Posts Tagged ‘Eisenhower’

Military convoy 90th anniversary trip this summer

March 9, 2009

The re-creation of the 1919 trip across the country of the U.S. Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy is making the news as the event approaches. Papers such as the Clinton, Iowa, Herald are reporting lately on the convoy’s passing through their areas. The original convoy is perhaps best remembered today for including young Dwight Eisenhower.


Sponsored by the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, up to 150 military vehicles will retrace the convoy’s itinerary, which followed the Lincoln Highway for most of its route west of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This 26-day convoy will depart from Washington D.C. on June 13 and arrive in San Francisco on July 8, crossing all or part of 11 states.


For more information visit and click the 2009 Convoy button on the left. Click HERE for the complete schedule of stops.

Also, the new Indiana LHA brochure includes not only a map of the Lincoln Highway but a description and map of the convoy trip. Visit to request one.

Lee Hwy, Willys-Overland, & 1919 Motor Convoy

May 23, 2008

Craig Harmon continues researching the 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy, which followed the Lincoln Highway for much its course across the U.S. Some of his work lately has focused on the Reverend Samuel Myrtle Johnson, a preacher who combined religion and patriotism, especially when it came to support for Good Roads. Along with being the official speaker for the convoy, Johnson conceived the Zero Milestone in Washington D.C. and was director of the Lee Highway Association (which, like the Lincoln Highway, also connected New York to San Francisco).

The image above shows Johnson’s invitation (on Lee Highway letterhead) to U.S. Bureau of Public Roads Chief T.H. MacDonald to attend the dedication of the Zero Milestone, the launching point for the convoy. He was also being reminded that he would talk for 3 minutes about the routes that radiated from the marker.

Much of the new info came from an 8-page article in the October 6, 1919 issue of The Willys-Overland Starter. On the cover, you can see three cars donated by the Willys Overland Company for use with the convoy: Dr. Johnson traveled in the covered sedan followed by two open-top Willys-Overland 4s used by Army Publicity Officer Lt. William B. Doron and official photographer Sergeant George Lacey. A fourth car was an 88-4 Willys-Knight that was used as the pilot car by LHA vice-president H.C. Osterman, who traveled several days ahead. The article includes the only known photo (below) of Osterman, Doron, Train Commander Captain Bernard S. McMahan, and Expeditionary Commander Lt. Col. Charles W. McClure.

Click Here to download the 5 mb article at 150 dpi. And see my previous post on Harmon’s convoy research here.

Harmon uncovers more 1919 Motor Convoy docs

March 18, 2008

In 1919, the Transcontinental Motor Convoy crossed the U.S. to test the mobility of the military during wartime. It is perhaps more famous for a Lieutenant Colonel who decades later would become President Dwight Eisenhower. Twenty-four officers and 258 enlisted men took 81 motorized Army vehicles from Washington, D.C. to Gettysburg, and then followed much of the Lincoln Highway to San Francisco, arriving 62 days later. So much for mobility!

Lincoln and Lincoln Highway researcher Craig Harmon has lately been on the trail of primary sources from the convoy; below are just two of the many revealing documents Harmon has unearthed – another one about camp sanitation is especially intriguing! They add invaluable information to the tale of that cross-country trip. See his website for more information, or ask there to be added to his email updates.


Above, this report runs 35 pages and includes 20 b/w photos. Below, notice the official letterhead!


Click on the image below from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, Abilene, Kansas, to visit its page about the convoy.