How a Jeep Paint Color Helped Protect Soldiers in WW2

The history of the Jeep is a vast and interesting one.  A vehicle doesn’t exist in one form or another for over 75 years and not build up some interesting facts and stories along the way.  This latest one comes from Jalopnik about how a paint job the Jeep had during the war was there to help protect soldiers.

The Jeep of WW2 typically featured a star known as the “invasion star.”  It was on the roof of the old Jeeps and in some cases, the star would be surrounded by brown paint.  It turns out that the brown paint was not a stylistic choice, but one made in hope of protecting the soldiers from chemical attacks.

“The paint’s purpose was to protect against chemical weapons attacks.  It’s called “M5 liquid vesicant detector paint””

The paint worked as a warning for the soldiers in the Jeep.  If the paint went from brown to red, that meant the soldiers were in danger of a chemical attack.  It was placed on the roof of the Jeep to be easily observed.

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Jeep Restores WW2 Jeep in Honor of Memorial Day


There are few vehicles with as rich of a military history as the Jeep. Its birth was to aid with the war effort during World War 2 and the image of soldiers driving one, filled with officers, or supplies, is the iconic imagery of the war. If there is one vehicle to celebrate Memorial Day and to celebrate those that service, Jeep is the one that makes the most sense. For that reason, workers at the Toledo plant have refurbished an old 1942 Jeep.

Chrysler Toledo Assembly Complex managed to restore a Willys Military Jeep from 1942. It was worked on by the employes and then unveiled during a special ceremony where the Jeep rested under a Jeep signed dedicated to the troops on Expressway Drive in north Toledo.

The Jeep was designed to be the new “work-horse” of the military in a time when technology was replacing many aspects of the military. Jeep has always had a good relationship with the military and is making sure to honor the troops this memorial day.

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