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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:16 am 
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One topic I don't think I've ever seen covered despite the voluminous number of postings on aviation forums is ground support equipment. I'm interested in what types you have at your museum. Or local municipal airport. It doesn't have to be from World War II or military. Basically anything but the really modern stuff at major international airports. I am specifically focused on aircraft tugs, but I thought it would be unfair to leave out any other type of GSE, so I made sure to leave it open to anything.

I got the itch to know more after our museum acquired the latter two of the tugs below and I started doing research into their history. However, my interest really took off this year at Oshkosh watching all the airplanes being shuttled around on Warbird Alley. I took the opportunity to photograph the tugs at work there and while stopped at Middletown on the way back.

I've given the tugs below abbreviations for easy reference.

Tugs at the Tri-State Warbird Museum
  • United Tractor SML 100C, Serial No. 12896 (TSWM #1) - Former Proctor & Gamble tug at Lunken Airport, painted olive drab, previously painted white with blue and gold stripe
  • Mercury Industrial Truck 460, Serial No. 64077 (TSWM #2) - Formerly owned by Goodyear Atomic Corporation of Piketon, Ohio; painted gray, previously painted red
  • Mercury Industrial Truck A-452-54, Serial No. 8785 (TSWM #3) - Formerly operated by the U.S. Navy

Tugs at Wittman Regional Airport
  • Clarktor 6, Unknown (KOSH #1) - Marked as "DM 3457904", painted olive drab
  • Clarktor 6, Unknown (KOSH #2) - Marked as "DM 4079543", painted olive drab
  • Clarktor 6, Unknown (KOSH #3) - Marked as "Tug 3", painted olive drab
  • Clarktor 6, Unknown (KOSH #4) - Painted gray
  • Clarktor 6, Unknown (KOSH #5) - Marked as "Navy WWII", painted gray
  • Clarktour CTA36, CTA6-30E-263-2102 (KOSH #6) - Painted white
  • Wollard MB-4, Unknown (KOSH #7) - Marked as "King Tut", painted olive drab
  • Wollard MB-4, Manufacturer Serial No. 741-0245 (KOSH #8) - Painted olive drab

Tugs at Middletown Regional Airport
  • Clarktor Mill 40, Serial No. CT40 1087 CT (KMWO #1) - Marked as "6", painted blue
  • Clark CTA39E, Serial No. CTA39E-321-2201 1173 (KMWO #2) - Marked as "Royal Air" and "6", painted white with gray
  • Harland Corporation HTAG 50, Serial No. 6814 (KMWO #3) - Painted white with blue and red

Tugs from the Web
  • JG-75-3, NSN - 6RX1740-00-414-715S - Painted white, owned by MAPS Museum[1]
  • Clarktor 6, Unknown - First tug at Akron-Canton Airport, marked as "MAPS", painted yellow, owned by MAPS Museum[2]
  • Wollard MB-4, NSN 1740-01-245-8391YW - Previosly painted gray, owned by MAPS Museum[3]
  • GC-250-A, Unknown - Painted yellow, owned by MAPS Museum[4]
  • NC-8, Unknown - Marked as "GAHJ" and "263876", painted gray or white, owned by Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum[5]
  • Clarktor Mill 44, H-1583 - Painted olive drab, previously painted blue, before that yellow, owned by Matt Throckmorton[6]

PowerPoint of Aircraft Tugs in DropBox

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:02 am 
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The D/FW Wing of the CAF has a little Yellow Clarktor (believe it is genuinely ex-navy).

Best pic I have right now -

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Former Wing Leader and General Staff member Charlie Wood on the D/FW Wing's Tug


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:04 pm 
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Does my Willys/Szekley NC-1a Aircraft Carrier Jet Starter count?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:12 am 
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I've long said that a blue AF "bread truck" needed to be saved in the Museum in Dayton, particularly one that had hundreds of "zaps" (unit stickers) placed inside. Crew transportation is something anyone on the flightline can identify with. Somehow I don't think that idea will ever get any traction.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:01 pm 
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Noha307 wrote:

