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  #1  
Old 17-01-10, 13:28
Larry Hayward Larry Hayward is offline
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Default Can anyone identify this RAAF crane

Can anyone identify this RAAF crane in the attached photo taken at Balikpapan Borneo in 1945?

By the way I think the crane is behind the GMC and not fitted to the back.
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  #2  
Old 17-01-10, 15:10
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It looks like a Peter's Bros Articulated "G-Well" crane, and that it is actually mounted into the deck of the GMC. They were made in a range of capacities and I haven't seen one of this size/capacity before, but we have looked at a CMP CGT and Inter W-9 ones before.
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  #3  
Old 17-01-10, 19:24
Larry Hayward Larry Hayward is offline
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Thanks Tony,

It is similar to the photos you posted but the crane part at the end seems to be different

I'm wondering if this is a civilian crane used by the RAAF in Borneo or whether it got produced specifically for military use.
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Old 17-01-10, 20:35
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The truck is one of the Holden modified Aussie Airbourne GMC's as well. Good find as I missed this photo during my search for photos of the Aussie Airbourne GMC.

I would say the crane set up is a field modified job probably when the cranes regular mover either packed a sad or was destroyed before the war finished. It could even be a piece of Japanese equipment modified for use.
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Old 18-01-10, 08:11
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Fellows,
My father purchased the remains of a hard cab GMC a few years ago that may have been a crane version. Attached is a photo showing how the rear springs had been replaced with 'Beams' (I am not sure how to properly describe them) which may have been fitted to better support possibly a crane. Anyway please enlighten me if this is indeed a post war mod? The workmanship in these beams was second to none. BTW This GMC had a very early chassis serial number as well.
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  #6  
Old 18-01-10, 08:16
ozm29c ozm29c is offline
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Try the beam photo again
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  #7  
Old 18-01-10, 10:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozm29c View Post
Try the beam photo again
post war modification.
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"and on the 8th day he made trucks so that man, made on the 7th day, had shelter when woman threw him out for the night"
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  #8  
Old 20-01-10, 05:42
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Take a trip to Wilson Cranes in Mildura, Australia, and you will see around 8 to 10 of these dinosaur cranes. Another fitted to a Aussie softcab GMC is just out of Ballarat still fitted with it's crane.1
Regards Rick
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  #9  
Old 20-01-10, 05:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynx42 View Post
Another fitted to a Aussie softcab GMC is just out of Ballarat still fitted with it's crane.1
Regards Rick
Rick is the GMC the later standard model GMC soft top military cab or a closed cab with it's steel roof replaced with a demountable canvas roof like that in the original photo in this thread?
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Old 20-01-10, 07:43
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There was an identical crane to this sitting at Sumner Park in Brisbane for years until the late 80's. Still had all the RAAF Base Amberley markings from the 50's but the interesting thing was that the truck was not a GMC but an FWD. What happened to it?
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  #11  
Old 20-01-10, 12:22
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Cliff,
It was a soft top cab and the tray was filled with concrete. I do have a photo somewhere but it will take an age to locate it. They also had one with an International Mk3. 4x4. I must find the address again and check them out.
Rick.
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  #12  
Old 21-01-10, 08:00
Justin Pollard Justin Pollard is offline
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Hello All,
Thanks for posting this interesting pic Larry,
If it is taken in 1945 then i doubt it would be a 22SQN aircraft as they were using Bostons.
It would most likely be a 30 or 31SQN Beau.
As an aside i spent 1 1/2 years with 22SQN in 2004-05.
A SQN that is very proud of its history.

Regards
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  #13  
Old 23-01-10, 19:02
Larry Hayward Larry Hayward is offline
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Regarding the caption - this came straight off the AWM web site and not knowing much about the RAAF I took it as gospel!

I think the RAAF left Balikpapan in 1946 so thats the latest date it could be I suppose.
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  #14  
Old 23-01-10, 19:28
Larry Hayward Larry Hayward is offline
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By chance it seems that this Beaufighter A8-186 still exists!!!

http://www.thescale.info/news/publis...ufighter.shtml

And it has been painted in the DU code letters attributed to 22 Sqn RAAF?
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  #15  
Old 24-01-10, 11:02
Justin Pollard Justin Pollard is offline
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Hello Larry,
I would say creative licence has been used,
But,its possible it was on strength as a runabout or such,i will do some research and see what turns up.

regards
Justin.
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  #16  
Old 24-01-10, 14:28
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The aircraft was on strength of 30 Squadron as of 3/10/44.

