5 CWT 4x4 Jeep Ambulance Stretcher Conversion

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Phil
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5 CWT 4x4 Jeep Ambulance Stretcher Conversion

Post by Phil » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:17 pm

Looking for any information related to an innovation, and subsequent usage thereof, which earned CSM William Thomas Pearson (K78856), of the 14th Canadian Field Ambulance, Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Through a rack system the innovation allowed three stretchers to be transported in the 5 CWT 4x4, one on the passenger side and two on a rack above. Pearson was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in January of 1943 and this system can been seen employed during the invasion of Normandy undoubtedly saving many lives.

MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire
https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/ ... ber=88939&
K78856 CSM WIlliams Thomas Pearson

This Warrant Officer's untiring efforts and devotion to duty resulted in his experimentation bearing fruit and in the adoption of his design for the rapid conversion of cars, 5 cwt 4 X 4 into stretcher carriers. This is a notable advance in the dtudy[sic] of medical evacuation and were it not for this Warrant Officer's per-sistence and keenness this adaption would not be available as yet.
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CSM. W. T. Pearson, R.C.A.S.C., arrived back in Victoria after four years overseas service in which he won the M.B.E. and a Mention in Dispatches. He was named in the 1943 New Year's honors a Member of the British Empire for devising a special framework which, when fitted, turned the famous jeep in to a front line ambulance. Army officials have highly praised the work of this midget ambulance which has been the means of saving many lives. Former member of the Oak Bay fire department, CSM. Pearson fought from France through to Germany. He is shown above at the C.P.R. with his father, W. J. Pearson, a veteran of the last war; his wife, Jessie, and his mother.

The Victoria Colonist
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A CWT 5 4x4 Jeep modified with CSM William Thomas Pearson's rack system designed to carry three stretchers.
Ambulance_Jeep_RCAMC_Vaucelles_France.jpg
Ambulance_Jeep_RCAMC_Vaucelles_France.jpg (88.93 KiB) Viewed 2002 times
An ambulance jeep of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.), Vaucelles, France, 20 July 1944.
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Re: 5 CWT 4x4 Jeep Ambulance Stretcher Conversion

Post by Phil » Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:26 am

It was a kit that could be fitted to any Jeep with minimal work. The frames were often fitted to other Jeeps than just medical such as military police. These could help out as necessary. The spare tire was relocated to the left side to allow the lower right stretcher to fit.

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Re: 5 CWT 4x4 Jeep Ambulance Stretcher Conversion

Post by Phil » Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:24 pm

Actually, The first design was vehicle specific. It had brackets attached to the body work, which permitted the framework to be mounted as needed.The spare tire on these was moved to the passenger side to permit a thirds stretcher. Further improvements on the design permitted the frame work to be attached to any 5cwt 4x4. The sole modification required was the enlargement of the drain holes to permit the lower portion of the frame to mount within in. Only certain vehicles designated as an ambulance actually had the spare tire relocated with this design. The idea was to use the 5cwt 4x4 to transport equipment and supplies to the front and bring back wounded. Initially this seemed a great design and was approved for use for all of the 21st Army Group. It was eventually removed from service as they found the swaying of the upper patients was not in their best interest. A 2 stretcher design came out replacing it later in the war.

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Re: 5 CWT 4x4 Jeep Ambulance Stretcher Conversion

Post by Phil » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:30 pm

I've been trying to sort out the usage of the Jeep ambulances for years and appreciate your comments Other. You're correct about the spare being moved only on dedicated ambulances as shown by this MP Jeep.

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Spare_Tire_Right.jpg
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The padre of the Ontario Regiment made a comment in his book "What Time the Tempest" that the armoured regiments in Italy used the 2 stretcher types while infantry used the 3 stretcher versions. This would have been in 1943. Note that the 3 stretcher frame was initially wider with the front posts mounted on the outside foot rest

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Jeep_Conversion (2).jpg
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The 3 stretcher version had a canvas cover adapted by the winter of 1944 and presumably continued in service until the end of the war.

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Canvas-Cover.jpg
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The 2 stretcher type also had a canvas cover fitted and does show up in plenty of photos by winter of 1944. This one is in Italy in 1943.

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Re: 5 CWT 4x4 Jeep Ambulance Stretcher Conversion

Post by Phil » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:31 pm

There is a great deal of information available at the Library and Archives Canada. Some of it may be on line in the microfilm. There were at least 3 experimental versions as well as 5 versions which actually were used in the field. All stretcher variants were used throughout the war. They were only able to standardize post war.

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Re: 5 CWT 4x4 Jeep Ambulance Stretcher Conversion

Post by Phil » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:33 pm

Photos of the original model being displayed.

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The front seat back folded down to accommodate the stretcher.

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Folding-front-seat.jpg
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Re: 5 CWT 4x4 Jeep Ambulance Stretcher Conversion

Post by Temujin » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:39 pm

Photo from 10 July 1944, Caen
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Re: 5 CWT 4x4 Jeep Ambulance Stretcher Conversion

Post by Temujin » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:51 pm

19 July 44, Caen
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