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Lang 12-07-21 06:48

Back to the Track 2021
 
Back to the Track is starting soon (01 Aug)

At the moment there are around 160 military vehicles heading for Alice Springs.

Here is the event web site.
https://www.backtothetrack2021.com/



Official vehicle entrants to date May 2021



210 million candle power Searchlight



4 x Motorcycles (3 X 1942 WLA Harley and 1942 Indian Chief)

3 x 1942 Slat Grill Willys Jeeps MB

27 x 1942-1945 Willys MB Jeeps

31 x 1942 1945 Ford GPW Jeeps

1 x 1943 Ford Amphibious Jeep - GPA

3 x 1942 International K5 Prime Movers with single axle semi-trailers

1 x 1942 International K3 Truck

1 x 1941 North South Ford Prime Mover with single axle semi-trailers

1 x Chevrolet Gun Tractor towing Limber and QF 25 Pdr cannon

1 x 1945 General Motors C60X Blitz 6x6 Truck

2 x 1942 Chevrolet Lend Lease Truck

6 x 1944 Studebaker US6 G.S.Trucks

1 x 1942 Yankee Joe G.S. Truck

1 x 1943 Diamond T 969 Tank Transporter

1 x FWD HARI Cargo Truck

1 x 1943 GMC 6x6 Truck

1 x 1942 Dodge WC51 Ambulance

1 x 1941 Chevrolet CMP 305 Ambulance

1 x 1942 Chevrolet Lend Lease Truck

2 x 1940 Chevrolet 1 Tonne Truck

3 x 1941 Chevrolet C15 Blitz Trucks

2 x 1940 Chevrolet Staff Cars

2 x 1941 Chevrolet Long Range Desert Trucks

2 x 1942 Chevrolet G.S. Trucks

1 x 1942 Chevrolet Radio Van

2 x 1941 Chevrolet Maple Leaf Trucks

1 x 1942 Chevrolet 11/2 Tonne 4x4 Blitz Truck

1 x 1942 White Armoured Scout Car M3A1

1 x 1944 QL Bedford Communications Truck

1 x 1941 Ford Utility IIY

1 x 1939 Ford Roadster Utility

1 x 1941 Ford Marmon Harrington Gun Tractor

3 x 1942 Ford Blitz Trucks

4 x Ford CMP F60L Cab 12 Blitz Trucks

1 x 1942 Dodge Tonne Command Car

5 x 1942 Dodge Weapons Carrier WC52

5 x 1943 Dodge Weapons Carrier WC62

2 x 1942 Dodge Tonne Trucks

1 x 1941 Dodge WC16 Radio Command Car

3 x 1942 Dodge Carry All

1 x Diamond T 980 and 1944 Workshop Trailer

​and over 30 post WW2 military moderns



Confirmed over 160 military vehicle participants


Richard Farrant 12-07-21 10:17

Hi Lang,
Good luck with your trip. If you can, please post updates for those of us unable to take part this time. I was on the original BTTT in 1995 and the 2000 Trackers from SA to Alice.

regards,
Richard

Lang 12-07-21 10:49

Richard

The trip is so slow (2 weeks to cover 1,500km) I think I will have plenty of time to send reports.

Lang

Tony Smith 12-07-21 11:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lang (Post 280423)
Back to the Track is starting soon (01 Aug)

Confirmed over 160 military vehicle participants


All of the NSW participants are likely to be locked out of travelling interstate, borders are slamming shut around us again, not likely to be reopened in 2 weeks.

Lang 12-07-21 11:13

Yes. We were going via Broken Hill and Port Augusta but now heading north via Mount Isa. About the same distance (3,000km from Brisbane to the start) but such a bloody boring road.

Very sorry for the NSW mob. They had better sprint for Queensland or South Australia right now before they shut the gates.

Absolutely hopeless response. We have about 50 people a day with covid in one state so they slam the borders closed while the loudmouths talk about the "success" of other countries who have lifted their restrictions but still have 10's of thousands of cases a day. We can just hope reason prevails and everybody gets to the start line.

Lang

jack neville 12-07-21 13:15

1939 Ford Roadster and 1941 Ford/Marmon Herrington gun tractor are out unfortunately.

Phil Waterman 12-07-21 14:30

Photos and Videos please
 
Hi

Hope people taking part will share their photos and videos of the trip. Sounds like a great trip.

Cheers Phil

Lynn Eades 12-07-21 21:30

Aside from the effects covid will have, that is such a great intended turn out! Good luck to those planning to go.

Lang 13-07-21 12:16

3 Attachment(s)
Just come in as a bit of history. Alice Springs 1943. Even have an "in the background" for CMP people. Photo taken from much the same place today.

