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This article is about the original World War II "Deuce-and-a-half". For its successor, see M35 2½-ton cargo truck.
GMC 2 Half-ton 6x6 Truck.jpg
CCKW 353 cargo truck with winch
Type 2 12 ton (2,268kg)[a] 6×6 Cargo truck
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Manufacturer Pontiac West Assembly, Yellow Coach Co./GM Truck and Coach
Produced 1941–45
Number built 562,750
Variants See text
Specifications (353 Cargo w/winch[2])
Weight 8,800 lb (4,000 kg) empty
16,400 lb (7,400 kg) loaded
Length 270 18 in (6.86 m)
Width 88 in (2.24 m)
Height 93 in (2.36 m) to cab
109 18 in (2.77 m) overall

Engine GMC 270
91 hp (68 kW)
Transmission 5 spd. x 2 range trf. case
Suspension Beam axles on leaf springs
Fuel capacity 40 US gal (150 l)[1]
300 mi (482.8 km)
Speed 45 mph (72 km/h)

Thе GMC CCKW was 2½-ton 6x6 U.S. Army cargo truck that saw heavy service in both World War II and the Korean War. The original "Deuce and a Half", it formed the backbone of the famed Red Ball Express that kept Allied armies supplied as they pushed eastward after the Normandy invasion.[3]

The CCKW came in many variants, including open or closed cab, long wheel base (LWB 353) and short (SWB 352), and over a score of specialized models. It began to be phased out with the deployment of the 6×6 M35 in 1950, but remained in active U.S. service until the mid-1960s. It is related to the Chevrolet G506, built at the same factory.


CCKW 352 prime mover
CCKWs in a Red Ball Express convoy, 1944


In 1940, the US Army set a requirement for a 6×6 truck with a 12 ft (3.7 m) cargo area and a 2½ ton (2,268 kg) off-road payload. General Motors, already supplying modified commercial trucks to the Army, modified the 1939 ACKWX-built for the French Army-into the CCKW. The General Motors design was chosen by the Army and went into production at GM'S Yellow Truck and Coach division's Pontiac, Michigan plant alongside 6×4 CCWs. Later they were also manufactured at GM's St. Louis, Missouri Chevrolet plant.

The name CCKW comes from GMC model nomenclature:[4]

  • "C", designed in 1941
  • "C", conventional cab
  • "K", all-wheel drive
  • "W", dual rear axles

By the end of production in 1945, 562,750 CCKWs in all variants had been built, a total second only to the “Jeep”.[5][6][7]


Engine and driveline[edit]

The CCKW was equipped with the GMC 270 engine, an overhead valve I6 with 91 hp (68 kW) at 2750rpm and 216 lbf·ft (293 N·m) at 1400rpm. A 3 2532 in (96 mm) bore by 4 in (102 mm) stroke gave a 269.5 cu in (4.4 L) displacement. This engine was designed for commercial trucks, and proved reliable in service.

The transmission was a Warner T93 5-speed with a direct 4th gear and overdrive 5th gear. The transfer case had high and low gears, and engaged the front axle. Originally all axles were a Timken split type, later trucks also used GM "banjo" types.[5][6][7][1]


The CCKW had a ladder frame chassis with three driven beam axles, the front on semi elliptical leaf springs, the rear tandem on quarter elliptical leaf springs with locating arms. There were two wheelbases, the short Model 352 and the long Model 353. The short, 145 in (368 cm) / 167 in (424 cm)[b], was used with a short cargo bed as an artillery prime mover for 75mm and 105mm howitzers. All other models used the long, 164 in (417 cm) / 186 in (472 cm).[b] Tires were 7.50-20, brakes were hydraulic with vacuum assist.

Some were fitted with 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) front-mounted winches. These used longer frame rails, and could be installed only at the factory, rather than in the field.

