Photographs from the surplus vehicle boneyards of World War Two, 1945-1948


When World War II ended in 1945, the industrial warfare machine did not stop overnight. Estimates of the value of potential surpluses range from a low of $25 billion to a high of $150 billion.

The surplus included almost every conceivable commodity and commodity—of little utility in a peaceful world; Others are in great demand by the civilian population of the United States and other countries.

During the war effort, the United States alone built approximately 294,000 aircraft. Of that number, 21,583 (7.34%) were lost in the United States in test flights, boating, training accidents, etc., and 43,581 were lost en route to war and in overseas operations.

After the war, the number of additional surplus airships was estimated to be as high as 150,000. Storing a sufficient number of airplanes was considered, but it was felt that the cost of storing them was too high, with many needing to be sold or cancelled.

Some US military aircraft overseas were not worth the time or money to bring back to the states and were buried, bulldozed, or sunk at sea as a result. However, most were returned home for storage, sale or scrapping.

Many of the planes that did make a comeback were stripped of valuable components and melted down for their aluminum. At Kingman Air Force Base in Arizona, an estimated 5,500 aircraft were stored and scrapped in 1945 and 1946.

Most of the vehicles were sold for metal and parts, but some of them were remodeled for civilian use. The tank and half-track were disarmed and reformatted as tractors and bulldozers.

Disused Navy ships were kept in reserve, disassembled for parts, scuttled to form artificial reefs, and even used as targets for nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean. went.

During the war, approximately 650,000 jeeps were produced. They saw worldwide use from Africa, Europe and Asia. Once the war ended, many jeeps were sold or given away to local people, or simply left behind instead of being taken back to the States.

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