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  #1  
Old 02-09-16, 06:01
rob love rob love is offline
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Default Shilo's new T-16

Got an email from the curator a few weeks ago that there was a likely donation coming of a Bren gun carrier, but looking at the photo she figured it woudl only be good for parts. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I was excited to realize that not only was it a T-16, but a complete unmolested hull along with many of the brackets from it's Canadian service. I went today to pick it up, and after over an hour of hand-winching had it on the trailer for the trip back to Shilo. Sad part is I have a warn 8000lb winch sitting in the shop floor waiting for installation onto the trailer, but my time has been to tight to perform the task.

Anyway, here are some photos of the recovery:
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DSCF0014.jpg   DSCF0020.jpg   DSCF0021.jpg  

Last edited by rob love; 02-09-16 at 06:34.
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Old 02-09-16, 06:07
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There turned out to be one casualty in the whole affair with a baby garter snake which was hiding in the tracks. They are good for pest control, unlike the snakes elsewhere in the world.

Anyway, here are some more photos of some of the markings and interior brackets. The carrier is in the shop now waiting for unloading which I'll do in the morning. Lots of interesting brackets inside.

At this point I think the markings may be artillery along with either central or prairie command shield. More to follow on this.
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DSCF0023.jpg   DSCF0026.jpg   DSCF0027.jpg   DSCF0028.jpg   DSCF0036.jpg  

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Old 02-09-16, 06:15
rob love rob love is offline
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The brackets up top of the division plate is what really caught my eye. I think they may be for 3" mortar as they appear to be too far apart to hold a PIAT, but I'll confirm this in th enext few days. Stowage in the back suggest PIAT, but in all honesty the T-16s are a new version of carrier to me.

Engine has a TL serial number with a short tube joining the input and output for the oil cooler. The owner states it came that way from the army. However the truck radiator was a replacement for one stolen from the carrier when it threw a track and was left on some other property over a winter or so.

As one photo shows, it almost appears like this carrier had two slightly different DND numbers painted on it over time.

As I mentioned, T-16s are new to me. If anyone has comments on the carrier or it's likely stowage configuration, I'm all ears.
Attached Thumbnails
DSCF0038.jpg   DSCF0037.jpg   DSCF0026.jpg  

Last edited by rob love; 03-09-16 at 16:59.
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Old 02-09-16, 06:50
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Interesting machine, looks great. Will there be any way to find service records based on the markings Rob? Would be nice to see the history of this one.
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Old 02-09-16, 06:55
rob love rob love is offline
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Most ikely the only way to determine the unit will be the markings under the paint, and you only get one shot at it....then they are gone. From there, a check of the unit's museum (if one exists) might yield a shot of the vehicle, but it is always a longshot.

Looks like the artillery marking may be over another unit's marking.
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Old 02-09-16, 10:06
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Great stuff Rob, look forward to seeing this one restored !
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  #7  
Old 02-09-16, 14:57
Michael R. Michael R. is offline
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Default a great find

Is the original WD number 92032 ?
If it is, that is odd for a WD range that started with 92001 through 107000.
What is the Contract number on the data plate?

T16 MK-I 4.2" Mortar Carrier?

The bins in the rear compartment are for the 4.2" mortar, as are the brackets.
Normally found mounted over the engine, you may yet find the brackets for the bipod assembly, or vice versa.
The towing arms remain on the rear hull, less the hook and spring.

Note the full length sand shields removed, a boarding step replacing them.
The hull extension plates are likely factory installed, consistent with the date of manufacture. Straight spoke wheels were recorded as pre-1900 serial number, the Kelsey-Hayes discs began production late Sept., 1943.

If your engine has a TL number on it, perhaps the block is a replacement. A T16 block would show GAU vs TL.

How common are Canadian service T16's in Canada. I have seen one. Did Canada use about 750 T16's in NWE?


As you are far to occupied with a multitude of projects, drag and drop this at my place when you come east to collect the other 25 pdr. I will contribute to your fuel costs if necessary.

Last edited by Michael R.; 02-09-16 at 15:36.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-16, 17:33
rob love rob love is offline
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Ross:

How very generous of you, but it is now accessioned to the museum so out of my control.

Track appears in great shape with plenty of tooth on the sprockets. They are also TL marked, so I suspect that over time the US track was replaced in service with Cdn track. I have not checked the road wheels to see if the straight spoked ones are Canadian replacements. It is very possible that if this vehicle served through the 50s that the RCEME used what was available and worked as opposed to bringing in T-16 parts for the repairs.

Spotted the rear stowage bin in the back of the carrier with better protected tac signs. Have not pulled it out yet but at this point I am pretty sure it was an artillery militia unit.

There was some modification on the front for mounting the base plate. Between that and the base diameter of the mounts, it should be quick enough to determine if this was was a 4.2 or a 3" mortar conversion.

