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Long Range Desert Group (LRDG)/

Special Air Services (SAS) Willys MB Jeep

SAS Willys MB Jeep


Statistics

Country of Origin/Used by: Great Britain
First Produced/Service Dates: 1942
Manufactured by: Willys-Overland Motors* with unit modifications
Crew: 2-3
Armament: Multiple armament packages were fitted to vehicles depending on the unit, mission and/or specific vehicle's role/function. Weapons that were mounted included .50 cal Heavy Machine Gun (aircraft), single or double mounted .303 Vickers "K" MG's (air) and in a few cases the .303 BREN MG (seen in N.W. Europe).
Engine: 4 Cylinder
Miscellaneous Info: Based upon the Willys MB 1/4 ton Jeep, these special operations vehicles were used by the British Special Air Service (SAS), Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) and Popski's Private Army (PPA) during World War Two.

Typical basic vehicle modifications (depending on unit) were the fitting of sand tires, condenser cooling systems, cut down radiator grating, addition of sand channels, the mounting of extra petrol and water cans and the famous Bagnold sun compass.

* Although most references and photographs indicate that British Special Forces Jeeps were supplied solely by Willys, there's at least one photograph identifying a French SAS Battalion operating in N.W. Europe (circa December 1944) while using a Ford GPW Jeep. 
Data Sheet Available:  None Available

Photos

Reference Source/Provider
  LRDG Willys MB Jeep Photos Imperial War Museum
LRDG Willys MB Jeep Photo Erik Johansen - South Shields, Tyne & Wear UK
LRDG & SAS Willys MB Jeep Photos (2006) Ian Sadler - UK
PPA Willys MB Jeep Photo (with Major Vladamir "Popski" Peniakoff) Imperial War Museum
SAS Willys MB Jeep Photos Mark Aldrich - IPMS/USA Tacoma Green Dragons (Washington)
  SAS Willys MB Jeep Photo Dave Haugh - Content Editor
SAS Willys MB Jeep Photos Imperial War Museum
  SAS Willys MB Jeep Photo (in N.W. Europe) Imperial War Museum
    SAS Willys MB Jeep Photos Erik Johansen
      Bagnold Sun Compass Imperial War Museum
  .303 Vickers "K" Machine Gun Imperial War Museum

References Available

Online

Reference Source/Provider
LRDG Jeep Pilot Vehicle Information and Photos Long Range Desert Group - Germany
LRDG Jeep Pilot Vehicle Information and Photos Long Range Desert Group Preservation Society, The
LRDG Jeep Pilot Vehicle Information and Photos LRDG, Long Range Desert Group: 1940-1943
LRDG Jeep Pilot Vehicle Information and Photos Andy's French Military Jeep Site
LRDG Jeep Pilot Vehicle Photos Toadman's Tank Pictures

Printed

Reference Author

"British Jeeps" (May 2010 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine)

Geoff Fletcher
"Desert Raiders and Their Gun Jeeps" (November 2010 Issue of Model Military International Magazine) Tobias Gibson
Desert Raiders: Axis and Allied Special Forces (1940-1943) - Osprey Battle Orders #23 Andrea Molinari
"Desert Song" (March 2013 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine) John Carroll

"Jeeps In Camera (WW2 SAS Fighting Jeeps)" (February 2008 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine)

Mark Askew
"Jeep Rebuild (Part 1)" (September 2013 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine) Ian Young
"Jeep Rebuild (Part 2)" (October 2013 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine) Ian Young
"Jeep Rebuild (Part 3)" (November 2013 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine) Ian Young
"Jeep Rebuild (Part 4)" (December 2013 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine) Ian Young
Long Range Desert Group, The: 1940-1945 (Osprey Publishing, New Vanguard 32) Robin Jenner & David List
Long Range Desert Group Patrolmen: The Western Desert - 1940-43  (Osprey Publishing, Warrior 148) Tim Moreman

