ASHTON — Last Thursday, the MVPA 2019 convoy passed through Ashton on the way to San Francisco following the original Lincoln Highway. This was in commemoration of 100thanniversary of the first ever transcontinental military convoy that crossed the country in 1919.
In 1919, the US ARMY decided to plan and execute a motor convoy of various military vehicles across the country, on the newly-formed Lincoln Highway. In general, the route began at the White House, in Washington, DC and ended at Lincoln Park, in San Francisco, CA – some 3,250 miles and 62 days later. This would be the first motor transport convoy – ever – to cross the US. The convoy had the following objectives:
1. Put military vehicles through as grueling a trial as could be devised.
2. Study how the varying road conditions affected vehicles from each branch of the service.
3. A transcontinental recruiting drive for the Army.
4. Demonstrate the need for good roads.
5. To say “thanks” to the American people for their support during WWI.
Lydia and Chuck Roberts joined the convoy in Rochelle with their WWII, Dodge M6 Gun Motor Carriage, and traveled with the group to Dixon where they stopped for lunch. It was wonderful meeting all the vintage military vehicle drivers from several states including Texas, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Ohio, as well as Illinois. After lunch the convoy took off to Iowa for the next overnight stop.