Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

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Scratch
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Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Scratch » Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:46 pm

According to the paperwork I have, my grandfather was in Co C 2d AR Bn 54th Inf
From what I understand, he had something to do with tanks?
I'd like to mark my front bumper and bumperettes to honor him. Any help?

I think it might be 2▲-54-I-C-10
For one, I'm not sure what vehicle marking I should go with, in this example I did 10 but not sure what I should use.
And I'm not sure how to space them, and if I should use dashes or not.

Should the bumper look like this?:

2▲-54I________★_________C10

How should the bumperettes be marked?
'43 GPW 93487 Black
'44 GPW 230283 OD Green
'46 CJ2A 77632 White
'47 CJ2A 141681 Green
'48 CJ2A 156240 Red/Yellow
'48 CJ2A 181341 Red
'61 CJ5 123120 Tan
'76 CJ7 Camo
'03 TJ Inca Gold


Heath MI
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Heath MI » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:02 am

Hey Scratch,
I was researching the unit designation you have shown. I’m not finding anything that says 2nd Armored (Division) had a 54th Infantry Regiment assigned to them. https://history.army.mil/documents/eto-ob/2AD-ETO.htm

The only data I found with the 54th Infantry Regiment mentioned was assigned to the 10th Armored Division — of Bastogne fame, to name but one famous battle they took part in. In fact, it was the 54th Armored Infantry Regiment. https://history.army.mil/documents/eto-ob/10AD-ETO.htm

I realize old documents can be difficult to interpret. Not to cause any confusion, but I’m guessing you’re looking for some historical accuracy. Is there any other information you have about his unit, or perhaps some family stories that can provide more clarification? I’d be glad to dig deeper and assist.

If anyone finds other details that prove/disprove my statement, please let me know.

AR 850-5 US Military Equipment Markings (Google search) is also helpful for stencil placement. I also purchased the book (US Army Vehicle Markings, 1944) on Amazon, which helped me figure it out. Good book with great pictures.

v/r,
Heath
1942 Ford GPW #87271
v/r,
Heath

Av8er
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Av8er » Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:33 pm

Scratch wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:46 pm
According to the paperwork I have, my grandfather was in Co C 2d AR Bn 54th Inf
From what I understand, he had something to do with tanks?
I'd like to mark my front bumper and bumperettes to honor him. Any help?

I think it might be 2▲-54-I-C-10
For one, I'm not sure what vehicle marking I should go with, in this example I did 10 but not sure what I should use.
And I'm not sure how to space them, and if I should use dashes or not.
the bumper look like this?:

2▲-54I________★_________C10

How should the bumperettes be marked?
You are on the right track but your unit designations don’t make any sense. Are you saying 2nd Armor Battalion of the 54th Infantry Regiment? Or, 2nd Armor Division, 54th Infantry Regiment? The 54th Infantry Regiment was not part of the 2nd Armor Division during WWII. According to the unit history, the 54th Infantry, redesignated the 54th Armored Infantry during WWII, was part of the 10th Armored Division. ‘C’ Company would be part of the 1st Battalion. You would have to confirm if Armored Infantry has a separate designation other than just ‘I’ in the manual. Parachute Infantry did not according to the manual, but it is apparent from period photographs that Airborne units used ‘PI’ on their vehicles in spite of it not being “regulation” according to the manual.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/54th_Infa ... ed_States)

So, for the 10th Armored: 10▲-54-I________★_________C-10 would seem more correct.

Bumperettes: Left: 10▲ With 54-I underneath it

Right: C-10


Note that there is a hyphen between 54 and ‘I’ for Infantry. This is spelled out in the manual and it is there so that the ‘I’ is not confused with a ‘1’.