Hobby Modeling

Kits and Accessories

Kit Manufacturer Scale Other Information
SAS 4x4 Desert Raider Jeep w/.50cal M2 Machine Gun (6681) Dragon/Cyberhobby 1/35 Injection Molded Plastic.  Limited Production.
SAS 1/4 Ton 4x4 (Jeep) Commander's Patrol Car Model Kit (6724) Dragon Models 1/35 Injection Molded Plastic.
SAS 1/4 Ton 4x4 (Jeep) Patrol Car with Crew Model Kit (6745) Dragon Models 1/35 Injection Molded Plastic.
SAS Raider 1/4 Ton 4x4 Truck (Jeep) ETO 1944 Model Kit & 2nd SAS Regiment Figure Set (6725) Dragon Models 1/35 Injection Molded Plastic.
Willys SAS/ Commando Jeep Kit (320) Italeri 1/35 Plastic.  Older kit, but still can be made into nice model
SAS Jeep Kit Tamiya 1/35 Plastic.  Older kit, but still can be made into nice model
Jeep Kit (Contained in the "WWII US Infantry at Rest" Set - 32552) Tamiya 1/48 Injection Molded Plastic
       
Accessory/Aftermarket Set Manufacturer Scale Other Information
Willys Jeep Instruments & Placards

Review by Patrick Keenan

Archer Fine Transfers 1/35 Decals; Designed for Tamiya Kit.
SAS Jeep Conversion Set (North Africa - 1942) (T35014) Black Dog 1/35 Conversion for Tamiya Kit
SAS Jeep Conversion Set (North Africa - 1942) (T48043) Black Dog 1/48 Conversion for Tamiya Kit
SAS Jeep Conversion Set (Europe - 1944) (T48054) Black Dog 1/48 Conversion for Tamiya Kit
SAS Jeep Late European Conversion Calibre 35 1/35  
US Willys MB Jeep Wheel set (DW30004) DEF Model 1/35 Resin; For the newer release Tamiya Model kit.

Jeep Mirrors (357122)

Echelon Fine Details

1/35

For Tamiya Model Kits; "Peel and Stick" Series.

"Jeeps In North Africa"  (D356130) Echelon Fine Details 1/35 Decals.  Includes markings for a US Army Air Forces Correspondent Jeep in Tunisia as well as for British SAS Jeeps in North Africa. 
SAS Jeep Detail Set Eduard Accessories 1/35 For Tamiya Kit
SAS Jeep Conversion (LF1017) Legend Productions 1/35 Early Release or for Different Model Kit?

SAS Jeep Wheel Set (LF1232)

Legend Productions

1/35

Resin; For Tamiya Kit?

SAS Jeep Conversion Set: For Two Vehicles (LF1233)

Legend Productions

1/35

Resin; For Tamiya Kit?

Workable leaf springs for WWII Jeep (VMD35000)   Minor Model 1/35 Photo Etched Brass; For Tamiya Kit. This product is also offered with some of the other Minor stuff in combination sets
Willys Jeep Lense and Tailight Set (SKP141) SKP Model 1/35 Multi-Media; For Newer Tamiya Model kit
Ford GPW Jeep Lense and Tailight Set (SKP197) SKP Model 1/35 Multi-Media; For Bronco Model kit
Ford GPW Jeep Wheel Set (SKP241) SKP Model 1/35 Resin; For Bronco Model kit
Ford GPW Jeep Firestone Wheel Set (SKP246) SKP Model 1/35 Resin; For Bronco Model kit
SAS/LRDG Jeep Conversion Set #1 (DR01) Swash Designs 1/35 Multimedia; For Tamiya "Regular" Jeep Kit #35219
SAS/LRDG Jeep Conversion Set #2 (DR02) Swash Designs 1/35 Multimedia; For Tamiya "Regular" Jeep Kit #35219
SAS Jeep Detail Set Verlinden Productions 1/35 For Tamiya Kit
SAS Jeep (North Africa) Conversion Verlinden Productions 120mm  

Model Photos

Reference Source/Provider
SAS Jeep/ LRDG Chevrolet 30 cwt Truck Desert Diorama Photos John Staehle - Deming, New Mexixo USA