20-21Feb: Mid South Military History Show by Steve Smith
I attended the Mid-South Military History Show over the weekend. I had planned on taking a vehicle but the weather was just to iffy. So I just took some machine gun simulator parts and set up a table. Maj. Tony Bryant, Kim Kimmey and Tom Creason also had a table set up. Great bunch of guys there and they took good care of us and I ran into a some familiar faces like Bob McFarland. They had it in a big rodeo arena with a dirt floor covered with heavy tarps. The uneven floor made walking somewhat difficult and it got pretty messing as dirt and mud were tracked in. You also couldn't help but pick up on the rodeo smell that hung in the air. Not overpowering but always present. Then it rained so hard on Saturday the roof started leaking in spots. Naturally one leak was right over my table. Caught it quick enough to avoid any serious damage but some of my photos got messed up. Plenty of room to move the table to a dry spot but seems someone should have known where the leaks were. Then, as Saturday afternoon came, the temp started dropping rapidly outside and likewise in the arena. Never did find out what was wrong with the heat and by the end of the day I was chilled to the bone. They fed us a great BBQ dinner at the end of the day but it was a cold meal. It was still cold in there the next morning so I loaded up and headed home. Luckily the outside temp stayed just above freezing so no serious problems on the roads. There were only a few vehicles there because of the weather and I'm sure it kept a lot of the public from showing up. But it was fun and I found a few WWII do-dads. While I was there Bob asked me to sit in on their Chapter meeting and I gave them a report on our Red Ball Convoy plans. Good group there. Here are a few photos.
9 Nov. - Fayetteville Veterans Parade by Ron Naef - Small parade around the Fayetteville square. Jerome brought his M38 and I brought a M151A1C and M1009. My grandkids rode in the MUTT and the M1009 and had a blast. The white haired lady in the MUTT is a WWII Veteran Nurse who serving in a forward field hospital in Europe.
8 Nov. - Clarksville Veterans Parade by Steve Smith - We had a great turnout for the Clarksville Veterans Parade on Saturday. Beryl and Esther Wolfson led the way in their GPW (I guess that made Beryl the Parade Marshal!), my MB, a local car club member's M38A1, my GMC CCW, and Jeff, Trudy, and Wade Stinson brought their M923 and M1008 with trailer. There was also a dump version of the M923 fielded by the local scouts. That all resulted in the biggest turnout of MVs in recent years. The spectators were light and scattered as usual but we had a great day for it and the veterans ceremony and chili lunch put on by the American Legion was good as always. The Clarksville Legion Post is struggling with their aging membership but they still get it done.
Click on photos to enlarge
17 Jan: (Clarksville) "Betsy" by Steve Smith Well, it wasn't our Sherman but dad and I worked our asses off to get it back in action. Check out these long lost photos the owners son put on facebook. These were taken in the late 70s and believe it or not I'm the skinny kid with dark hair! The engine we are hoisting into place is an original WWII Ford GAA V8. It's an 1100 cubic inch, overhead cammed, 32 valve, dual carbed monster, and it's all aluminum, the heads, the block, everything. It was originally designed as a V12 aircraft engine but shortened to V8 form for use in tanks. Amazing tech for the time. It had no trouble getting the 30 ton Sherman up to speed and the exhaust was straight out the back with no mufflers. What a sweet sound she had with a little burp and snort between shifts. It was workout and you needed three arms but it was a blast to drive. We called our Sherman "Betsy". Great memories! The owner of the tank was Joe Drennon of St. Louis and the photos are courtesy of his son Joey Drennon. I had never seen the photos before and they brought back great memories. Here's another photo Joey sent of his dad with Betsy. Betsy's a movie star too! She was in The Blues Brothers and Biloxi Blues. I wish I knew where she was now.
Updated: March 1, 2015
*Events have additional pictures posted on the Photo Gallery. Events posted below were sent in by AR MVPA members. If you (any AR MVPA member) have participated in an event we would like to include your write up and some photos. Thanks, Ev
01 Jan: (Elkins) " First jeep ride for the grandkids in 2014 - 53 deg" Ron Naef
11 Nov. - Russellville Veterans Parade by Steve Smith - The City of Russellville put on another great Veterans Day parade last Tuesday. We had a good turnout of MVPA vehicles with my Command Car, Andy Rossi's GPW, Tim Smith's Fast Attack Buggy, and Clayton Jones' fielded an impressive freshly painted Wrecker (M62?). I had the honor of transporting the Parade Marshal, Brigadier General Keith Klemmer of the Army National Guard. He thanked us all for our support and said when he retires he would like to join our group and participate in our events with his British Land Rover MV. Our good friend Jim Bob Humphrey of the Russellville Veterans Coalition organized the veterans tributes and parade again this year and he said he should be able to get support from the city again for next years Red Ball Convoy. Please show your thanks to Russellville by patronizing their businesses when you can. Great city, great people.
Nov - Dallas Veterans Parade by Jerry Gardner - About eight of us convoyed into Dallas from East Texas, both Tyler and Canton. We all hauled our vehicles accept for one who drove his 5 ton in through the Dallas Morning Traffic. Bet that was fun. We formed up by about 10 a.m. and waited until we got our passengers, the parade starts about 11 a.m.. I took my M38 and M151 to the parade. We had 4 M151's leading the parade. Three of us were carrying a Grand Marshall, all were wounded veteran; Corp. Jake Schick USMC, Sgt. Vincent Rios USMC and Vice Admiral David Robinson. The one I had was Vice Admiral David Robinson. He was the commanding officer of a river patrol gunboat in Vietnam. He was wounded severely but he told his men to strap him to a stretcher and stand him upright so he could command the boat during the attack. He was awarded the Navy Cross for this action. He eventually commanded several other ships during his career in the Navy; two guided missile destroyers and the CVN 71 Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. He eventually retired from the Navy in 1996. He was a fun guy to be with during the parade. I am including a few pictures of us forming up or waiting for the parade to start. This is a fabulous parade with over 180 parade units. It moves through the Downtown skyscrapers and ends up at City Hall with a huge reviewing stand. Next year you should come join us.
26 Apr. - Jefferson Barracks, MO WWII Weekend by Steve Smith