Transcontinental military convoy departs D.C. bound for San Francisco
Mid-morning June 13, history began to repeat itself as antique military vehicles from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association began winding its way through downtown Washington, D.C., on the first leg of a journey that will take the drivers 3,251 miles in 26 days traveling at about 35 mph to San Francisco. In the summer of 1919, the Army's first transcontinental motor convoy made up of 81 Army vehicles and manned by 24 officers and 258 enlisted men began an expedition that crossed the country's breadth to show the nation the importance of moving the military through motorized transport. Among the officers was 29-year-old Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower who went on to become a five star general and America's 34th president. Eisenhower's first-hand experience of breakdowns during the 62-day trip influenced him later as president to build the country's interstate highway system. The 2009 convoy will have as many as 300 vintage military vehicles join in along the route with about 45 making the entire trip cross-country.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16