The designation CCKW comes from
model nomenclature used by GMC; the
first C indicated a vehicle designed
in 1941, the second C signifies a
conventional cab, the K indicates
all-wheel drive and the W indicated
tandem rear axles. The term "Deuce
and a Half" was applied to all 2½
ton cargo trucks. Including the
DUKW, General Motors in the US
produced 562,750 of these 2.5 ton
trucks just prior to and during
World War 2. The “X” in this case
denotes experimental; the U.S. Army
had not finalized the CCKW design
when this unit was built, hence the
addition of the “X” at the end of
the model name.
The "Deuce and a Half"
The M35 family of trucks is a long-lived vehicle initially deployed by the United States Army, and subsequently utilized by many nations around the world. A truck in the 2-1/2 ton weight class, it was one of many vehicles in U.S. military service to have been referred to as the "deuce and a half." While the basic M35 cargo truck is rated to carry 5,000 pounds off road or 10,000 pounds on roads, they have been known to haul twice as much as rated. Trucks in this weight class are considered medium duty by the military and Department of Transportation. The M35 series formed the basis for a wide range of specialized vehicles.
The M35 started out in 1949 as a
design by the REO Motor Car Company
as a 2 1/2 ton truck that was later
nicknamed the deuce and a half. The
first vehicle in the family, the
M34, was quickly superseded in
military usage by the M35, the major
difference being the M35's 10-tire
configuration versus the M34's
An M35A2 cargo truck with winch is 112 inches tall, 96 inches wide and 277 inches long, and 13,030 pounds empty 13,530 pounds empty when equipped with the front mount winch, according to dashboard data plates). The standard wheelbase cargo bed is 8 feet by 12 feet. The curb weight of an M35 is between 13,000 pounds and 16,000 pounds empty, depending on configuration (cargo, wrecker, tractor, etc.). Its top speed is 56 mph, though maximum cruising speed is approximately 48 mph.
Although the A2 version is by far the most common, there are four different iterations: Standard, A1, A2, and A3 iterations. These changes mainly had to do with the engine and transmission components. Standard M35 had a REO "Gold Comet" or Continental OA331 inline-6 gasoline engine. Some had 4-speed transmissions but most had "direct 5th" transmissions. The gasoline-powered deuces were built primarily by REO Motors, however, Studebaker also had a manufacturing contract from at least 1951 up into the early 1960s. Curtis-Wright also had a contract in at least 1958 to build deuce dump trucks with the Continental gas engine. The A1's had Continental LDS-427-2 non-turbo, and 5th gear was an overdrive. The engines were not reliable nor powerful. A2 trucks received the LDS-465-1 Multifuel turbo engines, keeping the OD transmission of the A1s. Through the years the trucks were upgraded to LDT (turbo clean air)-465-1A, B, C. The turbo was added more to clean up the very black exhaust on the Non Turbo engines, than to add power, the HP was only raised from 130 to 135 HP. The LDT-465 D was the last version of the Multi Fuel, it had a Quieter Turbo (non whistler) better head gasket sealing and head cooling.
Brake system is air-assisted-hydraulic six wheel drum with a driveline parking brake, although gladhands exist on the rear of the vehicle for connection to trailers with full air service and emergency brakes. Braking performance of the truck is similar to other power drum brake vehicles of this size. Each drum was designed with maximum efficiency in mind.
The Red Ball Express was an
enormous truck convoy system created
by Allied forces to supply their
forward-area combat units moving
quickly through Europe following the
breakout from theD-Day beaches in
Normandy. The route was marked with
red balls and closed to civilian
traffic while the trucks were marked
with the same red balls and given
priority when on regular roads. The
Red Ball Express supply plan
originated in a 36 hour urgent
committee meeting, and was
co-designed by Lt. John Bridener