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The CCKW radio truck with HO 17 radio shelter

Discussion in 'Allied Military vehicles used during WWII' started by T. A. Gardner, Aug 10, 2022.

  1. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The US version of a radio truck differed from other nations in that a standard CCKW 2 1/2 ton truck or equivalent ( the DUKW etc) could be easily fitted with an HO 17A radio hut in the bed converting it to a radio truck.

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    This is the HO 17A shelter with a trailer mounting the PE-35 generator that powers it next to it. The generator could be mounted into a standard 1 ton trailer.

    The shelter would be lifted into the bed of a CCKW truck using a 5 ton wrecker crane found in most unit's maintenance and repair sections. Once in it was strapped in place by the four straps (2 per side) to hold it in the bed. The troop seats were removed.

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    Here you can see the trailer with generator and the shelter combination as it would be used in the field

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    Inside the shelter, a radio set SCR 399 would normally be fitted. This consisted of two cabinets with receivers and transmitters in them, a large transmitter power unit, two large cabinets of accessories and parts to repair and maintain the radios, several large spools of telephone wire for the two field telephones that were included. Typewriters and other office equipment was provided as well.

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    This shot shows the interior with the two transmit / receive stations on the left (each also has a field telephone), the transmitter power unit directly center at the far end of the shelter, and the cabinets with accessories on the right. In the foreground on the right is a cable reel for field telephone wire. The seats were on top of another set of chests that held various items.

    This saved the US Army from having to manufacture specialized truck bodies as well as allowed the radio shelter to be removed from the vehicle and placed statically on the ground freeing up the truck for other uses.

    In the same vein, the HO 20 portable radio shelter could be easily transported disassembled, then put up quickly on-site by a couple of men.

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    These allowed signal units to keep their equipment out of the weather rather than having to improvise shelter for it.
     
    Carronade and GRW like this.
  2. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    It's a very clever idea to simply have a cabin that fits onto a standard truck. The sheer efficiency and standardisation of US industry in WW2 always impresses me
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    In hindsight it seems obvious, but I guess other nations didn't think of it?

    I understand the US provided most of the radio equipment used by the Soviets during the war. Items like this would have contributed significantly to their ability to conduct mobile warfare.
     
  4. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    Most nations followed the more traditional practice of taking a chassis and adding a custom body for a radio truck (this was also true of earlier US designs), so although you have your mobile radio room and a degree of standardisation for their construction, it is still a step behind

    Edit - apologies if I just explained exactly what you already know and were alluding to in your post.
     

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