SdKfz 251/1/C/r at Austin
The heavy MG mount indicates a crew of 11 (including commander and driver). The production of the body with the rivets indicates one of the participants of the gearing up of production as the C body variant entered production. The armor is really bolted to a frame. This can be seen beautifully in the interior pictures of the rear. The production of the /C started mid 1940. The short license plate number could indicate that this vehicle was one of the first produced.
Captured in North Africa by American forces in operational condition. It was used by the 5th. Kompanie of Panzergrenadier Regiment 69, of the 10 Panzer Division.
Preservation and Restoration
After trials and test on Aberdeen Proving Grounds it becomes part of the famous (open air) display for some 5 decades.
On 26 February 1993 it is transferred to the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin. It is in very bad condition and requires very extensive repair and restoration. There was enormous damage done to it by 50 years of exposure. The engine has been full of water for many years and is broken, the pan is rusted off and the cam is destroyed.
April 21st 1999. The Texas Military Forces Museum has just received the 251 /C /1 /riveted back from the shop where it has being restored for static display. It is in the museum display hall where it is available for public viewing. The shop in Saginaw, Texas, where it was reassembled has done a good job, considering what they had to work with. There are a few very minor corrections we will have to make where they "guessed" at things that were not present but wanted to represent them or where the original items were simply damaged beyond the point of restoration.
An impressive collection of photo's of how it is on display inside the Texas Military Forces Museum, located at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. Photo credits go to Mr. J. C. Smallwood, a volunteer at the museum. The section showing the inside fitting of the canvas support are pictures of Mr. Gruetzner.
And than (in 2008) pictures turn up of the shipment to the USA. Turns out the layer that was identified as the last German layer is the first Aberdeen one. That disqualifies the markings that now are on it, but the facts uncovered are much more interesting.
Many thanks to Mr. Richard Gruetzner, President of the Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation, for the superb covering of the story!
She's one of my favorites, because although extensively restored, they managed to keep her largely authentic. The museum is busy with more important things at the moment, but a repaint with the now found original pattern will happen one day.
Texas Military Forces Museum
The museum is located on a military installation which houses the Texas National Guard headquarters in Austin, Texas. The physical location is inside Camp Mabry - Building 6, 2200 West 35th Street, Austin, Texas.
In 2017 2 stock pictures turn up. The museum has changed the display but has not found funds or time to repaint.
Main | | last revised: November 12 2017