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I am writing a book about the man in this photo, he is the late father of a friend of mine.   His name is Chester K Britt, he went to West Point and graduated June 1940, went to the Philippines, was captured when Bataan surrendered and went through the Bataan Death March and much more, until he was finally liberated from a POW camp in August 16, 1945 in Mukden Manchuria.   I'm trying to trace as many steps of his life as possible.   I'm pretty sure this photo of him was taken between 1934~1938.   Can anyone identify the car in this photo.   My best guess is something around 1930ish, but I don't recognized the nameplate in the center of the wheel. This is his West Point memorial  https://www.westpointaog.org/memorial-article?id=73a5cf7f-479b-48de-baa0-c2214732cc7a       Thank you.

Chet car.jpg

Chet car wheel.jpg

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Most defiantly Dodge Brothers, might be slightly earlier than 1928?   I think the dash board will tell the year and Model to a Dodge Brothers person.  Looking at the drivers door panel, this car had a well used life at the time of the picture.  A lot of the late 20's cars were on the road till after WW2, well the ones that were not repossessed during the Great Depression.  Did you notice the blanket on the seat?  You might have better luck dating the clothes he is wearing?  

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This is great.   Thanks for all the replies.   I think you've got it exactly.     Using this website   https://www.garagekeptmotors.com/vehicles/551/1928-dodge-brothers-128-sedan    I blew up the photo showing the old interior and compared to the website....stick shift matches, bulge on the dash under the gauges matches,  emblem in the center of the wheel matches, etc.     I think this may be a car he owned while going to high school 1930-1934, or to a local college 1934-1937 prior to getting a commission to attend West Point.

 

Well, THAT was so fast and productive, maybe I can get some further help.    I have two newer cars he owned based upon multiple photos.   A 1940 Chevrolet Deluxe 2 door sedan with 1940 New York plate 6D93-38 (attached photo shows the plate styles).   That is his wife Grace.   They got married the day after he graduated from West Point.   They sailed from NYC to Manila on 9/14/1940 on the USAT Grant.   She was evacuated back to the U.S. in May of 1941 along with all the other Army dependents out of worries of impending conflict with Japan.  I think this was the first car they owned together.   Second is what he had while at West Point  1936 Oldsmobile sedan1938 Wisconsin  license plate 529-469

 

Is there any way to chase down a vehicles history only from those plate numbers?

 

Thanks,

John

1940 Grace with 1940 Chevrolet Deluxe 2 door sedan and 1940 New York plate 6D93-38 SHOWING STYLES.jpg

1938 SUMMER Chet on furlough and Grace with 1936 Oldsmobile sedan1938 Wisconsin  license plate 529-469.jpg

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My love of old cars comes from my love of history.  If anybody is interested the "Ghost Solders" is a great read it starts with the fall of the Philippines and ends with the rescue of the POW's.  The story takes you back in time, to a place most of us will never really know or understand...WW2.   A true story of human and American perseverance.

 

image.png.3bec4ae444535955970b8af91de9be80.png

 

It is interesting my Grandfather was set to go into Japan, needless to say he did not have to, most likely why I am here.

 

This is him in 1945 in Japan.  He was crew on LSM 164, I still have the suitcase he is holding in the picture.

Image previewimage.png.fa931229d1e11374fc4308bf497841c2.png

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Max D Wait, was a civilian who volunteered to go to the Philippines to work on the artillery as an engineer.   He served with Lt Chester Britt on Fort Wint on Grande Island in Subic Bay from about November 1940 until December 24, 1941, when the little fort had to be abandoned and the men went to either Bataan or Corregidor to continue the fight.   Max and Chester were captured on Bataan.   Max was one of the men liberated during The Great Raid.    We're in contact with his daughter now who is providing us with things from Max for our book.    

1945 2 2 ROCK ISLAND ARGUS  under TWO FORMERLY Max Wait page 1.jpg

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Another car I'm hoping this incredibly knowledgeable group can help me with I've come across in the family photos.   To me it looks like a Ford Model A about 1928~1929, but that S shaped part on the back of the car I can only find associated with ragtops.   Any ideas?   Unfortunately Grace, Lt Britt's future wife, is blocking much of the car.    Looks like a nice Summer day around La Crosse Wisconsin where Chester, Grace, my friend David Britt Lt Col USAF (Ret), I and our families all grew up.   Dave is now in Florida and I'm in Arizona.   

