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Model Designation

The Dodge 3/4 ton WC-series was introduced in 1942, to replace the earlier 1/2 ton type which Dodge had been producing since 1939 and for which the US Army had proposed various improvements following experience in service. Prototypes of the new improved vehicle were produced by both Chrysler Cooperation and Ford but it was Chryslers Dodge Division which got the contract producing the trucks at the Mound Road plant of the former Fargo company. Although it was powered by the same six cylinder side valve engine as the older cousin at 78 in. the new vehicle was wider and at the same time also had a lower profile. It was fitted with larger "high flotation" tires on combat rims to enhance traction on poor surfaces. And the opportunity was taken to provide a 50% increase in the payload.


Deliveries of the ambulance, charmingly dubbed "the meatwagon" by the US troops, began in May 1942 and the design was "standardized" on 23 October 1942. A single example was delivered to the British Wheeled Vehicle Experimental Establishment (WVEE) for assesment in mid 1943, and not surprisingly it was concluded that it offered a superior performance to the Austin K2 4x2 field ambulance. As a result of the assesment and the general lack of British production capacity the WC54 ambulance was also adopted by the British Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and the Free French Forces.

These vehicles were finished in standard US matte olive paint and were marked with the usual registration number, national symbols, bridge classifaction and unit numbers, etc. In addition the word "ambulance" appeared over the windscreen with a small Geneva Red Cross on a white panel at either end. Early vehicles also carried a white paneled red cross centered on the body sides above the waist moulding a 42x40 in panel on the roof and two panels on the rear doors in overall. In October 1943 much larger red crosses were adopted 36x33 in on the bodyside 64x60 in on the roof, also centered on the wheel arch and a single panel 47x45 in across both rear doors interrupted by the windows.

Spanning the four years 1942-1945, total production of the 3/4 ton WC-series T214 was 255,173. Of these, the number of ambulances was 22,857.

Very few changes were made to the vehicle during the production run. The most obvious revision was the adaption of the larger diameter fuel-filler neck and matching recess in the body side in October 1943.

Ambulances await returning bomber crews. Casualties were frequently high.

Wounded are loaded into the waiting ambulance.

A Wounded soldier is ready for travel to a hospital.


Serial Number: 8157253

Engine / Horsepower: T-214 six cylinder inline L-head230 CID76 horsepower @ 3200 RPM


Medical Rescue Ambulance


Transmission: Four speed, 4x4

Wheelbase: 121 in

Capacity: Seven patients


Maximum speed: 54 mph

Range: 240 miles