Antique military vehicle convoy passes through Lake Tahoe |

Antique military vehicle convoy passes through Lake Tahoe

by Guy Clifton
Travel Nevada

A convoy of vintage military vehicles will pass through Douglas County on their way to San Francisco on Thursday.

In observance of the 100th anniversary of the first U.S. Army Transcontinental Convoy from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, the will stop lunch at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City on Thursday before continuing up Highway 50.

The public is welcome to view the vehicles and visit with the convoy participants. The lunch stop is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the museum, 2180 S. Carson St., Carson City. The convoy is planning to come in on Highway 50 and take Carson Street south to the museum.

The convoy is made up of about 70 vehicles from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. It left the Ellipse in Washington on Aug. 11 and is scheduled to arrive at Lincoln Park in San Francisco on Saturday, exactly 100 years from the arrival of the first convoy.

Three Nevada men are part of the convoy — John Gillich of Reno, Bryon Johnson of Virginia City and Bill Krieder of Carson City.

“This is my fourth convoy with the MVPA,” Gillich said. “I’m semi-retired and I enjoy supporting my fellow veterans. I also participate in parades with my 1942 Ford GPW (Jeep), which I am driving the full length of the convoy.”

The entire trip is 36 days and more than 3,200 miles. The convoy will cross Nevada on Highway 50, staying overnight in Ely before spending two rest days in Fallon and participating in the city’s Patriots’ Day ceremony on Sept. 11.

Thursday, the convoy departs the Churchill County Fairgrounds in Fallon and has a morning break at the Spring Market in Silver Springs before continuing to the Nevada State Railroad Museum for its lunch stop.

The original convoy in 1919 was used as a method to test military vehicles and to encourage construction of highways. It was also the opportunity for the U.S. Army to thank the American people for their support of the U.S. initiative during The Great War, known now as World War I. It was the first motor transport convoy ever to cross the U.S.

One of the officers on the convoy was then Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the future general and president.