Historic Hood River
Alva Day went on a hunting trip every October, and it looks like he was even able to keep this tradition during World War II. This image is from October 1944. He usually traveled to eastern Oregon to hunt, but I suspect with fuel rations being scarce he didn’t travel as far this year. This looks more like the area around Lost Lake to me. Later images in the series show they were very successful nevertheless, with their camp tables piled high with elk and deer quarters.
The vehicle looks like some sort of Jeep to me. The folks at WAAAM have several fine examples of wartime vehicles, so I am sure they will have an accurate ID. I’m not aure how they managed to get this vehicle in Hood River with the war still going on in Europe and Asia.
No doubt the hay bales are for “blinds” in hunting? There is a possibility that they had horses or mules to pack their deer and/or elk….Who knows?
Arthur, the vehicle appears to be a Dodge 1/2 ton command and recon 4×4 built in 1941-1942. It was called a WC-6.
Dodge built about 79,000 vehicles.
Good question how the vehicle was acquired before the end of WW II…..suspect the photo date is wrong?
My dad and uncle used to take straw along on their elkhunting trips to sleep on. After a couple nights, mice and other critters set up home down deep in the straw and interfered with sleep. After a couple years, a small house trailer was acquired to provide more creature comforts.
Alva Day recorded the date on the negative along with the time, aperture and exposure (11AM, 10/30/1944, f7.7, 1/25th). I'm usually skeptical of dates on our photos but the contemporaneous records he made are pretty convincing. Perhaps the Dodge was in Hood River for some special event like a war bond drive, and they “borrowed” it for the weekend.
Did a little more research on this image. Alva Day and company were on this hunting trip from at least 10/30 to 11/6/1944, and it does appear to be in Eastern Oregon. There are several other glimpses of this vehicle, including two which show a corner of the license plate. It looks like it has a Federal shield on it, like a USFS official plate, so this vehicle was apparently an official US government vehicle. It looks like Alva and company arrived in his late 1930's Chevy. And the hay– they had horses with them.
The soil looks awfully sandy and the forest looks possibly burned over…?
Arthur, that is a good explanation why they would have this vehicle. It was a good off-roader back then, so the Forrest Service is a likely user too.
Agree with Harold. Soil looks loose like pumice and maybe ponderosa needles
on the ground? Standing dead from a burn in previous years?
Did the Alpinees exist in 1944? The gentleman with the distinctive plaid shirt might be identifiable if so.
The plaid shirt if there was any involvement would have been the Crag Rats. They definitely were around in 1944. He may very well have been, but doesn't look familiar to me.