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1971 Oshkosh MB5 Fire Truck 400 Gallon
Fire Engine Photos
No: 1659   Contributor: John MacDonald   Year: 2006   Manufacturer: Oshkosh   Country: United States of America
1971 Oshkosh MB5 Fire Truck 400 Gallon

1971 Oshkosh MB5 Fire Truck 400 Gallon
Picture added on 25 November 2006
add commentComments:
It's rare to see crash tender carrying ladder.The cab of this crash tender looks quite large and unsuitable with this truck, compare with other Oshkosh crash tender model.The windshield and window of this truck look too small for this truck.

Added by Bomba Boy on 27 November 2006.
I was a driver op. at NAS Cecil Field Fa. from 1969 throught 1971. The ladder was on board for one reason to get to the cockpit during a fire to get the pilot out there were 4 crewmember on each truck. Driver, Handlinemen, Rescuemen, and the Turretmen.All four crewmen fit inside the cab .Three in front with the Turretman sitting behind the Handlineman. The windows gave a very good field of vision.The Driver could see the not olny his crew but also the aircraft, other crash fire equipment around his truck.

Added by David M Harmon on 19 January 2008.
I was the driver of MB-5 71-01008 from 65 thru 66 at NAS Cubi Point RP I was an
airman at the time. I was only 18 years old at the time. We were pretty busy
back then with airwings from the Seventh Fleet Louie Cantymagli USN Ret.

Added by Louie Cantymagli on 15 April 2008.
I was a CFR man in the USMC from 1971-80, operating the MB5 and MB1. Loved the OSHKOSH MB5 it was quick and nimble. Hated the handline as it was manual rewind. The American LaFrance, Ward La France MB5 were dogs compared to it.

Added by Tom Curcio on 25 April 2008.
The Outside Crew must have worn the heavy bunker gear, with the big "Man From Mars" aluminized asbestos (!) hood with viewing port.

Only ever trained with this gear - but, Man, the radiant heat from the Jet Fuel/Av Gas burning was something else.


Added by Pat Rivers-Bowerman on 07 July 2008.
I was a D/O of the MB-5 at NOB Bermuda from 1963 to 1965.
It was really a joy to drive since it had an auto-tranny.
Even with the base 20 MPH speed limit, there wasn't a single D/O that
didn't try to hit 70 on the causeway!

Our lighting & generator truck was an MB-2. But you couldn't hot rod it
since the gas pedal would often stick to the floor.. :)
The new guys always had the most amazing facial expressions the first time they experienced Ramming Speed in the MB-2!
(I know I did)!

Added by R. Tyndall on 31 August 2008.
We saw our first M-5 Oshkosh in 1968 Chulai Veitnam. The had a cat 6 cylinder which was a real hot rod. I remeber that when turning hard left or right the bump from the inside wheel disenguaging or I was told this. The windshield were plenty big and if you notice the turret the Navy/Marines used a low pressure (The pumps were rotary vane with 5 fiber vanes we had to remove and inspect every week.)system which meant we fought fire close and personal. The cabs were very comfterble for the era. inside those side doors we had 3 PKP extingquishers.

Added by Sgt Stephen Liest USMC 1966 to 1975 on 11 September 2008.
It's been 45 years, but did they call those PKP extinguishers, Purple-K??
I never had to use a dry-chem, since we had a lot of CO2 for those kinds of fires.

The extinguisher I remember 'almost' clearly, was the one used for magnesium fires.
It actually sprayed out some flammable juice with one trigger and a goop coating with the other trigger. After finding out that it might explode
and seeing a demo of it failing to put out a small magnesium fire,
I decided it would be best not to ever try to use one!

That Spear nozzle (just under the headlamps) connected to the handline under the nose (see hatch), was for stabbing into the skin of an aircraft. It had angled point sprayhead. Training was fun, since you needed your swim suit to use it.

I think they forgot the mufflers on my MB-5, it had some loud pipes.
You could make it backfire so loud, it would make the Jarheads duck. ;)

Added by R. Tyndall - DeckApe 1963-1968 on 11 September 2008.
I rode and fought fires with this truck at Lemore Navel Air Station in 1964 and 1965 our trucks were powered by Chrysler V8's drive line and pumps. We also had mb1's that was a much bigger truck i can't find any pictures of it.

Added by Tyrone Miller on 26 September 2008.
The Purple k was carried in the left side compartment 3 bottles. The agent you referred to for magnesium was called TMB. had a orange band around the stainless steal canister as TMB would eat any thing else.

