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  #1  
Old 28-01-24, 23:29
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Marston airport runway mats.....

Not sure it belongs here.....but here goes....edit....MARSTON proper spelling...... also M2 mats.....

Very limited information on them and rather rare to find....


Seems to be two kind at least with the punched out holes.

The ones I have .....have provision to attach them end to end with female slots but can' finger out what kind of clip was used...... side ways attachment works only if they all line up and can't be staggered...... they have slots at both ends ........

The other type has NO slots for attachments at the ends and the training films on U-tube shows them all staggered for greater strength.

Only miniatures for models are listed on Ebay.....

Our plans are to use them on very soft ground/mud situation end to end during 4x4 trips.....

Who has knowledge of how they were used????

PS.......Whole bunch available..... as is where is....past nowhere....... in Caribou British Columbia.......
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Last edited by Bob Carriere; 28-01-24 at 23:37.
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  #2  
Old 29-01-24, 06:46
Lang Lang is offline
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Bob

I have about a dozen sheets.

When I was in New Guinea there are Marsten Matting sheets everywhere. They even built a machine to fold them so they could be used as fence posts.

The steel they are made off is unbelievably corrosion resistant. There are many sheets still sticking out of the salt water in the tide line which are recognizable 80 years later.

Once they were locked with the fingers they had flat pins about 2 inches wide made from steel strap folded in half with the "hinge" end flattened to stop them going right through. The pins stopped the sheets sliding back and unlocking the fingers as well as holding down.

I have seen round heavy pegs with a circular cap about 2 feet long which I presume were use on the approach ends when starting a run say on a road to stop the vehicles bending them up.

I am sure there were other systems, just what I have seen.
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  #3  
Old 29-01-24, 11:07
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Hello Bob,

There is info to be found on Marston Mat, often also referred to as Marsden but more properly called pierced (or perforated) steel planking (PSP) on web pages like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marston_Mat and https://military-history.fandom.com/...arsden_Matting
I checked some of the references on those pages, but no links to an Engineering handbook or similar. They are not listed here, for example: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/index.html. There must be a manual on how to install, use and remove somewhere?!?

Meanwhile, here's a great example on how to repurpose PSP:
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  #4  
Old 29-01-24, 16:48
Patrice DEBUCQUOY Patrice DEBUCQUOY is offline
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Hello,

Here is what I have (taken from TM 5-255 "Aviation Engineers" April 1944)

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https://i.imgur.com/8QClZke.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/5LFtP0g.jpg

Hope it helps,
Cheers,
Patrice.

Last edited by Hanno Spoelstra; 30-01-24 at 12:20. Reason: attached photos instead of links
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  #5  
Old 29-01-24, 22:57
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Thanks everyone......

Will need to post pictures of the ends on my mats which are slotted and offset in height to ease connection.....Got mine from Robin in Kingston.

Thanks Patrice that manual TM 5-255 is a good clue for more research.....

Seen them used as fence for pig pens but never to store empties....Hanno must have had a good party to save that many empties.....

We have tried using the mats we have to connect at 90 degrees but the spacing of the slots are totally different...... the USA training film on U tube shows the plain end models which they stagger the joints for greater strength.

Mine will serve dual purpose....day time stored inside the 2B1 cargo box vertical/sideways just before the fender wells and the vertical spare tire mount we fabricated.....located side ways..... so they will be trimmed to 79 inches long. At night flat on the fender well boxes laid flat and locked together as a sleeping cot with an air mattress. The front headboard of the cargo box is taken up by the 10:50 spare tire and two small barrells
(60 liters each) of extra fuel strapped in solid.

For occasional soft ground mats use, we are considering welding 3/8 cheap or old rusted nuts to improve traction....one quick zap with the MIG welder inside the hole of each nut....will buy bulk!!!

I did consider storing them externally on the sides of the box but they will interfere with the canvass tie down ropes....... but remain open to suggestions........ Maybe will carry 4 pieces and devise a clip of some sort to tied them together end to end........
In the Western area of PQ we propose to 4x4 in, soft sand and loose gravel is very common in the low areas and bare solid bed rock on the mountain tops........all eroded by the ice shields......... winching can be a problem as solid tie down spots are hard to find....... trees have very superficial root systems......which leaves you with carrying 4 foot sections of re-bars to create chained ground anchors similar to artillery units or burying you spare tire or a log....... what a way to waste a full day......

You can tie down to other convoy members, but two jeeps sideways are needed to pullout a bogged down CMP....... and you loose popularity points very fast..... and on some occasions I propose to travel alone and travel more cautiously..... no cell connection or services.

BC
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  #6  
Old 29-01-24, 23:04
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Un gros Merci Patrice

...found the publication and was able to download.....

Bob C

PS...lots of bed time reading.....but...... the USA pattern does not address how to tie them end to end which must be a later version or other country..... maybe UK????
with the help our resident engineer .......Grant will design something!!!!!!!
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Last edited by Bob Carriere; 29-01-24 at 23:26.
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  #7  
Old 30-01-24, 00:17
Jacques Reed Jacques Reed is offline
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Default Marsden matting in PNG

Found this photo in "Battleground South Pacific" by Robert Howlett and photos by Bruce Adams published in 1970.

Caption reads "Marsden Matting designed for muddy airfields planks the footway of a military bridge still in use at Milne Bay".