Grace in front of antique car.jpg

Grace in front of antique car plate maybe Wisconsin 467-749.jpg

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29 minutes ago, padgett said:

If really interested in WWII in the Philippines & those who didn't surrender, see Wendell Fertig.

The book my friend Dave and I are working on is about his father, the men around him, and the families at home.    The surrender of first Bataan and then a month later the better supplied and more defensible Corregidor was inevitable.   Some dodge capture, but only a handful.    When they surrendered most men were deathly sick and living on starvation rations.    General King did the right thing by surrendering Bataan and Gen Wainwright did the right thing the next month by surrendering Corregidor and the remaining forces in the Philippines.   To have done anything else would have resulted in an absolute slaughter of the remaining soldiers and would only have resulted in both places being totally overrun in another week or two.   The men that did evade capture did a great job then as guerrilla fighters or to send radio messages to the Americans as spotters.    That losing battle for the Philippines is one of the brightest points in American military history.   The Japanese General Homma told his superiors he would take the Philippines in about 2 weeks, but he was held off for 5 months by men with no hope of supply, no hope of reinforcement, and fighting an enemy with total air and naval superiority around them.   It's hard not to find anyone who wasn't a hero during that fight.  

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49 minutes ago, padgett said:

If really interested in WWII in the Philippines & those who didn't surrender, see Wendell Fertig.

 

The book, "Indestructible" is an account of Pappy Gunn's exploits in the Philippines at the time of the Japanese invasion.  At the time of the invasion, Gunn was a retired U.S. Naval Aviator living and working in the Manila area hauling freight and passengers in Beech 18 light transport aircraft.  Gunn flew numerous missions as a civilian attempting the deliver medical supplies etc. to the beleagured American Troops.  Gunn was directly commissioned into the U.S. Army Air Force just prior to the fall of the Philippines and continued his desperate supply/rescue missions as a commissioned Army Aviator.  The book goes on to detail Gunn's amazing exploits in the S.W. Pacific Area during WWII.  Anyway, for a more detailed account of Gunn, here's a link to the Wikipedia page:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Gunn

 

I highly recommend the book "Indestructible", as it is both entertaining and informative.

 

John Duresky,

 

Please let us know via a post to this forum when your book comes out.  Anyone who survived the "Bataan Death March" and survived the Japanese POW camps, is certainly a hero in my eyes and would have had a most interesting story to tell.  It is unfortunate that so many of the WWII Veterans were reluctant to tell their stories, since those stories were lost upon their passing.

 

Christmas Cheers,

Grog

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20 hours ago, Graham Man said:

My love of old cars comes from my love of history.  If anybody is interested the "Ghost Solders" is a great read it starts with the fall of the Philippines and ends with the rescue of the POW's.  The story takes you back in time, to a place most of us will never really know or understand...WW2.   A true story of human and American perseverance.

 

image.png.3bec4ae444535955970b8af91de9be80.png

 

It is interesting my Grandfather was set to go into Japan, needless to say he did not have to, most likely why I am here.

 

This is him in 1945 in Japan.  He was crew on LSM 164, I still have the suitcase he is holding in the picture.

Image previewimage.png.fa931229d1e11374fc4308bf497841c2.png

 

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Can't see your grandfather with his suitcase, only a medium size photo of the LSM, but can't make out anyone on it clearly.   Life and death then was often a matter of just blind luck.   Lt Britt was in hold #2 of the Enoura Maru POW hell ship.   Bombs dropped on hold #1 killed almost all the men in that hold, another bomb near hold #2 killed about 50.   He was wounded in that attack by American planes and also while fighting on Bataan against the Japanese.

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23 minutes ago, capngrog said:

 

The book, "Indestructible" is an account of Pappy Gunn's exploits in the Philippines at the time of the Japanese invasion.  At the time of the invasion, Gunn was a retired U.S. Naval Aviator living and working in the Manila area hauling freight and passengers in Beech 18 light transport aircraft.  Gunn flew numerous missions as a civilian attempting the deliver medical supplies etc. to the beleagured American Troops.  Gunn was directly commissioned into the U.S. Army Air Force just prior to the fall of the Philippines and continued his desperate supply/rescue missions as a commissioned Army Aviator.  The book goes on to detail Gunn's amazing exploits in the S.W. Pacific Area during WWII.  Anyway, for a more detailed account of Gunn, here's a link to the Wikipedia page:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Gunn

 

I highly recommend the book "Indestructible", as it is both entertaining and informative.

