My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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armyairforce
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

More coach bolts were used to fasten this piece to the bows, but rather than butterfly nuts which would sooner or later take a chunk out of my head, I fitted 'T' nuts, countersunk into the bottom of the bows. The coach bolts can be cut off flush. Eventually, I'll add some more strips of wood either side of this centre bar, to support the canvas and stop water pooling on the roof. After it was all fitting properly, the centre bar was removed and painted olive drab. The canvas cab rear curtain was also bolted back onto the front bow and rolled up out of the way.

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October 19th ( Late Evening ) - I persuaded Lynne to get her sewing machine out to make some canvas socks for the tailgate chains on the Dodge. The old ones had really suffered from age and UV light and had a number of holes with the fabric very brittle. I had the thin canvas off the old Norwegian doors which was cut, hemmed and sewed together into two new tubes. "Faith" the Dodge is very grateful for the protection it will give to her new paint job!

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

October 20th - More Finishing Touches & Markings Change

The door hinges were dry this morning, so they were bolted to the body and screen. There's a little play in the mounting holes which allows the door to be adjusted for a good fit against the cab bow. All three doors were fitted, then the driver's side top opening section of door was taken back off again for a trip to the workshop to remove a warp.

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With the doors on and the spare wheel dry, that was also fitted back onto its mount.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The cab canvas was rolled down to allow me to fasten pipe clips to the bow to hold the red flightline warning flag. On the front of the bow, a cup hook was refitted, which holds the canvas window open.

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I haven't decided where to mount the registration plate yet. It was cable-tied to the grille, but I wanted to be able to remove it or fold it out of the way. It may get mounted on the bottom of the bumper, but for now, it is just chained around the grille with some silicone tube over the chain to protect the paint. The chain just hooks onto itself, so it can be easily removed.
Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Across the day, I also repainted some markings. I posted some pictures on the 100th Bomb Goup website, where someone pointed out that the 1776th Ordnance Company were attached to the 100th, but not part of it. So the bumper markings shouldn't have had 100BG on it.

Much as I liked the idea of the Ordnance markings, it would have meant the Dodge no longer would have looked like it fitted in with both our Jeeps, which are in 100th markings. So rather than paint out the 100BG and replace it with 1776-0, I painted out the 1776-0 and replaced it with 351 for the 351st Bomb Squadron which matches our first Jeep.

The 351st was one of four squadrons in the 100th Bomb Group and was the squadron that B-17G "Hang The Expense" belonged to - the aircraft I modelled at 1/10 and 1/6 scales.

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I think that's about as far as I can go with the Dodge until my garage door is altered. Once that is sorted and the bows and canvas back can stay on the truck, I have an additional project to make for the cargo bed.
Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

October 23rd - What's Next?

Phase one of the Dodge rework is done now. There's still a couple of little odds and ends to sort, such as a snapped locker hinge that needs welding. However, I'm planning for phase two now, which can't start until the garage doors are altered, as I need the height of the new opening so the truck can be driven in and out without the need for taking the roof off.

When we stripped the old garage out, I removed the two steel 'I' beams that I'd fitted for my chain hoist and dolly to run on. My first thought on moving house was that I needed to refit them in the new garage. The Dodge rework opened up a new possibility for both a useful piece of equipment and a display item for the truck at shows.

I plan to use one of the steel sections to make a gantry crane in the back of the truck. The chain hoist and dolly can easily be removed from the beam and fitted to the other beam which will probably still be fitted in the garage. For those that know military stuff, it will be like a No.7 set crane seen in GMC's, but on a slightly smaller scale. The plan is for the crane and Lyta's seat to be welded onto a frame that sits in the bed of the Dodge, but that can be removed as a whole unit if needed.

It would allow me to do engine changes in the Jeeps, but also to easily move the engine elsewhere for work. I'm also planning on making a fibreglass B-17 propeller, unless the moulding costs outweigh the cost of a life expired real prop. I thought that having a prop hanging from the crane would make a really nice and different display at shows. So plenty of work still to do with the Dodge.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

October 24th - Indicators and Locker Hinge

On Saturday 23rd, the postman brought a new indicator unit which was fitted on the 24th. I switched to LED's some time ago and fitted resistors in the circuit to compensate for the loss of resistance. They were fine to start with, but have gradually turned to "Hyperflashing". A new LED compatible indicator unit was the best solution. It was a straight forwards fit, with just one earth wire and two spade fittings.

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The other fix for the day was a hinge on the rear left locker. It has been snapped since I bought the Dodge in 2010! No need to rush into these things. Part of the reason I didn't repair it earlier is that all the machine screws had rusted solid and I couldn't get the hinge parts off. The screwdriver slot didn't give me enough grip to resist the socket turning the nut. The bolt removal fix was to weld a piece of steel across the top of the screw heads to stop them turning. Two badly rusted bolts sheared, but the four other screws survived to be cleaned up on the grinder and their slots recut with a hacksaw fitted with two blades to give the required slot width.

Once out, the hinge parts were cleaned up, the jammed hinge parts freed and they were then screwed to a block of wood so they could be welded. Larger welds on the top and some little ones on the reverse side, which were then ground flat so the hinge would sit flat. Once I tried putting the locker lid back on, I worked out why the hinge snapped.

