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Guarding Junk

There was, for a time during World War II, a Navy jeep that couldn’t be caught.

An average jeep could do only 50 or so miles per hour. Several military police (MP) patrols had chased one of our jeeps into a Navy base near Apra Harbor on Guam. This jeep was amazingly faster than most. I don’t recall when, where, or who finally captured it, but it was impounded at an equipment storage yard near Asan where I had to pull guard duty on too many occasions. 

Ford / Schult Trailers Auxiliary Ambulance restored by Mike Nickels

PFC Belcher probably saw a Ford ambulance in Asan that looked something like this Ford / Schult Trailers Auxiliary Ambulance restored by Mike Nickels

Finally, a look under the hood revealed this particular jeep’s secret—some enterprising sailor had installed a Ford V-8 in the Willys!

The Asan equipment yard covered several acres and had, parked in neat rows, military equipment of every kind: trucks, jeeps, cranes, tractors, and a beautiful 1941 Ford woodie station wagon with Red Cross emblems on the doors. I spent many nights walking patrol at the equipment yard. When it rained, I’d get into a truck cab. 

I never once caught anyone stealing. I can’t estimate the value of what was stored there. I knew that the contractors in the states could sure make use of it, though.

I was sent to a village for a month or so and then back to the Agana headquarters, where I, once again, drew equipment yard guard duty at Asan. Was I ever stunned! 

Everything—all the equipment, including the super fast jeep and the Red Cross station wagon, had been dismantled with cutting torches and dumped into the ocean. That ended some un-needed guard duty.

Pfc. Gilbert E. Belcher, U.S.M.C.

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