Friday, November 4, 2011

The World War II Ambulance - The Dodge WC54

Driving those who needed medical attention through rough and rugged war-blown terrain needed a rough and rugged ambulance...and the Dodge WC54 3/4 ton truck was the vehicle of choice for the United States Armed Forces. Over 250,000 were made between 1942-1945, and of these 22,000 were ambulances.

These sturdy trucks weighed 5,900 lbs and were capable of travelling up to 54 mph ( for a truck like that during the war, that wasn't too bad ). But at 8MPH they sure were gas gugglers!

American Red Cross Medical Students practicing moving patients
in Dayton, Ohio 1942
 Dodge Corporation had previously made the 1/2 ton WC9, WC18, and WC27 ambulances for use during the war, but it was the WC54 that became the most popular, and was used throughout Europe and the Pacific, safely rescuing thousands of injured soldiers from the battle front.

Women ambulance drivers posing besides Wc54s

The trucks were built at Dodge's Mound Road plant in Detroit, Michigan and then were delievered as a chassis/cab with the trunk, radiator front windscreens and doors intact, to Wayne Works of Richmond, Indiana from whence they recieved their picturesque steel-panelled body. They measured 192 inches in length ( 16 ft ), and were powered by a six-cylinder gasoline engine.

Today, WC54s can be seen at Military Transport automobile gatherings and military museums, as well as in movies and television, notably in M.A.S.H and Patton.

The olive-drab colored WC54 on display

1 comment:

  1. an interesting and timely piece. wonder how many injured the ambulance could carry.