A SUCCESSFUL YEAR AND WINTER PREPARATION
Dave Peters, President
So here we are at the end of another busy club season. The holidays are here and old man winter is on his way. I am happy to point out that as a club we attended or had a presence at sixteen events this year. This includes parades, runs and picnics. Many of our people were seen at a bunch of other non-club events which is further testament to our members and the love and use their old military vehicles. Well done folks!!
Dave Peters, CJMMP President
Anyone who thinks it's easy to hold things together is free to run for a position and help your club. Although we are a moderate size club, we have a good foothold on the east coast and we do more events and have more fun with our vehicles than some much larger clubs. Once again, Good job and well done! We can all be proud!
As is natural for any group our size, we have had our share of happiness and tragedy this year. As a group we share these things together. Things that affect one member affects us all to some degree. So please reach out to those in need for help and support. Sometimes a phone call is all that's needed more than anything else.
Getting back to the arrival of old man Winter, I imagine several of us are getting our trucks ready for a long cold nap. This leads to the thoughts of "Well, just what should I do to get the old blitz buggy ready for Winter?
First of all be sure to have the proper coolant in the proper proportions in the engine. There are times when in the summer during the heat of a run that you may have to top off the cooling system with some water. This is normally fine but when it comes to the cold weather, the cooling system has to be checked out and brought back up to the proper mixture for safe protection. In our region of the world, most of us know that a 50/50 mix of water to coolant is correct for engine protection.
Next would be to get the fuel prepared for storage. The gas we get today is much different than the fuel our vehicles were designed to use. Mainly, as a result of the alcohol additive that is in all our gasoline now. This causes several problems with older carburetors and rubber products that are used in the fuel system but I guess that is a subject of another article someday. For now, the best thing to do is to use a good brand of fuel stabilizer. Fill the fuel tank up, add the proper amount of the stabilizer and run the vehicle around for a while. This allows the stabilizer to get all around the fuel system to do its thing.
Battery is next. If you have not spent the crazy amount of money on a gel cell battery then you probably have a normal lead acid type. Be sure it (or they) is topped off with distilled water and charged up properly. I prefer to use a charger on low amps for a long time. I then use a hydrometer to check the charge. This seems to work well for me but I guess a person can make a whole study on batteries and their care. There also is the battery tender chargers that I'm told work well. I thought I had one of those things but I can't find it any more.
Tires are next. Most of us know that as temperature goes down so does the tire pressure. So it's best to fill them up to their maximum amount for winter storage to help prevent flat spots or even damage to sidewalls. Tires can develop cracks and checks if sitting for a long time with low pressure in them. The best thing to do for long term storage is to put the vehicle on blocks supported from the axels. This takes all weight off the tires entirely.
A nice light cover for the beast when stored inside is a good idea at this point. It will keep dust, dirt and in my case grindings and other crud flying around in my shop off the vehicle. They have nice covers out there that allow air to move around and keep things ventilated yet keep dust off.
The last thing I'd like to write about is the mice. Maybe some of you know that feeling in the spring, you un-cover you pride and joy all happy and ready to wake him up and go for a ride just to discover some darn mice got in and chewed a hole in the canvas or chomped on some wires somewhere. Ugh! Or how about going into the glove box or tool locker and finding a great big mouse nest made out of that $65 manual of yours. Not to say anything about their leavings. So, one way to keep the critters' out that I learned about was from our own Tim Lohan. He told me about a method that I have yet to try but sounds great. You take spray paint tops or caps and turn it upside down and put some bleach in it about 3/4 full. Then place it in the vehicle. Put several of them around in places mice tend to go. The chlorine gas wafts around and keeps the buggers out. Cool idea huh?
Well that's about it for prepping your vehicle for winter. If you follow these simple tips you should have no problem waking your buddy up next spring and get him rolling again. So go get busy getting your truck ready for winter, cover him up, tuck him in and kiss him good winter.
Thanks again everyone for all your hard work this past season. It's a pleasure to know each and every one of you. It's time to start thinking about next season! Let's go for a ride!
Don't forget to attend the holiday party, I'll see you there.
