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VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery
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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vagabond
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:20 pm
Post subject: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

Hi All,

We’ve posted a gallery of photos of M3 Lee SN2 on display at VFW Post 745 in Newark, DE.

Question for the experts: What is the significance of the 3’s stamped on the front tow lugs?

www.vgbimages.com/AFV-...552_j8xvp2

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:54 pm
Post subject: Re: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

I thought it was SN 3 but I haven't looked at my pictures of it for a long while. Isn't there a 3 on at least one of the rear tow lugs? I first mentioned that tank in the original 'AFV News discussion board years ago (like 2001) Joe DeMarco followed up on it back then.

It was the first Chrysler produced M3 and owned by Chrysler Corp. was used for publicity photos way back when (It is the M3 pushing a telephone pole in early publicity photos). It sat outside the Newark tank factory (later a Chrysler car factory) and was owned by the Chrysler Museum. It was moved at some point to the VFW. If you look at the lower hull you will see what appear to be penetrations of the hull (presumibly by solid AP shot)

Does the sign in front of it still say M3A5?

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Bob Smart (bsmart@xecu.net)
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Kurt_Laughlin
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:23 pm
Post subject: Re: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

This is the first M3 (or any tank) built at Detroit Tank Arsenal. It is SN 2. DTA stamped the tank's SN on all four lugs but the differential housings were obviously replaceable so the front doesn't always match the rear. Early on final drives were in short supply so they got swapped around as needed. Tank SN 2 ended up with the differential housing from SN 3.

KL
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vagabond
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:04 am
Post subject: Re: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

Bob - Yes, the sign still reads M3A5 - see below.

Kurt - Thanks for the answer! Did ALL tanks produced at DTA have the SN stamped on all four tow lugs? Did it start out that way and change as production increased?

Also below is the photo that Neil linked to in the AFV Register showing the M3 in a 50's Chrysler promo.

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Kurt_Laughlin
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:54 am
Post subject: Re: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

- vagabond
Kurt - Thanks for the answer! Did ALL tanks produced at DTA have the SN stamped on all four tow lugs? Did it start out that way and change as production increased?


For the M3 series and M4A4 they did. It doesn't seem to have lasted into their large hatch tanks. In any case, stampings on the rear lugs are definitive because they are welded on.

See also my handy-dandy guide: www.scribd.com/doc/194...-Locations

Also below is the photo that Neil linked to in the AFV Register showing the M3 in a 50's Chrysler promo.


Geez, everyone thought the M3 had too big of a silhouette . . .

KL
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vagabond
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:22 pm
Post subject: Re: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

Thanks again, Kurt!

I'm downloading a number of items from your treasure trove on scribd as I write this.

Cheers,
PH
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ChrisC
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:48 pm
Post subject: Re: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

In "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things" it is mentioned that the first tank built at DATP was saved by Chrysler and sent to a museum, is this it? I have to find that passage in the book again.
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ChrisC
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:05 pm
Post subject: Re: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

Question, since the heritage of this tank seems well documented, why is it sitting where it is? I mean, once the Army ID'd "Cobra King" it was swept up rather fast, and this tank is just as important in my opinion. Just kind of wondering out loud...
Is this tank an Army loan? Some of the stuff I read suggest that it was given to Chrysler at the end of the war, who actually "owns" it?
I admit that I am a bit biased, our museum would like to see this tank come "home"
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Kurt_Laughlin
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:16 pm
Post subject: Re: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

The tank is owned by the VFW. It was originally paid for by donations from Chrysler-Plymouth dealers and given to the Government by Chrysler. (In fact, Ordnance later insisted that Chrysler give them a "make up" tank on a later order because Ordnance did not count SN 2 against the contract quantities as it was a donation.) The Government returned the tank to Chrysler, free and clear, and Chrysler turned it over to the VFW. This has all been documented, BTW.

If it wasn't for various Chrysler bankruptcies it would have gone "home", back to a corporate museum in Detroit.

Cobra King never left Army possession. It was on a military base in Germany where it had been left for decades.

One more thing, the Army never "ID'd" Cobra King. It was a Chaplain at the base with an interest in WW II and Joe DeMarco over here. Even after receiving overwhelming evidence of its historical significance the Army still didn't believe them or act for months if not years. If it wasn't for those two it would probably be sitting in a storage area somewhere, or made into railroad rails.

KL
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ChrisC
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:05 pm
Post subject: Re: VFW Post 745 - Newark, DE - M3 Gallery

Thanks Kurt, that fills in some of the missing bits in my info on this tank. I thought the tank was turned over to Chrysler at wars end. The fact that this vehicle exists outside the army loan system makes it an interesting case... does anyone know just how "attached" this VFW is to this vehicle?

I know the "Cobra King" story is more complex, but I use it as an example, the FT17's in Afghanistan or the Sherman 105 from Udari also come to mind, I would think this vehicle would have been something the Army would have wanted for their "Museum of the US Army" project, but the fact that it is not on their loan register explains many things.

I know its a pipe dream, but our museum is less than 5 miles from the old DATP, and it would be such an honor to bring this old girl home. If nothing else, I am planning a trip to visit and stand in the shadow of this vehicles history.
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