M-3A1 White Scout Car

Standardized in 1939, the White Motors Company M3A1 Scout Car was used for high speed patrolling and reconnaissance by the U.S. and its allies during most of World War II.

Soldier leans over the M3A1 White Scout Car machine gun skate rail to hand message to radio operator, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942
Soldier leans over the M3A1 White Scout Car machine gun skate rail to hand message to radio operator, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942.

Today in WW II: 16 May 1940 US Pres. Roosevelt asks Congress for funding to build 50,000 airplanes per year, a startling undertaking at the time.  More 
16 May 1943 Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron [The Dambusters] destroyed the M√∂hne and Eder dams on the Ruhr, causing catastrophic flooding [Operation Chastise, 16‚~ez_euro~~ez_ldquo~17 May].
16 May 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ends with liquidation of the poorly equipped Jewish resistance by German Troop.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Car, Scout, 4x4, M-3A1 (G-67)

The 4x4 chassis of the M3A1 Scout Car supports an armored box body made of 1/4 inch steel plates. A protective shield of 1/2-inch armor plate can be lowered over the windshield. Adjustable steel louvers protect the radiator when lowered. The front mounted anti-ditching roller enables the M3A1 Scout Car to extract itself from a trench.

The M3A1 Scout Car was typically armed with two machine guns (one M1917 .30 cal. and one M2 HB .50 cal.) that attached to the skate rail that went fully around the inside of the rear compartment. One or more .45 cal. submachine guns were provided for crew defense.

Nearly 21,000 of the M3A1 Scout Cars were produced during 1940-1944. White built the chassis while Diebold Safe & Lock provided the armored body. The M3A1 was popular for its mobility and flexible deployment possibilities, but the open top design made the crew too vulnerable on the battlefield and the off-road mobility suffered in comparison to tracked vehicles.

M3A1 Scout Car Characteristics

Crew Two plus six passengers
Weight, net 8900 lbs.
Weight, gross 11,750 lbs.
Height 79.25 in.
Width 71.25 in.
Length 221.25 in.
Wheelbase 131 in.
Engine Hercules JXD Gasoline, or
Hercules DJXD Diesel, or
Buda 6DT317 diesel
Horsepower 110bhp
Transmission 4 fwd speeds, 1 rev
Transfer case 2 speed
Road speed, max 45 mph.
Range 250 mi.
Fording depth (muffler) 24 in.

Table data from TM 9-705 and other sources.

Manuals for the M3A1 White Scout Car include:

  • TM 9-705 Scout Car, M3A1 Operation and Maintenance
  • TM 9-1705 Scout Car, M3A1 Ordnance Maintenance Power Train (Axles, Propeller Shafts, Transfer Case, Transmission)
  • TM 9-1705C Scout Car, M3A1 Ordnance Maintenance Diesel Power Plant (Hercules DJXD Engine)
  • TM 9-1706 Scout Car, M3A1 Ordnance Maintenance Gasoline Power Plant (Hercules JXD Engine)
  • TM 9-1709 Ordnance Maintenance Chassis and Body for Scout Cars M3A1
  • TM 9-1832A Hercules Engines, Series JX Models A, C, D, E-3, F
  • ORD 7-8-9 SNL G67
  • OFSB 6-11 Car, Scout M3A1 Lubrication

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M3A1 White Scout Car at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup.

M3A1 White Scout Car Photo Gallery

M3A1 Scout Car final assembly and finishing line at White Motor Company, Cleveland, OH, December 1941
M3A1 Scout Car final assembly and finishing line at White Motor Company, Cleveland, OH, December 1941.

Motorcycle dispatch rider delivers a message to a moving M3A1 Scout Car, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942
Motorcycle dispatch rider delivers a message to a moving M3A1 Scout Car, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942.

Close up of M3A1 machine gunner of a mechanized cavalry reconnaissance unit, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942.  Note skate rail mount for the M1917 water cooled machine gun
Close up of M3A1 machine gunner of a mechanized cavalry reconnaissance unit, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942. Note skate rail mount for the M1917 water cooled machine gun.

M3A1 Scout Car with mechanized cavalry reconnaissance unit, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942. Note radio antenna
M3A1 Scout Car with mechanized cavalry reconnaissance unit, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942. Note radio antenna.

M3A1 Scout Car with mechanized cavalry reconnaissance unit, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942. Note tire chains and front-mounted roller.
M3A1 Scout Car with mechanized cavalry reconnaissance unit, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942. Note tire chains and front-mounted roller.

M3A1 White Scout Car used as an ambulance during WW II
M3A1 White Scout Car used as an ambulance during WW II.

M-3A1 White Scout Car.  Photo: Courtesy of Dave Brubaker
M-3A1 White Scout Car. Photo: Courtesy of Dave Brubaker.

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