Also note, vehicles were numbered according to their location in the unit “train.” Many jeeps were issued with an assigned trailer, so the Jeep would be say number 1, 3, 5 etc. and the trailers would be 2,4,6 etc., so it it more likely that a Jeep would have a odd number unless it was a Headquarters assigned vehicle. Looking further, if you are looking at a Jeep in ‘C’ Company of a Armored Infantry Rifle Company, the majority of their vehicles were halftracks, there were only two Jeeps assigned, one for Headquarters and one to the Maintenance section. So, the likely numbers for a Jeep would be; 2 or 9 in their “train.”

Highly recommend this book as a reference. Available on Kindle through Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/U-S-Army-Vehicle ... 708&sr=8-1
1943 Ford GPW #113639 USA-20385133
1943 RIA M3A4 Hand Cart

Scratch
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Scratch » Wed Jul 21, 2021 4:22 pm

Av8er wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:33 pm
Scratch wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:46 pm
According to the paperwork I have, my grandfather was in Co C 2d AR Bn 54th Inf
You are on the right track but your unit designations don’t make any sense. Are you saying 2nd Armor Battalion of the 54th Infantry Regiment? Or, 2nd Armor Division, 54th Infantry Regiment? The 54th Infantry Regiment was not part of the 2nd Armor Division during WWII. According to the unit history, the 54th Infantry, redesignated the 54th Armored Infantry during WWII, was part of the 10th Armored Division. ‘C’ Company would be part of the 1st Battalion. You would have to confirm if Armored Infantry has a separate designation other than just ‘I’ in the manual. Parachute Infantry did not according to the manual, but it is apparent from period photographs that Airborne units used ‘PI’ on their vehicles in spite of it not being “regulation” according to the manual.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/54th_Infa ... ed_States)

So, for the 10th Armored: 10▲-54-I________★_________C-10 would seem more correct.

Bumperettes: Left: 10▲ With 54-I underneath it

Right: C-10


Note that there is a hyphen between 54 and ‘I’ for Infantry. This is spelled out in the manual and it is there so that the ‘I’ is not confused with a ‘1’.

Also note, vehicles were numbered according to their location in the unit “train.” Many jeeps were issued with an assigned trailer, so the Jeep would be say number 1, 3, 5 etc. and the trailers would be 2,4,6 etc., so it it more likely that a Jeep would have a odd number unless it was a Headquarters assigned vehicle. Looking further, if you are looking at a Jeep in ‘C’ Company of a Armored Infantry Rifle Company, the majority of their vehicles were halftracks, there were only two Jeeps assigned, one for Headquarters and one to the Maintenance section. So, the likely numbers for a Jeep would be; 2 or 9 in their “train.”

Highly recommend this book as a reference. Available on Kindle through Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/U-S-Army-Vehicle ... 708&sr=8-1
Thanks for your help so far, I'm trying to do as much research as I can but am coming up with dead ends on most of them. The only thing I found was one barely legible fax from what looks like a long time ago with his basic info and this exact typing:
Co C 2d AR Bn 54thInf

My father passed a few years ago as well so I can't ask him, and I was never in the military so I don't really have a clue as to what it means. I was just assuming by the abbreviations that he was part of the 2nd Armor Battalion of the 54th Infantry Regiment, company C. I'm not sure if that makes any sense at all, but I'd like to get as close as I can. Even if I'm off by a letter or something, at least I can tell my relatives and friends that those markings are in honor of him and his unit.
I'll be glad for as close as you can get me with the little info I have posted.

Thanks for the info about the "train numbers". I'm assuming the Headquarters Jeep would have been the second vehicle and you said the other one was maintenance, which I would assume was ninth in line? I think I heard he was a tank mechanic so 9th would make some sense... Maybe I should go with #9 in the convoy.

What I don't understand about your suggestion is assuming I went with the 10th vehicle in the convoy, on the front bumper, should there be a "10" at the beginning and the end of the markings? I would have assumed only at the end according to the AR 850-5 I read.

