US GMC CCKW 352 with winch – lot 225

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Current bid: 9,500.00

Main trick of the backbone of the Red Ball Express and played a vital role in moving and towing guns.

1. DESCRIPTION
Likely the most common truck of the Allied armies in WW2: The GMC 352 (and its long wheelbase, LWB, variant the 353) received nicknames in the field including “Jimmy” and “Deuce and a Half”, but also “workhorse of the army” as a tribute to their reliability and strength. After the war efforts they maintained their notorious reputation. Until the 1970’s CCKW’s were not only used by many armies but also cherished by construction companies, breakdown & towing services, fire brigades, showmen & fair companies, and circuses. They were bought from redundant army supplies. Consequently, GMC’s became ‘Classic Heroes of the Roads’ It made up the mobile part of the famous Red Ball Express, the lifeline that kept the Allied armies going during their great advance after the breakout from Normandy, all the way to the Rhine and beyond. Called G-508 for US Army Ordnance, it was the Allies’ most prolific off-road medium/heavy truck, expired in at least 50 variants and more sub-variants. The shorter, CCKW 352, was built as a prime mover for towing 75mm and 105mm weapons. The earliest production trucks had fully enclosed cabs, though by 1942, open cab versions became the military standard.

This GMC CCKW 352 cargo truck is in great running condition. Recently it is nicely serviced making it, as a combination, SWB, Closed cab and winch!) a very desirable unit!

© Tracks & Trade BV the Netherlands, January 2023

2. HISTORY

2.1 Introduction
The American motor car industry produced outstanding number of military vehicles during five years of the World War 2. Those were widely used not only by the U. S. troops but also by other allied troops. The U. S. was literally the arsenal of democracies.
As the World War 2 was the first modern mobile warfare, logistics was of greater importance than ever. Sometimes, it was even more important to ensure smooth supply lines than to develop better ordnance. Many kinds of vehicles were used for supply operations, and among them, the 2 ½ ton truck, known as “Jimmy” or “Deuce and a half”, was one of the most mass-produced vehicles, recording the total production of 810,000. GMC’s total production of the CCKW and its variants accumulated to 562.500, almost a quarter of the total WW II U.S. truck production, and seventy percent of the total 2 1⁄2-ton trucks.

2.2 CCKW
The US Army Ordnance Corps started developing the short 2+1⁄2 tons (2,300 kg) loaded 6×6 tactical trucks that could operate off-road and in all-weather conditions in 1939-1940. General Motors, which was already supplying the 1939 4×4 ACKWX initially ordered by the French Army, proposed its modified, enlarged CCKW. The General Motors design was chosen by the Army and went into production at GM’s Yellow Truck and Coach division plant in Pontiac, Michigan, alongside 6×4 CCWs. The first vehicles rolled off the assembly line in early 1941. Thereafter, they were also produced at GM’s St. Louis, Missouri Chevrolet plant. The name CCKW comes from GMC model nomenclature: “C”, designed in 1941, “C”, conventional cab, “K”, all-wheel drive, “W”, dual rear axles.
The concept of the CCKW relied on the GMC 270 engine. It was an overhead-valve ix-cylinder in-line, good for 91.5 hp (68.2 kW), as well as 104 hp (78 kW) at 2,750 rpm on its variant. It was good for 216 pound-feet (293 N⋅m) of torque at 1400 rpm.
The cylinders had a bore of 96 mm (25/32 inches) and stroke of 102 mm (4 inches) for a total displacement of 4.4 liters (269.5 cc). It ran on gasoline and was designed for commercial trucks, not to military specifications, but nevertheless proved reliable in operation.

2.3 Production
The CCKW appeared in many variants. At least 22 specialist variants of the CCKW 6×6 were made, of which some in small numbers and some being field conversions. Some of the main variants included; dump trucks, fire engines, fuel tankers, radio vans, surgical vans, water tankers, welder’s trucks, air compressors, chemical decontamination and handling, general-purpose repair vans, semi-trailer tractors and ponton transport, bomb disposal and dental operating vehicle. including an open or enclosed cab. Most of the CCKW were standard general-purpose cargo models, SWB CCKW-352 LWB and CCKW-353.