Regarding the numbers on the side, I suspect that domestically they would be the DND numbers rather than WD numbers. Any Canadian based carriers I have observed had the DND number rather than CTL numbers.
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Old 02-09-16, 18:26
rob love rob love is offline
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At this point I am sure the DND number is 81-032. Why there was a 82-032 will likely forever be a mystery. The numbers have been re-applied at least 6 times that I can see.

I can also confirm that it was central command. I fingernailed some of the paint off the shield, and the lettering support the word central. The word command is obvious.

On both sides underneath or over some of the DND numbers is the blue square with the red corner on the top right. So likely an A bty vehicle at some point. However, there are multiple overlapping unit identifiers in other areas.

On the rear box is a checkerboard of red and white (two red and two white) with a white strip overtop. Very possible the units is identified on the white top strip. According to my 1947 manual of markings (which I sent electronic copies to several of you) that makes it an infantry school vehicle, which would tie in with the mortar conversion.

Photos to follow.....
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  #10  
Old 02-09-16, 20:02
Jes Andersen Jes Andersen is offline
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Rob, That's a great find and contribution to the museum. I'm still amazed at how many old military vehicles are still out there, relatively unmolested. Out this way, not too much survives the wet climate, although there are still a few inside, just waiting to be rediscovered. Thanks for posting the pictures...
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  #11  
Old 03-09-16, 00:20
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well Rob I guess the time has come to teach the Boss the difference between parts only and worthy of restoration and so rare it must be restored, nice carrier!
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Old 03-09-16, 01:05
rob love rob love is offline
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To be honest I had to make sure it was not just my obsessiveness that saw the beauty. I shot an email to another addict who may or may not ID himself here, and had my worries calmed. I was sold when I saw the mortar brackets.

But as you know Frank, we have a building full of vehicles that need ongoing maintenance, and a compound full of vehicles waiting restoration. This one will be waiting it's turn. As it stands now, the 2VP carrier still waits completion along with the Ford pilot truck, a 15cwt signals, a stuart, a jagpanzer......the list goes on and on. And those are on top of the running repairs, the public parades and displays (which seem to take up so much of the summer/sandblast/paint season).

The one good thing is it will not be going to a scrapper, and can be reasonably preserved in this state without further deterioration until it does climb up the priority list.
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Old 03-09-16, 02:13
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Default New t16

I would have loved to get a parts vehicle like that .
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  #14  
Old 03-09-16, 04:25
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Great find and recovery I always love reading your posts of your work. To to honest you could teach those buffoons at the CWM a thing or three at how things get done in the real world.
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Old 03-09-16, 14:54
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Rob,

Exiting find! Well done on the recovery to put it in a safe place.

As far as I can tell, this is a 4.2-in mortar carrier. Apart from the stowage, the angle iron steps at the sides are a sign of this variant - read more in this thread.

In December 1944 a total of 266 T16s were held by Canadian Units in First Cdn Army 21 Army Group - see the page THE T-16 CARRIER in use with the Canadian Army in my T16 Universal Carrier webpage.

HTH,
Hanno

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Old 03-09-16, 15:54
rob love rob love is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James P View Post
Great find and recovery I always love reading your posts of your work. To to honest you could teach those buffoons at the CWM a thing or three at how things get done in the real world.
Thanks for the compliment, although I can't comment on the statement about the CWM. Bit if they share my shortcomings, the limitations are time, personal and money, along with time, lack of time, and not enough time. Often time is limited as well. Shifitng focus often leads to disruptions too,.

Hanno: Thanks for the link. Some great information there. One of the decisions that will have to be made is whether to leave the mortar tube and baseplate brackets where the army moved them to, or move them back to where the designers put them. Tough call. If they are left where they are, the scale modellers and video gamers will claim that it is a poor restoration.
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Old 03-09-16, 16:13
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Be interesting to find out why the tube location was changed, Rob.

If I read the thread info correctly, the wartime 4.2 inch Mortar Team needed a 5 Carrier transport. Perhaps in postwar Canada there were just not enough T16's available to maintain that standard, so the equipment was redistributed into a smaller number of T16's.

Perhaps there is official documentation on file somewhere covering such changes.

David

Great find, by the way. Reminds me of my carrier when discovered sleeping in a farm yard.
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Old 08-09-16, 05:46
rob love rob love is offline
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Neil Yeo dropped by for a few minutes today, and we determined from the data plate that the WD number was T102032 S . The number is now quite apparent on both sides, now that we know what we are looking for. It was just a coincidence that the DND number ended in 022, which helped make some confusion earlier.

I had seen the S after the WD number on the side, but wasn't sure if it was part of it. What was the significance of the 'S' ....suppressed?

I hooked up an A-frame and pulled the T-16 off my trailer today and put it back into the building. After some photos tomorrow it will be off to the washbay to clear out some of the mud, moss, and debris. Perhaps there are some more surprises on the bottom of the hull.
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Old 09-09-16, 18:14
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More photos. We removed the loose stuff from the carrier, and I started on removal of the herb garden inside the hull. Photos include the UCmk1 engine, and the stowage box from the rear with the central command and infantry school markings.
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DSC00610.jpg   DSC00607.jpg   DSC00601.jpg   DSC00587.jpg   DSC00575.jpg  

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Old 09-09-16, 18:23
rob love rob love is offline
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A couple interesting points. The WD number, after washing, was visible on the back right of the hull. However, it reveals that the hitch brackets were welded on after the painting of the WD number, as evidenced by the overlap.

