US NAVY JEEP DURING WORLD WAR II
Built in mid-1944 at the Ford plant in Lousiville, KY, GPW #208102 entered service on June 26, 1944. Part of a group of Jeeps that went to the United States Navy, it served throughout the war somewhere on the West Coast or in the Pacific. Some basic info states it might have been used with the 7th Fleet during the war, but this is currently unconfirmed.
208102 left the factory with the standard OD Green paint with a hood serial number of 20540356. It was one of the last Jeeps to receive a push/pull light switch before Ford switched (along with Willys) to the rotary style switch. It has an ACM II composite tub, meaning a body tub that was made by the American Central Manufacturing company which incorporated the best features of the Willys MB and Ford GPW tubs into one standardized tub, with a serial number of 68546 making it built in June of 1944. The Jeep also has the Type I Radio Suppression.
Going into US Navy service, the original OD Green from the factory was painted over with a forest green and gold US Navy registration numbers were added. It was then painted over again with the standard Battleship Gray and Black US Navy registration numbers were added. The original US Navy numbers were not completely recoverable, but they are either 200439 or 208439 from what was recovered. Another layer of Battleship Gray was painted over everything with large US Navy numbers applied to it. That would be the last paint job the Jeep would have during WW2. Unfortunately, any unit/fleet identification information has been lost due to the bumperettes being stripped of paint at some point post-war and the front bumper replaced.
THE FUTURE of gpw #208102
Once the restoration is finished, GPW #208102 will be taken to airshows, parades, military events, car shows, etc. After a two+ year restoration, who wouldn’t want to show it off? Work will probably always continue on the Jeep, adding fine details and replacing repro parts with original parts over time, but the bulk of the work will be finished once the last restoration project is completed. I hope to photograph her with as many warbirds as I can, eventually with a B-17 Flying Fortress since she’s a B-17 bomb group Jeep. My hope is to also take her to Europe one day, even Normandy in France. Till then, she’ll grace the streets of Inland Empire and events I can take her to.
I will continue to keep this blog update with the latest posts as I finish the restoration and updates on the various other projects that come along. I appreciate you finding this blog, and I hope it helps generations of people who will be in the same spot as I was, just getting started on a monster project restoration. This information is my way of giving back to the world and sharing the knowledge to keep these Jeeps rolling!