Lang

Lang 13-07-21 12:24

Jack

Sorry about that after so much preparation. Mechanical, Covid or personal?

Lang

Lang 14-07-21 11:19

5 Attachment(s)
More from the Mile Pegs Site which covers the Alice Springs to Darwin road.

Lang 14-07-21 11:21

5 Attachment(s)
Some more photos

Lang 14-07-21 11:23

5 Attachment(s)
And some more

Lang 14-07-21 11:24

4 Attachment(s)
The last lot

Phil Waterman 14-07-21 13:32

Great photos
 
Hi Lang

These are great photos, thanks for finding the source and sharing them.

Cheers Phil

Tony Smith 14-07-21 14:10

1 Attachment(s)
Certainly some good pics, not a fan of the colourisation.

But look at that Chev Ute with the CMP 15cwt body; sure would fit lots of light bulky goods like "Army Mail", but looks a bit unbalanced!

Hanno Spoelstra 14-07-21 21:00

1 Attachment(s)
Lang, enjoy the trip in your Chevrolet staff car!

I wish the other MLU members who taking part a safe and joyful trip too.

Attachment 123563
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/sh...239#post278239

Lang 14-07-21 22:30

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks Hanno. We leave Tuesday morning.

Five 600km days should see us there but if we can average 250km a day in case of disasters enroute there is enough time to still make the start 01 August.

PS Hanno. In the photo of rolling bombs off the back of the truck you will notice that half the people are Dutch. This was the mixed Dutch/Australian B-25 Mitchell Squadron operating out of Batchelor Strip south of Darwin

Lang

18 Squadron (NEI) RAAF

One of the RAAF's most unusual units, No 18 Squadron formed at Fairbairn in the Australian Capital Territory on 4 April 1942. The commanding officer was a Dutch national, while the remainder of the squadron's complement was a mix of Netherlands East Indies (NEI) citizens and Australians.

Allocated a bomber role, most of the Mitchell bombers were captained by Dutch pilots, with Australians and Dutch nationals making up the remaining aircrew.

On 6 July 1942, No 18 Squadron was officially deleted as a unit of the RAAF and became part of the Netherlands East Indies Forces. The Squadron moved to the Darwin area in January 1943 and, under the operational control of RAAF Command, continued its attacks and anti-shipping strikes throughout the Netherlands East Indies.

After the War, RAAF personnel were withdrawn from No 18 Squadron, which moved back to the East Indies and was later absorbed by the Indonesian Air Force

Lang 15-07-21 04:54

1 Attachment(s)
Some More Alice Springs

Lang 16-07-21 00:54

2 Attachment(s)
Some photos coming in from the troops on the road to the start. This is a shot of the (non) scenery on the Stuart Highway heading north to Alice Springs from the window of a Studebaker US6.

Lang 17-07-21 04:47

1 Attachment(s)
Found a photo of a 1940 Chevrolet in Darwin in 1942.

VIP is William (Billy) Hughes who was the Australian Prime Minister during WW1. At 80 years of age he must have been the oldest person in parliament by the time WW2 rolled around.

Two features for my car.

The Chevrolet is black so no need to repaint mine.

The Tac Sign is the 12th Division of a buffalo over boomerang. Mine has been corrected to this insignia. 12th Division only lasted for 4 weeks. In the space of a month it changed from Northern Territory Force to 12th Division and back to Northern Territory Force. There are a lot of buffalo over boomerang photos so I suspect they continued to use this insignia despite the boomerang design being standard divisional or higher designator.

Mike Kelly 17-07-21 08:19

more
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lang (Post 280558)
Found a photo of a 1940 Chevrolet in Darwin in 1942.

VIP is William (Billy) Hughes who was the Australian Prime Minister during WW1. At 80 years of age he must have been the oldest person in parliament by the time WW2 rolled around.

Two features for my car.

The Chevrolet is black so no need to repaint mine.

The Tac Sign is the 12th Division of a buffalo over boomerang. Mine has been corrected to this insignia. 12th Division only lasted for 4 weeks. In the space of a month it changed from Northern Territory Force to 12th Division and back to Northern Territory Force. There are a lot of buffalo over boomerang photos so I suspect they continued to use this insignia despite the boomerang design being standard divisional or higher designator.

Not sure about the chevy being black but the 42 Ford (132425) does appear to be black .. this scene supports the Laurie Wright article where he writes describing his car spotting during WW2 where he spotted staff cars finished in black livery driving around Sydney .

Lang 17-07-21 08:42

I credited 12 Division with a longer life.

Northern Territory Force was renamed the 12th Division on 31 December 1942 and reverted to the title of Northern Territory Force on 15 January 1943. During the fifteen days that the formation constituted the 12th Division, it comprised the 3rd Brigade, 19th Brigade, 23rd Brigade, 2/4th Pioneer Battalion and 2/6th Cavalry Regiment.

