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Clark CA-1 Airborne Tractor

The Clarkair Crawler Model CA-1 tractor was developed by the Clark Equipment Co. for the U.S. Army during World War II. It was small enough to load onto a glider or cargo aircraft for transport to forward locations where the CA1 was used to construct landing strips or other facilities.

Clark CA1 Airborne Tractor at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB OH (near Dayton)
Clark CA1 Airborne Tractor at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB OH (near Dayton).

Today in WW II: 30 Aug 1941 German Lorenz SZ40 teleprinter operator sent a 4,000 character message twice, allowing British mathematician Bill Tutte and others at Bletchley Park to decipher the machine's coding mechanism.  More 
30 Aug 1942 Germany formally annexes Luxembourg to the German Reich, triggering a general strike the next day protesting German Army conscription.
30 Aug 1942 Battle of Alam el Halfa, between Rommel's German force and British Commenwealth troops under Montgomery, south of El Alamein, the end of last major Axis offensive of their Western Desert campaign [30 Aug-5 Sep].
30 Aug 1944 Last remnants of German forces retreat across the Seine River, bringing Operation Overlord to a successful conclusion.
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Clark CA1 Airborne Tractor

The Clarkair Crawler Model CA-1 is powered by a four-cylinder gasoline engine and has a hydraulic bulldozer attachment for earthmoving. The air transportable CA-1 tractor/dozer with Braden winch was developed by Clark Equipment Co. who built the prototype and manufactured 13 of the Airborne Tractors. The Cleveland Tractor Co. built about 145 more. and approximately 1.100 were built by Clark Equipment Co. and American Machine and Metals Inc. for the US Army during WW II.

Manuals for the CA-1 include:

  • TM 5-3020 Maintenance and Parts
  • TM 5-1270 Bulldozer, hydraulic BABX for Clarkair

Thanks to Stephen Sarkany for corrected information.

More information and photos: Syltech

Clark CA1 Airborne Tractor in Burma during WW II.  On 5 March 1944, following the airborne landing of Allied forces behind Japanese lines in Northern Burma, more than 30 gliders carrying men, pack animals, lighting equipment and tractors of this type made a night landing at a jungle clearing designated as Broadway. Within 24 hours, airborne engineers had prepared a landing strip 300 feet by 5,000, ready for use by more gliders and Troop Carrier Command C-47s, bringing in more men, animals and supplies
Clark CA1 Airborne Tractor in Burma during WW II. On 5 March 1944, following the airborne landing of Allied forces behind Japanese lines in Northern Burma, more than 30 gliders carrying men, pack animals, lighting equipment and tractors of this type made a night landing at a jungle clearing designated as "Broadway." Within 24 hours, airborne engineers had prepared a landing strip 300 feet by 5,000, ready for use by more gliders and Troop Carrier Command C-47s, bringing in more men, animals and supplies.

Clark CA1 Airborne Tractor operated by Aviation Engineer (Airborne), Broadway, Burma
Clark CA1 Airborne Tractor operated by Aviation Engineer (Airborne), Broadway, Burma.

Clark CA1 Airborne Tractor at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB OH (near Dayton)
Clark CA1 Airborne Tractor at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB OH (near Dayton).

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