In regaurds to the Back fire mentioned was the old MB-5 which hade a Chysler Hemi engine and hell yes the did back fire. I am getting pictures made from slides of those wonderful trucks also pictures of the old MB-1 The MB-1 had a Hercules in line 6 to drive it and had 2 Hemi engines to run the 2 pumping system.

Added by Sgt Stephen Liest on 15 November 2008.
Served on the Crash Division at NAS Cecil Field in
1961 and was a member on a MB-5 Crash truck where we where a busy group in that year and had our share of emergencies and the memories I will cherish the rest of my life,had fun at NAS Cecil Field and we had a great crew.

Added by Earl G.Burgmann on 14 May 2009.
Bomba Boy, we have you to thank for all the wonderful input from the boys who crewed this magnificent machine, thanks,,,,

Added by Pavel in Australia on 23 May 2009.
I served as a Crash Crew member at Lakehurst NAS from 1966-1968. MB1 / MB-5 also had a CO2 truck.The MB-1 we had carried two turrets on top.
I loved that business, of saving lives.

Added by Don Richardson on 26 June 2009.
I think i saw something this appliance on the USS forrestal carrier in 68/69 off Malta during a on board visit.??

Added by Robert Ewing on 26 June 2009.
It is obvious that Bomba Boy never was in the military if so not in crash rescue. But Like it was said it brought out the info. Someone mentioned the gear we wore. Yep it was heavy compaired to today but it sure as heck worked. I've posted some pictures that were taken in ChuLai in 1968 but haven't seen them post. They were of the first MB-5's i hope they get posted as I believe people would like to compair them to the Oshkosh.

Added by Sgt Stephen Liest on 17 July 2009.
as a young sailor in 57/58 at nas el centro, ca. i was a crash crew member on this truck and later driver.had mopar hemi and stick that often stuck in gear and we would have to take it to pw to fix.
spent many hours with my crew 'standing by' in the middle of the strip to be first on the scene during was a great truck and we fought at least 2 big crashes as i remember , rolling up with our turret and under truck sprayer on full tilt.i remember our rescue man sticking the lance thru the side of an A4 with an engine fire . was also crew on MB 1 , two mopar 318s in rear for the pumps and hemi for power. we had two MB5, one MB1, and a big CO2 truck. sailors in the crew and a civilian fire chief.
was a great job i loved it.....2 72's a mo, 24 on 24off, port and starboard duty.

Added by Tom Farrish,usn,ret. on 03 January 2010.
It was a good job! Our MB-5 had an automatic transmission. The little MB2 was a standard.
We had a civilian fire chief, two fire captains and one civilian DO.
We had two platoons and 24/24. But, it was easy to get someone to 'stand-by' for you on a weekend. Might cost you a buck or two.

It saddens to look down on the old base at Bermuda using GoogleEarth, the place has been mostly destroyed.

Added by Richard Tyndall on 03 January 2010.
I remeber in 1984, in the Marines, I was certified as a MB 5 operator at MCAF Quantico. When I left there in 1986, they were still there, even had one at Kaneohe Bay Hi. up until I left in 1989.

Added by W. Phelps on 30 January 2010.
I was a D/O at NOB with Rich Tyndall,also a D/O.When you hit the gas to engage the turret, it sounded like a jet taking off.The MB-5 was one hell of a truck. The day President Kennedy was killed,Willard Spencer and I were on the flight line for a defueling operation.Couldn't believe it, when we got back to the firehouse.I was there from 63 to 65. Lots of memories.

Added by Ron on 20 April 2010.
Does anybody remember the MB1 Marmon- Harrington crash trucks with the two hemi motors in the back to run the pumps? plus we had one that had ford 302 motors. Who made the one with ford motors?

We had them in NAS Guam...

Added by Randy Studer on 05 September 2010.
I was a member of the old MB5 1960 to 1964 and after reading all these Iam shock that no one has
talked about dumping a load when you first trained with it, it was easy to do when you think about it(remember push pull and tap the turret operator) if the transfer case was not in the load went out the bottem as soon as turret man it the pedal.NOW YOU REMEMBER!!!L/cpl Earl Northcutt
Semper Fi

Added by Earl Northcutt on 03 November 2010.
Earl you are so right and I had forgotten that ugly ability. Are you a member of the AFFR? Aircraft Fire Fighting and Rescue organisation (USMC)

Added by Steve Liest on 04 November 2010.
No Iam not, retired and love every minute of it.

Added by Earl on 06 November 2010.
I remember dropping a load of water in an mb5, I was in the crash crew at nas gitmo bay 60 61 does any one remember the chain arresting gear and la torna dozers?