From the “What are the Chances Department”
Kevin Kearney, CJMMP Secretary
PFC Joseph Kearney XX Corps HQ
Not too much is known about my grandfather’s service in WWII. We did know that he was a clerk in XX Corps Headquarters (3rd Army) under Walton Walker. When he got to the ETO was unknown, and only a few photos from that period were known to us. Naturally, being involved with this hobby over the years has fueled my curiosity as to not only what my grandfather’s role was, but what XX Corps’ role as a unit was. As a result, I’ve gotten into the habit of searching out as much information about the unit I can find.
Over the years, I’ve acquired several unit histories issued by the Corps itself, and a few books written from the enlisted man’s view. Still, I hadn’t found quite what I was looking for. Until this past April.
During my semi-annual search for XX Corps information, I came across a book titled “The Ghost in General Patton’s Army”, by Eugene G. Schulz. I had never seen this book and found that it was relatively recent. A little more digging revealed that the author not only served in XX Corps, but served in HQ as well! Could it be? A little more reading and I soon realized that not only was he in HQ but was a clerk in G-3! My grandfather, PFC Joseph Kearney was also a clerk in HQ Company G-3!
A quick Googling unearthed an address and telephone number for Sgt. Schulz, who hails from Milwaukee, WI. I quickly telephoned and left a message for him. Disappointed that I didn’t get to speak to him, I was lucky enough to find an email address. What are the chances that a 92 year old WWII Veteran has email? I put together a nice letter, and included digital images of the few WWII photos I have of my grandfather and sent along the email, surely convinced that it would lead to nowhere.
From the book
“XX Corps men enjoy a day by the lake, Tutzing, Germany. (1945) Author third from left at table.”
My grandfather, Joe Kearney is seated at the right holding the mug of beer. This was taken in May or June of 1945.
In the meantime, I purchased the book from Amazon. It arrived two days later and I was like a kid on Christmas. I quickly scanned through it looking at the photos, looking for jeep markings and whatnot. Then, towards the back of the book, I saw it. There, sitting at a table with the author in Tutzing, Germany 1945, was my grandfather, PFC Joseph A. Kearney, staring up at me. I was floored.
Shortly after this new development, a very unexpected thing happened. Sgt. Schulz answered my email.
What a delightful surprise to receive your email and the fact that you are the grandson of Joe Kearney. When I looked at the photos of him which you attached, I remembered him instantly. Yes, I knew him and he was always such a great guy and very friendly and fun to be around.
I am on a trip in Germany right now and I will be back home in Milwaukee after June
9th. So please wait until then and I will be back in touch with you and look for any photos or other info that you may be interested in.
Eugene G. Schulz
Milwaukee, WI “
WOW! WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF THIS 70 YEARS AFTER THE WAR!
Needless to say, I waited rather excitedly to see what else Gene had to offer. A short while later, I received yet another photo of them at Tutzing from Sgt. Schulz along with an invitation to come visit him in Milwaukee.
I called my Dad and asked him if he’d like to go to visit the Sgt. He agreed and we were off. It was quite an honor to meet Sgt. Schulz, who was with the XX Corps since before its formation, and before when it was the VI Armored Corps. He delighted us with the stories from the desert training ground through the Tennessee Maneuvers, to traveling on the Queen Mary to the ETO.
Another photo of XX Corps men at Tutzing. Grandpa on the left, Sgt. Schulz on the right.
XX Corps arrived in France in July of 1944 through the bridgehead created by Operation Overlord on June 6. He told us all about his experiences being the spearhead of Patton’s 3rd Army. From Normandy, to Trier, to Metz, to Thionville, to Tutzing and all points between. He explained that the XX Corps also had the distinction of discovering the first Concentration Camp at Ohdruf (Buchenwald) on April 11, 1945. Gene showed us some photos from that day among others. Just horrible.
My dad, Joseph R. Kearney, Sgt Eugene G. Schulz and myself, Kevin Kearney in Milwaukee, August 2015
After V-E Day, XX Corps was sent to the resort town of Tutzing, Germany for ‘garrison duty”. While other units in the ETO were worried about being sent to the Pacific, XX Corps received no such orders. Sgt. Schulz fondly remembered the summer of 45 as the “Summer of Fun”. They had tours available to them if they could get enough men. He said he and the men took advantage of these tours as often as they could. They were on a lake and there was swimming, baseball and generally as much fun as you wanted. (Given the last year or so of combat operations, this was well deserved.)
