GPW Jeep #208102 with C-47A Skytrain 'Virginia Ann'Grand Encampment Event, Fire Extinguisher Polishing, & updates!

In this week’s update, I took the Jeep out to The Grand Encampment held last weekend at Flabob Airport to have on display with good company of other jeeps, aircraft, and a tank! I also started work on the restoration of the early fire extinguisher including a really nice polishing, and some updates on various projects!

It was a fun day at The Grand Encampment held last weekend at Flabob Airport! I wasnPlanes of Fame Air Museum event (without the Jeep). I’m glad I took her to Flabob, as the picture opportunities were abundant, and the guests enjoyed looking at the Jeep! I’ll get into more on the aircraft in a bit. Let’s get started with this update!

Taking the Jeep to Flabob from my house was the longest journey the Jeep has ever been on. 21 miles, so 42 miles round trip. Might not seem much for some Jeep owners who do long road trips across the US, but that’s the longest for this Jeep! She did well, especially now knowing that the speedometer is 10 mph off, so I kept it in the 30-35 range, which is really 40-45… and low and behold she didn’t overheat staying at 180 just about the entire way.

Upon arrival at Flabob Airport, I drove through the airport to the WW2 encampment. Right away, I started to spot some other Jeeps.

I initially parked her next to a medic Jeep and the Planes of Fame Air Museum M4A1 Sherman Tank. And yes, I brought my ammo crate radio to play some 1940s music and wartime interruptions the entire day.

Another look, in good company. The WW2 reenactment area was rather large, with several different groups participating, all with their areas and vehicles/tents.

Since it was very early morning and the guests wouldn’t arrive for another hour, I took my Jeep over to the first photo op, with this large hangar and this Douglas C-47A Skytrain. It was a perfect setting, with the C-47 and the hangar making a perfect backdrop.

I, naturally, made sure to shoot the Jeep from as many angles as I could since there was literally no one around.

A little bit of history on the hangar, it actually is a hangar from the nearby &#:2048:March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, CA. This is one of 8 original hangars built in 1929. This one was relocated to Flabob Airport and rebuilt with as much of the original as they could bring over (including the windows and doors). It was rebuilt as it would have appeared in the 1920s/30s.

It didn’t escape me that I was there at Flabob on June 5th, the day before the 78th anniversary of D-Day. And this aircraft behind the Jeep was a part of that monumental day.

This aircraft is a Douglas C-47A Skytrain, named &#: 2nd Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne, as she dropped the paratroopers in Normandy.

Following the D-Day drops, she participated in other resupply drops supporting the Normandy landings. She went on to also take part in the failed Operation Market Garden campaign. A lot of WW2 history sitting right there! She was dropping supplies over Normandy when my Jeep was accepted into service with the US Navy.

Of course, I had to take one of those photos and give it the vintage photo treatment!

IPlanes of Fame Air Museum’s Vought F4U-1A Corsair. This bird cage Corsair is currently painted up in movie paint for the upcoming Korean War movie ‘Devotion’. The museum sent this aircraft and another out for display on the taxiway. I ended up parking my Jeep in this spot next to the Corsair (and you’ll see a P-40 to the left) for the day. Since no one was walking over to the C-47, I figured this was the next best place for a AAF Jeep.

Another look with the Corsair. Through a series of happen chances, the Planes of Fame Air Museum was able to locate TWO of the pilots who flew this very Corsair during WW2 (with the help of a children’s book author!). Both pilots have been reunited with the Corsair in the last few years, and about a year ago one of the original pilots got to fly in the backseat during his 100th birthday!

And on the other side of the Jeep is the Planes of Fame Air Museum Curtiss P-40N Warhawk. This Warhawk is a combat veteran as well, with an actual kill to its record! It shot down a destroyed a Japanese “Fu-Go” fire-balloon bomb at 13,500 feet over Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. She is wearing a North African scheme which are remnants of what she wore during the filming of the 2008 Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie.

