Specific: Shown to the left a
M55 delivered as part of the "Honest John"
rocket system. To the right a M289 launcher and a M62 wrecker.
Historical: Longer chassis and a heavily
reinforced frame made the M54 a M55. Both vehicles were part of the
G-744 series of 5-ton 6 x 6 trucks that had it's roots in a 1945
recommendation by the US Army Ground Forces Equipment Review Board that
the existing 4-ton and 6-ton classes of 6 x 6 trucks should be
superseded by a 5-ton 6 x 6 class. Primary manufacturer
was International Harvester Corporation, which started production in
January 1951, although it wasn't until March 1953 that they were
standardised. Other manufacturers were Diamond T and Mack.
In the Honest John Rocket system the M55 was used for transport of the rocket in
cradles. Under transport the rocket was split into two components -
warhead and rocket motor. Furthermore a 115 volts generator set was
attached, applying power for a heating-blanket used to protect the
propellant from temperature changes. Another rocket was carried on a
special four-wheeled trailer.
The set-up was known as "Heating and Tie Down Unit, 762mm Rocket,
Length: 9.79 m (382 inches).
Width: 2.46 m (96 inches).
Height: 2.94 m (114 inches).
Weight: 20.146 kg (44.321 lb.).
Engine: 6-cylinder (Continental R6602), 9.866 cm3
(602 cubic inches) displacement, liquid cooled.
Horsepower: 196 at 2.800 rpm.
Transfer case: 2-speed.
Electrical system: 24 volt.
Tyres: 11.00 - 20.
without preparation: N/A.
with deep water fording kit: N/A.
Fuel type: Petrol.
Fuel capacity: 355 liter (78 gallons).
Range: 342 km (214 miles).
Additional: 10 ton winch capacity.