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U.S. Army Dodge Trucks
During World War II, the Dodge Company produced tens of thousands of light weight, versatile trucks in the WC series. While most cargo was carried in "deuce and a half" or larger vehicles, the Dodge WCs worked long and hard, an essential part of Army mobility that led to victory in 1945. Thousands more were shipped to allies, including the Soviet Union, where they were also revered.
Following World War II, the same Dodge WC trucks continued to serve, then returned to duty in the Korean War. They were finally replaced in the 1950s by the Dodge M-37, another legendary tough truck. Dodge's last production military trucks were the M880-series of military-modified Dodge W300 commercial trucks.
Dodge Military Trucks History
At the outset of WW II, Dodge was producing the G-505 WC 1/2 ton series of military light trucks in many models. The Dodge G-502 3/4 ton 4x4 trucks were first introduced in late 1941, replacing the Dodge 1/2 tons of 1939-1941. Standard vehicles in the 3/4 ton 4x4 class were the WC-51 / WC-52 Weapons Carrier, Telephone Installation Trucks, WC-53 Carryall, and the WC-54 Ambulance. In the cargo trucks, the WC51 was identical to the WC52 but did not have the front bumper-mounted winch. Photos and more detailed information about many of these vehicles are found in the Olive-Drab.com Military Vehicle Chart for Light Trucks, Military Ambulances, or Military Staff / Command Cars.
The 98-inch wheelbase G-502 3/4 ton 4x4 was designed for all arms and services. Used to transport personnel, weapons, tools and equipment, the body is of a commercial pickup type, with removable canvas top mounted on three bows. Troop seats are provided within the body. A removable canvas top and folding windshield are provided. There was space at the rear for a jerry can, and low seat sides for easy dismount. The 'combat wheels' were divided-rim, that used a bolted-on retaining ring replacing the normal split ring wheels.
The WC-52 had a top governed speed of 54 mph, and could operate over unimproved roads, trails and hilly country with a towed load. A total of 23,164 of the WC51s were built, and 10,826 of the WC52 model, all between 1942 and 1945.
Another Dodge product was the 1/2 ton WC-7 officer's Command Car (production photo, above) that included a 12-volt electrical system for powering a radio, a map table, cargo area lights, sliding windows, blackout curtains and a folding rear step.
Following WW II, the M-series of vehicles was designed to replace all vehicles in the U.S. military inventory. The Dodge M-37 family, introduced in late 1951, included a cargo truck, ambulance, command truck and other models as described on the linked page.
The last series of Dodge trucks procured and used by the U.S. military was the M880/M88x/M89x Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV), produced in the mid-1970s and in service into the 1990s.
U.S. Army Dodge Trucks on Olive-Drab.com
Visit the Olive-Drab Military Vehicle Charts that start here, especially the Light Trucks section where many Dodge models are listed with photos. The Olive-Drab.com Military Vehicle forums and Internet groups page has many listings for Dodge discussion group resources, great sources of information.
U.S. Army Dodge Trucks on the Internet
The Dodge trucks that were built for the U.S. Army (and used by all the armed services) are very popular with collectors due to their reasonable size, ready availability of parts, and great off-road capabilities. There are many websites and forums devoted to the U.S. Army Dodge Trucks, some of the best collected on the linked page.
Recommended Book About Dodge Military Trucks
Dodge Power Wagon Photo History covers the original Dodge military truck series of World War II, and their successor civilian vehicles, the matchless Dodge Power Wagons. Many great photos are included.
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 dodge trucks or m37. Then click the Search button.