A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:48 am

We stopped on the foot bridge over the tracks for some pictures and then moved on to the platform. With them both in their 1940's dresses, luggage and gas mask boxes, I wanted some evacuee pictures of them waiting for a train. Due to covid, there were no passenger trains running this year, so we made do with just the platform and tracks as a backdrop. After the pictures, Lynne took us on a drive and we dropped the girls off in town, catching a few other vehicles passing while there.

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:54 am

Another of the convoys around the site. We certainly all clocked up many circuits. I worked out one of my Jeeps had done 55 miles around the site road. If you include the drive down to the pit village and colliery, it was a 2 mile circuit, otherwise about 1.75 miles for just a trip around.

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During the weekend, the girls has been eyeing up the US halftrack. They happened to meet the crew in the bakery while in town and were offered a ride. This happened early afternoon and they got several trips around the site sitting up in the gun ring, holding on to the Browning .50 cal. It really made their weekend complete.

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:58 am

They were still on the halftrack when the second big convoy of the day set off at 13:00 hours, tagging on to the back for another circuit.

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The colliery yard got quite full when the full convoy dropped in to turn around, with vehicles forming around three rows before the lead vehicle set off through the colliery gates and back through the village, past the Methodist church and school.

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:13 am

I got my own chance of a ride later in the afternoon. It was quite an experience with the noise level rising dramatically over the cobbled street compared to the tarmac or dirt roads. I could imagine a load of troops in the back, heading to the front lines, with perhaps a false sense of protection provided by the thin armour; but the realisation of how difficult it would be to escape quickly if attacked.

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All too soon, it was heading towards the end of the day and the job of dismantling the camp began. We got home in daylight, but were still putting the last things away in the dark. It had been great to be back at Beamish, but the four days was over all too soon.

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Additional Day 4 pictures can be found here....

https://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2 ... mish_4.htm


At present, there are no more events in my diary for 2021. Some of the usuals at this time of the year, haven't returned having had the previous year cancelled due to covid. I'm hoping they aren't gone for good.
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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:45 am

The winds of change may be blowing at the Century Bombers HQ :wink:
Nothing is happening yet, as there's still lots of stuff to sort in the new house, but......I'm pondering.....

https://youtu.be/v5FDvabj_eE
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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:52 pm

End of an Era!

September 16th - Dodge Body Tear Down


It's funny how plans can rapidly change. We've still no word on when our builders will show up to modify the garage door openings. With Autumn and Winter just around the corner, I wanted the Dodge indoors sooner rather than later. Of course, as it stood, it wouldn't fit - the doors are too low.

After Beamish, I'd decided that after 13 years of being a Flying Control vehicle, it was time for a change. If I lived in 8th Air Force country, there would be plenty of airfield events to attend, so I'd be unlikely to make a change. However, when I got the Dodge, I was a solo act, so having two odd vehicles on my own wasn't a problem. Now I often attend events with a group of friends ( such as the Beamish show ) and checkered Flying Control vehicles don't fit in. The Jeep is an easy swap from one scheme to another, but the Dodge isn't. I also got fed up of ignorant parents telling their kids, "Oh look, that one's an ambulance". Quite why "an ambulance" would need a windsock, meteorological instruments, a flare pistol and aircraft radios escapes me!

This change opened up a possibility. If the Dodge was no longer going to be a Flying Control truck, it no longer needed the wooden body on the back. If that was the case, with the canvas roof bows removed, the Dodge should fit in the garage without modifying the doors; at least for now. The first job was to move the B-17 model from the middle of the garage into the trailer, now that we've finished using the trailer for moving from the old house.

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This left a space in the middle of the garage floor for the Ford GPW. It was a tight squeeze jiggling it into the centre, but that shouldn't be a problem once the doors are enlarged.

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:59 pm

The garage doors do still need altering, but if the Dodge was altered to fit the garage ( rather than the other way around ), there was no longer the pressure of when the builders will turn up. All three vehicles will have to live outside briefly when the work does start.

So with the Dodge's future looking more like a standard cargo truck ( but not completely normal, this is me after all ), I set to work taking the first steps towards the conversion and getting it indoors. The Dodge radios and internal equipment were stripped out as the first step.

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The doors, dome and canvas cab roof were removed and then I started removing the wooden panels. Some of the internal wiring and shelving needed to come out before the side panels as there were lots of items connected together. Here's a few stills from a time lapse video of the teardown. There was some light gluing of panels onto the bows, but most fixings were coachbolts.

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:02 pm

It took most of the day to pack the B-17, move the Jeeps and strip the body down. It was strange to see the Dodge as a pickup truck after so long with the Flying Control body fitted.

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:03 pm

The section of bodywork attached to the front bow would be kept and reused. This would also allow the doors to still be fitted and have something to latch on when closed. It will also help to keep the wind out of the back.

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Now with the existing garage doors, it is a tight fit and I REALLY mean TIGHT! Allowing for odd fittings on the body, Dodge is a tiny fraction under 84 inches wide. The opening between the garage door mechanism is 85 inches!!! It took a while to turn the Dodge around and get it lined up with the entrance for a last visual check.

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:05 pm

With my daughter's help in the back of the truck guiding me, I carefully lined lined up on the opening, though it took several attempts.

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So six months after arriving at the new house, the Dodge finally joined the two Jeeps indoors in the garage. It's cozy in there, but there's room to get between all the vehicles. There'll be a little more space between them once the door openings are wider and the vehicles can be angled better. For now, I'm just happy that they are all under cover.

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:08 pm

Since the Dodge is now out of the weather, over the Winter, the transformation to its new form can begin. Here's most of the body ready to be recycled. Just the dome and rear doors are missing from this shot.

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To finish, here's the day's work, a timelapse video compressed into 6 minutes. Actually, the stripdown only lasts 1 minute - the other 6 minutes are turning around the trying to fit through the door!!!

https://youtu.be/O0tT4X-4coI
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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:01 am

September 17th - Paint Stripping Begins

On the 17th, I began stripping the checkered paint from the Dodge. A few days ago, I did a test with a chisel, chipping away at the paint and lifting it in flakes. This would be quicker than trying to sand through the black and white layers. The green below could then be lightly sanded to key the surface for a new olive drab paint layer.

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While scraping near the radiator cap, I found the blue circular marking seen below. I suspect this may have been something from Norwegian army service, but can't be sure.

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Re: A B-17 Fortress, Two Jeeps and a Dodge - My Ongoing MV Journey

Post by armyairforce » Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:08 am

After school, little legs came out to help and surprised me by managing around 3 hours of scraping. I underestimated her staying power! By the end of the day, one fender, the section over the radiator, most of the radiator grille and part of the rear body were stripped of their paint.

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The light protectors were removed both to aid stripping the paint from them, but also to better access the paint on the fender and lights. Once I'm down to green all over, I'll probably go for a drive and get some photos; then it will be back in the garage for the sand and painting stage. Of course, olive drab and canvas is just step one in my master plan!!

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