Steam roller

Official Navy Photograph by D. E. Matthews, PH2. This picture shows the steam roller before being repaired.

D. E. Matthews

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EA2,USN-MCB 128 'H' Co.,San Francisco, FPO 96601

This steam roller was found in QUANG TRI CITY which is just south of the DMZ. Arrangements were made thru our Civil Affairs Officer to repair it for the people. It has not been in working order for quite sometime, when it was used for street repair.

The engine is an Albaret, Type BM, No. 1544 made in Rantigny Oise, France.

Can anyone tell us what year and what horsepower this engine is?

It was towed back to the base by a 10 ton military tow truck. Every time the truck hit a small bump the front wheels would come off the ground! Although we don't know what this roller weighs, it is sure to be well over 10 tons.

The repair work was turned over to 'A' Co. and McClure, 1st Class Construction Mechanic, volunteered to take charge of the job. All work was done in his spare time. McClure had no previous experience with steam engines but took to the work willingly and did a fine job.

Some of the things that were done to it was replacing the right hand water feed valve. It has one on each side. One oiler had to be replaced, and the other thoroughly cleaned. The connecting rod was knocking, so McClure fixed the bearing. Much copper tubing, gaskets, and packing had to be replaced.

A new top was put on and did you notice the bullet hole in the stack? It also was repaired.

The brake assembly is on the right wheel, but is missing. The flues are 1 inches and the boiler has a circumference of 7'2'. The fly wheel is 4' across. The back wheels are 5' high and the fron is 3' 10' high.

I was surprised to see that the engine had no whistle.

The last time it had a pressure test was in April 1950 according to the lead plate above the fire box door. A bit overdue I might add.

It holds a full 8 kilograms of pressure I don't know how many PSI that would be, and the safety valve goes off at about 8 kilograms.

This engine now runs quite smooth and it really sounds good to the ear. It's a pleasant change from the roar of a diesel truck.