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Thread: Aircrew buses

  1. #1
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    Default Aircrew buses

    I am aware that 30cwts were used early in the war to transport crews out to their aircraft and later on, as numbers increase, actually buses, coaches, were provided.
    I have some resin kits of the WOT's but what was thw American chasis used ?
    Was it a dodge of sorts ?
    IIRC it had the same bus body as the WOT but not 100% sure about that.
    I have seen a photo in one of the 'Lancaster at War' series taken i think at Methwold showing such a Dodge. I just wondered if they were common or just part of a batch that was originally destined for France but withdrawn ??

    Ian

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    SuperMod P Bellamy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aircrew buses

    Many crew buses used the Detriot-built Dodge 3 ton VK-62 chassis-cab, the coach bodies being fitted in the UK by Mulliners etc.
    Although the initial VK-62s came from diverted ex-French orders totalling 750-1500 units, the Ministry of Supply also placed further direct orders with Dodge.

    All the best,
    PB

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    Senior Member ianbache's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aircrew buses

    Hi Able
    I dont know wether this is any good to you but here goes

    1940/1941
    My particular Dodge was part of a batch of 1500 chassis, originally destined to go to France for bodying there, and to be used by the military. However France was invaded by the Axis powers, and the order, or 'Contract Supply Mechanical' as these orders were referred to (in this case SM 2017), diverted to the UK instead. Whether all 1500 chassis were eventually supplied is open to debate, chances are around half this number was supplied in all. Some went to the British Army, and the others to the Royal Air Force (RAF). Army vehicles were bodied as GS cargo types, and those used by the RAF fitted out with a variety of coachwork options, including GS body, a lower platform body, a crewbus with separate Dodge cab, and finally a 'bus with integral coachbuilt cab. It is the latter that this VK62B was bodied as, by coachbuilder Mulliners of Birmingham, which is evident in the copies I have of the original design drawings for the 26 seater RAF crewbus.

    1941-1945
    During the war, the Dodge was used by the RAF on one or more bomber bases, ferrying crews out to their aircraft. Shown here are examples of Dodge crewbus. In 1944 some Dodges were converted into mobile classrooms, training aircraft maintenance crews.
    The photo above shows the back end of a Dodge, parked alongside a Douglas C47 transport aircraft (based on the civilian DC3 Dakota). Inside the truck you can make out the seats, and the drop-down cantilever step. Black-out blinds are fitted to the vehicle's windows.





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    Default Re: Aircrew buses

    Quote Originally Posted by Able Mabel View Post
    I am aware that 30cwts were used early in the war to transport crews out to their aircraft and later on, as numbers increase, actually buses, coaches, were provided.
    I have some resin kits of the WOT's but what was thw American chasis used ?
    Was it a dodge of sorts ?
    IIRC it had the same bus body as the WOT but not 100% sure about that.
    I have seen a photo in one of the 'Lancaster at War' series taken i think at Methwold showing such a Dodge. I just wondered if they were common or just part of a batch that was originally destined for France but withdrawn ??

    Ian
    Ian the same body as the WOT1 carried was also mounted on the Austin K6 but all the evidence is much later in the war. I have seen all manner of vehicles used including the Austin K6 bomb carrying tender- an example can be seen to the left of the Dodge crewbus in IANBACE's piccy. I wonder if that piccy was taken at an assembly point somewhere near operations or the aircrew's messes prior to a big effort. I will see what piccies I can find. But the real answer to your question is, anything with wheels seems to have been used especially on the evenings of a maximum effort.

    TED
    Last edited by ted angus; 20-03-2010 at 20:45.

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    Default Re: Aircrew buses

    here we are 3 Austin bomb carrying tenders known as bomb flats, Crewcoaches I think the angular cab edge indicates the front one as a WOT1 and WOT3 30cwts. Later in the war the Bedford QLT trooper made an appearance on aerodromes.

    TED
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Aircrew buses

    Many thanks to those of you who came back with the info, more food for thought.
    Ian

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    Default Re: Aircrew buses

    From what I've told the private bus / coach operators were 'robbed' of many of their vehicles after hostilities started. So I'd hazard a guess that anything could be used for transporting aircrew, I recently found this picture http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205195763

    My guess is a Leyland but somebody will probably correct me.


    LIFE AT A BOMBER STATION: LINTON-ON-OUSE, YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND, UK, OCTOBER 1941. IWM (D 6047)[url=http://www.iwm.org.uk/corporate/privacy-copyright
    Last edited by percivalbros.com; 17-02-2012 at 22:08.

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    Default Re: Aircrew buses

    Quote Originally Posted by percivalbros.com;97110}From what I've told the private bus / coach operators were 'robbed' of many of their vehicles after hostilities started. So I'd hazard a guess that anything could be used for transporting aircrew, I recently found this picture [URL
    http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205195763[/URL]

    My guess is a Leyland but somebody will probably correct me.


    LIFE AT A BOMBER STATION: LINTON-ON-OUSE, YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND, UK, OCTOBER 1941. IWM (D 6047)[url=http://www.iwm.org.uk/corporate/privacy-copyright]
    Yep, its a Leyland. Circa 1935 Tiger.
    Last edited by Carnaby; 18-02-2012 at 21:20. Reason: Quote formatting corrected

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    Senior Member hydealfred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aircrew buses

    A recent shot of the crew bus that is in working order at East Kirkby.


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    Default Re: Aircrew buses

    Quote Originally Posted by percivalbros.com View Post
    From what I've told the private bus / coach operators were 'robbed' of many of their vehicles after hostilities started. So I'd hazard a guess that anything could be used for transporting aircrew, I recently found this picture http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205195763 My guess is a Leyland but somebody will probably correct me.
    .
    Picture as above
    .
    LIFE AT A BOMBER STATION: LINTON-ON-OUSE, YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND, UK, OCTOBER 1941. IWM (D 6047)[url=http://www.iwm.org.uk/corporate/privacy-copyright]
    On further study of the picture I believe the coach is from the East Yorkshire company. They were one of the few companies that continued to use the 'bible' type destination indicator instead of roller blinds. PS The coach body was built by Charles Roe of Leeds. The raised waist rail was always a feature of Roe bodies.
    Last edited by Carnaby; 18-02-2012 at 21:25. Reason: Qutoe formatting corrected, picture removed to save bandwidth

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