Sunday, 9 December 2012

Alternative Assemblies

The principle for building all types of Quonset huts are the same. However, some Seabee Battalions created their variation of assembling and transporting for the sake of efficiency. 

The 90th Battalion at Iwo Jima, for example, developed a time-saving method of pouring concrete slabs at one location and erecting the hut frames at another. After the frame was erected, the Seabees carried the huts to the dried foundation[1].

In Alaska, civilian contractors who were more familiar with the local climate, landscape, and traditions developed sled systems to help transport fully erected Quonset huts to remote locations. Sled runners were bolted to the floors of the Quonset huts and created mobile camps nicknamed “Wannigans[2].

On dry land, similar methods like the “Wannigans” were used. Rather than sled runners, steel semi-trailer systems built using stock steel components and wheels from heavy equipment vehicles were used to relocate Quonset huts from Camp Deluz, California. 20-B cranes were used to lift the entire hut and secured to the trailer that was pulled by a KR-10 tracker at 25mph to its new location[3].

[1] Chris Chiei, How the Hut Came to Be, (NJ, Princeton Architecture Press, 2005), 27
[2] Chiei, 27
[3] Chiei, 27

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