This article is about the original World War II "Deuce-and-a-half". For its successor, see M35 2½-ton cargo truck
CCKW 353 cargo truck with winch
|| 2 1⁄2-ton 6×6 Cargo truck
|Place of origin
|| United States
||Yellow Truck and Coach Co.
||Yellow/GMC Truck and Coach
|Specifications (353 Cargo w/winch)
||8,800 lb (4,000 kg) empty
16,400 lb (7,400 kg) loaded
||270 1⁄8 in (6.86 m)
||88 in (2.24 m)
||93 in (2.36 m) to cab
109 1⁄8 in (2.77 m) overall
91 hp (68 kW)
||5 spd. x 2 range trf. case
||Beam axles on leaf springs
||40 US gal (150 l)
|300 mi (482.8 km)
||45 mph (72 km/h)
The GMC CCKW was 2½-ton 6x6 U.S. Army cargo truck that saw heavy service in both World War II and the Korean War. The original "Deuce and a Half", it formed the backbone of the famed Red Ball Express that kept Allied armies supplied as they pushed eastward after the Normandy invasion.
The CCKW came in many variants, including open or closed cab, long wheel base (LWB 353) and short (SWB 352), and over a score of specialized models. It began to be phased out with the deployment of the 6×6 M35 in 1950, but remained in active U.S. service until the mid-1960s. It is related to the Chevrolet G506, built at the same factory.
In 1939-1940 the US Army Ordnance Corps was developing 2 1⁄2-ton (2,268 kg) load-rated 6×6 tactical trucks that could operate off-road in all weather. General Motors, already supplying modified commercial trucks to the Army, modified the 1939 ACKWX - built for the French Army - into the CCKW. The General Motors design was chosen by the Army and went into production at GM'S Yellow Truck and Coach division's Pontiac, Michigan plant alongside 6×4 CCWs. Later they were also manufactured at GM's St. Louis, Missouri Chevrolet plant.
The name CCKW comes from GMC model nomenclature:
- "C", designed in 1941
- "C", conventional cab
- "K", all-wheel drive
- "W", dual rear axles
By the end of production in 1945, 562,750 CCKWs in all variants had been built, a total second only to the “Jeep”.
Engine and drive-line
The CCKW was equipped with the GMC 270 engine, an overhead valve I6 with 91 horsepower (68 kW) at 2750rpm and 216 pound force-feet (293 N·m) at 1400rpm. A 3 25⁄32 in (96 mm) bore by 4 in (102 mm) stroke gave a 269.5 cu in (4.4 L) displacement. This engine was designed for commercial trucks, and was reliable in service.
The transmission was a Warner T93 5-speed with a direct 4th gear and overdrive 5th gear. The transfer case had high and low gears, and engaged the front axle. Originally all axles were a Timken split type, later trucks also used GM "banjo" types.
The CCKW had a ladder frame chassis with three driven beam axles, the front on leaf springs, the rear tandem on leaf springs with locating arms. There were two wheelbases, the short Model 352 and the long Model 353. The short, 145 in (368 cm) (Measurements are from the centerline of the front axle to the centerline of rear bogie) was used with a short cargo bed as an artillery prime mover for 75mm and 105mm howitzers. All other models used the long 164 in (417 cm) wheelbase. Tires were 7.50-20, brakes were hydraulic with vacuum assist.
Some were fitted with 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) front-mounted winches. A winch added 300 pounds (140 kg) and 14 inches (36 cm).
Some open cab chassis were cut in half behind the cab for air transport. Each half was a load, at the vehicle's destination, the halves were bolted back together.
Van body with canvas roof and doors in place
Gasoline tanker (750 US gal (2,800 l))
CCKW-353-B2 gun truck
Quadmount on M20 trailer in bed, loading ramps attached to side
Initially, all versions used a modified commercial closed cab design having a metal roof and doors. By 1944 an open cab version, with a canvas roof and doors, was used. This was easier to build, and the roof could be removed to lower the shipping height. 1 in 4 of cabs had a machine gun mounting ring above the co-driver's position.
The CCKW provided a platform for the widest range of bodies on any U.S. military vehicle, with the 12 ft (3.7 m) cargo version being the most common. As steel was more heavily rationed during the course of the war, the steel cargo bed was replaced by a wooden one. Wooden beds proved unsatisfactory and a 'composite' bed with steel sides, framing, and wooden bottom slats was developed. However, the composite bed was still unsatisfactory and the bed design returned to all steel.
A standard rectangular van configuration was used in communications, medical, workshop, and many other specialty roles. Special built vans were also used.
Many specialized variants of the basic 6×6 CCKW were made, some in small numbers, including some converted in the field. These include:
- Air compressor
- Bomb service
- Chemical decontaminating
- Chemical handling
- Dental operating van
- Dump truck
- Fire engine
- Fuel & gas tankers (750 US gal (2,800 l))
- Fuel & oil handling (660 US gal (2,500 l)), (750 US gal (2,800 l))
- High lift
- K-53 radio equip. van
- K-60 radio equip. van
- Map reproduction van
- Ordnance maintenance van
- Pipeline equipment
- Ponton bolster
- Shop equipment GP repair van
- Surgical van
- Water purification van
- Water tanker (700 US gal (2,600 l))
- Welder's truck