A Visit to the Air Defense Training Facility (Post #629) October 29, 2023

Half track

I was invited by my friend Correy Twilley to come to Fort Sill and participate in a WW2 living history event. The plan was to take the M3 Half Track and a Jeep with a Pack 75 howitzer out to the field and and have students and family come by and learn some history. Unfortunately the weather for Saturday would be pretty nasty. For dedicated living historians that’s not a big deal but the purpose was to have visitors. Not likely to have many visitors when the north wind blows in the 20mph range, rain falling, and temps in the middle 30’s Fahrenheit (1 to 5 Celsius).

World War 2 is not one of my current periods. I would have had to borrow my entire kit. But Correy said not a problem, so I said, “let’s do it”. When he cancelled I told him I still had the day off and would like to come down and visit the training facility.

If you are following the news, they are deploying some anti-aircraft units from Fort Sill to the Middle East. So I was at first concerned I would be in the way. Turned out not to be a problem as most of the troops were already getting their trashed gather up for deployment. Correy taught a class that morning and had a meeting but the afternoon was available for us to tour the displays.

Friday was pleasant with sunny skies so I toured the gun park. There were several examples of weapons I trained on in the park.

I trained on the M101A4 at artillery school. Fort Sill is home to the Artillery School now, but when I served there were two schools, Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune. They sent me to Las Pulgas, Camp Pendleton.

After school I was assigned to 5th Battalion, 14th Marines, Oscar Battery. We were using the M110A2 howitzer. This beast was a very accurate system and nuclear capable.

In the infinite wisdom of the Corps they sent our M110s to California changed our unit designation to 2nd Battalion, 14th Marines, Fox Battery. These towed behemoths required modern trucks (M939) to pull them. I was not a fan.

When Correy was finished with his classes he gave me a tour of the training facility. As you will see in the video, they have an amazing collection. Several of the systems are 1 of a kind or there are less than 3 of these known to exist. Several of the trucks and Jeeps are near fully functional and could be taken out if a little work was done on them. Several of the systems are demonstrated for students with live fire exercises.

As promised, Correy said we would take the M16 Half-track out for a spin. It is an M3 based Multiple Gun Motor Carriage equipped with the Maxson M45 Quadmount (specifically the M45D) with four M2HB machine guns. Our first stop was to drive it to the gas station and put in a couple of gallons. The looks on people’s faces when you roll up to the station is pretty fun. After that we took it over to Medicine Man Bluff and then around the old post and finally back to the museum.

I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to go down to the base and to go out in the field with my friends. The weather has turned cold. Seems like we skipped Fall all together this year and went from 90’s to 30’s Fahrenheit in two days.

Thanks for your patience while we went to St. Croix for a week. We needed the break and took a lazy week to recover from work and life. I did manage to see 5 Land Rovers on the island. You can see them on my Instagram account.

I’m working on the backup fuel pump and plan to get the BWB started and turned around in the shop. That will allow me to tackle the rust on the passenger (starboard) side. I’ll have another video up next week.

Like and or subscribe to the Youtube channel, every little bit helps. As always, I’m happy to see comments and will comment back as soon as I see them.

Thanks for visiting and Happy Rovering.

Why I Drive a 1993 Land Rover (Post #556) 3/26/2016

Me sitting in the engine bay.


Sometimes describing why you love something is difficult. Cal Newport nailed it in his book “Deep Work” when describing why the social critic Matthew Crawford gave up his job and opened a motorcycle repair shop.

“The feeling of taking a broken machine, struggling with it, then eventually enjoying a tangible indication that he succeeded (the bike driving out of the shop under its own power) provides a concrete sense of accomplishment he struggled to replicate when his day revolved vaguely around reports and communication strategies.”
Page 63.

That’s it. Exactly. There is a certain satisfaction when you succeed in fixing your car and you get to drive it another day. We are losing this as time progresses. The number of people who enjoy the intrinsic reward derived from working on something with your hands is getting smaller every day it seems.

Go out in the garage and do something, anything, you’ll feel better when you are done.

Thanks for Reading and Happy Rovering.

Happy Pi Day 3/14/15 9:26:53:59 (Post #530) 3/14/2015


Today we celebrate Pi Day. Without π we would have to calculate the circumference of our wheels and tires and the cubic inches of our motors with some other more primitive method.

Today we get to extend Pi out with the date and time to eleven places.

3/14/15 9:26:53.59

Happy Pi Day Everyone.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering
Mmmmm pie.

3 Ply Tires are for Sissies* (Post #489) 4/24/2014

My good friend JagGuy, who you may know from his site XM381.com or my frequent mentions of his genius when it comes to automotive knowledge, has an interesting hobby. He has a business where he bobs the venerable Duece and a Half’s that were so prevalent in the last century with our military. I drove one at the 1984 Combined Arms Exercise at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. Continue reading “3 Ply Tires are for Sissies* (Post #489) 4/24/2014”

You Don’t See That Everyday (Post #488) 4/22/2014

While I wait for my new starter to arrive, I am sharing the Honda CR-V with Mrs. Okierover. Me and the dogs needed some supplies (pronounced “Soo-plies”) so I took the CR-V down to my local Wright’s IGA to pick up some dog food and some Mexican Coca-cola‘s (made with real sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup, aka real Coke not New Coke). When I pulled into the parking lot I spied an odd vehicle. So naturally, I went over to see it. When I got there William Patterson was climbing in.

I told him I thought what he had done was fun and I asked him about the mostly baseball-themed pickup truck.  “I’ve been collecting this stuff for 40 years.” he said. As you can see from the picture his truck has all manner of baseball memorabilia glue to it, piled in the back, and stuffed inside. The dashboard had no less than 20 baseballs on it and no room for a passenger of any kind in the front or rear seats.

He went on to tell me that he owned two such trucks and a trailer that were all decorated. “I just love baseball.” he said. You can see that his taste also extends to football and basketball and even local politics a bit.

I just had to take a picture of someone who loves something so much to do this, after all I was there to buy Mexi-Coke, something I love more than American Coke. And for the record, a litero at IGA is 1.13$(US). The same bottle at the little mercado down the street is 2.00$(US) including tax and 2.18$(US) at Speeding Bullet Comics. At least Speeding Bullet has their’s in a refrigerated case.

Show some passion for something would ya?!?

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.