DUKW (Amphibious Vehicle)

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Arturo
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:11 pm

DUKW (Amphibious Vehicle)

Post by Arturo » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:14 pm

The DUKW (colloquially known as Duck) is a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck that was designed by a partnership under military auspices of Sparkman & Stephens and General Motors Corporation (GMC) during World War II for transporting goods and troops over land and water and for use approaching and crossing beaches in amphibious attacks. Designed only to last long enough to meet the demands of combat, mass-produced Ducks, a modification of the 2-ton capacity "deuce" trucks used by the U.S. military in World War II, were later used as tourist craft in marine environments.

The designation of DUKW is not a military acronym; rather, the name comes from the model naming terminology used by GMC:
• "D" indicated a vehicle designed in 1942,
• "U" meant "utility",
• "K" indicated driven front wheels,
• "W" indicated two powered rear axles.

Decades later, the DUKW designation was explained erroneously by writers such as Donald Clarke who wrote in 1978 that it was an acronym for "Duplex Universal Karrier, Wheeled". However, the name is not an acronym.

The DUKW was designed by Rod Stephens, Jr. of Sparkman & Stephens, Inc. yacht designers, Dennis Puleston, a British deep water sailor resident in the U.S., and Frank W. Speir, a Reserve Officers' Training Corps Lieutenant out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Developed by the National Defense Research Committee and the Office of Scientific Research and Development, it was initially rejected by the armed services. When a United States Coast Guard patrol craft ran aground on a sand bar near Provincetown, Massachusetts, an experimental DUKW happened to be in the area for a demonstration. Winds up to 60 knots (110 km/h), rain, and heavy surf prevented conventional craft from rescuing the seven stranded Coast Guardsmen, but the DUKW had no trouble, and the military opposition melted. The DUKW would later prove its seaworthiness by crossing the English Channel.

The DUKW prototype was built around the GMC AFKWX, a cab-over-engine (COE) version of the GMC CCKW six-wheel-drive military truck, with the addition of a watertight hull and a propeller. The final production design, perfected by a few engineers at Yellow Truck & Coach in Pontiac, Michigan, was based on the CCKW. The vehicle was built by the GMC division of General Motors, which was still called Yellow Truck and Coach at the beginning of the war. It was powered by a 270 cu in (4,425 cc) GMC straight-six engine. The DUKW weighed 6.5 tons empty and operated at 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) on road and 5.5 knots (10.2 km/h; 6.3 mph) on water. It was 31 feet (9.4 m) long, 8 feet 2.875 inches (2.51 m) wide, 7 feet 1.375 inches (2.17 m) high with the folding-canvas top down and 8.8 feet (2.6 m) high with the top up. 21,137 were manufactured. It was not an armored vehicle, being plated with sheet steel between 1/16 and 1/8 inches (1.6–3.2 mm) thick to minimize weight. A high capacity bilge pump system kept the DUKW afloat if the thin hull was breached by holes up to 2 inches (51 mm) in diameter. One of every four vehicles was produced with a ring mount for machine gun, which would usually have held a .50-caliber (12.7 mm) Browning heavy machine gun.

The DUKW was the first vehicle to allow the driver to vary the tire pressure from inside the cab, an accomplishment of Speir's device. The tires could be fully inflated for hard surfaces such as roads and less inflated for softer surfaces, especially beach sand. This added to the DUKW's great versatility as an amphibious vehicle. This feature is now standard on many military vehicles.

The DUKW's windshields were provided by GM rival Libbey Glass (Ford) under the "Defense Plant Corporation" umbrella as a result of Henry Gassaway, one of the GM engineers whose wife's family worked for Libbey, and whose test driving broke the first windshields.

The DUKW was supplied to the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and Allied forces. 2,000 were supplied to Britain under the Lend-Lease program and 535 were acquired by Australian forces. 586 were supplied to the Soviet Union, and they would build their own version post war: the BAV 485.

DUKWs were initially sent to the Pacific theatre's Guadalcanal, and were used by an invasion force for the first time during the Sicilian Operation Husky in the Mediterranean. They would again be used on the D-Day beaches of Normandy, but also during the Battle of the Scheldt, Operation Veritable and Operation Plunder. Its principal use was to ferry supplies from ship to shore, but it was used for other tasks, such as transporting wounded combatants to hospital ships or operations in flooded (polder) landscape.

Togo, 2006, 1000f.

Source: Wikipedia
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Arturo
Posts: 723
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: DUKW (Amphibious Vehicle)

Post by Arturo » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:08 pm

One more DUKW stamp.

Marshall Islands, 1986, S.G.?, Scott; 116,
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Arturo
Posts: 723
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: DUKW (Amphibious Vehicle)

Post by Arturo » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:21 pm

DUKW (Amphibious Vehicle)

Italy 1995, S.G.?, Scott:
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Arturo
Posts: 723
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: DUKW (Amphibious Vehicle)

Post by Arturo » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:42 pm

DUKW

Liberia ?, S.G.?, Scott: ?
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aukepalmhof
Posts: 7300
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Re: DUKW (Amphibious Vehicle)

Post by aukepalmhof » Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:17 am

USA 1993 29c sg 2805, Scott 2765e

Stamp from the miniature sheet 1943 Turning the Tide, Amphibidys Landing craft DUKW or DUCK during the landing in Sicily in 1943. The vessel in the background is not identified.
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aukepalmhof
Posts: 7300
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

Re: DUKW (Amphibious Vehicle)

Post by aukepalmhof » Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:20 am

USA 1993 29c sg 2805, Scott 2765e

Stamp from the miniature sheet 1943 Turning the Tide, Amphibidys Landing craft DUKW or DUCK during the landing in Sicily in 1943. The vessel in the background is not identified.

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