Dodge G505 1/2-ton Military Ambulance
As important as tanks, airplanes and ships were to the Allied war effort of World War 2, perhaps nothing was as important as the field ambulance.
Authored By JR Potts, AUS 173d AB; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
From World War 1 the US Army had a relationship with Dodge and ordered from them light military half-ton trucks during World War 2. The "WC" series of Dodge military trucks were highly varied, coming in forms of troop carriers to weapons carriers and all were based on the Dodge 1/2-ton truck chassis. The 38 different models developed were all 4x4's and all were in the "G505" family of 1/2-ton Dodge military vehicles. Early in World War 2, the 1941 Dodge Army truck was one of the first lightweight military four-wheel drive vehicles deployed leading the Dodge division to produce 79,771 half-ton trucks of all model types in 1941 and 1942 - one of which became the standard military ambulance.
The typical 1941 Dodge Army 4x4 truck had a 116-inch wheelbase, however, the ambulance model - due to the passenger load - sat on a 123-inch wheelbase and used 7.50 tires with 16-inch wheels. The engine was a 230.2 cubic inch 6-cylinder gasoline engine of 78 horsepower and 222 foot pounds of torque. These engines were mated to a four-speed manual transmission system with all-wheel drive and the brakes being hydraulic. This helped the ambulance to go off-road in the different theaters of war where roads were few and cratered from combat. The base crew consisted of a driver and an ambulance orderly - the latter also doubling as the second driver - charged with rendering aid to the wounded. The vehicle had a two-door closed cab and double doors in the rear of the ambulance with a fold-up step.
The vehicle's rear cargo space was constructed of steel panels and held a Carlisle Ambulance insert section that was also ventilated for the wounded therein. The lining of the interior walls was hardboard masorite and, along the sides, there were folding bench seats that ran the length of the interior body. The ambulatory section had room for seven sitting cases, four stretcher cases or two stretcher cases and four sitting wounded. When in use, two of the stretchers hung from the roof and two would be placed on the floor. As can be imagined, the ride was generally bumpy for the wounded especially when traversing over open ground and trying to reduce the time from the frontline to the aid stations at the rear. This undoubtedly took a toll on both the tires and springs while the large front bumper was used to push over and through bushes and saplings allowing the ambulance to cut through off road to complete its life-saving mission.