Images of various Artifacts of the Month's

December 2020

Artifact of the Month

XM-147 Amphibious Truck “SuperDUKW”

In the late 1940s, the Army began an effort to revitalize its fleet of wheeled vehicles remaining from WW II. One of the vehicles chosen for replacement was the DUKW Amphibious Truck. New designs for an amphibious vehicle were already being developed at the start of the war in Korea and the war hastened this development. The Army wanted an improved vehicle capable of carrying more cargo from ship to shore. They also desired a vehicle that was easier to load and unload and that could easily maneuver through mud.

Two vehicles, the XM-147 and LARC, were tested at the same time. The Ordnance Department, remembering World War II, simply added a boat hull to the frame of a post war M135 truck. The result was called the XM-147 “Super DUKW”. Initial tests in 1953 and 1954 proved that the XM147 could carry four tons of cargo and was superior to the original DUKW in all ways. Additional modifications were made and in 1958 the Ordnance Department recommended the XM-147 for production. The XM-147, however, never reached full production due to losing out to the LARC in a head-to-head competition. The LARC could carry more cargo and was easier to load and unload; so the Army selected that vehicle as their new amphibian.