A commemorative military convoy will pass through Pacific in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Sept. 20, and Police Chief Matt Mansell is alerting residents in case they want to witness history.
The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) will conduct an anniversary convoy with as many as 80 historic military vehicles that will retrace the original 1926 Route 66.
The convoy will launch from Chicago Sept. 16, and arrive in Santa Monica, Calif., 29 days later on Oct. 14, passing through Pacific at approximately 7 a.m. Sept. 20.
The trip commemorates the role of Route 66 in military convoys, when the road acted as a military transport corridor moving troops and supplies from one military reservation to another.
“Route 66 facilitated perhaps the single greatest wartime mobilization, as thousands of jobseekers headed to California, Oregon and Washington to work in defense plants,” a MVPA spokesperson said.
This 2,400 mile, 29-day convoy represents America’s longest veterans parade, honoring the service and sacrifice of veterans of all generations, according to the MVPA.
Chief Mansell, who has been alerting local residents to this event on his Facebook page, said because this will take place during rush hour traffic he plans to have extra personnel on hand to help with traffic control.
Mansell also said he expects the convoy to be impressive and feels because of the timing many local residents won’t see this reenactment of military history. He said many people might not want to be out and about that early, or may already be at work, so they will miss the spectacle.
About the MVPA
The MVPA was established in 1976 to provide an international organization for military vehicle enthusiasts, historians, preservationists and collectors interested in the acquisition, restoration, preservation, safe operation and public education of historic military transport.
The MVPA has conducted three previous large-scale historic military vehicle convoys, representing the ground forces legacy of the Nation, showcasing America’s historic military vehicles of many types.
In 2009, the organization accumulated a convoy to retrace the first U.S. Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy in 1919, from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco.
In 2012, a MVPA convoy celebrated the 70th anniversary of the construction of the Alaska Highway, from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Delta Junction, Alaska, and the 2015 Bankhead Highway convoy retraced the second U.S. Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy in 1920, from Washington, D.C., to San Diego.
Enthusiasts can follow the upcoming convoy online. Each day’s plans have been carefully prepared, including a detailed route map, stopping locations for a.m. and p.m. breaks as well as lunch and dinner stops and lodging plans for all of the teams.
Historic military vehicles on the convoy will range from World War I-era to those just released from the U.S. Armed Forces inventories. Privately owned HMVs include motorcycles, jeeps and large cargo trucks.