|United States Airborne M18 Paracaisson
|This is the unrestored M18 Paracaisson, above photo. This M18 was obtained from Tennessee in 2006 after many years of
hard farm use. Many WWII items have survived lengthy periods of time because of post-war use. The body of this M18 is
actually from the M17 Aluminum Parachest, which is slightly longer. This cart is a mixture of M18 and M17 parts. The M17
body was shortened by roughly 12" to be correctly used in this M18 Paracaisson restoration. The aluminum body had
considerable dents that had to be carefully removed during restoration. The tire in this photo is a post-WWII replacement.
|Two types of paracaissons were
produced during WWII, the M9A2 and
the M18. The M9A2 was constructed
from steel and the M18 from aluminum.
The M9A2 and M18 were air-deployed
via parachute as a cylindrical
container. The container separated
into two parts once on the ground:
the cart bottom and the top cover.
The top cover was a simplified version
of the cart bottom. The top cover was
discarded after assembly. When the
M9A2/M18 was deployed, the wheels,
tow handle and cables were stored
inside of the container. The M9A2 and
M18 were deployed with 8 rounds of
ammunition and could carry 18
rounds of ammunition in waterproof
cardboard storage containers once
the cart was assembled.
|The above two pictures are from an original wartime manual. The picture to the left shows six M9A2/M18 paracaissons
mounted under a C-47 Cargo Aircraft for deployment. The paracaissons were shackled to specially designed pods that were
controlled for release from inside of the aircraft.
The photo to the right is a deployed empty and then fully loaded M9A2/M18 ready for towing.
|REFERENCE FOR WARTIME PARACAISSON TIRE STYLES:
|This tire was made by the GOOD YEAR Tire Company. Two of these tires were found on a post-WWII Cub Cadet 102 tractor.
The tread style is exactly the same as the original M9A2/M18 tire, but the size is slightly larger. The size on this tire is
4.80/4.00-8. These tires will be used on the restoration of this M18.
|This tire, left and above photo, is mounted on a museum M9A2
Paracaission. The tire is made by
BF GOODRICH - SILVERTOWN, size 4.00-8.
To view this M9A2 click here:
|This tire (above four photos) is made by GOOD YEAR, size 4.00-8.
This is one of two tires that was used to restore the M9A2 owned by "Handcartz". To view this M9A2 click here:
|The original rims have been disassembled for restoration, left photo. The inside of the rim reveals the original color of the
M18 as well as the original primer. The M18 was primed in Yellow Zinc Chromate due to being made of aluminum.
Restored Rim with Yellow Zinc Chromate Primer, right photo. The outer rim half is stamped with the part number 7131535.
The inner rim half is stamped with the part number 7131536. The center hub is stamped with the part number B7119364.
|Restored End Cap (front lower) with Yellow Zinc Chromate Primer, left photo.
This part is stamped with the part number 7131534.
Restored End Cap (rear lower) with Yellow Zinc Chromate Primer, right photo.
This part is stamped with the part number 7129820.
|Restored Transom (center body support) with Yellow Zinc Chromate Primer, left photo.
This part is stamped with the part number 7131539.
Restored Axle Support Bracket with Yellow Zinc Chromate Primer, right photo.
This part is stamped with the part number D7115606.
|Restored Draw Handle Support Bracket with Yellow Zinc Chromate Primer, left photo.
This part is stamped with the part number 7131548.
Restored Draw Bar and Handle with Yellow Zinc Chromate Primer, right photo.
The Draw Bar Handle is stamped with the part number 7115169 over M9A2. The top section of the Draw Bar is stamped
7115629 over M9A2-M18. The bottom section of the Draw Bar is stamped M9A2-M18 over the part number 7115624.
Close-up of the top section of the Draw Bar, right photo.
Three types of Airborne Paracaissons were used during World War Two: M9 (Wood),
M9A2 (Steel) and the M18 (Aluminum Alloy).
The Aluminum Alloy Paracrate Load for the M8 Howitzer was deployed in 9 loads:
Paracrate Load M1:
Howitzer Front Trail Assembly, Paracrate M1, Drawbar, Lifting Bar.
Paracrate Load M2:
Howitzer Rear Trail, Howitzer Axle and Traversing Mechanism, Howitzer Trail Handspike, Bore Brush Staff, Spare Parts and
Tool Box, Caster Wheel and Paracrate M2.
Paracrate Load M13:
Howitzer Bottom Sleigh, Aiming Circle with Case, Lifting Bar and Paracrate M13.
Paracrate Load M14:
Howitzer Cradle, Howitzer Top Sleigh, Lifting Bar and Paracrate M14.
Paracrate Load M15:
Howitzer Tube, Lifting bar and Paracrate M15.
Paracrate Load M16:
Howitzer Breech Assy., Telescope and Mount, Paracrate M16.
Paracrate Load M7A1:
Howitzer Wheels (2) and Paracrate M7A1.
Parachest Load M17:
Ammunition (10 rounds in fiber containers) and Parachest M17.
Paracaisson Load M18:
Ammunition (8 rounds in fiber containers) and Paracaisson M18.
|Unrestored M17 Cart Body markings, left photo.
It should be noted that this body and part number is for the M17 Parachest.
This part is stamped with the part number 7131981.
Axle assembly shown in folded position, right photo.
The axle assembly is made from steel and is shown here in red oxide primer. Both legs of the assembly are stamped with
the part number 7115642.
|This M18 Paracaisson was fully restored by QuestMasters in 2017, above photo.
The M18 was used by Airborne Artillery units to air-drop 75mm ammunition for the M8 Airborne Pack Howitzer.
|DEPLOYMENT OF THE M9A2 AND M18 BY C-47 SKYTRAIN AIRCRAFT:
|FULLY RESTORED M18 IN THE QUESTMASTERS MUSEUM COLLECTION: