The Pfauter Building is an approximately 5,000 square foot building constructed in the spring of 2015. The facility is also known as the 'Red Ball Express Motor Pool' which is derived from a campaign during WWII, to quickly resupply allied troops after the landing at Normandy Beach. The "Red Ball" name is derived from the red ball markers placed on the transport vehicles and along specified roadways which gave the transport vehicles priority over all other traffic. The campaign was short lived, approximately 6-8 months depending upon when the nearest port could be accessed by alllied troops.
The Red Ball Express Motor Pool at Estrella Warbirds Museum, is a collection of vintage U.S. military vehicles from 1941 through 1945 assembled by Herman Pfauter, a collector and restorer of these vehicles since his teenage years. When Germany was liberated in 1945 by the Allies, Herman was 9 years old. He first watched with amazement the endless columns of Russian soldiers who occupied his hometown of Chemnitz. Most of them traveled on foot or with horse-drawn wagons but there were also a number of motor vehicles, mostly of American manufacture, never seen before in Germany such as the Jeep, the Dodge Weapons Carrier and the 2½-Ton Studebaker 6x6 cargo truck.
Soon after the entire family moved to the British-occupied zone of Germany where there were again, new vehicles from the British army. But even the Brits had a large number of American vehicles. Finally, the family moved once again, this time to the American zone in southern Germany. Here every vehicle of the U.S. Army was represented and Herman was fascinated with the looks, the sounds and everything else that made these vehicles so special. Many hours he spent in and around motor pools and became friendly with the GI’s driving and repairing the various trucks. While still in high school he bought his first Willys Jeep from the local Army Chaplain for $200. It was running and even had an enclosed aluminum cab and a heater.
Estrella Warbirds Museum is extremely grateful to Herman Pfauter and his family for donating, not only the costs for construction of this facility, but also the enormous collection of unique historic World War II era military transport vehicles and associated equipment. Thank you!
Thur., Fri., Sat., Sun. &
Legal Monday Holidays:
President's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day:
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Pricing and Special Group Tours (Minimum of 10 or more): Full Information Here
4251 Dry Creek Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446