The lightweight and versatile Dodge half-ton 4x4 G505 WC series of trucks were built during 1941 and 1942. They were the first Dodge all-military design developed in the build-up to full mobilization for World War II. The various G505 models -- Pickup/Weapons Carrier, Panel, Command and Reconnaissance, Ambulance -- were carried over to the 3/4 ton G502 WC trucks that superseded the half-ton line in 1942.
Half-ton Command Cars in the final assembly operation section of the Dodge G505 assembly line, 1941 or 1942.
Today in WW II: 8 Mar 1941 US Senate passes the Lend-Lease Act [60-31]. More↓
The G505 family of 1/2 ton, 4x4 WC trucks built by Dodge contained 38 individual models, some produced by the thousands and other models with only a few ever manufactured. The WC 1/2 ton trucks replaced the 1940 VC-1 to VC-6 1/2 ton Dodge trucks, also contained in the G505 series.
All of the G505 WC half-ton 4x4 vehicles were produced during 1941-1942 under War Department contracts, for a total of 79,771 trucks. While very successful, the 1/2 ton WC trucks were superseded in 1942 by the 3/4 ton G502 WC trucks, also from Dodge. The 1/2 ton WC G505 trucks remained in use to the end of World War II, 80% interchangeable in service parts with the 3/4 ton models.
The Dodge 1/2 ton model numbers range from WC-1 to WC-50 with differences in body type, engine, winch provisioning, and other details as shown in the table. For photos and more information on the specific truck, click on the link in the table. Although often put forward as the explanation, WC does not stand for "weapons carrier." "WC" was a Dodge model code: W for 1941 (or later) plus C for half-ton rating. The "C" code was retained for the 3/4 ton and 1 1/2 ton Dodges, an inconsistency in the codes.
The many Dodge 1/2 ton 4x4 WC-series trucks were grouped under engineering codes such as T-207 or T-211. The codes identified the engine used and other small production details. Here is a chart of the G505 Engineering Codes:
WC36 to 39 & WC47 to 50
4x2 trucks, fuel filler at low rear of driver door. Also Canadian.
Civilian dash, Bendix-Weiss front axles
Civilian dash, Larger rear brakes, Bendix-Weiss or Rzeppa front axles
WC21 to 27 & WC40 to 43
Military dash, Larger rear brakes, Bendix-Weiss or Rzeppa front axles
The T211 engine was increased to 230.2 cu. in. during August 1941, but the T code number was not changed on affected models (e.g. WC-18). Data from John Zentmyer, Albert Williams (Army Motors #23), and other sources.
The trucks were produced under War Department contracts which specified the serial numbers and U.S. Government registration numbers (Army hood number) of the vehicles produced. Therefore, if you have the serial or hood number you can say definitely what WC model you have. Without one of the numbers, it can be very hard to distinguish one from another of the same body type if all you have is a photograph.
Common specifications for the Dodge G505 series WC trucks:
Wheelbase: 116 in
Track width: 59.375 in
Engine: 6 cyl, in-line, L-head
Transmission: 4fwd/1rev, manual
Transfer cas: Single speed
A few exceptions: The WC9/WC18/WC27 Ambulances and WC20/WC41 Emergency Repair Trucks had 123 in. wheelbase.
The December 1943 edition of the Dodge Master Parts List ORD SNL G-657, a book of more than 600 pages, lists all parts for all of the 1/2 ton G505 and other Dodge trucks. This book replaced an earlier volume TM 10-1199 from 1942. Information in the following table is extracted from ORD SNL G-657.
Production quantities are the sum of all contracts during 1941 and 1942 for the specific model.
Dodge Half-ton WC G505 Body Manufacturers and Tags
The variety of body styles for the Dodge half-ton 4x4 WC G505 series trucks were produced by subcontractors and assembled by Dodge:
Budd: Cargo and Reconnaissance Car
GarWood: Dump truck
Highway Trailer Co: Cab and Telephone Installation bodies
Wayne Works: Ambulance
Vehicles with winches had longer frames than non-winch vehicles with mounting points for the winch at the front. The Braden MU winch was used.
The body type was encoded in a tag that can be found under the hood (open cab) or on the passenger door pillar (closed cab). The first two numbers of the body tag code will be the year (for example, 41 for 1941), followed by a two digit code for the body type:
10 = Flat face cab
12 = Closed cab
19 = Command recon
29 = Radio recon
39 = Ambulance
49 = Carryall
62 = Closed cab
66 = Express body transverse seats
76 = Express body, no seats
90 = Flat face cowl, bucket seats
Body code information from Army Motors #47.
Dodge Half-ton WC G505 Manuals
This is a partial list of the manuals for the Dodge 1/2 ton 4x4 WC G505 trucks and related equipment.
D-xxxx Parts lists for individual models (large number of these with 4 or 5 digits after the D)
D-9236, 1940, Instruction Manual, Dodge Trucks Built for United States Army, (Models VC-1, VC-2, VC-3 VC-5 and VC-6)
TM10-1120, 24 Jul 1941. Parts List, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge.
TM10-1122, 24 Jul 1941. Parts List, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge, C1
TM10-1194, 17 Sep 1941. Parts List, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge (Models VC-1 and VC-5).
TM10-1198, 28 Jul 1941. Parts List, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge (Models WC4-USA and WC6-USA through WC11-USA).
TM10-1199, May 1942. Master Parts List covering Dodge trucks built for United States Army.
TM10-1200, 16 Aug 1941. Parts List for Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge (Models WC2 through WC20).
TM10-1201, 28 Jul 1941, Instruction Manual, Dodge Trucks, 1/2-ton, 4x4, Chassis Built for U. S. Army, C1.
TM10-1368, 15 Dec 1941. Parts List, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge.
TM10-1416, 2 Feb 1942. Parts List for Truck, 1/2-Ton 4x4, Dodge (Model WC-42)
TM10-1417, 2 Feb 1942. Maintenance Manual, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge (Model WC-42).
TM10-1442, 15 Feb 1942. Parts List, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge (Models WC-21,23,24,25,26, 27,41).
TM10-1443, 20 Feb 1942. Maintenance Manual, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge.
TM10-1444, 2 Mar 1942. Parts List, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge.
TM10-1445, 15 Mar 1942. Maintenance Manual, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge.
ORD 8 SNL G505 Parts List, Truck, 1/2 Ton, 4x4, Dodge
SNL G657, Dec 1943. Master Parts List covering Dodge trucks built for United States Army.
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