Editors Note: Heading to Virginia to see some Tanks!

Tomorrow I am heading out to Nokesville VA to attend the Americans in Wartime 2017 Openhouse put on by the NMAW and VMMV.  I plan to be there for both days, Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th.  For those that are attending and want to say hi, look for the guy wearing a blue baseball cap that says “LST 393 Muskegon MI.”  I will most likely also be lugging around a video camera, tripod and microphone.  Assuming I get some good footage, I am aiming create the first original video by Tank and AFV News.com.  I’ll be checking email throughout the day, so feel free to contact me at the event at tanksonthebrain@gmail.com

Soviet T-10: Q&A with Stephen “Cookie” Sewell

Stephen Sewell croppedTank and AFV News corresponded recently with Stephen “Cookie” Sewell, co-author of the new book Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants published by Osprey.  Mr. Sewell was born in New York and is a retired US Army chief warrant officer and Department of the Army intelligence analyst.  Trained in both the Vietnamese and Russian languages, Mr. Sewell has written numerous intelligence articles as well as many pieces on American and Russian armor.  He is an enthusiastic scale model builder and the founder of the Armor Model Preservation Society in 1992.  He is also a prolific reviewer of model kits and books.

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Can you give us a description of your career in the US Army and US government?

I entered the Army in September 1968 and was trained as a Vietnamese linguist. After a short tour in Vietnam and then at NSA was retrained as a Russian linguist in 1973. Spent a total of nine years on strategic intelligence assignments and nine years tactical ones. Retired in 1990 as a Chief Warrant officer. Due to expertise hired back three months later into same job I retired from and arrived two weeks before Desert Shield/Desert Storm started. Changed to the National Ground Intelligence Center predecessor in 1991 and then to that organization when created in 1994. Retired from there in 2011

How did you get the nickname Cookie?

I came back from Vietnam in 1971 and my brother wanted me to see a new kids’ show on PBS called “Sesame Street”. First Muppet I saw was the Cookie Monster, who in the space of two minutes ate an entire box of cookies, the box, and a telephone. My kind of guy! When I got to NSA I started drawing him doing stuff like eating MiG-21s and people in my office started referring to me as “Cookie Monster”. Stuffed my desk with chocolate [Read more…]

Marines Under Armor: An Interview with Kenneth Estes

Tank and AFV News recently had the opportunity to pose a series of questions to retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel and professor of history Kenneth Estes.  Mr. Estes is the author of several books on tanks and armored warfare, most notably his history of the development and role of AFVs in the USMC, Marines Under Armor.  His other works include (but not limited to) Tanks on the Beaches: A Marine Tanker in the Pacific War (Texas A&M University Military History Series, 85.), A European Anabasis: Western European Volunteers in the German Army and SS, 1940-45, Into the Breach at Pusan: The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade in the Korean War (Campaigns and Commanders Series), Marine Officer’s Guide, 7th Edition and also several Osprey New Vanguard series titles.  Mr. Estes is a Seattle native and holds a doctorate in Modern European History from the University of Maryland.

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You had a long and successful career with the USMC, having held positions such as Company commander, instructor, historian and writer before retiring at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel (full career synopsis available at end of interview).  Describe the beginning of your USMC career.

CPend DelMar Apr70I graduated from the Naval Academy in 1969, took the basic USMC officer course [The Basic School] Aug69-Jan70, attended USMC Tracked Vehicle School, Tank Officer Course Feb-Apr70.  At the USMC Tank Officer Course, Camp Pendleton (1970), I trained on the M48A3, M67A2 and M103A2 tanks.  This included firing the machine guns, 90mm and 120mm tank cannon and the flame projector of the M67A2. Normally each of us in that course would have preferred assignment to the U.S. Army course at Ft Knox, but only one officer per Basic School class was so detailed. However, the truth of the matter was that the USMC course was fully ‘hands on’ and personal training for just 10 tank officer trainees and therefore much more suitable, and I found out months later that lieutenants attending the Armor Officer Basic Course at Ft Knox in those years did not drive the vehicles and several missed gunnery because of range weather conditions. Moreover, the USMC Tracked Vehicle School was located at gorgeous Del Mar Basin on the coast near Oceanside CA, so one could enjoy all the merits of Californication.

You either served or trained on the M48, M60 and M103 US tanks.  What were your impressions of these vehicles?

