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New serial location

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  • Kurt Laughlin
    On my recent trip to France I found a few instances of a serial stamped into the hull that I ve not heard of before, and don t appear on Joe s page of
    Message 1 of 5 , May 28 5:48 PM
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      On my recent trip to France I found a few instances of a serial stamped into
      the hull that I've not heard of before, and don't appear on Joe's page of
      locations. The M4A4T (S/N 18875) at St Laurent-sur-Mer and the M4A2 (S/N
      8887) at Arromaches had the serial stamped into an engraved rectangle at the
      lower center of the glacis. On the M4A2 it was just the serial number,
      while the M4A4 had "CHASSIS N 18875". Might these be post-production
      additions after the French took possession of the vehicles? I should note
      that the M4A4T at Avranches did not appear to have this mark but 22189 was
      visible on the rear tow lugs.

      KL
    • Joseph DeMarco
      Hi Kurt, I think that CHASSIS N stamping is post-production & most likely French. Hanno has a description of an IDF M50 that was originally M4A4 # 18204:
      Message 2 of 5 , May 29 3:57 AM
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        Hi Kurt,

        I think that "CHASSIS N" stamping is post-production & most likely French.
        Hanno has a description of an IDF M50 that was originally M4A4 # 18204:

        "Serial number "18204" stamped on towing shackle bosses, originally done by
        Chrysler at the time of manufacture. This number is repeated on the glacis plate
        by the French or Israelis. It appears to be a stamped rectangle about 1.5" by 3"
        with the word "CHASSIS" and "N 18204" underneath.
        It is located on the right side of the glacis plate, inboard of the ball mount
        about 2" and about 9" above the transmission housing mounting bolts."

        The M4A2 is kind of interesting. 8887 would be a Fisher, & I was wondering
        when they began the practice of stamping the serial number preceeded by
        an "S" on the differential. You didn't happen to notice if it had that?
        Fisher sub-contracted their diff & final drives from Buick & I think that's
        what the "BU" casting symbol stands for.
        If it's the original diff, it should probably have "BU" on there.
        It would be nice to learn that Fisher stamped the number in the middle of the
        glacis like you mentioned, but I think that's French too.
        Someone has scraped the paint off one of the French tanks at APG
        to expose the "serial stamped into an engraved rectangle at the lower
        center of the glacis."
        For comparison, did you see any more welded hood M4A2s like that on your trip?

        Joe


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Kurt Laughlin" <fleeta@...>
        To: <G104@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 8:48 PM
        Subject: [G104] New serial location


        > On my recent trip to France I found a few instances of a serial stamped into
        > the hull that I've not heard of before, and don't appear on Joe's page of
        > locations. The M4A4T (S/N 18875) at St Laurent-sur-Mer and the M4A2 (S/N
        > 8887) at Arromaches had the serial stamped into an engraved rectangle at the
        > lower center of the glacis. On the M4A2 it was just the serial number,
        > while the M4A4 had "CHASSIS N 18875". Might these be post-production
        > additions after the French took possession of the vehicles? I should note
        > that the M4A4T at Avranches did not appear to have this mark but 22189 was
        > visible on the rear tow lugs.
        >
        > KL
        >
      • Kurt Laughlin
        ... From: Joseph DeMarco ... That s what i was afraid of. . . Hanno s description matches what I saw. ... I m pretty sure it didn t,
        Message 3 of 5 , May 29 5:26 PM
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Joseph DeMarco" <snick1@...>

          > I think that "CHASSIS N" stamping is post-production & most likely French.


          That's what i was afraid of. . . Hanno's description matches what I saw.


          > The M4A2 is kind of interesting. 8887 would be a Fisher, & I was wondering
          > when they began the practice of stamping the serial number preceeded by
          > an "S" on the differential. You didn't happen to notice if it had that?

          I'm pretty sure it didn't, but I with the other visible numbers, I didn't
          think to include the S if it had one . . .

          > Fisher sub-contracted their diff & final drives from Buick & I think
          that's
          > what the "BU" casting symbol stands for.
          > If it's the original diff, it should probably have "BU" on there.

