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WW2 Half-track military vehicle: Got some questions, can anyone here please help me out? TIA

Discussion in 'Military Training, Doctrine, and Planning' started by Nick76S, Jan 30, 2023.

  1. Nick76S

    Nick76S New Member

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    This is a research task and I'm trying to figure out some information on the crew and ammunition of the M15/M15A1 half-track during WW2 for the US Army.

    [This T/O&E](imgur.com) from 11/17/1944 is for an AAA AW SP (Anti-Aircraft Artillery / Automatic Weapons / Self-Propelled) battery.

    The M15A1 is assigned to the Automatic Weapons Squad (yellow column) and has a crew of 7 according to it and other online sources agree on the crew #.

    * 1 Sergeant (Section Leader)
    * 1 Corporal (Squad Leader)
    * 3 PFC/Pvt (Cannoneer)
    * 2 Tec 5 (Driver and a Gunner)

    [This field manual](imgur.com) (FM 4-159) shows the M15 seating layout:

    * Driver + Squad Leader (Corporal) in the front seats.
    * 2 Cannoneers on either side of the guns.
    * 2 gun pointers
    * 1 lead adjuster (Gunner)
    * Squad Leader, Gunner, and Driver matches in both documents.

    However, the T/O&E has 3 cannoneers and the FM has 2, so one of the cannoneers was a gun pointer? Also, where is the Sergeant (Section Leader)?

    Did the corporal or the sergeant take on a gunner's duty? The corporal's MOS is actually the same as the lead adjuster (Gunner), so was he in one of the seats? If so, which one would be more likely? I'm trying to find out where the "Gunner" from the T/O&E would be seated, if not in the "Gunner" position in the FM then where?

    In [this Wiki picture](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...p_air_attacks_on_Yontan_airfield,_Okinawa.jpg) it shows the 7 crew with 2 of them looking out. The T/O&E says the driver was assigned the M1 Thompson/M3 Grease gun, but I thought it was usually the Sergeant that had it. Can't identify the ranks from the picture, but there are 7 people and a driver + 2 NCO, so one of them has to be on the gun.

    Also as an aside, in the role of AAA AW SP in the European theater after D-Day, would the M15 be using [HE-T M54A1](imgur.com) exclusively in its 37mm M1 or would they also use [APC-T M59A1](https://imgur.com/BLNiy3T)? I know the anti-tank guns would have switched to be Bofors or something larger by then, so was the APC-T used at all for AAA purposes then?

    Thanks a lot in advance!
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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  3. Temujin

    Temujin Active Member

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  4. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I understand this is confusing. The four firing Sections in each Auto-Weapons Platoon each had a Sergeant Section Leader and two Corporal Squad Leaders, since each Section consisted of an Auto-Weapons Squad and a Machine Gun Squad. The AW Squad had the M15A1, while the MG Squad had the M16. The Sergeant Section Leader rode in the M15A1. The AW Squad also had five other enlisted,T-4, T-5, PFC, or PVT, whose positions included one Gunner (usually a T-4 or T-5), one Half-track Driver (usually a PFC or PVT), and three Cannoneers (usually a T-5, PFC, or PVT).

    In theory the 37mm Gun M1A2 on SP Carriage M15A1 was capable of firing M74 AP-T, M54A1 HE-T, or M59A1 APC-T but in practice most of what was carried and fired was M54A1. What little M74 still around and most of the M59A1 was relegated to use with the M5A1 Light Tank but typically a few rounds were kept for emergency use against armored targets.
     
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  5. Nick76S

    Nick76S New Member

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  6. Nick76S

    Nick76S New Member

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  7. Nick76S

    Nick76S New Member

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    Thanks a whole bunch!! Very much appreciate it.
     

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