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a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today
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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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:00 pm
Post subject: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

Hello,

today I got the information that there was an M4A3 wreck on a fire range near Colmar. With a friend, we immediately went there and took some pictures this afternoon :

http://the.shadock.free.fr/Tanks_in_France/sherman_saintecroix/index.html

We found the original RN on the side of the tank, and it reads something like 30115087x. The serial number could be something like 6205x or 6206x, which is part of a batch of 822 M4A4(75)W built by Fisher.

Pierre-Olivier

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Kurt_Laughlin
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:21 pm
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

Hi P-O:

If the 30115087 is accurate the "x" was probably just the "S" for radio suppression - Tanks of this era only had eight-digit RNs. The serial for that RN is 62065.

It looks like it might still have the data plate inside. That would confirm the SN. Also, with no paint the Fisher build number should be visible on the front left side.

Did you record the differential housing and upper hull plate casting information?

Good work!!

Thanks,
KL
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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:43 pm
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

- Kurt_Laughlin
Hi P-O:

If the 30115087 is accurate the "x" was probably just the "S" for radio suppression


Indeed the good number that I was able to read is 3011508x (the 7 was a mistake while writing the message)

- Kurt_Laughlin
It looks like it might still have the data plate inside. That would confirm the SN. Also, with no paint the Fisher build number should be visible on the front left side.

Did you record the differential housing and upper hull plate casting information?


There was no dataplate inside the tank. I did find the SN (which was only partially readable) on the tow lugs, but no SN was readable on the differential housing or the front armor plate. I do have some of the casting information (I did find some casting numbers on the final drive, turret base protection and bogies) :

Upper hull plate casting info :


P-O

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:43 pm
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

So is it an M4A3 or M4A4? Looking at the spacing of the bogies I would guess an M4A4.

But the engine seems to be a single V type. Could it have been re-engined after the war (I seem to remember the French re-engined a lot of shermans to a standard engine no matter what they started with)

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Kurt_Laughlin
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:04 pm
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

M4A3. I think the "M4A4" at the end of the initial message was a typo.

ID features:

Only M4, M4A2, and M4A3 large hatch hulls built, so can't be an M4A4.

The engine door props (vertical, rectangular block about 18 inches forward of rear hull lift lug; broken off on the left, present on the right) were unique to the M4A3.

No bracket for aiming posts or ramming staffs on left rear sponson, so it was probably not a howitzer tank.

The rectangular rather than D-shaped weld fill areas on the glacis beside the differential housing bolt strip are indicative of a Fisher product. Fisher did not make howitzer tanks, so further confirmation.

KL
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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:23 am
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

- Kurt_Laughlin
M4A3. I think the "M4A4" at the end of the initial message was a typo.

ID features:

Only M4, M4A2, and M4A3 large hatch hulls built, so can't be an M4A4.

The engine door props (vertical, rectangular block about 18 inches forward of rear hull lift lug; broken off on the left, present on the right) were unique to the M4A3.

No bracket for aiming posts or ramming staffs on left rear sponson, so it was probably not a howitzer tank.

The rectangular rather than D-shaped weld fill areas on the glacis beside the differential housing bolt strip are indicative of a Fisher product. Fisher did not make howitzer tanks, so further confirmation.

KL


Yes it's definitely an M4A3, the designation "M4A4" was another typo...

So these information confirm that the RN and SN are accurate, even if they are not complete.
I'm not 100% sure, but looking at the pictures, my wild guess is that the last number of the RN is a 1, and the SN is rather 6205x than 6206x :



that would make it RN 301150871 / SN 62059.

There are very few M4A3s in France, I wonder how this one came on that fire range...

P-O

P-O

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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:09 am
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

Excellent work, P-O!

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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:26 am
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

well, we have to thank Kurt Laughlin and Joe DeMarco. I was only able to find the RN/SN of that tank, thanks to their researches and the information they provided to me.

P-O

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Kurt_Laughlin
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:43 pm
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

"well, we have to thank Kurt Laughlin and Joe DeMarco. I was only able to find the RN/SN of that tank, thanks to their researches and the information they provided to me."

We can always come up with various combinations of random numbers, but it take people like P-O to take the time to travel, get dirty, and get wet crawling over old tanks to make them mean something.

KL
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:11 pm
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

This thread is a perfect example of what I love about this community.

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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:45 am
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

Yeah, that's also the reason why this forum is my favourite one. We can learn so much from each other, because all the members here know that cooperation and sharing gives 1000 times more than confrontation and keeping the information for themselves..

P-O

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:23 am
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

And we have been able to disagree without being disagreeable. The discussions here have been generally civil even when we have disagreed about the details

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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:55 am
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

Quick question for Kurt Laughlin (or someone else.. Rolling Eyes )

I did find the original RN painted at the back of the right side. Does it mean that it was not built by Fisher? It seems that all Fisher-built tanks have the RN at the front side.
Could this be indeed a tank built by Chrysler?

P-O

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Kurt_Laughlin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:03 pm
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

Painted on markings are always hard to define because you never know who painted them. It could be the factory, the depot, the receiving port, or a using unit.

The markings in your photo look like the ones shown at the top center here, titled "Stencil":

www.stencilease.com/Al...encils.htm

The ones I've seen in period photos from later in the war looked more like those three rows down, titled "Military". My guess is that those are not the factory markings.

A good idea, P-O, but hard to pin down.

KL
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Kurt_Laughlin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:05 pm
Post subject: Re: a "new" M4A3 wreck discovered today

Painted on markings are always hard to define because you never know who painted them. It could be the factory, the depot, the receiving port, or a using unit.

The markings in your photo look like the ones shown at the top center here, titled "Stencil":

www.stencilease.com/Al...encils.htm

The ones I've seen in period photos from later in the war looked more like those three rows down, titled "Military". My guess is that those are not the factory markings.

A good idea, P-O, but hard to pin down.

KL
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