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Another M4 found in Ft Hood motorpool...
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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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:38 am
Post subject: Another M4 found in Ft Hood motorpool...

This M4, "Barfly" used to sit in front of 3-66AR Battalion HQ's back when I was in that unit from 1998-2001. Since then, 3-66 is no more due to re-alignment and this Sherman now sits in HHD 4ID motorpool. I noticed the pistol port was open so I climbed up top and stuck the camera through and started snapping. Right before I started to leave I looked under the belly and noticed the eng compartment open and empty, so I climbed up inside and snapped some more pics. I hope you all enjoy and what can be told from these pictures as to the tank signifigance? I believe the serial number is 174, 30116372.

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binder001
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:49 am
Post subject: Re: Another M4 found in Ft Hood motorpool...

'nother M4A3E8 ("Medium Tank M4A3, 76mm Wet Stowage, HVSS"). Looks pretty good, also. Is that grease on the 76mm breech? Wonder if it could be made to fire blanks?

Jeff, in one of your photos you can see the floor ammo racks. These moved the bulk of the 76mm ammo stowage down into the hull, versus up in the sides (the "sponsons") as featured in the original M4 design. The racks were originally meant to have a liquid (water and glycol) surrounding the ammo tubes so that if the ammo rach was penetrated the water would smother the fire, or at least slow it enough for the crew to evacuate safely (hence "Wet Stowage"). It must have literally been a pain in the back to have to reach down below your feet and pull up a 76mm round then turn it to the breech and load. Meanwhile watching for the swing of the partial turret floor (the loader walked on the ammo racks as the turret traversed - there were steel tread plates hinged over the bins).

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toadmanstankpictures
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:27 am
Post subject: Re: Another M4 found in Ft Hood motorpool...

More from Joe DeMarco regarding this Sherman:

"The corresponding serial number of "Barfly" USA 30116372 would be 63350.
Jeff might be able to find that on the rear towing lugs as well as both sides of the diff. housing, if it has retained its original.
That would have been built by Fisher at the Grand Blanc Tank Arsenal in Dec. 1944.
It would have been built built with VVSS suspension, so the HVSS was most likely retrofitted by RRA.
The clues of an HVSS retrofit include weld scars on the upper rear hull plate where the VVSS track holders were removed, as well as the welding of the HVSS suspension
units to the lower hull.
The turret appears to be one of the ones with the extra lifting ring in front of the split loader's hatch. The majority of surviving Shermans do not have their original turrets due to rebuilding & horse trading & such, & I would judge that turret came from an earlier Chrysler M4A3(76). I think Chrysler used about 400-500 of those turrets on the earliest M4A3(76)s they built. They appear to have been left overs from their abortive T23 program where the extra lifting ring served a winch purpose on the T23 Medium tank. I like to record the casting info from those turrets (actually all surviving Shermans turrets) as a way of "counting heads" to determine how many were made.
Fisher only built 525 M4A3(76)s from Sept. thru Dec, 1944, & as best I can tell from period pix, all of them had oval loader's hatch turrets.
Fisher Shermans have a loose build number stamped into the left front hull side with a prefix or suffix indicating the type.
A few of their M4A3(76)s have been noted to have an "M" suffix. I suspect the number on that one would be something around 490 M.
I came across a document at the US Archives that listed 30116372 as having been issued to the 13th Tank Bn, 1st AD, Italy, 4/1/45.
That could be a typo, but it's possible that one is a combat veteran returned to the US. The Ordnance guys in the 1st AD had a habit of welding the USA Reg. Number on the sides of all their vehicles, & I've been wondering if there is any evidence of that on that Sherman?"

So, its quite possible that this one survived survived service in Italy during WW II!

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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:10 pm
Post subject: Re: Another M4 found in Ft Hood motorpool...

The casting information you look for on the turret, is it on the very top?

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toadmanstankpictures
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:03 pm
Post subject: Re: Another M4 found in Ft Hood motorpool...

- SFC_Jeff_Button
The casting information you look for on the turret, is it on the very top?


Yes. Either on top of the turret bustle or in front of the commander's cupola.

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