Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

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  1. Any body ? Interested in a rare 1963 Us Air force International Loadstar 4×4 built in 1963 for DEWLine sight FX-5 , Broughton Island

    Canadian arctic, for the Us government??? I got one for sale! [email protected] thanks!

  2. The M-543 was an outgrowth of the M-62, which was gasoline only powered recovery truck. The M-543 used the same cab, front fenders and grill as the M-62 except it was power by a multi-fuel engine and had a re-engineered boom that was stronger at the boom head. These trucks did not change substantially until the 800 series wreckers that filled the gap until the early to mid eighties when the first HEMETTs began to show up and weren't replaced completely until the HEMMETs started to become available with a rotator mounted on them. I spent more than three years driving an early '50's M-62 around Germany doing everything from removing engines to roll overs on the autobahn, to unloading containers at the Commissary in Frankfurt. On on of these trips to Hanu to pick up a breakdown, I started hearing this godauful notice which sounded like it was coming from the area of the bell housing. Upon arrival at Hanu, I called back to my Direct Support Unit in Rodelheim, who I worked for and I was told to come on back, loaded and they would ascertain the problem then. Nevertheless, I decided to take secondary roads back so I wouldn't have to subject what was at that time a thirty year old truck to the punishment of a sustained 40 MPH run on the autobahn. I had stopped for a red light at an intersection and upon proceeding on green I had gotten about half way across, was shifting gears when I heard this really loud bang. I proceeded across the intersection, let the truck roll to a stop on the side of the highway, and went back to pick up the largest connecting rod and part of the block out of the Middle of the intersection I'd ever seen. Because it was considered an "emergency vehicle" some of the local national mechanics stayed overtime, got her in the shop as soon as we got back, and proceeded to begin to pull the now useless engine with this big hole in the side of the block out. It was determined that about 25 new or rebuilt engines were located at the Replacement Depot in Stuttgart where they had been residing for several years, due to the type no longer considered to be in service. It was further determing that this would be a great way to give some chopper pilots flying time with an under slung air lifted load. So forthwith a chopper was sent for the new engine. Turn around time to be about three hours. The metal, sealed container with the engine was soon "winging" it's way back to Rodelheim. The pilots lowered the container to the ground, it was released from the hook and the twin rotors of the beast was soon winging it way back to base , some fifteen minutes away. We used a forklift to bring the engine container into the maintenance hall where the M-62, stripped of its now scrap iron engine awaited. I was like an expectant father as I waited for them to zip off the bolts from around the container and using an overhead crane to separate the two parts of steel would reveal this brand new, painted O.D. engine. It had been some six and a half hours since I picked up the connecting rod from the road. Instead, to the surprise of everyone present, there wasn't an engine there at all. Nothing but air. It was empty. Since this was Friday and long past the closing time of any depot, it was Monday before further investigation revealed that of all of those engines listed as "new or rebuilt in Stuggart, the only place in theater that had any listed as available, there were only THREE! It had been an incredible shell game where we just happened to have sling loaded one of the empty containers. There was no way of knowing. The containers were metal, sealed with a million bolts and moved around with forklifts, cranes, trucks and in our case, slung below a really big and powerful chopper. We had one of the remaining engines loaded on a truck we sent down for it and by the end of the week, my M-62 was operational once again. Never did find out about what happened to all of those other engines though.

  3. Im not a safety nut but damn I hate stupid. Keep doing this type work and sooner or later you gonna get hurt

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