The locker lid wooden pieces had warped a little and someone in past years has tried to glue them back in place. The lid was glued in a slight parallelogram shape, rather than square. The red arrows point to where the lid was binding. The piece nearest the pivot was putting loads on the hinge which caused it to snap. I trimmed some wood off with the bandsaw and refitted it. The locker catch doesn't quite line up due to the parallelogram shape, but it still fastens and there's no load on the hinge now.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

November 9th - USB Power Supply

In both of my other vehicles, I have USB power supplies to charge phones, cameras and run a satnav. The M201 has a 24v to 12v converter fitted while the GPW is already 12 volts, so standard car accessories are fine. Until a few days ago, I struggled to find anything that would run on 6 volts that would be suitable for the Dodge.

Eventually I found a 3Ah, dual USB regulator with an input range from 6v to 40volts, ideal for the Dodge which is around 7.3volt while driving. It was a little over £3.00 and it arrived a couple of days ago. It was mounted in the locker immediately behind the driver today, so is easy to reach and cable runs for a camera or satnav don't need to be long. The cables can exit the finger hole for opening the locker lid.

It will have its first test run in a couple of days, as I'm taking the Dodge to the Rememberance Day service on the 11th and also on Remembrance Sunday. On Thursday, I also plan to try and call in on a number of other memorials in villages in the surrounding area. Some are surrounded by residential parking, so it depends if I can squeeze the Dodge into a parking spot as to whether I can stop.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

November 10th - Preparing for the Remembrance Service Trips

What the Americans call Veteran's Day, here in England is Remembrance Day. I'd been invited to take a vehicle to a Remembrance Service at a local memorial on Thursday 11th and Sunday 14th.

Preparations for the trip began the day before, with the very careful extraction of the Dodge out of the narrow garage opening. This time I taped some thin sheets of hard plastic along each side to protect the paintwork since the clearance is so close. Lynne helped to guide the Dodge out for the first time and only then realised just how tight the clearance is!

The roof bows were then assembled and I began to fit the canvas. At present, one of the buckles is missing from the rear canvas and I have no leather straps to hold the canvas rolled up for better visibility. I managed to roll the front corner up, which helps my view rearwards and tied the rope around the cab canvas strap.

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When I want the canvas down and the doors on, the front ropes interfere with the doors and can't be fastened to the hooks in the cab. On the right side, I cut a small piece of wood from the door jam which allowed that rope to squeeze between the bow and the door.

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On the left side, I fitted a eye-bolt to an existing hole in the step for the rope. The Dodge was filled with some fresh fuel, tyres checked and a few bits and pieces loaded up for the following day.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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I dropped the canvas down again for overnight, but as there was no rain forecast, I didn't bother to cover it up. I grabbed a few quick photos and headed indoors.

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As the sun started to set, I noticed a slight pink glow to the sky. There were lots of clouds around, but I wondered if I'd get a nice sun set.

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Steve Carr

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Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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As the sun set further, the colours became more intense. The backdrop wasn't the greatest, but there were still some nice colours in the sky.

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I went back out again after dark and shot a few more long exposure shots.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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November 11th - Remembrance Service and Memorial Tour

"At The Eleventh Hour, on the Eleventh Day, of the Eleventh Month - We Will Remember Them."

Yesterday morning, I took the Dodge to the Seaham memorial, setting off around 09:30hrs. I'd be meeting a few other military vehicles at the coast, then we would drive in convoy to the memorial for the Remembrance service. Being fairly new to the Durham area, I decided to see what other memorials I could visit on my trip and searched the web and Google Earth before hand to plan a route. Including Seaham, I found eight memorials in villages around the area that wouldn't be too far out of my way to visit.

The first two were visited on the way to Seaham. The first of these was Easington Lane. This was a combined memorial and clock tower and was the largest on the tour. While most of the memorials had nearby parking, there was a chance that residents would be parked there, so until I got there, I didn't know whether I'd be able to park.

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Next along the route was Murton. Another impressive memorial with an area to one side to commemorate William McNally VC ( Victoria Cross, the UK's highest military award ).

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He earned his VC during WW1, survived the war and became one of the honour guard for the unknown soldier at Westminster in 1920. He joined the LDV in WW2, returning to the mines after the war. He retired from work as a timber yard foreman in 1958 and passed away in 1976.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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From Murton, I carried on Eastwards, towards the coast, stopping at an industrial estate a couple of miles from the Seaham memorial. I waited there a few minutes for the Jeep convoy that was coming North from Teesside. I tagged onto the end of the convoy and we then drove the last couple of miles to the memorial on the sea front.

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There's two parts to this memorial. I was parked up next to a more recent addition, a sculpture of a WW1 "Tommy" soldier.

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The four Jeeps flanked the original stone cross memorial, with two either side.

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There was probably a couple of hundred people in attendance, but we were told to expect 1000+ on Sunday.
Steve Carr

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Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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After the service, the group split up, with the four Jeeps heading back the way we'd come. I set off in the other direction which was the most direct route to continue my tour. I passed back through Murton and Easington Lane before turning South to Haswell.

The Haswell memorial was in a church yard. From my Goggle Earth street view research, there was just empty grass next to the church, but when I got there, a new house was being built on that plot. The closest I could park was on the main road. There had been a service there as they were still packing up when I arrived.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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From Haswell, it was only a short drive to the well kept Ludworth memorial. There was a guy walking passed who saw me and the Dodge, stopped and chatted for some time.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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A little further on, through Shadforth, my next stop was Sherburn Hill. There had been a place to park right next to the memorial until someone put a fence there, so I had to park on waste land a little further up the hill.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035