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Re: [G104] Shermans in Holland and Battle of the Bulge area

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  • Joe DeMarco
    ... Hi Nacho, A couple friends have looked at the M4 in Wiltz, but couldn t find a serial number stamped on the rear tow lugs. It should be there, but maybe
    Message 1 of 10 , May 31, 2008
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      >Regarding my already decided visits, I learnt in the group it´s not so easy to find serial numbers for M4 and M4A1, but any additional clues from your side could be helpful.

      Hi Nacho,

      A couple friends have looked at the M4 in Wiltz, but couldn't find a serial number stamped on the rear tow lugs. It should be there, but maybe there's too much paint? The M4A1(75) in Ettelbruck should have a loose build number stamped real small on one or the other side of the hull in the rear below the lifting ring. Many Shermans that were in French service have been seen with the US Serial Number stamped inside a box on the glacis. Quite a few surviving Shermans are former French, so it wouldn't hurt to look there on any one you see. Enjoy your adventure!

      Joe



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    • astursimmer
      Hi, Joe Just back, I´m very tired! I visited Overloon, Ettelbruck, Wiltz, Wibrin, Clervaux, Vielsalm, and the turrets surrounding Bastogne! Just short of 1500
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 5, 2008
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        Hi, Joe

        Just back, I´m very tired! I visited Overloon, Ettelbruck, Wiltz,
        Wibrin, Clervaux, Vielsalm, and the turrets surrounding Bastogne!
        Just short of 1500 pics...

        Regarding serial numbers, I could only find a clear print on the
        rear towing hooks of the M4 Baldwin-built at Overloon, the one with
        dislodged turret. It is the S/N 15499 with painted registration
        number 3022601. This should be on an identified baldwin batch
        between 3022537 and 3023381 (825 tanks).
        I read somewhere, for another Alco-built M4 that was there but was
        sent to Italy, they had for that one painted with accurate reg.nr.
        for the also known serial. We can suppose Overloon people like to
        have accurate markings? Perhaps Joe you have better information,
        could that reg.nr be right?.
        Just about the baldwin-built shermans and for my projected
        conversion, I have recorded some pics in some books with reg.nr
        inside that batch. The other batch/es (388 tanks) is/are
        unidientfied, as far as I know. Do you have some regs and serials
        please?

        I found some unclear pints of other serials on two of the other
        anonymous Overloon shermans. Unfortunately the "celebrities" at
        Wiltz, Clervaux,...I found no clue at all about any printed serial.
        My opinion, too much paint, and had no tool to scrap it...

        I took many pictures about casting numbers and their positions
        specially in every turret (at a moment yesterday this looked like a
        turret-oriented tour). I climbed (forbidden!) the Clervaux, Wiltz,
        Wibrin and Vielsalm ones for that.

        I think I will post some pics and a comment one by one. Any
        preferences?

        Best regards


        --- In G104@yahoogroups.com, "Joe DeMarco" <snick13@...> wrote:
        >
        > >Regarding my already decided visits, I learnt in the group it´s
        not so easy to find serial numbers for M4 and M4A1, but any
        additional clues from your side could be helpful.
        >
        > Hi Nacho,
        >
        > A couple friends have looked at the M4 in Wiltz, but couldn't find
        a serial number stamped on the rear tow lugs. It should be there,
        but maybe there's too much paint? The M4A1(75) in Ettelbruck should
        have a loose build number stamped real small on one or the other
        side of the hull in the rear below the lifting ring. Many Shermans
        that were in French service have been seen with the US Serial Number
        stamped inside a box on the glacis. Quite a few surviving Shermans
        are former French, so it wouldn't hurt to look there on any one you
        see. Enjoy your adventure!
        >
        > Joe
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • astursimmer
        Hi Fons, Really it was long from Overloon to Beligum-Luxembourg. the motorway was interrupted at a tunnel, and it took too long to cross a couple of villages
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 5, 2008
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          Hi Fons,

