03/15/13 203 W, 2 I - + 7 - 8 Mystery Air Force Apparatus

Found these two images in my files. They were scanned from a scrapbook at the Morrisville Fire Department approximately ten years. There's no dates nor identifying information in my records. Conversed with military apparatus historian Peter Brock, and here are his observations:

The rig is not a standard issue USAF fire apparatus, it’s homemade. It would not have been at RDU, because that is the Army National Guard (ANG) and this is clearly this a USAF rig. It wasn't photographed in Charlotte, either, because ANG bases did not have homemade apparatus at any point in their history. The only other options for North Carolina would be Pope or Seymour Johnson.

The rig looks like a homemade foaming unit, the tanks would hold the concentrate and the pump on the back did all the work. Not sure where the water would come from, perhaps an accompanying F6 or F7, but these units had their own pumps/tanks. It is an interesting rig that I have never seen before, maybe one-of-a kind?

Does anyone recognize the thing? Presumably a local photograph, perhaps a vehicle that was passing through the area, or loaned for particular purposes? Click to enlarge:

Once upon a time, around 1970 or so, my Dad and I stopped by the Morrisville fire station. There were four trucks inside- the Chevy/Darley pumper, a small military surplus type brush truck, and two military surplus trucks of the 2.5 ton type. One had this style of front end, the other the older style (which was in fact Morrisville’s first fire truck).
DJ - 03/15/13 - 23:25

As I recall, there was a guy (I wish I could remember his name) who was a Chief officer in Morrisville (he was also a volunteer with Zebulon) who was in the Air Force reserves. I also recall that he did a lot of traveling around the world with the reserves. These may be pictures of his.
Chuck - 03/16/13 - 09:37

The name is Mike Chambers I believe. I would bet these are his.
Chuck - 03/16/13 - 09:49

OK…that may not have been a Morrisiville truck in the picture, but Morrisville DID have one in their station with the same type of cab, like Yrac and Knightdale had at the time. The military nomenclature for that truck was M35. The original Morrisville truck was on a CCKW chassis.
DJ - 03/16/13 - 11:42

The truck pictured in all of three of those is a GMC CCKW. The other one I saw at M-ville was an M35 derivative. I never saw what sort of body was on it, but I would venture that it was probably a tank body of some sort, like the one that Yrac had. The one had M-ville even had ‘Morrisvile’ on the door.
DJ - 03/16/13 - 13:18

The truck at the top I believe is a USAF 5 ton water tanker. The other three pictures show International Harvester 2 1/2 ton trucks. The International 2 1/2s were the Navy’s and Marine’s version of the GMC CCKW (the third type of 2 1/2 ton WW2 truck was made by Studebaker). For more USAF fire truck info check out http://www.firetrucks-atwar.com/af.html
Steve - 04/19/13 - 02:13

The truck appears to be an Air Force Water Distributor, Model 73. It carried 1000 gals of water and a 500 gpm pump. They were used to supply water to crash trucks. Many were modified with foam tanks,as seen in the photo. With foam tanks and a rear mounted spreader bar (nozzles) they were used for runway foaming operations. Reo,2 1/2 ton 6×6 chassis with tank/pump by Gibson. This link provides a view of one at the Memphis AFB, USAF 52L1467. https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=10200721449030839&set=p.10200721449030839&type=1&theater
Ted - 10/29/13 - 19:04

The red water tanker is marked on the front and back for Seymour Johnson AFB.
RT - 03/08/19 - 19:07

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