Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Jeep By Sea, Air And Land, Part Two

Today we’re going to continue with the Popular Mechanics files with the next part of the jeep’s many ways in which it travelled and was used during and after the war. The ubiquitous land vehicle, the jeep that could get through and over nearly anything on land was also adept at getting through the air. In addition to needing to be gotten to areas throughout the world during wartime by sea, the jeep needed at times to be airlifted in. The most common way was through the use of a glider, such as during the airborne part of the Normandy D-Day invasion. Here is a link to a glider pilot of the 434th Troop Carrier Group’s tale of the D-Day invasion that makes for an interesting read. The gliders supported both the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions. But that wasn’t the extent of the jeep’s time aboard aircraft as you can find in the articles above. The jeep was transported via bombers as well as the Douglas C-74 Globemaster. The Globemaster was one of the military’s first uses of large transport aircraft and was used during the Berlin airlift up to the Korean War until they were de-commissioned in the mid-50’s.
The jeep also found a role at airbases and landing strips, such as the ‘Follow Me’ jeeps with their unique checkerboard pattern that was painted on their backs and used to help guide planes to parking spots or to the appropriate landing strip. The jeep was also used to ferry flight crews and to resupply planes. It literally was a vehicle of a thousand and one uses. Check out the rest of the PM articles and photos here.
Come back next week for the third part of the continuing search through the pages of Popular Mechanics magazine for the eternal jeep. And keep watching here for the new soon to be released t-shirt designs available through the online Zazzle marketplace. I plan on releasing them Black Friday weekend or even on Thanksgiving day if I can find the time. The new 2013 calendar is also now available. All new never before seen photos of the jeep grace its pages. Check it out today!
Also, an update to last week’s November calendar photo in which I had spotted a unique setup on a CJ2-A of the spare tire being mounted on the driver’s side of the body.
My friend Roberto posted a few links on the forum and informed me that they were a limited modification created by local DOT laws and referred to as ‘Leftys.’ Here is also a clipping that I found on the CJ2-A Page from a W-O service bulletin that explains its drawbacks and why it was later rescinded.

While researching this I also found out that not all stateside CJs were manufactured in Toledo. A small percentage (but still impressive, a total of 5% of all CJ3-As...) were produced in Maywood, California at a re-opened production plant to help make up for excess demand on the west coast. It began rolling 2As off the line in November 1947 and a year later, trucks and wagons as well. It churned out ‘West Coast’ CJs until 1954! You learn something new everyday!
Come back next week for more at the page.

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