When I walked through the doors of General Steam Navigation Co at Tower Square opposite the Tower of London in early 1955 at age fifteen for my first full time employment, I had no idea that eleven years later that I would be walking through the door of the Forests Commission Victoria office at Powelltown, 70 kilometers east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia which was the district office of the Upper Yarra Forest District.
The two videos connected through this page were produced by Rawdon Sthradher. Rawdon was originally a photographer and video producer with the Soil Conservation Authority and then CF&L in all its various guises for 12 years. He freelanced for the next 20 years, and in that time still did quite a bit of work for Fire Management, Fisheries and other sections of the Department.
This article describes the main tanker versions between 1950 and 2014.
Purchased from the RAAF in Amberley Queensland after the second World War.
Exact capacity of water tank and make of pump unknown. A low-down hand-operated back-up pump and tank-mounted hose reel are visible in the photo.
Mike Cecil (website) has provided the following information about the vehicle:
The 'Blitz' is a Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) vehicle, Cab 13 type, built by Ford. The Canadian Department of National Defence model number is F60L, which translates as F for Ford, 60 being 60cwt rated carrying-capacity under all conditions; ie 3 tons, and L being Long wheel base, which was 158.25 inches. The Ford model number is C0180F. The engine was a conventionally-aspirated 239 cubic inch side valve V8 petrol engine, the gear box a four-speed forward, one reverse, and the transfer box a two-speed selectable high-low range. Four wheel drive was selected in the transfer case. The vehicle pictured is a Ford F60L without a winch. It has the Australian 1944 pattern cab with demountable canvas doors. The rear military bodywork has been replaced with a custom-built tanker body which is not military, so there is no telling what the original bodywork may have been. The caption states that it was purchased from the RAAF. This is most probably not strictly correct: the purchase would have been from the Commonwealth Disposals Commission (CDC) who handled all disposals in the immediate post-war period. It may have been ex-RAAF and sold from Amberley, but would have been written off and handed to the CDC for the actual disposal. There were two manufacturers of CMPs: Ford and Chevrolet. There were thousands and thousands purchased or supplied under the Canadian Mutual Aid Agreement (CMA) during WW2, and used by all three services plus some supplied to the US Forces operating in Australia.