And you also have a "10 vehicle" on the left and the right bumperette? Does one of the 10's designate something else?
'43 GPW 93487 Black
'44 GPW 230283 OD Green
'46 CJ2A 77632 White
'47 CJ2A 141681 Green
'48 CJ2A 156240 Red/Yellow
'48 CJ2A 181341 Red
'61 CJ5 123120 Tan
'76 CJ7 Camo
'03 TJ Inca Gold

Av8er
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Av8er » Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:20 pm

Scratch wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 4:22 pm
Av8er wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:33 pm
Scratch wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:46 pm
According to the paperwork I have, my grandfather was in Co C 2d AR Bn 54th Inf
You are on the right track but your unit designations don’t make any sense. Are you saying 2nd Armor Battalion of the 54th Infantry Regiment? Or, 2nd Armor Division, 54th Infantry Regiment? The 54th Infantry Regiment was not part of the 2nd Armor Division during WWII. According to the unit history, the 54th Infantry, redesignated the 54th Armored Infantry during WWII, was part of the 10th Armored Division. ‘C’ Company would be part of the 1st Battalion. You would have to confirm if Armored Infantry has a separate designation other than just ‘I’ in the manual. Parachute Infantry did not according to the manual, but it is apparent from period photographs that Airborne units used ‘PI’ on their vehicles in spite of it not being “regulation” according to the manual.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/54th_Infa ... ed_States)

So, for the 10th Armored: 10▲-54-I________★_________C-10 would seem more correct.

Bumperettes: Left: 10▲ With 54-I underneath it

Right: C-10


Note that there is a hyphen between 54 and ‘I’ for Infantry. This is spelled out in the manual and it is there so that the ‘I’ is not confused with a ‘1’.

Also note, vehicles were numbered according to their location in the unit “train.” Many jeeps were issued with an assigned trailer, so the Jeep would be say number 1, 3, 5 etc. and the trailers would be 2,4,6 etc., so it it more likely that a Jeep would have a odd number unless it was a Headquarters assigned vehicle. Looking further, if you are looking at a Jeep in ‘C’ Company of a Armored Infantry Rifle Company, the majority of their vehicles were halftracks, there were only two Jeeps assigned, one for Headquarters and one to the Maintenance section. So, the likely numbers for a Jeep would be; 2 or 9 in their “train.”

Highly recommend this book as a reference. Available on Kindle through Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/U-S-Army-Vehicle ... 708&sr=8-1
Thanks for your help so far, I'm trying to do as much research as I can but am coming up with dead ends on most of them. The only thing I found was one barely legible fax from what looks like a long time ago with his basic info and this exact typing:
Co C 2d AR Bn 54thInf

My father passed a few years ago as well so I can't ask him, and I was never in the military so I don't really have a clue as to what it means. I was just assuming by the abbreviations that he was part of the 2nd Armor Battalion of the 54th Infantry Regiment, company C. I'm not sure if that makes any sense at all, but I'd like to get as close as I can. Even if I'm off by a letter or something, at least I can tell my relatives and friends that those markings are in honor of him and his unit.
I'll be glad for as close as you can get me with the little info I have posted.

Thanks for the info about the "train numbers". I'm assuming the Headquarters Jeep would have been the second vehicle and you said the other one was maintenance, which I would assume was ninth in line? I think I heard he was a tank mechanic so 9th would make some sense... Maybe I should go with #9 in the convoy.

What I don't understand about your suggestion is assuming I went with the 10th vehicle in the convoy, on the front bumper, should there be a "10" at the beginning and the end of the markings? I would have assumed only at the end according to the AR 850-5 I read.

And you also have a "10 vehicle" on the left and the right bumperette? Does one of the 10's designate something else?
The 10 on the left bumperette is for the 10th Armor Division; 10 with the triangle for Armor. The 10 on the right bumperette would be for the tenth vehicle assigned to ‘C’ Company. The same goes for the markings on the front bumper. I think your logic of using vehicle ‘C-9’ would be perfect for the right side if he was a mechanic.

