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I have searched and found only 1 example of a US Army Caboose painted in green.  Is this real caboose accurate to how it would have appeared in the 40s?

 Army caboose

I found these pics of toy cabooses.  Are the toys pictured below fantasy paint schemes or did the army have caboose painted like this?

 

RMT-ARMY Caboose

Weaver Army Caboose

 

Please share any info you know about Army cabooses or really any army rolling stock.  If you have any pics of Army Cabooses or other Army rolling stock (real or toys) please post them here.

thanks!

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  • Weaver Army Caboose
  • Army caboose
Last edited by T4TT
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Originally Posted by Hot Water:
Originally Posted by T4TT:

I have searched and found only 1 example of a US Army Caboose painted in green.  Is this real caboose accurate to how it would have appeared in the 40s?

 Army caboose

 

 

I could be wrong but, that sure looks like some sort of European Carriage, modified into a "caboose". 

Definitely European.  Here's another view, Germany, I believe:

 

army booses euro

Rusty

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  • army booses euro

Gentlemen,

   I am not real sure the US Army ever had a WWII Caboose painted OD Green, the US Army Troup Transport Train shown in the Special Service Force movie, shows the Military Transport train, with no Caboose and Passenger Cars only.  I know when were were drafted for the Viet Nam war, the GG1 Engine pulled all passenger cars also, no Caboose at all on the end of that Military Transport Train.

PCRR/Dave

IIRC, most Army rolling stock was not built for use here in the states during the war but overseas to replace the rail systems we systematically destroyed in preparation for the invasion.  Not at all long after D-Day, our ships were delivering locos, rolling stock, and brigades of RR men in uniform to set up and provide the logicistics we needed once off the beaches.   The RRing in the states could be provided by the RRs:   it was overseas that the Army had to provide its own.

Originally Posted by Hot Water:
Originally Posted by POTRZBE:

It's been written that the army did not use the Transportation Corps logo til well after WWII. 

 

Agreed.

 

What is the origin of the original image of the caboose of the OP?

 

Fantasy.

 

If you want to use the word fantasy in that context then everything we run and run on in this 3 rail O gauge hobby is fantasy.  We run on fantasy 3 rail track with engines with little electric motors, horn, whistle, bell and other sounds from an electronic circuit board, cars and scenery with little fantasy plastic or metal figures and the list goes on.  It's called "fun" and it is diversified over all whole hobby.

 

I would love to have a model of this caboose on my new Army layout.

 

Steve and Lady

Originally Posted by TexSpecial:
Originally Posted by Hot Water:
Originally Posted by POTRZBE:

It's been written that the army did not use the Transportation Corps logo til well after WWII. 

 

Agreed.

 

What is the origin of the original image of the caboose of the OP?

 

Fantasy.

 

If you want to use the word fantasy in that context then everything we run and run on in this 3 rail O gauge hobby is fantasy.  We run on fantasy 3 rail track with engines with little electric motors, horn, whistle, bell and other sounds from an electronic circuit board, cars and scenery with little fantasy plastic or metal figures and the list goes on.  It's called "fun" and it is diversified over all whole hobby.

 

I would love to have a model of this caboose on my new Army layout.

 

Steve and Lady

But, the question was if the paint schemes used on the RMT and Weaver models shown in the OP.  Are they fantasy or not?

 

There has yet to be conclusive proof presented that they are not fantasy, save for some decidedly European examples. 

 

An individuals preferences for fantasy paint is not the issue.  I understand that even folks who try to adhere as close as they can to the prototype railroads also have "fun" in the hobby.

 

Rusty

Originally Posted by Hot Water:
Originally Posted by POTRZBE:

It's been written that the army did not use the Transportation Corps logo til well after WWII. 

 

Agreed.

 

 I have to disagree. While the transportation logo was very uncommon during WW2, there's plenty of evidence that it was indeed used. Army RRs were often split between the Transportation and Quartermaster branches (with some being used by Ordnance, in places where heavy maintenance or munitions storage required railroad tracks). The Trans insignia is quite complex, so if you didn't have the stencils, it didn't get painted. But yeah, there are several photos of the Transport insignia painted on rolling stock.

