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IH M-2-4 One Ton 4x4 Cargo Truck

The International Harvester M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Truck was produced for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps starting in 1941, replacing the very similar IH M-1-4 1/2 Ton 4x4 Cargo Truck. A total of about 10,500 were built, both with and w/o PTO winches. These trucks are powered by the International GRD-233C 6 cyl, 93hp engine mated to the H-41 4-speed transmission and 2-speed transfer case.

The M-2-4 vehicle had no cab, only a folding one-piece windshield. The rear area had removable, transverse cargo seats and a kit was provided with top bows and canvas. The rear canvas also had a flap that extended to the windshield to provide a rain fly for the two forward bucket seats.

The M-2-4 One Ton 4x4 Cargo Truck is equipped with both lifting rings and tow hooks, visible in some of the photos. A tool box is mounted on the left side, behind the end of the running board. A spare tire mounts to the cargo box, vertically on the right side.

Many variations have been noted. Some early production models had closed civilian cabs and civilian instruments. The front bumper may be a simple rectangular shape or may have a rectangular notch on the lower edge, center (perhaps related to the winch?). The brush guard may have a center section plus wings to protect the fender mounted lights, with a small step between them at the top, as in the second photo below. Alternatively, the brush guard may have a smooth curve across the top, including the lights sections, as in the bottom photo below. Vintage photos show both single windshield wiper arms and dual arms. Rear wheels may be single or duals. To help distinguish from other similar trucks, there are 18 or 20 louvers on each side of the engine compartment and the radiator cap is offset to the passenger side. The spare tire on the M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Truck was mounted lower than on the M-1-4 Half Ton truck.

International also produced a stretched variant, the 1.5 ton M-3-6. That truck is quite similar to the M-2-4 but has two rear axles, making it a 6x6. Only a very small number of M-3-6 trucks were manufactured.

Use this link to download the Instruction Manual and Lubrication Chart for International Harvester M-1-4-214 and M-2-4-233 4x4 trucks. File is 21MB in PDF format. (Thanks to Bob Friendship, North Devon, UK, for this contribution.)

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the International Harvester M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Truck at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

International Harvester IH M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942.
USMC motor transport specialist inspects tires and wheels on an International Harvester IH M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Truck, Marine barracks, New River, NC, May 1942.
From launching platforms mounted on IH M-2-4 one ton 4x4 trucks, Marine crews fire a hail of rockets at Japanese positions on a Saipan ridge, 24 June 1944.  Note the Leathernecks crouched over the release controls at the forward end of the trucks. The accuracy of this weapon has been greatly improved and it is now used in all war theaters.  NOTE TO EDITORS: These are the first pictures to be released showing Marines using land based rockets in the Pacific theater.
USMC International Harvester IH M-2-4 One Ton 4x4 Cargo Truck, with driver, passenger, and troops on transverse seats, USMC base, New River, NC, May 1942.
IH one ton 4x4 M-2-4 being towed by a wrecker.  US Navy photo from ewarbirds.org
USMC truck, Marine barracks, New River, NC, May 1942.  Vehicle is probably IH M-2-4 One Ton 4x4 Cargo Truck.

IH M-2-4 One Ton 4x4 Cargo Truck Characteristics

Weight, gross8020 lbs.
Weight, net5820 lbs.
Length197 in.
Width84.5 in.
Height89 in.
Tires9.00x16
Max speed45 mph
Fuel tank35 gal.
Range260 mi.
Electrical6 volts

Military trucks produced by International Harvester in the World War II era used a three part model number: M for Military, a second number indicating how many half-tons of off-road capacity, and a third number indicating the number of driven wheels. Example: M-2-4 is a one-ton model, 4x4. In some cases, an additional letter was inserted to further specify the model.

IH M-2-4 Photo Gallerey

M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942
M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942.

M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942
M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942.

M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942.  Note open engine compartment with centerline hinged cover
M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942. Note open engine compartment with centerline hinged cover.

M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, in a convoy near New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942.  Note dual tires on rear axle
M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, in a convoy near New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942. Note dual tires on rear axle.

M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942.  Note the offset radiator cap, 18 louvers on the engine compartment, and the low-mounted spare (hard to see through the windshield)
M-2-4 One Ton Cargo Trucks, New River Marine Base, NC, May 1942. Note the offset radiator cap, 18 louvers on the engine compartment, and the low-mounted spare (hard to see through the windshield).

Truck, 1 ton, 4x4. USMC and Navy 1944 (International Harvester M-2-4)
Photo: Courtesy David Cirillo
Truck, 1 ton, 4x4. USMC and Navy 1944 (International Harvester M-2-4) Photo: Courtesy David Cirillo.

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