Bringing a Blitz back to life

A restored World War 2-era Blitz truck was recently handed over to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre.

CAPTION: Blitz truck 19012 after being restored by History and Heritage – Air Force’s Restoration Support Section. Story and photo by Flight Lieutenant Karyn Markwell.

The truck, with the serial number 19012, was restored by the History and Heritage – Air Force’s Restoration Support Section (RSS).

Australia and its allies used Blitz trucks extensively during World War 2 in various roles including transporting troops and cargo.

An estimated 800,000 Blitz trucks were manufactured in Canada by Ford, General Motors and Dodge, and shipped around the world to assist with the war effort.

   

Following World War 2, Australia continued to use Blitz trucks in its Defence, forestry, agriculture, transportation and engineering industries.

Wing Commander Kevin Kovic, officer in charge of RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre, said the vehicle was versatile.

“The Blitz truck saw service in all theatres and was used by all branches of the Australian military and allied Commonwealth forces,” Wing Commander Kovic said.

“This particular truck was in RAAF service and was used as a recovery vehicle.”

The RSS team, led by Corporal Steve Falzon and volunteers Mr Ken Savage, Mr Bill Luyten, Mr Max Farrell, Mr Doug Eadie and Mr Charlie Miles, painstakingly rebuilt Blitz truck 19012 from the ground up over many years – including a period of intensive activity from 2020-22.

The restoration included overhauling the truck’s engine, rebuilding its clutch and brake systems, re-wiring its electrical system, and manufacturing and fitting the half-doors and modified tray bed.

While Blitz truck 19012 was originally fitted with a crane, the restoration team manufactured and fitted a replica cargo tray.

“We at the Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre are extremely pleased with the great attention to detail in its refurbishment, as performed by our restoration volunteers and reservists,” Wing Commander Kovic said.


 
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