Amphibious Vehicle Early in World War II, there was a problem. How could cargo be uploaded with men from ships in to land areas and docks which were destroyed or on land areas with no docks?
Unloading cargo over the beach was the resolution. The question was, how? So a vehicle was designed to be half boat and half water-tight GM truck that could go on land and water was designed. It was referred to as DUKW (pronounced DUCK). The name DUKW comes from:
"D" for the year designed.
"U" for "utility use".
"K" for front wheel drive.
"W" for two powered rear axles.
The idea was initially rejected by the armed services. When a patrol craft from the Coast Guard near Provincetown, MA ran aground on a sandbar, an experimental DUKW happened to be in the area. The DUKW had no trouble demonstrating their abilities.
DUKW's would cross the English Channel showing it was up for the challenges ahead and became crucial in European and Pacific battles, and the Battle of Normandy during WWII. They were six-wheel-drive, and used for water to land attacks, transporting troops and supplies from the water on to land. After World War II, they were used in other conflicts.
Today, many have been modified to be tourist craft in marine environments such as those at CityView Ducks. We honor our history and look forward to sharing it with you!