Army Convoy Shows Tremendous Possibilities of Motor Trucks.” Los Angeles Sunday Times, 14 September 1919, p. 1. When trapped in salt flats near Salt Lake or the Fallow Sink region in Nevada, all hands regardless of rank strove to save the expedition. The Ordnance Observer, 1st Lieutenant E. R. Jackson, described it this way in his report: “During the early weeks of the trip, discipline among the enlisted men of the Motor Transport Corps was conspicuous by its absence.”  Eisenhower agreed with this observation and blamed inexperience and poor officers for excessive speeding, poor handling of trucks and unseemly conduct. A century of technological miracles, from the railroad to the highway to the Saturn V, defined the American tradition of breaking boundaries and mastering nature. “U.S. Stop at Harvey Firestone's home. Eisenhower and the Transcontinental Motor Convoy Can you imagine driving across the United States only a little faster than you can walk? The 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco used the incomplete Lincoln Highway . Army Truck Convoy Teaches Many Lessons; Automobile Transportation Factor in Progress.” The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 August 1919, p. 1. “U.S. Personnel numbered nearly 300, made up of enlisted men, officers and War Department observers. In addition to transporting New York's Medal of Joan of Arc for San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, the convoy had four objectives; and Ordnance Department and Tank Corps observers completed their reports in October. That advocacy was a key success of the First Transcontinental Motor Convoy. The Transcontinental Motor Convoy consisted of 24 expeditionary officers, 15 War Department staff observation officers, and 258 enlisted men. part, but when weighed near end of trip, its gross weight was still 1,500 Image from the 2012 Brisbane Convoy for Kids of a Ford LTL9000. They climbed into 81 “specialized” military vehicles, including 34 heavy cargo trucks, delivery trucks, a caterpillar tractor (which would become vitally important), a blacksmith shop, kitchen trailers, motorcycles, and touring cars for staff and observers. The first Transcontinental Motor Convoy set out from Washington on July 7, 1919, with 24 officers, 256 enlisted men and 17 observers. The Townsend Highway Bill, legislation which established a Federal Highway Commission and appropriated funds for the construction of highways, was under consideration in Congress, and the fanfare surrounding the convoy helped convince the members of Congress to pass it. Of the 3,000 miles the convoy traveled, over 50 percent — or 1,778 — were over dirt roads, wheel paths, mountain trails, desert sands, and alkali flats. Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower (13th … More than 50 historic military vehicles will be on display Aug. 20 at Cantigny Park as part of the Transcontinental Motor Convoy, sponsored by the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. One-ninth of the population of the United States was living within a zone ten miles wide along the Lincoln Highway, and it was estimated that local publicity in the states crossed brought the convoy to the attention of 33,000,000 people or nearly one-third of the population. As a result, it is important to consider what happened after the war that came about as a consequence of it. .one story at a time. In the summer of 1919, a young Lieutenant Colonel named Dwight D. Eisenhower participated in the first Army transcontinental motor convoy. One of these groups is the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, and they just went through Nebraska a couple of days ago. At Gettysburg, Penn., the convoy met up with the new Lincoln Highway, which had been begun in 1913, and whose route it would follow across the continent, whether actual roads existed or not — in most cases out west, they did not. Such accidents would plague the convoy across the country, as truck couplings broke, axles cracked, engines overheated, fan belts snapped, and accelerators failed, among other problems. What a great idea, and what an impressive array of historic vehicles! Your email address will not be published. In 1919 General Dwight Eisenhower led a convoy of military trucks across the country to San Francisco. [ 62-287 ] 1919 Transcontinental Motor convoy roads worsened Eisenhower was along for the of. A geopolitical importance related to the terms of service-testing the equipment, some organizations are retracing the taken! Desert. ” Oakland Tribune, 17 August 1919, p. 8 vary, but the convoy that left Washington on. 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