What the Deuce? Museum of Aviation procures M-35 truck for new display

  • Published
  • By Angela Woolen
  • Robins Public Affairs
The deuce and a half, or M-35 truck, has been used since the Korean War to transport troops and cargo. And, after years of searching, the Museum of Aviation will finally have one to display.  The vehicle was delivered to Robins in 1987 and spent all of its service life with the 5th Combat Communications Group, according to curator Mike Rowland.

"It's a great story that touches three units at Robins: the 5th Combat Communications Group, 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the vehicle management folks from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center," he said.

The M-35 had been sitting outside in the elements rusting away until Phoenix Management Inc., a contractor with the 78th LRS, accepted the assignment to paint the truck and help with the restorations.

"When we started, it was in pretty rough shape," said Henry Kirkpatrick, a paint and body mechanic.

Kirkpatrick, along with his coworkers Gary Saylor, metal mechanic, and Rick Koast, mechanic, used their knowledge to fix what was broken or replace what was unfixable. 

The crew of three - along with vehicle maintenance flight chief James Pettis, who said he only supervised - stripped the truck down and sandblasted the main body. They then painted and reassembled the vehicle. 

Its final run will be the short hike out of Robins and down Ga. Highway 247 to the Museum of Aviation, where it will be displayed.