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Pa's 42WLA Build

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Pa

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Post Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:32 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

The following excerpt of Section 10 is taken from the August 1942 version of AR 850-5.

Since we had discussed markings and or no markings, I thought this paragraph I highlighted in blue, was very appropriate as to friendly fire issues.

10. Unit markings.—Gasoline solvent paint or paint as prescribed by the War Department will be used.

a. Unit markings.—National symbol.

(1) A white five-pointed star will be the national symbol of all motor vehicles assigned to tactical units. Administrative motor vehicles operating in an active theater of operations will be similarly marked when directed by the theater commander.

(2) The size of the national symbol will be determined for each type of motor vehicle and will be large enough to take advantage of the surface upon which to be painted. See figures 1 to 34.

(3) Whenever requirements for camouflage and concealment outweigh the requirements for recognition, the national symbol may be covered by lusterless olive-drab gasoline solvent paint, camouflage nets, oil and dirt, etc., or will be removed.
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45Brit

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Post Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:00 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Pa wrote:As for WLA duties and what not. This WLA rider had an exciting day. Compliments of my dear friend Johan from http://www.theliberator.be/indexmenu.html

Image


That picture asks a LOT of questions! Given the near-impossibility of actually photographing an oncoming aircraft, the extremely low altitude and the apparently unconcerned driver in the truck, I'd say that was a posed picture. The rider has had time to stop, retrieve his carbine and take position... there is no way that's anything but posed. Radial engined aircraft could be American or Japanese.

Vegetation looks like Pacific theatre. Bike seems to have a buddy seat, rider has a Kelly or Brodie type helmet - I'd say this was a posed picture dating from the beginning of 1942?
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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Pa

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Post Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:02 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Looks authentic to me. A convoy out in the open is scraped by a Zero who was on a recon mission. Scraping is done at tree top levels in order to avoid anti aircraft fire. Those men probably were first alerted to the Zero by its engine noise. They would not have seen the Zero until it was just about on top of them. Most likely the convoy was part of a Navy Seabee operation. The Seabee's created landing fields for aircraft. That particular terrain looks like an excellent location for a landing field. The Seabees had no large force of troops for protection. They were pretty much on their own. They were on the ground before the divisional fighting forces would arrive. Driver of truck has no choice but to look for cover. WLA rider uses what he has on hand to combat the Zero. He is also only a few steps back from his bike and steps left for an open shot. The time which would have elapsed in that photo would have been but a few seconds. A lot can happen in only a few seconds. How one reacts is limited by how long it takes one to react. Every individual reacts differently. Some react instantly. Some think before they react. The early Pacific theater provided no posing openings for the men who fought it. It was early in the war. The helmet is appropriate for the climate. The Australians used those helmets, as well as the Brits. Japan controlled the whole Pacific at that time in the war. The WLA is a 1941. The Seabees were not a regiment of well dressed tidy military personal. They were hard working laborers, preparing the way for large fighting forces, alone in the middle of enemy controlled lands and facing death at any given moment. The pic is real alright. The military used photography on just about every action as documentation. The press was permitted to accompany many forces as well. The individual who took the photo was ready because of the Zero's alerting engine noise. In Europe photography was standard practice. Photos enabled future bombing missions to hit their intended targets.
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45Brit

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Post Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:07 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Ok, I'll run with that. 1941 sounds right for the bike. US forces in Pacific theatre or China up to the surrender of Bataan and Corregidor would have Kelley helmets and pre-war style equipment, but British, Commonwealth or Dominion troops would not have had Harleys at that time.

So, I'd say our subject is a US serviceman of some sort, probably a pre-war regular, somewhere in the Philipines in first quarter of 1942.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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Pa

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Post Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:11 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

45Brit wrote:So, I'd say our subject is a US serviceman of some sort, probably a pre-war regular, somewhere in the Philipines in first quarter of 1942.


No....they were active military personal placed in harms way shortly after war was declared on Japan by the Congress of the United States Of America.
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Pa

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Post Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:13 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Just prior to the D-Day invasion WLA’s were glidered in for recon missions. jeeps and heavier equipment could not be delivered by glider. The Brits used the glider extensively as well. They used the gliders in order to stay silent as they landed. These WLA’s were in the very center of enemy controlled territories. The men who landed in gliders faced death at every turn. These men prepared the way for the invasion at Normandy. This is also no photo pose. I believe Johan also has this photograph. If you don't want to attract attention, you use a glider. The tow planes continued on as if they had no real mission.

Image
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45Brit

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Post Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:44 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

I don't really understand the reply about "placed in harms way". I'm just making the point that the soldier in the foreground appears, from his equipment, to be on some sort of active service, somewhere in the Pacific, sometime not before the attack on Pearl Harbour and not later than early April 1942.


