The US Army was a motorized army. This was symbolized by the ever presence of the jeep. Where ever the US Army went, the jeep went too. From the jungles of Guadalcanal to the barren mountains of Italy. From the frozen plains of the Aleutian Islands to the dusty desert of North Africa. From D-Day till VE-Day. There was always that little jeep. A novel automotive innovation back in 1940, a standard for all 4 wheel drive cars today. Developed at the request of the Armored Board, this utility truck first became known as the Blitz Buggy. Within the Tank Corps it was referred to as the Peep. Soon it became known to the public as the JEEP!
The official nomenclature was “1/4-Ton, 4x4, Truck.
In early 1941, Willys-Overland staged a press event in Washington, D.C. When asked by a reporter what it was called, the testdriver responded: “Well, it’s a jeep”.
Before the war something new, or a small gadget was called a jeep. In WW1 a draftee was called a jeep. So the word wasn’t new to the public. A character in the Popeye cartoons was named Eugene the Jeep. This little creature could do impossible things, so could this little truck. Quickly the vehicle was coined jeep by soldiers.
The name jeep is not derived from the Ford designation GP. When pronounced, the letters GP sounds like “jeep”. This is just a coincidance. Usually people think that the GP stands for General Purpose, but this is not the case. When contracted, the Ford Company designated the vehicle GPW. The G stands for Government contract and the P is a code for the wheel base of 80 inch. The W means that the original design is from the Willys-Overland Company.
In this chapter we just wanna show you some jeep pictures of the two jeeps that we have to our disposal.