Mystery Object 392: Wonder Wagon

Size: Pizza Oven

To war!

To war!

Recorded: April 2016

Found: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Circa: 1940s

Made: United States

Material: Wood, Rubber and Steel

Status: Known

I’ve blurred a couple of telling bits, but this interesting item is found in the lobby of the National World War II Museum.

It’s obviously a “Jeep trailer” with a module installed in it for some purpose. And figuring out that purpose is your mission.

There is no glass in the protruding boxes, but they are covered with wire. Note that the roof is curved. There are large and small doors to access the interior, and what it held was vital to the war effort.

Though this could sit in the same place for an extended period, it’s value was in that it could be moved. Also, it would be useless in the United States (at least during World War II). It had to be somewhere near the front lines to be effective.

Hint 1:

Spoiler

Its proper use involved ultraviolet light and geomagnetism.

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Hint 2: 

Spoiler

People only rarely entered the box and never travelled in it. 

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Answer:

Spoiler

It’s a bantam trailer, converted to house pigeons. During WW2, radio communications weren’t always reliable and the enemy could listen in. Pigeons could be brought anywhere and then fly home-which was an Allied HQ. They saved many lives during the course of the war. Here’s some more information. Oh, and I should add… pigeons are thought to navigate via UV light and geomagnetism, though the latter has been disputed recently.

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