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WC54 Truck, 3/4 ton, 4x4 Ambulance Dodge

The 3/4 ton WC-54 Ambulance was manufactured by Dodge from 1942 through 1945, with bodywork by Wayne. It superseded the WC-9 / WC-18 / WC-27 Truck, 1/2 ton, 4x4 Dodge Ambulance (G505).

WC-54 3/4 ton 4x4 ambulances ready to be shipped overseas, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, VA, 26 February 1943.
WC-54 3/4 ton 4x4 ambulances ready to be shipped overseas, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, VA, 26 February 1943.

Today in WW II: 25 Oct 1943 American and New Zealand troops land at Mono and Stirling, Treasury Islands, south of Bougainville [25-27 Oct].  More 
25 Oct 1944 First operation by the Japanese Kamikaze Special Attack Force: 55 kamikazes strike 7 carriers and 40 other ships, sinking six, off Leyte, Philippines.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Samar [Leyte]: US Admiral Sprague skillfully prevents a loss to the stronger Japanese force under Japanese Admiral Kurita.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Cape Engaño (Leyte): lopsided naval battle resulting in the loss of most of Japanese Northern Force to US Admiral Halsey's carrier planes and battleships [25-26 Oct].
25 Oct 1944 Soviet Red Army enters Kirkenes, the first town in Norway to be liberated from the Germans.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

WC-54 Truck, 3/4 ton, 4x4 Ambulance Dodge (G502)

The WC-54 Truck, 3/4 ton, 4x4 Ambulance Dodge (G502) had a crew of 2 and a capacity of 4 casualties on litters or 6 casualties seated. Its payload was 1,800 pounds. The 4x4 vehicle rode on 8-ply tires on 16 inch wheels. The engine was the Dodge T214, in common with the other G502 3/4 ton Dodge trucks. With a net weight of 5,920 pounds and a gross weight of 7,720 pounds, the truck's maximum speed was 54 miles per hour.

Logistics officers complained about the high cubeage of this vehicle. As a result, in 1944 the WC54 was cancelled and replaced with the WC64 KD with a box back made of flat panels that could be quickly disassembled (KD = "knock down"). These trucks were superceded in the 1950s by the Dodge M-43 ambulance of the M-37 3/4 ton truck series, after the Korean War.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the WC-54 3/4 ton Ambulance at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

Although heavily riddled by enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire, an American WC-54 3/4-ton ambulance is used to evacuate United Nations casualties from a Korean battlefront, 6 October 1950.
The two flares (upper left) that this 8th AF Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress has just fired tell the waiting ambulance men that they must be ready when it lands to rush its wounded to the base hospital, England, circa 1944.  Ambulance is WC-54.
182nd Station Hospital, Italy, 1944.  Jeep and WC54 3/4-ton ambulance in front, CCKW in right side driveway.
WC-54 3/4-ton, 4x4 Dodge ambulances awaiting shipment to destination code BLOT, Pier 2, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, Newport News, VA, 27 February 1943.
Internees wounded in the taking of a prison camp at Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands, are loaded on stretchers prior to being placed in waiting WC-54 ambulances, circa 1945.  Background:  LVT amphibious tractors.
A column of Dodge WC-54 3/4-ton 4x4 ambulances on a road in Italy, circa 1944.

WC-54 3/4 ton Ambulance Photo Gallery

WC54 3/4 ton, 4x4 Dodge Ambulance at entrance to Pier 5, waiting for debarkation of wounded American soldiers from Tunisia, Newport News, VA, 29 May 1943.
WC54 3/4 ton, 4x4 Dodge Ambulance at entrance to Pier 5, waiting for debarkation of wounded American soldiers from Tunisia, Newport News, VA, 29 May 1943.

Medical Unit of the 25th Service Group training for the removal of wounded from a WC-54 ambulance, Greenville, South Carolina, July 1943.
Medical Unit of the 25th Service Group training for the removal of wounded from a WC-54 ambulance, Greenville, South Carolina, July 1943.

Newly produced Dodge WC-54 Ambulances waiting shipment from the Dodge factory during World War II, April, 1943.
Newly produced Dodge WC-54 Ambulances waiting shipment from the Dodge factory during World War II, April, 1943.

Storage field for newly produced Dodge WC-54 Ambulances waiting shipment from the Detroit, MI factory during World War II, August, 1942.
Storage field for newly produced Dodge WC-54 Ambulances waiting shipment from the Detroit, MI factory during World War II, August, 1942.

WC-54s arrive in France over the beach following D-Day, 1944.  Note the larger Red Cross symbol in use by 1944.
WC-54s arrive in France over the beach following D-Day, 1944. Note the larger Red Cross symbol in use by 1944.

Dodge WC-54 Ambulance at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.
Dodge WC-54 Ambulance at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

WC-54 Truck, 3/4 ton, 4x4 Ambulance Dodge (G502)
WC-54 Truck, 3/4 ton, 4x4 Ambulance Dodge (G502). Photo: Courtesy of Jerry Ferguson.

Residue of WC-54 Ambulance used in the TV series M*A*S*H, based on the Korean War experiences of Mobile Army Surgical Hospital units.  When the show ended in 1983, the set of the fictional 4077 MASH unit location, including vehicles, were left in Malibu Creek State Park, Malibu, CA (formerly the 20th Century Fox Ranch) where the show was filmed.  A fire destroyed the tents and buildings, leaving only the WC-54 and a CJ jeep hulk which can still be found. Photo: Courtesy of C. Chriss, October 2005.
Residue of WC-54 Ambulance used in the TV series M*A*S*H, based on the Korean War experiences of Mobile Army Surgical Hospital units. When the show ended in 1983, the set of the fictional 4077 MASH unit location, including vehicles, were left in Malibu Creek State Park, Malibu, CA (formerly the 20th Century Fox Ranch) where the show was filmed. A fire destroyed the tents and buildings, leaving only the WC-54 and a CJ jeep hulk which can still be found. Photo: Courtesy of C. Chriss, October 2005. UPDATE: On 23 February 2008, a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the last M*A*S*H episode was held at the set location. See the linked page for photos and description.

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