Owner: Virginia Mason
Manufacuter: Brunswick Corp.
Type: Truck, Platform, Utility 1/2 Ton 4×4
Engine: Hercules 2 Cylinder Air Cooled
Transmission: 3 Speed Manual with 2 Speed Transfer Case
Fuel Capacity: 8.0 gals
Weight: 870 Lbs
Payload: 1000 Lbs
Max Speed: 25 mph
Armament: The M274 was designed to carry a M40 105 MM Recoilless rifle.
A total of 11,240 M274′s were made, 874 by the Brunswick Corporation.
Mule with Recoilless Rifle
Virginia bought this “MULE” in August 2003, it came from Morgantown, West Virginia.
This mule is currently undergoing a partial restoration, please check back for the progress and pictures.
The M274, known as the Mechanical Mule, was developed in the 1950s as a light weight cargo carrier to replace both the 1/4-ton jeep and 3/4-ton trucks in infantry and airborne infantry battalions. The M274 was also known as the “Truck, Platform, Utility 1/2 Ton, 4×4″ or the “Carrier, Light Weapons, Infantry, 1/2 ton, 4×4″.
The M274 Mules were often outfitted with a wide array of weaponry, especially in the Vietnam War.
The M274 family could also be fitted for many infantry tasks including transport of personnel or cargo (slowly–keeping up with foot soldiers), for stringing wire with a cable reel, for carrying patients on stretchers, and as a weapons platform for a recoilless rifle or TOW anti-tank missle. Each wheel had shackles for lifting by helicopter or parachute airdrop. The seat and the foot basket can be detached and stored underneath the platform which can then be rigged as a steerable trailer. The steering column could be set in multiple positions so the driver could operate the vehicle from almost any position, including crouching down.
The M274 vehicles were phased out by 1980, with the intended replacement being the Humvee (HMMWV). Now it is a military vehicle collectors’ item.
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