 

John Duresky,

 

Please let us know via a post to this forum when your book comes out.  Anyone who survived the "Bataan Death March" and survived the Japanese POW camps, is certainly a hero in my eyes and would have had a most interesting story to tell.  It is unfortunate that so many of the WWII Veterans were reluctant to tell their stories, since those stories were lost upon their passing.

 

Christmas Cheers,

Grog

Thanks Grog, will do, I'll put a notice on here when it's published and I'll be sure to give credit to this blog for identifying cars, etc.    One thing that a lot of people don't know about are the hell ships.   These were freighters and converted ocean liners used to transport POWs mainly the Philippines and other places in the Pacific back to Japan.   They were not marked as holding POWs.   There were roughly 60 of them, about 20 were attacked and damaged or sunk, killing about 20,000 American, British, and other allied POWs.   Lt Britt first spent 2-1/2 years as a POW in the Philippines, then was put on the Oryoku Maru which was attacked and sunk killing about 300 Americans, they were then put on the Enoura Maru to go to Takao Formosa (Taiwan) where it too was sunk killing another roughly 300, then he was put on the Brazil Maru to go from Takao to Japan and another 400 died in the hold of that ship from exposure, etc., and when it got to Japan another 100 died within a week from that trip.   He then spent 3 months as a POW in Japan and 4 months as a POW in Manchuria.    He lost a lot of good friends along the way.    

 

Pappy Gunn is another one of the countless little known heroes of WWII.   

 

John

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56 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

My father went to  Leyte for his WWII service.

 

One thing I have concluded from working on this book is that almost every man and woman who served in WWII deserves their own book.   When you dig deep on the personal level it opens up stories about other people that are just as remarkable.    We focus so much on the big battles such as D-Day, etc., that we overlook the fact it's just the culmination of the stories of millions of lives wrapped together.   

 

I hope you have a lot of his WWII memorabilia.   Too many families I've found lost their relatives things over the years.    

 

John

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I think my father was drafted very late in the war in anticipation of a ground invasion of Japan. Truman dropped the nuclear bombs instead. So maybe I owe the fact that I was even born to that decision.. I was born 1960 when my father was 42, but if he had been killed invading Japan that would not have happened.

 

My fathers close friend, on the other hand was drafted much earlier, and was in some hellish battles in the Pacific and luckily survived, while he saw many killed around him.

 

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Re the 29 Dodge Brothers in your first pic, the hubcap revolves with the wheel - it happened to stop with the badge upside down when the pic was taken.  Turn it over and you can read DB.

 

Re the car in the pic with Mrs-Britt-to-be at the picnic, that S-shaped part is a landau iron.  They were used on some makes/models of both open and closed cars.  The ones on convertibles were hinged to fold with the top - the ones on closed cars usually were solid.  In both cases, they were more decorative than functional.  Sorry, can't help with ID of car but definitely is NOT Model A.  The only A with landau irons is the open Cabriolet and the closed Sport Coupe - no sedans with the irons.  I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon to ID the car.

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Looks like a 1925 Town Car (the rear window is covered) not a Ford.  The clamp on disk wheels makes it 1925 vintage, the drum headlights makes it pre 1927, the flat rear fenders are also a pre 1927 item.  The radiator has some sort of bug screen? the front looks angular but just behind that it looks like a rounded hood. 

 

The Wisconsin plates look like 1938, the top she is wearing looks like 1938 also, pretty flashy for before 1938.  This could be a drive in campground, extremely popular in the 1930s.

 

image.thumb.png.2a7d6d627ae45027cb2510a3289aeef9.png

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22 hours ago, Graham Man said:

Looks like a 1925 Town Car (the rear window is covered) not a Ford.  The clamp on disk wheels makes it 1925 vintage, the drum headlights makes it pre 1927, the flat rear fenders are also a pre 1927 item.  The radiator has some sort of bug screen? the front looks angular but just behind that it looks like a rounded hood. 

 

The Wisconsin plates look like 1938, the top she is wearing looks like 1938 also, pretty flashy for before 1938.  This could be a drive in campground, extremely popular in the 1930s.