Flabob Airport is known as a major hub of C-47/DC-3 aircraft, and at this event there were at least five. The other main aircraft for the event, and the ‘star’ for the day’s flying was this Douglas C-53D Skytrooper known as ‘D-Day Doll’. I actually have done some air to air photo work with this aircraft, and in 2019 it traveled from Southern California all the way to the UK and Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, taking part in the flyovers and airborne drops. I actually saw reunited with her in Caen, Normandy, during that time.

Built in 1943 in Santa Monica, CA, ‘D-Day Doll’ joined the 434th Troop Carrier Group in Europe. During D-Day on June 6th, 1944, she flew three missions on D-Day and the day after towing Waco Gliders carrying reinforcements of 101st Airborne. Following D-Day, she would go on to take part in many support and wounded evacuation flights during the Operation Market Garden in Holland, the re-supply of Bastogne, and the crossing of the Rhine.

During the event, she flew taking up skydivers for a drop, much like she did 78 years (-1 day) ago… minus the gliders.

When I was in Normandy for the 75th anniversary in 2019, which I covered on my blog:, I was still in the middle of restoring the Jeep and getting lots of ideas from all the Jeeps I saw there. So it’s nice to finally have the two of them ‘meet’.

Heading back to camp, the attendance of guests at the Sunday event wasn’t as much as hoped, so while my Jeep did get a lot of people looking at it, it was pretty sparse like this most of the day. And considering that there were eight jeeps there, I think people spent more time with the aircraft and the Sherman Tank.

Let’s take a look at some of the other Jeeps there. I saw this nice looking British jeep. Always thought the black camo was an interesting idea.

Sitting with the Sherman tank was this GPW Jeep done up in 2nd Armored. It was owned by ‘Doc’, so it was a medic jeep.

There was this GPW USMC Jeep that did not have a windshield.

Another USMC GPW, this one is well used!

Another look at the GPW from the front.

And another look at Doc’s GPW. A lot of the Jeeps there were truly ‘motorpool’ Jeeps with a mix of MB and GPW parts.

Yet another GPW, this one owned by the &#:69:Inland Empire Military Jeeps and Trucks.

Another GPW! Also operated by the &#:69:Inland Empire Military Jeeps and Trucks in USMC markings mimicking the famed ‘Black Sheep’ Squadron of VMF-214.

Those have to be the largest stencils on the back canvas top that I’ve ever seen.

This GPW (yes, a lot of GPWs at this event. I’m going mostly by the frames. Some had MB bodies, but all of them had GPW frames) has something special under the hood that was capturing a lot of jeep owner’s interest…

See that large device to the right under the air horn/Carb? That’s an original Jeep air compressor! It was a second rubber fan belt that goes to the inner groove on the engine pulley to power it. It’s a really neat design, and incredibly rare.

Another really cool vehicle I saw was this amazing-looking Ford GTB Burma Jeep! This thing is beautiful and really restored right down to the small details.

Naturally, since it’s in US Navy colors, he parked it next to the Corsair. Perfect spot!

As I wrap up this look at The Grand Encampment event, I had to include this picture of the M4A1 Sherman tank speeding through the field because… well… TANK!

I’d like to take a moment to recognize two very special people that I’ve mentioned a lot, but never shown. This here is Roger Smith to the left of me (photo right). If you want to talk about a Jeep expert, he’s the real deal. When I first got my Jeep and posted about it, I’d only met him once. He posted that he was happy to help if I had any questions during the restoration. That led into two years of constant phone calls, video chats, and a great friendship. My jeep would NOT be where it is today without his guidance and knowledge that he passed on to me. Even though we were always separated by many miles, he was right there helping me with the restoration. I cannot thank him enough for his kindness (and patience!) in getting my Jeep where it is today. He is a living breathing Technical Manual who is always there to help. He is also the main reason I took the Jeep to the event, as he said he was going to be there… and after almost three years of seeing phone photos/video chats of the Jeep, he finally got to see it in person and take it for a spin. That, to me, was worth every minute of driving there and spending the day in the sweltering heat. He gave it his stamp of approval and was impressed with how it looked (while joking that she’s not dirty enough and needs to go through the mud!). I wanted to make sure we got a photo together at some point during the event. So THANK YOU Roger, for your friendship, help, and motivation to ‘get a bigger hammer’ when things got tough!

