the quest for 4x4 trucks
According to Bart Vanderveen in Wheels and Tracks Magazine ("The DAF/GM connection") DAF of Eindhoven converted a batch of regular Chevrolet WB trucks to all wheel drive vehicles in 1939/1940,
supposedly for K.N.I.L.. The twelve trucks on the picture that came with the article did not make it to the Netherlands East Indies and they fell in German hands in May 1940. The Germans ordered the trucks
to be adapted to Wehrmacht standards, which included the triangle on top of the cab (erected when towing a trailer). Unfortunately we have no further information on this story at the moment. We do not
know if similar trucks had already been delivered to K.N.I.L., neither do we know what happened to the trucks in Wehrmacht service.
In the US Mission Report from August 1941, K.N.I.L. is said to have 200 Chevrolet 4x4 1 1/2 ton trucks at that time, while still in need of a further 900 4x4 trucks.
The picture was printed in Orient, a NEI monthly magazine, showing the production lines of these 4x4 Chevrolet trucks in the US. The Netherlands Purchasing
Commission requested permission to acquire G-4100 series Chevrolets. Initially approval was recevied for 300 trucks to be delivered by February/March 1942.
That number was augmented later.
According to David Hayward, GM Historian, 912 Chevrolet 4x4 military trucks were eventually sent to the Dutch Indies in 1942, but only 96 did reach Java in time. The
rest was sent to Australia after the fall of the NEI. The truck on this picture (from Semarang: Beeld van een stad) may just be one of those trucks that reached Java in
March 1942 and survived the war. The caption says it was a "British" truck (used to evacuate Europeans in late 1945), but the improvised licence plate on the back of
the body suggests it was a locally found truck and not one brought along by the British-Indian Army.
After the fall of the Indies, the Dutch forces in the West Indies were able to acquire equipment as they liked from huge undeliverable orders by K.N.I.L.
Around a hundred Ford/Marmon-Herrington 4x4 1 1/2 ton trucks were sent to Surinam (picture through Hans Heesakkers).
We have no further information on this delivery, but the trucks seem to be 1942 Ford 2G8T's with standard US Army steel bodies, converted to 4x4 by
Marmon-Herrington. Unique vehicles!
Note the "shaven" front mudguards.
We do not know how a large truck order to Marmon-Herrington fits in with the Chevrolet order or did the Dutch put their money on more than one horse?
A small batch of Ford GTB 4x4 trucks were also delivered to the Dutch in the West Indies.
This truck, apparently in Navy service, is shown in Surinam in 1943 (picture through Hans Heesakkers).
Some of these trucks were converted to guntrucks (see the guntrucks chapter).