The life and rebirth of a 99th Battalion Jeep
When Roy Carlson of HQ Company arrived to England during the fall of 1943, he became a Jeep driver and was quickly assigned a Willy’s MB with hood number W-20328511. This jeep had been produced by Willy’s back in May 1943 and received the bumper markings 1A 99-I * HQ-18. Roy gave his Jeep the name “Hootin Annie” which was painted on above the back wheels.
“Hootin Annie” was part of the Anti-Tank Platoon of the HQ Company and received a M31 machine gun mount . It was normally armed with a Browning 50 caliber and occasionally with a 1919A4 30 Caliber machine gun. Bjarne Kvingedal was assigned as gunner on “Hootin Annie” and says that he spend the rest of the war sitting on that spare tire.
“Hootin Annie” took part in the invasion of Normandy, the invasion of Germany, and the Battle of the Bulge, and followed the HQ Company of the 99th Battalion throughout the war in Europe. She took part in many battles and was under enemy fire more than once. Always driven by Roy Carlson and with Bjarne Kvingedal behind the gun. Bjarne Kvingedal tells following story:
The incident I referred to at Wurselen. Roy was the driver of the Jeep when we buzzed back and forth on the street and a tank (German) shot at us but we got past a building and he hit the corner of the house. He must remember going back to a area I would say about 5 or 6 miles from the front and he was driving and my helmet came of and a German 88 had us in his sight. He got very upset because he had to stop for my helmet. I still don't know why we went back. I do remember we had some chow (food) and headed back to the front. I now remember how I must of looked to them. Dirty face, soiled clothes and a Tommy Gun slung over my shoulder. Chicago Gangster style.
2 days after the war in Europe ended, on May 10th 1945, a Sergeant borrowed “Hootin Annie” and never returned her. His explanation to Roy Carlson was that it was involved in an “accident” and completely destroyed.
“Hootin Annie” is also featured in the book “Company D” by John Kelly, where Roy Carlson has provided 3 photographs of this jeep.
The “New” “Hootin Annie” was purchased in June 2008. At that time it was unmarked. However, after the webmaster came in contact with both Roy Carlson and Bjarne Kvingedal of HQ Company, and the colorful story of this unique Jeep became known, it was clear that “Hootin Annie” again would fly the colors of the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate).
The new “Hootin Annie” is a Ford GPW delivered to the U.S. Army on February 9 1943. It usually has mounted a Browning M2HB 50 caliber or a 30 caliber Browning 1919A4 machine gun,. Otherwise marked in the same way as the original “Hootin Annie” It is frequently shown at car and military shows in South East Florida.
This jeep is “work in progress”, so keep coming back to this page for updated photos.