My admiration for Jeeps started on Dec. 7, 1941. I was 10 years old and listening to the radio that Sunday afternoon as I heard about the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Fast forward a couple of years and all the older boys in our farming community were in the service. My brother was in the Army, stationed at Camp Perry Ohio. He would come home on week end passes and we would take him back. It was there that I saw my first Jeep. During the war I studied and drew numerous pictures of Jeeps, M4 Sherman Tanks (my brother was a tank mechanic) and Army Air Corp aircraft. In fact I got into trouble in English class because I was drawing Jeeps instead of paying attention.
I enlisted in the USAF during the Korean War in 1951 and was eventually sent to Korea. My first contact with Jeeps was in Japan when we loaded into an Air Force C 124 transport aircraft with 120 troops plus 3 WWII Jeeps. As we flew to Korea I got my first close look at an Army Jeep. I was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing, Osan Korea. I soon learned that Jeeps were trouble free in cold snowy weather but could freeze fast at night and in the spring they were good in the mud but could get stuck. Generally in 4 wheel drive with a little help from GI’s at the lift handles, the Jeep would get free.
After the service and 41 years at work with college at night school on the GI Bill, I retired in 1997. I then restored two 1965 Mustang convertibles each requiring 5 years. I was asked by many people what will you restore next. I said if I ever restore anything again, it will be a Jeep. For Father’s Day 2015, my wife Mary Ann bought me a 1947 CJ2A Jeep. At 84 I started to work converting it to an MB front end with MB canvas seats, exhaust, lift handles, rear lights and bumpers. I painted it olive-drab and added my Korean unit marking on the front and left side and my grandson’s markings on the right side and rear bumpers to honor his 6 years in the Navy. Many of the parts and paint came from Kaiser Willys Auto Supply in SC and a Jeep collector in Ohio. On Aug. 13, 2016 there was a Jeep show in Ashland Ohio, honoring 75 years of Jeeps. It won the Best of Show award.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Cloyd McNaull
If you would like to share your Willys Jeep Story please send us a line. We ‘d love to meet your Jeep.
Like Us. Facebook