PHOTOS: It was a symbol of strength, power and durability. The 1947 Mack Model 45S was a pioneering apparatus at the time, and was heavily used in efforts by fire stations across the country to fight blazes — including right here in Oceanside.
But this particular Mack truck has returned to the Columbia Engine Company No. 1 after crossing many miles of America and undergoing years of restoration.
It was a journey that started simply enough 16 years ago with senior members of the fire department — Bill Lynch, Paul Facella and Fredrick Robinson — reminiscing about fire engines of yesteryear. The 1947 Mack was quite high-tech for its time because of a booster reel used to easily drench the many grass fires in the salt marshes of Oceanside.
It was then they came up with an idea: Let’s track down that old truck the Oceanside fire department replaced in the late 1950s that had, up until that moment, been lost to obscurity.