I just love a legend, do you have one of them? Bantam BRC, Ford GP or Willys MA/MB? My first love will always be the underdog - Bantam BRC!

I just love a legend, do you have one of them? Bantam BRC, Ford GP or Willys MA/MB? My first love will always be the underdog – Bantam BRC!

There continues to be disinformation concerning whether or not the Army called the jeep a “general purpose” vehicle or not.  Of course one has to know about military procurement in order to understand the answer.  The vehicle that became known as the “jeep” was originally procured by the Quartermaster Corps at the request of the using arms (Infantry, Cavalry and Field Artillery).

Under Army regulations the Quartermaster Corps could only procure “general purpose” and “special purpose” vehicles.  These were in the form of either Administrative (like a staff car) or tactical (the jeep would be one of those). It could also procure certain vehicle under the advisement of the Medical Corps (such as an ambulance).
Even the jeep like the Bantam pilot could get stuck! Or is it!!

Even the jeep like the Bantam pilot could get stuck! Or is it!!

In fact, evidence of this is stated in AR 850-15 as quoted by Book 120 Field Artillery, Automotive Instruction, 1941 Edition:

“Classification: General-Purpose Motor Vehicles–All wheeled vehicles adapted for general hauling purposes including general cargo, ammunition, personnel, and equipment; and for towing trailers, guns, and other wheeled equipment. Examples: Cargo trucks, dump trucks, passenger vehicles, ambulances.”

“Estimates, Design, Development, Procurement, Maintenance, Storage, and Issue: By the Quartermaster Corps, except the design and development of ambulances, which will be by the Medical Department in collaboration with the Quartermaster Corps.”

The same Book 120 also defines “truck”. Trucks are “motor-propelled vehicles designed primarily for carrying cargo or equipment. They may be used for carrying personnel or for towing purposes.” Still further it provides a chart that lists the Truck, 1/4-ton, 4×4, Ford, 1941. The chart defines ‘purpose’ for us. “The purpose will be indicated by stating the general character of the body or the use for which the vehicle is designed.& The trucks maybe for “cargo, light repair, reconnaissance, dump, tank, cargo and dump, wrecking, or pick-up.” The jeep’s ( or Geep!) purpose is reconnaissance.

For more about the early WW2 jeep you might be interested in reading, “Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942.”

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