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Book Review of

"U.S. Army Signal Corps Vehicles



By Major (Retired) Don Allen - Orleans, Ontario Canada


Basic Item Information


U.S. Army Signal Corps Vehicles 1941-1945


Didier Andres


Casemate Publishers (Sponsor of WarWheels.Net)




Hard Cover

Number of Pages

160 Pages
Number/Type of Photos and/or Illustrations Illustrations throughout (over 400) with four period color photographs and 15 equipment tables.

Text Language


Retail Price

$37.95 USD


Major (Retired) Don Allen - Orleans, Ontario Canada

Review Date

January 24, 2022

Review Summary

Review Type

Full Read 

Basic Positive Features Comprehensive & detailed coverage of an often-overlooked subject. Hundreds of clear photos are provided to explore the subject. 
Basic Negative Features No color plates with unit marking samples.


A Definite "Must Have"




Detailed Review


To be clear, Casemate Publishers is a welcome sponsor of WarWheels.net.  With that being said, we can start the book review.

This review is of the new book released by Casemate entitled, “U.S. Army Signal Corps Vehicles 1941-45”, authored by Didier Andres.  The book is the English version of the French reference, “Les Vehicules des transmissions de l’U.S. army”, which was originally released by Histoire & Collections in 2020. 

This book provides a detailed reference covering the U.S. Army Signals Corps vehicles in World War II.  This is not intended as a complete pictorial history of the U.S. Army Signal Corps although the acquisition of their various vehicles and equipment do follow a chronological order.

Just a quick note on the title.  The book cover states 1941-45 but the inside title page says 1939-45. Although a bit odd, this does not detract from the book, in fact, the focus of the book is on the U.S. involvement in World War II during the period of 1941-45.  There are a few references to an earlier period which tie in nicely with the contents of this volume.

The book is divided into chapters as follows:

1.     Introduction (emphasis on the documentary film units)

2.     Evolution of the Model K

3.     Radar Trucks

4.     Radio Trucks

5.     Multi-Purpose Vehicles

6.     Specialized Vehicles

7.     Specialized Trailers

8.     Telephony

9.     Special Cases

Photograph/Illustration Quality and Selection

The book contains over 400 high quality black/white photographs and four period color photographs.  They are uniformly crisp and clear throughout for both the B&W and color examples.  These will be an excellent resource for history buffs, vehicle restorers and model makers.  Modelers will also benefit from the many diorama ideas from the chosen scenes. 

The tables are informative and give the basic characteristics of the vehicles and specialized Signals Corps equipment presented.  The only criticism that I have is the absence of any color vehicle and equipment plates of the Corp’s equipment.  Certainly not a show- stopper but it would have enhanced this otherwise excellent volume.

Book Quality

This edition is a sturdy 8” x 10” hard cover, well bound volume, which we have come to expect from Casemate Publishing. This is one in the high-quality series of Casemate Illustrated Specials.  The construction of the book facilitates frequent use, which you are surely going to do with this reference.

Chapter Review

1. Introduction.  Any study of the U.S. Signal Corps is a study of the advances in technology.  Their mission was a huge one and from the text “… a global war required, first of all, a global communications network” and, “decision making at all levels requires timely and accurate information [from around the globe] and this was provided by the Signal Corps”.  In this role the Signal Corps was uniquely equipped.  What is often forgotten about the Signal Corps is that they also produced “both still and motion pictures for tactical, strategic, intelligence, technical and training activities”.  This means that the members and equipment of the Signal Corps served in every theater of war, which is well illustrated throughout the volume.

2. Evolution of the Model K.  This chapter discusses the “Model K” designation which was used exclusively by the U.S. Army Signal Corps.  The prefix “K” was used by the Corps to designate a vehicle or piece of equipment and does not refer to a manufacturer or vehicle/equipment type.  The “Model K” category covers a wide variety of vehicles and equipment.  A useful chart is included which lists many of the “K” models.  The “K” designation was officially replaced in 1943 by a “V” number but the “K” appellation survived until the war’s end. 

3. Radar Trucks.  A major technological advance in the war was the introduction of radar and the Signal Corps was involved from the start.  This is a lengthy chapter and delves into the many “K” models of trucks and radar systems available to the Corps.  Also introduced here is the “SCR” designation or Signal Corps Radio followed by three numbers to designate signal gear such as radios and radar sets. The accompanying photos of the various radar and support equipment will be inspiring and informative for enthusiasts, model makers and diorama builders.

4. Radio Trucks.  Many of us are familiar with radio equipped vehicles and this chapter will not disappoint and in fact will offer some surprising vehicle options.  Many of the vehicles are known but I was not familiar with the K-18 GMC Truck/Van.  This vehicle is well covered with external and interior photos and begs to be modeled as a scratch building project.

5. Multi-Purpose Vehicles.  This section examines the rigid-body medium trucks which covers several types but most notably the venerable “Deuce”.  As well, it discusses other smaller Chevrolet model panel vans and their specific roles.  The photographic coverage, inside and out, is well done and will provide ideas for reenactors and model builders alike.

6. Specialized Vehicles. This chapter goes into some detail about light telephone maintenance and repair trucks in the 1 1/2-ton category.  Many of these duties were ably filled by the revered Dodge family but also includes Chevrolet trucks in both the light and medium (Deuce) groups. Also included is a healthy section concerning that durable workhorse, the Jeep. Excellent external/interior photos of these working vehicles give the enthusiast many options.

7. Specialized Trailers. Frankly, I had no idea of how many specialized trailers existed in the Signal Corps and this section throws the light on many of them.  These are all included in the “Model K” family of the Signal Corps.  An excellent reference for scratch builders of all scales.

8. Telephony.  This fascinating chapter refers to the line laying units and equipment of the Signal Corps.  This was, and still is, an essential battlefield skill.  It is essential in static positions to be able to communicate without having to use easily intercepted radio transmissions. In other words, to maintain radio silence.  Admittedly, less useful in mobile warfare, the telephone is still essential to the rear echelon and someone must lay the lines to make it function.  This section includes an amazing array of cable laying, pole installing and line maintenance vehicles, all well illustrated throughout this section.

9.  Special Cases.  This chapter is a catchall and contains quite a collection of “specialized cases”.  The topics vary from mobile pigeon lofts (a throwback to World War I), the establishment of full-sized mobile broadcasting station units, to the construction of the special purpose stand-alone HO-17 Shelters.  These were used for communications and headquarters which were mounted on many different vehicles.  They are certainly common in the military today, but were revolutionary in their time.  They are well illustrated both inside and out.


All up this is another excellent offering by Casemate and a worthy addition to any personal library; whether it belongs to an historian, a vehicle restorer, or a builder of military miniatures.  It is also a worthy tribute to the many men and women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and a fascinating look into their often-neglected vehicles and equipment that they operated.  This volume is highly recommended without reservation.  I look forward to future volumes in this Casemate Illustrated Special series.


A Definite "Must Have".


Thanks to Casemate Publishers for the Review Sample.

Copyright: Don Allen -January 2022