The M35 2 ½ Ton Cargo Truck was originally developed for the US Army. Since its inception, this vehicle has been utilized by a number of nations around the world. The M35 is one of several cargo trucks referred to as the ‘deuce and a half’. This truck was built to carry a maximum of 5,000 lbs. off road or up to 10,000 lbs. on road. The vehicle has been known to carry twice its intended maximum.
The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL has an M35 2 1/2 ton cargo truck on display. A true appreciation for the trucks massive size and capabilities is realized as you stand along side this vehicle. Click on the link below to view a recent AFHM video featuring their Deuce and a Half.
Design and Development
Initially designed by the REO Motor Car Company in 1949, the M35 was based on its predecessor the M34. The M35 was designed with a 10-tire configuration verses the M34s 6-tire ‘super single’ configuration. The Variants of the M35 deuce and a half were used to carry troops and transport cargo. They were also utilized as dump trucks, wreckers, medical vans and guided-missile launchers.
- Classification: Medium Truck
- Service: 1951 to present day
- Weight: 13,030 lbs.
- Length: 277 inches
- Crew: 2
- Operation Range: 4 – 500 miles
- Speed: 55 miles per hour
Depending on the variant, the following engines were used in the M35
- OA-331 Continental inline-6 gasoline
- Continental LDS-427 Turbo Engine
- 4-450 schwitzer turbo (or)
- 4D454C schwitzer turbo
- LD-465-1 478 CID multi-fuel engine
- LDT-465-1c (turbo clean air)
History of Operations
Production on the M35 began in 1950 and ran until 1988. It entered service in 1951 to replace the GMC CCKW and M135 utility trucks. Full replacement would not be completed until the mid-1960s. The M35 quickly became the dominant medium class truck for the US military due, in part, to its fording ability.
The M35 has some Korean War history, but was not available in large enough numbers until 1965 during the Vietnam War, at which time it was produced in large enough quantities to satisfy the number of American forces being stationed within the Republic of Vietnam. Mainly used as a logistic truck for the US Army, the M35 would be further designed to accomplish a number of necessary requirements presented during this war.
Though not manufactured with armament, the M35 was known to be improvised with a variety of weapons. Below are some of the known weapons:
- 2 x 7.62mm M60 belt-fed general purpose machine guns
- 40mm M79 single-shot grenade launchers
- M16 assault rifles
- M2 Browning .50cal heavy machine gun
- XM134 mini-gun Gatling system
Improved variants of the M35 were used in Bosnia and in Operation Iraqi Freedom and have been shipped to over 25 countries worldwide. Though currently being phased out and replaced by the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), the M35 2 ½ ton cargo truck proved to be one of the most versatile and operationally successful vehicles used by the US Army throughout its history.