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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: 22 Jul 1942 Japanese invade Papua, New Guinea at Basabua then move along the northeast coast of New Guinea to Buna, beginning a long campaign.  More 
22 Jul 1942 Daily gassing of Jews from Warsaw begins at Treblinka; 4000 men, women, children killed daily, the largest slaughter of any single community during the Holocaust [22 Jul-12 Sep].
22 Jul 1944 Setbacks in the Japanese war effort force the resignation of Hideki Tojo as Prime Minister of Japan.
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.
Restored 1951 M38 Truck, 1/4-ton 4x4 (military jeep), with M100 or MB-T trailer. Courtesy eBay seller corvettehuntr.
Exercise Snow Storm: A pilot chute pulls out an M38 jeep from the rear of a USAF C-119 Flying Boxcar transport plane as the 82nd Airborne Division makes a heavy equipment drop, during the Army's winter training operation. Snow Ridge, NY, 1953.
Restored M38 Truck, 1/4-ton, 4x4 (jeep).
Four important jeeps in the history of the vehicle, all built by Willys.  From left to right:  Quad prototype jeep, MB WW II jeep, M-38 the first post-war military jeep, and the M38A1. (Original caption is incorrect, leftmost jeep is Quad not MA).
1951 Willys 1/4 Ton 4x4 M38 Jeep owned by Roy and Alyce Anderson, Milan OH.   This Jeep was purchased in 1984, and restoration was completed in 2004. It is painted as a vehicle serving during the Korean War.  Photo taken at the Vintage Aircraft Gathering, National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright Field, Dayton, OH, 27-28 September 2008.

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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