FHCAM’s Dodge light truck is a WC24 “Command Reconnaissance Car,” built to provide transportation and communications for staff officers on the battlefield. This vehicle serves as an excellent example of the American economy shifting from peacetime to wartime manufacturing.
In the months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dodge Brothers Corp., a division of Chrysler, re-tooled their civilian passenger car assembly lines to quickly construct machines for the military. The WC series of 4x4 and 6x6 light trucks included weapon carriers, maintenance trucks, ambulances, reconnaissance vehicles, mobile workshops, and command cars.
Though the vehicles were built in varying sizes and equipped with different equipment in order to accomplish a multitude of wartime tasks, Dodge worked to keep most of the basic components of its trucks universal, allowing for quick repair and simplified supply lines. Nearly all of Dodge’s more than 255,000 wartime light military trucks came from Chrysler’s Mound Road plant in Detroit, Michigan. WC trucks served everywhere during World War II, from the Alaska Highway to the deserts of North Africa.
Did you know?
Dodge’s WC trucks were built with carburetor governors, limiting their speeds to about 56 mile-per-hour. Soldiers often removed them in the field.