Gene shared with us some of the many artifacts he brought home from Europe, and said that he and his lovely wife Eleanore toured France in 1995 shortly after the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. They toured Europe for several weeks and he managed to follow his maps and records and was able to find every Command Post that XX Corps HQ was based at during the war. He said it was quite exciting.
He also told us an interesting story. Three weeks after the XX Corps was activated, they were involved in a battle at Chartres, France. Since he was G3, Operations, all battle orders went through him and his CO, a Col. Welborn B. Griffith. He said that word came through that the Germans were using Chartres Cathederal as a fire base and there were snipers in the towers. Customary protocol here was that we level the cathedral to terminate the enemy. Col. Griffith, aware of the historical significance of the Chartres Cathedral, was reluctant to level it. Instead, he grabbed a jeep driver and made his way behind enemy lines to see for himself. He searched all though the cathedral and there were no Germans. He had the order rescinded, therefore saving the 12th Century Cathedral. Afterwards, Col. Griffith encountered a German machine gun nest, and was killed riding on the back of an American tank he found and ordered to take out the guns. For this act, Col. Welborn Barton Griffith, XX Corps. was awarded the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the Legion of Merit, the French Croix de Guerre and the Légion d'Honneur.
Gene told us that of all the horrible things he experienced during WWII, the loss of his Col., his good friend, so shortly after arriving in theater, was something he never really got over.
As far as my grandfather goes, Gene couldn’t really shed more light on his experience with him, because at some point they broke the G-3 section up into two, G-3 and G-3 Air, which dealt with coordination between the Air Corps and the ground forces. This is where Gene wound up. My grandfather was assigned to the regular G-3. I asked him how, of all the jobs there were to do that were much riskier in an Army, he wound up as a clerk in a HQ Company, he said, “I did well on the typing test.” Remember, there weren’t many male typists in 1945. This also explains my grandfather’s assignment, because before he was drafted, he was a clerk with Railway Express.
It was an honor and a privilege to meet Sgt. Schulz, and be so welcomed by himself and his lovely wife Eleanore. Dad and I spent 2 days with the Schulz’s, they gave us a nice tour of Milwaukee and we did our best to be gracious guests. Below are some photos I scanned while I was perusing the good Sgt.’s photos and memorabilia. It was an honor to meet him.
XX Corps Rest Center, Thionville, France
Some of the souvenirs Sgt. Schulz brought home from the ETO
May 8, 2015, to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VE Day, a flight of 60+ WWII Aircraft is scheduled to do a flyover of the National Mall. In conjunction with this, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at Dulles (The Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Annex) will have a one day display of WWII artifacts and vehicles on May 9th. Member Tim Lohan’s Navy “Follow Me” Jeep was specifically requested by the Smithsonian to be present for this prestigious event. His jeep was noticed due to its participation in the Mid Atlantic Air Museum’s Annual WWII Weekend in Raeding, PA. Congratulations, Tim, we’re all proud of you!
Member Tim Lohan and his Navy “Follow Me” Jeep at WWII Weekend, June 2014
Unfortunately, Member Peter Woolsey passed suddenly on March 16 while in the hospital for an unrelated matter. While, Pete was an official member of the CJMMP for a relatively short time, he has long been a friend of the Club and many of its members. Peter was very enthusiastic, and wouldn’t hesitate to drive over a hundred miles for an event from his farm in PA. We are all going to miss Pete, and we offer a heartfelt salute to Peter Woolsey, member and friend.
As a tribute to Pete, several members braved the snow and brought their military vehicles to the graveside services for Peter. We ‘d like to thank those members for representing the Club, even if it was for a less than enjoyable event.
The Club will be sending a donation of $250 to the Lambertville-New Hope Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 237, Lambertville, NJ 08530, in his honor.
At our February 2015 meeting, Karen Peters made a wonderful presentation of the Col Stanley L. Lapidow Memorial Scholarship to this year’s recipient, Amber G. Klein! Amber was very grateful for this award and will be using it for nursing school to obtain an RN.