          It had the S/N on the left (under the MG) front tow lug, so most likely this
          is the original diff housing. It was an ASF-Granite City E4186, with the
          logo on the top left corner (again, under the MG). Part serial was 2A 2637,
          and it had both LO and BU. BTW, it had a build number stamped on the hull
          side: "1781", but this was on the right rear side, not left front as in Ford
          M4A3s.

          I'll have to check my data to see if BU shows up on any other castings
          besides differential housings - LO certainly does. Just looking at this
          trip's pictures, the Bastogne M4A3(75)W has a Scullin E8543, without a CTC
          logo but with a BU. Also. . . The St Leon, IN M4A3 has a BU, as does Ft
          Meade's M4A3(76), Selinsgrove, PA's M4A3(76), Barberton, OH's M4A3,
          Ashtabula, OH's M4A3, Ft Lewis' M4A1, Carlisle, PA's M4A3(76), and
          Huntsville, AL's M4A3.

          > For comparison, did you see any more welded hood M4A2s like that on your
          trip?

          No, 1 M4A4 DD, 1 M4A2, 1 M4A3(75)W, 2 M4A4T, 2 M4A1, 2 M4, 1 M4A1(76), 1
          M4A1(76) HVSS, 1 M10, and 2 Sextons. if i had caught Andre's 105, I would
          have pretty much run the gamut!

          KL
        • Joseph DeMarco
          ... Kurt, did you notice Hanno has 1781? listed for an M4A2 at Arromanches on his Table of Known Serial Numbers? As a build number, 1781 doesn t have an
          Message 4 of 5 , May 31 6:44 AM
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            >BTW, it had a build number stamped on the right rear hull side: "1781"

            Kurt, did you notice Hanno has "1781?" listed for an M4A2 at Arromanches
            on his "Table of Known Serial Numbers?"
            As a build number, 1781 doesn't have an exact mathematical correlation,
            but it is at least in the ballpark.
            Adding it up, it looks like S/N 8887 would have been the 1777th M4A2 built by Fisher.
            Fisher Production hull #110 was submitted to APG for ballistic tests.
            It was just the upper & lower hull, no turret, no suspension, no diff. housing.
            Judging by the damage, it couldn't have been patched up & put back into production.
            Assuming a few rejects and/or a few more ballistic tests, would bring you up to 1781.
            Anyway, something else to keep an eye out for.

            Thanks
            Joe
          • Kurt Laughlin
            ... From: Joseph DeMarco ... by Fisher. ... housing. ... production. ... up to 1781. ... I ve been trying to find a Sherman Mil-spec
            Message 5 of 5 , May 31 8:33 AM
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Joseph DeMarco" <snick1@...>

              > As a build number, 1781 doesn't have an exact mathematical correlation,
              > but it is at least in the ballpark.
              > Adding it up, it looks like S/N 8887 would have been the 1777th M4A2 built
              by Fisher.
              > Fisher Production hull #110 was submitted to APG for ballistic tests.
              > It was just the upper & lower hull, no turret, no suspension, no diff.
              housing.
              > Judging by the damage, it couldn't have been patched up & put back into
              production.
              > Assuming a few rejects and/or a few more ballistic tests, would bring you
              up to 1781.
              > Anyway, something else to keep an eye out for.

              I've been trying to find a Sherman Mil-spec (yes, there was one), or a
              war-time armor weldment/casting spec or hull drawing. It would likely say
              what acceptance testing was required, including how many were destructively
              tested. My best guess now, based on current practice and some scraps of
              wartime info, is that large castings like turrets and hulls were
              ballistically tested on a sample basis, while armor plates were tested in
              the as-rolled form. Welds were likely ballistically tested in mock-up form
              with an occaisional full-up destructive test.

              Speaking of build numbers, I'm pretty certain the carved-up Sherman in
              Wibrin, Belgium, is an M4 (as reported in the BoB Then and Now) rather than
              an M4A3 as reported on the Ardennes 44 website and painted inside the hull.
              It has the modified direct-vision driver's hoods. I doubt that any
              remanufactured Ford M4A3s were in combat in the ETO during the BoB. Plus,
              it doesn't have the prominent build number on the left hull nor hull serial
              stampings that are virtual ID features for Ford M4A3s in their own right.
              Unfortunately, they had already hacked out the loader's periscope, so I
              couldn't get the turret acceptance dates, which would have been nice to have
              considering it had a welded pistol port.

              KL
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