Colonel Eisenhower went on note that the variety of vehicles made it difficult to keep the convoy together and none of the vehicles had been properly tested or adjusted before starting out, which along with the raw nature of the troops caused a lot of unnecessary stops and breakdowns. The Engineer detachment led the main body with the 5-1/2 ton Mack that carried the Artillery detachment’s Maxwell crawler tractor. He noted that the convoy commander was not given time to train his men and recommended that "...the M.T.C. The 1919 convoy included 81 vehicles, 37 officers and 258 enlisted men. In the summer of 1919, a young Lieutenant Colonel named Dwight D. Eisenhower participated in the first Army transcontinental motor convoy. Despite pressures from Des Moines, and furor over the paving question, McClure stayed on course and quieted the controversy over the location of the Lincoln Highway in Iowa. The other motorcycles were used to carry messages up and down the length of the convoy. 8 a.m. - 5:45 p.m., June - July, Memorandum from Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Chief, "Daily Log of the First Transcontinental Motor Convoy, Washington, DC to San Francisco, Cal., July 7th to Sept. 6th, 1919". In the summer of 1919, a young Lieutenant Colonel named Dwight D. Eisenhower participated in the first Army transcontinental motor convoy. The 1919 convoy started in Washington, D.C., and reached its destination at Lincoln Park in San Francisco. Military Convoy Retraces Historic Route through Cedar Rapids On Sunday, June 21, a convoy retracing the 1919 transit of military vehicles on the Lincoln Highway pulled into Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the night. The soldiers had spent 11 hours on the road that day, traveling from Kimball, Neb., to Cheyenne. [11] In addition to 230 road incidents[12] (stops for adjustments, extrications, breakdowns, & accidents) resulting in 9 vehicles retiring,[2] the convoy of "24 expeditionary officers, 15 War Department staff observation officers, and 258 enlisted men" had 21 injured en route who did not complete the trip. The tour commemorated the 90th anniversary of the first transcontinental U.S. Army motor transport convoy, most of it along the Lincoln Highway. Lt. Jackson reported that the assignment of a dedicated mess officer in Nebraska greatly improved the food for the second half of the journey. The Military Vehicle Preservation Association will conduct a 90th-anniversary convoy across the United States to retrace the 1919 Army’s Transcontinental Motor Route, and Greensburg will be among its first stops. Commemorative Program, "A California Dinner in Honor of the Officers and Men Who Made up the First Transcontinental Convoy of the Motor Transport Corps, U.S. Army over the Lincoln Highway, Washington to San Francisco, July 7 - September 7, 1919" [U.S. Army, Transport Corps, Transcontinental Convoy: Records, 1919, Box 1; NAID #12165975], Memorandum from Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Chief, Motor Transport Corps, with attached report on the Trans-Continental Trip, November 3, 1919. The convoy travelled up to 32 mph (51 km/h),[11] and the schedule was for 18 mph (29 km/h)[21]:111 to average 15 mph (24 km/h). After a few weeks on the road the most skilled and responsible men were assigned as drivers or co-drivers of specific vehicles with full responsibility for their operations and maintenance and a preventative maintenance routine of evening servicing and morning inspections was instituted to reduce preventable breakdowns. The Denison Review, 2 July 1919, p. 1. Moody (Ordnance Department, USA, Tank, Tractor & Trailer Division), "Report on First Transcontinental Motor Convoy," October 31, 1919. Finally, the Maxwell and Militor tractors were praised for their overall reliability and mechanical superiority, as the trip could not have been completed without them. Two junior officers scouted ahead of the main body on motorcycles, signaling the route to the rest of the convoy using a simple but effective system of blue paper triangles tacked to trees and fences. Forgoing a rest day originally scheduled for the day after arriving in Oakland, the convoy instead ferried to San Francisco[26] the next morning 6 days behind schedule and parked at the Presidio of San Francisco.[5]:4. The Tank Corps Observer noted that "the light truck is so far superior to the heavy [which] should be confined to ... hard surfaced roads; and ... short hauls. of sending a military convoy over the en- tire length of the Lincoln Highway and discussed the matter with military offi- cials. F. Kelley, Reception Comm. These early experiences influenced his later decisions concerning the building of the interstate highway system during his presidential administration. 18th). The expedition was manned by 24 officers and 258 enlisted men. 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., August - May One pedestrian was struck, non-fatally, in Valparaiso, Indiana. Eisenhower reported that the experience gained on the relatively good roads in the earlier, easier part of the trip proved invaluable in the heavier going further west. [5]:24, In the course of its journey, the convoy broke and repaired[19] dozens of wooden bridges[2]:10 (14 in Wyoming alone) [20] and "practically" all roadways were unpaved from Illinois through Nevada. The trucks generally carried full capacity loads as one of the goals of the expedition was testing their performance. Photo Credit: Eisenhower Presidential Library The 1919 U.S. Army Convoy In 1919, the U.S. Army Convoy of 72 vehicles and 297 men traveled across the United States to test roads and military mobility. [5]:5 Eisenhower later said he joined the convoy partly for a lark, and partly to learn. The Military Vehicle Preservation Association is retracing the route of the first U.S. Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy along the historical Lincoln Highway in … “Army Truck is Try-Out For Equipment.” The South Bend News Times, 20 July 1919, p. 10. In addition to transporting New York's Medal of Joan of Arc[27] for San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts,[28] the convoy had four objectives; and Ordnance Department[5] and Tank Corps observers[1] completed their reports in October. [22] The actual average for the 3,250 mi (5,230 km) covered in 573.5 hours[23] was 5.65 mph (9.09 km/h) over the 56 travel days for an average of 10.24 hours per travel day. The retracing of the 1919 military convoy route made headlines at it crossed the U.S. the past month. [DDE's Records as President, President's Personal File, Box 967, 1075 Greany Maj. William C.; NAID #1055071], Report, "Principal Facts Concerning the First Transcontinental Army Motor Transport Expedition, Washington to San Francisco, July 7 to September 6, 1919." As necessary that day, traveling from Kimball, Neb., to have a giant. Messages up and down the length of the Military Vehicle Preservation association ’ s fifth convoy and the Grease! 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