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Ordnance – M3 Howitzer

M3 105mm Howitzer

Should anyone wish to further research the 11th Airborne’s field artillery, the division constituted the 674th and 675th Airborne Field Artillery.

674th Airborne Field Artillery

The 105 mm Howitzer M3 was a light howitzer designed for use by airborne troops. The gun utilized the barrel of the 105 mm howitzer M2, shortened and fitted to a slightly modified split trail carriage of the 75 mm pack howitzer. The howitzer was used by the U.S. Army during WWII.  It was issued to airborne units and the cannon companies of infantry regiments.

Paratrooper Everett Smith (Smitty, far right) during training

The howitzer was designed to fire the same ammunition as the longer M2. However, it turned out that shorter barrel resulted in incomplete burning of the propelling charge. The problem could be solved by use of faster burning powder. Otherwise the design was considered acceptable and was standardized as 105 mm Howitzer M3 on Carriage M3. The carriage was soon succeeded by the M3A1, which had trails made from thicker plate. Even stronger tubular trails were designed, but never reached production.

The production started in February 1943 and continued until May 1944; an additional bunch was produced in April–June 1945.

 

Production of М3, pcs.[2]
Year 1943 1944 1945 Total
Produced, pcs. 1,965 410 205 2,580

The gun fired semi-fixed ammunition, similar to the ammunition of the M2; it used the same projectiles and the same 105 mm Cartridge Case M14, but with different propelling charge. The latter used faster burning powder to avoid incomplete burning; it consisted of a base charge and four increments, forming five charges from 1 (the smallest) to 5 (the largest).

In an emergency, gunners were authorized to fire M1 HE rounds prepared for the Howitzer M2, but only with charges from 1 to 3. M1 HE rounds for the M3 could be fired from an M2 with any charge.

HEAT M67 Shell had non-adjustable propelling charge. For blank ammunition, a shorter Cartridge Case M15 with black powder charge was used.

 

Available ammunition
Type Model Weight (round/projectile) Filler Muzzle velocity Range
HE HE M1 Shell 18.35 kg (40 lb) / 14.97 kg (33 lb) 50/50 TNT or amatol* 2.18 kg (4 lb 13 oz) 311 m/s (1,020 ft/s) 7,585 m (8,300 yd)
HEAT-T HEAT M67 Shell 16.62 kg (37 lb) / 13.25 kg (29 lb) 311 m/s (1,020 ft/s) 7,760 m (8,500 yd)
Smoke WP M60 Shell 18.97 kg (42 lb) / 15.56 kg (34 lb) White Phosphorus, 1.84 kg (4.1 lb) 311 m/s (1,020 ft/s) 7,585 m (8,300 yd)
Smoke FS M60 Shell 19.65 kg (43 lb) / Sulfur trioxide in Chlorosulfonic acid, 2.09 kg (4 lb 10 oz)
Smoke HC BE M84 Shell 18.29 kg (40 lb) / 14.91 kg (33 lb) Zinc chloride 311 m/s (1,020 ft/s) 7,585 m (8,300 yd)

* Amatol is a highly explosive material made from a mixture of TNT and ammonium nitrate.   Amatol was used extensively during WWI and WWII.

 

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

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Military Humor –

Light Artillery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Mildred (Andrews) Andres – Baton Rouge, LA; US Army WAC, German Occupation, Sgt.

FINAL MISSION

Patricia Delaney – Evanston, IL; US Navy WAVES, WWII, Lt. JG

Thomas A. Dennison – Lander, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII

John Jarvie – Rock Springs, WY; USMC, WWII, PTO / Korea, MSgt., Engineering, (Ret. 21 y.)

Theodore Lumpkin Jr. (100) – Angeleno, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 2nd Lt., 100th Fighter Squadron, Intelligence; Lt. Col. (Ret.)

Davis Mosqueda – Boise, ID; USMC, Silent Drill Corps, LCpl.

