M4 Sherman Tank
This M4Sherman Tank, a medium tank, is one of 49,234 made in Detroit between 1942 and 1945. It is, more precisely, an M4A3E8, an “Easy Eight.” It was manned by a crew of five and carried a 76-mm cannon, a 50-caliber machine gun, and two 30-caliber machine guns. The 30-ton tank was powered by a 1,000-in.3, 500-hp Ford GAA engine that would let the tank cruise at 26 mph and travel up 100 to 150 miles on the 138 to 175 gallons of gas it carried. The gas engine made the tank a fire hazard when struck by enemy fire and earned it the nickname Ronson because “it lights every time.” Almost every other tank was diesel-powered.
The Weasel, an amphibious vehicle, was needed for a Special Services mission: to take out German hydroelectrical plants in Norway. So Studebaker jumped into the fray, designing and developing a prototype in 60 days. It quickly went into production (even though the Norway mission was canceled), and the company turned out 15,000 before the end of World War II. It was used wherever terrain was difficult for carrying light cargo, laying signal lines, a radio and command platform, and as an ambulance.
The half-track, or M16 multiple-gun motor carriage, was built from 1942 to 1944, and 3,550 were produced. They served as self-propelled anti-aircraft and anti-infantry weapons carrying four 12.7-mm Browning machine guns. It was built by White Motor Co. and was powered by a 386-in.3 six-cylinder White engine. The nine-ton three-man truck could travel 175 miles at up to 42 mph.
LVT 4 Water Buffalo
This amphibian tractor was designed by the Food Machinery Corp. and then manufactured by the St. Louis Car Co. The engine is a 667-in.3 7-cylinder Continental radial engine that puts out 250 hp. The nearly 15-ton vehicle can carry up to 25 troops and is large enough to carry a jeep if necessary. The vehicle was used to ferry troops across reefs in the Pacific and a few made the initial Allied crossing of the Rhine River in Germany. This particular LVT was also used in the movie, Flags of Our Fathers, in 2005.
M56 Scorpion Airborne Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun
Paratroopers proved effective in World War II, but they lacked an artillery piece that could accompany them. So the military designed the four-seat tracked vehicle and gave it a 90-mm anti-tank gun. Scorpions could be transported by air and be parachuted or precision dropped via transport helicopters to the combat site. There were 325 built from 1953 through 1959 and they were built in the IX Center when it was a tank plant. The 8-ton vehicle could travel 45 mph for up to 140 miles.
This British-built armored personnel carrier (APC) was developed and manufactured between 1951 and 1972. About 1,800 of them were built and some saw service dealing with the Irish Republican Army. The last to see service was deployed to Hong Kong in 1993. The vehicles had a crew of two but could carry ten troops. It was armed with a 7.62-mm machine gun and a dozen smoke-grenade launchers.
M109 Self-Propelled 155-mm Howitzer
This M109 was built in the IX Center back in the late 1960s, but it survived to see combat in Operation Desert Storm two and a half decades later in 1991. Other M109s served in the Iraqi War from 2003 to 2011. This vehicle was manned by a crew of six: a section chief, driver, two ammo handlers and a gunner, who aims the cannon left and right (deflection) and the assistant gunner who aims the cannon up and down (quadrant). Later versions did away with the second gunner and ammo handler.
M578 Light Armored Recovery Vehicle
This tracked vehicle served as the tow truck for the battlefield from 1955 through 1975 and saw most action in Vietnam. It was originally designed to go out into the field and replace or repair gun barrels of M107/110 tanks. But once in the field, it was more often used to tow damaged tanks back to where they could be repaired at a protected base The LARV relied on a GM 8-cyinder supercharged diesel engine for its 345 hp, and it carried enough fuel to travel 450 miles.
The M114 Command and Reconnaissance Carrier was made in the IX Center by the Cadillac Div. of GM in the early 1960s. It was supposed to be fast and stealthy, and could be dropped by parachute. A Chevy V-8 gave the 13,000-lb aluminum vehicle a top speed of 36 mph. It could also travel across water propelled by the tracks. In Vietnam it proved mechanically unreliable, underpowered, and had difficulty traveling cross country. It was also woefully under-armored and a land mine would cut it in two. It was retired in 1973.