One of the things I wanted to do for a long time is start taking photos of war memorials and the hardware that is often there. In the Battle Creek, MI, Memorial cemetery is this M1A1 75mm pack howitzer with an M8 carriage.
My dad always told me was a pack howitzer and I never really ask him what that meant other than him telling me it was mobile. In Reading, it is interesting because it was to be carried by 7 mules if necessary as well as dropped out of airplanes via 9 parachute loads or whatever the case may be. In short, it would break down into component parts and could be packed somewhere. At 1,436 pounds, it weighed a fair amount when assembled.
As you can see in the next photo of the howitzer’s breach area, it is an M1A1 made by General Electric in 1943. 2,592 pack howitzers were made that year. I find it interesting that they designated that it could be used with the M2 and M3 vehicle mounts as well as in the pack configuration.
The M1A1 had a modified breach block and breach ring.
The M8 carriage configuration gave it pneumatic rubber tires as opposed to the original wood spoke with metal rim wheels.
There are welds all over the unit to demil it
The above photo is of the Hannifin Manufacturing plaque on the carriage. You can see the welds they did – they went to great lengths to make it inert.
Here are some photos of the muzzle end – the rifling is still there.
Here are a few more photos:
I was pleased to see it was still in fairly good shape. The howitzer is up on metal blocks so the tires aren’t bearing the load. The flag, Old Glory monument and the howitzer make for a nice combination to reflect.
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