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oldest combat veteran Sherman?

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  • Joe DeMarco
    Hi Adrian One of my favorite surviving Shermans is the running M4A1 at the Virginia Museum of Mil Vehs. If I owned that, I would turn over every rock to find
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 20, 2009
      Hi Adrian

      One of my favorite surviving Shermans is the running M4A1 at the Virginia Museum of Mil Vehs. If I owned that, I would turn over every rock to find some M3 bogies & an M34 gun mount to reinstall. It was built a month before yours, but I don't think it ever saw combat, having spent the WW II years in Canada.

      A friend sent some pix of an M4A1 he saw at Beltring a few years ago. It had direct vision, & you could see where the holes for the fixed mgs had been filled in. He wasn't able to get a serial or registration number, but just looking at it, I was thinking it would have been one of the first 10 Shermans built by Pacific Car & Foundry. If so, that would give you a May through July, 1942 acceptance. The original diff housing was obviously replaced with a later "Mary Ann" type, possibly by the French who once held it. It may have its original turret. It is a Buckeye Steel with a date cast on. Unfortunately the month was obscured by the later addition of a spotlight. It looked like it could have been 3/42, 6/42 or 8/42. The paint had worn away, & you could see where "BRONCHO" was painted on there twice. That strikes me as an American name. I think there's a chance that that tank might have an interesting history (maybe an Operation Torch Sherman?), so tried to contact the owners a couple times, but no response. Anyway, if they will or have restored that to running condition, I'm pretty sure that would give you a run for your money regarding oldest running Sherman honors.

      >I think typewriters were a Signal or Quartermaster Corps responsibility . .

      Well, they are listed under "Special Jobs, Non Vehicular" in some of the files. I suppose if they had to "evacuate" one of the unit's typewriters for higher echelon maintenance, it might have been sent to a SC or QM typewriter repair unit?

      >CK will be returned to its 27 Dec 1944 configuration,.....'duckbill' track and all.

      Great news, Don. Do you guys have that handwritten "Tank Crew you keep" doc from the Patton Museum Library? I don't think that was done for a Reunion, like some other lists, since it includes the USA Numbers of the tanks in the relief column. I can certainly vouch for their authenticity. I would assume that, not long after they reached Bastogne, Boggess or Abrams sent a guy around to get the crew names for the hometown newspapers. If the crew members of CK have all passed on, it might be possible to locate one of the other gents who was in the column?

      Joe





      I assume you mean Shermans that saw active service during WWII and still surviving today as opposed to the oldest Sherman at the time it saw action. My M4A4 was built in Sept. 1942 and saw service from late 1942 till 1949 at least. It may be the oldest running Sherman?

      Adrian Barrell


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    • TANKBARRELL@aol.com
      Hi Joe, I know the M4A1 you mean and it is a long way from being restored so I may be safe for a while yet! Adrian [Non-text portions of this message have been
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 20, 2009
        Hi Joe,

        I know the M4A1 you mean and it is a long way from being restored so I may
        be safe for a while yet!

        Adrian


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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