Tag Archives: M1A1

Videos: M1A1 75mm Pack Howitzer Instructions and Firing

My post about the old M1A1 in the Battle Creek Memorial Cemetary got me to thinking.  The Internet is an amazing place and I wondered what videos I could find that might feature the old howitzer.

Right off the bat, I found the following fascinating old WWII-era USMC training film on the M1A1:

A collector actually owns one and this next video gives a bit of history and shows the howitzer firing:

The next is historic combat footage of an M1A1 being fired in Saipan:

And last is historic footage of a pack howitzer being unloaded by a crew and assembled at Fort Hale, CO.

These videos pretty much satisfied my curiosity.  After all these years, I finally know a bit more about the old howitzer and got to see it operate.

 


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M1A1 75mm Pack Howitzer on an M8 Carriage in the Battle Creek Memorial Cemetary

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.

M8 Carriage

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.

 


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.