14th Service Battalion
The 14th Company, Canadian Army Service Corps was based out of the former Sarcee Barracks in Calgary, Alberta.
The image shows a Ten Ton Mack Lanova truck in a precarious position probably in 1955 while on exercise in the Sarcee Training Area. These trucks provided heavy transport to most units in Calgary, Albertan and B.C. areas.
Because of their large carrying capacity, these trucks provided heavy transport to all Armoured, Infantry, Artillery and Engineer units in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps (RCASC).
Ten Ton Mack
150th Company, RCASC was formed as 14 Company Canadian Army Service Corps in 1910 in Calgary.
They were involved in Operation Big Lift in 1955, which at the time was the largest peace time movement of transport in Canada. It involved the delivery of artillery, caissons and vehicles to the West coast and back in a self contained convoy.
These exercises, such as the Ghost Pine exercise in 1964, provided some precious memories such as a trip to Kimberly to support RCE (engineers) in building a bridge for the Forestry in Kimberly, BC. As a lark the Jr. Ranks raided the Officers exercise party. The next day the raiders were required to load sandstone blocks into the ten tonners, by hand, in 75 to 80 degree weather on the way back to Calgary.
On an exercise to Lethbridge, Alta. a motorcycle rider, Cpl Mike Molloy as convoy control was forced to lay his bike down at high speed, meaning put the bike on its side to avoid an accident. Mike skidded for several hundred feet wearing holes in his helmet, battledress and boots and put himself in a semi conscious state. As the rest of us were deciding what to do, we heard groaning and there was Molloy trying to load a 300 lb bike into the back of a ten tonner which had a box 4 to 5 feet off the ground.
Operation Big Lift took two weeks and included one hundred vehicles, three hundred personnel of 7 Column. The exercise was to supply RCA (Artillery) on the West coast with guns, caissons and vehicles. The exercise was constant movement for fourteen days.
The Column was completely self contained including a brand new Reo Bowser (fuel tanker) until our I Staff member "Red" Staff Sergeant Stevens bounced it off a rock formation near Nelson, BC making us go back to carrying fuel in 45 gal drums and hand pumps for refuelling all vehicles. A ten tonner had two 45 gal tanks to fill.
The Regiment supported RCE (engineers) in Seebe, Alta. building a 200 ft Bailey Bridge into the town as an access to the main highway. It was very cold, about 25° to 30° below zero (F). The vehicles were canvas topped with no heaters. It took 2 days to complete.
These are a few samples of the number of Exercises that his unit provided out of the hundreds of tasks performed over the many years.
The main trucks of 150 Coy were the 10 Ton Mack, Lanova Diesels built in 1940/41 for service overseas in Europe. They were used by I Division Ammo Company, RCASC in Sicily, Italy, moved into Southern France through Belgium, Holland and finally Denmark at the end of the war.
The trucks were shipped to Canada to equip 35 Company Heavy Transport RCASC in Calgary where I Division Ammo Company originated, a circuitous route right back to home. The Ten Tonners stayed in service through the 50s and 60s and then deemed surplus and were shipped to India for use in the Indian Army who continued to use them until the 80s, a remarkable life.
The last photo is a typical Mack of 150 Company RCASC, formerly 35 Company RCASC. It is shown turning around on a narrow road after a supply drop. Personnel are left to right, Cpl Pat Patterson, Sgt John Petrashuyk and Cpl Mike Molloy standing in front directing traffic (road control) and holding a soda in hand.
This unit 150 Company, 7 Column RCASC was one of the most active RCASC units in Canada with a very honorable record in western Canadian military history. The unit was formed in 1910 and served in both major wars and supplied personnel for Korea and UN Peacekeeping and is now integrated with 14 (Calgary) Service Battalion and carries on its great traditions.
A PROUD UNIT, REMEMBER THEM