Once upon a time, the Army DUKW was produced as an answer for a problem faced by the US Military. Fast forward 6 and a half decades, and the DUKW is used in flood rescues, and also in tourism.
Today we share 10 incredible facts about Army DUKWs.
1. The Name “DUKW” is actually a manufacturers code
This code is assigned by the General Motors Company and details the military vehicle. The acronym stands for:
D= year of production
U= vehicle type
K= drive train arrangement
W= number of rear axles
2. Decommissioned DUKWs have been used for flood rescues since WW2
DUKWs have been used widely throughout the world for flood responses by coast guards, police departments and fire departments.
In 1955, DUKWs were used during the Hunter Valley Floods in 1955. More recently, they were used in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and were used for rescues and to assist with clean ups.
3. 21,147 DUKWs were built in three years
Between 1942 and 1945.
4. More than 2000 vehicles were in the D-Day Landings at Normandy
This was the most well-known use of DUKWs in World War 2 and included 19 companies. They were used to resupply troops and moved more than three million tons of cargo in the 90 day battle.
5. It was built as a solution to a problem
In 1942, American and Allied military operations faced difficulties resupplying. This is due to lack of vehicles able to carry cargo to shore and then transporting cargo once ashore. The answer to this problem was the DUKW, which was built in just 42 days!
6. It was the first vehicle with a central tyre inflation system
This system allows the driver to have the ability to control the tyre pressure in order to drive over different surfaces.
7. They can go up to 80km/hr!
This maximum speed is reached on land. On water, a DUKW can reach a maximum speed of 10km/hr.
8. It was originally turned down by the US Military
The US Military changed their mind after a DUKW saved the day and rescued seven crew members when a coast guard patrol ship crashed into a sand bar in Massachusetts.
9. They were built by women
Over 20,000 of the 21,147 DUKWs were built by women!
10. You can explore the tropical rainforest on a DUKW!
Explore the tropical rainforest on an amphibious World War Two Army Duck at Rainforestation Nature Park Kuranda! Join a passionate DUKW driver for a tour on-land and in water, as you discover the unique flora and fauna that call the rainforest home.
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