These early experiences influenced his later decisions concerning the building of the interstate highway system during his presidential administration. The convoy's daily stopping points will be many of the same locations as the 1919 81-vehicle convoy, which averaged 6 mph and 59 miles a day. Lt. Jackson also noted "The maintenance work was considerably hampered by the necessity of carrying spare parts for so many different makes of trucks" and "better tools should be furnished to the mechanics". On Aug. 8, 1919, young Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in Cheyenne with a long line of military cars, trucks and motorcycles. [18] Six vehicles were chosen to evaluate Dixon's Graphite Grease to see if it provided worthwhile benefits. Trucks, jeeps and cars driven by members of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association follow Grant Line Road through Tracy on Saturday morning as they retrace the cross-country route of a historic convoy in 1919. As an observer for the War Department, Lt. Col. Eisenhower learned first-hand of the difficulties faced in traveling great distances on roads that were impassable and resulted in frequent breakdowns of the military vehicles. Finally, the Maxwell and Militor tractors were praised for their overall reliability and mechanical superiority, as the trip could not have been completed without them. Despite pressures from Des Moines, and furor over the paving question, McClure stayed on course and quieted the controversy over the location of the Lincoln Highway in Iowa. The Transcontinental Motor Truck Convoy entered the city on the Lincoln Highway during an evening thunderstorm. The expedition consisted of 81 motorized Army vehicles that crossed the United States from Washington, DC, to San Francisco, a venture covering a distance of 3,251 miles in 62 days. The various trailers were also evaluated (most received failing grades) and the graphite grease was determined to provide significant benefits. ", This page was last edited on 27 October 2020, at 17:06. The Cadillac and Dodge passenger cars and light trucks were found to be generally satisfactory, though the hood latches on the Dodge proved insufficiently durable. Both Lt. Jackson and Lt. Most of the failures that were not caused by operator error (primarily poor lubrication and over-revving on downgrades) were due to the effects of the constant dust, vibration and pounding on the carburetors, ignition systems, bushings, fasteners and bearings. “In general, the route began at the Ellipse, in Washington, DC and ended at Lincoln Park, in San Francisco, CA – some 3,250 miles and 62 days later.” The 1919 convoy included 81 vehicles, 37 officers and 258 enlisted men. The convoy was to test the mobility of the military during wartime conditions. [5]:6,10, In addition to engineer and quartermaster units; the convoy had 2 truck companies of the 433rd Motor Supply Train;[5]:6 a medical unit with surgeon, medical, and dental officers; and a Field Artillery Detachment which provided the Maxwell crawler tractor[13] operated by a civilian. The other motorcycles were used to carry messages up and down the length of the convoy. The Engineer detachment led the main body with the 5-1/2 ton Mack that carried the Artillery detachment’s Maxwell crawler tractor. [4] Official observers included those from the Air Service, A.S.A.P.,[specify] Coast and Field Artillery, Medical Corps, Ordnance, Signal Corps and Tank Corps including the then Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Dwight D. The convoy remained 7 days behind schedule through Oakland, California, where it arrived 5 September at 4 pm (v. the 29th). The soldiers had spent 11 hours on the road that day, traveling from Kimball, Neb., to Cheyenne. “Army Truck is Try-Out For Equipment.” The South Bend News Times, 20 July 1919, p. 10. “Billion Urged For National Road System.” Oakland Tribune, 7 September 1919, p. 4. The engineers were responsible for inspecting each bridge as the convoy came to it. Public Domain. [5]:4 An extra travel day on "mining roads"[25] was used between Ely and Austin, Nevada; where the convoy arrived on the 27th (v. 20th), 348 mi (560 km) short of the scheduled point for the 27th (Sacramento). The centennial of a 1919 U.S. military convoy that traveled across the country on largely unpaved roads will be celebrated August 31-September 16 when the Lincoln Highway Association stages the 2019 Military Convoy Centennial Tour, which will retrace the so-called Eisenhower route. Sorbell, Secretary Chamber of Commerce Jos. The 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy was a long distance convoy (described as a Motor Truck Trip with a "Truck Train"[1]) carried out by the U.S. Army Motor Transport Corps that drove over 3,000 mi (4,800 km) on the historic Lincoln Highway from Washington, D.C., to Oakland, California and then by ferry over to end in San Francisco. Archival footage from the 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy visit to the Firestone Homestead. 