2 1/2 & 5 Ton Trucks of the U.S. Military
American 2 1/2 Ton and 5 Ton cargo trucks are the backbone of Army mobility and are essential to the mission of the Marine Corps and other services as well. Since World War II, several generations of these trucks have been fielded for service in the U.S. military and continue on duty.
WW II vintage GMC CCKW 2 1/2 ton truck, crossing bridge at the 38th parallel in Korea, 1950.
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.
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2 1/2 Ton and 5 Ton U.S. Military Cargo Trucks
This page shows the classification of U.S. military cargo trucks into two large families, the 2 1/2 ton ("deuce and a half") and the five ton. Within those families, each generation of truck based on one chassis design is designated as a "series" which includes many variations on the base truck for various purposes. That is, one series of chassis will be provided with specialized bodies for cargo trucks, tank trucks, vans and so forth as well as long wheel base versions and other variants.
In World War II, the 2 1/2 ton trucks were the backbone of Allied transport but by the 1970s, 5-ton trucks began to be favored over 2 1/2 ton trucks in the U.S. military. The five ton vehicles offered greater power, double the payload, and larger cargo volume than their 2 1/2 ton equivalents. While 2 1/2 ton trucks remained in large scale use, there was a shift toward their heavier 5-ton counterparts.
A convoy of M-35 2 1/2 ton 6x6 cargo trucks on a road in Egypt, heading toward the port of Alexandria, during Exercise Bright Star '85, 1 August 1985.
The 2 1/2 ton and 5 ton trucks from WW II to the present are organized in the following table. The links in the table lead to individual pages with much more detail on the truck series. Photos and other details of specific trucks are found in the Olive-Drab.com Military Vehicle Charts -- Medium Trucks section. The specific trucks in the Charts are also linked from the page on their series, for your convenience.
USMC M-923 5 Ton w/Trailer
Click photo for larger image.
Additional Information Resources for U.S. Military 2 1/2 Ton & 5 Ton Trucks
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