Louis V. O’Brien – Providence, RI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 486/352 Fighter Group, 2nd Lt., pilot

Madge (Watkins) Redwood – Auckland, NZ; NZ Army WAAC, WWII, # 813240, 9th Coastal Regiment

Brian D. Sicknick – NJ; National Guard, Middle East, Sgt., /  US Capitol Police, 1st Responder Unit

James Wento – Lynn, MA; US Army, SSgt., 2-2 Assault Helicopter Battalion/2nd Combat Assault

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Intermission Stories (13)

Conrad "Connie" Grimshaw in Korea

Conrad “Connie” Grimshaw in Korea

Conrad “Connie” Grimshaw

213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion

Conrad Grimshaw joined the National Guard in 1947 at Beaver, Utah.  When he was ordered to Korea, it was with the 213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion from Cedar City, Utah in July 1950.

In his memoirs he remembered,  “Kapyong [Korea] was quite a pretty place with streams of water coming out of the hills in two directions and flowing to the Han River on the south side of the valley.  Our firing batteries were placed up in the canyons to the north and east.  These canyons were very steep and seemed to me to be a cross between Bakers Canyon and the Big Twist in Utah, with only one road in.  This made it difficult and very easy to get trapped.  Next to our artillery batteries were units from the 6th ROK and the Australian infantry.  We spent a lot of time in this area.

The Kapyong Valley

The Kapyong Valley

“On one of the ammo runs up the main road of Chunchon, we spotted a big truck down by the water’s edge.  We told the motor section about it because we were always looking for truck parts to keep everything running.  She looked pretty bad because it had been an old 2-boom wrecker that had been rebuilt at the Tooele Army Dept.  It got the name “Old Never Run”, but before long the boys had it started and running.

“On 21 April, the CCF started the spring offensive and began to push south of the 38th parallel.  We were in the middle of the push.  Not long after we had set up Service Battery, our firing batteries were pulled out of Kapyong canyon and moved to an area by the Hwachon Reservoir above Chunchon.  The first artillery rounds were fired by B Battery the next day.  Later, they were moved back to stop the Chinese push against the Australians and ROKs.

“Around 9pm that night, W.O. Puffer came to me and said that Capt. James had ordered him to go up to HQ and find out if we were to pull back.  He wanted me to drive him up there.  I drove a ¾ ton weapons carrier with Roy Puffer as the only passenger.  I would say that going up the canyon with all the South Korean soldiers pouring out of the hills was like driving through a herd of sheep.  W.O. Puffer was given instructions to have Service Battery move back as needed to safer ground.

213th Armored Field Artillery

213th Armored Field Artillery

“We got as much as we could, but we were forced to leave behind a 105 howitzer and a half track, as well as a stack of C rations and some ammo trailers filled with ammunition.  I heard later that the Australians got the C rations and the retreating firing batteries used up the ammo.  They then hooked up the trailers and brought them down to us.  We lost the howitzer when it slipped off the road’s edge and onto a rocky ledge…we had to leave it behind.”

Connie Grimshaw’s story shows how each job compliments the other and each one is important.  He returned home in July 1951.  This story was found in the Korean War Educator Memoirs and condensed.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

John Bartley, Jr. – Amesbury, MA; US Navy, WWII, airplane engine mechanic

Med-Evac

Med-Evac

Leonard Cousins – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

Everette Frye, Sr. – Richmond, VA; US Army, Korea, MD

Katherine Jamison (92) – Washington D.C.; Intelligence Research Specialist

James Manning – Washington D.C.; US Army, Colonel (Ret.), WWII

Fritz McClory – W.Palm Beach, FL; US Air Force (20 years), Korea & Vietnam

John W. Murray – Waikato, NZ; British Merchant Seaman, WWII

Guy Robertson – Brisbane, Australia; RA Infantry, Major (Ret.) & Queens Own Rifles of Canada; Vietnam

John Trussell – Cleburne, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 127th Engineers

Francis Vogelman – Philadelphia, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 511th Regiment

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