Military Staff and Command Cars are used for light transportation duties for senior officers and their communications. Some models are based on civilian automobiles while others are based on tactical trucks, depending on combat or non-combat missions. During and after WW II the military jeep (and later the HMMWV) replaced many of these staff car or command vehicles.
The September 1943 War Department manual TM 9-2800 ("Standard Military Motor Vehicles") lists two 5-Passenger 4x2 Sedan models:
• Light: Manufactured by Chevrolet, Ford, Plymouth
• Heavy: Manufactured by Buick, Packard
These were civilian cars -- not built to full military specs -- just stripped of chrome, painted OD and maybe a few cosmetic changes to lights or other features. Other regular passenger vehicles were routinely purchased in small quantities, not standardized.
US Army Staff Car, Casablanca, Morocco, January 1943
Today in WW II: 11 Jul 1940 US Quartermaster Corps asked 135 companies to bid on seventy light reconnaissance and command cars, the origin of the military jeep. More↓
11 Jul 1941 Establishing the first US foreign intelligence organization, Wm. J. Donovan becomes Coordinator of Information, head of the organization renamed OSS in 1942, the predecessor of the post-war CIA. Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.
Chart of Military Staff / Command Cars
World War II Staff Car with flags for a Lt. General, at an Ohio auto show, June 2005.
In this chart of military staff cars and command cars, click on the photo link to go to the page of photos and information for the specific vehicle.
VC-1 to VC-6
Truck, 1/2 ton, 4x4, Dodge VC series (G505) Family of half ton Dodge trucks produced in 1940. Includes vehicles with pickup, panel, carryall, ambulance and command car body types.
WC-1 to WC-50
Truck, 1/2 ton, 4x4, Dodge WC series (G505) Family of half ton Dodge trucks produced in 1941-1942. Includes vehicles with pickup, panel, carryall, ambulance and command reconnaissance car body types.
WC-51 to WC-61 & WC-64
Truck, 3/4 ton, 4x4, Dodge WC series (G502) Family of 3/4 ton Dodge trucks produced in 1942-1945. Includes vehicles with pickup, panel, carryall, ambulance and command car body types.