It was involved in a ground loop and I will get some details which will date the photo as the aircraft was removed from service after that incident

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  #17  
Old 24-01-10, 14:37
Col Tigwell Col Tigwell is offline
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OK the photo was taken at Wama airfield at Morotai.

As the airplane was converted to parts on 22/12/44 that is likely the date of the photo.

By the way the RAAF was still using FWD's until the late 50's, mainly in the airfield constructionn squadrons, air force was very fond of them.

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Old 24-01-10, 14:49
Col Tigwell Col Tigwell is offline
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Just goes to show you cannot trust the notes on the picture.

The aircraft was written off on the 22/12/44 at Wama strip at Morotai.

The r/h mainplane was damaged beyond repair. The aircraft was returned to Australia for repair but was instead put up for disposal.

FWD's by the way did not fully come out of RAAF service until the very late 50's and were very highly thought of. A lot were disposed of by the two airfield construction squadrons, which would have meant that many would have ended up in Victoria and Darwin

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  #19  
Old 25-01-10, 00:26
Larry Hayward Larry Hayward is offline
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Default RAAF Crane

I wonder how the AWM came to have this as a 22 Sqn aircraft and said to be pictured at Balikpapan? I suppose that the guys with the Beaufighter wreck somehow picked up on this and painted it as a 22 Sqn machine.

Looking at the photo the ground does look too smooth to be Balikpapan compared to other shots I have. I thought this was the crane operated by my Dad when he was there in 1946 with the RAF.

However in discussing what his crane looked like with him he says the crane he found there was completely different to the one in the photo in that it was self propelled, on four wheels, jointed in the middle and steared by hydraulic rams on the side. It was ideal for engine changed on Dakotas etc as it could be positioned with a fair amount of accuracy when lining up retaining bolts on the Dakota engine.

So any clues as to what this crane was and whether it was RAAF or even a US design?
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Old 25-01-10, 00:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Hayward View Post
So any clues as to what this crane was and whether it was RAAF or even a US design?
Tony Smith said "Peter's Bros Articulated "G-Well" crane, and that it is actually mounted into the deck of the GMC". and I agree with him.

I originally thought the GMC may be one of the rare Aussie Airborne models BUT it could be an early closed cab GMC-CCKW 353 that has had it's cab roof removed when the crane was fitted.

EDIT: It could also be a type of LE TOURNEAU crane as well.
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"and on the 8th day he made trucks so that man, made on the 7th day, had shelter when woman threw him out for the night"
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Last edited by cliff; 25-01-10 at 10:51.
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  #21  
Old 25-01-10, 07:46
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The aircraft concerned never served with 22 Sqdn. And in actual fact never served with any other operational units. Served with OTU's and only served with 30 Sqdn for a few weeks until written off.

There was a surplus at that time of Beaufighters and I suspect that it was written off because they could not find another r/h wing for it. Aircraft as it stands at Harold Thomas's today is fitted with a replacement Beaufort wing.

Have had a fair bit to do with this airplane until Harold died, and really it could have been returned to service if they could have found the parts with some speed. The fact the airplane was shiiped back to Australia tends to support this.

As for the photo be labled wrong well I would back the aircraft history card every time.

Regards

Col


The crane could have been borrowed, as when I joined the air force in 1957, we were still using Federal and Fowker cranes, may have been loaned by the Yanks.
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Old 25-01-10, 10:52
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Thanks for clearing that up Col,
It certainly didnt make sense to me that it would be a 22 SQN Beau.
Happy that i was spot on with 30 SQN.

I wonder how many more pics are captioned wrong in the AWM archives?.

Justin.
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  #23  
Old 26-01-10, 22:22
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Hi Cliff,

I think you might be right about it not being an airborne truck. The tray appears hard up against the back of the cab, where as the airbornes seem to have had a spare wheel carrier put in between cab/tray like a CMP. The windscreen frame on the truck pictured also looks different than an airborne set up.

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  #24  
Old 26-01-10, 22:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Fawbert View Post
Hi Cliff,

I think you might be right about it not being an airborne truck. The tray appears hard up against the back of the cab, where as the airbornes seem to have had a spare wheel carrier put in between cab/tray like a CMP. The windscreen frame on the truck pictured also looks different than an airborne set up.

Cheers,
Ian.
Ian the Aussie Airborne trucks were coverted 352 SWB models and not the usual LWB 353 trucks. It is hard to tell from that photo whether the truck is a LWB or SWB judged on the distance between the front and rear wheels. When I enlarge the photo it appears to have a roll bar type set up at the rear of the cab which could be a support for a canvas roof as per the trucks modified by Holden into Airbourne models.
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Old 27-01-10, 04:21
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Hi Cliff,

I thought they were all SWB, but wasnt sure. I was basing my assessment on this pic of the airborne GMC-specifically the distance between the back of the cab and front of the tray due to the sparetyre carrier. Now you mention the SWB/LWB thing, it does look like the one in Larrys pic is a LWB?



