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Sunday, February 18, 2018
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Walk Around Photo Feature

Subject: 1942 Dodge WC-54 4x4 3/4 ton Ambulance

The Dodge WC-54 4x4 3/4 ton Ambulance was part of the continuing development of the Dodge Weapons Carrier series of light vehicles during WWII. The main advantage of the WC family of vehicles was the simplification of supply due to the interchangeable parts between the models. The primary difference between them were in body styles and slight chassis variations.

The WC-54 chassis was adjusted to a longer wheelbase, and given a modified suspension designed to give a smoother ride. The body was sheet metal and fully enclosed and made by Wayne Body works. It had room for a driver, a medic, and 4 to 6 patients, depending on how they were to be transported. The interior could be configured for 4 fold away stretchers, or carry 6 sitting on bench seating. The Engine was the Dodge Model T214 76hp in-line six-cylinder, with a maximum highway speed of 54 MPH. The four wheel drive vehicle had a high clearance which gave it a fair off road capability. The WC-54 could carry an overall payload of around 1,800 lbs.

The WC-54 was manufactured from 1942 to 1945, with around 22,857 produced for the U.S. They were designed to replace the WC-9, WC-18, and WC-27 1/2 Ton Ambulance. Although an excellent vehicle that did its job very well it was replaced fairly quickly with the WC-64 KD that had a box made of flat panels that could be knocked down for transport therefore taking up less room.

The WC-54 served as the primary ambulance of the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945, with some being used as late as 1953 in the Korean War, and many others serving as late as the 1960's in various European armies. Several were also modified and used by the U.S. Signal Corps as telephone/radio vans.

These photographs were taken at the 2013 WWII Weekend in Reading, PA.

Note: I couldn't get a photo of the box compartment in the back so the final photo in this set is a musuem example photograph granted to the public domain..


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