Toyota Su-Ki: The military vehicle that operated in the Pacific in World War II.

During World War II, the “Su-Ki” amphibious truck played a crucial role in Japanese military operations in the Pacific. Manufactured by Toyota, the Su-Ki emerged in response to the Imperial Japanese Army’s (IJA) identified need for vehicles capable of transporting supplies directly from cargo ships to shore and beyond, a lesson learned during the Guadalcanal campaign. This vehicle, similar to the American GMC DUKW, entered service in 1943 and was used in the Solomon Islands, Gilbert and Ellice campaigns.

Foto: Wikipedia

The Su-Ki was based on the Toyota KCY (To-Ki) 4×4 truck chassis and was equipped with a six-cylinder, 3.4-liter gasoline engine. Its design allowed it to operate in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, offering versatility in a variety of terrains. Weighing 6.4 tons and with a load capacity of 2 tons, the Su-Ki could carry essential supplies on its rear deck, protected by high sides and a loading ramp at the rear.

Despite being a makeshift vehicle, the Su-Ki served its purpose and demonstrated the need to develop more advanced designs. Operational experience with the Su-Ki inspired Toyota to create the experimental “LVT” prototype, marking the beginning of an evolution in amphibious vehicles. Although only one example of the Su-Ki remains today on the island of Ponape, its legacy endures as a testament to Japanese military engineering during World War II.