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matchlesswdg3

Dodge WC54 mods

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I have a Dodge WC54 ambulance currently under full restoration. The idea is to re-create a Special Communications Unit WC54 as used by British communucations teams when operating in the US sectors of the post-Normandy campaign theatre (these handled the top level intelligence from Bletchley Park, direct to the US top brass). These Dodges were delivered to Bletchley in normal ambulance form; the Brits left on the US numbers but I think must have painted out the red crosses (data I have is unclear on that); interior stripped and basic ( though top of the range) radio gear installed with a free standing aerial so the vehicle did not stand out as a radio truck. The Units also had DRs assigned, using M20s or WDG3s. Anyhow, I am planning to use all this as an excuse to create in effect a combined motorcycle carrier and small camper. The load area is long and the body is insulated......ideal! However, while the vehicle in question is still coming together after having a lot of work done on the body, I am pondering how I could equip it to make loading a motorcycle easier.......and one-man operation. I am thinking about a fairly long ramp as the tailgate is quite high on these and an electric winch with a hand controller. Has anyone done anything similar? Ideas welcome! I will have a 12V power supply available. BTW, the photo below is "before" restoration!

51txk0.jpg

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Thanks, again Tony.  I now have that photo in Geoffrey Pidgeon's excellent book on the whole subject and it does seem to indicate that the red crosses were painted out.......which I guess they should have done to comply with international law.

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I'd love to find out more about the Bletchley Park unit, and the way they were equipped - following

Many Dodge WC 54's in Europe especially, have been painted and marked to be a Signal Corps, which were non existent during WW2, mainly due the scarcity of WC 54's as ambulances. A shortage that became so acute that Dodge WC 51's were pressed into service as ambulances.

 

 

Goran N

WC51 close up-copyrite.tif

Ambo WC51 .tif

Dodge WC51 ambulance__0001.jpg

Dodge WC51 ambulance__0003.jpg

Bild 238.jpg

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Goran, via this forum, I was kindly advised of the following book that contains a reasonable amount of detail on the Mobile units that formed an adjunct to Bletchley Park.  Enough information anyhow to recreate the WC54 they used when attached to US units.  The photo above attached by Tony is included in that book and there is some information on how they were kitted out.  The book: "The Secret Wireless War" by Geoffrey Pidgeon.

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Great project. I wish you the best.

I zoomed in on the photo provided by Tony, and came up with some info.

There are two WC 54's in the lineup, the closest one with hood no: 7327573 (?) not 100% sure. One Willys MB/Ford GPW, one German staff car, possibly AUDI/Auto Union, and two Dodge WC 63's, the long wheelbase version of the weapons carrier.

Lineup w vehicles-markings-text smaller.jpg

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Goran Mon V! You will have to wait a couple of months I'm afraid...but... I have just booked to go on a guided tour of Bletchley Park in May with group of friends, so closer in let me know what you want to know, and I'll happily ask the questions.

 

The Special Liason Units were seperate from Bletchl;ey Park. The Middle East one was a place called the Grove in Cairo. I was lucky enough to speack to an old lady who had served there  when she was visitng her daughter in Jersey and they came to the Libeartion Show. The old lady was looking at some radio kit and made an odd remark about working on such equipment in Eygpt. That piqued my intrest and after taliking to her for a few minutes I mentioned the Grove. She went red and said'I'm not supposed to talk about that'. Turned out her daughter and family knew nothing about what thier mother had done, till I told them and she opened up a bit.

Edited by Tony B

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