History of the 'jeep' in pictures

Long synonymous with the U.S. military, the 'jeep' is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Here’s a look at the iconic vehicle’s long history.

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    The classic ‘jeep’ was not the only light military truck style vehicle employed by the U.S. military, which also relied on the Dodge WC series, that was used as a weapons carrier, ambulance, reconnaissance vehicle and command car. The example above is a restored version of the style used by General George Patton during World War II. It is now at the General George Patton Museum of Leadership at Fort Knox. (Photo: Peter Suciu)
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    Mack Truck

    The U.S. military began purchasing Mack Trucks in 1911, and these were the first type of reliable vehicle that could handle rough terrain. During World War I the U.S. and British military relied on the model AC, which is noted for its tapered hood. This example is at the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington, Nebraska (Photo: Peter Suciu)
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    World War II Era 'Jeep'

    A fully restored World War II era ‘jeep’ at the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington, Nebraska. The museum has one of the largest private collections of ‘jeep’s in the world. (Photo: Peter Suciu)
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    ‘Jeep’ USN

    During World War II all branches of the U.S. military utilized the ‘jeep’. Of course olive drab simply wouldn't do for the United States Navy, which opted to paint its vehicles in the ubiquitous "battleship gray." The Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington, Nebraska has a nicely restored USN ‘jeep’ in its collection (Photo: Peter Suciu)
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    During World War II German military planners were never able to duplicate the success of the ‘jeep’, but the German-built Kubelwagen (left) served as a primary light vehicle, while the Schwimmwagen (right) offered greater off-road capabilities. It was also the most numerous mass-produced amphibious four-wheel drive road-off vehicle. While more than 15,000 were built during the war only some 160 are still known to exist today. The two vehicles were on display at the Armed Forces Day HMV rally in Ohio. (Photo: Peter Suciu)
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    Mighty Mite

    While the ‘jeep’ was able to go just about anywhere one issue was that it was at times hard to transport to far off destinations. The USMC called upon American Motors to develop the M422 "Mighty Mite," a lightweight quarter-ton four by four that could be more easily airlifted just about anywhere. It was only produced from 1959-1962. This example was at the Armed Forces Day HMV rally in Ohio. (Photo: Peter Suciu)
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    The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) was introduced in 1984 as a replacement to the original ‘jeep’, but also supplanted the roles of other light vehicles. Following the Persian Gulf War it helped inspire the civilian Hummer automotive market. This example with Woodland Camouflage is at the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington, Nebraska (Photo: Peter Suciu)
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    The Humvee was truly designed to go anywhere – Paratroopers finish connecting a Humvee to a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during slingload training on Fort Bragg, N.C., Jan. 20, 2016. (Army photo by Sgt. Chad Haling)
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    The JLTV program fills a critical capability gap for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps by replacing a large portion of the HMMWV fleet with a light tactical vehicle with superior protection and off-road mobility. (Photo: Oshkosh Defense LLC)
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    Commando ‘Jeep’

    Hendrick Dynamics has taken the ‘jeep’ full circle with its "Grand Mobility Vehicle," which is built on a commercially available Jeep Wrangler body and modified for use by the military. Built in Toledo – just like the original Willys ‘jeep’, this version has been dubbed the "Commando" it has been field tested in Afghanistan. This is the first military use of a ‘jeep’ since Operation Just Cause, the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989. This particular GMV was fitted with specialized payloads for the U.S. Army's science and technology project. (Photo: Hendrick Dynamics)
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