vdaysalute

Army Jill salutes all the GIs still overseas!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone but especially the GIs overseas. I hope you have as great a day as possible while away from your loved ones. You all are heroes to me. Keep up the great work!

Ford GP on the production line - May, 1941

A Ford GP during production.

American Memory Digital Item Display – oem2002000645/PP

The Ford GP body after being lowered, is securely fastened to the chassis and the headlights adjusted. Ford River Rouge plant. The letters “GP” did not stand for “General Purpose”. Those letters G stood for government, and P for the jeep’s 80 inch-wheelbase. There is evidence from the original WW2 Army Motors that the GP letters were pronounced as “GEEP.” It only shows up twice in print to my knowledge….so it isn’t perfect proof but remains an interesting side-bar.

For more about the early jeeps, including the Ford GP, check out: Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942 and BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS. Both are available from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

A WW2 jeep flying down the road near Fort Riley, Kansas.

American Memory Digital Item Display – owi2001006523

Fort Riley, Kansas. A jeep demonstration by men of the 92nd Mechanized Reconnaissance Squadron.

A WW2 jeep on the run near Fort Riley, Kansas. The photo is dated April 1942. The troops still have their pre-WW2 Helmets. There are dozens of jeep and WW2 photos on line at the Library of Congress.

You might be interested in BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS, This is a book filled with photo’s of the early vehicles that would soon become known world wide as the “jeep”. There are a ton of close up photos so it may be of interest to modelers as well as to those restoring the old pre-standardized jeeps.

Army Jill says, ” I just love getting and giving WW2 jeep gifts. Don’t you?”

Army Jill says, ” I just love getting and giving WW2 jeep gifts. Don’t you?”

 

As an affiliate of Amazon.com we offer lots of WW2 jeep books and related things. Check out the “WW2 US Army Willys Jeep” pin. It’s hand made.  Buy one and put it on your hat or label!

 

Jillandthe42FordGPW-41_red

A girl just loves a jeep for Valentine’s Day.

In this close up we have a round nose BRC-60 in front of a later Bantam BRC-40. Note the rear fuel tank cap on the passenger side.

In this close up we have a round nose BRC-60 in front of a later Bantam BRC-40. Note the rear fuel tank cap on the passenger side.

In the picture, we have a round nose BRC-60 in front of a later Bantam BRC-40. Note the rear fuel tank cap on the passenger side.

Okay, sorry, this has nothing to do with Valentines Day 1943. This is really about surplussing jeeps during WW2. The jeeps that were released were examples of the first 60 produced and also some pre-standardized jeeps like the Ford GP.

An article appeared in the St. Petersburg Times – Sep 24, 1943 dealing with the concerns over military supplies and the surplus expected when the war ended. The Army was concerned with surplusing equipment at this stage of the war. According to the Army to many people thought the war was just about over. Various business concerns and farmers would be able to apply priority to purchase used equipment.

The January 3, 1944 issue of Life magazine had an article that covered surplus sales to Berg of Chicago. He would go on to become the “king” of surplus jeep and parts after the war. What is interesting is that he obtained several of the early Bantam’s for sale. Early as in the first order! Check out the pictures in What Became of the Bantam Round Nose BRCs?

So instead of boxing it up to mail home...I just take it part and mail it home in individual boxes. Brilliant!

So instead of boxing it up to mail home…I just take it part and mail it home in individual boxes. Brilliant!

According to the Toronto Daily Star August 4, 1945, an enterprising GI was caught sending home a jeep bit by bit. I can’t imagine how he expected to send home the tub and the frame…and the engine is no lightweight either!

A jeep I get...but a dental office? That's just sick.

A jeep I get…but a dental office? That’s just sick.

The article mentions a device that looks into mail packages and detected thousands of contraband articles mailed home by service men.  Apparently jeeps are not the only thing coveted as one GI tried to send home a fully equipped dental office.

The jeep was first built by Bantam. Even the jeep like the Bantam pilot could get stuck! Or is it!!

A salute to Bantam!

A salute to Bantam for being first!

Auto Industry Debates Credit for “Jeep” Cars – Bantam President Now Is Hailed as Real Inventor. From the The Evening Independent – Jun 27, 1941. Poor Bantam often received little notice on their contribution to WW2 and American history–namely design of the jeep. But at least as early as 1941 some people recognized that Bantam designed the jeep. What is interesting is that the article…well more of a gossip column then anything, says that Mr. Fenn came up with the idea of the jeep in 1934!
Find out more about Bantam and the other early “jeeps” – Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942. It’s available at Amazon.com and other bookstores.
Just about everybody loves the movies. A movie with a WW2 jeep makes it even better!

Just about everybody loves the movies. A movie with a WW2 jeep makes it even better!

In the early days of WW2 there weren’t enough jeeps for the Army so there sure weren’t any jeeps for the movie industry. Hollywood had to build their own replicas. An audience that had only recently learned about the jeep wasn’t likely to know they were seeing a replica. It looked like a jeep….ran like a jeep…so it must have been a jeep. Laurel and Hardy go thru their comic antics and during parts of the movie, “Great Guns!”, they use their jeep during manuevers.

See the December 5, 1941 review that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times.

How about a book on the early jeeps? Try Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942 or BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS, both are available from Amazon.com or other booksellers.