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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: 1 Aug 1943 Ploesti Raid: 178 B-24 Liberator bombers flew over 1200 miles from a base in North Africa to Ploesti, Romania for a daring, low level attack on oil production facilities.  More 
1 Aug 1944 Polish Home Army emerges to attack the German garrison in Warsaw [1 Aug-2 Oct].
1 Aug 1945 US Army Air Force dropped one million leaflets over Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities warning of an imminent attack, advising residents to leave.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

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).