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.
It 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. Later the DUKW would cross the English Channel showing it was up for the challenges aheadBuild for the Demand
After World War II, DUKW's were used in other conflicts in many other countries and settings. The former USSR added a rear loading capacity and produced 2,000 units. During the Korean War, the US Army activated and deployed DUKW's. They were used for bringing supplies to land in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter and other landings.
Even though DUKWs are used dominantly for the military, police and fire departments began to use them. Today, many have been modified to be tourist craft in marine environments.In Literature and Movies