By María MontecristoReporter
The Redball Military Transport Club is hosting its yearly swap meet and militaria show at the West End Fairgrounds, welcoming more than 140 vendors of military collectibles. The event is happening on Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24, from 9 a.m - 5 p.m (on both days).
Members of the Redball organization boast a wide range of members, from active and retired military personnel to vehicle collectors and historians. They will bring their military vehicles from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and surrounding states. Militaria firearms, vehicle parts, and personal effects will be available from vendors.
Redball Military Transport Club is a vehicle group named after the historic World War II highway route. The organization was born of the overwhelming need for speed and agility during the war. The Redball Express was a vital supply line stretching from the Port of Cherbourg in France to the front lines in Germany. Over 1,000 miles long and requiring constant resupply to keep the Allied forces supplied with food, fuel, and ammunition, The Redball Express met this demand with a fleet of over 6,000 vehicles driven by soldiers who volunteered for the grueling task. The drivers often worked around the clock to keep the supplies moving. The Redball Express was essential to the Allied victory in World War II. Without it, the war could have taken a very different course.
This year's featured vehicle is the WWII-era U.S. Army CCKW, a 2 ½ ton, 6x6 cargo truck affectionately known as the "deuce and a half." This rugged and reliable transport came equipped with various specialized bodies and trailers. Moreover, it was the first truck equipped with a manual transmission, making it easier to drive off-road. The Allies used the CCKW extensively during WWII and played a vital role in the war effort. From 1941 to 1945, more than half a million were produced and used in every theater of war. Today, the CCKW is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, and it remains an iconic symbol of the American trucking industry.
A new feature of the event will delight history buffs: encampments from World War II. Visitors can step back in time and experience what life was like for soldiers during the war. It's a unique opportunity to experience an up-close look at history, and it's sure to be a hit with visitors of all ages.
Admission to the vending area is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free. There is no charge to visit the living history encampments and vehicle displays. Food will be available for purchase. If you are passionate about military history or transportation, this is your chance to see the most unique and rare vehicles ever made. Whether you're an experienced enthusiast or just getting started, this will surely be a weekend you won't miss.
For more information about Redball Military Transport Club, visit their website redballonline.org or find them on Facebook. The West End Fairgrounds is located at 570 Fairground Road in Gilbert, PA.