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M37 3/4-ton 4x4 truck (Dodge)

The initial version of this truck was developed in 1941 to replace the Army half-ton truck. It was first manufactured in 1945 by the American Car and Foundry Co., and Cadillac Motor Car Division of the General Motors Co. It was used as a cargo and personnel carrier. The vehicle could be rigged on a platform for dropping in airborne operations. The M37 3/4 ton Dodge pickup truck, which was introduced into the Army during World War II, served the needs of the soldier throughout the Korean conflict.

All models are equipped with a liquid-cooled, 6-cylinder, L-head gasoline engine, located at the front of the vehicle. Engine power is transmitted from the four-speed transmission through a short propeller shaft to the transfer case, and thence to both front and rear axles. The vehicles may be driven with all four wheels or with rear wheels only. The steering gear of all models is mounted on the left side; therefore, all models are known as "left-hand drive" vehicles. Throughout this manual, the use of the terms "left" and "right" indicate positions in relation to the location of the steering gear; "left" means the steering gear side; "right" means the side opposite steering gear.

Weapon Carrier Models WC-51 and WC-52 difference between models WC-51 and WC-52 is that the latter is equipped with a power take-off and a drive shaft for the winch mounted at the front of the vehicle. Both models can be identified by the open driver's compartment and weapon carrier body with tarpaulin mounted behind the driver's compartment. The electrical system of both models is 6-volt with the battery located under the hood. Carryall Model WC-53 can be identified by its closed body with side windows.

Ambulance Model WC-54 can be identified by the large cross on each side of the body. It contains equipment for the care of wounded personnel. The electrical system is 6-volt with battery located under the hood. Command Models WC-56 and WC-57 difference between models WC-56 and WC-57 is that the latter is equipped with a power take-off and a drive shaft for the winch mounted at the front of the vehicle. Both models can be identified by the open type body with folding top and side curtains.

The US Army fought a guerrilla war in Vietnam from 1962 to 1973. It was a war without a front line and safe rear area. When faced against an enemy in Vietnam that attacked convoys, truck drivers fought as front-line troops. Vietnam gun trucks and subsequent convoy doctrine evolved with changing enemy tactics, leaving behind both an answer to the problem of convoy security and a legacy of heroism.

During 1968, the 8th Transportation Group armored M37 3/4-ton trucks and mounted a machine gun on a pedestal in the back and called them gun beeps. They could only carry thin armor, but offered better protection than an M151 1/4-ton jeep. The added weight did cause considerable wear and tear on the vehicles though. 8th Group also tried using 3/4-ton gun trucks for convoy security but they did not work well either. The gun beeps were relegated to administrative runs to Qui Nhon or to driving around at night in unsecured areas.

As had been learned by earlier truck drivers in the Korean War, the .30 caliber and later 7.62mm (M-60) machine guns were not nearly as intimidating as the M-2 .50 caliber (see Figure 17). The .50 caliber machine gun could shoot through almost anything. By 1969, crews replaced their pedestal mounted M-60s with .50 caliber machine guns.

The MOVER (motor vehicle requirements) study completed in 1961 called for the M37, 3/4-Ton Truck to be replaced by a 1-1/4-Ton Truck. The M561 (Gama Goat) truck program was begun in order to develop a highly mobile, multi-purpose wheeled vehicle which would have a 1-1/4-ton payload capacity. The original design for the new vehicle was approved in 1962. In June 1964, 14 XM561 prototypes were built. On 30 June 1966, following completion of prototype, engineering and service testing, the vehicle was type classified as Standard A

With the introduction of the W715 1- /4 ton truck in the 1st quarter of FY 68 to replace the M37 3A ton truck in combat units, sufficient assets became available to fill all TO shortages during that time frame. As Project Manager for the 1.75-ton commercial truck system, Lieutenant General Fred Hissong, Jr. was responsible for the planning, coordination, procurement, and worldwide deployment of more than 43,000 new M880 trucks and the phasing out of the 31,000 M37 vehicles.

Crew 3 in cab; 6-8 seated in box.
Top Speed 35 mph.
Fording Depth w/o special equipment 42 inches.

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Page last modified: 25-09-2017 18:34:16 ZULU