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M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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SFC_Jeff_Button
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Location: Ft Hood, TX
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:09 pm
Post subject: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

I found this at the MATES Facility on north Ft Hood. They were closed because of a 4 day weekend but the gate guard let me in when I told him I was researching the Sherman. My wife and I walked to it and I got the pictures of the numbers off the hull when the gate guard drove up to us and told us some Cheif Warrant Officer didn't want us in the compound on a day that they were technically closed. I asked to get the four angle shots, the guard said OK, and then he drove along beside us as we walked back to our car. I was so ticked off that I forgot to quickly peek at the rear tow lug for a serial number. The guard did tell me that this tank was on loan from Camp Mabry, by the Adjutant General and that it was delivered to this site about 8 years ago, being put in place by crane from a flat bed. I contacted Joe DeMarco and sent him these photos as well as some others of stampings from other areas of the tank. I hope to make the 42 mile round trip from my office to the MATES facilty this week and get that serial number. Notice the one track is on backwards! Is this T-80 or T-66 metal track?, I think it's T-80.

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toadmanstankpictures
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:47 pm
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

Yep, T80 track. Cool stampings on the glacis side. Joe told me something about those awhile back. I'll have to check my notes. Looks like I'll have to be sending you some blank CD's sometime soon. Laughing

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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:17 pm
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

Hi Jeff! Hi Folks!

- SFC_Jeff_Button




Is it just me or is there something different about the wheels on that vehicle? Confused

Where's the rubber? Surprised

Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile

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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:39 pm
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES


The top tank which is in front of III Corp HQ, has T-66 track while the lower tank has T-80 track, both of which were all metal. These are the type of track that most Shermans went to combat with during WWII. Once the war was over, the rubber chevron tread was adopted. This was due to, two main reasons. One, the rubber track was easier to maintain and preferred byt he crews. Second, post war, the U.S. was rebuilding in Europe and else where and didn't need the roads that it was to repair, damaged further by the metal tracks, not to mention the paved surfaces in the States. I've been told that the T-66 track is relativly rare, but there are 3 Shermans on Ft Hood with this tread. This is the only T-80 equiped Sherman. The right side tread is mounted backwards. It can be run both ways but it doesn't self clean as well this way.
Good eye on the wheels Roy, I hadn't noticed but they appear to have no rubber on them either. Possibly metal track only used wheels that were all metal as well?!?! Hopefully Joe DeMarco can clue us all in to this.

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jcneel
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:58 pm
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

I had stated earlier in another thread that I thought the T66 tracks are rare - mainly because of the many Sherman photos I have downloaded from the internet (I use them in the photo screen saver file for Windows) I have only seen one other that had the T66 tracks (on an M4A1 HVSS), until those found at Fort Hood. Most of the ones I have downloaded are either the T80s or the T84s.

The MMIR Sherman book states that the T66 tracks were common on late WW2 tanks. The T80 (all steel) tracks were also issued late in WW2 but saw widespread use in Korea. The T84 tracks came in later with the rubber blocks for the paved roads to prevent damage.

Being that the T66s were first issues, so to speak, I just summized that maybe they would be rarer than those tracks that were issued later... maybe not.

The all steel bogie wheels seen on the 105 Sherman above are the only ones I've seen. All others have had the rubber rims.

cn
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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:14 am
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

Hi Everyone,
I believe this tank was the same one I photo'd back in FEB. It should be on the west side of the MATES building inside the fence visible from the Gatesville Highway. It looked like it was an old hard target and had all the rubber burnt off the wheels. I also thought the track had all the rubber burnt off. I wish I could see the pictures.

Joe D
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:05 pm
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

Hi Joe! Hi Folks!

- Joe_D

It looked like it was an old hard target and had all the rubber burnt off the wheels.


When I noticed the missing rubber on the tires, I was wondering if that vehicle had be burned at sometime in it's pass. Being an ex-hard target would account for those one of a kind type of road wheels.