That said, I will agree it was FAR more common into the 1950s and 60s to see it on rolling stock.

And yeah, very little rolling stock was painted OD green. All steam locos were black, diesels were usually yellow, grey or black and cars were usually grey or black as well.

The problem with Army RR equipment is that many reference books have shots of equipment taken in the 60s, when the railfan community discovered Ft Eustis and their steam locomotives. The writers, I can only assume, never check on if those 1950s-60s paint and marking jobs were actually being used during WW2, which was very rarely the case. If you're like me and know old uniforms really well (even more than any train subject, as that's my primary hobby, something I've written about in magazines and helped out with book, TV and Movie projects), it's obvious to tell a photo from the 60s as opposed to one from the 40s as the uniforms look totally different. But most train buffs probably would never know the differences.

 
 
Originally Posted by T4TT:

I did not use the term fantasy to be derogatory or insulting.  I am sorry if you took it that way Steve.  I just wanted to know if the army every painted cabooses like the two pics of the toys I posted.  

Nope, not until way after WW2 was over and even then, not very often.

This forum has become quite maddening to me in this regard, in that people will either ask if something is right, or declare it is, to have paint and markings on military WW2-era cars and loads which never happened, then when myself (or anyone else) points out the inaccuracy, it never fails that someone will throw down the tired old, "It's supposed to be fun" phrase, which I feel is incomplete as they really should be honest and add, "-so why bother trying to get anything right?" as that's what they really mean.

So, why does anyone bother to ask, or make the declaration that it's 'accurate' when it clearly isn't? Obviously some people want it to look as correct as they can, and they should be able to make an informed decision on how to go with it, either way (accurate or toy-like) they want to go. I'm getting quite sick of those here who really don't want that info to get out there and want everything to look as toy-like as humanly possible and get really offended somehow when anyone dares to point out what is historically correct. 

Last edited by p51

Me, myself, and I WANT to know what is historically correct, even if is is hard, expensive, or impossible to model and duplicate.  The above Katy caboose photos, posted by Rusty Traque, and even if not of their side door versions, answers my question as to what trundled along behind the massive movements of weapons and materiel in the U.S. in WWII.  If none of the armed services had their own service

lettered rolling stock during that war, it is disappointing, but....history...George

Washington crossed the Delaware, not the Potomac.

P51,

Thanks for your posts.  To the extent that my skill level and budget allow I like for my layout and my rolling stock to be as historically accurate as possible.  That happens to be a facet of the hobby I enjoy.  One can learn quite a bit from this forum, but in order to gain knowledge here you have to be willing to sift through and ignore many useless and sometimes annoying posts.  

 

As a result of what I learned today, I will not be painting a caboose Army green and I will use road specific cabooses on my military trains.  Having said that, those that have green army cabooses at the end of their trains are neither superior, nor inferior, more fun, less whatever than me.....different strokes for different folks.  Its your railroad do with it what you like.

Last edited by T4TT
Originally Posted by T4TT:

I did not use the term fantasy to be derogatory or insulting.  I am sorry if you took it that way Steve.  I just wanted to know if the army ever painted cabooses like the two pics of the toys I posted.  

That OK, T4TT, I just don't like the word "fantasy" used to describe a toy train that might not be exactly like the real thing.  This hobby is for everyone, for those who don't care if tenders don't have the exact number of rivets, to those members who want their trains to be exact as possible.  The word fantasy just turns me off.  When the era of electric trains started, the founders didn't make their trains to be taken so seriously, they made them to be fun.  That's all.

 

Steve and Lady

I guess I may as well jump in here.  I, too, am building an "Army" train.  My caboose is just like Don's.  Wide vision, painted OD green, except front and rear railings and ladders are painted yellow,  may have some gold stripes around the doors, and lettering will be gold, with gold stars.  Weather this is fantasy, real or whatever that's how it will be on my railroad.  My "ARMY" engine will be an FP45 painted OD green with matching gold stars and lettering, maybe. All Army cars will be OD green.  That's the way I like it on my RR.  Doesn't mean I don't like other Army stuff in other colors on someone elses RR just not on mine.  Yep.

 

Rick

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