Tractor 4 x 4 Artillery, No. 3A (LP3A) Ford Marmon Herrington Model 11T

Place Middle East
Accession Number REL29220
Collection type Technology
Object type Vehicle
Physical description Canvas, Rubber, Steel, Wood
Place made Australia: Victoria, Geelong, Australia: Victoria, Geelong
Date made 1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Reconstructed Artillery 4 x 4 No.3A (LP3A) tractor based upon a conventional 1941 Ford Model 11T lorry, with covered tray back. It is a composite of two vehicles: the cab/chassis is from a vehicle with the Army registration number '14971', and the rear body is from a vehicle with the Australian Imperial Force registration number 'H-10720'.

The vehicle's chassis is 340 centimetres long and is fitted with a Marmon-Herrington all-wheel drive kit. It is also fitted with a leaf spring suspension system. The wheels of the vehicle are 45.7 centimetre three piece split rims. The tyres were able to run in a deflated condition for a short period of time if damaged. The LP3A is equipped with a power take off winch mounted centrally in chassis working through winch rollers mounted at the rear of the chassis. Rollers mounted on the left and right side of the chassis' rear, give the winch the ability to winch from the sides or front of the tractor. A towing hook is mounted on the rear of the chassis beneath the winch rollers.

The tractor is powered by an 85 horsepower Ford V8 engine. The main gearbox has four forward and one reverse gear and is joined to an auxiliary transfer box by a double universal joint. The auxiliary box has constant four wheel drive with high and low ratio selection and an automatic compensator for forward drive which can be locked out. The outer cab, bonnet and doors are manufactured from steel. The roof of the cab is a made up of a folding frame with a canvas cover that attaches to the top of the windscreen. The windscreen is able to be folded forward. The front wheel guards are made of steel and attach to a running board on each side of the cab. A headlight is mounted on the left and right wheel guard. Mounted behind the cab are two brackets one which contains a spare wheel for the gun tractor and another which contains a spare wheel for the 25-pounder gun carriage or a Trailer No. 27 Mk I.

The vehicle has a modern paint finish and modern markings. Stencilled on the side of each door is a black square and painted inside it in white is 'E2'. A white stencilled 'E2' is located on the front of the bonnet. Stencilled in white down each side of the bonnet is the vehicle's registration 'AIF H-14971'. A yellow oval is painted on the left wheel guard and painted in black within the oval is '9' with an underline and '5' underneath. Painted in the right wheel guard is a black square with a brown and white painted kookaburra, sitting on or over a white boomerang. This indicates the vehicle is operated by a unit of the 7th Australian Infantry Division. A square sign painted red over blue with a white number '43' painted within, is mounted in a holder beneath the right headlight.

The vehicle's body is made from hardwood timber which has been bolted together and braced. The top of the body has a tubular metal frame to which a canvas cover has been attached. Externally accessed ammunition lockers are located at the front left and right of the body. The doors covering the lockers are hinged at the bottom and locked by metal pins at the top. Metal framed, cushioned bench seats are mounted along the left and right side in the rear of the body. Each seat can accommodate three of the crew for the 25-Pounder gun. A foot well with a steel floor is located in the middle of the body between the seats.

History / Summary

Field artillery tractors were a fundamental part of mechanised armies during the Second World War. The Australian Army entered the war with only a few Ford Marmon Herrington artillery tractors (based on Ford 3-ton trucks), and these became the primary means of moving field artillery until 1942. By far the most numerous models (approx 1400 examples) were the No.3 and 3A models (the latter with an integral winch). Of these, 741 went to the Second AIF and the remainder to the AMF.

Of the AIF vehicles, 441 were sent to the Middle East, and 84 to Malaya. A small number were also sent to Port Moresby. The Second AIF artillery units used the Marmon Herrington from 1939 to 1942, and the type also equipped AIF units until at least 1943. It was gradually superseded in Australian service by other artillery tractors. The local pattern Ford Marmon Herrington artillery tractor (the type held) was a unique Australian design, and was only operated by Australian forces. It was widely used on active service, particularly in the Middle East and the opening stages of the Pacific war. The type also saw widespread use within Australia, where it remained in service until the end of the war.