D = built in 1942
U = amphibious 2-1/2 ton truck
K = front wheel drive
W = rear wheel drive
This site was inspired by three new 458th DUKW members from the 1950-1953 era who with saved photo's and a good memory have helped to fill in missing details of early 458th history, with more information expected over the next few weeks their will be additions to this site.
The DUKW, better known as the DUCK was first developed in 1942 during the height of World War II, they were based upon the GMC two & half ton truck
3, which had been in production for 18 months prior to the first development of the DUKW. By the end of WW2 more than 21,000 DUKWs had been manufactured
Although the DUKW was not the first amphibious vehicle ever created, it was the most successful in history up to its day. Other amphibious landing vehicles were
The US Navy, responsible for the operation of all boats and ships, simply did not have enough men to train and operate all the various landing craft rolling off assembly lines. In early 1942, the Navy requested that the Army train and man some landing craft and all of the DUKWs. Initially, this mission was assigned to the Corps of Engineers. The First Engineer Amphibian Command was established early in the summer of 1942.
Army training took place at an Aquatic Park near the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, and a Boat Training Center was established at Camp Edwards, MA.
2nd Brigade, 87th Engineer Battalion
was trained and issued DUKWs and other equipment. At the request of General Douglas MacArthur, they embarked for the Pacific in mid-January 1943. The first training exercise for the DUKW came in March 1943 when the 2nd Brigade landed troops on Noumea, New Caledonia. The landing was small and involved only a few DUKWs and other landing craft, but it was successful. The amphibian engineers and the DUKW had proven their merit.
Eventually, the number of DUKW companies grew and the Transportation Corps established 15 Amphibious Truck Battalions and Headquarters Detachments, in order to assemble DUKW companies all under one command. A very good detailed history may be found at
Other amphibious landing vehicles were
This site brought to you courtesy of the 458th Sea Tiger Association and it's members
DUKW related photo's from 1943-1955 needed