Tugs at the Tri-State Warbird Museum
  • Mercury Industrial Truck 460, Serial No. 64077 (TSWM #2) - Formerly owned by Goodyear Atomic Corporation of Piketon, Ohio; painted gray, previously painted red
  • Mercury Industrial Truck A-452-54, Serial No. 8785 (TSWM #3) - Formerly operated by the U.S. Navy

My dad worked for Pettibone (who bought out or merged with Mercury) for many years and picked up these photos of Mercury tractors:
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:01 pm 
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Some information for the good of the order. Ground support equipment was an integral part of a squadron in WWII, but was also integral in the higher echelons of organization. Additionally, the Army Air Force Base Units (AAFBU) had equipment integral to their organizations which was not present in the squadrons. The squadron, higher unit, and AAFBU Tables of Organization and Equipment (TO&E's), describe this equipment. The equipment is listed in tabulated format, with quantity of end items listed and divided up by Army Corps branch responsible for procurement of the item; in other words, if you list a radio, it is shown under the Signal equipment section; a vehicle is listed under Quartermaster (early WWII) or Ordnance Corps (later WWII). AAF specific items are listed by their Technical Order nomenclature (more about this below). This information comes from my research of the TO&E of the Liaison Squadron, which is properly called TO&E 1-977, dated 1943 and revised in 1945. Other units have their own TO&E's, and all AAF ones begin with a 1 number. Basically, these TO&E's list every item issued to the squadron, and with revisions from theater commanders to reflect local conditions and needs, is how those units were equipped in theater.

Here are some of my items. I have more than shown here, mostly focused on the Liaison Squadron TO&E, but this is what I could put my hands on quickly with descriptions that I know was on the TO&E. I am assuming that some of these items were on other squadrons, because they served the same need to keep the squadron in the field operational.

We'll start with the refueler. This is a refueler unit built for the USN. It is a USN model PD-1A, but the AAF model is PR-3, or Portable Refueler-3. It came new in the original crate, never run since 1944 when it was built by the E.O. Habhegger company in Philadelphia. It is capable of pumping into the aircraft, and also de-fueling. Each Liaison Squadron had one GMC CCKW fuel tanker, and two 500 Gallon F-1 or F-3 fuel trailers. This unit was part of the fuel trailers equipment, so they could be an independent gas station.
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Engine Tool kit box. Note the Technical Order (TO) number. The TO number served as the nomenclature number of the kit, and the document which described the item. The TO listed the items present in this kit, and also how to service them and turn them in for replacement. 16 of these kits were with each Liaison Squadron.
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Kit, Mechanic Apprentice. I don't know what was in this kit, but guess that it had a few screwdrivers, a D-ZUS tool, set of pliers, etc. 32 of these were in each Liaison Squadron.
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Field Desk. So why do you need these desks? To store all the maintenance records! There are two of these desks listed on the Liaison Squadron TO&E. Note the small round recessed areas in the drawer; these held the ink bottles for the issue pens. Also note the original WWII stapler I found to put in the desk. All the Form 1, Form 1A's, Form 41's, and Form 60's were stored in these desks.
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Field Telephone, EE-8B. When the 9th AF deployed into the fields in France, ground communication was important. Many field operations orders and communications were set in motion over the phone.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:52 pm 
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Glad to see all the interest in this topic. Excellent postings so far from all.

CAPFlyer wrote:
The D/FW Wing of the CAF has a little Yellow Clarktor (believe it is genuinely ex-navy).

Those plucky little Clarktors seem to be everywhere. Anyway, thanks for the great post.

Jerry O'Neill wrote:
Does my Willys/Szekley NC-1a Aircraft Carrier Jet Starter count?

It sure does!

Chris Brame wrote:
My dad worked for Pettibone (who bought out or merged with Mercury) for many years and picked up these photos of Mercury tractors:

The guys at the company who currently own the rights to the Pettibone/Mercury tug product line were very helpful in my research on the two tugs at the TSWM. They unfortunately had to throw out most of their advertising archive due to its poor condition, but they still have most of the sales records and were able to send me the scans in the PowerPoint at the end of my original post.

