might need.
Regards,
Mark

P.S. Looks like a fun project. Good starting point!

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