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gwb123

Cold War Custom Builds

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I posted a 1/4 ton trailer that had been modified for special use.

 

Here are a couple of M880 series trucks that basically had tar an wood additions on the back of them. These belonged to the 708th Maintenance Bn. / 8th Infantry Division in Germany around 1982. These generally would have been frowned upon in stateside units that would have been subject to air or sea deployment.

 

Not the best photos, but I will post more as I find them.

 

Note the corrugated tin overhang over the windshield.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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I think that corrugated metal is the roof of a structure behind the truck, not attached to the truck itself?


Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Corvette than in a Yugo.

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Good eye! I believe you are correct. The added on box does extend over the roof of the cab however.


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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This is not so much a custom build, but a custom paint job.

 

This is a Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) belonging to B/ 708th Maintenance Bn. I believe in the Spring of 1981.

 

During that time, we experimented with "hiding in plain sight". For one thing, it would have taken a lot of camouflage nets to cover this machine. So we painted it yellow, and parked next to civilian trucks. Despite areal recon, the opposite side never did spot them.

 

For those of you who are sticklers for paint authenticity, if you look close you can see where the yellow does not quite cover up the standard camo paint beneath.

 

HH 1 small.jpg

HH 2 small.jpg

HH 3 small.jpg

HH 4 small.jpg


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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More hiding in plain sight. Back in the day, German farmers would harvest and bail their hay into bundles. Then they would cover them over with a blue or green tarp to keep the rain or snow off of the hay. It was quite common to drive through the country side and see what looked like giant blue cubes out in the field.

 

This is again B Company, 708th Maintenance. It may not look all that convincing close up, but looking downward from the air, these managed to elude detection.

 

We also did simple things like rent a building or maintenance shed, and just park the vehicles inside when not in use or on the road.

HH 10 small.jpg

HH 11 small.jpg


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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I love the 'hiding in plain sight' photos. Was this activity limited to the 708th, or was it part of a wider experimentation in the army at the time?

 

Thanks for sharing!


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I know we experimented with it in the 708th. I think other 8th ID DISCOM units might have been encouraged to do so. The combat units were more mobile in their operations, and I don't recall them doing such things. But the support units tried hiding vehicles inside of existing structures, such as factories, civilian facilities such as road depots, etc.

 

Units trained a lot in Europe, so probably other things were tried as well.

 

I just know as a supply officer, our units just had a ridiculous amount of camouflage nets because of the size of our vans and equipment.


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Thank you for sharing these photographs. I have been long interested in the Cold War turning hot scenarios, I find these images fascinating.

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Heres my tank, M48A5 C-21, C/1-72 Armor, 2ID Korea hiding in plain sight:

 

post-9621-0-83896500-1539372471_thumb.jpeg

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Gil, regarding your pictures I couldn't believe my eyes. First I noticed the letters on the number plate of the blue truck standing next to the HET: "MR" is for the Hessian district "Marburg", the area where I grew up. There's a writing at the top of the truck. Kreisverband 164 K***N. It's for sure "Kreisverband 164 Kirchhain" (pigeon breeders, lol). Kirchhain is my former hometown. Last picture in post # 5 shows a hill in the background. I know this hill very well: Amoeneburg, I went to school there.

 

https://www.amoeneburg.de/seite/de/stadt/02/WB/Startseite.html

 

I very well remember the large exercises in our area very closed to "Fulda Gap" in the early 80's. Seems we were neighbous for at least a brief time these days. Gil, this is a small world; thank you for your service in my country during the cold war! I will never forget!

 

Lars


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Lars, you make me blush. Thank you... it was my honor to be there.

 

I am sure many of our exercise areas overlapped. I will send you some of the photos I have of various locations and maybe you can identify them.

 

The worst one I was on was Capstone 1, in the winter of 1980 I believe. Much of the maneuver was cancelled due to harsh conditions. I was quite happy to be heading back to Baumholder. But as we were going back, your Bundeswehr compatriots in their six wheeled winter camouflaged recon vehicles were heading out! I wasn't sure if they were crazy or if they were somehow warmer than we were.


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Tank? What tank? Where? :D

It looks like a big wooley mammoth.

 

Semper Fi.

 

Manny

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I enlarged these from some photos I was posting on the 708th Maintenance Bn Facebook page tonight. Not the best shots, but these are hooches that were built on the back of Deuce and Half trucks. As mentioned before, the quality of construction varied.

 

The canvas added and tacked down on the roof of the second truck was to help with waterproofing it.

CC 1.jpg

CC 2.jpg


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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A couple of jeep photos.

 

Hard top or "winter kit" jeeps were prized by the units that had them. Many of the line combat units discourage their use as being unnecessary and not in the spirit of sharing the hardships with the troops.

 

This one is from the 708th Maintenance Bn., with our justification being that the unit could be called out for all kind of recovery operations in all kind of weather. Engineer units also typically outfitted their jeeps in the same way.

 

This photo also shows the yellow convoy safety light and how the antenna was tied down for transit.

 

The other photo is of the required "Convoy Follows" sign on the lead vehicle of the column. As you can see, the quality of these varied from crude to professional. The last vehicle in the column would have a sign on the rear reading "Convoy Ahead". Neither sign was particularly welcomed by the civilian motorists.

CC 3.jpg

cc 4.jpg


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Wash day at the motor pool. The rectangular frame on the front right bumper is a rack that holds a chemical warfare detection device. I believe each company had to have at least one vehicle fitted this way. We typically did not mount the device full time as they were somewhat fragile for constant use.

CC 5.jpg


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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