Some open cab chassis were cut in half behind the cab for air transport. Each half was a load, at the vehicle's destination, the halves were bolted back together.[5][6][7][1]


Gasoline tanker (750 US gal (2,800 l))
CCKW-353-B2 guntruck with M45 Quadmount on M20 trailer in bed, loading ramps attached to side

Initially, all versions used a modified commercial closed cab design having a metal roof and doors. By 1944 an open cab version, with a canvas roof and doors, was used. This was easier to build, and the roof could be removed to lower the shipping height. 1 in 4 open cabs had a machine gun mounting ring above the co-driver's position.[5][6][7]

The CCKW provided a platform for the widest range of bodies on any U.S. military vehicle, with the 12 ft (3.7 m) cargo version being the most common. As steel was more heavily rationed during the course of the war, the steel cargo bed was replaced by a wooden one. Wooden beds proved unsatisfactory and a 'composite' bed with steel sides, framing, and wooden bottom slats was developed. However, the composite bed was still unsatisfactory and the bed design returned to all steel.[6]

A rectangular van configuration was used in communications, medical, workshop, and many other specialty roles.[5][6][1]

Specialized variants[edit]

Many specialized variants of the basic 6×6 CCKW were made, some in small numbers, including those converted in the field. These include:[5][6][1]

  • Short-wheelbase/long-wheelbase 2½-ton cargo truck
  • Bomb Service
  • Chemical decontaminating
  • Chemical handling
  • Dental Operating Van
  • Dump
  • Fire Engine
  • Flatbed
  • Fuel tanker (750 US gal (2,800 l))
  • High lift
  • K-53 Van
  • K-60 Van
  • Ordnance Maintenance Van
  • Pipeline equipment
  • Pontoon bolster
  • Surgical Van
  • Water purification truck
  • Water tanker (700 US gal (2,600 l))
  • Welder


The CCW[c], an on-road, 5-ton[5] 6×4 truck version of the CCKW that lacked only its front wheel drive. A beam front axle was used, with the transfer case locked in high range.


GMC AFKWX-353 C.O.E. from WWII

The AFKWX[d] 353, a cab over cargo bed version of the CCKW, went into production alongside it in 1942 at Yellow’s Pontiac plant and Chevrolet’s in St. Louis. Otherwise mechanically identical, its compact cabin design allowed a 15 ft (4.6 m), and later 17 ft (5.2 m) cargo bed to be fitted. The first 50 produced had closed cabs, all others were open. The cab over design made engine maintenance difficult. As a result, only 7235 were built, none with a front-mounted winch.[5][6][1]


DUKW in use by American troops in France
Main article: DUKW

The DUKW[e] (“Duck”) was an amphibious truck that shared the CCKW's driveline. First produced at Yellow’s Pontiac plant, as demand increased production was added to Chevrolet’s St. Louis plant. The hull, designed by an America's Cup winner, had excellent sea-keeping abilities. A very successful design, 21,147 were built.[5][6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Off-road load rating
  2. ^ a b Measurements are from the centerline of the front axle to the centerline of rear bogie / rear axle.
  3. ^ GM name: C for 1941, C for conventional cab, and W for tandem rear axles.
  4. ^ GM name: A for 1939, F for forward cab, K for all wheel drive, and W for tandem rear axles.
  5. ^ GM name: D for 1942, U for utility, K for all wheel drive, and W for tandem rear axles.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "TM 9-2800 Standard Military Motor Vehicles". US Dept. of the Army. 1 September 1943. pp. 238–276. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "TM 9-801 2 12 ton 6×6 GMC CCKW". US War Dept. 24 April 1944. pp. 6–9, 16–19. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  3. ^ David P. Colley (2000). The Road to Victory: The Untold Story of World War II's Red Ball Express. Potomac Books. ISBN 1-57488-173-6. 
  4. ^ Whitlock, Flint, The Fighting First: The Untold Story of the Big Red One on D-Day
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Crismon, Fred W (2001). US Military Wheeled Vehicles (3 ed.). Victory WWII Pub. pp. 184, 326, 330–335, 465. ISBN 0-970056-71-0. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Doyle, David (2003). Standard catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles. Kraus Publications. pp. 108–118. ISBN 0-87349-508-X. 
  7. ^ a b c d Ware, Pat (2010). The World Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles. Lorenz Books. pp. 238–239. ISBN 0-7548-2052-1. 

External links[edit]