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U.S. 2 1/2 ton 6 X 6
Cargo Truck
(GMC CCKW-353)

MSRP $33.00


By Ray Mehlberger



The American automotive industry produced outstanding numbers of military vehicles during the 5 years of WWII. These were widely used by both the U.S. and her allies. The U.S. was literally the arsenal of democracy. WWII was the first modern, mobile warfare and logistics were found to be of greater importance than ever before. Sometimes it was even more important to insure smooth supply operations than to develop better ordnance. Many types of vehicles were used for supply operations, and among them the 2 1/2 ton truck, better known as Jimmy, or Deuce and a half was one of the most mass produced vehicle,s reaching a total production figure of 810,000. The nickname Jimmy was derived because the majority of the total production was done by the GMC firm. The most widely used engine was the type 270 with a displacement of 4,416cc, yielding 104 horsepower. This power was transmitted to the wheels via five-speed transmission. Two types of driving axles were offered to the truck. One was the Banjo type manufactured by Chevrolet and the other was the Split type made by Timkin. Apart from the driving axles, many components such as cabin, cargo body, and chassis frame varied according to the manufactures and the various uses these trucks were put too.

Variants included: the normal steel-bodied cargo truck, water tanker, gasoline tanker, cargo-dump truck, and multi-role types with tipping cargo bodies. The most popular variant, GMC CCKW-353 (the subject of Tamiya's kit) with normal cabin and long wheelbase of 164", weighing 4.8 tons, had a carrying capacity of 2.42 tons on rough roads and 4 tons on pavement. The maximum speed attainable was 72km/h. Having first class performance like this the 2 1/2 ton trucks ran across all the battle fields as means of transport for the Allied forces and played an important role in bringing victory for the Allies. After its retirement from the U.S. Army in the early 50's, they were transferred to other countries around the world for further use and they had a great influence on the progress of today's military trucks.

Following the D-Day invasion in June 1944, the Allied troops advanced on the continent towards the German territories with remarkable speed. However, the farther they proceeded away from the Normandy landings the more difficult the logistical support of fuel, ammunition, rations, etc. became. Rail links in France had been completely disorganized and no adequate port facility was available in the vicinity of the front until Antwerp was taken. In this context, vast road transport supply operations were organized by the Allied forces during the summer and autumn of 1944. The most important one was named the Red Ball Express. From August 25th to November 16th, 1944, an enormous conveyor was formed between the Normandy depots and the front - mainly by GMC trucks. During 81 days of the Red Ball Express nearly 420,000 tons of supplies were transported. The largest daily tonnage was achieved on 29 August with about 13,000 tons. The smooth advance of the Allied troops on the continent was ensured with these operations, which were achieved by numerous drivers, special engineer corps, military policemen, and these heavy duty trucks.


Recently released by Tamiya and provided to us by Greatmodels Hobbies, is the kit of the GMC 2 1/2 ton 6 x 6 GMC Type CCKW-353 with open cab.

This highly detailed kit consists of six parts trees of dark green plastic of excellent quality. Two trees with the tires on them are identical. There is a small tree of clear parts with the front cab windows and the headlight lenses on it. The parts total 179. There is no flash on any of these parts. A length of string is supplied in the kit for the wench cable. Four polycaps are provided to hold the wheels on their rims.

Decals are for four different vehicles.

The instructions are multi-lingual - including English. They are 10 pages long and have 18 assembly steps. A separate sheet is supplied for the painting and decaling drawings. There is also a sheet of warnings about paint fumes, sharp knifes, and kit parts that may be swallowed by youngsters. The box art is excellent and a good detailing guide - the sides of the box have more color scrap drawing to help the modeler.

The truck is a stake-side type. Extras included in the parts are a complete engine, one driver figure, pioneer tools, jerry cans and their racks., and rifle racks. The top can be folded or erected up - but there is no canvas cover and this would have to be scratchbuilt from perhaps Kleenex wetted with Elmer's glue solution.


This kit will be sent to our Junior Armor Editor, Juho Ala-jaaski, for a full build review in an upcoming issue of the magazine. There is also some additional detail kits from Tamiya to add to this truck kit. One kit is no. MM-231 and provides Jerry can racks for the front fenders, a machine gun mount ring for over the cab, a .50 cal machine gun and canvas foul weather doors for the cab. The other Tamiya accessory kit is no. MM-229 and consists of supplies normally carried in the road bed of the truck - these are bed rolls, tarps, duffle bags, gasoline cans, and 50 gallon oil drums - and also a road sign. Juho informs me that his review model will include some of these assesories on it, so watch for this full review later.

I highly recommend this kit to all armor modelers that like to do soft skin vehicles in addition to tanks.

Thanks to Greatmodels for providing this review sample.

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Air Intelligence
1999 Modelers'
Reference Guides

1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00

Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.

TacAir Publications

PO Box 90933
Albuquerque NM

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