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Re: [G104] APG Report

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  • AndrĂ© Flener
    Re: The USMC Museum has been closed for a while; I think they are either remodeling or moving to a new facility. That is a fine museum & I look forward to a
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 11, 2004
      Re: "The USMC Museum has been closed for a while; I think they are either remodeling or
      moving to a new facility. That is a fine museum & I look forward to a return visit
      if/when they reopen to the public."


      According to its new official website, the "National Museum of the Marine Corps (and
      Heritage Center)" is currently building a new location situated along the Interstate 95
      and still near the USMC base of Quantico:

      http://www.usmcmuseum.org/

      It's also stated that "The [formerly known as] Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum [is]
      closed permanently and now used for storage and restoration of exhibits being prepared
      for the National Museum of the Marine Corps".

      Apparently, it may take a while before this museum will finally reopen...

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      André

      PS: Of course, I'm interested in their two Stuart tanks as well! But that will then be
      discussed in G103... ;-)
    • Joe DeMarco
      Many of the members are aware that the Firefly at APG is simply a 17 pdr turret on an M4A2 hull. The turret was sent over to APG for comparative tests which
      Message 2 of 12 , Jul 8, 2006
        Many of the members are aware that the "Firefly" at APG is simply a 17 pdr turret on an M4A2 hull. The turret was sent over to APG for comparative tests which took place in the winter of 1943/44. The turret was also sent to Army Ground Forces Board #2 at Ft. Knox in 1946, where it was mounted on an M4A3(75) Wet & tested again.
        The results of the tests by the Ord. Dept & AGF Board are considered by many to be controversial, & by a few criminal...

        The tank was locked away in a storage yard for several years, & has recently been placed outside the restoration facility. I had a chance to examine it the other day, & can make a few comments. Would guess the turret was cast by Continental, although there's no casting info visible due to the Firefly mods. Most likely it came off an British Lend Lease M4A4. There's been some question about whether this particular turret (which has a pistol port) has a thickened right cheek. I suspect the machining at the bottom gives the false impression of the thickened cheek.
        The M4A2 hull is interesting. It's the absolutely first Sherman (S/N 1405) made by American Locomotive, Sept. 1942. It was used in various tests at APG, including experiments with add on differential armor shields. There are some pix of that at the top of page 223 of Hunnicutt's "Sherman." It has an odd half round "speed bump" on the glacis next to the bow mg. This appears in historic pix on some M4s & M4A2s. The Ford M4A3 pilot has the bump (H. p.153), & I would guess Ford used an ALCO M4A2 hull for that, since the upper rear hull plate has an M4A2 angle rather than an M4A3. The tank has so much paint on it that its impossible to see many of the weld seams. I suspect that when the refurb guys strip this tank, it will reveal a fairly elaborate multi-part glacis pattern, possibly with the two holes for the fixed mgs filled in. I had a chance to measure the upper rear hull plate, & taking into account the tremendous amount of paint on this tank, it's only an inch thick, whereas the military characteristics call for 1 1/2 inches...

        Joe







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Neil Baumgardner
        ... a 17 pdr turret on an M4A2 hull. The turret was sent over to APG for comparative tests which took place in the winter of 1943/44. The turret was also sent
        Message 3 of 12 , Jul 8, 2006
          --- In G104@yahoogroups.com, "Joe DeMarco" <snick1@...> wrote:
          >
          > Many of the members are aware that the "Firefly" at APG is simply
          a 17 pdr turret on an M4A2 hull. The turret was sent over to APG for
          comparative tests which took place in the winter of 1943/44. The
          turret was also sent to Army Ground Forces Board #2 at Ft. Knox in
          1946, where it was mounted on an M4A3(75) Wet & tested again.
          > The results of the tests by the Ord. Dept & AGF Board are
          considered by many to be controversial, & by a few criminal...
          >
          > The tank was locked away in a storage yard for several years, &
          has recently been placed outside the restoration facility. I had a
          chance to examine it the other day, & can make a few comments. Would
          guess the turret was cast by Continental, although there's no
          casting info visible due to the Firefly mods. Most likely it came
          off an British Lend Lease M4A4. There's been some question about
          whether this particular turret (which has a pistol port) has a
          thickened right cheek. I suspect the machining at the bottom gives
          the false impression of the thickened cheek.
          > The M4A2 hull is interesting. It's the absolutely first Sherman
          (S/N 1405) made by American Locomotive, Sept. 1942. It was used in
          various tests at APG, including experiments with add on differential
          armor shields. There are some pix of that at the top of page 223 of
          Hunnicutt's "Sherman." It has an odd half round "speed bump" on the
          glacis next to the bow mg. This appears in historic pix on some M4s
          & M4A2s. The Ford M4A3 pilot has the bump (H. p.153), & I would
          guess Ford used an ALCO M4A2 hull for that, since the upper rear
          hull plate has an M4A2 angle rather than an M4A3. The tank has so
          much paint on it that its impossible to see many of the weld seams.
          I suspect that when the refurb guys strip this tank, it will reveal
          a fairly elaborate multi-part glacis pattern, possibly with the two
          holes for the fixed mgs filled in. I had a chance to measure the
          upper rear hull plate, & taking into account the tremendous amount
          of paint on this tank, it's only an inch thick, whereas the military
          characteristics call for 1 1/2 inches...
          >
          > Joe

          Joe, thanks for the report. I may try to get up there tomorrow, or
          next weekend. Has the KV-1C come out of refurb? Is the Somua S-35
          still behind the restoration facility? Any other news out of APG, I
          havent been able to make it out in a few months.

          Neil
        • Joe DeMarco
          Hi Neil The Somua S-35 has been given one of those elaborate multi-colored paint jobs & is sitting next to the finished KV in the front of the resto facility.
          Message 4 of 12 , Jul 9, 2006
            Hi Neil

            The Somua S-35 has been given one of those elaborate multi-colored paint jobs & is sitting next to the finished KV in the front of the resto facility. The "Firefly" is around the back with the M2A2E3. For your Museum Holdings spreadsheet, the Firefly is FMCV 336. It looks like they've done a little repair work on the turrets of the M2A2. That one had MCV 96 on it when it was on the "Mile of Tanks" years ago. The Pz35t is sitting on the parking lot nerarest to the museum bldg. It looks good. It has FMCV 1945.0158 painted on one of the fenders. You've probably seen that there are two White Scout Cars in one of the Bel Air St. storage lots, although I don't see them on your list. Maybe you could ask them what became of the M32A1B3 that was on display at the golf course? Was thinking they might have sent that down to Edgewood to take the place of the other one that used to be at the Recovery unit's bldg at the end of Airport Rd. Also, one of the guys said they were getting the M4A3(76)HVSS with dozer fittings that used to be at Picatinney Arsenal, but I haven't seen it just driving around.

            Joe



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Neil Baumgardner
            ... Thanks for the update. I didnt make it yesterday, but hope to on Saturday. ... haven t seen it just driving around. Didnt you see it at the railhead back
            Message 5 of 12 , Jul 10, 2006
              --- In G104@yahoogroups.com, "Joe DeMarco" <snick1@...> wrote:

              Thanks for the update. I didnt make it yesterday, but hope to on
              Saturday.

              >
              > Hi Neil
              >
              > Also, one of the guys said they were getting the M4A3(76)HVSS with
              > dozer fittings that used to be at Picatinney Arsenal, but I >
              haven't seen it just driving around.

              Didnt you see it at the railhead back in September? Is it no longer
              there?

              Neil
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