 

image.thumb.png.2a7d6d627ae45027cb2510a3289aeef9.png

 

 

Hey, that's all great info and it makes sense.    Looks like it was at a picnic, and there are a lot of nice parks around La Crosse WI where the photo was likely taken.    Year for her, and year for the car is probably as close as we can get.   As the old saying goes, "It's close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades."    Thanks, John   p.s. lots of bugs in Wisconsin, so even the bug screen makes sense.   State bird is the mosquito.   

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You guys all appreciate American history, so see attached photo and 1945 article.    This photo was taken in Jan~May 1941 when Grace and Ruth had to be evacuated from the Philippines.   Grace has her back to the camera and facing Col Ausmus in the bow.   Having figured out who Capt Gray is yet....we want to trace down every life theirs touched back then.     Ruth's husband, Lt Charles F Monteith died as a POW in 1942.     That little piece of the Corregidor flag is now kept as a national treasure at West Point.  

 

 

1941 Grace Ruth Col Ausmus Capt Gray.jpg

1945 11 15  CHICAGO TRIBUNE Col Delbert and Corregidor flag piece .jpg

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I am not 100% what the differences were between 1928 and 1929 Dodge Brothers Standard Six Cars where.

Below here is a 1928 that I work on. It looks very similar to the one in the first photo above.

 

 

 

 

Left Dodge.jpg

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A great book on the Bataan Death March and other facets of the tragedies associated with the fall of the Phillipines, read the book, "GIVE US THIS DAY." Amazing. 

 

God bless the men and women who sacrificed so much for all of us...even for the fools who today fail to appreciate our freedoms. 

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I think the mystery 'town sedan' is a 1924-25 Hupmobile Model R Club Sedan. One of the last of the four cylinder models before the new Model A six came out.

 

The mystery car - followed by an ebay ad for the body - and a car in NZ for the wheels. 

 

 

1609776796_GraceinfrontofantiquecarplatemaybeWisconsin467-749.jpg.b3ce06490b72e098cbae7367fcf615dd.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

1924 Hupmobile Model R Touring.jpg

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On 12/21/2019 at 9:50 AM, capngrog said:

 

The book, "Indestructible" is an account of Pappy Gunn's exploits in the Philippines at the time of the Japanese invasion.  At the time of the invasion, Gunn was a retired U.S. Naval Aviator living and working in the Manila area hauling freight and passengers in Beech 18 light transport aircraft.  Gunn flew numerous missions as a civilian attempting the deliver medical supplies etc. to the beleagured American Troops.  Gunn was directly commissioned into the U.S. Army Air Force just prior to the fall of the Philippines and continued his desperate supply/rescue missions as a commissioned Army Aviator.  The book goes on to detail Gunn's amazing exploits in the S.W. Pacific Area during WWII.  Anyway, for a more detailed account of Gunn, here's a link to the Wikipedia page:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Gunn

 

I highly recommend the book "Indestructible", as it is both entertaining and informative.

 

John Duresky,

 

Please let us know via a post to this forum when your book comes out.  Anyone who survived the "Bataan Death March" and survived the Japanese POW camps, is certainly a hero in my eyes and would have had a most interesting story to tell.  It is unfortunate that so many of the WWII Veterans were reluctant to tell their stories, since those stories were lost upon their passing.

 

Christmas Cheers,

Grog

 

 

Do you know if he also flew letters out, and if so from Bataan?    Have two letters Lt Britt got out of Bataan in Feb and March 1942 before it fell.   I'm guessing they went out on PT boat or submarine.    Thanks

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On 12/20/2019 at 12:41 PM, Graham Man said:

Yes Wisconsin Historical Society has the plate records, unfortunate you will only find the engine number of the car, and his home address.

I have a couple of plates I am eager to look up. I perused the WHS's site but did not see any link suggesting plate info- do you have any more specific info on this?

I would also be greatly interested in a 40's plate from MN's info.