Regarding the glider picture, I've seen that one before. The glider is a Horsa, and the picture as it appears on the "Liberator" website is described as a training exercise in the UK by 101 Airborne in May 1944, prior to the actual landing. Horsas were used to deploy US Airborne infantry and artillery in quite large numbers during the course of the actual invasion landings, in support of the paratroops who had dropped earlier; these men probably took part in those operations.

There was a version of the Horsa, and the much larger Hamilcar, which could carry Jeeps and light artillery, but this one is clearly not such a craft as it has the side ramp.

The Pre-emptive strikes to secure the Pegasus and Caen Canal bridges (operation Deadstick) were an entirely British operation


Digressing slightly, a picture about 2 frames down shows the tyre pump mounted to the crash bars using those wing-nut clamps
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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Pa

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Post Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:15 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

45Brit wrote:I don't really understand the reply about "placed in harms way". I'm just making the point that the soldier in the foreground appears, from his equipment, to be on some sort of active service, somewhere in the Pacific, sometime not before the attack on Pearl Harbour and not later than early April 1942.


Regarding the glider picture, I've seen that one before. The glider is a Horsa, and the picture as it appears on the "Liberator" website is described as a training exercise in the UK by 101 Airborne in May 1944, prior to the actual landing. Horsas were used to deploy US Airborne infantry and artillery in quite large numbers during the course of the actual invasion landings, in support of the paratroops who had dropped earlier; these men probably took part in those operations.

There was a version of the Horsa, and the much larger Hamilcar, which could carry Jeeps and light artillery, but this one is clearly not such a craft as it has the side ramp.

The Pre-emptive strikes to secure the Pegasus and Caen Canal bridges (operation Deadstick) were an entirely British operation

Digressing slightly, a picture about 2 frames down shows the tyre pump mounted to the crash bars using those wing-nut clamps


My apologies, I miss understood you with my harms way statement.

On the Liberator site, I did not read Johan's caption until today. The website I took my photo from came from infantry website and an airborne website about 8 years ago.

Regarding the tire pumps, soldiers put them where ever they chose to put them. The factory put them where I showed.
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john HD

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Post Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

hey Pa,

any thoughts about adding one of these?

john
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45Brit

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Post Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:13 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Early-war photographs rarely differentiate between "posed" and "authentic action" and are often misrepresented - the images often represented as being taken during the Battle of El Alamein are good examples. The images of US and British Commonwealth troops surrendering at Singapore, Bataan et al come mainly from Japanese sources although there are some very good ones of Australian troops during the Japanese advance into Malaya from press sources.

It's worth remembering that some if the most iconic photos of the war - the Mt Suribachi flag raising, MacArthur wading ashore, the Red Army flag raising over the Reichstag - were all staged to varying extents, and none were taken under fire.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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Pa

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:53 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

john HD wrote:hey Pa,

any thoughts about adding one of these?

john


Absolutely John. You can see the fording tube in this pic. The fording tube uses a special head bolt to hold the upper fording tube bracket bolt.

Image
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Pa

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:05 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Here is a better pic of that special head bolt and the upper fording tube bracket bolt as you show on your WLA John.

Image
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Pa

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:27 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

For those of you who do not know about the crankcase fording tube. Below are two pics of my NOS fording kit as I removed it from the military packaging. Note the special crankcase breather cover and special head bolt in the lower pic. The crankcase fording tube permitted the WLA to cross streams etc., without drawing water into the crankcase. With the crankcase fording tube, a WLA could pass through water as deep as the throat of the carburetor. You can now see the open end of the duel tubes, the complete fording tube kit, and get a good view of the special parts and fittings.

Image

Image
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Pa

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:09 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

This photo, also compliments of Johan’s Liberator website http://www.theliberator.be/indexmenu.html shows a WLA and a tank from the 28th Mechanized Keystone Infantry Division.

Image

The following is only an excerpt from a full history of the 28th Mechanized Keystone Infantry Division. Please read the excerpt. Tanks are not used for patrolling already conquered sectors. Both the tank and WLA are at the front battle lines. Both the tank and the WLA would have beached with the same invasion force. The WLA shown in Johan’s pic would have been included in all missions noted in the excerpt….that is….if it survived them.

