We were invited a while back to display my ’41 Willys MB at the big gun and militaria show at the Oaks Expo Center near Philly. It seemd like a good marketing opportunity and a chance to hang out with some old friends so I jumped at it.
There were four WW2 vehicles on display. Three WW2 Jeeps and Gary with his Dodge Weapons Carrier.
Jim Cherry was setup with the Willys MB that he and his father immaculately restored. I originally procured this for them and the job they did on it is one to be proud of.
Jim’s grandfather was a pigeon man in WW2. They were still using pigeons to deliver messages and JIm has pulled together quite a collection to display what was done and how the pigeons were cared for. It is one of many little known aspects of WW2.
Using photos and other information they had Jim and his father built a copy of the portable pigeon coop that was mounted in trailers. Also note the large sign for Graeme park next to the trailer. This is a wonderful WW2 event in Horsham, PA. I will be there and I recommend it for anyone who can attend.
The medical display set up by Kurt Eberling Jr and his fellows was quite impressive.
I really liked the color of his Jeep and Kurt told me that he bought his GPW from the Philippines. Apparently when the Philippine military realized there was a market for these Jeeps they repainted them and put them up for sale. Oddly the only “olive drab” paint they could find was leftover Japanese WW2 paint, thus the color of Kurt’s Jeep.
Towards the end of the show I spoke for a while with a WW2 veteran who was stationed in the Philippines. he said they had problems with the locals stealing the Jeeps. Their first solution was to drill the hood number into the rear fenders of the Jeeps. Then the locals started filling the holes with soap and drilling new holes. After that what the GI’s started doing was tipping their Jeeps up on their sides at night. He said the locals were too small to topple them back over so that ended up being their solution of the rest of their time stationed in the Philippines. A new jeep story that I had not heard!
This was the first show of its kind at the Oaks. They plan to do it again next year. Around 30,000 people came through over the weekend and there was a wide array of items for sale. They plan to have more vehicle and reenactor displays next year and I definitely plan to attend.