Tuesday 6 June 2023

Vehicles for Pershing`s Yanks in Mexico

Vehicles for Pershing`s Yanks in Mexico

Jeffery`s Armoured Car (model 1915)

Called - Armoured Car No1 by the US military

The replica at the Pancho Villa State Park

Based on the Jeffery`s truck chasis. 5.3 tons (unloaded), 5.7 tons fully loaded with a crew of 4; 4x4 steering on metal wheels with solid rubber tires. It had a 25HP engine, the internet says a maximum speed of 20MPH (I highly doubt this) and 12MPH over rough terrain (again doubtful IMHO 😆) . For armour it had between 3.8 - 5.1mm.

Armed with Benet-Mercier light machine guns in two turrets.

Armoured Car No1 became the first armoured car built by the US Government for the regular army, some were in service with various national guard units. One was sent to Columbus, New Mexico where trials and training was carried out, the internet claims it was part of Pershing`s Expedition against Pancho Villa, but I have only come across this same claim in only one of the 16 books (and that was an Osprey see below) and dozen or so articles I`ve read on the period. The internet does say there are no reports of it seeing combat.

Two interesting period photos

This model is by Shellhole Scenics, I painted it khaki based on photos of a replica example at the Pancho Villa State Park and some coloured drawings I found on the internet.

Jeffery`s Quad 4x4 truck

This 1.5 ton rated truck was Jeffery`s design in answer to the US Army`s  request for an all purpose vehicle to replace its mule pack trains. With its four-wheel drive and durability the vehicle proved very popular. A Number of these vehicles including tanker and maintainance variants saw service with Pershing`s expedition into Mexico.

The company was taken over by Nash in 1917 who continued to built the truck - they produced over 10,000! The truck was bought by several other countries and was also built under licence too, a real workhorse during WW1 and afterwards. 

Some period photos

This obviously staged photo is particularly interesting as the truck appears to have a plated (armoured) rear body and has a Benet-Mercier LMG mounted up front. The armoured M/C sidecar with its MG was also trailed during the Punitive Expedition.

Another interesting shot as here we can see a fuel or water tanker variant

This model is again by Shellhole Scenics, the load is a sabot and can be removed.





The Incident: The Punitive Expedition of 1916 by Steve Fruitt

 Great period photos and a fair bit of info on the trucks, etc

The General & The Jaguar by EileenWelsome

Good general history of the expedition

The Hunt for Pancho Villa (Osprey Raid 29) by Alejandro de Quesada

Usual Osprey thin coverage, some parts very erronious, nice photo of the replica Jeffery`s A/C

A Preliminary to War - The 1st Aero Squadron and the Mexican Punitive Expedition of 1916 

by Roger G. Miller

Really good coverage of the 1st Aero Squadron, their mechanics assembled and maintained the first batches of Jeffery`s trucks


  1. Great post Richard really interesting.

    1. Thanks Stuart, I try my best not of bore readers :)

  2. What a research! Great work here.

  3. Love the armoured car. Can't beat the odd turret design.



    1. Cheers Pete - yes that multi-turret idea was a thing which makes these early armoured cars and tanks look funky :)

  4. Another piece of great historical research about little known vehicle(s) and their tabletop 'alter egos'!! Interesting how the LMG is the oft used MG despite the impact of the HMG in Europe a year earlier. Good to see your painted models and hear where you bought them. Carl

    1. At the time of Pershing`s Expedition the entire US Army only owned less than 300 (I forget the exact figure 270??) machine guns of all types. The Benet-Mercier is mentioned quite a bit along with the Colt M1895 "Potato Digger".