Willy the Jeep
“Willy the Jeep” and the entire “Jeep-a-Week” program is a tribute to the people of Stockton and their unique Home Front contributions during World War II. Through a partnership between Stockton High School and the Port of Stockton—the largest vehicle consignment center in the US during the war—the school’s students and faculty set out to raise funds to purchase jeeps for the armed forces.
From January 1943 to September 1945 they raised today’s equivalent of $3 million today to purchase a fleet of 275 jeeps, each bearing a small plaque on its dash acknowledging the school’s contribution and requesting information on the vehicle’s status. Throughout the war, Stockton High received letters from grateful service men and women thanking the school for their support and providing updates on the vehicles. In the late 1970s, one of the Stockton High jeeps found a new home here at the Haggin, and in 2006 “Willy” was restored to his original 1944 glory.