Australian Airborne CCKW

Robbo
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Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by Robbo »

Things are a bit slow on the CCKW scene so I thought I would post about a very rare truck - the Australian Airborne version of the CCKW 352. From what I understand, the concept was developed by 2 American Ordnance officers in New Guinea and the production was carried out by the GM Holden assembly plant at Pagewood in Sydney. I believe there were both cargo and dump truck versions made. The concept was further refined in the US and a US conversion kit was developed and I believe many trucks were so converted by the Ford Motor Co. Not sure if any rolled off the GM lines as Air portable units.

There was some discussion of these rare Pacific theatre trucks in one of Bart Vanderveen's Wheels and Tracks magazine and there are a few photographs In the Australian War Memorial collection. The Australian versions were all disposed of at one surplus sale in 1955 and then put to typically heavy use by civilian operators. I know of only one reasonably intact specimen and a few wrecks. The one in this story ended up as the garbage truck at Tangalooma Island resort. When the owners decided it was no longer of any use to them, it was sold to a junk yard where I first saw it. As is usually the case, the yard owner wanted a small fortune for it, so I passed. When I revisited some time later, some yob had torch cut the engine and gearbox out and the wreck was about to be crushed so I bought it to save it from destruction. Time passed and I sold it to a fellow who was going to restore it but that never quite eventuated so I bought it back (for more than I sold it to him for!!) As I was never going to be able to get around to it, I was happy to trade it to one of my friends for a NOS GMC grill. I knew if anyone was going to save it, it would be him. I am pleased to report it is well on its way to resurrection. I visited the old girl today and some photographs follow - the major hiccups at the moment are the early power-pedal brake system and spare wheel clamps. If anyone can help with these parts let me know.

Chassis number is in the 28,xxx range. Stay tuned - before and after photographs to follow soon.
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GTBGUY
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by GTBGUY »

My son has a couple of the early style vacuum brake units NOS. I do not know how much he wants for them. They are heavy and shipping to Australia will be costly.
Robbo
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by Robbo »

Thanks for the offer of brake parts - I'll advise the owner - I have dealt with Kenet in the past - he has good stuff.

Sorry I haven't posted the pictures yet - haven't been able to locate the "before" pictures just yet but here's something to go on with - what do you notice about this picture:

Image
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GTBGUY
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by GTBGUY »

The missing rivet?
abn deuce
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by abn deuce »

And or the missing brake line support springs , the welded bracket and that the rear body is missing ?
1945 GMC CCKW353h-1 488*** Air portable with winch and dump body
19** wooden Ben Hur (rebuilt) 2-15-1958
Robbo
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by Robbo »

Welded bracket is the guide for the dump body, the missing rivet was removed to add a bolt on bracket of some sort in the conversion I think. Chassis sandblasted and all springs are NOS as are the torque rods, the rear U Bolts are NOS Studebaker as GMC not available. A near perfect split rear body was located and retrieved - only a 2000 mile round trip. They come apart at the middle into two pieces.

Notice the shape of the rear chassis reinforcement compared to later models. Note also the location of the battery box in the step on the factory picture.

More photos definitely coming soon.
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RANGER
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by RANGER »

To give the CCKW pundits more trivia to distract them from being real experts I have it from a good source that few hundred thou other CCKWs lack that rivet also. Think of the money they saved. Maybe some GM worker was taking a few home in order to build his own CCKW.
US ARMY HONOR GRADUATE MECHANIC, Restorer of fine Jeeps, MV's, MVPA 40+yrs, DAV, Army Aircrew member, Donor to Military Museums & CAF, MV Hobby since 1945
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Robbo
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by Robbo »

Here's another teaser:

Image

Nice shot of the curvy-spoked wheels typically seen on early trucks - colour is better than that - just my poor camera. Nice new NDT's but I don't care much for the name - Firestones for me.

You can see this is a "ground up" restoration as there is the ground in that picture :) - all sheds and workshops full to the rafters with WW2 material.
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RANGER
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by RANGER »

The present Firestone NDTs are just a name on the sidewall and not a facimile of the prototypes. Besides that you cannot read the name once the wheels are in motion. Save your money.
US ARMY HONOR GRADUATE MECHANIC, Restorer of fine Jeeps, MV's, MVPA 40+yrs, DAV, Army Aircrew member, Donor to Military Museums & CAF, MV Hobby since 1945
Other Hobby- Army Air Force & Busting Big Ass Military Imposters-Good at it
Robbo
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by Robbo »

Haven't forgotten this thread just been too busy - all those supermodels and bodacious Hollywood actresses won't leave me alone. :)

Have ordered a copy of the relevant file from Archives - may have more history - hoping it comes before Xmas.
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MrRoo
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by MrRoo »

I have had an interest in the Australian Army Airbourne GMC's for a while and collected information to make a 1/35 scale model.

Among the information sent to me was a digital copies of the following manual. I am not sure if it is complete but I have about a dozen pages from it in digital format.

Image

Image

I am after detailed photos showing the Chassis joint where the truck splits in two and the small wheel which was added to the rear of the cab when the truck was split. Can anyone help?

Some of these Australian GMC's were written off in Borneo at the end of the war so they did see some service in the Pacific. Some AWM photos show the vehicles sitting in a vehicle park in Morotai, Borneo in 1946. & Balikpapan, Borneo in Aug 1945. I will post these photos if someone wants me to.

Here is the 1/35 scale model I made a few years ago

Image

Cheers
Cliff
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abn deuce
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by abn deuce »

Yes please post the photo's , always interested in CCKW's an Airborne CCKW's even more !!
1945 GMC CCKW353h-1 488*** Air portable with winch and dump body
19** wooden Ben Hur (rebuilt) 2-15-1958
MrRoo
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by MrRoo »

abn deuce wrote:Yes please post the photo's , always interested in CCKW's an Airborne CCKW's even more !!
OK here are the three I have. All photos are from the AWM and negative numbers are on the photos. These were found in the AWM data base by searching for images of "Vehicle Parks", "WW2". :)

Cheers
Cliff
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abn deuce
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by abn deuce »

Wow thanks for posting them , all new to me !
1945 GMC CCKW353h-1 488*** Air portable with winch and dump body
19** wooden Ben Hur (rebuilt) 2-15-1958
MrRoo
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Re: Australian Airborne CCKW

Post by MrRoo »

I am still after detailed photos showing the full Chassis joint and fish plate where the truck splits in two and the small jocky wheel which was added to the rear of the cab when the truck was split on the Australian made Airborne GMC.

Can anyone help complete my knowledge please? :thumbup:

Cheers
Cliff