Images of various Artifacts of the Month's

May 2019

Artifact of the Month

M29 Weasel, Amphibious Truck

The Weasel was introduced in 1942 when the First Special Services Force needed transportation into Norway to knock out strategic power plants that were supplying Germany. The vehicle needed to move quickly and easily through the winter snows of Norway. It needed to be air transportable and be able to withstand the effects of being dropped by parachute.

The task of building the Weasel was undertaken by the Studebaker Company. Studebaker was given 180 days to produce a war ready vehicle. In less than 60 days, they were testing a prototype, which emerged as the M29 Cargo Carrier. It was used in Europe, the Pacific and Alaska during WW II, and by VJ Day, over 15,000 had been built

The M29 Cargo Carrier "Weasel" could be used as command, radio, ambulance, signal line laying, and light cargo vehicle. It proved most useful on difficult terrain (snow, swamps, sand, deep mud, and lakes). The M29 became the standard model in November 1943. Unfortunately, the Norwegian mission was cancelled, and the Weasel was never used for its original intention.

A later amphibious version was called the M29C, adding watertight cells for buoyancy and twin rudders at the stern. It proved very useful in the winter terrain in the 1950s when they were used in polar expeditions for exploration and discovery. It was used in vital Arctic and Antarctic Operations, supporting explorers and scientists.