It had a gasoline powered, 76 hp, Dodge T214 engine which was capable of propelling the WC54 at speeds of up to 86.9 km/h (54 mph). It could accommodate nine people including the driver, medic, and up to seven patients. One of the unique features of the WC54 was that it was equipped with a searchlight so the crew could spot wounded soldiers easier.
Another feature was the built in heater and the spare tire carried on the outside of the vehicle. The weight of the ambulance was about 680.3 kg and the length was about 4.9 meters. The total weight with all of the equipment was 2,680 kg and the height of the ambulance was about 2.2 meters. It also had a 4 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission and hydraulic brakes.
The only variants of the WC54 were the next versions in the Dodge WC series. This included trucks, weapons carriers like the WC62 Weapons Carrier, and gun platforms like the M6 Motor Gun Carriage. Although some WC54s were modified with radio equipment for use by the United States Signal Corps. As such, these vehicles had their stretchers removed and medical equipment replaced by wiring and communications equipment.
The WC54 Ambulance was first used by US forces in 1942 and it was replaced by the WC64 KD in 1944 because the KD was able to be shipped easier. The main problem encountered with the WC54 was that the large rear cabin of the vehicle was crafted as a single piece, and could not be disassembled for shipping. It was used in D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, and Tunisia. The WC54 was successful in its designated position and continued to be used up until the final days of the war.
- ↑ http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=124
- ↑ http://www.dodgewc54.com/
- ↑ http://olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_wc54.php