Initially, both used a modified commercial closed cab design (modified to military grade) with a metal roof and doors, called “close cab”. By 1944 a cheaper and simplified open cab version was developed. It used a canvas roof and doors. It also allowed the vehicles to be air-transportable and allowed to pass under low bridges or obstacles and modulate the shipping height. Of fourth of these open cab versions had a machine gun mounting ring, above the co-driver’s position. It was armed generally with a M1920 Browning HMG. It was primarily used for AA defense but was found handy in rare encounters with ambushing troops operating in rear lines.
A large minority were built with a front winch, and one in four cabs had a mounting ring for a machine gun above the passenger seat. 1/4 of the production had a ring-mounted machine gun, usually the cal.50 M1920 “Ma Deuce” or the less common M1919A4. Furthermore, the drivers were of course armed with their own service pistols and often M1 carbines. Their vehicles were unarmored, because they were not expected to encounter resistance, on their way from depot areas near the coast to the front lines.
2.4 Design
Approximately 10% of all CC(K)W(X)’s had a short wheel base of 368 cm (145 inch). From the time that GMC used the code CCKW, these short wheel base trucks were called 352’s. The remaining 90% were 49 cm (19 inch) longer. Long wheel base trucks were called 353’s. The 352’s can be easily recognized by the position of the fuel tank. The tank finds itself directly behind the cab on top of the frame, whereas its position on 353’s is on the right hand side of the frame. The tank of some 352’s can be filled on both sides of the cab. The (two) spare wheels of 352’s are mounted on top of the fuel tank and not, as with 353’s, on the left hand side of the frame. The 352’s were mainly built in 1941-1942, 353’s mainly in 1943-1945 period. Production numbers are summarized elsewhere on this site. Less than half of both the 352’s and the 353’s were equipped with a mechanical winch at the front (produced by Garwood or by Heil). Cargo CCKW’s with a winch have the suffix B, without winch the suffix A.

2.5 Red Ball Express
The “Red Ball Express” was a convoy system that had never been used on such a large scale. After Paris was liberated on August 25, 1944, the “Red Ball Express” was launched. The railroad network in northwestern France had been the target of heavy Allied bombing before and after D-day. By doing so, the Allies tried to prevent the German army from bringing in reinforcements. Road transport was the only way to supply the Allied armies with equipment. After the breakout from Normandy, 28 divisions of the 1st U.S. Army Corps, led by General Omar Bradley, and the 3rd Army under General George Patton moved toward the Seine River. To maintain combat capability, each division needed 700-750 tons of material per day, or a total of 20,000 tons.

To ensure the constant flow of supplies without any delays, two routes were used from Cherbourg to the forward logistics base at Chartres. The northern one was used for delivering supplies and the southern one for the returning trucks. Both routes were closed to civilian vehicles and traffic. The Red Ball Express operated for 83 days until November 16, 1944, when the port of Antwerp in Belgium was opened, and many French railways were repaired and reopened with the deployment of portable gasoline pipelines.

The term ‘Red Ball’ came from a US express railway freight transport system on the Santa Fe railroad at the end of the 19th Century. Trains were marked with red balls and tracks were cleared for their passage. The system came about after an emergency 36-hour high-level meeting and started operation on August 25, 1944. At its height, it operated 5,958 vehicles and delivered 12,500 tons of supplies a day. Trucks marked with a red ball followed roads marked with the same device that were closed to civilian vehicles. The Red Ball trucks had priority on all roads and specialist units of Military Police (MP) made sure this was so.

Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is Eernegem, Belgium.
Local collection is available for this lot.

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Model

GMC CCKW 352 Closed Cab with Winch
TRUCK CARGO L.W.B. 2 ½ TON 6 X 6 W WHICH

Manufacturer

General Motors Truck and Coach Division USA

Production figures

54.000 units

Color

Olive drap

Net Weight

10,100 lb. (4.581 kg)
On weight certificate / license currently 7.400 kg.

Gross Weight

15,100 lb. (6.850 kg)

Crew

2

Engine

GMC 270 straight-6, 104 hp (78 kW) at 2,750 rpm

Transmission

5 speed x 2 range transfer case 6×6

Suspension

Beam axles on leaf springs

Max. speed

45 mph (72 km/h)

Dimensions

Length: 253 ½ in       (6.44 m)
Width:  90 in             (2.28 m)
Height: 93 in             (2.36 m)

Tire size

7,50 x 20

Electrical installation

6 Volt

Date of Delivery

June 30 1944

Chassis / VIN Nr.

CCKW352 218505B1

Engine number:

2135412

Winch

Capacity 10,000 lb. (4.535 kg.)

Registration

USA 4218505-S

Road Licence

Belgium road licence OAGH436

Level of restoration

Class B

Condition / Remarks

This GMC CCKW 352 cargo truck is in great running condition. Recently it is nicely serviced making it, as a combination, SWB, Closed cab and winch!) a very desirable unit!

Source: Tracks & Trade

This GMC is a great relatively recently restoration. After decommissioning it was nicely restored by its current owner.
It is a very reliable runner. Great to drive.

Will be delivered nicely serviced. Vehicle starts on the button.
Belgium road license is included.
As a combination, (SWB, Closed Cab and Winch!) it is a very desirable unit!

Estimated value: between Euro 18.000 and 24.000,- (December 2022)