The DUKW was designed by Roderic Stephens of New York based naval architects Sparkman and Stephens Inc., to meet a World War II need to move men and materials ashore where no port facilities existed. It is based around the ubiquitous General Motors Corporation CCKW 2.5ton 6x6 army truck - a vehicle that was already in production and for which spares were readily available from army stores. Brilliantly conceived, and built with great efficiency, DUKW production totalled over 21,000 between 1942 and 1945.
Operational use in Europe commenced in 1943 with the invasion of Sicily where during the early days 90% of all supplies came in by DUKW. From D-Day and during the first 4 months of the Normandy campaign, 40% of over-beach supplies were DUKW borne. DUKWS continued in service after the war with many armies - the British finally retiring theirs in 1974. DUKW is a US Army acronym meaning D = 1942, U = utility or amphibious, K = 6 wheel drive and W = twin rear axles. The vehicles have always been affectionately referred to as ‘Ducks’. Of those built, between 700 and 1,000 are thought to still exist.
All DUKW chassis numbers start with 353. Our Ducks - ‘Wacker Quacker 1’ and ‘Wacker Quacker 2’ are No’s 35319572 and 35320332. We are currently researching their history but know that Wacker Quacker 1 was once owned by BP and spent a number of years operating in Aberdeen Harbour. It then went to an army museum in Scotland but was never put on display. It was purchased by Mr Rex Ward a few years ago and restored to show condition. We purchased it in 2000 and updated and converted it to the configuration you see it in today.
‘Wacker Quacker 3’ was beautifully restored by our own engineering team and was launched in the Albert Dock in October 2006. Restoration work on ‘Wacker Quacker 4’ was completed in Spring 2009.