Red Ball Military club rolls out the big guns
Victor Izzo/special to the times news An M7 105 mm Howitzer Gun-Motor Carriage, also known as a "Priest" because the round section on top looks like a pulpit, attracted plenty of attention at last year's Redball Military Transport Club event at the West End Fairgrounds in Gilbert.
History will come alive this Friday and Saturday at the West End Fairgrounds in Gilbert as the Redball Military Transport Club rolls out the big guns and armored vehicles for its annual "Rally and Swap Meet."
Members of the military vehicle club, which is based in Belvedere, N.J., collect, restore and show antique military vehicles both for the enjoyment of it and also to remember and honor the members of our Armed Forces, past and present. Their vehicles represent military equipment from 1941 on up to the present day.
Members often participate at various special events throughout the two-state area, such as Veteran's Day and Memorial Day parades. They also do reenactment, and show their vehicles at community and school events.
The Redball Military Transport organization was established in 1992 and takes it's name from the WWII supply route known as "The Redball Express." The Redball Express kept Allied troops resupplied as they fought their way across France in 1944 in their attack aimed at the German homeland.
Their actions during WWII were a vital contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
During this weekend's two-day event, a wide variety of military vehicles will fill a large section of the parking area outside of the fairgrounds. Visitors will also have an opportunity to ride in a vintage military vehicle. Last year, the event attracted a large number of WWII halftracks.
Inside the fairground, vendors will have a wide array of military items such as helmets, uniforms, radios, vehicle parts, nuts, bolts, lights, manuals, etc. Visitors to the show also have the opportunity to ride in a vintage military vehicle.
In addition to the annual September rally, the group has been having a Winter Swap Meet in February at Memorial Hall in Jim Thorpe.
A special guest at the Gilbert event this year is David Doyle, an author and the editor of Supply Line, a trade publication for military vehicle followers. He will be giving a presentation on the history of the two-and-a-half ton trucks.
Visitors to the show also have the opportunity to ride in a vintage military vehicle.
The Redball Military Transport Club's annual Military Vehicle Display and Swap Meet will run there from 8 am to 5 pm both days.
For additional information, please contact Jim Gilmore at (570) 325-5216.