Sgt, Scouts Out!

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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:39 pm
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

- Roy_A_Lingle
Hi Joe! Hi Folks!

- Joe_D

It looked like it was an old hard target and had all the rubber burnt off the wheels.


When I noticed the missing rubber on the tires, I was wondering if that vehicle had be burned at sometime in it's pass. Being an ex-hard target would account for those one of a kind type of road wheels.

Sgt, Scouts Out!


I just did a quick measurement of the first roadwheel in each image and compared it with the same item in each image - in this case the first two struts holding up the catwalk on each side and it looks like the 105s all-steel wheels are about 10% larger than the steel section of the E8s rubber/steel roadwheels.

However perspective is a funny thing in images so I guess we will have to get him to go back and measure the wheels!

Cool

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SFC_Jeff_Button
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Location: Ft Hood, TX
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:10 pm
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

I recieved the following info from Joe DeMarco on this Sherman, but I intend to go back within the week and get the actual serial number. Telling me to leave made me even more determined and ticked off about getting that nuber and a few more pictures. Here's what Joe wrote:
"This Sherman looks like it's in pretty good shape, though the
rubber on the wheels has been burned off & it is missing its engine deck.
If it was recovered from a range, it doesn't appear to have received a lot
of impact damage.
The most significant stamping you found is the "M4A3-5-1851." I believe that
is code for M4A3(105) - build number 1851. As mentioned the build number
isn't exact, but it indicates this is about the 1851st M4A3(105) out of a
total of 3039. Crunching the numbers, I think the 1851st M4A3(105) would
have been built in March, 1945. The turret has sort of a bulge under the
commander's cupola, which is a late feature, that started to appear around
Jan, 1945. The hull has all late features. If you compare the turret & hull
to the M4A3(105)VVSS you reported on earlier, you can see some of
the differences - 2 small vs 1 large weepholes, inboard vs.outboard lifting
lugs on the glacis, & bulge vs. no bulge under the commander's cupola.
You can generally tell a Sherman that was built as a 105 howitzer model by
the fitting on the left rear which, IIRC, was to hold either the gun
cleaning rod or aiming stakes. Some of the early M4A3(105)VVSS don't appear
to have had that fitting for some reason, which appears to be the case with
the early one you found. If you have a chance to re-examine that tank at
some point, you might check if it has weld scars in that area from where the
fitting was removed. Another possibility is that it is an M4A3(75) or (76)
hull with a 105 turret added to it to make a complete display tank."

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SFC_Jeff_Button
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Location: Ft Hood, TX
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:04 pm
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

Hello all,
I made it back to this tank over my lunch today. Serial number on the right rear tow lug was 73274. I sent it along with a bunch of other stamping numbers I found to Joe DeMarco so I'll wait to see what he tells me and I'll post it here. I looked pretty closely at this tank and it does not appear to have been a range target. I couldn't find any scars, dings, etc, that you usually find. Those steel wheels dont show any rubber markings that maybe they melted or bunt off. The rear deck and hatches are obviously just pieces used to cover up the areas openings. The oringinal hatches appear to have been cut off! Joe should be able to trace the hulls history through the serial, but my guess is this is just a tank pieced together for display. With all the bad "patching" of openings and one track on backwards and no rubber on the road wheels, its a good thing this tank sits behind a fence and 100ft from the road so you cant tell all the mistakes. On the plus side, it's paint is so thin, that all stampings are easily seen. Stay tuned for an update of this vehicle history when I get it.

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SHAWN
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:46 am
Post subject: Re: M4A3 (105) HVSS at Ft Hood MATES

so what is inside jeff? is the interior pretty much obliterated?

well, a hat's off to the welder who put this piece back together for a static display. wondered why the effort was put into bringing this sherman back around? that is probably the sterilized inquiry of the recovery team that handled this thing back when....
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