The G-744 (M39) series wrecker replaced the WWII Diamond T 969 and Ward La France M1 wreckers.
The M62 5 ton Wrecker is part of the G-744 (or M-39) series of 5 ton 6x6 trucks. Designed as a replacement for the wartime Diamond T 969 and Ward La France M1 wreckers, the prototype XM62 was completed in 1951 (the X prefix prior to the M designation indicates that the vehicle has not yet been type classified by the military). It was quickly accepted into service as the M62 and continued in production until 1957.
The M62 had a 179-inch wheelbase. Mounted on the rear of the chassis was a hydraulic crane and winch assembly. Austin Western produced the crane on the M62.
The M62 had a 45,000-lb capacity rear recovery winch. In addition to the rear winch, a front mounted, 20,000-lb capacity self-recovery winch is also mounted.
Both the front and rear winches were mechanically driven by power take-offs from the truck's engine. The hydraulically powered crane could be extended out from 10-ft to 18-ft and could lift loads up to 20,000-lbs.
A similar truck, the M543, was identical to the M62 except that it used a Gar Wood produced crane instead of the Austin Western.
The M62 was used by the U.S. military well into the 1980s. Eventually, The M816 5-ton wrecker truck replaced the M62.