SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS – A convoy of restored military vehicles will pass through the area this Friday, October 2 on its way from Hot Springs to Paris, Texas.
The convoy will pass through Glenwood, Kirby, Murfreesboro and Nashville on their way to Texas and will feature historic military vehicles that will range from WWI-era to those just released from the U.S. Armed Forces inventories, including privately owned motorcycles, jeeps and large cargo trucks as well.
The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (www.MVPA.org) is conducting a 95th Anniversary Convoy, with as many as 65 Historic Military Vehicles (HMVs), that is retracing the original 1920 Transcontinental Motor Convoy route along the Bankhead Highway. The MVPA’s 2015 Bankhead Convoy (“BH-15”) will launched from Washington, DC on September 19 and is set to arrive in San Diego, CA some 29 days later, on October 17.
This 3,300 mile / 29 day Convoy represents America’s longest Veterans’ parade, honoring the service and sacrifice of Veterans of all generations.
Residents of the towns are invited to line the streets as the convoy passes through.
According to Terry Shelswell, the convoy commander, times of arrival are hypothetically as such, though he warns that the convoy moves at its own speed, and they “get there when they get there”:
• Glenwood – no earlier than 8:00 a.m.
• Kirby – no earlier than 9:00 a.m.
• Murfreesboro – no earlier than 9:45 a.m.
• Nashville – no earlier than 10:15 a.m.
According to the group’s website, these convoys — the MVPA has conducted 3 previous large-scale HMV convoys — represent the ground forces’ legacy of the nation, showcasing America’s Historic Military Vehicles of many types.
In 1920 the U.S. Army executed a motor convoy of various military vehicles across the country on the newly-formed Bankhead Highway. The Army was determined to further their understanding of the practicality of motorized transport and its place in the U.S. Army. That convoy was commanded by Col. John F. Franklin.
The 1920 route began at the White House, in Washington, DC and ended at Balboa Park, in San Diego, CA – some 3,300 miles and 116 days later.
Each day’s plans have been carefully prepared, including a detailed route map, stopping locations for AM and PM breaks as well as lunch/dinner stops and lodging plans for all of the BH’15 teams.
Additionally, the MVPA will use this Convoy to support the national efforts of the “Spirit of ’45” non-profit group with its mission to KEEP THE SPIRIT OF ’45 ALIVE! and to preserve the legacy of the men and women of the Greatest Generation so that their example of personal courage, shared sacrifice, “can-do” attitude and service to community can inspire Americans to come together to meet historic challenges of our era.
For more information, please visit www.spiritof45.org.
Additionally, the public can follow the convoy online with Facebook at www.facebook.com/MVPAConvoy, and amateur (HAM) radio operators can follow the convoy at www.convoyontheair.org.