The US Army had a code of regulations for all vehicles, supplies, equipment, and clothing, outlining each item’s markings. The AR 850-5 was their fundamental manuscript, but it’s clear from photographs over time that these standards were not always adhered to. Initially, the vehicles received a lusterless finish in olive drab with markings in blue drab.
Shortly after this implementation, white markings rolled out and became identification. Ahead is a quick guide to jeep hood numbers in the military and their paint designations!
The military specified two contrasting colors for visibility in black and white photographs. With the original use of an olive drab finish and blue drab markings, the identification process in photos was challenging. In February 1945, the official color marking changed to a flat white, and the blue drab saw its final days.
The Hood Markings
All jeeps received a prefix marking of 20. This specific number meant reconnaissance, and each number following was that specific vehicle’s registration number. The first 99,999 vehicles received a five-digit marking, and any jeeps after that received a six-digit marking.
Space permitting, each number was 3" in size on both sides of the hood. If the vehicle carried a radio, the letter S followed the number series and marked the vehicle as “suppressed.” A USA marking went before or after the registration number, depending on available space.
A 15" white paint star covered most of the surface on the top of the hood. Sometimes, a broken circle went around the star, referred to as the “invasion star.” This variation popped up in WWII to distinguish the vehicles newly entering combat zones from those that were already present in the area.
Various Other Markings
The WWII-era jeep also had other markings that called out tire pressure, no smoking, and caution warnings. The marking “T.P.35” indicated tire pressure and sometimes went on the dashboard, inside the window, or in the wheel well (above the tire and below the fender).
The non-smoking markings were informal, and the caution warnings placed above the gas tank fill location were typically there to avoid overfilling.
Hopefully, this quick guide to jeep hood numbers in the military showcases some of the vital components of original vehicles and helps your restoration process. If your military vehicle’s marking deteriorates, utilizing GCI paint in your restoration process will provide proper restoration in color, finish, and vibrancy. To learn more about paint designations and markings, contact Army Jeep Parts today!