Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 GS, jeep : Australian Army Military History Section

Unit Military History Section
Places
Accession Number RELAWM31402.001
Collection type Technology
Object type Vehicle
Physical description Glass, Steel
Location Main Bld: World War 2 Gallery: Gallery 4: Borneo
Place made United States of America: Michigan, Wayne County, Dearborn
Date made 1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Description

Truck 1/4 ton 4x4 general service Jeep. This 'Borneo jeep' is painted green with the Australian Army registration number, 161881 stencilled on the bonnet sides. It has the serial number 222713. The vehicle has been fitted with flanged railway wheels to represent Australian light railway operations in North Borneo during 1945.

History / Summary

DESCRIPTION: BORNEO JEEP. WHEN THE BRITISH NORTH BORNEO RAILWAY WAS CAPTURED FROM THE JAPANESE DURING THE NORTH BORNEO OPERATIONS IT WAS FOUND THAT, DUE TO NEGLECT AND THE RAVAGES OF WAR, THE ROLLING STOCK WAS IN A PITIFUL CONDITION. THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ENGINEERS SET ABOUT REPAIRING THE PERMANENT WAY AND THE DAMAGED BRIDGES AND, AT THE SAME TIME, THE AUSTRALIAN ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS TACKLED THE JOB OF GETTING THE LOCOMOTIVES AND ROLLING STOCK IN SERVICEABLE CONDITION. ROLLING STOCK HAD FIRST PRIORITY AND, UNTIL THE TRACK WAS REPAIRED SUFFICIENTLY TO CARRY LOCOMOTIVES, FLANGED WHEELS WERE TAKEN FROM CAPTURED JAPANESE VEHICLES AND FITTED TO JEEPS. THESE BECAME THE EARLY LOCOMOTIVES AND WERE USED TO PULL ONE FLAT OR COVERED GOODS VAN. LATER ON A REGULAR SERVICE CAME INTO OPERATION WITH STEAM LOCOMOTIVES, AND THE SERVICE WAS SUPPLEMENTED BY RAIL MOTORS AND JEEPS. THE USE OF THE RAILWAYS WAS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE SUCCESS OF THE OPERATIONS IN NORTH BORNEO. A PAINTING OF THE JEEP RAILWAY TERMINUS AT WESTON IS ON DISPLAY IN NO. 16 GALLERY. THE RAILWAY GAINED FAME AND WAS FAMILIAR TO ALL TROOPS IN THE 24 AUST. INF. BDE GROUP, AND THE BUTT OF MUCH GOOD- HUMOURED COMMENT.

THE NUMBER OF THE JEEP ORIGNALLY IN THE AWM COLLECTION WASIS 145508 AND FOR CONVENIENCE IT WAS FITTED WITH ORTHODOX WHEELS FOR MOVEMENT TO SYDNEY, THE FLANGED WHEELS BEING PACKED SEPARATELY. IT WAS INTENDED THAT THE JEEP SHOULD BE DISPLAYED ON RAILS WITH A STATION BACKGROUND AND PHOTOGRAPHS WERE TAKEN OF STATIONS WITH THIS END IN VIEW.SOME 16500 JEEPS WERE SUPPLIED TO AUSTRALIAN FORCES. THIS VEHICLE (E/N,C/N 222713) WAS ASSIGNED ARN 161881 AND TAKEN ON CHARGE IN NSW. IT ORIGINALLY CARRIED US ARMY NO. 20586452.

JEEP 145508 WAS APPARENTLY DISPOSED OF FROM THE COLLECTION. THE CURRENT VEHICLE 161881 HAS BEEN FITTED WITH THE RAILWAY WHEELS FOR DISPLAY PURPOSES.FILE NUMBER: 748/3/52. (STORAGE NOTES: ) VEHICLE 145508 ORIGINALLY BELONGED TO 2/43 INF.BN. (SEE FOLIOS 18,20,22 AWM 748/003/052).RELIC SHIPPED PER RIVER CLARENCE ON 4 JAN 1946, BY NO 9 MH TEAM EX NORTH BORNEO FOR MHS SYDNEY.(SEE FOLIOS 73 AND 97, AWM FILE 743/001/042). RELIC FORWARDED BY MHS SYDNEY TO AWM BY ROAD TRANSPORT ON 26 AUG 1953. MHS SYDNEY CASE NO S114. (SEE FOLIO 35, AWM FILE 748/003/052). SEE ALSO RELAWM'S 31402.002 (FLANGED WHEELS), AND RELAWM35681 (SIGNBOARD "KIMANIS RAILWAY STATION") Powerplant: 4 cylinder petrol, 60hp.