The Iron Workhorse

five_by_fiveMy Dad spoke about the “5×5” truck he drove with the 224th. He never gave many details but said it was a reliable, sturdy workhorse that got around in the remote places where it was used. I’m reposting a shot of him behind the wheel of a 5×5 taken in Florida. Here’s the caption info as per the previous posts;

Written on  the front is  “Pete in a 5×5” “Clermont Fla Oct. 1943”.   On the back Dad wrote ”Yours truly in a five by five coming in after a hard days work believe that or not”.

Here’s a good page from Wikipedia giving a bit of history on the 5×5, technically called the Dodge  WC51 series  truck. As you will see there are many variations. Here’s the link;

Victor Justice and his workhorse

Victor Justice and his workhorse; Photo courtesy Rusty Justice-all rights reserved

A friend, Rusty Justice sent me this image of his Dad Victor, also in the 224th with his 5×5 in New Guinea.

Dad’s Crew

Pete's team putting up wire for the battery telco system

Pete’s team putting up wire for the battery telco system

This picture continues to be one of my favorites! It gives a look at many aspects of Army life during the War. Note each soldier’s own take on fatigue dress; some with no shirts, others with long sleeves and even a white tee shirt(developed for the US military, I think). There are two styles of hats; the “Daisy Mae” with the circular brim worn by several men, and my Dad in the 1943 HBT Fatigue cap. Interestingly the guys in the DM have found three ways to wear the hat!!!

What’s really important here is that we see; the crew in the field with their equipment doing their jobs. You see special tools on belts and in hands, a reel of the phone line they are stringing and the WC53 “5×5” truck that hauls them and the gear.

Continuing my current theme, here’s the notes from the snapshot. Written on the front is “Clermont,Fla, Oct. 1943”. On the back Dad  has noted ““Laying wire close to Clermont, Fla left to right: Pfc. Krause,Pfc. Jack Sorg,Pfc. Whitley, Pfc. Logan, S/Sgt. Terranova, yours truly, Cpl. Henry Thom”.  These guys will appear again in more images.

Stay tuned for more  pics and notes soon!

Back with More Names for the Faces

"Three bosom buddies..."

“Three bosom buddies…”

I’ve been AWOL for almost a month…my apologies! September was very busy, but I’m back and ready to fill in some blanks for the pictures I’ve started posting from my Dad’s WWII photo album. Here’s a picture from the 224th while they were training in Florida during the summer and fall of 1943.

A note on the front of this shot said “Koski-Dement-Goodman” “Clermont Fla, Oct. 1943”. Dad’s words on the back tell a much richer story; “Three bosom buddies left to right: S/Sgt George Koski, used to be T/4 Dement & T/4 Goodman. They’re swell guys. Koski is a high speed operator & he really can send it. Taken in Orlando”.  The unit roster list Dement, A.B.(IO), initials only, and Goodman, Ulys D. George Koski does not appear in the December 1943 rosters.  Also notice Koski is referred to as an “high speed operator”; these are communications teams, they used field phones, two-way radios and a telegraph key. So my Dad is talking about Koski’s ability to send Morse code on a key; not easily done by most people.

Looking closely at the background and surroundings we can see a tarpaper-covered building that may be the battery building or a barracks. Other shots from this area show pyramidal tents on frames commonly used to billet troops. In the foreground above the buddies heads you can see a bit of Spanish moss hanging from the tree to give that “bayou” feel!!!

Note: this image was taken 70 years ago this month.