Lang

Mike Cecil 17-07-21 17:33

NT Force and 12 Aust Inf Div
 
Hi Lang,

Actually, I think you accorded 12 Aust Inf Division a much shorter life than it actually had, and listed units that were not part of the 'Division'.

On 19 Dec 1942, NT Force HQ issued an instruction which stated that 'to give formation identity to units now classified as Force Troops, they will be re-designated as shown below ...' The list has two columns: the left being the NT Force name, the right being the new designation. A few examples: HQ RAA NT Force became HQ RAA 12 Aust Div; NT Force Cipher Section became 12 Aust Div Cipher Section; NT Force Provost Company became 12 Aust Div Provost Company, and so on. These units continued, while they existed, in the order of battle (OOB) for NT Force as 12 Aust Div units, and later 12 Aust Div (AIF) units, until a reorganisation in 1945. Correspondence for all units in NT was still to be addressed to 'HQ NT Force' and signals to 'NORFORCE'. The units you listed as part of 12 Inf Div, unless I've missed a subsequent instruction, remained as part of the over-arching formation, that is, NT Force.

So NT Force was never renamed '12 Aust Div', only units of Force Troops within NT Force, and those designations were retained for the duration, although some documents, just to confuse things, seem to use the two designations interchangeably. The differentiation between Force and Field Troops (ie NT Force and 12 Inf Div) for command and administration was retained until 7 October 1944, when all Field Troops (12 Aust Div units) came back under direct command of NT Force HQ.

The formation sign of a Buffalo over a boomerang, in white on a black background: during 1942, NT Force issued specific instructions on several occasions that all formation insignia in the form of emblems be removed from vehicles, with a horizontal bar above or below the unit sign, either white or grey depending upon the unit's designation, used to indicate NT Force Units. The earliest official reference I have to the buffalo over boomerang formation sign for NT Force (and hence, all the units within NT Force, including those designated as 12 Inf Div) is a list of approved formation signs dated 7 April 1943. Secondary sources (eg Taubert) state the sign dates from Dec 1942, but nothing I've seen to date in either LHQ or NT Force instructions supports that. I may well have missed an instruction, of course, but the above is what I have at the moment. The formation sign remained extant for the duration.

Hope that clarifies things a little. Very nice car: should be a pleasant motoring holiday in the company of many like-minded enthusiasts.

Mike

lynx42 18-07-21 02:40

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Lang and Bev, Have a great trip. I have had to pull out of the trip so I and my 1940 Chev Staff Car, ex Lieutenant General Sir Stanley George Savige, KBE, CB, DSO, MC, ED., Middle East 1940/41. will be sitting at home watching for reports on the trip. I have been waiting on yet another back operation for almost 2 years but Work Cover are mucking me around again. One W/c insurer has stopped being a W/c insurer and handed me over to another company. This other mob want to look at things again and I cannot take the risk of being 1/2 way to Darwin and get an appointment for an operation. I will be rightfully p!$$ed if I am still sitting at home at the start of September. Have fun and keep the reports coming.

Attachment 123634

If it is 1/2 as good as 'Back to the Track 1995', you'll have a ball. This is us in 1995.

Mike Kelly 18-07-21 03:44

more
 
Getting back to that pic and the cars. ARN 132425 was a Ford De Luxe sedan model 21A with chassis nr. 3A 2660 F . It was eventually disposed and sold to the Dept. of Works and Housing .

We don't know when or where the shiny chrome bits and black finish livery were applied but it seems to have been a factory finish paint job , hard to say.

I've only ever seen one of these RHD 42 Ford sedans , Bert Barker of the VMVC had one . Can't find more than a mere handful of the 21A models in the ARN books. Quite a rare vehicle today, in Australia at least.

Lang 18-07-21 03:54

2 Attachment(s)
Rick

Very sorry to lose you. One of the high points was going to be getting the two Chevs together for a photo shoot.

Looks like you are in double jeopardy any way with both the insurers and Dangerous Dan throwing up obstacles to your trip.

Lang

We leave in the morning for Mount Isa and Tennant Creek.

Mike Kelly 19-07-21 14:57

more
 
Jeep in the N.T. 1948.

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-143473988/view

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-143473681/view

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-147920481/view

Lang 12-08-21 03:15

Second last day. All going well with only mino disasters.

Dawn this morning at coomalie abandoned ww2 bomber strip. Hardy aviation from hardy aviation from darwin brought in their dc3 late last night to add to our camp site

Tony Smith 12-08-21 07:48

How many vehicles on the trip, Lang?


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