Military Pallets, Boxes and Containers – Part 7 Air Despatch – Think Defence

Air Despatch, air drop, heavy drop or aerial delivery, makes use of a range of specialist equipment such as containers and platforms (pallets) to get stores and vehicles directly to the point of need, quickly, from the air, exploiting one of the characteristics of air power, immediacy.

Air despatch, or air dropping stores, is yet another of those subjects where its history is chock full of British military and industrial innovation but the present is hanging on by the skin of its teeth due to continued budget erosion and changing priorities.

via Military Pallets, Boxes and Containers – Part 7 Air Despatch – Think Defence.

Everything, and I mean everything you want to know about the history and state of the art of aerial delivery of equipment and logistics. This is a very impressive post. Go read.

7 thoughts on “Military Pallets, Boxes and Containers – Part 7 Air Despatch – Think Defence”

  1. Very comprehensive and not general. A few minor inconsistencies but quite mostly dead on. One thing the author did not mention in the main body of the treatise was that as the Marines headed south from the Chosin Resevoir one obstacle was a chasm with no bridge. An Army Rigger Detachment in Japan rigged a Bailey Bridge (in parts), and the force re-entered friendly lines. Aerial Delivery is the term used by the US and Dispatch a British term but both are pretty much the same. The author noted as a source the Aerial Resupply of Dien Bien Phu. In the latter stages resupply was exclusively accomplished by air to include dehydrated wine (gotta Love the French priorities). Additionally in the latter stages a battalion of French undergoing Jump School in Hanoi were pulled out of the school and dropped into the battle with the “non-qualified” paratroopers incurring no greater rate of injury than “seasoned” French Airborne Assets. We were always told the Silver Wings covered a small portion of one’s chest and not our, er, buttocks i.e. 4th Point of Contact. Fun read…thanks.

    1. The rigging of the Bailey Bridge in Korea was done without a TM (Tech Manual and pretty much “freeformed.” The Quartermaster Site from Ft. Lee, VA. under Aerial Delivery, and/or Riggers has a fairly good history section that doesn’t much get into the technical part of the Bailey Bridge Rigging, but rather the name of the Army Rigging Unit and its location in Japan where the rigging took place. Don’t know if it has been done since. Regards

  2. Come to Vermont. There are Bailey bridges all over the landscape covering up for the infrastructure investments we haven’t made in the past 20 years or so.

    1. You solved an old mystery captainned…while married to a New Hamphire girl we came across one of those marvels and I remarked how I thought it was an old Bailey Bridge. She neither knew if it was, nor why a Bailey Bridge had come to New Hampshire. One less item on the list. Thank-you.

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