1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default USAF P-8D, looking for info/photo

    I recently purchased a 1978 Ward LaFrance Patriot P-8D, Reg. #78L481. I'm trying to find out which AFB it served at. I'm also looking for any photos of it that may exist. Please check my website and see if it looks familiar. I can be contacted at the email link at the bottom of the website. Thanks!


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003


    You should post this on dodfire.com as well!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 1998


    I retired from the Air Force in 1985 after serving twenty years in fire protection. I did not work with your P-8D or the 2nd prototype but I did work with the second production vehicle at Griffiss AFB, NY.

    I believe the major difference was the production vehicles were on a Ford C series chassis with a canopy cab for the jump seat. The engine, tranny, pump, tank, and apparatus body are the same as the prototype.

    One prototype was probably sent to Tyndall AFB Florida which was the Air Force Engineering Center which included fire protection. Most of the AF fire vehicles were designed and tested by the Fire Protection Engineering Staff. It may not have been assigned to the regular base fire department.

    The other was probably sent to Chanute AFB, Illinois because the Air Force Fire School and the Special Purpose Vehicle Mechanic School was located there. It was probably used for testing at the fire school and maintenance procedure evaluation by the Mechanic school for writing the Tech Manuals.

    I would guess the use of the C series Ford on production versions was cost driven.

    The production front axle engagement was done by a lever on the dash that activated an air cylinder to engage/disengage the axle.

    The combination of the Allison with the Waterous pump shift would sometimes create a “hang shift” when trying to engage the pump. This was caused by a torque load on the driveshaft. If the pump does not fully shift, move the shift back to the road position. Cycle the tranny from neutral to drive, reverse and back to neutral. That should clear the torque load and allow the pump to shift.

    Stay Safe

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