Milton Ring, a WWII veteran, was speechless as he saw the 1942 Ford GPW Jeep, the same model he drove in service, pull up in front of him where he was standing near Smith Union. Ring’s wife and daughter were not silenced, however. Both shouted, “Doug set this up for you, Dad! You get to drive the jeep!”
When Doug Caplan, a junior at Bowdoin College, found out that Bowdoin chemistry lab instructor Rene Bernier had fixed up the same jeep model his grandfather drove, Caplan asked if Bernier would be willing to let Ring take a ride in it as a special surprise during Homecoming weekend. Bernier agreed and even offered to let Ring drive the vintage WWII jeep himself.
The last time Ring took the wheel of this type of jeep was 70 years ago, but he had no trouble maneuvering the vehicle around the circle. He took his hat off to wave it at passersby.
“[That] was a lot of fun,” Ring said, after he had disembarked. “I was a teenager then so it was the first convertible I had.”
Story and photos by Kiyomi Mino ’16