Owner: Peter Grimm
Engine: Hercules HXD, in-line, liquid-cooled, 202-hp, six-cylinder
Transmission: 4 Speed manual with 2 speed transfer case
Length: 31-feet, 2-inches
Width: 8-feet, 4-inches
Height: 9-feet, 2-inches
Weight: 19-1/4-tons (with payload)
Maximum Road Speed: 35-mph
Maximum Payload: 6-tons
Armament: Could be fitted with a Browning M2 Machine Gun. The M2 has been referred to as “Ma Deuce”
The Brockway B666, 6-ton, 6×6 truck was preceded in production by nearly identical models produced by Corbitt and White beginning in 1941. All three manufacturers built their models to a common standardized military design. The most common models of the 6-ton, 6×6 trucks were cargo and prime movers (artillery tractors). Other production variants included firetrucks, tankers, crane carriers, shop vans and highly specialized bridge erectors. The mechanical components of the 6-ton, 6×6 trucks were so well designed that they remained virtually unchanged from their initial 1941 specifications until the end of the war. The only major change was to the cabs, which switched from the early civilian-type enclosed cab to the simplified open cab introduced in mid-1942. The Brockway B666 featured an all-steel body which carried bridging components including pontoons and steel tread plates. The bridging components were lifted and placed by a 4-ton hoist. The Brockway B666’s assisted in the vital replacement of destroyed bridges, which played a major role in the Allied victory. Brockway produced 1,166 of the 3,075, 6-ton bridge erectors built during WWII.
The U.S. was the only country Germany officially declared war on.
President Roosevelt used Al Capone’s Limousine: On the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Secret Service realized they did not have a have a bulletproof car to transport President Roosevelt safely to Congress to deliver his Infamy Speech. A quick thinking Secret Service agent realized that the U.S. Treasury had seized the bulletproof limo of Al Capone in 1931.
The car was still in working condition and safely transported the president to Congress. President Roosevelt reportedly quipped, “I hope Mr. Capone won’t mind.”
The United States Fleet was an organization in the United States Navy from 1922 until after World War II. The acronym CINCUS, pronounced “sink us“, was used for Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Fleet. This title was disposed of and officially replaced by COMINCH in December 1941 (for “Commander-in-Chief”, U.S. Navy).
Calvin Graham was the youngest U.S. serviceman, he lied about his age and enlisted in the Navy at age 12 in 1942, it wasn’t until after he was wounded that his real age was discovered.
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The kid had an active role in the battle of Guadalcanal, serving aboard the USS South Dakota. He helped in the fire control efforts aboard the ship, something that earned him the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Hedy Lamarr, film actress and inventor at the beginning of World War II, intent on aiding the Allied war effort, Lamarr identified jamming of Allied radio communications by the Axis as a particular problem, and with composer George Antheil, developed spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat it. Though the US Navy did not adopt the technology until the 1960s, the principles of her work are now incorporated into modern Wi-Fi, CDMA and Bluetooth technology, and this work led to her being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
In 1942, actor Clark Gable joined the U.S. Army Air Forces. Gable flew five combat missions, including one to Germany, as an observer-gunner in B-17 Flying Fortresses between May 4 and September 23, 1943, earning the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts. During one of the missions, Gable’s aircraft was damaged by flak and attacked by fighters, which knocked out one of the engines and shot up the stabilizer. In the raid on Germany, one crewman was killed and two others were wounded, and flak went through Gable’s boot and narrowly missed his head.
In May 1944, Gable was promoted to major. He hoped for another combat assignment but, when the invasion of Normandy came and went in June without any further orders, Gable was relieved from active duty as a major on June 12, 1944. His discharge papers were signed by Captain Ronald Reagan, the eventual President.
Hamburgers were renamed “Liberty Steaks” in order to avoid the German-sounding name for a brief period of time.
Due to a metal shortage in World War II, the Academy Awards used painted plaster instead for three years. When the war was over, the Academy invited everyone who won fake plaster Oscars to have them replaced with real ones made out of metal.
Around midnight on June 5, 1944, Private C. Hillman, of Manchester, Connecticut, serving with the US 101st Airborne Division, was winging his way to Normandy in a C-47 transport plane. Just before the jump Private Hillman carried out a final inspection of his parachute. He was surprised to see that the chute had been packed by the Pioneer Parachute Company of Connecticut where his mother worked part time as an inspector. He was further surprised when he saw on the inspection tag, the initials of his own mother!
With the Marines at Tarawa is a 1944 short documentary film directed by Louis Hayward. It used authentic footage taken at the Battle of Tarawa to tell the story of the American servicemen from the time they get the news that they are to participate in the invasion to the final taking of the island and raising of the Stars and Stripes. The film won the 1945 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.
Russia and Japan have never signed an official peace treaty with each other to end World War II.
INVENTIONS OF WWII
The first widespread use of camouflage by American military forces began in 1942. General D. MacArthur in July in 1942 requested production of 150,000 jungle camouflage uniforms for use in the Pacific Theater. The pattern chosen was designed by civilian Norvell Gillespie (horticulturist and garden editor of Sunset, Better House and Gardens, and the San Francisco Chronicle). Nicknamed “frogskin” by many GIs, the pattern consists of a five color green dominant “jungle” camouflage pattern printed on one side, with a three color brown dominant “beach” pattern printed on the opposite side. Produced in a variety of uniform styles as well as some articles of field equipment, the pattern was most widely utilized by the USMC in the Pacific Theater (although it did see very limited usage by the US Army operating in the ETO).
During World War II, Japan invaded rubber-producing countries as they expanded their sphere of influence in the Pacific Rim. Rubber was vital for the production of rafts, tires, vehicle and aircraft parts, gas masks, and boots. In the U.S., all rubber products were rationed; citizens were encouraged to make their rubber products last until the end of the war and to donate spare tires, boots, and coats. Meanwhile, the government funded research into synthetic rubber compounds to attempt to solve this shortage.
Credit for the invention of Silly Putty is disputed and has been attributed variously to Earl Warrick, of the then newly formed Dow Corning; Harvey Chin; and James Wright, a Scottish inventor working for General Electric in New Haven, Connecticut. Throughout his life, Warrick insisted that he and his colleague, Rob Roy McGregor, received the patent for Silly Putty before Wright did; but Crayola’s history of Silly Putty states that Wright first invented it in 1943. Both researchers independently discovered that reacting boric acid with silicone oil would produce a gooey, bouncy material with several unique properties. The non-toxic putty would bounce when dropped, could stretch farther than regular rubber, would not go moldy, and had a very high melting temperature.
Wright found that the substance did not have all the properties needed to replace rubber, so it was not used for any purpose. In 1945 Wright sent samples to scientists all around the world, but no practical use was ever found.
Silly Putty was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2001.
The idea for what became duct tape came from an ordnance-factory worker, and mother of two Navy sailors, named Vesta Stoudt, who worried that problems with ammunition-box seals would cost soldiers precious time in battle. She wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 with the idea to seal the boxes with a fabric tape, which she had tested at her factory. The letter was forwarded to the War Production Board, who put Johnson & Johnson on the job. The Revolite division of Johnson & Johnson had made medical adhesive tapes from duck cloth from 1927 and a team headed by Revolite’s Johnny Denoye and Johnson & Johnson’s Bill Gross developed the new adhesive tape, designed to be ripped by hand, not cut with scissors.
Their new unnamed product was made of thin cotton duck tape coated in waterproof polyethylene (plastic) with a layer of rubber-based gray adhesive (“Polycoat”) bonded to one side. It was easy to apply and remove, and was soon adapted to repair military equipment quickly, including vehicles and weapons. This tape, colored in army-standard matte olive drab, was nicknamed “duck tape” by the soldiers. Various theories have been put forward for the nickname, including the descendant relation to cotton duck fabric, the waterproof characteristics of a duck bird, and even the 1942 amphibious military vehicle DUKW which was pronounced “duck”.
Mickey Mouse Gas Mask,
On January 7th, 1942, one month after Pearl Harbor, T.W. Smith, Jr., the owner of the Sun Rubber Company, and his designer, Dietrich Rempel, with Walt Disney’s approval introduced a protective mask for children. This design of the Mickey Mouse Gas Mask for children was presented to Major General William N. Porter, Chief of the Chemical Warfare Service. After approval of the CWS, Sun Rubber Products Company produced sample masks for review.
The mask was designed so children would carry it and wear it as part of a game. This would reduce the fear associated with wearing a gas mask and hopefully, improve their wear time and, hence, survivability.
In 1943, Richard James, a naval mechanical engineer stationed at the William Cramp and Sons shipyards in Philadelphia, was developing springs that could support and stabilize sensitive instruments aboard ships in rough seas. James accidentally knocked one of the springs from a shelf, and watched as the spring “stepped” in a series of arcs to a stack of books, to a tabletop, and to the floor, where it re-coiled itself and stood upright. James’ wife Betty later recalled, “He came home and said, ‘I think if I got the right property of steel and the right tension; I could make it walk.” James experimented with different types of steel wire over the next year, and finally found a spring that would walk. Betty was dubious at first, but changed her mind after the toy was fine-tuned and neighborhood children expressed an excited interest in it. She dubbed the toy Slinky (meaning “sleek and graceful”), after finding the word in a dictionary, and deciding that the word aptly described the sound of a metal spring expanding and collapsing.
FAMOUS AMERICANS KILLED IN WWII
Bobby Hutchins was a child actor who played “Wheezer” in the “Our Gang” movies. He joined the US Army in 1943. He died on May 17, 1945 in a mid-air collision during a training exercise at Merced Army Airfield Base in California.
Glenn Miller was an American bandleader and musician. He volunteered for military service during World War II to help lead what hoped would be a more modernized military band. He became a Major in the Army Air Force and led the Army Air Force Band. He and his 50-piece band played across England. On December 15, 1944, Miller was set to fly across the English Channel to play for Allied soldiers in Paris. However, his plane disappeared somewhere over the English Channel and he is still listed as missing in action.
IN HONOR OF