Navy jeeps --blue?

1941 - 1945, MB, GPW Technical questions and discussions, regarding anything related to the WWII jeep.
chuck lamb
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Navy jeeps --blue?

Post by chuck lamb » Sun Aug 24, 2003 7:26 pm

Still on a quest for my MB's history. I have noticed that under the jeeps yellow paint is a coat of Navy blue paint, the same color as found on late war Navy aircraft. It appears that this MB was originally OD then Blue then Yellow and finally Black [poorly done civilian job]. Does any of this make sense?
Thanx Chuck.


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Post by Steve B. » Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:44 pm

Mine also had blue over the OD. I found USAF yellow markings on each side of the hood and the rear panel on top of the blue.

Yours could have been repainted air force blue also.

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Paint colors

Post by Ralph Wicke » Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:17 pm

Your jeep was probably built just like thousands of other jeeps and painted OD at the factory.

When the Army Air Force became the United States Air Force your jeep moved to the Air Force and received a coat of Air Force Blue paint. Navy jeeps were painted battleship gray not blue.

After a few years on some Air Force base the jeep was transferred to the flight line motor pool and painted yellow. After carrying crews out to their aircraft and other duties the jeep was surplused by the Air Force and sold at a War Assets Administration sale and purchased by a civilian.

The civilian not liking the yellow paint painted the jeep black.

Though none of this is based on any official documentation it may explain the many colors on your jeep.

Good luck on your sanding, repairing and re-painting of your jeep.

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Post by chuck lamb » Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:41 pm

That makes sense Bob, thanx.
Chuck.

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Post by Christian Erbe » Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:09 pm

Steve B. wrote:Mine also had blue over the OD. I found USAF yellow markings on each side of the hood and the rear panel on top of the blue.

Yours could have been repainted air force blue also.
Steve, do you have pictures of the yellow markings.I restored my
MB as USAF vehicle.It´s hard to get infos and pictures!!!
Christian
´45 MB

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Post by Steve B. » Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:48 pm

Christian-

I do have photos, but all the digital copies were lost when my computer crashed.

All it had was U.S. AIR FORCE over the hood number.

I have found no other markings, and the bumper and bumperettes were missing.

If you'd like I can try to get you copies of the photos I have. Just let me know.

Steve

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Grey or blue grey?

Post by lucakiki » Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:04 am

Ralph,I was wondering if by battleship grey you are refering to the post war navy jeeps,or also to war time ones.I always thought that in war time the navy vehicles would be painted over O.D. in that peculiar non specular blue grey as per the Sunderlin article on early Army Motor.As a matter of fact I never read anything else on the subject,and even enquiring on the Gee never got an exhaustive answer,so I am still curious.Would some expert cast some light on this?
Luca

WillysMB#344142 6-19-44 Navy N.S.Blue Grey
45 Bantam T-3 #57248 1-10-45
42 Willys MB-T #13560 11-42
43 Willys MB-T # 25417 4-43
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Navy gray

Post by Mike W. » Tue Aug 26, 2003 7:02 am

Pre and early WW2 Navy vehicles could have been painted the non specular blue gray, as well as other colors including black. Some were painted that way from the factory, the Navy Ford GTB as an example in the non specular blue gray. After that they could have been OD, Forest green, or various shades of gray including 'battleship' gray or haze gray depending on where and when they were painted. I get this from period photos of Navy vehicles and information passed on to me from owners of the same. From the 2nd civvy owner of a '43 Navy MB for example, 1st OD with normal Army markings, then Navy gray with black Navy markings and black stars, last OD with the same Navy markings and stars in white.

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Navy jeeps

Post by Ralph Wicke » Tue Aug 26, 2003 2:25 pm

Luca,

During the Korean War all of the jeeps assigned to Seabee units were OD since they were used primarily on land in combat zones.

Shipboard jeeps were painted gray with black letters. These vehicles were used in non-combat ports while the ship was loading or being repaired.

I never saw a blue navy jeep.

Hope this adds a bit to your information regarding jeep colors.

Mike W.

blue jeeps

Post by Mike W. » Wed Aug 27, 2003 6:55 am

Chuck - What was the shade of blue on your jeep? Was it dark like what is considered 'AF' blue or was it light like the non specular blue gray used on WW2 Navy vehicles and aircraft?

In the early 70's I drove a Navy M38 that was about the shade of AF blue with yellow markings and an artic top while stationed in the Bay area, drove it and a couple darker blue Navy pickups for about 1 1/2 years until I got out of the Navy.

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On the colour,again...

