Our GMC Ordnance shop truck, “workshop body”, is pictured above in front of Paris City Hall on the occasion of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Paris Liberation.
With a total of 562 500 units produced, the GMC CCKW is the WWII emblematic light truck, released in numerous variants : cargo, gasoline tanker, water tanker, workshop, artillery tractor, compressor, tipper truck, amphibious truck etc….
This standard “workshop body” was available in 17 main versions, each one with some variations. Examples would be the light mechanics repair, weapons repair, maps production etc.. These bodies were also equipped with medical units for surgery, dental care or eye glasses manufacturing. Below is a set of two pictures of dental care units. The one on the right is a “US Air Force” unit based on the same standard body type as the one own by UNIVEM : small front center window, gasoline catalysis heater on the left. (picture National Archives, Jim Gilmore borrowed from « The GMC CCKW truck in U.S. service » David Doyle)
A GMC ST6 was converted into a field office for General Patton. Below can be seen some pictures, including a historical one showing General Patton leaving his GMC field office (source : « The GMC CCKW truck in U.S. service » from David Doyle)
Starting in june 1942, a first version referenced as ST5 was manufactured with a total of 2 050 units produced by Superior Coach from Lima, Illinois. Too large to be easily shipped to the battlefield, this version was modified. Referenced ST6, it could be shipped with the windows inside the body and the roof bolted much lower, at the bottom of the windows belt. The truck was then rapidly assembled upon reaching its destination. Almost 11 000 ST6 units were produced by 4 manufacturers :
- Perley Thomas, High Point, North Carolina
- Hackney Brothers Body Company, Wilson, North Carolina
- Hicks, Lebanon, Indiana
- Philips and Buttorff, Nashville, Tennessee
All these different workshop bodies are described with a lot of details and supported by a lot of photos in David Doyle’s book « The GMC CCKW truck in U.S. service »(Squadron Signal Editions)
During WWII, US Army vehicles identification numbers began with a specificic number the HVIN (Hood Vehicle Identification Number) ; there were 23 different types. As a few examples :
- HVIN number for 1,5 ton class trucks begins with the number 3
- HVIN number for 2,5t-4,5t class trucks (incl.GMC CCKW ) begins with the number 4
- HVIN number for 5 tons and over class trucks begins with the number 5
- HVIN number for fire fighting vehicles begins with the number 50
- Motorbikes number begins with a 6
- HVIN number for tanker trucks begins with the number 80
- HVIN number for maintenance vehicles (including GMC workshop) begins with 00
We took the opportunity of light body work and overall paint of our GMC ST6 in 2015 to correct the markings
On its bumper now :
3A : Third Army composed with the 4th Army the 1st Infantry Division that liberated Paris.
ORD : the truck is part of maintenance vehicles (Ordnance)
e, without winch, fitted with banjo axle
ST6 : second generation of the workshop body
Year of manufacturing : 1942
Engine : 6 cylinders-in-line/overhead valve/2 per cyl
704 : the 7 states a maintenance vehicle and 04 the 4th Infantry Division
15 : this is the 15th vehicule of the fleet
CCKW 353 B2
C : designed in 1941
C : conventional cab
K : all-wheel drive
W : dual rear axles
353 : long wheel base, A2 : banjo type axles, no winch.
Fuel consumption : 35 to 40 liters/100km (6 to 7 mpg)
Electricity : 6V/1 battery DELCO REMY 140 A/h
Empty weight : 5,5 tons
This kind of GMC is not so common nowadays, which is especially true of the one UNIVEM cares for because it is still equipped with its workbench, its tools drawers and its lath.