HomeVisitMuseum ExhibitsFact SheetsDisplay

WWII Airborne Tractor

DAYTON, Ohio -- Engineer Aviation Battalion exhibit near the Curtiss C-46D in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Clarkair Airborne Tractor on display in the Air Power Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Clarkair Crawler Model CA-1 tractor was developed by the Clark Equipment Co. for the Army during World War II. Its small size permitted airlift by glider or other type cargo aircraft to locations where it could be used to construct landing strips or other facilities. After Clark developed the prototype and manufactured 13 of the vehicles, the Cleveland Tractor Co. built about 145 more. It is powered by a four-cylinder gasoline engine and has a hydraulic bulldozer attachment for moving earth.

An example of the use of these tractors was following the airborne landing of Allied forces behind Japanese lines in Northern Burma. On the night of March 5, 1944, more than 30 gliders carrying men, pack animals, lighting equipment and tractors of this type landed at a jungle clearing designated as "Broadway." Within 24 hours, airborne engineers had prepared a landing strip 300 feet by 5,000, ready for use by more gliders and Troop Carrier Command C-47s, bringing in more men, animals and supplies.

This tractor was donated to the museum by members of the 876th Airborne Engineer Aviation Battalion Reunion Association. It was restored for the museum by the Clark Equipment Co., Cassopolis, Mich.

Click here to return to the Engineer Aviation Battalions Overview.


Find Out More
Related Fact Sheets
Douglas C-47D Skytrain
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.

Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.

Featured Links

Plan Your Visit button
E-newsletter Sign-up button
Explore Museum Exhibits button
Browse Photos button
Visit Press Room button
Become a Volunteer button
Air Force Museum Foundation button
Donate an item button