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Ford Truck, Amphibian, GPA, 1/4 ton, 4x4

The GPA amphibious jeep was developed by Ford Motor Company from components of the Ford GPW 1/4 ton 4x4 jeep. Naval architects designed the amphibious hull, the same firm that designed the 2 1/2 DUKW amphibious truck. The GPA was manufactured by Ford during World War II, starting in 1942 and ending in March 1943. The GPA was not popular or successful with the U.S. military, judged too small, difficult to maneuver and subject to swamping in any significant waves. However, GPAs were supplied to the Soviet Union under Lend Lease and the Soviets continued to manufacture the GPA (as the GAZ 011) after Ford's contracts were concluded.

The Ford GPA was also called the "Seep" for "Sea Jeep" or sometimes the "jeep in a bathtub."

Ford Truck, Amphibian, GPA, 1/4 ton, 4x4, 1945 photo
Ford Truck, Amphibian, GPA, 1/4 ton, 4x4, 1945 photo.

Today in WW II: 1 Sep 1939 German troops, tanks, and aircraft begin Blitzkrieg attack on Poland, the start of WW II in Europe.   

Ford Truck, Amphibian, GPA, 1/4 ton, 4x4 (G-504) Specifications

Length182 inches
Width64 inchest
Height66 1/4 inches
Gross Weight4,460 lbs
Net Weight3,665 lbs
EngineFord 4 cyl 134 cid, 54 hp
Transmission3 speed
Transfer case2 speed
Water speed5.5 mph
Road speed5o mph
Number mfgapprox. 12,750

The Ford GPA running gear (engine, transmission, transfer case, axles) were essentially the same as the Ford GPW jeep, but the amphibious GPA vehicle was longer than the GPW jeep. The 84 inch wheelbase was four inches longer than the jeep and the hull extended to the front and rear of the axles. The interior layout was similar to the GPW, a spare tire and anchor where stored on the rear deck, a capstan winch on the front deck, and a rifle rack was mounted on the windshield. A propeller and rudder were mounted on the rear of the GPA along with a standard pintle hook.

Ford GPA Amphibian, 1/4-ton, 4x4 Photos

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the Ford GTA Amphibious 1/4-ton 4x4 at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

Ford-built GPA 1/4-ton 4x4 amphibian reconnaissance car, carrying soldiers equipped for combat duty takes to the water in special tests staged in the Detroit area, circa 1943.  Original caption:  Sea jeeps. Successfully crossing a fast-flowing stream, the Ford-built amphibian, with full complement of four soldiers, easily climbs opposite shore and is ready for any scouting operations. Picture shows maneuvers recently held in the Detroit area, when soldiers from Fort Wayne in full combat dress manned the machines. The controls of the new Army transportation unit for land operations are identical to the quarter-ton, four-wheel drive reconnaissance car, and no steering changeover is required from land to water operation. The new car is being used by U.S. fighting forces in war zones.
Long line of Ford GPA amphibious jeeps and other vehicles at a staging area during WW II.
Three US Army Nurse Corps nurses pose with Ford GPA 'Seep' (Sea Jeep). From left to right: LT V. Bartholomew, MM2/C L. Artzie (the driver, US Navy), LT G. Cox (ANC), LT H. G. Blything (ANC) and LT C. Ludkins (ANC).  France 1944 (?).
Ford Truck, Amphibian, GPA, 1/4 ton, 4x4.
Ford-built GPA 1/4-ton 4x4 amphibian reconnaissance car in test at the Ford Motor Company Rouge plant, near the Rouge River slip, during WW II.
Ford GPA amphibian jeeps waiting to be loaded on trucks at a staging area near Detroit, MI, April 1943.  Dodge 3/4-ton 4x4 trucks in the background.

Ford GPA Amphibian, 1/4-ton, 4x4 Photo Gallery

Ford Truck, Amphibian, GPA, 1/4 ton, 4x4 (G-504). Photo: Courtesy of Dennis P. Nolan
Ford Truck, Amphibian, GPA, 1/4 ton, 4x4 (G-504). Photo: Courtesy of Dennis P. Nolan.

45th Division GPAs ready for shipment with the Division for service in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, 27 May 1943.  The officer is identified as Capt. W. Young
45th Division GPAs ready for shipment with the Division for service in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, 27 May 1943. The officer is identified as Capt. W. Young.

Ford GPA assigned to Lend Lease for the Soviet Union, employed by the Soviet 14th Army to cross water obstacles
Ford GPA assigned to Lend Lease for the Soviet Union, employed by the Soviet 14th Army to cross water obstacles.

Ford GPA crossing river during training, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, World War II
Ford GPA crossing river during training, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, World War II.

Ford GPA with trailer, during training, World War II.
Ford GPA with trailer, during training, World War II.

Ford GPAs being tested in the Huron River near Ford Motor Company's Rouge plant, Detroit, MI, during World War II.  Original caption calls the GPA an amphibian reconnaissance car.
Ford GPAs being tested in the Huron River near Ford Motor Company's Rouge plant, Detroit, MI, during World War II. Original caption calls the GPA an "amphibian reconnaissance car."

Ford GPA amphibious jeeps waiting transport at the factory, Detroit, MI, April 1943
Ford GPA amphibious jeeps waiting transport at the factory, Detroit, MI, April 1943.

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