Big Eddie

“BIG EDDIE” The WC63 83rd Infantry Division Weapons and Squad Truck

* Type: 1 3/4 ton Dodge WC63
* Serial Number: 421892
* Hood Number: 3018795
* Date Of Delivery: January 30, 1944
* Operation Served In: ETO
* Location Now: Reading, PA
* Date Restored: unknown
* Owner: Gary Snyder
* Weight: 7,550 lbs.
* Size: 224.75in. X 82.75in. X 87in.
* Max Speed: 50mph.
* Range: 240 miles

The name “Big Eddie” comes from John Kulak’s Uncle Ed who served in World War II. He was drafted in July of 1941 and did not return home until 1946. He severed proudly with the 9th Infantry Division, 47 Infantry Regiment as a machine gunner. He participated in four landings: Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Normandy.

Compared to the creation of many of the military’s vehicles, the genius of the ton and one half dodge was simple. The Army increased the size of the Rifle squad from eight men to twelve men and, when that occurred, a squad would no longer fit in a 3/4 ton dodge. Therefore, Maj. Gen. Courtney Hodges, chief of infantry, suggested the 3/4 ton doge be stretched 48inches, and the vehicle became a 6 x6. Most of the mechanical and some of the sheet metal parts were the same as those used in 3/4 ton series.

Certain components primarily in the drive line and suspension were strengthened in the ton and a half models, and many of these changes were incorporated into subsequent 3/4 ton production as well.

The transfer was a duel ratio in the ton and one half version vs. the single speed unit used on the 3/4 ton trucks.

The second version of the “Big Dodge” was the WC 63. It differed from the WC 62 only by incorporating a Braden MU2 winch. Like the WC 62, early models of the WC 63 had a Zenith 29-BW-12R carburetor, while later production used the Carter ETW-1 carburetor.

A combined total of 43,000 WC 62 and WC 63 trucks were produced. Although within the Chrysler Corporation the Fargo Division handled government contracts, the trucks were all built at Dodge Mound Road Truck plant in Detroit.