The first elements of the Division entered combat on July 22, 1944, landing on the beaches of Normandy. From Normandy, the 28th advanced across western France, finding itself in the thick of hedgerow fighting through towns such as Percy, Montbray, Montguoray, Gathemo and St. Sever de Calvados by the end of July 1944. The fury of assaults launched by the 28th Infantry Division led the German Army to bestow the Keystone soldiers with the title "Bloody Bucket" Division. In a movement north toward the Seine in late August, the Division succeeded in trapping the remnant of the German 7th Army through Vorneuil, Breteuil, Damville, Conches, Le Neubourg and Elbeuf before entering Paris to join in its liberation. The famous photograph of American troops before the Arc de Triomphe, marching in battle parade down the Champs Elysees, shows the men of 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. With no time to rest, the Division moved on to fight some of the most bloody battles of the War the day following the parade. The advance continued through the Forest of Compeigne, La Fere, St. Quentin, Laon, Rethel, Sedan, Mezieres, Bouillon and eventually across the Meuse River into Belgium. The Keystone soldiers averaged 17 miles a day against the resistance of German "battle groups." The city of Arlon, Belgium, fell to a task force as the Division fanned out into Luxembourg in early September.On September 11, 1944, the 28th claimed the distinction of being the first American unit to enter Germany. After hammering away in assaults which destroyed or captured 153 pillboxes and bunkers, the Division moved north toward the Siegfried Line, clearing the Monschau Forest of German forces. After a brief respite, the Keystone soldiers made another move northward to the Huertgen Forest in late September. Attacks in the forest began November 2, 1944. The 28th Infantry Division stormed into Vossenack, Kommerscheidt and Schmidt amid savage fighting and heavy losses. By November 10, the 28th began to move south, where it held a 25-mile sector of the front line along the Our River. It was against this thinly fortified division line that the Germans unleashed the full force of their winter Ardennes "blitzkreig" offensive. Five Axis divisions stormed across the Our River the first day, followed by four more in the next few day. Overwhelmed by the weight of enemy armor and personnel, the Division maintained its defense of this sector long enough to throw Von Runstedt's assault off schedule. With allied forces able to a move in to counterattack, the "Battle of the Bulge" ensued, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy forces. Having sustained a devastating 15,000 casualties, the 28th withdrew to refortify. But within three weeks, the Division was back in action. By January 1945, Division soldiers had moved south where they served with the French First Army in the reduction of the "Colmar Pocket." The 109th Infantry Regiment was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for its action which helped lead to the liberation of Colmar, the last major French city in German hands. By February 23, 1945, the Division returned north to the American First Army. The 28th was in position along the Olef River when an attack was launched on March 6, 1945, carrying the Division to the Ahr River. Schleiden, Germund, Kall, Sotenich, Sistig and Blankenheim all fell in a raid advance. By early April, the Division moved west of the Rhine and took up occupation duties in the area north of Aachen along the Holland-German border. Permanent occupation came two weeks later at the Saurland and Rhonish areas. In early July 1945, the 28th began its redeployment to the U.S. The Division was deactivated on December 13, 1945. Five campaign streamers - Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, and Central Europe - were earned during World War II, in addition to the Croix de Guerre. Early in 1946, the 28th Infantry Division was organized as part of thePennsylvania National Guard. In 1950, the Division, once again, was ordered into active service to become part of the United States NATO force in Germany after the North Koreans invaded South Korea. The Division was returned to the control of the Commonwealth on June 15, 1954.
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john HD

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:55 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Pa,

did you notice the fording tube clean out plug is the same as the domed dash cover bolt used in the new dash board in '47?

john
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Pa

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:33 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

john HD wrote:Pa,

did you notice the fording tube clean out plug is the same as the domed dash cover bolt used in the new dash board in '47?

john


No.... I had not noticed that. Thanks for the education on the plug. Seems maybe the factory needed to use up excessive fording tube plug stock and adapted it to the later model dashes. Makes sense to me John.
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fenderguitarleo

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:48 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

john HD wrote:hey Pa,

any thoughts about adding one of these?

john


Hey John its a great item to add because it also keeps the oil of your pipes that makes its way out of the vent.
Toms NOS parts has them for $55 on his site. To complete the set up get yourself the vented tranny cover with the vent tube also.
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john HD

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:26 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

leo,

i have both, did you ever get the photo you needed of the tranny vent tube?

john
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fenderguitarleo

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:44 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

john HD wrote:leo,

i have both, did you ever get the photo you needed of the tranny vent tube?

Yes, I sure did, PA provided me with a great one.

john
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fenderguitarleo

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:46 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

fenderguitarleo wrote:
john HD wrote:leo,

i have both, did you ever get the photo you needed of the tranny vent tube?

Yes, I sure did, PA provided me with a great one.

john

http://i47.servimg.com/u/f47/11/57/20/89/1944_w10.jpg
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