I also wanted to shout out another person whoPlanes of Fame Air Museum motorpool. He’s the one who spent a lot of time helping me to set my axle ring and pinions, re-braze my transmission shifter tower, try and diagnose the ‘clackity issue’, checked out my restored transmission/transfer case, fixed a problem with a stuck idle jet in the original Carter WO carb I had, and many text messages about the best painting techniques! He also let me borrow his Carter WO carb for an extended period of time when my carb just wouldn’t work (I have since gotten a JMP one). Between Tom and Roger, who are both really good longtime friends, the amount of Jeep knowledge they have is astonishing. I’m proud to call both friends!

As the sun started to get lower on the horizon, it was time to take the Jeep home! But before I left, I took another drive on the taxi way. To the right is a Naval Aircraft Factory N3N biplane, and up ahead is a DC-3 known locally as ‘Flabob Express’. This DC-3 was built in 1943 in Long Beach, CA and was designated a C-47 ‘Dakota’ entering service with the Royal Air Force. Her job during the war was to transport Winston Churchill and the royal family.

And just before I left, one last shot as I passed the Corsair. It was a nice event, though very hot and a little undercrowded, but it’s just the first one and next year they will have it earlier (in March) with a lot more advertising. I think my Jeep might be there again next time!

As I get into the updates of various projects, I wanted to share one idea I’ve had for a while now, but only recently been really looking into. I saw this license plate on one of the Jeeps at the event, using an original 1945 plate which was used to register this Jeep at the CA DMV. Now, I really like my ‘WWII 44’ custom plate I have, but it always bothers me that it’s not a vintage plate. I’m not going to spoil my idea yet, at least until I can see how well it will work. But it does involve using little tabs like you see here with the DMV Month/Year stickers while still keeping my custom plate. Stay tuned!

Last update, I talkeda bout how I found this 1941 dated early Jeep SOS Fire Guard fire extinguisher at a flea market for $20.

And I compared it to the later war decal style (left). The 1941 extinguisher (right) has a brass plate.

The last update I started to clean up the extinguisher since it was pretty dirty and oxidized. I could only get it so far without some sort of polishing.

Then Harbor Freight Tools had a big sale, so I went and got one of these babies. Yes, I’ve never owned a bench grinder till now. And I do indeed wish I’d had it when I was restoring the jeep! I also got a polishing wheel and some green polishing compound.

With just a little bit of work on the polishing wheel, I was floored at how amazing it was coming out.

Like night and day really. I will note that I’m not touching the brass plate, I’m going to keep that as is.

Almost done. Looks brand new.

I was just floored at how well the polisher was working. Beautiful mirror reflections.

And here it is, all cleaned up minus the data plate.

And the backside.

Before and after. Seriously, I’m impressed. It then made me want to take a crack at other items I had…

So I took out my 1945 dated Schrader tire pressure gauge. This gauge, which I’ve documented before, was not issued with Jeeps but other vehicles and with motorpool mechanics. So some might have made their way onto Jeeps.

Again, the polishing worked wonderfully, making it look brand new.

It doesn’t cover all the 77 years of scratches, but it still did an amazing job. Here’s the MAR 45 date (March 1945).

And update on my ignition switch knob ‘plug’ which will allow those of us who have keyed ignition switches to stick this in when the Jeep is on display to make it appear like it’s a knob ignition… I sent my one to a friend who makes props. He’s going to be making a mold and figuring out the strongest material he can get to cast so I can start making copies! Here’s a test case he did after making the mold. Looks great (just needs some cleaning up). Looking forward to more updates on that soon!

A friend gave me this cool 550 piece Jeep puzzle the other day, which I put together one evening. Haven’t done a puzzle in several years!

It came in this rather detailed metal tin container.

I was impressed with the details, for a little puzzle.

I’ll put the puzzle back in there, but if someone wanted a tin to carry small parts for their Jeep, this might be something to look into!

And since we&#:

And that’s a wrap for this week’s update! I’m glad to get the Jeep out to more events, and especially now that I could connect it with my friend Roger. Plus, it was a great milestone having driven her 42 miles in one day!
Till the next update…