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New Restoration, USMC M4A3 Iwo Jima Sherman Tank


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Greetings all members.

I work for a Las Vegas based company Battlefield Vegas.

The team here is in the final phase of a genuine Iwo Jima Veteran USMC Sherman tank. Research indicates this will be the first of its kind to be restored.

The tank will be finnished in its Iwo Jima battle condition from the 5th Tank Battalion.

We have hit a critial point in the restoration where we are searching for accurate detail before the tank is to be finnished painted.

I would like to reach out to anyone interested who may have some knowledge of our tank specifically. This discussion is predominantly a historical focus. Once the tank is completed i will post a topic on its restoration.

Here is what we know so far.

The tank is a Fisher M4A3 75mm Wet Stowage Wide Hatch.

SN 49606.

We have been lucky to find 1 photo of our tank as it was during the war which i will upload.

This photo was taken by USMC photographer Richard M. Stotz on Iwo Jima.

The tank had add on duck bill end connectors when we received it. It has the anti mine spikes featured on 5th Battalion tanks. 4th battalion predominantly used cages.

The tank had brackets cut off where the add on wooden armour was added.

The tank also has an add on plate as a one off field repair on the right cheek.

 

What we dont know:

The number 12 inside a Square on the front. I am assuming this is a vehicle, platoon designation with the Square being 5th Tank Battalion. Note carefully there is also a 2 and a square visible on the left side as well.

We are looking for confirmation as to what these symbols mean.

Looking at the photo it is my theory the right side of the tank was burnt, understanding what callsigns were on the side is another challenge.

 

Ideally we would love to learn the name of the tank, this would be our most desirable outcome through research.

 

We have had some say this tank was a flame tank. Due to the wet Stowage set up and barrel in the photo. The white patches and line down the middle of the barrel is apparently an indication of this, an old shot out barrel refitted with a navy Mk1 flamethrower. I am unable to find any information on these flamethrowers to confirm this.

I have also been told Marines used their own registration numbers seperate from the tanks stamped serial number. I am sure there must be records out there that reflect this.

We have been in touch with many people in the community who have been very helpful in assisting us, along with the Marine Corps Museum and Marine Corps Mechanized museum.

I also have many books including David E. Harpers Tank Warfare on Iwo Jima, which i highly recommend to anyone interested in this area.

 

I will leave it at that for now, any help is greatly appreciated. The tank is due to be completed this year, fully functional along with live firing 75mm main gun .

The tank will be avaliable to drive and shoot to all customers.

For more information along with updates on the restoration please follow Battlefield Vegas on social media.

Please drop in if you are in Las Vegas.

 

Kind Regards

Sherman Guy.

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Incredible, look forward to following the process!

***Items from unit called 8th Field Depot***

[Most frequently-sought unit because of family connection]

 

Intact ["out of the woodwork"] Marine Corps combat groups from WWII.

 

Unique items signed by many Marines from one unit, or inscribed with combat history.

 

Marine Corps valor recipient items.

 

Souvenirs taken by Marines with exceptional background and/or unique stories/documentation.

 

Marine Ship Detachment items from major naval engagements and those that warrant stars to ETO ribbon.

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Wow! What an amazing project! I wish I could add something. I know there are some very knowledgeable Marine enthusiasts out there, and on this forum, so I do hope you succeed in your research. I eagerly await your progress.

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I am doing some research now - preliminary findings are that the tactical number is not representation of the 5th Div. but the company within the 5th Tank Battalion - I have seen other 5th Tank Battalion tanks marked with a rhombus with a numeral in the center. I will let you know more as I find anything.

 

Best,

 

Bill

WTB USMC NAMED GROUPINGS, WWI, WWII (ESPECIALLY 4TH MARINE DIVISION ITEMS) AND UNIS MARKED ITEMS, NAMED INFANTRY DIVISION 4 POCKET CLASS A JACKETS, ESPECIALLY 34th ID AND NAMED GROUPINGS, FIRST SPECIAL SERVICE FORCE ITEMS



donation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gif


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Pretty cool Story, it would be great to know how your group came into possession of the tank? I mean was it a battlefield pickup? Or sourced from the govt ?

Also would love to see some progress pictures.

Anyway sounds like a great project

Go Navy!


donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gif

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Thankyou for all the interest everyone. As for our tactical number, it is similar to more popular 5th Tank Bn Shermans 'Davy Jones'and 'Tokyo Express'. They both have digits inside a square box.

The tank was purchased some time ago well before i came onto the project, from someone who had it in one of the Eastern US states.

 

If anyone is in Vegas, mention your relationship with us on the forum and we can can arrange a tour of the tank.

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Jacob, yes the tank will be available to drive and shoot for customers on request. A price has not been made yet, the tank is still several months out from completion.

Check our website for prices on our M60 main battle tank, it may be similar to that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thankyou for all the interest everyone. As for our tactical number, it is similar to more popular 5th Tank Bn Shermans 'Davy Jones'and 'Tokyo Express'. They both have digits inside a square box.

The tank was purchased some time ago well before i came onto the project, from someone who had it in one of the Eastern US states.

 

If anyone is in Vegas, mention your relationship with us on the forum and we can can arrange a tour of the tank.

Sent you a PM with research I have done. Look forward to hearing from you.

***Items from unit called 8th Field Depot***

[Most frequently-sought unit because of family connection]

 

Intact ["out of the woodwork"] Marine Corps combat groups from WWII.

 

Unique items signed by many Marines from one unit, or inscribed with combat history.

 

Marine Corps valor recipient items.

 

Souvenirs taken by Marines with exceptional background and/or unique stories/documentation.

 

Marine Ship Detachment items from major naval engagements and those that warrant stars to ETO ribbon.

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  • 1 year later...

The flamethrower barrel is a very different animal than the ballistic barrel; a lot of testing and research went into making them pass the 10 ft rule as far as the Japanese were concerned as the flame tanks became priority targets as well as being resistant to small arms and 50 cal impacts.  The barrels were made of sectioned, rolled, and hardened armor plate. 

 

The flame barrel is actually able to be disassembled to access the wand / flame thrower tip inside - if the tank was a flame thrower unit there would be significant mods to the turret basket as well - the large flame fuel tanks and propellant tanks are stored in the sponsons of the tanks and down low - there is a great big high pressure rotating seal / spool up the center which carries the different fluids and gasses along with several electrical circuits for operating the flamethrower.

 

The system uses a gasoline priming circuit with ignitor spark plugs on buzz coils which would ignite the thickened fuel which was projected by compressed air or nitrogen - the co-driver had control of the system with a firing switch and a foot pedal for the fuel valve - they system could project fuel with or without it being ignited.

 

There was also a CO2 snuffer extinguisher to put out dribble fires in the barrel that was operated by the co-driver.

 

Most of the time older dry storage tanks were converted to be flame tanks as it was easier and more productive to do vs upgrading them to wet stowage

 

I'll try to look up some skematics of the system when I get a moment

 

Best Regards

 

Matt

 

PS - this is a Navy Mk1 that was fitted to the back of LVT-4's on Peleliu - you can see it would not fit in a Sherman without a lot of cutting

 

peleliu2.JPG

Marine_flame_thrower_LVT_Amtrac_in_action_Peleliu.jpg

Marine_LVT-4_Flame_Thrower_Amtrac_On_Peleliu.jpg

peleliu.JPG

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This must be the Sherman featured on a episode of "Pawn Stars" a few weeks ago.  What a beauty!  Rick was interested in it but the asking price was $1.5 million :)

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