I’m a little confused by the records indicating a ‘C’ Company for the 2nd Battalion. During WWII Company letters would normally indicate ‘C’ Company being part of the 1st Battalion. Each Infantry Battalion had three line Infantry Company's, so First Battalion would be Company’s ‘A’ to ‘C’, Second Battalion would be Company’s ‘D’ to ‘F’, Third Battalion would be Company’s ‘G’ to ‘I’. There could be a variation on this for your Armored Infantry Battalion and I admit that I am more familiar with standard and Parachute Infantry units. Your original period paperwork is likely more accurate. So, if you go with my original post and change it from vehicle ‘C-10’ to vehicle ‘C-9’ I think you would have an accurate representation.
1943 Ford GPW #113639 USA-20385133
1943 RIA M3A4 Hand Cart

Scratch
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Scratch » Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:00 pm

Av8er wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:20 pm

The 10 on the left bumperette is for the 10th Armor Division; 10 with the triangle for Armor. The 10 on the right bumperette would be for the tenth vehicle assigned to ‘C’ Company. The same goes for the markings on the front bumper. I think your logic of using vehicle ‘C-9’ would be perfect for the right side if he was a mechanic.

I’m a little confused by the records indicating a ‘C’ Company for the 2nd Battalion. During WWII Company letters would normally indicate ‘C’ Company being part of the 1st Battalion. Each Infantry Battalion had three line Infantry Company's, so First Battalion would be Company’s ‘A’ to ‘C’, Second Battalion would be Company’s ‘D’ to ‘F’, Third Battalion would be Company’s ‘G’ to ‘I’. There could be a variation on this for your Armored Infantry Battalion and I admit that I am more familiar with standard and Parachute Infantry units. Your original period paperwork is likely more accurate. So, if you go with my original post and change it from vehicle ‘C-10’ to vehicle ‘C-9’ I think you would have an accurate representation.
Oh I get where the second "10" came from now. So if I go with the 9th vehicle, I should go:

10▲-54-I________★_________C-9 For the front bumper

For the Bumperettes
left:________________________right:
10▲________________________ C-9
54-I


Does that look pretty accurate to you, given the info I have?
'43 GPW 93487 Black
'44 GPW 230283 OD Green
'46 CJ2A 77632 White
'47 CJ2A 141681 Green
'48 CJ2A 156240 Red/Yellow
'48 CJ2A 181341 Red
'61 CJ5 123120 Tan
'76 CJ7 Camo
'03 TJ Inca Gold

Scratch
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Scratch » Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:03 pm

Heath MI wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:02 am
Hey Scratch,
I was researching the unit designation you have shown. I’m not finding anything that says 2nd Armored (Division) had a 54th Infantry Regiment assigned to them. https://history.army.mil/documents/eto-ob/2AD-ETO.htm

The only data I found with the 54th Infantry Regiment mentioned was assigned to the 10th Armored Division — of Bastogne fame, to name but one famous battle they took part in. In fact, it was the 54th Armored Infantry Regiment. https://history.army.mil/documents/eto-ob/10AD-ETO.htm

I realize old documents can be difficult to interpret. Not to cause any confusion, but I’m guessing you’re looking for some historical accuracy. Is there any other information you have about his unit, or perhaps some family stories that can provide more clarification? I’d be glad to dig deeper and assist.

If anyone finds other details that prove/disprove my statement, please let me know.

AR 850-5 US Military Equipment Markings (Google search) is also helpful for stencil placement. I also purchased the book (US Army Vehicle Markings, 1944) on Amazon, which helped me figure it out. Good book with great pictures.

v/r,
Heath
1942 Ford GPW #87271
Thanks for your help, but honestly... I'm as confused as you are. I'm just trying to do my best to pay some respect with what little info I have and can understand. I realize it may not be completely accurate, but I'd like to get as accurate as I can.
'43 GPW 93487 Black
'44 GPW 230283 OD Green
'46 CJ2A 77632 White
'47 CJ2A 141681 Green
'48 CJ2A 156240 Red/Yellow
'48 CJ2A 181341 Red
'61 CJ5 123120 Tan
'76 CJ7 Camo
'03 TJ Inca Gold

Av8er
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:28 pm
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Av8er » Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:52 am

Scratch wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:00 pm
Av8er wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:20 pm

The 10 on the left bumperette is for the 10th Armor Division; 10 with the triangle for Armor. The 10 on the right bumperette would be for the tenth vehicle assigned to ‘C’ Company. The same goes for the markings on the front bumper. I think your logic of using vehicle ‘C-9’ would be perfect for the right side if he was a mechanic.

