The Norman Transcript


July 6, 2013

1943 Ford GWP Jeep is Army strong once more after three decades in a shed



Even the front and rear “black-out” lighting system works. It was required for tactical situations when regular headlamps would attract enemy fire.

It’s not a comfortable vehicle to drive and wasn’t intended to be. The engineering is simple with access of components designed to be repaired or replaced by GIs who weren’t necessarily mechanics.

“The brake and gas pedals are really close together so you have to be careful,” Hill said. “And the clutch is hard to press down.”

There’s an instruction plate on the glove box door for engaging and disengaging four-wheel drive and shifting it into high or low. In two wheel drive it’s a standard three speed. The engine is a 134 cubic inch, in-line four cylinder.

The gas tank is under the drivers’ seat, which you raise to add fuel. There’s a rack for an axe and shovel on the right and a full size spare tire and jerry can of reserve fuel mounted on the rear.

“You might need the shovel and axe to dig a fox hole if the Luftwaffe was coming after you,” Hill said.

The windshield wipers are hand operated by either the driver or passenger. A small set of tools in an interior compartment could be used for most repairs. Except for the windshield and overhead canvas top, driver and passengers are largely exposed to the elements.

Hill was a 12-year-old lad living on a Caldwell County, Mo., farm with his folks when the 1943 Jeep was first assembled.

“I can remember to this day that Sunday afternoon when it was announced on the radio that Pearl Harbor had been attacked,” he said.

His dad was too old for the service and agriculture was part of the war effort.

“We didn’t have television but followed events through newsreels at the movies,” he said. “Some of it was propaganda, even if it was true, and they made us hate the Germans.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Bad year won’t dampen peachy tradition

    PORTER — A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.” Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU football recruit under investigation in assault case

    An attorney representing Joe Mixon confirmed Friday evening that the highly-recruited Oklahoma running back is being investigated by Norman Police in connection with an incident in which a woman suffered multiple facial fractures early ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Campus Cornerassault

    Norman Police responded to an alleged aggravated assault at the Campus Corner Pickelmans Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning....

    July 26, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia firing across border

    KIEV, Ukraine — Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the ...

    July 26, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014