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A Blast From the Past!

The amphibious DUKW vehicles known as Ducks were first brought to Wisconsin Dells in 1946 when the original founder of the Duck ride tour, Melvin Flath began giving tours of the scenic Wisconsin Dells Landscape. Soon after, word of his tours spread throughout the area and his original 1 1/2 hour Land & Water Tour became popular and an iconic Wisconsin Dells attraction. Now, there are two Duck companies operating in Wisconsin Dells. 

Enjoy these vintage pictures of the first Duck Tours to travel throughout the Dells!

cruisin down the river dell creek Donald Duck lake delton Donald Duck sally lake on hiawatha duck property

These Ducks have Hard Bodies

Dells Army Ducks are pretty tough! The amphibious vehicles were used during World War II to help deliver goods and supplies from water to land and beyond! The body of the vehicle is made of steel, and the interior features 5 forward gears, letting the vehicle travel at speeds up to 50mph over smooth roads and 6.5 mph in the water.

These vehicles have maintained the same original quality and safety to this day as they once did! With daily inspections and up-to-date maintenance, take a Dells Army Duck Tour and see how tough these vehicles are!

Interview with the Field Family

Did you know that Dells Army Ducks is a family run business? The Field family runs all of the operations at Dells Army Ducks so they can provide each tour with the same quality and consistency as the first! We sat down with George Field II, Manager at Dells Army Ducks, and ask what it’s like operating Dells Army Ducks in Wisconsin Dells.

Q1.) How long has your family been a part of Dells Army Ducks?

A.) Our entire lives. In 1946 a man named Melvin H. Flath founded the duck tours. Melvin is Suzanne Field’s father and our grandfather. The ducks are in our blood, and it can be said that the ducks have been a part of our lives, for our entire lives. Melvin passed away back in 1973, but his spirit lives on at the Dells Army Ducks where his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren continue to operate today.

Q2.) How many family members are involved with the company and what do they do?

A.) Four, George and Suzanne Field – Owners, Jason Field – General Manager, and George Field II – Manager

Q3.) What do you like most about operating Dells Army Ducks?

A.) Helping thousands (1000s) of families create life-long memories while on vacation in Wisconsin Dells. Their smiles say it all!

Q4.) What makes Dells Army Ducks different from other attractions?

A.) We’ve got something for everyone. We’re not just a duck ride anymore. Yes, the classic Army Duck ride is the most popular, but we also offer the Upper Dells on board the WildThing Jet Boat that splashes passengers, and does 360º spins and power-stops. We also have the Hi-Flying Bigfoot Zip Line that flies adventurers and thrill-seekers through the woods and over the water on a seven (7) line course ranging from 500 – 1400 feet long. Combination packages for multiple rides make our attraction the best value in the Dells. Call (608) 254-6080 for more information.

71 Years and Counting!

This summer marks the 71st season that the Ducks have been giving their famous land and water boat tours in Wisconsin Dells. Dells Army Ducks prides itself in offering the same quality tour that was given back in 1946 by Melvin Flath. There’s no doubt that Dells Army Ducks will continue to flourish in Wisconsin Dells. Each year, friends and families travel from all around the country to ride one of the amphibious vehicles and learn about the natural history of the Dells.

For the full history of the DUKW Vehicles and how they landed in the dells, click here !

Spotlight on: Tom Sawyer’s Summer Paint Job

Each year, Dells Army Ducks ensures the quality and safety of their boats by performing maintenance procedures and restorations. This past season was no different. Built in 1946 in Pontiac, Michigan, the Tom Sawyer has been a Dells Army Duck in the Field Family since the early 1970’s. The original color of the vehicle was olive drab, which represents the color used by the U.S. Army in the 1940’s. This past winter season, it has been restored and repainted for future tours. On your next Dells Army Duck Tour, you may be lucky enough to ride aboard the Tom Sawyer.

Dells Army Ducks are a Family-Owned Business

In 1946, a gentleman named Melvin Flath first brought the Ducks to Wisconsin Dells. He offered quality tours on both land and water to families visiting the area. 71 years and a few generations later, the Field Family continues to offer those quality tours to the next generations. Owner and Operator, Jason Field along with 7 other family members enjoy being able to work alongside each other to help other families create beautiful Wisconsin Dells memories.

Field’s family has been in the boat business since 1894! His great-grandfather, F.A. Field owned 2 paddle wheel boats, and offered tours on the Upper Wisconsin River. On your next Wisconsin Dells vacation, be sure to hop aboard a Dells Army Duck Tour and experience this family-run business for yourself!

History of DUKW Vehicles in the Dells

Right after WWII, a Milwaukee gentleman named Melvin H. Flath read about an auction out in California where they were auctioning off a surplus of trucks. He went out there, and to his surprise found the trucks to be amphibious vehicles and nothing that he had imagined. These vehicles were used during WWII to help transport goods and troops over land and water. After some thought, Melvin bought what is now popularly known as a DUKW vehicle, or DUCK!

He rode his DUCK back to Milwaukee and was at first made fun of for his bulky purchase. He installed some used Milwaukee bus seats in his DUCK and on Sundays, would take his family in Pewaukee Lake. He charged others 50 cents to ride in his DUCK as he’d splash in the water! At one point, someone mentioned to Melvin that he should take his DUCK to Wisconsin Dells, where everyday is Sunday!

He did the following week and in 1946, began giving one and a half hour tours of the Dells. Over 70 years later, the DUCK tours continue to impress visitors to Wisconsin Dells with their rich history, nature scenery, and a splashing good time!

Memories Begin Here
  • Army Ducks
  • Wildthing
  • Boat Patrol
  • Bigfoot Ziplines
  • Big Foot Ropes Course