Added by Bert on 07 November 2010.
I remember the aresting gear very well, especially when it was hit and dragged out we had a MRS to put it back but we had long hooks to make the job complete, that was and is to this day the largest chain I ever was involved with.I dont know about the torna dozers.By the way I remember the aluminum shear pins on either side of the gear.
Also putting the half rubber tires back under the cable at Beaufort air station or adjusting them, black widow spiders under almost everyone of them.I was 6461 from 60 to 64. I noticed on the Marines that are no longer with us my first crew chief at the point was Buck J culpepper was one of them and two others I served with, how the time
does go by.
Semper Fi, Bert

Added by Earl on 07 November 2010.
hey bert....
yes I remember those chains and the half tires......what a pain to deploy and retract.bosses screaming ...SHAKE A LEG....damn !
recalling also the times we got called at chow and damn near tore down our crappy little chow hall an NAS El Centro , get to our could any demented SOB send us to duty like NAS El Centro cal , in what I do id like to go back to that time....lololol.....
tom farrish, USN Ret

Added by Tom Farrish on 08 November 2010.
I remember the chow hall but the good thing was when on duty, showing the badge to get to the head of the line so we could get back to the flight line quicker, I can still hear the complaining of the Marines we jump ahead of.

Added by Earl on 08 November 2010.
Was at Fentress field in Navy 74-75 and we had the mb-1 and mb-5. Good ole days

Added by Ott Duncan on 18 November 2010.
I remember Culpepper now if I can remember what duty station might have been Beaufort. I do know he is part of the Crash Crews history. If you go to AFFR there are a grip of pictures of Crash Crew and the people just might be some of you old buddys there.

Added by Steve Liest on 18 November 2010.
Thanks Steve will do on the pictures.
I remember Buck as being a real good Black Jack player we use to play on the hot spot all the time.

Added by Earl on 18 November 2010.
I was in cubi pt PI crash crew 64, 65 and part of 66 served on the mb5 and mb1 under crash capt myers those were wild times.kept us busy I like the mb5 one heck of a truck for the time

Added by Jack Daley on 24 April 2011.
I was there at the same time I drove cubi 5 mb5 7161008. Were you there when we went to olongapo and were hit by the gernade?

Added by Louie Cantymagli Usn Retired on 26 April 2011.
Was in Crash Crew in the Marines 72 -80. MB-5 memories? Leaky turrent hatch, heaters never worked. But boy was it ever a fire fightin son of a gun. With a good crew and driver, all you need.

Loud Cat engine, rescueman sat on top of steps in back and put on bunker gear next to the engine.

Added by Sgt Browning on 26 July 2011.
I was in the Sherman Field Crash Crew, NAS Pensacola, Fl, from 1971-1974. We drove both the MB-1 and MB-5. I remember receiving a brand new MB-1 in November of 1972...and was lucky enough to be the driver/operator. Four diesel engines - one drive, one for each side turret and handline, and a small engine for the generator. Heck of a chore to get all four running...especially at night...since I had only about 500 feet to our spot for emergencies. Fun to drive either one. I have a half decent photo of the MB-1.

Added by Rene' Freret ABH2 on 06 October 2011.
D/O of MB-5s and MB-1 at MCAF Camp Pendleton 1977 thru 1984, spent many along hours in both vehicle. Also was station at mcas futema OKI whatched the navy dump overboard 10 MB-5s off a ship 25 miles west of Okinawa in in the early 80s

Added by RFLYNN on 27 October 2011.
Drove the MB-5, MB-1, 10 ton oshkosh crane, and 50 ton salvage crane.

If I remember correctly didn't the MB-5 have a purple K unit mounted on it, or was it the MB-1? Maybe I am thinking of the old International command truck at Quantico. I know one of the trucks had a compartment with extinguishers, and another compartment for the rescue roll and other equipment. And one of the trucks had a pkp unit mounted on the back.

Ah, I had forgot about dumping a load. Holy cow, only did that once. Got to a training fire, didn't do it right, govner engaged, motors screaming, and all my stuff coming out the bottom.

Yes and the weekly pump vane inspection.

I loved my time a Quantico. Health problems prevented me from attending the reunion this year. Love to see and visit crash crew. Did they build a new building, anyone know?

Quantico 73 - 75, New River 78 -80, USS Nassau ?, and Gitmo TAD in 79 I think.

Added by Sgt Browning on 28 October 2011.
hey sarg b.....yes, MB 5 had a ppk on the rear naaf el centro we never used I recall, it was for magnesium . like wheels and such....anyone ever do 'WHEELS WATCH ?' what a nightmare in the desert summer heat...good thing I was 19....

