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21 Jun 1942 Japanese submarine fires 17 deck gun shells attacking Fort Stevens, OR, at the Columbia River's entrance to the Pacific [night of 21-22 June]. No significant damage.
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Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne

The Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne was manufactured during WW II by Converto Manufacturing Company. It was designed for use with jeeps and light trucks for hauling tools, equipment, and other supplies in support of Airborne Engineer operations. This trailer was distinguished by having the ability to tilt and dump its contents (for example, sand or dirt) through a rear tailgate.

The single axle, two wheel, all-steel trailer was rated for a 1/2 ton payload. It had a military-standard lunette eye for attachment to a pintle hook on the towing vehicle. A landing leg (stanchion) is provided to hold the trailer level when not attached to a towing vehicle. For dumping, two levers are operated either by a helper at the trailer or via a rope pull from the driver or passenger position in the towing vehicle. One lever (Tailgate Trip) unlocks the tailgate and the other (Dump Release) activates raising the body to the dumping angle. A body lock, when engaged, prevents the trailer from dumping.

The tailgate has a circular hole, with a cover plate. The hole's purpose is for passing a hose through when dispensing liquids from a container carried in the trailer.

The Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne is equipped with two military standard rear light assemblies (each a combination stop light and tail light), including blackout lights. A two-position switch on the trailer frame is manually set for service lights or blackout lights. A mil-standard coupling socket connects the trailer wiring to the towing vehicle.

The manual for this trailer is TM 5-9084 Maintenance Manual and Parts Catalog, last known date 31 May 1943.

The procurement history during World War II included these orders to Converto:

Purchase Orders USA Registration Numbers
W-145 eng.-554 0360481--0360752
0554309--0554461
CI-1085 0567268--0567704
C-5600 0545980--0546129
52-1589-21 0885489--0886688
51-3844-21 0876861--0880860

The latter two purchase orders included minor modifications to the design of the Converto trailer, incorporated into units with the indicated registration numbers. Changes included a heavier lunette, a reinforcing disk on the wheel assembly, an amber reflector (in addition to a red one on all units), and more. Most parts are still interchangeable. See TM 5-9084 for a complete list and applicability.

See also: Trailer, 2 Wheel, 1/4 Ton, MB-T (Willys) and T3 (Bantam).

Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne Photo Gallery

View of Converto trailer showing dumping angle.  From TM 5-9084, P8.   Note the rope attached to the Tailgate Trip and Dump Release levers.
View of Converto trailer showing dumping angle. From TM 5-9084, P8. Note the rope attached to the Tailgate Trip and Dump Release levers.

Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne.  Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27
Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne. Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27.

Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne.  Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27
Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne. Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27.

Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne.  Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27
Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne. Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27.

Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne.  Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27
Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne. Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27.

Dataplate for Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne.  Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27
Dataplate for Converto Trailer, Dump, 2 Wheel, 1/2 Ton Airborne. Photo courtesy of eBay seller jeepgeek27.

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