You are headed down a path full of stumbling blocks. The largest block is color ID. This can only be done by comparing paint chip cards. Computer screen reproductions of any color are inaccurate. The paint chip code cards are available from the government agencies that control them and from most dealers when addressing their own paint versions. WWII paint chip code decks were issued by each of the services. Post WWII paint code chip card decks moved under GSA's control resulting in the newer 4 digit codes that appeared in 1948. These led to the several issues of the FS 595 standard card decks. You should order a FS595 current card deck and a 1948 4 digit card deck and stick with those colors for your research.
The Military vehicle procurement system changed considerably after WWII when the War Dept and Dept of the Navy combined to form the Dept. of Defense in 1948. The Army was designated primary procurement service for all branches of the military for all Tactical Military Vehicles. Thus the Army Ordnance Command issued all Tactical vehicle procurement contracts for DOD from 1948 thru 1953. Simply put the procurement contracts for all the M38's showed only one paint code. OD 2430 from TT-C-595 standard published Jan 1950 was to be applied using a flattened version for primer coat and an unflattened semi-gloss version as a top coat. Navy, USAF and Marine M38's were then repainted in the field by the gaining service branch. Navy Grey 16081, Marine Forest Green 24052 and USAF Strata Blue 24045. Also 1953 ushered in the GSA's FS 595 5 digit code system. The Army adopted 24087 in 53/54 and from then on their field repaints of OD2430 jeeps used 24087.
23070 is not an official Federal Standard Paint Code. It is a privately developed Gillespie code used to allow Gillespie to compete with another vendors rendition of "Late WWII OD". Gillespie named it's version 23070. My advice is to stay away from commercial references or make sure you always secure them in a commercial file so they cannot be confused with actual Fed Std. specs.
Joined: Jun 27, 2021 Posts: 6 Location: Carthage, North Carolina
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:21 pm Post subject:
Thank you for sharing that info.
Based on researching, the factory color of the M38 was 2430, which is no longer made, and, several manufacturers have tried to match, with various results, giving us KW 2430, 319, 23070 and the luster less 33070. I have this shade under layers of paint.
I also gather that most, if not all M38 received a field paint job using now an updated 5 digit color, the much darker and browner shade of OD green, 24087. I have this shade on top of the 2430.
But here is where my confusion comes in:
My jeep clearly has both colors in layers, but also has a top coat of the Marine Forest Green, 24052. Or at least something very similar. I base this upon comparing paint chip sets purchased from quarter ton military, and their brands of Gillespie paints.
The body ID tag behind the passenger seat was painted over with this paint, so it is likely that a civilian painted it with whatever shade of green they had on the shelf. I’m not sure how incorrect it would be to paint the M38 the marine Forrest green, 24052? It appears to be a nice shade of OD….
The jeep (68648), was purchased by the last owner in 1973, I am not sure if it directly came from the military. Fort Bragg, NC is 30 minutes away from us. Previous owner used the jeep on his farm, and they were local. They then painted it blue.
You mentioned some units were painted Marine Forrest Green. Could my 68648, hood # 20943745 have been one of them?
The easiest way to tell if your M38 belonged to the USMC is the data plate on the dash at the lower left corner. Called the "Responsible Agency Plate". Up til 1952 the US Army Ordnance Dept. was primary procurement agency for all tactical military vehicles. M38's procured for the Army and USAF were ID'd by a Responsible Agency Plate that showed procurement by US Army Ordnance Dept and depot maint. by US Army Ordnance Dept. USMC & US Navy M38's showed US Army Ordnance Dept in the procurement block and USN or USMC in the Depot Maint. Block. For some reason the USAF ignored this plate and just added their own "Property of USAF" plate.
My USAF M38 had the Gas Heater Kit which uses up the dash space where the data plates were. The kit instructions direct the plates be relocated to the kit's add-on defroster duct.
The odd diamond shaped plate on the far left is the jeep's USAF Property Tag.
As already mentioned the Marines usually processed all M38's thru either the Barstow, CA or Albany, GA Vehicle Depots for addition of USMC equipment such as undercoating and positraction diffs.
The Marines added different lifting shackle setups to the M38A1 & M170. Not the M38.
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