I’m a little confused by the records indicating a ‘C’ Company for the 2nd Battalion. During WWII Company letters would normally indicate ‘C’ Company being part of the 1st Battalion. Each Infantry Battalion had three line Infantry Company's, so First Battalion would be Company’s ‘A’ to ‘C’, Second Battalion would be Company’s ‘D’ to ‘F’, Third Battalion would be Company’s ‘G’ to ‘I’. There could be a variation on this for your Armored Infantry Battalion and I admit that I am more familiar with standard and Parachute Infantry units. Your original period paperwork is likely more accurate. So, if you go with my original post and change it from vehicle ‘C-10’ to vehicle ‘C-9’ I think you would have an accurate representation.
Oh I get where the second "10" came from now. So if I go with the 9th vehicle, I should go:

10▲-54-I________★_________C-9 For the front bumper

For the Bumperettes
left:________________________right:
10▲________________________ C-9
54-I


Does that look pretty accurate to you, given the info I have?
I believe that those are the markings that are correct for the Jeep you want to represent, based upon the information that you have. It matches the markings format in the book that I referred you to and matches the period record information that you possess. 10th Armor Division, 54th Armor Infantry Regiment, C Company, vehicle 9. All which correspond with a Jeep assigned to C Company’s maintenance Jeep. According to the reference book, there were only two Jeeps in a Armored Infantry Rifle Company, all the other vehicles were halftracks, trucks, or trailers. The only other thing you could do is be lucky enough to find some period photographs for verification purposes.
1943 Ford GPW #113639 USA-20385133
1943 RIA M3A4 Hand Cart

Scratch
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Scratch » Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:57 am

Av8er wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:52 am
Scratch wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:00 pm
Av8er wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:20 pm

The 10 on the left bumperette is for the 10th Armor Division; 10 with the triangle for Armor. The 10 on the right bumperette would be for the tenth vehicle assigned to ‘C’ Company. The same goes for the markings on the front bumper. I think your logic of using vehicle ‘C-9’ would be perfect for the right side if he was a mechanic.

I’m a little confused by the records indicating a ‘C’ Company for the 2nd Battalion. During WWII Company letters would normally indicate ‘C’ Company being part of the 1st Battalion. Each Infantry Battalion had three line Infantry Company's, so First Battalion would be Company’s ‘A’ to ‘C’, Second Battalion would be Company’s ‘D’ to ‘F’, Third Battalion would be Company’s ‘G’ to ‘I’. There could be a variation on this for your Armored Infantry Battalion and I admit that I am more familiar with standard and Parachute Infantry units. Your original period paperwork is likely more accurate. So, if you go with my original post and change it from vehicle ‘C-10’ to vehicle ‘C-9’ I think you would have an accurate representation.
Oh I get where the second "10" came from now. So if I go with the 9th vehicle, I should go:

10▲-54-I________★_________C-9 For the front bumper

For the Bumperettes
left:________________________right:
10▲________________________ C-9
54-I


Does that look pretty accurate to you, given the info I have?
I believe that those are the markings that are correct for the Jeep you want to represent, based upon the information that you have. It matches the markings format in the book that I referred you to and matches the period record information that you possess. 10th Armor Division, 54th Armor Infantry Regiment, C Company, vehicle 9. All which correspond with a Jeep assigned to C Company’s maintenance Jeep. According to the reference book, there were only two Jeeps in a Armored Infantry Rifle Company, all the other vehicles were halftracks, trucks, or trailers. The only other thing you could do is be lucky enough to find some period photographs for verification purposes.
Thanks again for your help!
'43 GPW 93487 Black
'44 GPW 230283 OD Green
'46 CJ2A 77632 White
'47 CJ2A 141681 Green
'48 CJ2A 156240 Red/Yellow
'48 CJ2A 181341 Red
'61 CJ5 123120 Tan
'76 CJ7 Camo
'03 TJ Inca Gold

