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Estrella Warbirds Museum is ever so grateful to Herman Pfauter who, not only assembled a huge collection of restored military supply vehicles, but also funded the construction of the facility in which they are housed at the Estrella Warbirds Museum. The Red Ball Express Motor Pool 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.

  • Herman Pfauter with his Red Ball Express Motor Pool Vehicle collection at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA.01
  • Herman Pfauter with his Red Ball Express Motor Pool Vehicle collection at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA.02
  • Herman Pfauter with his Red Ball Express Motor Pool Vehicle collection at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA.03
  • Herman Pfauter with his Red Ball Express Motor Pool Vehicle collection at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA.04
  • Herman Pfauter with his Red Ball Express Motor Pool Vehicle collection at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA.05
  • Herman Pfauter with his Red Ball Express Motor Pool Vehicle collection at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA.06
  • Herman Pfauter with his Red Ball Express Motor Pool Vehicle collection at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA.07
  • Herman Pfauter with his Red Ball Express Motor Pool Vehicle collection at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA.08
  • Herman Pfauter with his Red Ball Express Motor Pool Vehicle collection at Estrella Warbirds Museum, Paso Robles, CA.09

History

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. Thus began, the first of many, towards his collection.

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