Well, by the time I came to serve in them, these were vehicles introduced into service in 1955-58, modernized in 1963-64 with most applicable M60 upgrades and once again rebuilt during the Vietnam War. So, they were very familiar to all hands and spares were available in the system. The principal difficulty was that the USMC supply system did not function very well in delivering spare parts to the units and particularly did not draw items well from the item manager [US Army]. Army provisioning of parts was much richer for units and we envied this.

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From the Editor: Sherman Tanks of Northern Ohio

On our drive back from the MVPA convention in Cleveland this weekend, we had a chance to check out some of the armored vehicles on display in various towns along the way.  Our stops included three examples of Sherman tanks, all M4A3 models.  These tanks are located at Port Clinton, Parma Heights, and Walbridge Ohio.  We snapped a few pictures of each tank with our Samsung phone, the photos are included in some galleries below.  All three tanks are “small hatch” M4A3 tanks with the narrow gun mantlet.  The Walbridge tank is interesting in that it is a M4A3E9.  This particular Sherman variant had a suspension and drive sprocket that was spaced out from the hull to allow for duckbill extenders to be used on both sides of the track.

According to the US AFV Registry, there are two other Sherman tanks in Northern Ohio that we did not have the time to visit. One is housed at a veterans home facility in Sandusky that requires registration in order to gain access to the grounds.  The other is at a National Guard Armory in Cleveland.

M4A3

American Legion Post 703 Parma Heights OH

 

M4A3E9

Ohio Army National Guard Armory, Walbridge OH

 

M4A3

Camp Perry Military Reservation, Port Clinton OH

 

From the Editor: Off to Cleveland

Tomorrow morning we will be making the trek to Cleveland to attend the MVPA Homecoming Military Show and Swap Meet at the Cleveland Tank Plant (I-X Center).  We plan to be there Friday afternoon and evening.  If any of our regular readers plans to be there, shoot us a message at tanksonthebrain@gmail.com.

Cleveland-Tank-Plant-Homecoming-Military-Show-and-Swap-Meet-logo

 

From the Editor: Tank Pogs!

Remember the Pog (milk caps) collecting fad of the early 1990’s?  If not, don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. That said, the fad was popular enough that even some defense contractors apparently got in on the game.  We recently gained possession of these Teledyne Continental Motors “pogs” depicting the AVDS-1790 tank engine, their hydro-pneumatic suspension for tanks, a generic “combat vehicles” graphic and a military fire truck.  The beer cap is included for scale.  While we think these are pretty cool, we doubt many kids were clamoring for a Pog of the AVDS-1790.

Teledyne POGs

Message from the Editor

Regular readers may have noticed that April has seen a sharp decrease in the number of posts here.  Don’t worry, this is a temporary slow-down.  Recent events have conspired to limit the time and energy I have to put into the site right now.  These include a heavy schedule at work and dealing with an ailing parent.  I am hoping that by next week things here at Tank and AFV News will return to normal.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of some tank related objects that have recently come into my possession:

Pictured below are a couple of desktop models of US tank engines from Teledyne Continental Motors.  The one one the left should be familiar to most readers, it is the AVDS-1790-2C, the engine powering the US M-60 tank.  The engine on the right is a bit more obscure, it’s the AVCR-1360-2.  This engine was developed for the MBT-70 program and later was used to power General Motors XM-1 prototype which lost to the Chrysler Defense gas turbine powered XM-1 entry.  engine models

Speaking of the AVDS-1790, here is piece of one!  This is the cylinder head cover to one of the twelve air-cooled cylinders of an AVDS-1790.  Not sure how old this item is, but it has to have been manufactured prior to 1996 since it still has the “Continental” logo on it.

Cylinder head

Here is a drawing showing where this item fits on the cylinder.

diagram

 

From Russia I now have this wooden cutout from Uraltransmash corporation.

uraltransmesh

The last item in this post is this little clear plastic decorative item from General Dynamics in 1987 celebrating the first chips cut on their Abrams Recovery Vehicle.  The block has embedded inside it two metal chips and a graphic showing an image of the vehicle and text announcing that the Abrams Recovery Vehicle “meets user needs.”  Unfortunately for General Dynamics, it did not meet the US Army’s needs as well as the M88A2 Hercules and the Abrams Recovery Vehicle never went into production.

first chips cut