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Air Dropped One Man Radio Shack Shelter S-57/SG


rambob
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I just received a phone call response to a WWII Militaria Wanted ad I run in my community newspaper. So I asked what do you have. He responded " I have a one man radio shack shelter that was designed to be air dropped onto pacific islands during WWII for observation purposes." After thinking KFC, I asked him to describe it and even after his description I had not a clue what he was talkiing about. He only lives 10 minutes from my house so I paid him a visit and the attached pictures are the result.

 

It looks like small, sheet metal box like structure, with a door, screen door, windows and vents built into it. The designation is Shelter S-57/GR as shown on the large data plate. The man is currently using the shelter as a storage shed so I couldn't get any good pictures of the inside, but he said that the remnants of a built in folding cot are inside on one wall. Also there are hookups for radio gear into the ceiling, into what I assume are antennea mounts on the roof.

 

So if the Army wanted to easily drop a radio operator into the boonies and provide him a water tight, storm proof, insect proof shelter and place to set up his radio, this would have been ideal. It is in remarkably good shape for having been out in the elemnts for half a century. Unfortunately, I have no place to keep it out of the elements, so I will have to pass on this purchase. Too bad!!

 

As always, all comments, additional information and corrections are welcome!!

 

Bob

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craig_pickrall

Hello Bob. I'm glad to see you are still with us. I thought maybe there was a cave in at the cave.

 

That is an interesting item. Surely you can fit it in somewhere. Living room, dining room, something...

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Brother Craig, yes, the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated! Work and family has been a real time black hole over the last two months, so have barely been able to read the forum, let alone post to it. Things should be getting better and I will be my normal, verbose self in no time!!

 

Bob

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kjones5452, You are correct!! The screen doors on my house are not in that good of condition!! There is not a single flaw on that screen door!! Amazing, that in the last 50 years at least one tool or item stored in that shelter wouldn't have poked a hole in that screen!!

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craig_pickrall

Some poor, brave Aussie coast watcher probably spent 2 years living in that box. Better get it while you can.

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How many do you suppose are still sittin out in the 'far reaches' overgrown, with the door shut tight, and the inside

still the same as the day it was walked away from?

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Craig, No worries mate it's not going anywhere. It hasn't moved an inch in the thirty years the guy has had the property!! Do you think it is from WWII? I can't find word one on the web about this beast!!

 

Bob

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Craig, No worries mate it's not going anywhere. It hasn't moved an inch in the thirty years the guy has had the property!! Do you think it is from WWII? I can't find word one on the web about this beast!!

 

Bob

 

Bob,

 

It might date back to WWII, but my guess is that it's from the mid 50's to early 60's. Just my $.02.

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

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Surely among all the members from around the globe, there's at least one or two from the Seabees or Engineer

branches that have handled and/or set these up, and can also decipher the model/serial number.

I'm startin to get curious cause I didn't even know something like this existed.

Can the owner shed any light, or did he get it as surplus?

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kjones5452, The owner got this shelter, that was already setup and being used as a garden shed, when he bought the house/property. He gave me as many details as was told to him by the previous owner.

 

Bob

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Make a heck-of-a sweat box.You should buy it and tell the wife its the new infa red sauna.Hang a heat bulb in it and your good to go!!!

 

RD

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Well, due to Robins abrupt declaration that the shelter is Post WWII manufacture, there goes the romantic vision of a lone Aussie Coast Watcher manning it on a Pacific island during WWII. So now the question is, what could have been its real function in a post WWII world and where would it have been used? Where was a need for an isolated, one man radio shack after the Pacific fighting ended after WWII? I doesn't look like it was designed for cold/arctic weather use, but for a more temperate, tropical climate. Afterall, we know there is at least 193 of the things made, if the serial number on the data plate is to be believed, so there must be some mention of them somewhere.

 

BTW. Robin, what year do you suppose this was made from the contract info. This would help the investigation tremendously.

 

Bob

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Bob

 

Any chance you know some Air Force guys or have an Air Guard or Reserve unit close??I am thinking you could ask a retired guy if he recalls them.We have a unit here that is pretty much or was a radar unit and now is a Test Squadron.They still have all these portable radar units and trailers/man shacks as they do a lot of that type work.After 9/11 they developed a system of inward looking radar for threats inside the US.Believe it or not there was no or very little capanility for this pre9/11.Everthing they expalined was an outward threat radar.Just an idea.

 

RD

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  • 4 years later...

hi ramrob.i have spent ages looking for info on one of these shacks.i joined recently.my dad bought one of these back in 1990 very cheap it was .it has sat here ever since .the serial number is 602.by the way i am in the uk.thanks for your post rob.hope someone will read it.i dont have an inkling how to put any pictures but will try to get the younger genaration to do it for me.thanks alan

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  • 11 months later...

hi ramrob.i have spent ages looking for info on one of these shacks.i joined recently.my dad bought one of these back in 1990 very cheap it was .it has sat here ever since .the serial number is 602.by the way i am in the uk.thanks for your post rob.hope someone will read it.i dont have an inkling how to put any pictures but will try to get the younger genaration to do it for me.thanks alan

 

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