Heath MI
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Heath MI » Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:02 am

Scratch,
What solved my problem of finding out my grandfather’s assigned unit was hiring an independent researcher at the National Archives in St.Louis. I used Golden Arrow Research. Geoff is the owner/researcher. Long story short, I knew my grandfather served in the Army in the ETO, was WIA, but he never talked much about it. By the time I cornered him on the subject, he was too advanced in age to remember the details.

Geoff was able to, not only find out his exact unit, but produced about 120 pages of company morning reports — to include when my grandfather was assigned, and when he was WIA. It was almost overwhelming to see his name on those reports. I was working in Germany at the time (2018) and was able to draw a connect-the-dots route from France and into Germany, with exact locations where his company was located from February 1945 thru the end of the war.

Bottom line, it’s well worth the $300 I spent getting the information. I’d highly recommend it if it’s feasible for you. Next time I order from Geoff I’m going to see if he can get me S-3 Operation Logs to really dive into the details. It all depends how deep you want to go with it. It took about 8-12 weeks for him to find the information, and he doesn’t charge anything until he’s complete.

Here’s his website: https://www.goldenarrowresearch.com/

Good luck and I’d be glad to dig deeper to assist if you find out the exact unit. WWII history is a huge hobby of mine, and not just limited to my grandfather’s unit. I spent a lot of time in Europe when I was in the US Army, so I’ve visited a lot of battlefields — including the Bastogne area (if your grandfather was in the 10th Armored Division). In fact, I attended the 75th anniversary event in Bastogne. One of my favorite restaurants there happened to be the 10th Armored CP during the battle (Giorgi’s), right there in McAuliffe Square. And if you ever get there, go to Cafe Le Nuts and enjoy their Airborne Beer. It’s a great experience.

v/r,
Heath
1942 Ford GPW #87271
v/r,
Heath

Scratch
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Scratch » Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:43 pm

Heath MI wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:02 am
Scratch,
What solved my problem of finding out my grandfather’s assigned unit was hiring an independent researcher at the National Archives in St.Louis. I used Golden Arrow Research. Geoff is the owner/researcher. Long story short, I knew my grandfather served in the Army in the ETO, was WIA, but he never talked much about it. By the time I cornered him on the subject, he was too advanced in age to remember the details.

Geoff was able to, not only find out his exact unit, but produced about 120 pages of company morning reports — to include when my grandfather was assigned, and when he was WIA. It was almost overwhelming to see his name on those reports. I was working in Germany at the time (2018) and was able to draw a connect-the-dots route from France and into Germany, with exact locations where his company was located from February 1945 thru the end of the war.

Bottom line, it’s well worth the $300 I spent getting the information. I’d highly recommend it if it’s feasible for you. Next time I order from Geoff I’m going to see if he can get me S-3 Operation Logs to really dive into the details. It all depends how deep you want to go with it. It took about 8-12 weeks for him to find the information, and he doesn’t charge anything until he’s complete.

Here’s his website: https://www.goldenarrowresearch.com/

Good luck and I’d be glad to dig deeper to assist if you find out the exact unit. WWII history is a huge hobby of mine, and not just limited to my grandfather’s unit. I spent a lot of time in Europe when I was in the US Army, so I’ve visited a lot of battlefields — including the Bastogne area (if your grandfather was in the 10th Armored Division). In fact, I attended the 75th anniversary event in Bastogne. One of my favorite restaurants there happened to be the 10th Armored CP during the battle (Giorgi’s), right there in McAuliffe Square. And if you ever get there, go to Cafe Le Nuts and enjoy their Airborne Beer. It’s a great experience.