          Really it was long from Overloon to Beligum-Luxembourg. the motorway
          was interrupted at a tunnel, and it took too long to cross a couple of
          villages with a huge traffic jam. I could only visit outdoors displays
          due to clsong times.
          Diekirch I had already visited, for me it also a nice musuem, although
          on the pother hand if you like taking pictures lake me, it´s a little
          bit too cramped and you cannot get close to the details.
          By the way I forgot Poteau museum in my plan, I think there you can
          get a ride on american or german halftracks. They take you to the
          place where this famous ambush, pictured ad nauseam by germans
          newsreel people, took place. This ride is for sure a noisy expericence
          he he! Next time...

          regards
          Nacho
        • mike
          ... Maybe a BARC? http://www.amphibiousvehicle.net/amphi/B/barcspecial/barc.html mike
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 6, 2008
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            On 5/30/08, astursimmer <astursimmer@...> wrote:
            > cramped at all. The most astonishing is a HUGE (again) more modern
            > amphibious WHEELED landing craft, unknown to me. The tyres are, lets
            > say arund 2-3 times a person in diameter. I would say there are some
            > hundreds of vehicles there.

            Maybe a BARC?

            http://www.amphibiousvehicle.net/amphi/B/barcspecial/barc.html

            mike
          • Joe DeMarco
            Hi Nacho, A few friends have looked at the Overloon M4 named After Hitler & reported they found 15499 stamped on the rear tow lugs as well as the front ones.
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 7, 2008
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              Hi Nacho,

              A few friends have looked at the Overloon M4 named "After Hitler" & reported they found 15499 stamped on the rear tow lugs as well as the front ones. That would indicate it still has its original differential. The "key" number for the 845 M4s in the range from 3022537 thru 3023381 is 3007102. If you add that to a known good serial number, it will give you the corresponding USA Number. You can see that 15499 + 3007102 = 3022601, confirming that tank still carries its original USA Number. That's rare for a surviving Sherman. Rarer still is that that M4 has been described as a combat casualty of the US 7th Armored Div, KO'd not far from its present location. Don't know if the Museum has documentation or photos to support that, but it certainly looks to be an authentic battlefield relic.

              The other M4 also had retained its original USA Number, & was stated to be another 7th AD combat casualty. I suppose the Museum people felt like they didn't require two M4s, but there was some disappointment on this Group when they sold or traded that tank away from the place where it was said to have been KO'd.

              Would be interested to know what unit they served with, if the names After Hitler & Cookie are authentic, & if there were crew casualties? Finally what became of the one named Cookie? Did it end up in Italy? Has anyone seen it there?

              If Steve Zaloga had "N/A" for some USA Number ranges in his M4(75) Model book, that is simply because the ranges were not listed in the Ordnance Dept. docs we have found to date. For the first 388 Baldwin M4s, I would interpolate they ran 1917 / USA 3010771 thru 2304 / 3011158.

              >Any preferences?

              Did you do a walk around of the Ettelbruck M4A1? Would like to have a digital look at that one.

              Do you know of any surviving Shermans/variants in Spain?


              Joe








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            • Hanno Spoelstra
              ... Hitler & Cookie are authentic, & if there were crew casualties? ... anyone seen it there? Joe, See the following links for some pictures:
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 7, 2008
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                At 08:43 7-6-2008 -0400, Joe DeMarco wrote:
                >Would be interested to know what unit they served with, if the names After
                Hitler & Cookie are authentic, & if there were crew casualties?
                >Finally what became of the one named Cookie? Did it end up in Italy? Has
                anyone seen it there?

                Joe,

                See the following links for some pictures:
                http://www.primadanoi.it/modules/bdnews/article.php?storyid=5196
                http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linea_Gustav
                http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/italy/14306-ortona-sherman.html

                Regards,
                Hanno
              • astursimmer
                Hi Joe I will start with Ettelbruck M4A1. Please have a look on Photos, then album M4A1 Ettelbruck.. . I have in total for that one at home just 82 pics in
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 9, 2008
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                  Hi Joe

                  I will start with Ettelbruck M4A1.
                  Please have a look on Photos, then album "M4A1 Ettelbruck..". I have
                  in total for that one at home "just" 82 pics in 10 Mbit resolution,
                  in case you wish to see some small detail, we can try to see how to
                  upload, or send per email or a good site where to upload (for free!)
                  bigger pics.

