Royal Army Service Corps
Formed as the Army Service Corps in 1869 that branch of
the British Army which handles transport can trace its roots
to the appointment of a Waggon-Master-General way back in
the Sixteenth Century. The Corps' interest in mechanical
vehicles dates from 1903 when it took over responsibility
for such things from the Royal Engineers. During the First
World War the ASC provided the drivers for the first tanks
and it was as a result of outstanding work in that conflict
that it was awarded 'Royal' status in November 1918.
Tank Museum photo No. 3058/D/2
The RASC employed DUKWs for the first time during the Sicilian
Landings in July 1943 and the amphibians later distinguished
themselves running a ferry service across the Straits of
Messina when the Allies crossed over to Italy.
Technical Manual (click for larger
image - 30Kb)
In Britain the RASC raised 11 DUKW companies for the D-Day
landings. Each company operated 75 DUKWs at any one time
but actually had 100 vehicles on strength so that 25 were
always under maintenance. Regular immersion in seawater
demanded constant cleaning and lubrication.
Tank Museum photo No. 3058/D/5
(click on picture for larger image 25kb)
DUKWs continued to serve throughout the north west Europe
campaign and they are seen here crossing the Rhine in March
1945. They also saw service in Italy and indeed Burma through
to the end of hostilities.
The Royal Army Service Corps became the Royal Corps of
Transport in 1965 and the Royal Logistic Corps in 1993.
Royal Logistic Corps Museum is at Deepcut, Camberley,
The Museum of Army Transport at Beverley is closed at present.