Killing Rommel Video
Send questions, comments, suggestions and information to Jack Valenti at the LRDG Preservation Society email address: LRDG@prodigy.net
LRDG Facebook Site:
Come visit and join our new Facebook group called: "Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) Preservation Society" (link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=156542796560). If it works out OK we'll keep it going. Let Jack know if it's useful.
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Mission Statement of the LRDG Preservation Society: To learn as much as possible about the unit, the men in it and the equipment and tactics they used. Then to share that information with all whom wish to learn. To that end this group has built a replica of a classic WWII LRDG truck (1942 Canadian Chevy, right hand drive, India format) and outfitted it with "historically correct" military equipment, gear, provisions, and uniforms. The vehicle was built by Rick Butler in Yreka California from several vintage trucks and parts from around the world. Converting a left hand drive vehicle to right hand drive was one of many challenges.
The LRDG Preservation Society is the inspiration of Jack Valenti who is the chief historian, coordinator of equipment and artifact procurement and show organizer. The truck is displayed several times a year throughout the California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington areas and staffed by "LRDG clad" volunteers. This is a non-profit organization that survives through its volunteers whom donate equipment, historical information, time and money. Our society includes LRDG enthusiasts from countries like England, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, South Africa and more. The only requirement for membership is an interest in history, get on the mailing list and maybe an official LRDG T-shirt! For more information contact Jack at his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the new Section! Trooper Album, Jack and Kevin have worked on this for some time, a collection of LRDG troopers and their ranks!
Also there is a new After Action Report!
“Yes Jerry there really is a Santa Claus”
(Or perhaps something even greater)
Jeff was not able to get out much but treasured the moments he was able to go to an event. Jeff loved everything military including sharing Jerry’s love for the L.R.D.G.
In 2010 Jeff bought a jeep, a 1943 GPW. It was is in good shape and Jeff planned to work on it when he could with guidance from Jerry and help from friends. Even throughout the years of extreme illness the jeep was always a spark in Jeff’s eye and he was very proud of it.
Now I don’t want to get into Jerry’s family history to much, all that is really necessary to understand this story is that over the years like in many families issues arise, situations pop up, some members of our families do seemingly ridiculous things we really don’t understand and on some occasions bad feelings can ruin a close family. No matter what took place Jerry and his brother remained very close to the end.
When Jeff passed away the jeep fell into the hands of In-laws. It became obvious right from the start that they had no intension of passing the jeep to Jerry but would go out of their way to make sure that he was never able to obtain it. The jeep was advertised on Craig’s list and would only be sold to an “out of state buyer”.
Without going into all the details I believe you can start to get a picture of what was happening and it was very plain to see that these Scrooge’s would do all they could to make sure the jeep did not fall into Jerry’s hands or anyone who new Jerry.
“Yes Jerry there really is a Santa Clause” and I certainly believe something much greater was at work here.
The jeep was listed for $13,000, way over priced. They dropped the price once, twice four times until it was down to $44500.00 and “SOLD” to a man who knew absolutely nothing about what had gone on over the past few months with Jerry and his brother’s jeep. Now I am not sure what happened to the idea of only selling it out of state but apparently there were no takers and they sold it to the first person who had cash.
Now this person who had the $4450.00 to spend on the jeep planned on flipping it really fast and he did. The day after the first gentleman bought the jeep he re-sold it to another gentleman.
On 9/21/12 Jerry got a phone call from his good neighbor across the street informing Jerry to “hurry up and get home you have to see the jeep I bought”. When Jerry arrived home he could see that his neighbor was now the lucky owner of a, you guessed it a 1943 GPW. Now Jerry’s neighbor knowing that Jerry loved jeeps and all things military could not wait to show it off to Jerry. Upon first glance Jerry asked the year, “a 1943 GPW” the neighbor told him. Jerry replied “man this looks just like my brothers old jeep”. As Jerry began to inspect the jeep he soon realized that not only did this jeep look like his brothers it is his brothers. Jerry asked to see the pink slip and sure enough Scrooge’s name was on the pink slip. Jerry almost fell over backwards as he realized his brother’s jeep was, through some strange twist of fate now parked across the street from Jerry’s own house. Jerry began to tell the neighbor all about the twisted story and the neighbor could not believe his ears. At the end of the conversation Jerry asked his neighbor what his plans for the jeep were “I am going to flip it” he said “I hope to make a few thousand on the deal”. Jerry then asked “how much would he be willing to sell it for”, $7500.00 the neighbor replied but if you (Jerry) want to buy it I will lower my expectations and sell it to you at a much better price as it should go to you Jerry”.
Jerry began a phone campaign and within a day there was pretty much a “Buy the jeep back for Jerry” telethon happening. Jerry was able to raise the cash between himself and a few shall we say guardian angels and within two weeks of his neighbor buying the jeep not knowing anything at all about its sorted history, the jeep Jerry and his brother worked on for a number of years, the jeep that a few people with a problem swore would never get to Jerry, a jeep which seemly refused to be sold to anyone except who it should have went to in the first place is now you guessed it, in Jerry’s garage and I know that Jerry’s brother is watching all of this with the biggest smile anyone has ever seen.
Jerry has been one of my right arms since forming S Patrol and a valued friend. He goes to every event. I can’t think of anyone I know who deserves something great like this to happen to more than Jerry.
Dec. 15th 2012
Another LRDGPS member Dan Piedimonte has all but completed his jeep, with just a few details to finish it up. I think he is waiting for a set of K-guns that Kim is working on, other than that from what I understand it is California Registered and ready to hit the road (so to speak).
He has done it up as a G-Patrol version, something that I am sure Capt. Alastair Timpson would have been proud to ride in. If you don’t know who Capt. Alastair Timpson is, then you are not a true fan of the LRDG.
With all the flurry of vehicle construction going on, I would like to report that Ricks has indicated to me that he plans to have the T-9 (Radio) truck completed for the MVPA Portland Convention in July. Now this vehicle was to have been completed for the 2008 Convention but the death of his Mom and subsequent events over her estate had set him back. But he has assured me that this is his top priority. As all of the parts are there, assembly is all that is required.
I have been conspiring with Kim on our 2013 LRDGPS events schedule; there is quite a list, hope that we can attend most if not all of them.
We are also planning a LRDGPS member’s weekend only; looking at either June or early Sept. would like member input. Also in October we will be expecting a visit from our member Grant (Thomo) Thomson; I currently do not have the dates of his arrival.
One last thing; I (we) would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous New Year.
Thanks for your support.
Jack, Kim & Rick
Photo above is from WWII LRDG vet "Titch Cave" who now lives in South Africa. See more photos from Titch under "WWII LRDG units in the field" section. This is like being in a dust storm on the mars (very fine soot blowing 50mph plus, yellow or reddish haze\fog) that can last for several days. Sometime it will rain mud too. Actually there's a positive in that the fine silt covers everything and kills misquotes, "nature's insecticide".
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