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The Complete DUKW

The Complete DUKW Historical Reference Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2013 Title The Complete DUKW
Author David Doyle Publisher Squadron/Signal Publications
Published 2013 ISBN 978-0-89747-720-8
Format 304 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $59.95


Here is the first in a new series from Squadron/Signal Publications, The Complete DUKW Historical Reference. This title covers that very unique World War 2 amphibious combat vehicle that was essentially a 2.5 ton GMC utility truck that had a boat hull built around it. In General Motors nomenclature: D=1942, U=utility truck, K=front wheel drive, W=tandem axle => DUKW but generally pronounced 'Duck'. Retaining the versatility of the standard US Army 'duece and a half' truck, the DUKW added the ability not only to swim, but to effectively connect from ship to shore like a landing craft, and then with its 6x6 wheeled drive, head onto shore and into the fight with the troops.

The author has amassed a significant number of period black and white photographs, as well as some color photos, showing the vehicle from development through service and in post-war use. Coverage of this title includes:

  • The NDRC
  • GMC-4 Project
  • A Larger Amphibian
  • The Duck Leaves the Nest
  • Journey to the Coast
  • A Move Toward Standardization
  • A Cusp of Mass Production
  • DUKW-based Ferries
  • The First 1,000
  • More Trials
  • The Duck Proves its Worth
  • Experimental Development
  • The Balance of the First Order
  • Factory School
  • Massive Production
  • Additional Equipment
  • Made in Missouri
  • Special Cargo Handling
  • Production Peaks
  • DUKW Goes to War
  • Post-World War II Military Service
  • War Again
  • Peace Again
  • Flying DUKW
  • Superduck
  • Drake
  • Contemporary Use

Each step of the way, the author provides an in-depth look at the vehicle and its history, providing a perspective of the DUKW that has not been done in print before. Whether you're a military historian or scale modeler (or both), you'll find some significant material in these pages that will make your next project worthwhile. For the modeler, you'll see a wide variety of details and configurations to not only make the lone DUKW kit available in 1/35 accurate, but to configure it in ways not seen on contest tables before. This is an excellent reference for all.

This title is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Squadron/Signal Publications for this review sample!