Army Air Corps
personnel - Bassingbourn, England
M/Sgt. Hank Cordes
Crew Cheif of Shoo Shoo Baby on a "CREEP" built by a group of 401st men.
(B-17 "Passes Cancelled " in the background.)
In June 1943 the
following article was written in the Stars and Stripes, by Sgt. Henry Heuberger. Home Made
Gadget Keeps em Flying. Ground Crew Builds "Creep" To Cut Bombers Service Time.
A USAAF BOMBER STATION< England, May 1
1943---------------------------------------------Ground crew trouble shooters on this
field have built themselves a gadget they call a "Creep "which has cut hours off
the time formerly required to keep planes in flying order". Self powered, the
"Creep" skids around at 35 miles per hour, enabling her operators to get to any
part of the dispersal area in short order. The "creep" with a fuel capacity of
three pints gets 60 miles on a gallon of gas. Once alongside the plane, the instruments
and equipment carried by the "creep enable her operators to do any of the following.
Check booster coils, run drop cords to a plane, furnish power for soldering irons, check
ignition harnesses and high altitude heating suits, check the entire instrument panel or
even furnish auxiliary power for starting a balky engine on a plane. Powered by a
one-cylinder energizer motor, the "creep" has two wheel brakes, a self-starter.
a blast horn. a self-starting generator, a directional signal arm, electric head and
stoplights and two leather upholstered seats. Designers and builders of the
"creep-who produced their salvage masterpiece in two weeks of after hours work are:
T/Sgt. Gerald Rothermel,
S/Sgt.Thomas Sharpe, Nicholsville, Kentucky
Sgt., James Duncan, Hillsboro, Tennessee
Sgt. Robert Martin, Jamestown, New York
Cpl. Arthur Thomson, Los
Cpl. Alfred Ciarimboli, Newberg, New York
Cpl. Charles Codyer, Waltham, Massachusetts
As a concession to
English custom the gadget was built with a right-hand drive, clutch on the right and
brakes on the left; but the license plates read "USA" Footnote; It also had room
to carry spare parts and tools for mechanical work on the planes, saving many,many man
hours to "keep em Flying".
All builders are 401st. Squadron members.