Image of the Red Ball Express dot, in the background is a Soldier taking the picture of the Exhibit.

World War II

Study the role of the jeep "roadrailer", the Liberty Ship and the DUKW in the distribution of troops and supplies throughout the world. Take time to listen to the story of the Red Ball Express, one of the earliest success stories of the newly formed Transportation Corps.

World War II (1941-1945) – North Africa-Mediterranean-European

The Mediterranean and European theaters would challenge the new Transportation Corps with the diversity of terrain and complexity of the various infrastructure. Learning to operate in Deserts, across Mountains and eventually returning to many of the same places as the Corps saw in World War I, the network would grow to be the largest and most complex transportation network the world had seen until that point. The Army would field the iconic Jeep for general purpose Transportation use, while the Transportation Corps would field unique specialty vehicles the DUKW to better enable offloading transport ships directly to undeveloped shorelines. Transportation Railroaders would have to works to restore and operate the long-standing but highly damaged European rail networks. Finally the famed “Red Ball Express” demonstrated the WWII tagline of the Transportation Corp “Always there with the Supply Lines of Battle”.

World War II (1941-1945) - Pacific

The geography of the Pacific region, brought different challenges for Army Transportation. Vast distances, many, small undeveloped islands with jungles and mountains made the Transportation requirements much different. All the major modes - vehicle, rail, watercraft and even aircraft would be tailored to meet the demands of the Pacific Campaign. The Army would bear the brunt of the in-theater logistics, creating an Army Small Ships fleet in the early days, building and maintaining rail lines in places like Burma and even providing Amphibious Truck Companies to the USMC for their famed Iwo Jima invasion. The Army was the largest force in the Pacific and developed the Transportation system to support it. Come see an iconic “Higgins” boat or Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) on our outdoor Pavilion that made the amphibious operations in the Pacific possible.

World War II (1941-1945) - Home Front

The scope and scale of World War II would impact the role of U.S. Army Transportation in innumerable ways. The most significant is the 1942 determination to formally re-establish the Transportation Corps as a branch within the U.S. Army. Due to the scope and scale of the role of Transportation in this global war, we look at it through the two major theaters of war – The Mediterranean-European and the Pacific. The story of Transportation is also a story of the homefront with the major Ports of Embarkation for both areas being a main focal point for the new Transportation Corps.

TC Wacs Work to Keep Vital supply Lines Moving

By Laurence Lader, Army Life

March 11, 1944

"Things are moving fast at the great Atlantic seaboard ports. Hulking liners and crusted freighters wait impatiently at their piers for the materials of war to be lashed to their decks and crammed into their holds. Typical of these ports is one bustling PE...

"Getting men, ford, and equipment on board ship and overseas in record time, members of the Transportation Corps here handle confidential facts and confidential that the details of their work can be described by only one word--secret. But it has just been revealed for the first time that for over a year many of the key positions at this giant PE have been entrusted to women in khaki working around the clock on a 24-hour basis...

"Working side by side with officers and men of the Transportation Corps, Wacs are sharing the responsibility of running the greatest world-circling network of supply in the history of war. Where there was one principal sea route across the Atlantic in the last war, today there are dozens of routes crisscrossing the seven seas. Where there were only 14 main ports in 1918, that number has been multiplied many times today by the global struggle which continues to open up new fronts against the enemy. Along with former railroad and shipping executives, shop foremen, freight chiefs, and trucking specialists, Wacs help to Keep 'em Moving!...

"TC Wacs are scattered throughout the PE in any one of many branches which prepare men, ships, and supplies for sailing. They work with the Corps of Engineers, teh Chemical Warfare Service, the Ordnance Department, hospitals and laboratories.

"Closest to the nerve center of operations at the PE is Cpl. Florence Parrott, orderly to the commanding general, Maj. Gen. Homer M. Groninger. I've got the best job at the base, she likes to say. Majors and colonels must come to her to make their appointments. Every detail of the general's schedule is in her hands. Summing up her job, she calls it: lemonade to the general's aid. Cpl. Parrott, who comes from Dever, Colo., entered the WAC last June and took her basic training at Ft. Des Moines, Iowa. They were just beginning rehearsal of a three-act musical, The Sergeant Is a Lady, written by Pfc Jean Krenzer. She jumped right into one off the lead parts. When it closed, she was assigned to the Transportation Corps, and for the past four months she has been at the PE> She loves her job and wouldn't change if for anything...

"Although their assignment has been kept a secret for over a year, the spotlight is on them now. With every American victory, from the landing in North Africa to the latest thrust towards Rome, the Transportation Corps is keeping supplies moving, and the TC Wacs are playing a big part in it. Strategy and tactics today are dependent upon our ability to deliver the right supplies to the right place at the right time, say Maj. Gen. Styer, Chief of Staff of the Army Service Forces.

The TC Wacs are doing that, and they won't stop till the good have been delivered to Berlin and Tokyo."