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M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4

The M38 Jeep was the first post-WW II jeep, based on the civilian model CJ-3A, but upgraded for military use. It was known by Willys as the model MC. It featured flat fenders, a one-piece windshield, bottom-mounted wipers, a fuel filler on the left side near the driver's seat, protruding headlights, and an air vent at the bottom center of the windshield frame. The pioneer tools (axe and shovel) are located on the passenger side. The 80-inch wheelbase M38 weighed 2,750 pounds. Its nomenclature is Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4, M-38 (G-740).

When compared to the World War II Willys MB / Ford GPW, the M38 is a little larger, with better seating for the driver and passenger, and uses larger tires (7:00x16). It shares a 24 volt waterproofed electrical system with other post-war M-series vehicles, requiring a second battery to boost the voltage. The L-head, 4 cyl. 60 hp. engine of the MB was improved with a gear drive camshaft and was mated to a T90 transmission and 5:38 axle gears.

Willys produced about 45,500 of the M-38 jeeps from September 1950 through July 1952.

More information and photos are available on this Olive-Drab.com page about M-38 Military Jeeps.

M-38 jeep with top & side curtains and fording gear, Detroit Arsenal, June 1950
M-38 jeep with top & side curtains and fording gear, Detroit Arsenal, June 1950.

Today in WW II: 25 Oct 1943 American and New Zealand troops land at Mono and Stirling, Treasury Islands, south of Bougainville [25-27 Oct].  More 
25 Oct 1944 First operation by the Japanese Kamikaze Special Attack Force: 55 kamikazes strike 7 carriers and 40 other ships, sinking six, off Leyte, Philippines.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Samar [Leyte]: US Admiral Sprague skillfully prevents a loss to the stronger Japanese force under Japanese Admiral Kurita.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Cape Engaño (Leyte): lopsided naval battle resulting in the loss of most of Japanese Northern Force to US Admiral Halsey's carrier planes and battleships [25-26 Oct].
25 Oct 1944 Soviet Red Army enters Kirkenes, the first town in Norway to be liberated from the Germans.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740)

Manuals for the M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 include:

TM 9-804Operation and Organizational Maintenance (1950)
TM 9-8012Operation and Organizational Maintenance (1956). Supersedes TM 9-804.
LO 9-8012Lubrication Order
TM 9-1804AMaintenance of Engine and Clutch (1951)
TM 9-1804BPower Train, Body and Frame (1951)
ORD 9 SNL G-740Parts List (1955)

Date in parentheses may not be the only publication date for the manual.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-38 military jeep at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

US Army Boeing-Vertol CH-21 Shawnee Helicopter carries an M-38 1/4-ton truck (jeep), circa 1950s.
M38 Truck 1/4-ton 4x4 (jeep).
XM51 Little John artillery missile towed by M38 jeep at Redstone Arsenal. After development in the 1950s, Little John reached the field in November 1961 and remained in the Army inventory until August 1969. It could carry either nuclear or conventional warheads.
Following training in landing operations at Slapton Sands, England, membersof an armored unit being briefed at a marshalling area, May 1944.
65th AAA Batallion soldiers attend Mass by Chaplain Dennis Murphy who is using the hood of an M38 jeep as an altar, Bolo Point, Okinawa, Japan, 19 July 1951.
2nd Armored Cavalry M38 jeep patrol at the Iron Curtain line, Germany, 1956.

M-38 Military Jeep Photo Gallery

Former US Air Force M-38 serial #4799, photographed in 2006. Turn signals and other details are not original configuration
Former US Air Force M-38 serial #4799, photographed in 2006. Turn signals and other details are not original configuration.
Photo: Courtesy of eBay seller armydave2.

Former US Air Force M-38 serial #4799, photographed in 2006. Turn signals and other details are not original configuration
Former US Air Force M-38 serial #4799, photographed in 2006. Turn signals and other details are not original configuration.
Photo: Courtesy of eBay seller armydave2

M-38 with military hard top, gas fired heater and deep water fording snorkle. Photo: Courtesy of Dennis P. Nolan
M-38 with military hard top, gas fired heater and deep water fording snorkle.
Photo: Courtesy of Dennis P. Nolan.

M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740).  Photo: Courtesy of Steve Johnston
M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Steve Johnston.

M-38 on left with 1943 Willys MB on right.  Photo: US Army National Infantry Museum
M-38 on left with 1943 Willys MB on right. Photo: US Army National Infantry Museum.

M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Steve Johnston
M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Steve Johnston.

M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Reggie Caruso
M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Reggie Caruso.

M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Reggie Caruso
M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Reggie Caruso.

M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Reggie Caruso
M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Reggie Caruso.

M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Reggie Caruso
M-38 Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 (G-740). Photo: Courtesy of Reggie Caruso.

Recommended Book about the M-38 Jeep

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