Military convoy passes through DuPage County
A convoy of vintage military vehicles rolled through the suburbs this week, celebrating the 100th anniversary of a cross-country trip taken by the U.S. Army in 1919.
The group, sponsored by the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, included 49 trucks, cars and Jeeps, ranging from a 1918 Dodge staff car to ambulances dating from the 1990s. The monthlong journey started in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., and will conclude in San Francisco.
The 2019 Transcontinental Motor Convoy stopped at Cantigny Park in Wheaton on Tuesday, where one of the vehicles on exhibit is the First Division Museum's own World War I "Liberty Truck," which joined the museum's fleet in 2018 following a lengthy restoration process. The truck is not in the convoy, but it does run -- one of the few models of its kind that still functions, said Jeff Reiter, senior manager of communications for Cantigny Park.
Convoy drivers then spent the night at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton, where they spent an off-road day of rest Wednesday but did talk with visitors who came to see the military vehicles.
Participants hailed from the U.S. and even Australia, Belgium and New Zealand.
In 1919, the Army's excursion was made up of some 70 vehicles and nearly 300 officers. Taking the Lincoln Highway, the mission was to demonstrate the urgent need for reconstruction and a reliable highway system.
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