One of the heavy movers’ best friends is the heavy-duty class trailers for getting the “big stuff” around. The men of so many combat engineer battalions such as the 293rd, B Company, that was attached to the 26th Yankee Division would have used such pieces of equipment to get medium dozers to clear roads, make new ones, or bring back broken down light tanks,
half-tracks and vehicles. This 8-ton low-bed has probably seen its share of combat casualties and moved equipment where needed. Another one of Henri’s collection, this fine example of WWII remembrance has a central place among the trailers shown. It’s in great working condition and is about the most complete unit in the Luxembourg area.
This particular specimen was built by Fruehauf Trailer Company, Detroit Michigan, as most of us are aware, is still in business today. Fruehauf began in 1918, founded by August Charles Fruehauf (1868–1930), who was born in Fraser, Michigan. Contrary to rumor, this is a US company and not a German one. He began building the first trailers for a buddy of his to move freight and lumber. This was just the beginning of the monumental progress that would expand to train freight cars, shipping containers and was an instrumental hefty pusher in the birthing of the international highway system, proposed by the company to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. There were other companies also building the trailers; La Cross Trailer and Equipment Company, Roger Brothers Co, and the Timple Bros Co. More details and information can be found in Technical Manual, TM 5-5910.
Another nicely restored version of the trailer seen the Normandy at the remembrance week. This one in action with a small dozer loaded and ready for deployment.
One can’t help but notice the pretty complete collection of “Jerry Cans” in the camp. I do not want to go into all the details about the Jerry Can, as you could write a complete book on the subject. I will point on certain features and provide photos of them. First, they are a combination of water and fuel cans, the design is based on the German version of the fuel can “Wehrmacht-Einheitskanister” first designed in the 1930s holding 20 liters, the US version holds just over 5 gallons. Also noted is the strange indent pattern on them, which is designed for a more robust rectangular design in case of falling. Also noted the German version has a flip-up locking lid (cam-type), the US version of fuel had a threaded spill design, an exception was Marine Corps fuel cans, which also had this flip-top lid. All these versions including the British, have three handles on top, the center handles being for one person to carry when the can was not full. The outer handles are used for a 2 person carry when full, also one person can carry two cans in each hand by the outer handles when empty.
Jerry cans were also color coded to let the user know what was inside, such as RED being normal fuel – 80-100 octane, BLUE for Kerosene, YELLOW is Diesel.
The US water can, The left being post-war and the right wartime. Notice the change in the lid being in wartime more recessed. The water Jerry Can also had a different filler; it was not a threaded opening, but large flip open top with it locking to the rear.
Other features noted are that the US cans can be found with a U.S.A. on one side, “G” “QMC” (Quarter Master Company) on the other, the British W- up arrow-D, meaning War Department with date, German have Kraftstoff (Synthetic-Chemical) 20L Feuergefährlicher ( Fire Hazzard) and date. The German cans also had Water cans, marked Wasser or “W”. The Germans had 3 types of can designs used throughout the war.
As stated in the beginning, there is loads of information out there on all these different types, I have barely scraped the cover. One thing Henri showed was the proper way to set them out, with opening outwards, for easy and quick pick-up and fill, a man could walk between the lines of cans with the filler hose from the 600 Gallon tanker and fill a good number of cans quite fast.