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East Tennessee & Western North Carolina R.R. - 'Stoney Creek Branch' - pt.II
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 Posted: Thu Mar 3rd, 2022 08:38 pm
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611th Post
Kitbash0n30
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Si. wrote:
I'm always keen on model railroad night photography !


There is something extra-appealing about model RR night photography.

I can't describe why, can only say that I feel it too.




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See y'all later, Forrest.
Screw the rivets, I'm building for atmosphere
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 Posted: Mon Mar 7th, 2022 05:18 pm
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Lee B
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Over the weekend, I painted this re-creation,
of my fictional Railway Operating Battalion insignia.





Today I'll do whatever touchup is needed,
then hit it with some dull coat.

I'm not sure how I'll hang it.

Maybe Velcro as it doesn't weigh much,
as it's a piece of Masonite around ten inches tall.




____________________
-Lee
Commanding Officer, 796th Railway Operating Battalion (in On30 gauge)
Photos of my layout: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53587910@N05/albums/72157668176638961
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 Posted: Wed Mar 9th, 2022 05:28 pm
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Lee B
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I've been asked several times to explain my fictional railway unit insignia.

So, I created the 'official' history of the unit's time along Stoney Creek:





“The Stump Jumpers”

A history of the 796th Railway Operating Battalion, US Army

Compiled by the US Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair


The 796th Railway Operating Battalion (ROB) was established on paper
by the US Army Transportation Command at Fort Eustis, Virginia on November 30, 1942.

From the formation of the unit, the Clinchfield Railroad wanted to sponsor a ROB
and they were asked to assist in the creation of this battalion.

They provided a cadre of experienced railroaders, with the expectation of eventually
running railroads in formerly occupied nations once they were liberated by Allied forces.

Most railroaders in this unit throughout the war were formerly from the Clinchfield.

By January of 1943, the advance party of the ROB headquarters
were in Johnson City, Tennessee to scout locations for their elements.

Battalion HQ and most of the companies were set up near the narrow-gauge East Tennessee
& Western North Carolina (ET&WNC) railroad shops and yard in Johnson City.

As most of the effort for the 796th was devoted to running the Stoney Creek Branch,
B Company was set up in various locations along that line
and set up its company headquarters along a former logging spur near Winner, Tennessee.

Conditions along the line were spartan and supplies were long in coming.

A dismantled Nissen hut which had been rejected during testing in Virginia
was assembled along the spur and an ET&WNC shack was taken over
as a little shop for anything needing hand tools.

A former Stoney Creek Southern refrigerated car along the spur was taken over for storage.

Perforated steel airfield “Marston matting” was placed in a square
for a parking area for the unit’s heavier vehicles.

A trio of 2-6-2 tank engine ‘trench’ locomotives from the Great War
were re-gauged at the ET&WNC shops and immediately put to work along the line,
along with some narrow-gauge Army cars that arrived unannounced
on the backs of some flat cars in the Johnson City yard.

All this equipment was used in various locations along the line.

One was set aside as a permanent switcher for the B Company,
another dedicated to use around the battalion HQ.

Right away, track crews of the 796th went to work on the track
which in most cases hadn’t been touched by crews in almost twenty years.

In a few weeks, Army railroaders with 55-pound rail and newly cut ties,
had the right of way was looking better than the locals said it had when it was new.

By the spring of 1943, soldier/railroaders of the 796th were out of tents for good
and housed in larger squad tents and Quonset huts
that had arrived with additional heavy wheeled vehicles.

Working closely with the ET&WNC, the 796th ran several freight
and passenger and freight trains throughout the entire line.

It was common to see soldier railroaders crewing trains anywhere
between Johnson City to either Buladeen, Tennessee or Cranberry, North Carolina.

By summer of 1943, operations were well underway for tactical training and familiarity
with European and Asian prototype equipment for eventual deployment overseas.

A handful of European rolling stock captured in Africa
was brought to Stoney Creek for the 796th to work with.

A new Whitcomb 50-tonner diesel-electric locomotive was also brought in,
though it proved to be unpopular with crews and somewhat unreliable.

In anticipation of the invasion of Europe during the spring of 1944,
the 796th was ordered to prepare for movement to the New York port of Embarkation
and eventual movement to the European Theater of Operations,
where they later served with great distinction.

The 796th ended the war at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
and the unit was disbanded in 1946.

