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Red Ball Express Intro | Equipment Specifications | Personal Stories


White Ball Express:

 White Ball Express

    The first of the express lines established after Red Ball was the White Ball Express, launched 6 October 1944.  The White Ball's function was to transport material from the ports of Le Havre and Rouen to depots and rail transfer points around Paris. 

    The White Ball operated until 10 January 1945, with as many as 48 truck companies working at one time.  During the three months of its existence, trucks carried some 140,486 tons of supplies, with an average daily haul of 1,614 tons.  The average length of a White Ball trip was 113 miles.


Green Diamond Express:

Green Diamond Express

    The Green Diamond Express was established 14 October 1944 to move supplies from the Normandy depots to rail loading points at Avranches and Dol-de-Bretagne.  The Green Diamond lasted only three weeks, until 1 November.  The ever-present mud in Brittany and Normandy seriously affected its operations.  When it ceased, the Green Diamond had carried an estimated 15,590 tons of supplies.


Red Lion Express:

Red Lion Express

   The Red Lion Express was established to haul British gasoline and American supplies from Bayeux in Normandy to the 21st Army Group railhead in Brussels, Belgium.  These supplies were in support of the airborne operations in Holland during Operation Market Garden.  Red Lion operated for 27 days from 16 September to 12 October 1944.

filling jerry cans


    The US Army provided personnel for the Red Lion, and the British provided camp and control sites.  At its conclusion, the line had carried 17,556 tons of supplies, with an average daily haul of 650 tons.  Eight US truck companies were assigned to the Red Lion, with an average daily trip per truck of 306 miles.


XYZ Express:

    The last and largest of the long-haul truck lines in the ETO was the XYZ Express.

    The XYZ began operations on 25 Mar 1945, seven months from the date the Red Ball was inaugurated.  The four XYZ routes extended eastward into Germany from four points: Liege, Belgium; Duren, Germany; Luxembourg; and Nancy, France.

    These drivers supported four American armies - the 9th, 1st, 3rd and 7th Armies, as they advanced into the Reich.

XYZ Express convoy in snow

another view XYZ convoy in snow

    The XYZ was organized around 128 truck companies, many of them equipped with tractors and 10-ton trailers and 2,000-gallon gasoline carriers.   It averaged a daily lift of 12,859 tons during the last two months of the war. 



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