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M60 registration number search?
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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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:24 pm
Post subject: M60 registration number search?

Once upon at time I crewed (loader to driver to gunner to TC in under a year) an M60 in Augsburg while with the 2/70th Armor.

The registration number was 9B3862.

Any way to find out what happened to the tank?

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Location: Razorback Country
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:48 am
Post subject: Re: M60 registration number search?


It's a real long shot. There were 2209 M60 produced and I'm tracking less than 175 survivors in the US. Many, and I mean many ended up as targets, reefs, or in Israel. With a RN of 9B3862 it puts the serial # Between 663 (RN 9B3780) and 673 (RN 9B3896), both confirmed and on display. Unfortunately the RN's don't follow SN's in exact sequence, since sometimes tanks get delayed acceptance from the factory and throw off registration. Another problem is many RN's get obliterated over time on the front slope from many coats of paint or are just not stamped that well. Much easier to find the serial number since they are located on the tow hook mount and rear deck. I do have two possible candidates believe it or not. SN 723 in Cookeville TN, formerly of the TNARNG 278th ACR. On display in front of their Armory. The other which the SN is not confirmed is SN 732 in Milford Michigan. Picture I've seen has a RN painted on the side but with my experience most are bogus. Can't read it anyway. Do you know of anything unique with your old mount. I have a lot of detailed pictures I took of the Cookeville tank. She was equipped at one time with the old Crouse-Hinds Search Light. Not every tank was.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:30 am
Post subject: Re: M60 registration number search?

New one on me, never heard of a Crouse-Hinds searchlight, just the VSS 1-2-3 family, the second of which I was on the test project for.

That looks like something that turned up on a few helicopter arrays from time-to-time.

Speak of spraying white light out into the field today and the kids look at you like you're beyond crazy.
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Location: Razorback Country
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:15 am
Post subject: Re: M60 registration number search?


The Crouse-Hinds Searchlights were a white light only type. Used in various applications and models by the military and civilian world. The 18" search light was used on ships and AAA applications. During the Korean war when things ground down and tanks were used mostly as mobile fire support for Infantry the Army needed a more effective illumination than flares. In “Patton”, Mr. Hunnicutt describes a purpose built Searchlight tank based on the Sherman with armored/turreted light. Was scrapped when they concluded that the standard 18" search light already in the inventory could easily be mounted on tanks. The low probability of the light being shot out and replacement cost made it an easy choice. These were the Crouse-Hinds lights. Page 29 shows an M46 mounted with one and the program was called Leaflet II. This same searchlight continued in tank units until the advent of the IR/VSS models. In David Doyles' "M48A3 in Vietnam" on page 16 there is a really good image of a USMC M48A3 equipped with one. When the M60 first came out they were not equipped with IR sights for either the Gunner or TC. These systems required “Active” IR illumination to “Paint” the target with IR radiation for the sights to capture an image. Once fielded, select M60' s were equipped with these systems. Tanks not equipped with the IR sights had the “Crouse-Hinds” 18" searchlight kits applied. Some early M60A1's not initially equipped with IR sights also used this system. Internally this consisted of a second and identical Turret Relay Box called the “Searchlight Relay Box” with a control (Simple ON/OFF switch) to operate the light. Externally these tanks can be identified by the different style stowage brackets and ground lug unique to that system. Below are images courtesy from Chris “toadman” Hughes of SN 15 located at the MVTF bone yard in California. equipped with these original brackets and ground lug.

M60 SN 15 MVTF Portola California

This is the only tank I know of today that still has both the lug and brackets complete and in original condition. Hopefully She hasn’t been scrapped before good pictures can be taken of her. Below is a picture Courtesy of Jeff Button of SN 10 located somewhere at Fort Hood Texas. She also retains the original stowage brackets but has the 2" hitch balls installed which is incorrect. The 18" light was bolted on. This tank the ground lug was cut off from the turret.

SN 10 Fort Hood Texas

Below is an image of SN 723 located in Cookeville TN showing the scars where the ground lug was mounted and an inset image showing the details of the ground lug.

SN 723 Cookeville TN and Ground Lug

Tanks that were equipped with the 18" Crouse-Hinds can be ID’s by these scarring marks. The ground lug was required since the aperture on top of the turret only carried one cable, the 24V POS power source. VSS-1 and later carried both POS and NEG withing the aperture along with wiring to control light functions. Another ID is the lower stowage bracket. The picture below illustrates this with the image on the left being an upgraded tank. The original upper bracket would be cut and the new one welded in place. The lower redundant bracket usually left in place.

Rear stowage brackets

Tanks originally equipped with the IR/ VSS-1 system don’t show any scarring. The majority of tanks that were equipped with the 18" light are early SN models, majority of later models coming factory equipped with IR sights.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:02 am
Post subject: Re: M60 registration number search?

Very interesting stuff, Joe. Somehow, I'm not surprised. Wink

The stowage mount image from Ft. Hood was very interesting (and the tank looks to be in great shape). The stowage I'm most familiar with was the right side mount on the two-piece bustle rack on the A1, which disappeared after I left the service.

In my limited experience, tanks that had lights issued to them, for whatever reason, generally left them mounted on the mantlet and were seldom mounted on their stowage point (and even then, I only ever saw that as part of a test project). If not in use, they'd have covers mounted for protection. Then again, all my armor time was either in a training unit, a test unit, or in combat. I never served in a line unit in peacetime conditions, as in Germany, Korea or CONUS, so I missed a lot of the "by the book" stuff that "regular" tank units did.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:11 pm
Post subject: Re: M60 registration number search?

For what it's worth, during the year ('66) I was on my tank in Germany, we never used the searchlight stowage. The light, a VSS-1, was always mounted on the mantlet, with a canvas cover over the front.

Also had the early cupola, with the mounting plate for the TC's .50 calibre, and originally had the six round bustle storage racks, later expanded to eight rounds when the radios were changed.

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Location: El Paso & Ft Bliss, Texas
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:02 pm
Post subject: Re: M60 registration number search?

Hi Folks!

The only time I ever saw a searchlight mounted on the stowage rack was in Germany. One of the tank battalions was passing by on their way to annual tank gunner. One tank had a light on the mantlet and a 2nd one on the stowage rack.

Spot Report!
Sgt, Scouts out!

"You can never have too much reconnaissance."
General G.S. Patton Jr.
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