v/r,
Heath
1942 Ford GPW #87271
Thanks for the advice, I may look into having them do some research!
'43 GPW 93487 Black
'44 GPW 230283 OD Green
'46 CJ2A 77632 White
'47 CJ2A 141681 Green
'48 CJ2A 156240 Red/Yellow
'48 CJ2A 181341 Red
'61 CJ5 123120 Tan
'76 CJ7 Camo
'03 TJ Inca Gold

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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by gpw_42 » Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:05 am

Scratch wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:46 pm
According to the paperwork I have, my grandfather was in Co C 2d AR Bn 54th Inf
From what I understand, he had something to do with tanks?
I'd like to mark my front bumper and bumperettes to honor him. Any help?
Co C 2d AR Bn 54th Inf is a format which sounds more like post-war than wartime. A fax seems to support that, but may not be an accurate conclusion. Are you sure that it's a wartime document?

I looked up the 54th Infantry in Infantry Regiments of the US Army, by Sawicki, c. 1981, which gives some more clues, but there is NO SMOKING GUN. It states on page 147: "...Assigned to the 10th Armored Division and activated at Fort Benning, Georgia, 15 July 1942..."54th, 61st and 20th Armored Infantry Battalions relieved from the 10th Armored Division 14 September 1950; concurrently consolidated to form the 54th Infantry and assigned to the 71st Infantry Division as follows: 54th Armored Infantry Battalion as the 54th Infantry (less 1st and 2d Battalions)[emphasis mine]; 61st Armored infantry Battalion as the 1st Battalion and 20th Armored Infantry Battalion as the 2d Battalion (3d Battalion remained disbanded)."

The lineage continues (but is not germane to this discussion: "Regiment relieved from the 71st Infantry Division 25 February 1953; concurrently broken up and elements reorganized and redesignated as elements of the 10th Armored Division as follows: 54th Infantry (less 1st, 2d and 3d Battalions) as the 54th Armored Infantry Battalion; 1st Battalion as 561st Armored Infantry Battalion; 2d Battalion as the 520th Armored Infantry Battalion, and 3d Battalion reconstituted as 554th Armored Infantry Battalion. Battalions relieved from the 10th Armored Division 1 April 1957."

DECORATIONS (p. 148)
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered BASTOGNE (54th Armored Infantry Battalion [less Companies A and C] and 20th Armored Infantry Battalion [less Company A] cited WD GO 17, 1945.
- Meritorious Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967-68 (Company C, 54 Infantry cited (DA GO, 1968).
- Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at BASTOGNE (54th Armored Infantry Battalion [less Companies A and C] and 20th Armored Infantry Battalion [less Company A] cited; DA GO 43, 1950 (as amended by DA GO 27, 1959).

Per Wilson, John B. Armies, Corps, Divisions and Separate Brigades. Army Center of Military History, Washington DC; 1999, the 71st Division was "inactivated 11 March, 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. Allotted 7 October 1954 to the Regular Army. Activated 10 October 1954 at Fort Richardson, Alaska. Inactivated 15 September 1956 at Fort Lewis, Washington" (pg. 409)[emphasis mine]. This book does not address units of the 71st ID, other than the Division Headquarters Company.

Conclusions
1. To me, it's hard to draw a definitive conclusion from what's available here. But it's pointing more toward a post-war document than wartime.
2. Av8R provided good info for WW2 vintage bumper numbers.
3. Co C, 54th Armored Infantry did not fight with the 54th at Bastogne. (see the PUC citation in War Department General Order 17, 1945)
4. 2d AR Bn, 54th Infantry is a tank battalion in an infantry regiment (one regiment = two or more battalions). Which makes sense, as your info is that your grandfather "had something to do with tanks."
5. In 1950, 2d Battalion, 54th IN was not assigned to the 71st Infantry Division with the rest of the Regiment. That opens a gap which COULD have been filled by the 2d ARMOR Battalion, 54th IN. This was a "paper tiger" shuffle, as 71ID was inactive at the time, and was not active again until 1954. But the name 2d AR BN, 54 IN is a Pentomic Army name, not a WW2 name.