I imagine many of the relics in the book photographed 55 years ago are now long gone or deteriorated beyond recognition. I bought the book in Rabaul in 1975 when it was a recently published book.

There was a lot of Marsden matting around post war. As a young boy in the fifties in the US I saw it even being used at the Delaware Bay and Cape Hatteras beach areas.

Cheers,
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  #8  
Old 30-01-24, 02:53
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is offline
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Default Steele Tubular Bridge

I think the image might show an Australian Steele Bridge which has been re-clad in Marsdon Mat/PSP. The original decking was timber.
Mike
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  #9  
Old 30-01-24, 12:21
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrice DEBUCQUOY View Post
Here is what I have (taken from TM 5-255 "Aviation Engineers" April 1944)
Nice find, thanks for sharing it here.
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  #10  
Old 30-01-24, 23:43
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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I was also looking into these recently.....trying to find a way to recognize ww2 made examples from postwar ones....Anyone?

Bob, I do seem to remember the ones with the slots in the ends of the plates are a postwar improvement. Not sure if this is British or US design.

I have also seen them in different length sizes (also presumed postwar) and even ones in plastic or aluminium, which seem to be of very recent manufacture for the 4x4 world.

Also steel ones which don't have the large holes "open" but closed with 3 very small drainage holes.......no idea when these were made.
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  #11  
Old 01-02-24, 09:11
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Slightly off topic but tractor on bridge is either a BMC Mini 9/16 or a Nuffield 4/25.
Former had a dieselised Mini 950 engine and was not a sales success as seen as underpowered .
Latter had the well proven BMC 1500cc diesel and sold better.

Last edited by chalky; 01-02-24 at 16:44.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-24, 04:35
Lang Lang is offline
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Some time ago I was reading about air operations in New Guinea in WW2. There was mention that those small "plugs" holding the mats together were popping out and causing punctures to aircraft tyres.

Must be why the longer ones I have seen were brought in and driven into the ground to stop them popping out.

Many New Guinea. Solomons and Indonesian steel strips were made of crushed coral which often was hard enough by itself after setting like concrete but the steel mats were put on top to stop dust, tyre wear and the corrosive effects of salt-water rolled coral mud in wet weather.

After the war many steel strips were covered with either more coral or gravel on top of the steel then bitumenised.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-24, 06:55
Lang Lang is offline
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Here are some instructions. Note they say one 600mm (2 foot) pin per sheet to stop horizontal movement.
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  #14  
Old 05-02-24, 04:40
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Post war....?

Thanks Lang

Seems that the ones I have may be post war......... at both ends I have 3 1.5 inch slots and the top surface is recessed to allow for overlap....so some kind on flat bar fastener must have been used....... this would link mats lenghtwise as well as sideways...... I have not been able to see any pictures of the ones I have.......

Cheers
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Old 05-02-24, 11:07
Lang Lang is offline
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Matting being laid
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3785991.jpg   3934576.jpg   3869919.jpg   3901871.jpg   New Guinea.jpg  

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  #16  
Old 05-02-24, 11:08
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More in Tarakan Borneo
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  #17  
Old 05-02-24, 16:15
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is offline
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Default Svn

For those who might wonder about the first image, it was taken in South Vietnam. The artillery weapon is a 105mm L5 pack howitzer. I understand that PSP is still an Engineer store item.

The other images posted by Lang are WW2.

Mike
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  #18  
Old 06-02-24, 00:23
Lang Lang is offline
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I suspect the Vietnam picture shows Pierced (or perforated) Aluminum Plate which was a lighter almost exact copy of the old steel plate.

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Last edited by Lang; 06-02-24 at 00:33.
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  #19  
Old 24-02-24, 17:44
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default Prefabricated Metal Track

Attached is what was published in the Royal Engineers Supplementary Pcket Book No. 5A Roads - 1960 (9567) manual on prefabricated metal track.

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Last edited by Ed Storey; 24-02-24 at 21:24. Reason: add word
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  #20  
Old 09-03-24, 06:35
Lang Lang is offline
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Here is a great detailed movie of laying steel matting on Munda (Bougainville)

Laying starts after the tree clearing at about 3.30min in.

https://youtu.be/X5gZMY4r5qs
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  #21  
Old 09-03-24, 23:35
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Wonderful clip.......

Thanks for posting.....

My comments/observations......

The myth that all WW2 soldiers were small guys is questionable when you see the arms/shoulders of some of those guys..... certainly was not the first runway they set up.....

Tried count the numbers of fingers crushed buyt noticed they used some form of hooks to move them then followed by the clipping crew....

The ubiquitous officer walking around with the pith hat and sucking on his pipe.

Must have been hell in the Southern Sun...even with the hot breeze blowing from the ocean......

they were lucky to have a soft sandy base to work from.......

It must have been some sort of plantation as the airshots shows the trees in neat rows....

No wonder they left them behind after the war......
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  #22  
Old 11-03-24, 18:11
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Default various types and uses Marston Mat

couple of types of mat

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  #23  
Old 16-03-24, 13:14
Matthew P Matthew P is offline
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As I have a WW2 era Hobart welder I'm always looking for photos of one in use. I have such a photo in my collection. The welder is being used to tack down the matting. So the above discussion about the pins coming loose appears to have more than one solution? I'll try to attach it here.

Matt
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  #24  
Old 17-03-24, 18:49
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default No wonder they were left in place.....

....when they moved on!!!!!
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