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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 It superseded the WC-9 / WC-18 / WC-27 Truck, 1/2 ton, 4x4 Dodge Ambulance (G505).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: 1 Aug 1943 Ploesti Raid: 178 B-24 Liberator bombers flew over 1200 miles from a base in North Africa to Ploesti, Romania for a daring, low level attack on oil production facilities.  More 
1 Aug 1944 Polish Home Army emerges to attack the German garrison in Warsaw [1 Aug-2 Oct].
1 Aug 1945 US Army Air Force dropped one million leaflets over Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities warning of an imminent attack, advising residents to leave.
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 These trucks were superceded in the 1950s by the Dodge M-43 ambulance of the M-37 3/4 ton truck series, after the Korean War.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:

US Army Air Forces medical services personnel, Dayton, OH, October 1942.  The men are learning how to remove a simulated casualty to the WC-54 3/4-ton 4x4 Ambulance, ready for a speedy trip to a waiting transport which will evacuate the wounded.
Evacuated Marines leave their rifles behind at Hagaru-ri, Korea, 5 December 1950. Air drop parachutes are gathered to make wounded more comfortable during their short flight to safety and hospitalization.  Visible vehicles include CCKW 2 1/2-ton cargo truck (right and left), WC-54 3/4-ton Ambulance, jeep.
WC-54 3/4 ton 4x4 ambulance (Dodge) in Bastogne, Belgium, 1944.
World War II bonds poster, with image of a WC-54 Dodge 3/4-ton ambulance, produced in 1944.  Text:  Help Save Lives with War Savings; Army Field Ambulance $1950.
American WC-54 3/4-ton ambulance waits outside a bombed building in Bastogne, Belgium, while a searcher looks for persons injured during the ten-day defense by the 101st Airborne Division, 26 December 1944.
Evacuation under fire of wounded United Nations troops is being effected daily by a Marine Observation squadron in Korea.   Using the new model of the Bell helicopter, the Leatherneck pilots are on five minute standby from dawn to dusk, awaiting the word to take off from their field behind the lines to fly to the battle front.  With a litter welded to each side of the craft, an evacuation of two stretcher patients resting in the litters and two ambulatory patients riding with the pilot is possible.  Leaving the scene of action, the copter proceeds directly to the nearest hospital ship, landing near the hospital if possible, or in the case of the ship, at a predesignated spot where awaiting landing craft transport the personnel to the mercy ship.  When the medical unit is located at the air strip, corpsmen and ambulances await the 'windmill' to provide the last lap of the trip.  Bell H-13 Sioux Helicopter (left) and Dodge WC54 3/4-ton 4x4 ambulance.

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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