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M-38 Military Jeep

The M38 Jeep was the first post-WW II jeep, based on the civilian model CJ-3A, but upgraded for military use. The M38 was produced from 1950 to 1952 with a total of 45,473 manufactured by Willys. It is superficially very similar to the standard World War II jeep, but had significant differences and upgrades. Visually, the M38 can be distinguished by its external fuel filler outside the driver's position, a one piece windshield, and protruding headlights.

M38 military jeep on display at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, Germany, for the Independence Day Celebration, 4 July 2010
M38 military jeep on display at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, Germany, for the Independence Day Celebration, 4 July 2010.

Today in WW II: 25 Nov 1941 Germans reach outskirts of Moscow but cannot sustain attack; Germans hold positions until Dec 5.  More 
25 Nov 1942 British SOE team and anti-Nazi Greeks blow up the Gorgopotamos railway viaduct, the first significant sabotage in occupied Europe [Operation Harling, Nov 25-26].
25 Nov 1943 Battle of Cape St. George between Buka and New Ireland, off Papua New Guinea, fought by US and Japanese naval forces.
25 Nov 1944 In Philippine waters, USS Intrepid [CV-11] hit by two Japanese kamikaze planes within five minute period, killing 69 and seriously wounding 85 of the crew.
25 Nov 1944 Most deadly German V-2 rocket attack in Britain happened at New Cross Road, destroying a Woolworths store and surrounding area, killing 160 people, seriously injuring 120 others.
25 Nov 1944 Japanese occupy Nanning, a transportation hub in south China, for the second time, in final stages of the Ichi-Go offensive.
25 Nov 1944 Last American airborne troops withdraw from unsuccessful Operation Market Garden positions.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Description of the M38 Jeep (G-740)

M38 jeep and soldiers use the exit ramp of a BARC, landing on a beach during training, circa 1960
M38 jeep and soldiers use the exit ramp of a BARC, landing on a beach during training, circa 1960.

The M38 Truck, 1/4 ton, 4x4 featured flat fenders, a one-piece windshield, bottom-mounted wipers and an air vent at the bottom center of the windshield frame. Military upgrades included a stronger frame and suspension, a 24-volt electrical system with two batteries, and full-floating rear axle. The M38 tires and wheels are sized 7:00-16, larger than the WW II jeeps.

Manufactured by Willys under the internal designation MC (next in line after the standard WW II jeep which was the Model MB when manufactured by Willys), the Jeep had an L-head, 4 cycle, 4-cylinder engine with synchromesh transmission and three forward gears. It had a crew of two and passenger capacity of two.

Photos are available on the M-38 Jeep page of the Olive-Drab.com Military Vehicle Charts.

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

Restored 1951 M38 Truck, 1/4-ton 4x4 (military jeep), with M100 or MB-T trailer. Courtesy eBay seller corvettehuntr.
M38 jeep from United States Army Southern European Task Force (SETAF), circa 1950s.
US Army Boeing-Vertol CH-21 Shawnee Helicopter carries an M-38 1/4-ton truck (jeep), circa 1950s.
Restored M38 Truck, 1/4-ton, 4x4 (jeep).
M38 Truck 1/4-ton 4x4 (jeep).
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.

The M38 jeep was followed by the M38A1, a new design introduced in 1952.

Internet Resources for the M38 Jeep

The M38 jeeps that were built for the U.S. Army (and used by all the armed services) are very popular with collectors due to their reasonable size, ready availability of parts, and great off-road capabilities. There are many websites and forums devoted to the M38 and M38A1 jeep, some of the best collected on the linked page.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: jeep m38 or m-38. Then click the Search button.

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