Ward LaFrance M1A1 Heavy Wrecker at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (HGM) in Vienna (Austria)
Ward LaFrance was originally an American manufacturer of fire trucks and equipment founded by Addison Ward LaFrance in 1916 in Elmira Heights, New York. Despite its name, Addison Ward LaFrance was American. Like most “LaFrance”, a fairly common name in the United States, Addison Ward LaFrance was probably of French origin but with a difficult name to pronounce for Americans: as often, what was a nickname became in the end a family name. The company has no direct link with the equally famous builder “American LaFrance” except that it was formed by a member of the same family. Ward LaFrance ceased operations in 1979. The Heavy Wrecking Truck M1 was the standard heavy wrecker of the US Army during World War II and was built by the company Ward LaFrance and the famous Kenworth firm. The Ward LaFrance/Kenworth trucks consist of two main variants: the M1 with a civilian metal cab and curved fenders, followed by the M1A1 with a canvas soft top, flat fenders and other exterior changes. The cabs are both built on the same 6x6 chassis and equipped with a Wrecker Garwood crane with a lifting capacity of 6 tons (10 tons in some documentation). Within these main two models, production consists of a number of sub-models, with a total production of 4925 trucks. In the Austrian Armed Forces (Österreichisches Bundesheer or ÖBH), the Ward-La France M1A1 (Model 1000 Series 5) was used for recovery and towing of damaged vehicles.
10. Oldtimertreffen im Arsenal "Auf Rädern & Ketten" vom 3. bis 5. Juni 2017 - Heeresgeschichtliches Museum
(10th Classic Car Meeting in the Arsenal "On Wheels & Tracks" from 3 to 5 June 2017 - Museum of Military History)
The Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (HGM) is a military history museum located in Vienna, Austria. It claims to be the oldest and largest purpose-built military history museum in the world. Its collection includes one of the world's largest collections of bronze cannons and focuses on Austrian military history from the 16th century to 1945. The "Tank Garden" (Panzergarten), located behind the museum building and usually open to the public from March to October, accommodates the most important combat vehicles of the Austrian Armed Forces from 1955 to the present, with the different types demonstrating the continuous advancement of tank weaponry. The first Austrian tank troops were equipped entirely with vehicles of the occupation powers, such as the M24 Chaffee, the Charioteer, the Centurion and the AMX-13. The museum is located in Vienna's Arsenal, in the Landstraße district, not far from the Belvedere palace.