42, no. Bridges too small or weak for the Mack had to be bypassed. should pay more attention to disciplinary drills for officers and men, and that all should be intelligent, snappy soldiers before giving them the responsibility of operating trucks." 8 a.m. - 5:45 p.m., June - July, Memorandum from Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Chief, "Daily Log of the First Transcontinental Motor Convoy, Washington, DC to San Francisco, Cal., July 7th to Sept. 6th, 1919". Lt. Col. Charles W. McClure and Capt. [5] There were "2 spare parts stores, 2 water tanks, 1 gasoline tank, 1 searchlight[17] with electrical power plant truck, 4 kitchen trailers, 8 touring cars, 1 reconnaissance car, 2 staff observation cars, 5 sidecar motorcycles, and 4 solo motorcycles";[2] as well as five GMC ambulances with two ambulance trailers, and a Loder 4-ton pontoon trailer (left in Omaha). The military officers carried orders not to deviate from the route Ostermann had established prior to the summer of 1919. In the summer of 1919, a young Lieutenant Colonel named Dwight D. Eisenhower participated in the first Army transcontinental motor convoy. Of the transport trucks, the FWD proved the most satisfactory and the Garford the least, the former due to its mechanical reliability and all wheel drive and the latter due to a fragile cooling system, though the Standard B "Liberty" trucks were actually the most towed trucks in the convoy. The route the convoy would take was mostly along the Lincoln Highway, the first major transcontinental motor route. The Tank Corps Observer noted that "the light truck is so far superior to the heavy [which] should be confined to ... hard surfaced roads; and ... short hauls. 3, March 1910, pp. Commemorative Program, "A California Dinner in Honor of the Officers and Men Who Made up the First Transcontinental Convoy of the Motor Transport Corps, U.S. Army over the Lincoln Highway, Washington to San Francisco, July 7 - September 7, 1919" [U.S. Army, Transport Corps, Transcontinental Convoy: Records, 1919, Box 1; NAID #12165975], Memorandum from Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Chief, Motor Transport Corps, with attached report on the Trans-Continental Trip, November 3, 1919. The objectives were: The Denison Review, 2 July 1919, p. 1. The 2019 Military Convoy will depart on August 10, from York, PA, the site of the 2019 MVPA Annual Convention and conduct an official Convoy launch from York, PA. On Wednesday, August 28, 2019 the MVPA will travel through Kearney as they retrace the original 1919 US Army’s First Transcontinental Motor Convoy route, on the famed Lincoln Highway. of prominent citizens, 3 Fire Companies and two bands, furnished by the Chamber of Commerce and the Goodrich Company." The convoy traveled from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco in 62 days. For the price of a three-year military committment these recruits learned valuable skills that would serve them well in the upcoming automotive age. “In 1919 the US Army decided to plan and execute a motor convoy of various military vehicles across the country on the newly formed Lincoln Highway,” the MVPA says. The shortest driving periods between control points were from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Omaha, Nebraska (2 hrs for 5 mi) and Delphos, Ohio, to Fort Wayne, Indiana (6 hrs for 51 mi), while 4 days had average speeds over 9 mph (14 km/h): E Palestine OH to Wooster OH (9 hr for 83 mi), South Bend IN to Chicago Heights Il (8​3⁄4 hr for 80 mi), Jefferson IA to Denison IA (7​1⁄2 hr for 68 mi), and Anderson's Ranch NV to Ely NV (8 hr for 77 mi).[23]. Their goal was 6000 recruits. The Ordinance detachment brought up the rear, repairing or towing disabled vehicles as necessary. Jackson (Ordnance Observer) to Col. L.B. 3 ton Class B Standardized Military "Liberty" trucks, "Principal Facts Concerning the First Transcontinental Army Motor Transport Expedition", https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=TdslAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ZvwFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6343,3546033&dq=1919+convoy+gettysburg&hl=en, (also published in Mechanical Eng., vol. The convoy was to test the mobility of the military during wartime conditions. INDUSTRY -- In 1919, the U.S. Army drove a convoy of motorized vehicles across the country for the first time, traveling mainly along the fledgling Lincoln Highway from Washington, D.C., to … Eisenhower reported that the experience gained on the relatively good roads in the earlier, easier part of the trip proved invaluable in the heavier going further west. [6], The Signal Corps filmed convoy events;[7] and the civilians of the Goodyear band were transported from Chicago in one of the trucks. Moody (Ordnance Department, USA, Tank, Tractor & Trailer Division), "Report on First Transcontinental Motor Convoy," October 31, 1919. The convoy was proceeded by a publicity officer travelling one day ahead by automobile to prepare for the arrival of the main body. [22] The actual average for the 3,250 mi (5,230 km) covered in 573.5 hours[23] was 5.65 mph (9.09 km/h) over the 56 travel days for an average of 10.24 hours per travel day. [5]:18,23 Additional vehicle manufacturers included Cadillac, Dodge, F.W.D., Garford, Harley-Davidson & Indian (motorcycles), Liberty (trucks & a 2-wheel kitchen cart), Mack, Packard, Riker, Standardized, Trailmobile (two 4-wheel kitchen trailers), and White. [5] The heavy trucks included three examples of each of three wartime commercial models in the 3 to 5-1/2 ton range being considered for continued service (FWD, Mack and Riker) along with eleven 1-1/2 ton trucks from Garford, GMC, Packard and White. Despite travelling on 24 August rest day, the convoy fell behind an additional day using 4 travel days instead of the 2 scheduled travel days from Orr's Ranch, Utah, through the Great Salt Lake Desert to Ely, Nevada; where the convoy arrived on the 24th (v. The expedition was manned by 24 officers and 258 enlisted men. The Ordnance Department notes "great interest in the, Procure "recruits for ... the Motor Transport Corps": enlistment through the convoy was sparse, Exhibit "to the public ... the motor vehicle for military purposes": In the course of the journey, the convoy "passed through 350 communities, and it was estimated that more than 3,000,000 people (perhaps 3,250,000), Study & observe "the terrain and standard army vehicles": . Open Daily Eisenhower also dedicated much of his report to a detailed summary of road conditions in each of the states that the convoy traversed, followed by general observations on proper road construction and maintenance, observing that some of the good roads were too narrow and some formerly excellent roads had been allowed to deteriorate without maintenance, stating "In such cases it seems evident that a very small amount of money spent at the proper time would have kept the road in good condition."[31]. In 1919, driving cross-country was a crazy idea - but an Army convoy set out to show it could be done Written By: Washington Post | Jul 7th 2019 - 7pm. [5]:11 The 5th Engineers' Company E[5]:7 of 2 officers and 20 men headed the main body with the artillery's 5​1⁄2 ton Mack truck carrying a 5-ton Maxwell tractor (22,450 lbs total) in the lead followed by the machine shop and blacksmith shop trucks, and the Quartermaster Corps' Service Park Unit 595 of 1 officer and 43 men brought up the rear ("often separated from the main body" while servicing disabled vehicles). Marilyn Boots reported on her travels with Dennis… Site of the United States WWI Centennial Commission, and the Doughboy Foundation, building the National WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C. In the summer of 1919, a young Lieutenant Colonel named Dwight D. Eisenhower participated in the first Army transcontinental motor convoy. These early experiences influenced his later decisions concerning the building of the interstate highway system during his presidential administration. Eisenhower. Included in this count were: motorcycles, ambulances, an officer’s work In the summer of 1919, a young Lieutenant Colonel named Dwight D. Eisenhower participated in the first Army transcontinental motor convoy. "Ike's Road Trip" by Kevin L. Cook, The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Spring 2001, pp 68-7. [11] In addition to 230 road incidents[12] (stops for adjustments, extrications, breakdowns, & accidents) resulting in 9 vehicles retiring,[2] the convoy of "24 expeditionary officers, 15 War Department staff observation officers, and 258 enlisted men" had 21 injured en route who did not complete the trip. [8] The Publicity Officer (Lt William B Doron)[9] rode with Ostermann 2–10 days ahead of the main body,[10] while the Recruiting Officer (Capt Murphy) was 1–2 days ahead, and the Cook and Mess units were several hours ahead,[11] Two motorcycles scouted about ​1⁄2 hour ahead to report conditions and place markers. September 6, 1919 The U.S. Army’s Cross-Country Motor Transport Train arrived in San Francisco, completing a transcontinental trip of 3,251 miles (5,232 kilometers) that began on July 7 in Washington, D.C. On the evening of September 6, convoy commander Lieutenant Charles W. McClure formally confirmed the end of this historic journey in a telegram that… Lt. Jackson, the Ordnance Department Observer, submitted a detailed report on the performance of all of the convoy's vehicles. Two junior officers scouted ahead of the main body on motorcycles, signaling the route to the rest of the convoy using a simple but effective system of blue paper triangles tacked to trees and fences. 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