Added by Tom Farrish,usn,ret. on 28 October 2011.
Went to the reunion at Quantico this last year and had a great time, I was stationed there 85-86, at the old building, the new one is very neat, alot of rooms compared to the old one. On the opposite side of the field, has its own tower, nice heated barn, couldn't believe it

Added by Will Phelps on 28 October 2011.
I was a MB-5 driver at NAS Ellyson Field Pensacola, FL. 1968-1970. We aquired the 1970 model in late 1969. I do not recall the ladder on the side, however it has been a long time. I do recall the Cardox rotary vane pump being a nightmare to service in the vehicle.

Added by John Anchors on 05 October 2012.
Looking for pictures and detail/design, multi-view drawings of the MB-1s & MB-5s so I can scratchbuild models of them. I'm a veteran/former USAF firefighter, now a disabled firefughter/LT. Building models helps pass the time. Any help is much appreciated!


Added by Roland R. LaFrance, Sr. on 18 October 2012.
Oshkosh Such memories. Was "Crispy Critter" from 69 thru 73, got out and stayed with the fire service. Did 38 years plus. I even drove one in civilian world on occasion. Surplus stuff. And then we had all the other weird rigs, like the Track M-116, and then the Walters MB - 1 flop. They built 13 and then lost the contract, went out of business shortly after. Or how about 530 Baker?? The tools they let us play with. First MB 1 that I was D/O was built the same month and year I was born. LOL... Was at Bogue Field, Iwakuni , Futema , then El Torre. Would like to find any Crispy Critters from Bogue that was there Sept of 70. Anyone know where I could locate Gunny Butler or Gunny Connelly? Two of the best of the Corps.
El Centro, used to fly in there all the time. Getting in my air hours, scared the hell out me flying there. If I remember , there was big canyon at the approach. Try riding in the back of C-130 when 2 new pilots were trying to learn to fly that thing. Just when the first one would get it right, IP would say "OK, next!"

Added by Stephen P. Morrison on 07 March 2014.
Just checking in.. I see the MB5 D/O and crews have been quite for a couple of years. I haven't been here since 2010. It's good to see my old B-Platoon buddy Ronnie is still kicking.. Or at least he was in April of 2010.

We were in Bermuda in 1963(or 64) when two USAF planes collided with many lives lost. Strangely, the crash was covered up for decades. No one knows why. Very odd.

Added by Richard Lee on 27 October 2014.
I was a 7051 (USMC) crew chief on MB 5 MCAS Cherry Point, MCAS Jacksonville, And on and on to Japan (MCAS Iwakuni, Korea and of course Alongopo in the PI. WHAT A WILD RIDE IT WAS! big PPK Unit at back, can't remember how not to dump a load, had to have governor on first, I know that much. Someone please refresh my memory!!! I'm not sure I could even lock an load a M 16 after 45 years!

Final note, my favorite truck was my 530 Charlie surprised this vehicle hasn't been mentioned, SEMPER FI

Added by Gerry on 20 December 2014.
I just found a picture of a 530C on the web.. Looks like it was made for carrying heavy equipment. Never seen one before.
The only crash trucks we had in NOB Bermuda was the MB5 and MB2(crash pickup truck?). Those two years were the only time I was ever a firefighter.
After Bermuda, I was back to being a deck ape/GMT..
S&W makes a nice M4 style AR15, excellent shooter. One of those will get you re-familiarized with the rifle.. :)

Take care Marine,

Added by Richard Lee on 23 December 2014.
Crash/Rescue -- NAS Agana - 71-72. Drove MB5, MB1, water tanker - Crash Captain. Lots of memories, lots of alerts, thankfully, no 'crashes'.

Added by Bailey Norris on 19 January 2015.
Hi all, I am retired Navy also. I build 1/72 scale models and I am having a hell of a time getting some really good detail pictures of MB-5. I was aircrew but none of the bird farms had one so I could taken pictures, they had P-16 when I was in. Anyone out there willing to share any? Also need dimensions of it. I am trying to do all Flightdeck equipment. There's a lot out there for everything else in 1/72, but not the MB-5! My email I can find pics of any side and front angle but not the top? Like where does the engine compartment end and just what is there? Hope someone can help, thanks. Pete.

Added by Pete Feliciano on 26 January 2015.
I've looked for pictures of the MB-5 and there are very few on the web. IIRC, there is a hose bay on top of the rear section.
Ours had a large CO2 bottle rig back there. Like those extra large tanks used on a hand-truck, on a flight-line.

