White M3 Half-Track

US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center
M3 Half Track

As modern armies became mechanized, they needed to find ways to transport material across uneven terrain. One solution, developed by several countries during World War II, was a truck with wheels in the front and tracks in the back to help drive it over rough country—the “half-track.”

The M3 Half-track was designed to transport soldiers as part of an armored advance. Its sides were lightly armored for protection against shell fragments. A back door provided easy entry and exit. Half-tracks were armed with .30 or .50-caliber machine guns, which could provide fire support during an assault. These vehicles were also used to haul supplies, evacuate the wounded, and act as mobile communication bases.

Gift of John E. Kushner, 2000.332


Date Introduced: 1941
Manufacturer: White Motor Company 
Number Produced: 40,000+


Crew: 2 (Driver and Gunner), capacity of 12
Length: 20 feet
Width: 7 feet
Maximum Speed: 45 miles per hour
Engine: White 160AX, 6-cylinder, in-line
Weight: 17,650 pounds (gross)
Armament: One .50-caliber machine gun