Historic Ford Jeep on Display at Bowman Military Festival

Bowman Field, established in 1920, has the distinction of being one of the longest continuously operating commercial airport in the United States.

Louisville’s historic Bowman Field hosted the fourth annual Bowman Field Aviation & Military Heritage Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6 and Ford Louisville Assembly was proud to be a part of the celebration.

The event featured more than 30 vintage aircraft and warplanes on display, vintage airplane rides (C-45, B-25 and the Ford Tri Motor), vintage cars, motorcycles, military vehicles, community exhibitors and historical re-enactors, past war anniversary exhibits and more.

A rare, 1943 LAP-built Ford GPW (jeep) owned by Ford retiree Mario Maipid was also on display in the Curtiss Flying Service Hangar at the event. Accompanied by newspaper clippings, archival photos and related memorabilia, the traveling display detailed the timeline of the vehicle's production and service in the battle of Guam during the Pacific War of WWII.

Maipid, who personally drives the jeep to shows and events around the region, purchased the vehicle in 2014 from the family of its previous owner, a WWII Navy Veteran who also drove the vehicle on the battlefield during the Pacific conflict at Guam. Shortly after the purchase, Maipid performed a full (numbers matching) restoration and has displayed his jeep at numerous local events and military shows for the last few years.

"I want to educate the public about Ford's contributions to the war efforts," said Maipid in an interview."This Jeep is an example and testimant to the hard work and dedication of the employees at Louisville Assembly that helped set the standard of built Ford tough."

Louisville Assembly produced almost 100,000 of the 277,000+ Ford-built GPW Jeeps at its Southwestern Parkway location starting in 1942 until Ford’s contract with the government expired in July 1945 as part of the war effort. Jeeps were used by every division of the American military, with over 140 jeeps provided to every infantry regiment in the Army. After WWII, the original jeep continued to serve, in the Korean War and other conflicts, until it received a complete redesign by Ford in the form of the 1960-introduced M151 jeep.

The success of the jeep made it "one of the most influential designs in automotive history," according to The American Enterprise Institute, and it inspired all new categories of recreational 4WDs and SUVs, making "four-wheel drive" a household term.

In case you missed this year’s Festival, Maipid and his ’43 Ford Jeep Willy will be on display at LAP’s annual Veteran’s Appreciation Celebration next month. Details of the event will be published at a later date.

Historic Ford Jeep on Display at Bowman Military Festival

Louisville’s historic Bowman Field played hosted to the fourth annual Bowman Field Aviation & Military Heritage Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6 and Ford Louisville Assembly was proud to be a part of the celebration.

Go to top