Vehicle: WC-56 and WC-57 Command / Reconnaissance Car and WC-58 Radio Truck
Common name: Command Car
Also known as: 3/4-ton Car
The 3/4-ton Dodge is probably second only to Jeeps in popularity with collectors of World War II military vehicles. There were a variety of trucks in this series — cargo trucks, ambulances, command cars, even antitank weapons.
This series had its roots in the earlier Dodge 1/2-ton G-505 trucks which, while nice, left the military wanting for something more. The “more” was to be delivered starting in 1942 with these 3/4-ton trucks that had the Dodge engineering designation “T214.” The G-502 series was standardized by OCM item 19107.
The style of these vehicles has made them very sought after by collectors and movie producers. It seems anyone with any importance in a war movie must ride in one of these trucks, probably because the open top allows the star to be seen and the dual bench seat creates a chauffeur-driven look. For the military, however, the purpose of this vehicle was to convey officers while providing them with an excellent field of view of the battle zone.
The WC-56 did not have a winch, while the harder to find WC-57 used the same MU-2 that was mounted on the WC-52 cargo trucks. The third variant, the WC-58, was essentially a WC-56 equipped with a full suite of radio equipment in the back seat and a new data plate. Only 2,344 of the WC-58 were built, making these the scarcest of the Dodge 3/4-ton command-type vehicles.
Production of all these command type of trucks was discontinued in April 1944, in part due to their distinct appearance, drawing unwanted attention from the enemy.
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