Airborne Jeep (x2)
The British Airlanding troops had a number of heavier support weapons that were just too bulky to be moved about by their crews with any speed. To overcome this the US Jeep was used as the tow vehicle for the 6pdr gun, M1A1 75mm pack howitzer and as a Recce vehicle. It had to be lightened and modified to fit into a Horsa glider.
The steering wheel was made detachable. The front bumper had the left side cut short back to the chassis brackets, with the opposite side often shortened to maintain symmetry. The remaining bumper was reinforced and a towing hook was added for towing or pushing.
The handles and other additional equipment that protruded beyond the body of the Jeep side were removed. The right footboard was removed to easy the entry and exit out of the Horsa. Tool brackets were moved to the front bumper. The jerry can mounting was moved from the rear to a position between the two front seats. A further two mountings were positioned behind the front seats.
The Reconnaissance Squadron often positioned their spare wheel over their radiator grill to prevent shrapnel damage, but this could lead to over heating and wasn’t always adopted. They also added a Vickers K gun mount to the upper part of the dashboard.
Stretcher brackets were also fitted to the hood and rear of the Jeeps. A variety of other straps and fittings could be added to carry additional ammunition, cable drums, stowage bins, batteries for radios, radios, and even generators for charging the batteries.
On D-Day British Airborne jeeps were green without disruptive camouflage. The War Department registration number, which began with a ’M’, was hand painted or stencilled on the side of the bonnet and the rear of the vehicle in pale blue.
The division sign, Bellerophone riding a Pegasus, was displayed on the front and rear. Tactical signs used by units were sometimes painted on the bumpers or square plates.
For air recognition the Allied white five-pointed star in a circle was painted on the hood/bonnet usually with a smaller white star on each side of the jeep above the rear side reflector. The usual yellow circular bridge classification plate was mounted on the front, usually over the passenger side headlamp. The weight classification in tons was painted on in black. Jeeps were usually classified 3, though some historical photographs show 2.
In Flames Of War
The Jeep is a fast and light cross-country vehicle and can be used with the following British Airborne platoons from Overlord.
Airlanding Anti-tank Platoon, Airlanding Recce Platoon, and the Airlanding Battery, Royal Artillery.