WW2 Military Bike Trio

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facair55

Look Ma, No Hands!
The three (3) bicycles pictured below were built over a span of 17 years. Information on each bicycle is outlined below.

1942 Early Huffman Dayton military “tribute” (honor) bicycle was completed last year. The goal for this project was to build it like the one pictured in the U.S. Army WW2 bicycle service technical manual. Main differences are the front fork truss rods supported by brackets fixed to the front fork (btw: later Huffman used a single lower bracket), a curved front tube (later a straight tube was used), and a Mesinger seat instead of a Persons seat. Only G519 part is the handlebars. The rear hub is from a 1948 Whizzer and a Bendix model K was used for the front hub. Eleven (11) gauge spokes were used. (G519 bikes used 10 gauge.) The tires are U.S. Royal Masters. I believe the bike frame is 1941. Everything else is sourced from Huffman civilian parts. The panel on the bike denotes a machine shop in Bldg. 13, located at Patterson Field (Area C) in the 1940’s. Note: When you are building a WW2 Military tribute bike, a lot of parts do not fit properly like you would want, so it was a challenge making this bike!



1943 Huffman Dayton military “tribute” bicycle was done 12 years ago. Original G519 parts include the wheels, seat frame, handlebars, and pedal crank arms (btw: civilian arms are smooth). The tires are U.S. Royal Masters. Everything else is also sourced from Huffman civilian parts.



1944
Huffman Dayton original restored WW2 G519 military bicycle that was restored 17 years ago. Only items not original to the bicycle are the grips & Delta NOS winner light. The tires are U.S. Royal Master stamped “war tire.” This 1944 military bicycle came from Wright-Patterson A.F.B., being acquired through a government auction in the mid 1990’s. What is known: it was used by the 4950th Test Wing at WPAFB from 1971-1994. Under four (4) layers of paint on a flat panel (a piece that had been added by the engineering shops) were the numbers 4950th and letters AMFDC which may have stood for Aircraft Modification Fabrication and Development Center located in Building 5 (engineering shops) Area B. The 4950th Test Wing transferred to California in 1994, which is why this bike ended up at the auction. So, back tracking the bike’s history to the war years: I found out that the 4950th Test Wing unit was under the Material Command of the 4000th Army Air Force Engineering Shops at Wright Field. Therefore, I stenciled on the flat panel 4000 AAFES to make it more historically correct reflecting the war years. The bike originally had a basket mounted which I removed. The bike was used to delivered parts and personnel between the shops and hangers. The bike was shown at two MVPA (Military Vehicle Preservation Association) conventions and displayed for five (5) years in the Bicycle Museum of America, New Bremen, Ohio.

Each Military bicycle was built to be as historically correct as possible. Some errors do stand out like the higher seat tube on the 1943. However, some minor details are correct, like the slotted bolt chain adjusters, blued-steel, rear reflector housings, and U.S. Royal Master tires to name a few. I enjoyed very much putting these bikes together and sharing the results. Now that parts are too hard to find, there will be no more tribute bikes up on my bike lift.

Thanks to Tim Fox & Eric Leyes, for without their help in sourcing Huffman parts, I would not have been able to build the 1942 & 1943 bicycles.

Comments are welcome, Thanks

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