In June 1940, with World War II on the horizon, the U.S. Army solicited bids from 135 automakers for a 1/4 ton “light reconnaissance vehicle” tailored to Army specifications. Only three companies responded — Bantam, Willys, and Ford — but, within a year’s time they collectively produced the template for the vehicle known worldwide as the “jeep”.
Willys-Overland delivered the prototype “Quad” (named for the 4×4 system it featured), to the U.S. Army on Armistice Day (Veteran’s Day), November of 1940. The design was completed in a remarkable 75 days.
During the ensuing years, from WWII to Vietnam, the Angels made use of this historic vehicle in training, combat and occupation duty. From Toccoa to Tokyo, Fort Campbell to Korea, Germany and Fort Benning, the 11th Airborne’s troopers drove, stole, and maneuvered the Jeep through some of the toughest conditions possible.
They came to respect the Jeep as no other…
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