Re: [MV] Deuce Unit Markings

Fri, 8 Oct 1999 01:13:29 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Keine <>
Date: Thursday, October 07, 1999 6:47 PM
>Anyways, my truck came from the Illinois National Guard, and the bumper
>markings read: 86C-R342CHEM X212. I've got the "X212" part, but what
>exactly does the rest mean? What is a "CHEM" unit and what are their
>responsibilities? I've asked several people, and no one has ever heard of a
>CHEM unit.
>Also, I've heard some people on the list talk about their vehicle's
>where it came from, when it was rebuilt, etc. I know the military keeps
>records on all their vehicles, but how do I get a copy of it and how long
>they keep this info after a vehicle has left inventory? My truck was at the
>DRMO for nearly a year, is there still any hope of getting this

***** Not likely. I'm not sure about USA but in Canada when a vehicle goes
surplus out one door, the records usually go into a bonfire out another
door! DUMB! I was told by the government surplus people they were afraid of
being sued, so they destroyed the records! Ironically I feel they left
themselves open to lawsuits by HIDING the evidence of former accidents which
might have weakened or bent a frame, alignments of wheels etc. We ordinary
mortals have to declare in writing any vehicle damage over $XXX when selling
a car etc. but not our government!

One friend bought an M38A1CDN2 jeep with original factory installed winch
(RARE model) and found that the army cadet base upcountry still had its the
service records. He got the records but only after I wrote a formal letter
as an army officer to explain that there was nothing classified here (it was
all sold surplus!) etc.

I got copies of all of the M100CDN 1/4 Ton trailer records out of our local
army base by sweet talking the custodian. It helped being an officer...
Most interesting one was CAR # 70000 which had NO SERIAL NUMBER! It was a US
built M100 by Dunbar-Kapple. Canada had bought 250 of them during Korean War
and this one was the FIRST one in the CAR number series for ALL of these
trailers in all of Canada! A friend Ian Newby who had served in that unit -
12 Svc Bn - bought it and preserved it - still with no serial number.
Official records showed it NEVER HAD ONE!

Brits are refreshingly different. Most of their post-war vehicles can have
history traced apparently. Try to trace your truck CHEM unit through local
National Guard. You already know more about the history of your vehicle than
most people do.

By the way, I hope you have already had all of the children you planned to
have as those "Chemical Warfare" guys were probably playing around with
"Agent Orange" and similar stuff in your truck... Also if yours is a
typical modern US surplus vehicle it will have the names of the driver and
main passenger in black stick on letters on the windshield. Again, this is
more than most of us know about our vehicles. If you can track down the
unit, try to track these soldiers down. If you can find them or their
buddies (can try Internet searches for military personnel too), you may get
some interesting stories.

I once had a 1967 M38A1CDN2 jeep from my old regiment The Seaforth
Highlanders of Canada and later the M100CDN trailer it had towed in service.
I kept bugging everyone at regimental reunions etc. and finally found a
former driver who had stories AND photos of it in use!

As far as where yours might have been rebuilt - look for rebuilt data plates
on dash, engine, transmission, transfer case etc. I just found a Norwegian
rebuild plate on my transmission/transfer case a few weeks ago when I was
crawling under my Willys MB.

Remember the vehicle probably got transferred around so will possibly have
several different paint schemes and a variety of markings in layers. LUCKILY
the military around the world rarely sandblasted a vehicle and usually just
painted over the old markings and paint. Thick layers of army paint are also
a great rust preventer.

Glad to see you have the intrest to preswerve the history. I don't care if
you later paint it up as 82 Airborne or US Special Forces in Vietnam or USMC
or USAF or Gulf War or whatever, just preserve the original history in
photos and notes.

Good luck!

Colin Macgregor Stevens
MVPA Member 954 (since 1977)
& member B Coy 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion (Living History)
Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada
Personal web site:
1944 Willys MB
1942 BSA airborne bicycles (2)

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