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19 hours ago, John Duresky said:

 

Do you know if he also flew letters out, and if so from Bataan?    Have two letters Lt Britt got out of Bataan in Feb and March 1942 before it fell.   I'm guessing they went out on PT boat or submarine.    Thanks

 

When MacArthur declared Manila an open city on December 26, 1941, "Pappy" Gunn was in Darwin, Australia, having delivered a plane load of VIPs from Manila.  After Manila was occupied by the Japanese, there were no more airfields remaining to support U.S. aircraft operations, and Gunn was unable to return to Manila to extract his family.  That being the case, Lt. Britt's letters were almost certainly brought out via submarine or PT boat.  For more information on the fall of Manila, you may want to contact the author of the book "Indestructible", John R. Bruning.  I think you may be able to contact him through the link below:

 

http://www.hornfischerlit.com/Hornfischer_Literary_Management_LP/Submissions.html

 

Good luck with your research. 

 

Merry Christmas Cheers,

Grog

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back in the 80s I got to meet Greg "pappy" Boyington in San Diego at a WWII air show and have him sign his book Baa Baa Black Sheep.  They had lots of WWII planes in the air including a B-17, B-25, Corsairs, a Spitfire, and Mustangs!  And I think they even had a rare Lockheed P-38!  

pappy.jpg

il_570xN.288853642.jpg

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On 12/24/2019 at 12:01 PM, nzcarnerd said:

I think the mystery 'town sedan' is a 1924-25 Hupmobile Model R Club Sedan. One of the last of the four cylinder models before the new Model A six came out.

 

The mystery car - followed by an ebay ad for the body - and a car in NZ for the wheels. 

 

 

1609776796_GraceinfrontofantiquecarplatemaybeWisconsin467-749.jpg.b3ce06490b72e098cbae7367fcf615dd.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

1924 Hupmobile Model R Touring.jpg

 

On 12/24/2019 at 12:05 PM, nzcarnerd said:

Found a better photo - for both body and wheels.  A sedan with its trunk missing. For sale on the net - listed as 1925.

 

I suspect the car in my ebay ad is a slightly earlier model.

 

Image result for "hupmobile club sedan"

 

Image result for hupmobile club sedan

 

I have to ask, if I had asked that dealer who sold this car to take a better picture for comparison would it have been possible to be any more perfect?   Angles and elevation is almost identical.  The only thing the blue car that sold is missing is the front spring bumper and Grace standing in front of it.   Without a doubt, that is Grace in front of a 1925 Hupmobile.

1938 Grace in front of 1925 Hupmobile comparison.jpg

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  • 8 months later...

OK, here is a real challenge for this group.   I was at a military memorabilia store and picked up a 128 page pamphlet put out on May 1, 1942, by the War Department Military Intelligence Service about Japanese ground troops, etc.   In there I found a reference to Japanese snipers which is relevant to a run-in Chester Britt had with a sniper on Bataan.   However, it also happens to show a sedan camouflaged and made to look like a tank by the Japanese soldiers.    Can anyone possibly identify this sedan?    It's not every sedan that operated as a faux tank, and so I'm sure anyone who owns one of those sedans would get a kick out of that picture.  

1942 Japanese Ground and Air Forces 1.jpg

1942 Japanese Ground and Air Forces 2.JPG

1942 Japanese Ground and Air Forces 3.JPG

1942 Japanese Ground and Air Forces 4.JPG

1942 Japanese Ground and Air Forces 5.JPG

1942 Japanese Ground and Air Forces 6.JPG

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My Dad served in the Austalian Infantry in WW2. One of his "war stories" was about a lovely 1936 LaSalle Coupe left behind by the retreating Japanese in Balikpapan in Borneo. The Aussie troops had been instructed that anything left behind by the Japs was likely to have been booby-trapped so they gave the car a wide berth. That went on for a number of days until one day a soldier jumped in the drivers seat started the car and drove off but without an accompanying explosion! 💥

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Interesting story.   I wonder if the back part of the story went something like this, "Hey, you, Kiwi, you want a car as a war souvenir?"    Using your lead I did some searching.   I'm guessing it's a 1937 or earlier model sedan based upon what seem to be gull wing type hood opening which seems to have largely disappeared from 1938 onwqrd and the way the headlights are attached as well.    I see it has a split windshield, swept back fenders over the tires, and maybe some other things which would give a lot more clues than they do to an amateur like me.   Doesn't help that of course it is camouflaged.   Can't quite make out if there may be a small third window behind the two main side windows.   In this larger image I blew up I think I can even make out the driver smiling for the camera while all of his buddies pose grimly.  

1942 Japanese Ground and Air Forces 5 view 2.jpg

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