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M39 Armored Utility Vehicle

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  • # built 640
  • Years produced 1944-1945
  • Weight 16.7 tons
  • Crew 3, plus 8 passengers
  • Engine Continental R-975C4 radial 9 cyl. 400 hp
  • Range 100 miles
  • Speed 50 mph
  • Armor - front .5"
  • Armament 1x .50 cal mg. 900 rounds.

While only a few M39s saw combat in WWII, these armored utility vehicles became a workhorse for the U.S. Army in the Korean War.

Built by Buick, the M39 was refitted for Korea to transport and supply troops, carry ammunition, and save lives as a medevac ambulance. The M39’s thin armor and open top left the crew vulnerable to enemy fire.  At the battle of Imjin River, troops in the African American 999th Armored Field Artillery Battalion used their M39s to break through a bloody ambush. While not designated for heavy combat, Battery B relied upon the vehicles .50 caliber machine guns to inflict heavy casualties and survive.



The American Heritage Museum will be open for MA Spring Break Week (April 15-21) including Monday, April 15th and Tuesday, April 16th. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. Free Admission Day on Tuesday, April 16th funded by a grant from the Highland Street Foundation's Spring Week 2024 Program.