Caravan, Chevrolet C60L : General L Morshead, Mobile Headquarters, 2nd Australian Imperial Force

Accession Number REL/11086
Collection type Technology
Object type Vehicle
Physical description Glass, Rubber, Steel, Wood
Place made Australia, Canada: Ontario, Oshawa
Date made 1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

A standard, three ton Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) Chevrolet C60L 4x4, six cylinder overhead valve cab chassis truck with a 'Cab 13' cabin. It has been fitted with a timber caravan body. The exterior of the vehicle has been painted in sand yellow to reflect service in the North African Campaign during the Second World War. Access to the caravan is via doors located at the rear centre and front port side. The interior of the caravan is partitioned into two sections and is lined with timber panelling. The ceiling is painted white and there are three high mounted windows fitted to each side of the caravan. The larger living compartment is fitted out with a long wooden work bench, a cot, some overhead cupboards and two vertical corner cupboards. The small section at the front of the caravan is a wash area. There is a high mounted water storage tank and a hand pump fitted to the front exterior of the caravan. The vehicle's serial number is L4725681. Several Australian modifications have been made to the basic cab-chassis arrangement, including a replacement engine cover and a storage box fitted to the cabin roof. The cab doors are fitted with removable canvas windows. Attached to the cabin front is a nine ton yellow bridge-classification sign and a black and white tactical sign showing a platypus over a boomerang over 50, representing Headquarters of the 9th Australian Infantry Division. The vehicle has four wheel elliptical leaf spring suspension, eight stud, two piece rims and 10.50 x 20 tyres with a directional bar tread pattern.

History / Summary

This CMP vehicle was part of a larger group of CMP vehicles sent to the Middle East in 1941. It was used by General Leslie Morshead, Commanding Officer of the 9th Australian Division, and was used by him at El Alamein.

As well as being used in North Africa, General Morshead used this vehicle at Trinity Beach in Queensland and on Morotai Island in the Pacific, when he was the Commanding Officer of 1 Corps.

The vehicle was acquired by the Australian War Memorial shortly after the Second World War. The Registration number L4725681 is a British War Office number which was part of a group of vehicles listed as sent to the Middle East. The exterior of the vehicle was repainted by the Area Workshop at Bandiana to reflect service in the North African Campaign.