Last week, the story about war games in Pierz in 1940 brought us to Camp Ripley. It's a "background" place for Morrison County--we all know a few men who trained there over the years. It's "always" been there, along the river, home of the National Guard in Minnesota.
With that, Larry asked how far Pierz was from Camp Ripley...did I know the name Minneapolis Moline and did I know there was a connection between it, Camp Ripley, and the Jeep military vehicle? (He's always a few pages ahead of me in the research book ☺).
Well, I knew Minneapolis Moline (MM) made farm tractors...and ya know, farm stuff. Turns out that before the U.S. got into WWII, there was a sort of competition among manufacturers to build the newest kinds of military equipment. One 'need' was a sort of all purpose vehicle. That summer of 1940, MM had a prototype ready, and displayed it at Camp Ripley. (No, you're right--it doesn't look anything like a Jeep. More like a.... manure spreader?)
The MM-UTX Jeep
There's a lot more history of the actual Jeep at the link, but isn't it cool to know Minnesota played a part in it's development?
Oh, by the way, the cartoon Jeep ate only orchids--watch: