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M48 Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.
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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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:48 pm
Post subject: M48 Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

I was going through Port Deposit, MD and stopped at the VFW to photograph this donation from Aberdeen Proving Ground. It definately was a range target and clearly shows numerous hits. Serial number 1040. Rick


Last edited by Rick_Eshleman on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:51 pm
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

More photos.
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Costas_TT
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:07 am
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

At first glance, the C on the rear plate seems to confirm that it is indeed an M48C. However, Geoffrey Tillotson mentions that the C was embossed on the right front side of the hull (typo?), while Hunnicutt provides photographic evidence (more here) that ballistically unsound tanks dedicated to the training role were conspicuously marked on the glacis between the headlight guards as NON-BALLISTIC TRAINING TANKS ONLY (variation: TRAINING TANK NON-BALLISTIC). Said welded warning seems to be absent from the tank in your pictures.
Could it be a variation of the M48C marking system, or something else entirely?

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Last edited by Costas_TT on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:16 am
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

Costas,
I saw several early M48C tanks at the M88 recovery range(in the 1980's), some had a welded warning, others did not. If you read page 114 "US Military Vehicles, by Fred Crismon "120 early M48's had hulls that were ballistically deficient, and were designated M48C tanks for training only" but not mentioned is did they all have the warning weld on the hull? This Tank is SER 79, so it would fall into the first 120 built, and you're right it has no warning weld. Best way to check this out would be get permission to enter the tank, check data plate. Let me know what you think. Rick
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Costas_TT
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:26 am
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

All sources mention 120 early production (i.e. Chrysler TC cupola and small driver's hatch) M48s, which doesn't necessarily mean that they were the first 120 tanks produced. Of the three authors (Hunnicutt, Crismon and Tillotson), the latter postulates that mild steel might have been used and the tanks intended for training from the start - obviously contradicting the other two, who clearly mention that these early hulls were "ballistically deficient". The problem is that the specific batch, serial ranges and all, is not identified.
And then there is this:

Note serial number visible under MG cradle and ammo box...

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Costas_TT
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:42 am
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

BREAKING NEWS: I now have definitive proof that the C in the octagon did not apply to the M48C specifically. We know for a fact that all M48C tanks were retained stateside, correct?
Now, check out this photo of a Greek M48.

Circled in red for convenience.

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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:47 am
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

Then there is the Aberdeen Proving Ground "Frankenstein" Tank. I found these all around the base. Ordnance school was great with these. They remove the turret, then later place it onto same model hull, but a different tank! The most prominent example of this was the M60A3 TTS which was displayed in the field during the 1990s!
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Costas_TT
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:57 am
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

So, Serial Number 79 is an APG Franken-Tank?

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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:26 pm
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

The "C" inside the octagon is not a designator for M48C or even related to the serial number.

What you have is the foundry's casting number/data for that particular piece they made. The "SER" refers to the series of castings made. So you will find the same number on different tanks. M48's castings were made by numerous foundries and this particular marking belongs to American Steel from East Chicago Indiana from the 1950's. Depending on who made the casting the hull could be in sections welded together or as one piece with the floor plates welded in. The M48C deficiency was in the upper hull by the driver's vision blocks, being the armor was too thin there. Externally the difference between M48 and M48C are none (I haven't found one yet) other than the bead weld warning across the front, since the only correction was in the casting process and it only applies to the hull.

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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:54 pm
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

It might be a "frankentank", only way to find out would be to check the hull and turret plates to see if they match. I did dig out my M48 files, particularly TM9-500 page 23-26 where it is stated: "The M48C is similar in appearance to the M48. The difference being in the strength of the armored hulls. The M48C is not suitable for combat and is to be used for training purposes only. The letter "C" is embossed in the right front hull meaning the tank is "non-ballistic.". The M48C was also classified as Limited Standard at the time.
I also note page 103 of Hunnicut's book where "120 tanks with ballistically deficient hull castings" is mentioned and the photo mentioning the wording doesn't match the weld metal marking. So maybe some were marked properly and others not? It would be interesting to find out if all were sequentally built 1-120, or if they were just groups erratically produced?
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Costas_TT
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:25 pm
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

The wording originally specified was "NON-BALLISTIC TRAINING TANK ONLY".
The non-matching wording was "TRAINING TANK NON-BALLISTIC", as seen in the photo on the link I posted and the picture in Hunnicutt's book.
And in all the excitement I forgot the difference between serial and casting numbers. Thanks go to Joe for the correction.

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Kurt_Laughlin
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:56 am
Post subject: Re: M48C Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

I got [tank] SN 1040 off the front tow lugs - always the first place to look.

The turret on this tank was also an ASF-C product, unfortunately the serial was obliterated by glancing fragment or projectile hit.

KL
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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:48 pm
Post subject: Re: M48 Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

Kurt,
M48 Tank it is. I couldn't find the SN on front tow hook, but did find it on the rear of the tank. I didn't have time today to climb in to see the manufacture plates, but maybe next trip. I looked all over front for "C" stamping, or weld(none found), so i must be a regular production model. Thanks, Rick
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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:15 pm
Post subject: Re: M48 Medium Tank. Port Deposit, MD.

Since Ser = series, I guess this would mean the M48A1 tank at Oak Orchard, DE has a different SN? I looked at tow lugs and rear left hull but paint is too thick to see any numbers. Photos from the other day. Rick
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