                  Some Data:

                  Location: In Ettelbruck just at the very entrance of the village
                  inside a small garden or wood. It is the presentation for a Patton
                  memorial museum just behind, the tank can be visited without time
                  limits as it is in this kind of public garden out of the museum.

                  History = I know nothing!.

                  Serial = really THICK paint on the towing lugs, apart of the fact
                  that on M4A1 the number should be inside on the dataplate?. No clue.

                  Reg. Nr. = 3022109 painted. I´m afraid that´s bogus? If nok, which
                  type/manufacturer should it match? I have found nothing about that
                  nr and/or its possible reg. nr. range.

                  Lower Hull = Welded with angled read end => This points to a late
                  one Pressed Steel Car. This angled rear end is a casting by "D in C"
                  = Continental Foundry & Machine Company, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania,
                  acc. to Mr Spoelstra chart.

                  Upper hull = No casting symbol, nothing beneath that thick paint.
                  Applique armour, I could not say plant or field applied.

                  Turret = Low bustle. Serial nr. 3707 with 13 below, on left side. No
                  visible casting symbol for foundry on sides. Something should be on
                  top, but I was that day not feeling "young again" to climb...this
                  happened two days later!. No pistol port at all. If that was the
                  original turret, the tank was produced around summer 43. Late
                  Commander cuppola. Contradictory? Rebuilt? Remade with parts from
                  several shermans for the Memorial?.

                  Gun Shield = No casting symbols. Bolts only on right side.
                  Gun Mantlet = Casting part nr. D68454 on right side, with "A" below.
                  Nothing else.

                  Thats a first shot. As said before, feel free to ask for more pics
                  and questions about details. Now I really regret, not to have
                  climbed. My first climb was the King tiger in La Gleize, and after
                  being up there with my close to 100 Kgs, I was really afraid about
                  how to come back to the ground from so high safely. This experience
                  has frightened me for a while!.

                  While I was writing that, I have the feeeling that a kind of
                  checklist should be fine to compile everything in order? Not only to
                  show it here, I promise you in the hurry and emotion to see as much
                  as possible very quickly, you always forget these key references you
                  need!.

                  Best regards
                  Nacho
                • Joe DeMarco
                  Nacho, I m afraid I wasn t able to look at your pix due to a forgotten password problem. ... Appreciate your written confirm that the Ettelbruck has an angled
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 12, 2008
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                    Nacho, I'm afraid I wasn't able to look at your pix due to a forgotten password problem.

                    >This angled rear end is a casting

                    Appreciate your written confirm that the Ettelbruck has an angled transition piece on the lower hull, since that doesn't show up in the few pix I've seen. Many of those castings on both riveted & welded lower hulls have been seen with SK 681A. That has been reported as the tank serial number a few times, but I believe it is the company part number of that casting. Unlike most Shermans where the rear tow lugs are welded on, the tow lugs are part of the SK 681A casting. BTW, I've never seen the serial number on the tow lugs of an M4A1. Anyone??

                    >Turret = Low bustle. Serial nr. 3707 with 13 below

                    Union Steel turrets are the easiest to track because they have the serial number cast in fairly big on the sides. A lot of times, it can even be read in period photos. Am pleased to add turret 3707 to my notes. From "counting heads" would guess Union Steel transitioned to the no pistol port D50878 turret at around # 3400 & made 1000 of them. Some Union Steel 75 mm turrets have been seen with additional numbers on them, running from 1 to 13 (so far). Don't know what that means - maybe the number of the mold box that was used for the casting?

                    >Now I really regret, not to have climbed.

                    A lot of Union Steel turrets don't have any further info cast on the roof. That one probably just has...

                    D50878 logo
                    13
                    3707

                    ...up by the ventlator.

                    >Late Commander cuppola. Contradictory? Rebuilt? Remade with parts from several shermans for the Memorial?.

                    Couldn't say, due to lack of info, but those & field mod would all be possibilities.

                    Thanks for the report!

                    Hanno, thanks for the link to the rest of the story concerning "Cookie." No further comment about that. :-(

                    Joe



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