Theodore's World: Our Military and the Jeep

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June 24, 2009

Our Military and the Jeep

A Soldiers Best Friend; WW2 Jeep

Vintage footage of the WW2 Era Jeep taken from the film Autobiography of a Jeep.

Posted by Wild Thing at June 24, 2009 05:48 AM


My Great Uncle Austin had an old Army Jeep on his ranch down in the Texas Hill Country. We grandkids and great nephews and nieced loved to go with him to feed the goats. He'd take that old jeep up some slopes and across some ridges you wouldn't believe. He enjoyed watching us get ready to jump in case he went over the side of one of the mountains. It's all he ever drove on the ranch for fifty years. I don't think it ever had a license.

Posted by: Billy Ray at June 24, 2009 10:44 AM

I had one of the Japanese contract jeeps in Vietnam. They were issued to the South Vietnamese in lieu of the M151. That little Willys copy jeep would go anywhere and carry anything. I burned 115/145 octane aviation fuel in it.

I think if some company started remanufacturing the WWII Willys Jeep they would sell like hotcakes.

Posted by: TomR at June 24, 2009 11:34 AM

One of the cars I learned to drive on was a 1946 Willy. I adored that little orange jeep. It was so much fun.

Posted by: Lynn at June 24, 2009 11:40 AM

One of my old friends who has since shed his mortal coil. Was with the Army on Okinawa, when they returned to the states, he said once everything was onloaded, jeeps and other vehicles, and they were out to sea, they started dumping the jeeps and other equipment into the ocean. A lot of Soldiers and Marines were quite up set about this as Maury said, Geesh we would have bought at least one of them.

The real markings of a democrat regime.

Posted by: Mark at June 24, 2009 02:42 PM

Smilin' Tom, I remember those knock offs, good rigs too. As a current Jeep owner I'd buy one.
I worked for an Idaho rancher who had two of the WWII surplus jeeps, we took them off road into an isolated old ranch at minus 30, driving up the frozen creek bed and spending many hours winching out of break throughs in the ice, long before Uncle Sam had my tender butt.
In I Corps the ARVN's would come around mooching parts and repairs, bigger thieves than we were, we had little to no parts for our Jeeps, but the MP's did. Stealing parts off their Jeeps under their noses was like stealing their loincloths, fun, even if we didn't need the part.:)
We had the M151 built by Ford. My CWO platoon leader's jeep was one of those, lovingly overhauled in a civilian shop before deployment, outfitted with a layer of sandbags on the floor sporting twin air tanks mounted beneath the rear seat, an M60 mounted on the floor pedestal in back, twin air horns on the hood, tinted windshield and a ported, polished and blueprinted engine under the hood. That gun jeep would flat out run. The M151 had two flaws they'd flip if you didn't pay attention and the rear differential was installed to the body where the mounting bolts tended to tear out, 3 if you considered the hesitant vacuum accelerator pump in the carburetor. The best I've ever driven.
Clocked more than once doing 105 knots and over by the following eggbeaters, with them on the horn telling us to slow down. I once drove for that CWO between Quang Tri and Phu Bai while the Chief gave the fly boys flak on the radio about being slow. I'd Love to have that jeep now but with fuel injection and a turbo. That's truckin'.

Posted by: Jack at June 24, 2009 02:51 PM

Thank you all soooooo much for sharing
about this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 24, 2009 09:14 PM