Casper (WY) WWII Fire Apparatus Brings History Home

A 1942 Chevy class 135 bomber crash fire truck, one of six former fire trucks on the Casper Army Air Base (WY), has returned home. The truck has been sold to the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum for $5,000.

In 1942, the United States was in the middle of a massive military mobilization that year and, in March, bulldozers rumbled out over the Wyoming prairie to build what would become the Casper Army Air Base. Construction lasted six months, and soon B-17 bomber crews were running high-altitude training missions from the base. The B-17s stayed only a short while and the base became the home for B-24 bomber flight crews.

The truck once saw plenty of use. Ninety planes from the base crashed, 74 of them in Wyoming. The crashes claimed the lives of some 140 men.

The plan is to restore the truck to working order and drive it in annual parades such as the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo Parade.

Its list of needs is fairly short for a truck that rolled off the line in 1942. The engine needs to be rebuilt, as does its pump. It needs new tires, a new driver-side window, which is shattered, and a paint job.

One day it may be on display in a building the museum is planning, but that is five to 10 years away.

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