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 rear section made of flat panels that could be quickly disassembled (KD = "knock down") then reassembled at the delivery point. These trucks were superseded in the 1950s by the Dodge M-43 ambulance of the M-37 3/4 ton truck series, after the Korean War.
Between 1942 and 1945, 26,002 WC-54s were built for U.S. use and shipment to allies, excluding the 3,500 WC-64 KD vehicles.
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.
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.
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.
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.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.