Old Sarge and His Jeep – Bill Mauldin


Used with permission from Stars and Stripes®, ©Stars and Stripes 2003.

Bill Mauldin captured World War II from the GIs perspective down in the mud and combat instead of the “big picture” as envisioned by senior officers and world leaders. The cartoon above speaks volumes about the love many GIs had for their jeeps. It shows an old cavalry sergeant preparing to dispatch his trusty steed. American cavalry units were equipped with horses as late as 1942. Horses that broke a leg would have to be dispatched in a similar manner. Cavalry units were re-equipped with steeds of steel. One was the jeep which included the pre-standardized Bantam BRC,Ford GP and the Willys MA as well as the standardized jeeps —Willys MB and Ford GPW

Many jeep collectors today understand the closeness of the cavalry sergeant to his mount. They work painstakingly to return the jeep to a drivable condition and some even complete factory restorations. The vehicle is revered as much today as it was during WW2 as exemplified in Bill Mauldin’s cartoon.

In 2002 Stars and Stripes® paid tribute to Bill Mauldin’s work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that you can view it online any longer. However, you can find the jeep in a number of his cartoons in books that are still available.