We also had about six 5gal cans of foam concentrate up there too. That was a blackish liquid made from fish slime and horse bones etc. Smelled really bad. Hard to clean up too!

Good Luck Rich

Added by Richard Tyndall on 28 January 2015.
Dont forget the overflow pipe on the right side top about half way on the deck.

Added by Will Phelps on 29 January 2015.
Hi all looking for anyone who was crash crew on Ellyson air station in pensacola from 68 to 70. My father was there Frank Noland and has only now told me some of his stories being that he is poor health..I have a picture of him from the Pensacola newspaper from 1968 or 69 when the crash crew from Ellyson was sent to a large Chemical Fire in Pensacola.

Added by Ben Noland on 25 March 2015.
US NOB Bermuda 63'-65'. D/O MB5 & MB2 Loved the MB5.

Added by Ron on 30 March 2015.
Ben, I served at NAS Pensacola Sherman Field Crash Crew from 1970 - 1974. Your dad was at nearby Ellyson field and I did make trips to their Crash Crew Station in 1970 so I may have met him but unfortunately do not remember. I do remember being told of the chemical fire.

Added by Rene' Freret on 03 April 2015.
I drove a MB1 & MB5 on Guam 59 to 61. Angels of mercy. Had some minor mishaps, usually when the carrier boys would come in & practice "touch & goes". had one big crash of a commercial plane &lost 97 passengers, only about five survived. Good duty & great trucks.

Added by Tom Rackl on 07 September 2015.
Was a ABE on CVS14 and CVA64. Finally got shore duty at NALF SCI in '75. Ran a Crash Fire Crew with a MB5, MB2, and a Crane. My personal favorite tho was a 3/4 ton Intl pickup with a PKP/LiteH20 system on back. Maintained the arresting gear too (chain drag on one end runway n B52 brakes on the other). Use to lite the burn pit bout once a month with lotta JP and AVGAS mixed. Felt pretty cool usin the PK/Lite Water makin a path to the cockpit rite thru the flames. Proximity suit worked great. When sittin on the ramp we'd listen to Dr Deminto and LA radio. Mercer Airlines use to fly us off an on the island to either Long Beach or North Island. Had barracks over toward mainside but most times slept at the airfield in a old mobile home we fixed up. Lotta fond memories i.e. like LA Cowboys heardin the goats to stop them from eatin the endangered plants. Lol.

Added by Jim Jones on 25 October 2015.
We had goats in the ammo dump at NOB Bermuda. They could climb around on the keyports, where a lawn mower couldn't go..

Too bad about the goats on SCI..

Added by Rich on 28 October 2015.
They hunted out all the goats in the 1990s..

Added by Rich on 28 October 2015.
Was stationed at NAS Whiting Field 1966-1968. Worked all positions on an MB5. The best thrill as a driver was fighting pit drills. Full speed toward the fire, hard on the brakes, pumping foam on the fire while the truck slides to a stop! What a rush. Also got to use the 150 pound PKP bottle on a pit drill put on for the spectators at our annual air show with the Blue Angles. Unbelievable how fast the 150 pound system will knock down a huge fire.

Added by Murray Arbegast ABH-2 1966-1970 on 22 May 2017.
It's been many years since I've heard 'PKP'.. Mostly, we called it 'Purple-K'.
I loved driving the MB5 because it was so much cooler with those loud pipes and it was an automatic. All of the structural fire trucks were a bear to drive (I was 17 in 1963). I would get in a hurry and forget to double-clutch.

Added by Richard Lee on 25 May 2017.
I’m a fire extinguisher collector looking for a good picture of the TMB extinguisher for magnesium fires that was mentioned above. They were also carried on the outside behind the drivers door of the Biederman MB-1 3-axle trucks used by the Navy. I’d appreciate any help, if anyone has one of these for sale, I’d be very interested. Thank you very much.

Added by Greg Schmitz on 08 May 2019.
Still keep intouch with Rich from NOB Bermuda. Was on old base last May 2018. It's all gone now. Only concrete slabs, and the pier. See the flightline etc. Many memories.Keep intouch with Al Harvey from boathouse. Ron 63'-65'D/O.

Added by Ron on 10 May 2019.
I found some pretty good pictures of the old MB-5 at "Who Responds When a Rocket Explodes?"
Down near the bottom of the page.. The nose with the hidden booster-line underneath and the bayonet all seem to be in the right place, on the trucks marked 17 and 18..

Added by Richard Lee on 10 May 2019.
I drove one of three MB5 crash trucks on adak island from 77 to 78. We also had an MB1 crash truck. It was a good truck.

Added by Paul Bergeron on 21 June 2019.
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