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Vince's Mk 1/2-2 Ferret    (Ver 2)

 

Before we get to Vince's article on his Ferret, we need to go back in his family history.

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This is a photo of my Grandfather and his Renault FT-17 (or maybe the US 1917 copy I can't tell the difference) taken around 1922 or 23. He was a driver.

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This is him again, different view. Unfortunately this photo is in poor condition, same age as above. On the back of the photo is typed "LIGHT TANK CO C16".

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  I don't know if this is him or not, the faces are faded out. If you look closely you can see the man on the left is holding the company flag and you can make out a "6" and a "C"

A bit of history on him, he was born in 1899, so he would have been of age for WWI, but wasn't drafted until after the war. I'm not 100% sure when he was in, but we know it was early 1920's. He passed away in 1992, before I became interested in tanks and the like, so I never had a chance to ask him any specifics.

Update.
In October 0f 2002 Vince obtained the following information from Charles Lemons the Curator at the Patton Museum, Fort Knox, regarding the above pictures:
I took a look at the photographs on Doug's web site - they are M1917 Light Tanks of company C, 16th Tank Battalion, Fort Meade MD, taken between 1926 and 1929. This is based on several points. The first is that the coats being worn were not introduced until 1926, the second is that the 16th Tank Battalion is redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 1st Tank Regiment in September of 1929.

++++++++++++++++++++   Now for the Ferret    ++++++++++++++++++++++

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  My Ferret is 01EA21, a 1963 Mk Ĺ with a Mk 2 turret. The turret was added by the dealer. A friend and I bought this Ferret and two others from Chris Muys in Tisselt, Belgium in May of 1997.

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  In the above picture you see it in its original form at Chris Muys'.

They finally arrived in the U.S. around September of that year.
My friend still has his 1961 Mk 2/3 and I have the other, a 1962 Mk Ĺ. The condition is basically the same as when the Brits had it. The only thing Iíve done to it was to clean up the interior and touch up a few spots of rust here and there. Most of it is left alone, since it is original British military rust, and thatís hard to find in the U.S.
Doug has already informed me that the red handles are not correct, but thatís how it was when I got it - which pretty much means thatís how the Brits were using it.

Q. Does anyone know what the yellow and black circle on the rear bins means?

I know that both of my Ferrets served with BAOR, mainly in engineering regiments.
The gun in the turret is a gas-fired simulator, built on an FN30 parts kit, identical to a 1919A4 from outside.

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  Stuck! My Ferret stuck in the hillside at Allegheny Arms and Armor Museum. While driving down the trail my wheels got into a rut that threw me into the hillside. The left front tire sunk in so deep, I couldnít steer out of it. Notice that the right front tire is completely off the ground. The thing that finally stopped my forward motion was a railroad tie, visible in front of the left front tire, which got wedged in front of the tire. The tire had mud above the centerline of the wheel, so as I moved forward, the tire dug in deeper. The railroad tie was removed and the vehicle was driven out with the help of a slight tug from a M151. Iím confident that it would have driven itself out, but the jeep was there so we hooked it up anyway. This photo serves as a reminder that when in my Ferret, I am not invincible

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  Unstuck but with a muddy wheel.

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  A couple of pictures of the pull down associated with fan belt removal (fortunatly this is a rare occurence due to the reliability of "B" size fan belts.

Here are a few ďDonítsĒ that arenít in the front of the manual. I learned these the hard way, so maybe you wonít have to.

1). When disconnecting the batteries, be sure you disconnect the ground to the hull first. Apparently I didnít and while disconnecting the battery on the left side I allowed the wrench to contact the battery box. The wrench welded itself to the box and proceeded to discharge the battery at an alarming rate. One of the terminals on the battery melted completely. After what seemed like an eternity of sparking and smoking, the battery exploded, spewing acid everywhere. Fortunately there was something in the way that blocked most of the acid from getting all over the interior. Unfortunately, that something was me! Also, in my rush to exit the vehicle, I managed to crack myself between the eyes on the machine gun mount. Another way this can happen would be if you disconnected both terminals from the right battery and the positive terminal made contact with the hull. This would ground the left battery, allowing for a similar catastrophe.
2). Do not lock the hatch cover in the up position and try to drive through a seven-foot tall garage door. I only moved forward about a foot, but managed to do a considerable amount of damage. The pin that locks the turret roof was bent and had to be cut off, the weld on one of the hinges cracked, and the 2x4 across the top of the garage door was smashed to splinters.
3). If you have an oil leak in the engine compartment, donít ignore it. Recently, I changed the oil. When replacing the plug, a bit of dirt must have gotten into the plug, as it doesnít seal now. This was only a minor inconvenience until I parked it on a downhill slope when lining up for the Veteranís Day parade. Since the hull under the engine is at the same level as the floor, all the oil that had leaked into the hull ran down covering the entire floor. And to top it off, this summer I had done a thorough degreasing and cleaning of the interior!
4). Make sure the interior lights are off completely. Since they are on dimmer switches, they can be left on a little without being obvious and drain your battery.
5). Donít shoot your Ferret to see if it really is armor - it is, take my word for it. The bullet does not penetrate, it doesnít spall on the inside, but it does leave a little crater on the surface. If you are still in disbelief and just have to find out for yourself as I did, fire away, but fair warning - it will leave a mark!
6). Be careful if your Ferret has sat outside in the rain, they can hold water. This happened my friend. His was parked uphill, so he didnít notice that the engine compartment was full of water. When he turned to go down the driveway, the pedals and his feet got covered with about 6Ē of water. This can be avoided by leaving one bolt out of the hatch plates on the bottom of the hull for drainage.

Thanks to Vince for the article.

 

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