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Re: [G104] M4 Composite with a 105mm howitzer, Detroit, USA

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  • Joe DeMarco
    Hi Roy & Hanno, Have any of your correspondents reported the serial number of the M4 at Fort Wayne? I was denied access to the tank when I went up to Detroit
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 3, 2005
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      Hi Roy & Hanno,

      Have any of your correspondents reported the serial number
      of the M4 at Fort Wayne?
      I was denied access to the tank when I went up to Detroit to
      look at it, so wasn't able to check if its serial number is 44272,
      which would be the corresponding s/n for USA 30100506.
      Unless they built more than one M4(105) pilot, it seems highly
      likely that it is indeed 30100506 as pictured at the top left of
      page 261 of Hunnicutt's "Sherman." If so, it was an early
      production M4 Composite, built in September, 1943.
      I strongly suspect it was originally built as a small hatch composite,
      & the big hatch front casting was retrofitted on there when Chrysler
      put together the M4(105) & other pilots for the "ultimate design"
      M4 series. (One of the ultimate design improvements was bigger
      drivers' hatches.) The M4A3(76) pilot, USA 3054892, was another
      "oddball test vehicle." It's pictured at the bottom right of page 261.
      It was originally built by Ford as a small hatch M4A3(75), & you
      can see that it had a big hatch casting retrofitted to it.
      On the other hand, going by the reg. number, the M4A2(76) pilot,
      USA 3035448, was originally built with small hatch welded drivers'
      hoods, & had a 47 degree glacis welded to the front of it.
      For a short time, it was intended to add a big hatch cast front end to
      all welded hull Shermans, but Fisher came up with a simpler, more
      elegant solution by increasing the glacis armor & changing the angle
      to 47 degrees.

      A few months back, someone posted some pix of a small hatch
      M4 Composite seen on a movie set in Iceland. A guy working
      there had a look at it, & reported the serial number is 44255.
      That would make it about the 27th production Chrysler M4.
      I don't think they built more than about 60 of them before
      switching over to the big hatch front castings, so that's a pretty
      rare surviving Sherman.

      Joe





      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <HL.Spoelstra@...>
      To: <G104@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:54 AM
      Subject: [G104] M4 Composite with a 105mm howitzer, Detroit, USA


      >
      > This is USA 30100506, the M4(105) pilot built by the Detroit Tank Arsenal.
      > Production versions were based on the large hatch welded hull.
      >
      > Regards,
      > Hanno
      >
      >
      > Op Wo, 30 november, 2005 2:10 pm schreef Roy Chow:
      >> I was sent a series of photos of an M4 Composite with a 105mm howitzer
      >> turret, residing at Fort Wayne in Downtown Detroit. Look here:
      >>
      >> http://www.network54.com/Forum/47208/message/1133356087/Oddball+M4+Compos
      >> ite+with+105mm+turret
      >>
      >> What do you think the likelihood that this is actually a factory job
      >> (versus a postwar mating or an oddball test vehicle)?
    • Hanno Spoelstra
      ... Hi Joe, my answer is: no. I must admit I went by the information in Hunnicutt s... H.
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 4, 2005
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        --- In G104@yahoogroups.com, "Joe DeMarco" <snick1@e...> wrote:
        > Have any of your correspondents reported the serial number
        > of the M4 at Fort Wayne?
        > I was denied access to the tank when I went up to Detroit to
        > look at it, so wasn't able to check if its serial number is 44272,
        > which would be the corresponding s/n for USA 30100506.
        > Unless they built more than one M4(105) pilot, it seems highly
        > likely that it is indeed 30100506 as pictured at the top left of
        > page 261 of Hunnicutt's "Sherman." If so, it was an early
        > production M4 Composite, built in September, 1943.

        Hi Joe, my answer is: no. I must admit I went by the information in
        Hunnicutt's...

        H.
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