Researching Wartime Service

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JJhoneck
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Researching Wartime Service

Post by JJhoneck » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:00 pm

I'm trying to trace the wartime service of a '42 Willys. Other than the VIN, I don't have any history on the vehicle.

Where do I start?

Thanks!
--
Jay

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Chuck Lutz
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Re: Researching Wartime Service

Post by Chuck Lutz » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:23 pm

Welcome aboard Jay!

I see this is your first post, so here is the general consensus on the gee...
If you and the jeep live in the USA there is very little chance the jeep was ever out of the country unless you have some importation documents from the post-war era and as far as the unit it was attached to goes...let's say it was attached the 999th Field Artillery according to what you find on the rear bumperettes. While you might immediately think "Hey, all I gotta do is see where the 999th served and BINGO! I know where the jeep served and who used it.

However, it is possible that the 999th trained in the US and when it came time for them to ship out, their vehicles were left Stateside at whatever training facility they were at and they received brand-new vehicles when they arrived overseas.

It gets crazier with the fact that guys in Europe have been buying Stateside jeeps and shipping them to Europe ever since the currency stabilized and they had an advantage when converted to Dollars. Prior to that, jeeps from Europe were shipped to the States when the Dollar was stronger against foreign currencies. not onlhy that, Stateside jeeps rarely have M201 parts on them and they are prized by not only Europeans who want a restored jeep but by restorers who want a project.

Now, if you've followed all of that, basically unless you KNOW the jeep's USA number and spot it in WWII photos, there isn't much else to go by.

Like the rest of us Stateside, bullet holes usually indicate hunters or others were taking pot-shots at it when it was still a derelict, weed-overgrown lawn ornament or out behind the barn.
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3 4582 10/29/42 USA 0173499 (est.)

Ben Dover
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Re: Researching Wartime Service

Post by Ben Dover » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:29 pm

Best to ask your favorite vet where he served and stick a Jeep using his unit markings under him.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

JJhoneck
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Re: Researching Wartime Service

Post by JJhoneck » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:46 am

Chuck Lutz wrote:Welcome aboard Jay!

I see this is your first post, so here is the general consensus on the gee...
If you and the jeep live in the USA there is very little chance the jeep was ever out of the country unless you have some importation documents from the post-war era and as far as the unit it was attached to goes...let's say it was attached the 999th Field Artillery according to what you find on the rear bumperettes. While you might immediately think "Hey, all I gotta do is see where the 999th served and BINGO! I know where the jeep served and who used it.

However, it is possible that the 999th trained in the US and when it came time for them to ship out, their vehicles were left Stateside at whatever training facility they were at and they received brand-new vehicles when they arrived overseas.

It gets crazier with the fact that guys in Europe have been buying Stateside jeeps and shipping them to Europe ever since the currency stabilized and they had an advantage when converted to Dollars. Prior to that, jeeps from Europe were shipped to the States when the Dollar was stronger against foreign currencies. not onlhy that, Stateside jeeps rarely have M201 parts on them and they are prized by not only Europeans who want a restored jeep but by restorers who want a project.

Now, if you've followed all of that, basically unless you KNOW the jeep's USA number and spot it in WWII photos, there isn't much else to go by.

Like the rest of us Stateside, bullet holes usually indicate hunters or others were taking pot-shots at it when it was still a derelict, weed-overgrown lawn ornament or out behind the barn.
Thanks for all of that!

Too bad. I was hoping that the Army, in its love for paperwork, had maintained some sort of a registry of their vehicles based on the VIN. Guess not.

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JJhoneck
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:02 am

Re: Researching Wartime Service

Post by JJhoneck » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:47 am

Ben Dover wrote:Best to ask your favorite vet where he served and stick a Jeep using his unit markings under him.
Yeah, in the absence of any real history I might make it match my dad's WWII unit.

If I buy it. Prebuy inspection is Monday.
--
Jay

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Ben Dover
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Re: Researching Wartime Service

Post by Ben Dover » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:40 am

Just a little trivia,WWII vehicles (and same with later) have records jackets that follow them from unit motor pool to motor pool and each unit they are assigned to is followed with this paper trail, once they are turned in for disposal, all records were retained by the disposal office and were destroyed when sale is complete. The records were not available to the public and destroyed. Unit markings and USA Registrations were supposed to be painted over or obliterated and were most of the time. The disposal officers were strict about this. It did no good for the Military to keep unneeded records.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

conrod6
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Location: teignmouth Devon UK

Re: Researching Wartime Service

Post by conrod6 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:35 am

Hey Chuck - the price of restoration jeeps over in Europe is around 50 per cent higher then in the US that would be £8k - £10k for usual mid to late production - slat grill MB higher than this. Check out UK ebay if you want an idea of it. Most jeeps available here for resto are ex US and heavily stripped - the high value body fittings stay in the US and are sold off. You are right about European jeeps going to the US some years ago - there is a thread on the g503 of an ex British army jeep that turned up at a yard sale on your side of the pond.

regards Barrie
GPW 101005 DOD 3-2-43 20207773

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