VETERANS Experiences

Stories of our veterans unique history with these vehicles are collected, preserved, and passed onto future generations by the African Queen Project’s “Veterans Experiences” program. From Europe in WWII to East Asia and even on the home front, these veteran stories, interviews, and pictures pass on what it takes to train, operate, and win with these vehicles in action.






Col Jack Johnson, USMC (Ret),
                                       SpotSyslvania, VA

The story of Mark Koloc’s 1943 White Half- track (“Track Toy,” January/February Page 28)brought back vivid memories of my ill-spent youth along the Florida Gulf Coast in the late 1960’s.  The older brother of one of my friends had a personnel carrier version of the White Half-track. In those days, you could drive for countless miles along the white sandy beaches between Destin and Panama City and hardly encounter another human, let alone see a beach house. One night as we were out driving the White, my friends brother veered off into the woods and came to an abrupt halt when he struck a large pine tree. A startled bobcat fell into the open driver’s compartment, right into the guy’s lap. As he screamed, he threw the bobcat over his shoulder and into the back, where three or four of us were just recovering from the collision. That was one mad cat snarling and scratching at everything in sight and sending us all scrambling to jump out of the half-track. After about five minutes, the cat finally jumped out. We climbed back in, reversed the old track a few feet, veered around the tree, and were off on our merry way to another adventure,

Oct 2021  (From Hagerty Magazine)

European Service


James Moran  482nd Anti-Aircraft Battalion,
                             9th Armored Division

My name is John Moran. I live in Dayton, with my wife and son. I have a true love and appreciation of history, especially military history. With that being said, my family and I go to the National Museum of the US Air Force quite often. We just so happened to go the Friday after Thanksgiving, where one of the greeters happened to mention to us that there was a new exhibit of a half-track. Now as soon as she said that I thought to myself, “There is no way that it is an M16. It is probably a M3, which is awesome but would not have the same sentimental value for me and my family”. However, when I got to the hangar with your half-track I was over come with joy.

See, my Grandfather , James Moran, was in the 482nd AAA Bn, 9th Armored Division during World War 2. My dad was with me that day and seeing the half-track brought him to tears. My grandfather passed away back in 1994, when I was just 4, but I grew up with my dad recounting my grandfather’s war stories with so much pride. Talking about fighting during the Bulge in the Ardennes, and defending the Ludendorff Bridge, along with many others. I always found it awesome and very unique that my grandpa served as a gunner on a M16. The M16 was such an awesome vehicle. Finally getting to see one up close was definitely a dream come true. I wanted to thank you for loaning your M16 to the museum and making such a special moment for my family possible.

June 2021

M16’s defend the Ludendorff Bridge during WWII.




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