‘Olive Drab’ Christmas - Military Trader/Vehicles

‘Olive Drab’ Christmas

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by Mark Sigrist

 1943 Dodge WC56 posing for 2009 Christmas Card following the MVPA Lincoln Highway Convoy during which she traveled 5300 miles. Mark, Sundi, and Gunnar Sigrist – Gunnar is currently on active duty with the USMC.

1943 Dodge WC56 posing for 2009 Christmas Card following the MVPA Lincoln Highway Convoy during which she traveled 5300 miles. Mark, Sundi, and Gunnar Sigrist – Gunnar is currently on active duty with the USMC.

The subject of Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) convoys seems to be what I have been able to write about lately, for no apparent reason other than I seem to spend a lot of time contemplating them, planning for them (as part of the MVPA Convoys core cadre), preparing for them, and of course actually running in the events. The approaching holiday season, though, brought to mind our Christmas cards to family and friends. In the past, these have included a few seasonally appropriate HMV and family photos. Our rationale was to just dress up the photo with some simple, holiday decoration.

 1993 AM General M35A3 posing for the 2012 Christmas Card following the MVPA Alaska Highway Convoy during which she traveled 7200 miles. Sundi, Mark and Gunnar Sigrist.

1993 AM General M35A3 posing for the 2012 Christmas Card following the MVPA Alaska Highway Convoy during which she traveled 7200 miles. Sundi, Mark and Gunnar Sigrist.

Our photos were of our 1943 Dodge WC56 Command Car following our adventures on the 2009 Lincoln Highway Convoy, and our 1993 AM General M35A3 following the 2012 Alaska Highway Convoy. Numerous convoy friends have had similar ideas. We have received a variety of Christmas cards over the years that included HMVs.

 USO show Christmas 1969, Long Binh, Viet Nam. Very large crowd of GIs watched Bob Hope, Ann-Margret, Johnny Bench, and the Gold Diggers on stage. They were very well received.

USO show Christmas 1969, Long Binh, Viet Nam. Very large crowd of GIs watched Bob Hope, Ann-Margret, Johnny Bench, and the Gold Diggers on stage. They were very well received.

 Christmas 1969, Long Binh, Viet Nam. A pair of Cobra gunships photographed on the ground prior to the Bob Hope USO show. During the show, they flew air cover around the area perimeter. A combat engineer land clearing unit provided the LZ.

Christmas 1969, Long Binh, Viet Nam. A pair of Cobra gunships photographed on the ground prior to the Bob Hope USO show. During the show, they flew air cover around the area perimeter. A combat engineer land clearing unit provided the LZ.

 Closeup of Cobra gunship locked and loaded for area security for 1969 Bob Hope USO show at Long Binh, Viet Nam.

Closeup of Cobra gunship locked and loaded for area security for 1969 Bob Hope USO show at Long Binh, Viet Nam.

A time to reflect on past holidays.

My Father was a medic in the US Army Air Corps serving with the 3rd Attack/Bomb Group, 5th Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific during World War II. Bob Hope and his USO troupe (that included Jerry Colonna and Patty Thomas) visited his unit at Port Moresby in New Guinea. From that day onward, he was a lifelong fan of Bob Hope.

 Bob Hope performed for members of 3rd Attack Group at Port Moresby, New Guinea. Dad couldn’t remember if it was 1943 or 1944.

Bob Hope performed for members of 3rd Attack Group at Port Moresby, New Guinea. Dad couldn’t remember if it was 1943 or 1944.

 Jerry Colonna of the Bob Hope USO tour performing for members of 3rd Attack Group at Port Moresby, New Guinea.

Jerry Colonna of the Bob Hope USO tour performing for members of 3rd Attack Group at Port Moresby, New Guinea.

 Bob Hope and Patty Thomas of the USO tour performing for members of 3rd Attack Group at Port Moresby, New Guinea.

Bob Hope and Patty Thomas of the USO tour performing for members of 3rd Attack Group at Port Moresby, New Guinea.

Growing up, I didn’t have time for oldies like Bob Hope. Then during Christmas of 1969, Bob Hope put on a show near where I was in Long Binh, Viet Nam. Johnny Bench, Ann-Margaret, and the Gold Diggers were part of the show.

 CH-47 Helicopter arriving at Long Binh, Vietnam, 1969 carrying Bob Hope USO troupe.

CH-47 Helicopter arriving at Long Binh, Vietnam, 1969 carrying Bob Hope USO troupe.

 Amphitheater at Long Binh, VietNam Christmas time 1969 crowd of American soldiers awaiting arrival of Bob Hope USO show. Note the empty chairs down front for the just-arriving wounded GIs from the 93rd Evac Hospital.

Amphitheater at Long Binh, VietNam Christmas time 1969 crowd of American soldiers awaiting arrival of Bob Hope USO show. Note the empty chairs down front for the just-arriving wounded GIs from the 93rd Evac Hospital.

From that day onward, I was a lifelong fan of Bob Hope. I’m sure he is still doing Christmas shows ‘for the troops’ on the other side.

To my fellow convoyers and historic military vehicle enthusiasts everywhere: Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! Get those vehicles ready for the 2019 Lincoln Highway Convoy!

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