I agree about the bar at the back for the roof. What do you think about the windscreen frame though- it looks too much like a hardcab cut down, not like the specifically fabricated version shown in my pic?

Cheers,
Ian.
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  #26  
Old 27-01-10, 06:06
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Now that I do compare your Aussie Airborne photo with the other the crane truck is a LWB and not a modified SWB. Probably right about the windscreen too as the Aussie airborne GMC one's were just angle iron with the original opening GMC windscreen frame and glass bolted to it. To throw a spanner in the works though is the fact that the US experimented with LWB closed cab GMC's with their roofs removed as Airborne trucks before Melbourne altered the SWB one's.
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"and on the 8th day he made trucks so that man, made on the 7th day, had shelter when woman threw him out for the night"
MrRoo says "TRUCKS ROOLE"

Last edited by cliff; 27-01-10 at 06:23.
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Old 27-01-10, 06:29
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Here is a photo showing the Aussie Airborne GMC angle iron windscreen frame. This is the remains of a surviver west of Brisbane a few years ago.
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Cliff Hutchings
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"and on the 8th day he made trucks so that man, made on the 7th day, had shelter when woman threw him out for the night"
MrRoo says "TRUCKS ROOLE"
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  #28  
Old 27-01-10, 07:11
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G'day MLU-ers

A couple more photos of cranes from the Australian War Memorial - details

ID number 125221 This shows a CMP Crane and also an early forklift
Object type Black & white
Physical description Black & white
Collection Photograph
Description MOOREBANK, NSW. 1946-01-30. NO. 5 BASE ORDNANCE DEPOT. DEPOT STAFF OPERATING A MOBILE CRANE AND FORK-LIFT TO LOAD A CONSIGNMENT OF HESSIAN ONTO A RAILWAY TRUCK. THE HESSIAN WAS BEING TRANSPORTED TO WALLANGARRA IN QLD. (PHOTOGRAPHER L. CPL E. MCQUILLAN) Accessed Tuesday, 26 January 2010 from, http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/125221

The second photo is a dozer mounted crane

ID Number 124188
Object type Black & white
Physical description Black & white
Collection Photograph
Description MOROTAI, BORNEO 1945-12-08. NO. 5 PORT OPERATING COMPANY. AN HD7 ALLIS CHALMERS MOBILE CRANE LOADING A NL PONTOON (USED IN WHARF CONSTRUCTION) ONTO A TRUCK. THESE CRANES WERE SPECIALLY DESIGNED BY THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ENGINEERS (RAE) AND USED EXTENSIVELY FOR BEACH WORK ON MOROTAI AND BORNEO. (PHOTOGRAPHER SSGT R. L. STEWART) Accessed Tuesday, 26 January 2010 from, http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/124188

Kind Regards
Lionel
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  #29  
Old 27-01-10, 10:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionelgee View Post
G'day MLU-ers

A couple more photos of cranes from the Australian War Memorial - details

ID number 125221 This shows a CMP Crane and also an early forklift
Object type Black & white
Physical description Black & white
Collection Photograph
Description MOOREBANK, NSW. 1946-01-30. NO. 5 BASE ORDNANCE DEPOT. DEPOT STAFF OPERATING A MOBILE CRANE AND FORK-LIFT TO LOAD A CONSIGNMENT OF HESSIAN ONTO A RAILWAY TRUCK. THE HESSIAN WAS BEING TRANSPORTED TO WALLANGARRA IN QLD. (PHOTOGRAPHER L. CPL E. MCQUILLAN) Accessed Tuesday, 26 January 2010 from, http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/125221

Kind Regards
Lionel
This is a Peters Crane mounted on what is probably a CGT chassis which were used for this purpose.
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"and on the 8th day he made trucks so that man, made on the 7th day, had shelter when woman threw him out for the night"
MrRoo says "TRUCKS ROOLE"
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Old 28-01-10, 12:20
Ian Fawbert Ian Fawbert is offline
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Hi Cliff,

Thanks for that info! Interesting about the LWB testing too.

Not sure on the history of the truck you pictured, but i have word that there is (another?) airborne truck in the brisbane (or somewhere up there ) area which has been recovered and in line for resto. It would be great to see one in running condition in the flesh one day!

Cheers,
Ian.
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