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The GMC CCKW Truck in US Service

The GMC CCKW Truck in US Service Historical Reference Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2013 Title The GMC CCKW Truck in US Service
Author David Doyle Publisher Squadron/Signal Publications
Published 2013 ISBN 978-0897477246
Format 504 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $74.95


You may recall that last month, Squadron/Signal Publications released its first title in their new Historical Reference series with extensive coverage of the development and operations of the DUKW amphibious vehicle. This was obviously a huge undertaking by author David Doyle and I'm still looking through it as I finalize an upcoming DUKW project. So imagine my surprise when this title arrives, the GMC CCKW Truck in US Service, by the same author. Where the DUKW title is over 300 pages of excellent reference, this title spans over 500 pages. Since the DUKW uses the GMC truck drivetrain, it only makes sense that the author compiled both titles at the same time.

CCKW - C=1942, C=Conventional, K=Selective Front Wheel Drive, W=Driven Tandem Axles. This is the GMC designation for the GMC Model 270 truck that would become the mainstay of logistics and support for all three branches of service during World War II as well as for many of our allies. Better known as the 'Deuce and a half' for its 2.5 ton cargo capacity, this 6x6 utility truck not only hauled troops and cargo, it was modified to fulfill many roles. Author David Doyle takes you through a very in-depth look at this vehicle and its many instantiations. To accomplish this, author amassed a significant number of period black and white photographs, as well as some color photos, showing the vehicle from development through service in World War II and Korea, as well as in post-war use. Coverage of this title includes:

  • Section I - Production
    • The ACKWX
    • The Heart of the CCKW
    • The CCKWX
    • The CCKW is born
    • Chevrolet CCKWs
    • The CCW - the 6x4 variant
    • War production begins
    • AFKWX - Cab over Engine
    • The Largest Truck Contract
    • The Open Cab
    • CCKWs for the Navy
    • Cargo Dump Trucks
    • Mid-Production AFKWX
    • CCKW Production Continues
    • The Composite Bed Introduction
    • The End of the AFKWX
    • Building the CCKW
    • Air Transportable CCKWs
    • Low Silhouette Trucks
    • Charcol-Gas Converter
    • Accessory Kits
  • Section II - Specialized Trucks
    • Air Corps
    • Chemical Warfare Trucks
    • Corps of Engineers
    • Army Medical Service
    • Ordnance Ship Trucks
    • Signal Corps
    • Unusual CCKWs
  • Section III - Field Use
    • Field Use During WWII
    • Interwar Period
    • Korea
    • Post-Korea

With the exception of a mechanic's shop manual for servicing the CCKW from bumper to bumper, I doubt that you'll ever see a more thorough look at this unsung hero than this new title. Whether you are a modeler, military historian, or both, this is the one book you'll ever need for the GMC Deuce and a half. Soft-skinned vehicle modelers will really appreciate the detailed photos of this vehicle from the factory floor to repairs in the field. Diorama and vignette modelers will really have a field day with this title as it provides a wealth of scenario possibilities with all of the photos in this title to recreate a scene between vehicles, cargo, and personnel in order to tell a story in three dimensions.

This title is definitely recommended!

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