A modeler did an excellent short history of U.S. Navy tugs that you can find here: U.S. Navy Flight Deck Tractors
A short history of ground support equipment in general: The History Of Ground Support Equipment

To get back on topic, the 1940 Air Terminal Museum has a tug that was donated by Southwest Airlines around November 2013. Check out that real comfortable seat!
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The C.R. Smith Museum has "Tug 160", which was donated by American Airlines back in May 2008. Built in 1945, it was apparently American's oldest piece of GSE when it was retired in 2001![2]
Image

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:01 pm 
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More tugs from around the web:

The Fargo Air Museum bought a tug in November that looks more at home on a farm than at an airport. Apparently it came from Atlantic City Naval Air Station in New Jersey.
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The Champaign Aviation Museum has a tug that was donated by ABX Equipment and Facility Services in April 2009.

The Estrella Warbirds Museum has a 1943 Ford Ferguson 9N Airplane Tug, serial 2446.
Image

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:19 pm 
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GSE at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum
  • Clarkat B Heavy Aircraft Tug, Serial CK431484 - Shipped to Columbus ASF Depot, Ohio, on 4 December 1943 and came to the UK with the US armed forces. Fully restored by member David Dawson.
    Link to Oversize Photo
  • Mercury Tug, Chassis No. 5045 - Built by the Mercury Truck And Tractor Coy, Gloucester. Believed to have served with British Rail but depicted here as an airport tug and is painted in the scheme and "G-HEVE" markings it had when at Ellough/Beccles Heliport.
    Link to Oversize Photo
  • Reliance Mercury Tug, Chassis No. 000133-3214, Engine/Motor No. ED13817U588840J, Gear Box No. 714-1166
    Link to Oversize Photo
  • Low Pressure Pneumatic Servicing Trolley Mk 1 - Believed to be pre-WWII but with later wheels.
    Link to Oversize Photo
  • Servicing and Repair Trolley - Reconstructed from an original pre-WWII wheeled chassis
    Link to Oversize Photo
  • Thorneycroft Nubian Pyrene Mk202 Foam Tender, Reg. No.: VYO417G/ J2522 (Jersey)/ Q368KEW - Built between 1964-1968, and was once fitted with a 3-ton dry powder unit - also used for light water demos. for the MOD, and a Pyrene demonstrator. Has a Rolls-Royce engine, and bodywork originally painted red. Thought to have been trialled by the RAF as a replacement for the Mk.6 but not adopted; was at Filton during the Concorde maiden and test flights, and may have been at Farnborough. Went to Jersey Airport Fire Service - painted yellow - as J2522 with call-sign “Crash 66” in October 1969, and served there until donated to IWM Duxford in March 1984. Then donated to Flixton by the Norfolk Fire Museum following storage at Bressingham.
    Link to Oversize Photo

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:34 pm 
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GSE at The Yorkshire Air Museum

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:59 pm 
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Wikipedia Category: Aircraft Tugs

1964 David Brown at the Nationaal Militair Museum
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Clarktor CT 30 at the Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr
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Clarktor 6 at the Treloar Technology Centre of the Australian War Memorial
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Douglas Taskmaser at the Royal Air Force Museum London
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Tugmaster at the Fleet Air Arm Museum
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David Brown at the Malta Aviation Museum
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Whatever this is with Stallion 51
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:10 pm 
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Clarktor 6 at the Air Victory Museum
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Clarktor 6 at the New England Air Museum
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Clarktor 6 at the Military Museum of Southern New England
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:51 pm 
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GSE at the National Museum of the United States Air Force

Clarktor-6 Towing Tractor
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MD-3 Ground Power Unit
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MA-1A Start Cart
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MC-11 Air Compressor
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Cushman Model 39 Delivery Scooter
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:53 pm 
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Hello. I can't tell you much about our tugs. I drive 'em, but I don't know makes / models / years, etc. Here are some pictures of our daily use tugs. We have a much larger one in another hangar. If you want info on any in particular, I can easily get it for you. Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:17 am 
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Spectre_I wrote:
Hello. I can't tell you much about our tugs. I drive 'em, but I don't know makes / models / years, etc. Here are some pictures of our daily use tugs. We have a much larger one in another hangar. If you want info on any in particular, I can easily get it for you. Hope this helps.

This is excellent! Simply awesome! I would ask for the information on all of them...if it's not too much of a hassle that is.

EDIT: Don't forget you guys also have this Clarktor 6! (Which I just so happened to come across online.)

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