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9522Re: [G104] M4A1E9 in Grafenwohr

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  • Joe DeMarco
    Sep 27, 2012
      Hi Michael,
      >I get 3085134 as an RN
      The key number for S/Ns 51850 thru 52680 would be 3032597, so 52582 = USA 3085179.
      >would the mfg date be about Nov.44 like the one in Pilsen?
      Yes, the last 204 serial numbers listed above would have been Nov, 1944, which was the end of this particular Production Order.
      It's obvious that they are not, but if the build numbers were in strict sequential order with the serial number, 52582 would have been # 5563.
      That would refer to the 5563rd M4A1 both 75 & 76mm made by PSC.
      A colleague looked at the one in Sinsheim, & found a build number of 5589 - no serial number.
      If the Museum people there would want a "ballpark" registration number to paint on, 3085190 would probably be pretty close to the real one.
      >On the firewall the upper hull serial no. is 3499 (Continental, Wheeling)
      That also refers to the total number of both M4A1 75 & 76mm upper hulls C-W cast up to that point.
      On the other hand, General Steel ( G in a shield on the front ) started over at S/N 1 when they switched over to casting large hatch upper hulls.
      Just from looking at the build number on surviving examples, the final M4A1(76) Production Order also seems to have started over at 1 for some reason.
      Thus, I would expect the first one, S/N 67701 to have a build number of 1-1.
      Maybe you or P-O will come across that one one of these days?
      >On the back of the turret No.675 was stamped in.
      That may be the rebuild serial number stamped on by Bowen or whoever. 
      If that were the case, I think it would also be stamped in several places on the hull.
      The E9 is unusual. I doubt that would have been done during a postwar rebuild.
      Did you look at the Priest?
      Thanks as always,

      Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 4:49 AM
      Subject: [G104] M4A1E9 in Grafenwohr

         I had a chance to take a closer look at the M4A1E9 that is displayed in front of the Post HQ in Grafenwohr. It was moved to the current location a few years ago, was originally in front of the old 7th ATC HQ on the West end of the parade field. 
        The serial number is 52582, stamped in the upper right corner of the transmission housing (attached photo)  That number is also stamped into the dataplate location, but I did not get a good enough photo of it.  I checked the rear hull sides for a build number but there is nothing showing through the paint anywhere, on either side.  I could see a trace of the serial number on the front so I knew where to scrape, but since the build nos. are not always in exactly the same location, I can't just scrape up the sides digging for a number. It must be stamped lightly enough to not show through.  I will have to keep track of the re-paint schedules and try to get a look at the sides whenever it gets sandblasted/repainted.
        The escape hatch is in place and the other hatches are welded shut, but the loader's hatch just has a bolt stuck through the hasp and the hinges still move freely, so I was able to get inside. On the firewall the upper hull serial no. is 3499 (Continental, Wheeling), but the plate with the heat treatment no. is too rusted to read. There is still a mount in the loader's station for a VRC-3 radio, so it had that modification as well.
        The turret number is covered by spare track, so I looked for a number cast into the roof. Only part numbers were cast there but 1935 was stamped in just to the right of the removed spotlight mount.  On the back of the turret No.675 was stamped in. Since both those numbers end with 5, and 5 is the only cast number visible alongside the track blocks, I had to take them off to confirm the SN.  Under the first block on the right side of the turret was the number 935, I pulled the second one away far enough to see a "1" under it, so the turret is SN 1935, with a "2" above the cast numbers.
        I get 3085134 as an RN, would the mfg date be about Nov.44 like the one in Pilsen?
        If anyone wants more photos, let me know.

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