Post by lucakiki » Wed Aug 27, 2003 9:24 am

Ralph,my doubts on Navy colours are about WW II Jeeps and other vehicles.After WWII I am aware that they used grey,just as on the jeep recently featured on Army Motors.And rather than blue I am speaking of that "Non specular Navy Blue-grey" that is mentioned in the article written by Sunderlin so many years ago.Personally I like it very much,but obviously I also want it to make sense.To make it short:according to Bryce Sunderlin the Navy repainted in that colour the vehicles in use,wether bought or midnight requisitioned.That is what I did try to represent,but is there any prove that ,for war time at least,Sunderlin was uncorrect?
Luca

WillysMB#344142 6-19-44 Navy N.S.Blue Grey
45 Bantam T-3 #57248 1-10-45
42 Willys MB-T #13560 11-42
43 Willys MB-T # 25417 4-43
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Post by Mark Tombleson » Wed Aug 27, 2003 12:31 pm

Luca, it is my understanding that Bryce and Lloyd White are in agreement that very few jeeps used by the Navy during WWII were actually painted grey. The Army took one of their jeeps and painted it grey for Admiral Nimitiz and I'm sure at least some of the Army provided jeeps were repainted grey but as to when is unclear.

Ther is to date no documentation contract Navy jeeps were painted grey at the factory. I have documentation Willys Overland painted some of the contract Navy jeeps forest green, the only color I know of so far that was factory for Navy jeeps.

Right after the war there was a lot of repainting done. My jeep was painted two different greys, one with white markings and one with black. My jeeps original color was forest green with yellow markings. The forest green covered the whole jeep - frame, body and drivetrain. Bryce himself has inspected my jeep and confirmed this. 8)

I have stated before, the Navy did things at the Base Commanders direction and if he said paint the jeeps purple with pink dots, it would have been done. A blue jeep is just a possible as a purple one! :roll: :wink:
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lucakiki
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Post by lucakiki » Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:35 am

Mark,I am fully aware that no factory Jeep was painted grey.Tthe forest green of the USMC was,if I remember right,the only other colour,and the Navy was buying them.Then there are the early post war repainting of vehicles in grey,obviously not at the factory.Then there is the famous admiral Nimitz jeep,a one off the seems to be done in grey,not n.s. blue-grey.Then there is the supposed repainting of O.D. vehicles,not always officially procured,in that blue grey that Bryce Sunderlin mentioned in that old article,of which I have never seen a written confutation.And apparently they were quick jobs,leaving the undercarriage or the underhood in the original O.D..Same could be said(or imagined)for wheel rims painted only on the visible outer side,and for tool/glove boxes.Markings could be done in black or yellow,black being what is usually seen on non Jeep vehicles depicted on the photos I have seen.The canvas was regular O.D. ,may be faded,which induced some people to have it in grey.I would rather think that grey was only available,if ever,in post war replacements,but my focus being on war time,I am not concerned.There is really little information on the subject,and I have often tried to get more,at no avail.That is why I still use as only reference that old Sunderlin article.I repeat my self,I am not talking of factory jeeps,nor Post war or Korea repaints.
Luca

WillysMB#344142 6-19-44 Navy N.S.Blue Grey
45 Bantam T-3 #57248 1-10-45
42 Willys MB-T #13560 11-42
43 Willys MB-T # 25417 4-43
Way too many WWII military tools,hopefully thinning down,and way too many posts...

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Mike W.

Post by Mike W. » Thu Aug 28, 2003 7:53 am

Luca - I too am looking for that illusive color photo or documentation stating WW2 Navy jeeps were gray with no success. I have two very poor copies of Sunderlin's articles on the Ford GTB and Navy markings, some of which I cannot make out. I know that some Navy vehicles (not jeeps) were painted Navy gray at the factory as I have seen the pictures in the past such as mid war Chevy pickups and many Dodges. In the GTB article Sunderlin states the initial Navy Ford GTB's were painted Non-specular (flat) Ocean Gray O-5 and that he has opened NOS parts boxes to find the parts blue-gray. In the Markings article he states that throughout the 40's most Navy vehicles were painted gloss black or 'Pale Navy Gray' (Battleship gray) with black chassis (not jeeps), which then changed to the Non-specular blue gray for at least aviation attached vehicles. He also states that the jeep 'came in both N.S. blue gray and Forest green' and that aviation radio jeeps and jeeps ordered for the Coast Guard were delivered in the N.S. blue gray, this would certainly lead one to believe the paint was applied at the factory since the order came from the Navy. In my research I have yet to find otherwise, although some articles on Navy markings are way off base on the registration number range but that is a different subject.

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Post by Doug Mc » Thu Aug 28, 2003 8:20 am

I've done a lot of searching on the color issue and have determined that there were quite a few navy gray jeeps during the war. Every aircraft carrier had three or four for aircraft tow vehicles and use when the ship was in port, mainly as Shore Patrol vehicles. I have no idea whether they came from the factory that way or were painted by the Navy but my Navy experience tells me that no olive drab vehicle would have ever made it onto a ship. It would have been painted gray before hand.

My father-in-law, the motor pool sargeant, told me before he passed on that when he was on Okinawa and Yap Islands during the war, the Navy, Army and Marines were continuously stealing each others jeeps. He said a lot of them had so much paint if you scraped some off you would find layers of different colors of OD and Navy gray.

I'm working on a '43 MB now that is painted Rustoleum 975 which is a perfect match to the gray used during the war. I'm fitting this vehicle out as it would have looked aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-43) which was commissioned October 27th, 1945. I know that's post-war but they would still have used wartime vehicles until they wore out. I'm doing this for personal reasons as I was aboard that ship for two years in the early 60s.

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