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USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 coupled to an ambulance train, 1942

USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 coupled to an ambulance train, 1942


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USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 coupled to an ambulance train, 1942

Once the USA joined the war following the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941 the GWR became involved in the provision of rolling stock for use by the American Army. As preparations for D Day progressed, the US requested that 10 ambulance trains be provided for the conveyance of American casualties. This image shows the official handing over of the first of these trains in a ceremony held at Swindon Works on the 24th March 1943. The 14 coach train was aptly hauled by USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 and comprised of six ward cars, kitchen cars, a pharmacy and operating theatre, and carriages for staff. The handover was performed by GWR Chief Mechanical Engineer F.W Hawksworth, stood to the right of the group of uniformed American Officers, and the occasion was considered noteworthy enough for the attendance of a newsreel camera which can just be seen to the far right of this photograph

STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway

Media ID 19938899

Ambulance World War 2 1606 Casualties D Day Invasion


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Animals > Fishes > G > Grouper

> STEAM Museum of the GWR > Carriages and Wagons > Ambulance Trains

> STEAM Museum of the GWR > Locomotives > Steam

> STEAM Museum of the GWR > The Railway at War > Second World War

> STEAM Museum of the GWR > The Railway at War

> STEAM Museum of the GWR > Swindon Works

> Transportation > Trains


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures a significant moment in history, showcasing the official handover ceremony of the first American ambulance train provided by the Great Western Railway (GWR) during World War II. Following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, which led to America's entry into the war, preparations for D Day were underway. In response to a request from the United States, GWR stepped up and delivered ten ambulance trains to transport American casualties. Taken at Swindon Works on March 24th, 1943, this image showcases USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 proudly coupled to the fourteen-coach train. The train consisted of six ward cars, kitchen cars, a pharmacy and operating theatre carriages for staff members. The handover ceremony was an important occasion attended by GWR Chief Mechanical Engineer F. W Hawksworth and uniformed American officers. The historical significance of this event is evident as even a newsreel camera captured it from afar. This photograph serves as a testament to both nations' collaboration during wartime and highlights GWR's crucial role in supporting America's military efforts overseas. As we gaze upon this remarkable scene frozen in time, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by countless individuals who played their part in shaping history during one of humanity's darkest hours.

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