Armored M606 Jeeps


Philippines, 1970

Philippines, 1970Leif Hellström found this photo in The Observer's Military Vehicles Directory by Bart Vanderveen (1972). According to the text, "Sixty U.S. 1/4-ton 4x4 M606 Jeep trucks, supplied through the Military Assistance Program, were fitted with armour plating and .30-cal MG's by the Armed Forces of the Philippines research and development division in 1970. Used by Philippine Constabulary."

The fact that this is the only photo which has turned up showing these conversions, is surprising, particularly if there were sixty of them. But Leif comments, "They look pretty overweight to me, so I guess they didn't last long."

They are certainly the most heavily armored Jeeps I have run across. Rather than simply adding some sections of steel plate to protect personnel riding inside, the bodies are almost completely covered with armor. The hood latches are accessible, and apparently the hood is exposed from above and can be opened. There are hinged armored doors, and the steel plating appears to slope down from there toward the rear.

If the modifications were done by the AFP in 1970 as Vanderveen states, the armored M606 Jeeps were presumably among the last CJ-3Bs built. Production figures suggest nearly 1,500 were built in 1968, and although the ones on our list of Surviving CJ-3B Jeeps are all in South America, it seems likely that some would have been delivered to U.S. allies elsewhere.

Philippines, 1970The year 1970 does seem to be a likely time for authorities in the Philippines to have been deploying a light armored vehicle. The Marcos government, facing a Communist insurgency, was moving to introduce martial law and amend the constitution to allow Ferdinand Marcos to become dictator. Open resistance erupted in early 1970 in the form of student protests which became known as the "First Quarter Storm." (Wikipedia)

This photo shows police in Manila trying to arrest students taking refuge in a Jeepney during the first large protest on 26 January 1970. Photo courtesy of the First Quarter Storm Library.

Philippines, 1970This burned-out Jeep was part of the aftermath of rioting outside the Presidential palace in Manila on 30 January 1970 -- probably a military or police vehicle. Photo courtesy of the First Quarter Storm Library.

There must also be more photos of the armored M606s in the Philippines -- it's something to keep an eye open for.

Other Armor Examples

WambaOur September 2013 cover photo showed two CJ-3Bs preparing for an operation by mercenaries in the Congo in 1965. Both have some steel plate in place of the windshield, and over the radiator. The Jeep painted in camouflage carries twin MG's behind bulletproof glass. (See more examples in Military Jeeps in the Congo on CJ3B.info.)

The Portuguese Army also added steel plate to some of its Jeeps in Angola in the 1960s. (See Army Adapts to Guerilla War on CJ3B.info)

Armor kitThe U.S. Army documented an "Armor Adaptation Kit" in its manual for the Mitsubishi CJ3B-J4. I haven't seen any photos of this kit being used in the field.

Armored windshieldA more sophisticated, locally-made armored windshield on a Mitsubishi CJ3B-J4C of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, was photographed in Saigon on 13 September 1964 during the suppression of a coup d'etat by Lt. General Ngnyen Khanh.

See also pages of CJ-3B Jeeps in Vietnam on CJ3B.info.

Thanks to Leif Hellström for finding the 1970 photo. More information on those Jeeps in the Philippines is welcome. -- Derek Redmond

See more M606 Military Jeeps on CJ3B.info.

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Last updated 23 September 2016 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond