As we look forward to Memorial Day, Dodge looks back across the long history of military production. As early as 1918, Dodge was producing Touring Cars for the U.S. Army. These vehicles featured modifications from the civilian models, such as rugged canvas duck fabric tops and khaki paint with the Army serial numbers painted across the hoods to allow for easy identification.
These Touring Cars saw action throughout Europe, and provided their passengers with dependable transportation through the muddy battlefields of France and Belgium. During the battles in Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel, Belleau Wood, Marne, Meuse-Argonne and many others, the rugged and hardworking Dodge vehicles moved troops and supplies. The superior performance of the Dodge Touring Car was lauded in numerous letters sent to Dodge by thankful soldiers, from enlisted men up to leading officers, such as General George Pershing - Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces.
In addition to the Touring Car, Dodge also produced Screen Side Trucks and Ambulances for the European Theater. Other contributions included components, such as the recoil mechanism for France s 155-mm guns. To support this effort Dodge built a special plant, erected specialized machinery and financed the entire project without turning a profit. At this plant, 30 units were produced each day.
As hostilities ended and peace returned, Dodge returned its focus to turning out their iconic civilian products. This was, however, not to be the end of Dodges involvement in U.S. military production. In 1940, the Army came calling again and Dodge was ready once again to contribute to the war effort.
In part two of Dodge s Military Might, we will look at Word War II and the Korean Conflict.
In the meantime, check out these exclusive offers from Dodge for members of the U.S. military.