Dells Army Ducks
Amphibious transportation vehicles from WWII era that provide tours over land and water to view the Wisconsin Dells famous rock formations. These unique vehicles allow tourists to view over 14,000 year old formations like Grotto Island, the Twin Ink Stands, Sugar Bowl Island, and the Wedding Bell. During peak summer season, the Ducks depart every 10-15 minutes for a one hour tour through Lake Delton and Dells Glacial Park.
Backstory and Context
WWII Army Amphibious vehicles (DUKWs) were designed by the National Defense Research Committee as a means of moving supplies directly from ships to the shore. In 1942 the first order of 2,000 was placed and training began in San Francisco. The vehicle was used in the initial assault on Normandy.
The history of the how the Ducks landed in the Wisconsin Dells is a story in itself. A Milwaukee trucking company owner, Melvin H. Plath, found interest in purchasing some Army surplus vehicles and took a financial risk by purchasing amphibious trucks (Ducks) before he had a plan with what he would do with them. After Plath became familiar with the unique vehicle, he took his family to Pewaukee Lake on Sundays, where he charged 50 cents a person to experience the vehicle that could transverse between land and water.