My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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armyairforce
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

As previously mentioned, the Battery gun emplacements now have replica Mk VII, 6 inch naval guns installed and look much better for being occupied! Both emplacements had re-enactor displays, but in one, a gun crew ran simulated ranging, loading and firing displays. The port of Blyth can be seen in the background of the last gun image. At the end of the car park, looking in this direction, there is also a search light building.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

There were a number of dioramas around the site. One item which put a smile on my face was amongst the Royal Navy Beach Assault diorama. There were several sticks of explosive and in the end was a slow burning fuse - which was smouldering! As usual, the Allied displays were to the left of the battery while the Germans were to the right.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The following pictures are of the battery buildings. The grey tower is the World War One Ranging Tower, while the square tower was the World War Two replacement.

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The next picture is from the WW2 ranging tower, looking to the South East while the last building is a surviving defensive block house. The gun slits have long since been filled but their rectangular outlines can still be seen in the outside walls.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Blyth Battery was just one piece of the coastal defences around the port which can be seen in the following picture.

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The journey home in the Dodge was uneventful and we went straight back to the storage yard. The Dodge was then packed away in the container and we made the last three miles back home in the car left there when I collected the Dodge the night before.
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Barnard Castle 1940's Weekend - June 22/23rd

Barnard Castle is only about 40 miles away from home, but with the route almost all two lane 'A' roads and up and down hills, it's not a quick trip when driving in the Dodge, out for its third event this year.

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We set off soon after my daughter got out of school on Friday, but were held up a couple of times by Friday afternoon traffic and road works. In the end, the journey to the camp site just over the river from the town took around 90 minutes. It was a hard drive, but we got the tent up fairly quickly and settled down to relax for the evening. Since we were camping off site from the display area, we just used the modern plastic tent.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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After breakfast on Saturday, it was a three mile drive back into town to the display area, located on the green next to the castle.

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There were not as many vehicles and dioramas as last year, some due to illness and unavailability, but I suspect a number of people had spent up their fuel allowance on a trip to Normandy earlier in the month. There was still plenty to see and the good weather brought lots of public around both days. Lots of interest in the Dodge.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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In addition to the military vehicles, there were a number of vintage cars on display on Saturday, most of which were parked on the road beside the church, close to the military displays.

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There were several dioramas and displays close by on the grass next to the visitor's centre, ranging from home front to front line.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

There were plenty of re-enactors around all weekend and a number of the town's people had also dressed suitably for the occasion.

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The military content was down again on Sunday, with three of the Jeeps from Saturday, only attending for day one. Even so, the public seemed to all be enjoying the weekend and I have no doubt the event will be repeated again next year. There were a number of more modern vintage cars on display in the show field, bringing a bit of colour to the khaki and olive drab.

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Further photos can be found here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2019/barnard.htm
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

June 24th - Signal Lamp Fitting

The signal lamp socket that was made in early May was fitted into the Dodge today. The front left locker contains the 12 volt battery and amplifier for the radio chatter, so the socket was mounted on the bench seat back rest close by. This position is also just under the dome on the roof, so the signal lamp cable doesn't have to trail far.

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The cable was routed down behind the back rest and into the locker where the other wiring goes and there's enough of a gap between the bench and locker lid that I didn't have to carve any wood away for clearance. There's also enough space in that locker to keep the lamp when not in use.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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June 26th - Wiper Blade Replacement

I noticed the Dodge wiper blade rubbers were looking quite perished while out at the weekend. Driving home, I had a brainwave for a repair idea. I had a roll of neoprene rubber strip left over from my observatory build a few years ago. I guessed it was about the right size to replace the Dodge wipers, if I could get the old rubbers out. After a closer look, I realised that each wiper was a different design.

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One wiper was a plain 'U' channel while the other had a pinched in design near the blade. The rubber came out of that wiper fairly easily, but the 'U' channel type was firmly glued in. I ended up using a diamond rotary cutter to carve out the old blade from the holder.

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Here's the roll of neoprene rubber.....
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.....and the new blade in the pinched metal holder.
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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - '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 'U' channel holder had a number of rust spots along its length, so the whole thing was stripped with a wire brush back to bare metal. The end of the wiper arm also had some rust spots, so both the left and right arm ends were stripped to metal too.

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Once cleaned up, the parts were all painted and left to dry in my curing cabinet.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by Vista52 »

Steve...I really enjoy your summer posts. My Father was from Sunderland, so they show me a bit of the country around there. Your last posts from Barnard Castle are very interesting to me. A few years ago I noticed a post on a forum asking for any info on this photo.

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The eventual clue was the Raby Hotel, Barnard Castle on the right of the photo. The photo shows 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry marching through Barnard Castle 1915. Someone was even able to identify the Officer at the front. Thanks again.
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Thanks, I'm pleased at least a few people read my ramblings!! I was born in South Shields, but grew up in Sunderland until moving to Washington in 1999.

That's a great shot! A few years ago at the Barnard Castle event, one of the churches had a display of vintage photos from the town, but I don't recall any from World War 1.

I'm back out with the Dodge tomorrow, for the first of three days at the Bowes Railway/Springwell Village 1940's weekend. Last year I had everything in RAF markings. This time it will all be USAAF. I'll be taking the truck the short drive in the morning to begin setting up my display and marking out a space for the rest of the display. The two Jeeps will follow on Saturday morning. There's also meant to be some school visits tomorrow, so it looks like I'll be having a busy day.
Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by Vista52 »

armyairforce wrote: Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:34 pm Thanks, I'm pleased at least a few people read my ramblings!! I was born in South Shields, but grew up in Sunderland until moving to Washington in 1999.
My Father was from Simpson St in an area I think was called Deptford. I think it's all been redeveloped now. His Father was a shipwright in the shipyards on the Wear. He died in an accident in the shipyard in 1928 and is buried in Tyne & Wear.
Coming together is a Beginning...Keeping together is Progress...Working together is Success.
Be Yourself, Everyone else is Taken...Oscar Wilde
A POW is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him...WSC
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Bowes Railway/Springwell Village 1940's Weekend - June 28~30th

Friday the 28th was the start of a busy weekend. With the event only 2.4 miles from my house, I planned on taking all three vehicles to the show. Three vehicles and two drivers is especially difficult when my wife wasn't available to stay on Saturday due to my daughter's dancing rehearsal for a performance that evening. More about getting there later.

Today, I took the Dodge over for about 9:45am and began to set up the display. Around sixty school children were due to visit, so I began with unloading the Dodge and setting up all the aerials, windsock etc., so there would be something to see when the came around. With that done, I began to rope off an area for a display table, the signal square, the two Jeeps and the trailer.

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For the rest of the day, small groups of children and their handlers, came to look at and chat about the various displays which had been set up for their visit. It was good weather and surprisingly tiring, just sitting talking!

After my daughter finished school for the day, my wife collected her before making her way over to the railway to pick me up and bring me home.

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Tomorrow, I'll have to take one Jeep over, with my wife following in the normal car. She'll then have to drive me home so I can get the second Jeep. She will then be free to go to the dance rehearsal, before reversing the shuttling at the end of the day.
Steve Carr

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