Further Research
1. When did your grandfather serve? Maybe he served during both WW2 and afterwards.
2. With what battalion did C/54 AIBn fight at Bastogne?
3. Pentomic Army organization and naming conventions (1950s).
4. Does the document you have include a date and/or location for the unit which published it?


Good luck, and hope this helps provide some clarity, rather than confusion.

lehotskyt
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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by lehotskyt » Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:01 pm

So to add fuel to the discussion: Assuming your Grandfather was a 54th AIB, 10th AD member, at what point in the war do you want your jeep to portray?

I searched all my 10th AD sources and photographs (The low hanging fruit @ NARA II and a few books (Impact, Tiger Trails Yearbook from Ft. Benning, and the Reunion Yearbook) and none of the Armored Infantry Battalions have marked jeeps in any photo that I have. That being said:

AV8ER is on the money for the by the book

At Fort Benning- vehicle markings follow AR 850-5. All tanks and other vehicles (3/4 ton) are marked as they are supposed to be
Fort Gordon- Unknown, but assumed to be marked the same as Benning

This being said, this is where it gets funky. Especially based on how accurate you wish your jeep to be.


After unloading at Cherbourg, the Division acquired steel and welders, adding bustle racks to many of the jeeps, moving the spare tire to the side (Soruce: Wire as a Weapon). While not every jeep is seen this way (especially in the spring of '45), many of the jeeps in the winter of '44-'45 have this modification.

France/Metz- Unknown; limited photographic evidence
Bastogne- Orders were given to remove all patches and conceal vehicle markings. That being said, in January of '45, there are two instances of marked vehicles (150th Signal Co Halftrack and 3 TK BN jeep, both following AR 850-5). Take that as you will as to whether or not the order was followed.
Trier-Vehicles are unmarked
Ulm, Crailsheim and Spring of '45- Vehicles are unmarked sans the FA BNs.

The overall indication is that for the majority of the ETO war, the 10th AD did not have marked jeeps (same with patches on their uniform but thats a separate discussion).

So for my '42 GPW (Leaning towards doing 90th CAV instead), my plan to mark it is to follow AV8ER's outline without any of the field modifications because 1) its a conversation starter about armored divisions as opposed to an unmarked jeep which is "just another jeep" 2) I have no desire to drill & weld on my tub in case I decide to change the markings for another unit on a later date.

That being said, I'd love to see pictures with your markings once its done. Great to see another 10th AD jeep rolling around and keeping the memories alive.

Also, as an aside to the above comments, the Armored Infantry Company had four (not two) jeeps per Bellanger:
1 for Co Commander
1 for Maintenance Officer
1 for AT Platoon Commander
1 for Medic (Attached from Medical Battalion).

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Re: Help with bumper markings on my 44GPW

Post by Scratch » Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:26 pm

Wow, lots of knowledge here. Thanks for all the input. Here are my thoughts... my main concern was that I wanted to put unit markings on my jeep bumpers. I would have probably been happy with going through a bunch of old pics of jeeps with unit markings, and picking the ones I like best. You know like... I really love the look of that 5, and that's a cool looking F. I probably would have been happy with that, not knowing what it meant at all.

Luckily, I have a relative who likely drove one of these back in the war, so I might as well personalize it to what it might have been for him. If it's not 100% accurate, that's ok with me. At least I feel that I'm honoring him by giving it a good attempt with some great help from you all good folks. That being said, I think I'll go with what I wrote in the post above. Thanks again for all your help!
'43 GPW 93487 Black
'44 GPW 230283 OD Green
'46 CJ2A 77632 White
'47 CJ2A 141681 Green
'48 CJ2A 156240 Red/Yellow
'48 CJ2A 181341 Red
'61 CJ5 123120 Tan
'76 CJ7 Camo
'03 TJ Inca Gold


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