18 August 2009

Some things we can no longer do....

From the Old Soldier side: One of my favorite things to do is go to air shows. I know, I'm an Army Dude, but I grew up an Air Force Brat...and they usually have some old Army stuff and a good air show anyway. They had a pretty good one last weekend near where I live.

As I was walking around and looking up at the pretty planes flying around...and listening to everyone go: "ooooo....ahhhhh" I ran across this old Jeep.

Now this one was a WWII model. But, they had not really changed much through the 1970's. The only reason the US stopped using them was because there was always some private who could roll one over.

When I was stationed in Berlin, Germany (when there was an East and a West...you know the "Cold War") I often got to drive a Jeep on convoys. My primary vehicle was the Gamma Goat, but when the convoy sergeant wanted a driver for the long drives through East Germany, he always picked me. He knew I'd never fall asleep while driving.

While I was looking at the above Jeep, one of my sons was with me. I looked inside and said out loud: "I don't know how I did it."

My son looked at me and said: "you mean how you drove one of these dad?"

I looked at him and said: "No, driving them was easy. But one convoy ride we were driving back to Berlin after being out in the field for weeks. We stopped at some Army post over night. We all went into the NCO club and drank several liters of German beer. When I left, I couldn't find the area we were supposed to sleep at, so I crawled into my Jeep and passed out between the front seats...leaning back on my duffel bag. I woke up with the worst hangover in my life, puked my guts out...then drove on convoy all day. Ahhhhh...those were the good old days."

My son just looked at me and wondered. I'm glad I don't drink like that anymore...I'd never be able to fit between them seats.


Wrexie said...

When I bought my Bronco several years ago...a male friend of ours said, "Now be careful to not roll it over...you know you have to...blahblahblah". I gave him a look that reminded him my hair was very brunette and I that I could actually drive. Just recently I heard a few stories from my son about his several near roll-overs...one downtown no less.
Took the little 'private' a while to confess he almost ruined it for us.
Maybe I'll share a story or two with him now...the look of wonderment is so much fun. :)

Ahhhh....Jeeps and Broncos. Good ole days indeed. But that German bier...that's another story. haha.

Opus #6 said...

Ahh, youth.

Coffeypot said...

That jeep and a '57 Chevy are my two all-time favorite vehicles - and a 55 Chevy Pick-up. So that makes three. But I can understand how privates could roll one over. Their turning radius is so tight and small that if you try to turn one like you would a car…greasy side up pronto.

LL said...

They rolled VERY easily. In the ramp up to Desert Shield/Storm one of my guys rolled a jeep near Camp Billy Machim (California) near the Salton Sea and broke his neck.

CI-Roller Dude said...

The Army Jeeps came with a written guarantee...but nobody ever read it.
If you drove at 15 MPH or faster and turned the steering wheel all the way left or right, it was guaranteed to roll over.
We had a scout fall asleep on one of our long ass German convoys...the only thing that saved him and the TC was the gun mount. I still don't know how they stayed in as it rolled over since it had no seat belts at that time.

My guard unit got very old used jeeps in the late 80's. They tested the body, and if it was solid, they built a roll cage and put seat belts into them.
They still would roll over, but at least you could enjoy the rolling ride.

King of New York Hacks said...

They do roll very easy...but German beer will make you roll way quicker.LOL

CI-Roller Dude said...

Oh, we never drove any military vehicle whilst intoxicatedddddd....
but often with a hangover.
I'll do a story later on rolling Humvees in Iraq.