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Thread: K53 Communications Van BOX found... (May 2018)

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    Chaplain USAFSS-ColdWarrior's Avatar
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    Default K53 Communications Van BOX found... (May 2018)

    I recently stumbled upon a K53 Communications Van Box Body "hidden in plain sight" not far from our home.

    Originally, I posted it up in the MV SPOTTED Thread, but I believe it's time it got it's own dedicated thread. So, since these boxes were typically mounted on CCKW trucks, I'm putting this thread into this Forum.

    I'll begin by quoting the several posts from that other thread so that the story is both complete and chronologically sequenced.....

    Beginning with Post #7182 in this thread: https://www.steelsoldiers.com/showth...thread/page719

    Quote Originally Posted by USAFSS-ColdWarrior View Post
    Spotted this MV Box-Body "hidden in plain sight" not far from our home.


    I'm pretty sure it IS an MV box, but I am at a loss for knowing what it may have been mounted on.


    Pic #1: Left-Rear View.
    I'm pretty sure this is the rear by the placement of the wheel-well.
    IMG_5357.jpg

    Pic #2:
    Right-Rear View. Again, the wheel-well placement looks like it might ride on a Deuce chassis.
    IMG_5358.jpg

    Pic #3:
    Same angle, just zoomed out a bit.
    IMG_5359.jpg

    Pic #4: Slightly different angle.
    Note 2 features: The Side Door and the two mil-connections just to the right of that door in the lower corner of the side wall.
    IMG_5360.jpg That bumper blocking up the back end does not seem to be original equipment, but it is painted the same.

    Pic #5:
    Closer view of the lower door with its vents and the two rather LARGE connectors.
    IMG_5361.jpg


    I plan to approach the home's resident about the box next time I notice anyone at home there.

    So, before I have a chance to visit with the owner (or at least someone living there), here are my questions:
    1. What type truck did it come off of?
    2. What's it approximate vintage (year model range)?
    3. What was it's purpose: Communications? Repair Shop? Command and Control? Missile (or other) Launch Control?
    4. Any other knowledge you can share?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

    P.S.
    I will update as facts are known. And, if a separate dedicated thread is indicated I'll certainly create it and post the link.
    Last edited by USAFSS-ColdWarrior; 05-30-2018 at 12:55.

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    Next quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by D6T View Post
    To me, it looks like an early Cold War-era Warsaw Pact item, such as would have been seen on a ZIL131 or 151 chassis. I'm thinking Polish or Czech, circa 1960. Although the side egress (and lack of any rear door) isn't something I recall seeing in any military inventory before.

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    Next quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by pontiac62 View Post
    I’m only guessing. I’m thinking 60s era possibly Vehicle used at an experimental test site.


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    Next quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by sigo View Post
    That is a WWII K53 van. It’s built for a CCKW 2.5 ton truck. They were used as a radio van and as a weather station van. There were probably some other uses as well, but it was procured by the Signal Corps, so it was primarily used for communications related tasks.

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    Next quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracer View Post
    Attachment 729968Attachment 729969Attachment 729970 sigo you nailed it. Pics are a WW2 K53 Van. This one look's a weather station van.

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    LAST quoted post from the MV Spotted Thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by USAFSS-ColdWarrior View Post
    THANK YOU, Gentlemen!!!

    GREAT information with photographic evidence, too! You just can't beat that.

    Some observations:

    1. That rear bumper on the truck in Tracer's pics sure looks like it may be the same or similar to the "bumper" holding up the back end of the box I spotted.

    2. Tracer, in your photos: what's that emblem in the upper forward corner of the box's right side, and the upper aft corner of the box's left side. It kinda looks like a "medical" emblem doesn't it???

    3. In my original Pic #1 and Pic #4 there are to "nipples" that from a distance seemed to be air line connections, but now they make more sense as the Spare Tire Mount Points. COOL!

    4. In my original Pic #1 I had not realized that the left side of the box has double-doors at the forward end. Tracer's pics show them open, and a closer look at my pic confirm that feature. Another "WOW-FACTOR"!


    I'm now even more interested in visiting the resident at the property. I must wonder if they know what they've got or if they think it's just an "old truck box" that they seem to be using as a storage shed. Time will tell. I will MAKE an opportunity to establish contact SOON !

    As time permits, I'll be creating that dedicated thread I mentioned in an earlier post. This is gonna get GOOD ! ! !
    Last edited by USAFSS-ColdWarrior; 05-30-2018 at 13:15.

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    Now for the first "new information" to share here...





    I've been disambiguating (that's a $5-word for GOOGLING) and have come up with these interesting pics....

    CCKW K53 Signal Corps Truck.jpgGMC CCKW K53 Shop Van.jpg1954-GMC-K53-2-5-Ton-Military-Truck-USAF-Photo-Poster.JPGRadio Set AN-MRN-2.jpg


    It seems our friends with the ROYAL NAVY has also used a version of this K53 Box on their MOBILE METEOROLOGIC UNITS:
    Note: The British Boxes do not have the right side entry door.

    Royal Navy Mobile Met Unit 05.jpgRoyal Navy Mobile Met Unit 04.jpgRoyal Navy Mobile Met Unit 03.jpgRoyal Navy Mobile Met Unit 02.jpgRoyal Navy Mobile Met Unit 01.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by USAFSS-ColdWarrior; 05-30-2018 at 13:06.

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    Nice find, VERY rare to find nice like that. Thank your dry climate. Let us know if it needs a new home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NDT View Post
    Nice find, VERY rare to find nice like that. Thank your dry climate. Let us know if it needs a new home.
    NDT,
    Grape minds think purple!
    uh... I mean: Great mimes think silently.
    Uh, that's not it either..... Oh, I got it! GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE !

    My original pics were "quick and dirty". When I return I'd like to get better pics AND eyeball it's true condition on an up-close and personal level.

    I too am supposing that our dry climate (I can only guess it's spent a lot of time near here) is indeed a great "preservative", and the box should therefore be in pretty good shape. Looking at the pics there could be "cancer" over the wheel well and the bottom edges of the sidewalls. Not that those places couldn't be repaired or even re-skinned - It just needs a closer inspection outside and inside.

    Your thoughts on adoption are also akin to my own. If it is available, I'd like to take a shot at it, but if we need a back-up plan (I already have several works in progress) I'll surely call for reinforcements from Camp Wood.

    I'm hoping to swing by there this evening.

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    K53D 2.jpgM53D.jpg Chaplain, this is the same vehicle as in my previous post except it's outside. This truck is a K53D according to the owner who is also a member of the MVCC (Military Vehicle Collectors Colorado). The truck came off the production line as a CCKW during WW2, and was then modified into a K53D. The truck looks to be an immaculate restoration, and I wonder if the owner is a Steel Soldiers member?? Chaplain, the Logo that is on both left and right sides, as well as the front and rear bumper, looks like a medical logo, but I couldn't find an exact match. The insignias on both front and rear bumpers are, (AWS) Air Weather Service, and the other insignia (MWS) Manned Weapons Station. This is the only current K53 that I came across in my internet search. This truck seems to be a rare MV. Chaplain, definitely do a through inspection with pictures.
    1972 M35A2C W/W, 1986 M105A2, 1953 M38A1, S250 Shelter. "He was old and wise, which meant tired and disappointed" T.E. Lawrence

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