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2 1/2 & 5 Ton Trucks of the U.S. Military

American 2 1/2 Ton and 5 Ton cargo trucks are the backbone of Army mobility and are essential to the mission of the Marine Corps and other services as well. Since World War II, several generations of these trucks have been fielded for service in the U.S. military and continue on duty.

WW II vintage GMC CCKW 2 1/2 ton truck, crossing bridge at the 38th parallel in Korea, 1950
WW II vintage GMC CCKW 2 1/2 ton truck, crossing bridge at the 38th parallel in Korea, 1950.

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.

2 1/2 Ton and 5 Ton U.S. Military Cargo Trucks

This page shows the classification of U.S. military cargo trucks into two large families, the 2 1/2 ton ("deuce and a half") and the five ton. Within those families, each generation of truck based on one chassis design is designated as a "series" which includes many variations on the base truck for various purposes. That is, one series of chassis will be provided with specialized bodies for cargo trucks, tank trucks, vans and so forth as well as long wheel base versions and other variants.

In World War II, the 2 1/2 ton trucks were the backbone of Allied transport but by the 1970s, 5-ton trucks began to be favored over 2 1/2 ton trucks in the U.S. military. The five ton vehicles offered greater power, double the payload, and larger cargo volume than their 2 1/2 ton equivalents. While 2 1/2 ton trucks remained in large scale use, there was a shift toward their heavier 5-ton counterparts.

A convoy of M-35 2 1/2 ton 6x6  cargo trucks on a road in Egypt, heading toward the port of Alexandria, during Exercise BRIGHT STAR '85, 1 August 1985
A convoy of M-35 2 1/2 ton 6x6 cargo trucks on a road in Egypt, heading toward the port of Alexandria, during Exercise Bright Star '85, 1 August 1985.

The 2 1/2 ton and 5 ton trucks from WW II to the present are organized in the following table. The links in the table lead to individual pages with much more detail on the truck series. Photos and other details of specific trucks are found in the Olive-Drab.com Military Vehicle Charts -- Medium Trucks section. The specific trucks in the Charts are also linked from the page on their series, for your convenience.

2 1/2 ton TrucksFive ton Trucks
WW II GMC, Studebaker, IH 
M135 SeriesM39 Series
M35 SeriesM809 Series
 M939 Series

Beginning in 2001, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps superseded the M-809 and M-939 series 5 ton trucks with the 7-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR).

USMC M-923 5 Ton w/Trailer
USMC M-923 5 Ton w/Trailer
Click photo for larger image.

Additional Information Resources for U.S. Military 2 1/2 Ton & 5 Ton Trucks

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: "military deuce or 2 1/2 ton". Then click the Search button.

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