Claude Estrada Cuellar
US Army Airforce, WWII

born July 11, 1922
died October 16, 2005


Background on source of information contained in this website
home Background Claude's photos Photos of unknown German officer/soldiers Note to Col. Raff from unknown US soldier Links


When Claude Cuellar and his company entered Germany they took over a building that had been occupied by German troops. Claude found a photo album and used it to paste pages of his diary. He also added his personal photos to the photos already collected by the previous owner.

Some of these photos are obviously from the German officer that owned the album. I've posted all the photos and would welcome identification of the folks pictured.

Red Ball Express

When Gen. Patton said for you be there, you were there if you had to drive all day and all night. Those trucks just kept running. Since an army without gas, bullets and food would quickly be defeated, the Army Transportation Corps created a huge trucking operation called the "Red Ball Express" on Aug. 21, 1944. Supply trucks started rolling Aug. 25 and continued for 82 days.

"Red Ball Express" was the Army code name for a truck convoy system that stretched from St. Lo in Normandy to Paris and eventually to the front along France's northeastern borderland. The route was marked with red balls. On an average day, 900 fully loaded vehicles were on the Red Ball route round-the-clock with drivers officially ordered to observe 60-yard intervals and a top speed of 25 miles per hour.

At the Red Ball's peak, 140 truck companies were strung out with a round trip taking 54 hours as the route stretched nearly 400 miles to First Army and 350 to Patton's Third. Rookard recalled convoys rolling all day every day regardless of the weather. Night driving was hard because of blackout rules.

When the program ended in mid-November 1944, Red Ball Express truckers had delivered 412,193 tons of gas, oil, lubricants, ammunition, food and other essentials.