The Battalion insignia is described as a ‘trench’ engine jumping over a stump,
upon a shield of Transportation Corps yellow.

The insignia was unofficially created by a member of HQ Company, who later said
he had designed it after the initial review of the Stoney Creek right of way.

During the review, one officer was heard to say,
“Boys, looks like we’ll be jumping stumps for the rest of the war”




____________________
-Lee
Commanding Officer, 796th Railway Operating Battalion (in On30 gauge)
Photos of my layout: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53587910@N05/albums/72157668176638961
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 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2022 04:20 pm
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Lee B
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I've decided to make patches of the 796th ROB insignia.

I am very aware that Battalion-level units
almost never had their own shoulder patches
either during WW2 or at any point.

But so many people have asked if I'll make them.


This is the digital scan of my insignia.





The patches will be 3" high.

I'm not going to make a huge batch of them,
but I'll be selling a few at the national Narrow Gauge Convention in Tacoma,
when people come see my layout for layout tours.

They'll probably be around $10 each.

Once I have them in hand next month,
I'll make them available here for anyone who might want a patch,
for what HAS to be the only Army railway unit insignia ever designed in the hobby.




____________________
-Lee
Commanding Officer, 796th Railway Operating Battalion (in On30 gauge)
Photos of my layout: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53587910@N05/albums/72157668176638961
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 Posted: Thu Apr 7th, 2022 09:20 pm
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Lee B
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I have placed the order for some of the 796th ROB patches,
and they should be here next week.

I'm trying to figure out how much to sell them for,
but let me know if you're interest in one:





They will be 3 inches high.
 
I'm quite sure these are the only
military railway unit patches in the hobby.




____________________
-Lee
Commanding Officer, 796th Railway Operating Battalion (in On30 gauge)
Photos of my layout: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53587910@N05/albums/72157668176638961
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 Posted: Tue Apr 26th, 2022 06:05 pm
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Lee B
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The patches are finally here and ready to go !





I only made one run (and not a great deal of them), so once they're gone, that's IT,
for what must be the only model railroad fictional Army railroad unit patches ever made.

 



Each will come with a history
of the (fictional) 796th Railway Operating Battalion.

They're 3 inches tall and have the non-merrowed edges
that are correct for US patches in WW2.

$9.00 each, postpaid WITHIN THE US ONLY.
The easiest way is to pay via pay pal, to p51@hotmail.com

That's the only online way I'll accept payment.
If you want to pay via the US mail, email me about that.




____________________
-Lee
Commanding Officer, 796th Railway Operating Battalion (in On30 gauge)
Photos of my layout: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53587910@N05/albums/72157668176638961
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 Posted: Tue Apr 26th, 2022 08:58 pm
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Nice Guy Eddie
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Looks like they meet all Top Brass specs. 

:Salute:

... word is ...

Any soldier not stitching 'em on straight ...

... obviously likes extra Guard Duty !

&

NO  WEEKEND  PASSES  !!  :w:




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 Posted: Wed Apr 27th, 2022 05:49 pm
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Lee B
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Nice Guy Eddie wrote:  
Looks like they meet all Top Brass specs.
 
 
Yes, make sure they're sewn
1/4 inch from the sleeve edge, centered on the sleeve !

This weekend, I plan on having one sewn to a herringbone twill fatigue shirt,
with Lt Col and Transportation Corps insignia on each proper collar
(my unit, my command, right ?)

I've sold ten already,
so they're going fast as I didn't make many.




____________________
-Lee
Commanding Officer, 796th Railway Operating Battalion (in On30 gauge)
Photos of my layout: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53587910@N05/albums/72157668176638961
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 Posted: Sat Apr 30th, 2022 01:35 pm
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Lee B
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As of last night, I'm sold out of these patches.

Sorry, but they went much faster than I thought they would.

Thanks to all who showed interest !




____________________
-Lee
Commanding Officer, 796th Railway Operating Battalion (in On30 gauge)
Photos of my layout: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53587910@N05/albums/72157668176638961
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 Posted: Sun May 8th, 2022 09:27 pm
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Lee B
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The other day, the Army trench engine was running...







____________________
-Lee
Commanding Officer, 796th Railway Operating Battalion (in On30 gauge)
Photos of my layout: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53587910@N05/albums/72157668176638961
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