WW II Crawler Cranes

The slow moving, but heavy capacity, cable crane on tracks (crawler crane) was utilized by engineering units in World War II for construction, material handling, bridging, artillery operations, and many other tasks.

Crawler crane surrounded by other vehicles, awaiting loading for shipment to Europe, Pier X, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, Newport News, VA, 25 February 1943
Crawler crane surrounded by other vehicles, awaiting loading for shipment to Europe, Pier X, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, Newport News, VA, 25 February 1943.

Today in WW II: 22 May 1939 Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany sign the Pact of Steel, a declaration of trust and cooperation that also included secret provisions on military and economic matters.   

WW II Crawler Cranes

Bucyrus-Erie produced two models of crawler crane for the U.S. military during World War II:

  • Crane, Revolving, Crawler Mounted, GED & DED, 1/2 cu yd, 5 to 6 ton, Class II
  • Crane, Revolving, Crawler Mounted, GED, 3/4 cu yd, 7 to 10 ton, Class III

GED and DED refer to the type of engine, "Gasoline Engine Driven" or "Diesel Engine Driven." The 1/2 cu yd Bucyrus-Erie Model 15-B was produced in the largest numbers, both as a crawler crane and as an excavator. Bucyrus-Erie produced many other crawler crane models, of varying capacity, which were procured by the U.S. military in small numbers.

U.S. Army crawler crane awaiting shipment at Hampton Roads, VA during World War II
U.S. Army crawler crane awaiting shipment at Hampton Roads, VA during World War II.

Crawler crane stacking lumber and other supplies at the Engineer Depot, Thatcham, England, April 1944
Crawler crane stacking lumber and other supplies at the Engineer Depot, Thatcham, England, April 1944.

Crawler cranes on board invasion barge, on the way to France on D-Day, 6 June 1944
Crawler cranes on board invasion barge, on the way to France on D-Day, 6 June 1944.