Here is also a shot of the white thick padding on the bottom of the stowage bins. I suspect they were asbestos, and other than keeping a few baggies for samples, the rest were bagged and into the dumpster.

Next is a shot of the artillery marking on the side. Blue square with a red corner denoting A battery. The lettering looks like A2, but some sanding will perhaps reveal it better.

Last is a shot of the carrier now that the hull has been washed out, and the outside pressure washed to remove the moss growth. The parts will be put back into the hull and it will be put out into the compound and covered, waiting for it's eventual restoration.
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DSC00584.jpg   DSC00622.jpg   DSC00623.jpg   DSC00621.jpg  
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Old 09-09-16, 19:03
rob love rob love is offline
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And here is some data for the bean counters. The data plate inside the front right stowage bin, the number from the top left edge of the armour, and the number on the left towing eye along with a couple of flaming bombs.

As well, a little fine sanding with steel wool brought up the letters DND kind of cockeyed on the front right side. Factory markings denoting destination perhaps? As well, a little better shot of the artillery marking. Looks like it is just the latter A in the little square.

I count the repainting of the 82-032 at least 9 times on the right armour indicating likely long service. It would also appear the artillery markings on rear left fender are over top of the central command markings.
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  #22  
Old 11-09-16, 08:16
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The date should also be an inch or two over from the "10097" vehicle number on the armour leading edge above the driver's port. Likely it will be between June and September of 1944.

And your observation of the original census number being painted on before the tow hitch brackets would seem the norm. The sides would also have the census number up near the upper edge of the armor beside the driver and gunner spots but they needed to be repainted due to the placement of wading squares on most of the vehicles.
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Old 11-09-16, 14:31
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I was looking for the additional data on the top front plate....thanks for the guidance Gordon.

Build date, according to the data plate, was July of 44.

Good info on the hitch. Were the hitches factory or post factory? Seems odd they would paint and mark the vehicle, then add the brackets afterwards.

The letter A on the artillery rectangle will need a little more sanding. There were only 3 or so identifiers that would have the A in that position, and there will be another letter before it.
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Old 11-09-16, 17:52
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The British did mods after delivery. Probably the same if any vehicles went directly to Canada as opposed to being assigned to Canadian units once in the UK. Speculation was the numbers were painted on at the factory since they were build to contract.

Photo attached has a staging area with T-16s being covered up with tents and the rear row have no tow mechanism. They have "T.D." census numbers which would make them gun tugs. These also don't have the wading squares welded on yet, although very late war vehicles didn't get them at all.
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CarriersWaiting.jpg  
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Old 11-09-16, 19:28
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David, why does the TD census prefix make them tugs?
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Old 11-09-16, 20:47
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Don't have any of my research documents available as I'm out of town with the day job for the next week. But when I still had my T-16 we'd come across references that the TD census numbers corresponded to tracked prime movers. Mine had the TD markings but we'd restored it to be a 4.2-inch mortar carrier.

Link below is from my restoration thread on MLU showing the project as we got it and the progression. We sold it years later and its in a private museum in California.

http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9136
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  #27  
Old 19-09-16, 20:32
George McKenzie George McKenzie is offline
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Default Shilos new T16

My friend came by yesterday with a T16 Very little rust but not much left above the fenders. Interesting thing is that it has four leavers to steer it He lives in Vancouver and will be on this site soon .
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Old 20-09-16, 09:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George McKenzie View Post
Interesting thing is that it has four leavers to steer it
That'd because the T16 uses a controlled differential steering system, discarding the track warping system devised by Vickers-Armstrong.

Inner two levers are for controlling the differential and used for normal steering. Left and right outside levers work on the drum brakes and are only used for tight and slow turns.

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Old 20-09-16, 17:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
Left and right outside levers work on the drum brakes and are only used for tight and slow turns.
You can see a tight turn executed with the brake levers here: https://youtu.be/NutxkByK8RI
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Old 21-09-16, 23:53
rob love rob love is offline
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I am currently prepping the vehicle to head outside for storage by changing the oils in the gearboxes (well, water mostly to be honest, but soon to be oil again) and before stowing all the small parts back into the vehicle, thought I would reveal the markings from the infantry school. There were about 5 schools in central command, so I was really hoping for a number. Sadly all that was there was the RCSofI marking.

The central command shield shows no sign of the castle, which came later I believe. The 1947 manual just shows a red shield, which was all I found in the 3 locations where the shield was found on this T-16.

No doubt though that in the end the artillery markings will take priority upon restoration. We are Canada's National Artillery Museum after all.
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Last edited by rob love; 17-12-16 at 09:17.
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