Canadian Army jeep ambulance in action taking a wounded
soldier back for medical care in Normandy (France) in 1944. Helmets
indicate the soldiers are in the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.
Canada was one of the first users of the "Jeep". The first Canadian
Army "Jeep" was a 1936 Ford-Marmon-Harrington half-track used by the Royal
Canadian Artillery. The soldiers called it a "Jeep". One of these
survives and is on display at the Canadian War Museum.
"The Jeep" Camp Shilo, Manitoba, 1937
The name "Jeep" with a capital "J" was used
by the Canadian artillerymen at this time as is evidenced by a photo
album at Burnaby Village Museum (where I am the Curator) and by another
story by a veteran who was there at the time
One of the 1936 "Jeep" is preserved at the Canadian War
Museum and can be seen in their VIMY HOUSE warehouse facility. The
preserved example does not have the 18 pounder limber (caisson to U.S.
people) bodies mounted on the rear deck (4 of them).
Later when what we now know as the jeep was developed, Canada tested a couple
of the first 70 jeeps made, then tested the Willys MA, bought some Ford GP
jeeps, then 5,000 custom made Willys MB jeeps (called the W-LU 440-M-PERS-1) and
then some 'off the shelf' jeeps - Willys MB, Ford GPW, Ford GPA.
|On Willys jeeps, the serial number appeared on one of the
dash data plates. On early models the data plates were bolted to the dash,
and from the Spring of 1942, were bolted to the glove box. When stamped
the "MB" prefix was left off. e.g. 119021 or 155796 were two
that I used to own.
Early Canadian contract jeeps had brass data plates and they were
custom made by Willys for the Canadian contracts.
Standard US version of the Willys dash/glove box data plate. This one
is of aluminum.
|The serial number for the frame was the same number, though
often with an MB prefix e.g. MB155796.
On early MBs the data plate was on the inside left frame rail, just
behind the front bumper. About mid-war, the size grew and the words SCOUT
CAR etc. were added.
Near the end of the was the data plate was moved the the right inside
|Early style was on the left inside frame
Larger type frame data plate.
|The body tub had a serial number but it is not directly
connected to the vehicle serial number. This is because the bodies were
made by a contractor and this was their control number. There is a very
ROUGH correlation e.g. 155796 had tub 60260. Subtract 100,000 as that is
where Willys Serial numbers started, whereas the tubs probably started at
Colin Stevens' 1944 Willys MB jeep that was brought back from overseas.
Colin's 1944 Willys MB in November, 1999 in the Beatty Street Armoury
(1890s military building) in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Colin with jeep at the Abbotsford Air Show, August 2000 Aug. It has
since been painted in airborne markings again.
For more photos of the above jeep see: http://bcoy1cpb.pacdat.net/colin_stevens'_1944_willys_mb_photos.htm
Applying Mickey Mouse Ear camouflage paint by big paintbrush in September 1942
to a Canadian Contract CDLV 505 jeep in England.
1944-45 Dutch cartoon about Canadian jeep driver and Dutch cyclist.
Over the years I have owned several other ex-military jeeps
1942 Feb 11 slat grill Willys MB serial number MB119021 (SOLD back to
Federal Government at Fort Rodd
Hill National Historic Site near Victoria, BC. Partly restored, in storage.)
MB119021 as found, on the try before you buy test drive at
Christina Lake, BC. Jeep had been brought in from Alberta.
MB119021 in Burnaby - partly restored.
Delivering MB119021 to Fort Rodd Hill National Historic
July 2 1942 stamped grill script Willys MB serial number MB155796.
found with army hard top - after jeep repainted brown from the blue; just
before I sold it c. 1995. It has recently changed hands and the new owner
has contacted me. I found all of the original markings on this jeep and
determined that in 1943 this jeep served as a wireless (radio) jeep with
Divisional Signals, 7th Canadian Division in Debert, Nova Scotia. Its DND
number was 61-261. Tub number 60260.
1942 Ford GPA amphibious jeep SN GPA4545 made about Dec. 22, 1942. Shown
here the day we picked it up in early 2001. Sold to a restorer in the
1952 M38CDN, all original including original markings. It was used by
a GSO-3 of 1 Canadian Division. SOLD.
1967 M38A1CDN2 67-07995 (ex-Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Headquarters).
Sold to a collector in B.C. SOLD.
|1942 Willys MB-BRT (i.e. British Contract) made
March 13, 1942. Serial number 127345. Unrestored and rusty. QUite original
except for grey paint. |
I also own:
1953 M100CDN 1/4 Ton trailer. CAR 70216 ex-Seaforth
Highlanders of Canada where it was towed by the jeep above - 67-07995! This
trailer was later used by the Royal Westminster Regiment.
WWII 1/4 ton jeep trailer. Maker unknown at this time. 1940s military
Modified. Rear bumper, rear landing leg, over-ride
brakes, extra grab handles on the frame.
LINKS to pages about my jeeps:
I am particularly interested in Canadian Contract jeeps of World War II.
I have a database of several thousand military jeeps. I have been gathering
serial numbers, dates of production, contracts, engine serial numbers, script -
yes or no, original painted numbers and markings, owner's name/city/state or
province/country, original markings, history etc. I try to help owners and
museums as many jeeps are missing data plates and dates. I also try to put
owners of vehicles made close to each other in touch with each other. So far I
have found several sets of sequentially serial numbered jeeps - some now
separated by a few miles, and others by over 3,000 miles. I welcome input from
owners etc. to add to this data base and I am glad to try to answer questions.
Ex-Canadian jeeps have turned up in Japan, Sweden, Norway, the UK, USA etc.
I am glad to help jeep owners try to date their jeeps if they have a serial
number but no date. Likewise if they have an M38A1CDN2 jeep, if they have a CAR/CFR
number I can probably tell them the serial number.
seaforth72 (at) gmail.com